August 2017 Newsletter

Hi everyone,

So after a successful grading at the end of July there are still some mop up grading’s to do for everyone. But a big well done to those that graded its great seeing you guys get the rewards from your hard work.

A new addition to the agenda this month to I have included an article I have written around the uses of the Hiki-Te (The hand on the hip in Karate) which I hope you will all enjoy.

There have been some new videos added to YouTube as well and there’s still more to come.

Hope you enjoy the read.


  1. Update of classes
  2. Andrew Rheeston Article – The use of the Hiki-Te
  3. Upcoming Seminars
  4. New Student Offer
  5. Congratulations

Update of classes

So we continued to work on grading requirements this month which culminated with a successful grading at the end of July. Throughout August, we will welcome the new starters that have booked up on our new student offer. We have students booked in for trail classes across all four of our weekly sessions and there still a hand full of places left. If you’d like to come along to any of our classes then please get in touch.

Andrew Rheeston Article – The use of the Hiki-Te

use of the Hiki-Te
This article is written about what I consider the most common yet misunderstood aspect of karate, the Hiki-Te (Pulling Hand). The Hiki-Te is the hand that is placed at your hip


when performing your one-step basic line work and appears in all of your kata’s. In my experience, the Hiki-Te is the most overlooked aspect of Karate techniques, when I first started training I cannot recall a time when I was told what this Hiki-Te was for and as a child, I just done what was told and never asked any questions as to why we were doing what we were. When I started teaching as an assistant instructor, I overheard children, parents and adult students asking, “Why does this hand have to be pulled back to hip?” Depending on who is asked that question, I have heard the following responses:

• It is resting
• It is in a position ready to attack or defend
• By pulling the hand back, you add power to your technique

I wasn’t wholly convinced by these explanations for the reasons below, and since I decided to teach my own classes I have done my own investigations and research in what I teach to understand why the techniques are performed as they are. I will first explain why I am not convinced with the explanations offered above:

It is resting – Why is the hand resting? If you are unlucky enough to find yourself in a physical confrontation, surely you would want BOTH hands to be doing something to try and help you escape the situation and you would definitely NOT want one hand to be doing nothing.

It is in a position ready to attack or defend – Why would your hand be ‘ready’ on your hip? I’m sure that if your hand is not attacking the opponent then it would be more useful providing some sort of protection. In my opinion, your hands should always be ready to strike, if you watch a boxing competition where the competitors can only punch they rarely if ever pull the non-striking hand to their hip yet both hands are ALWAYS ready to strike the opponent. 99 percent of the time the non-striking hand is covering the competitor’s jaw providing themselves with some sort of protection. If you look at a karate-ka’s use of the Hiki-Te as being ‘ready’ then while you are striking the opponent you are leaving your body wide open for counter attacks.

By pulling the hand back to your hip you add power to your technique – I’ve heard this explained as because you are pulling one arm back it recoils your hip so you can thrust the attacking arm harder. This statement is correct that the Hiki-Te adds power to your punch but only when used correctly and this is what I am going to be explaining now.

So what is the Hiki-Te actually used for? In two books written by Gichin Funakoshi (The founder of Shotokan Karate and one of Hironori Ohtsuka’s Karate teachers) are the following explanations of the Hiki-Te:

Taken from the book To-Te Jitsu it is written, “Hiki-Te is to use the opponent’s incoming punch and pull it on beyond its reach and to twist it at the same time, to throw the opponent off his balance”.

In Karate Do Kyohan (The Neptune publications version) it is written “Hiki-Te – pulling hand, the moment you block the opponent’s fist, you grab and pull his fist towards you. In doing so, you attack him. The fact that you pull him in towards you means that you are disabling your opponent from using his waza (technique) and making him lose balance. At the same time, the effectiveness of your fist increases; this is most important [this is what I think is meant by the third explanation of the Hiki-Te to add power to your punch]. It is even more effective if you can pull-in with a twisting motion rather than just pulling.

This statement is backed up by Hironori Ohtsuka (The founder of Wado-Ryu when he wrote in his book titled “Wado Ryu Karate” – “Do not think of punching alone, think of pulling and punching simultaneously.” These statements then indicate to us that when we are defending ourselves the Hiki-Te is used to pull the opponent into a position where we can effectively strike them. I am now going to indicate two techniques from the Kata’s that show this Hiki-Te working when combined with the basic punch and the final technique on the use of the Hiki-Te is combined with the Gedan Barai.

1. The enemy is threatening you with their right hand. With your right hand you reach up and seize their arm, you then pull it towards your hip (this being the purpose of the Hiki-Te) and as you do this, you step forward to deliver the first punch to an open area. Note the position of the pulling hand in this technique. It is making the enemy lean forward so that lean again the technique applied just as Gichin Funakoshi said in his book, “…you grab and pull his fist towards you. In doing so, you attack him. The fact that you pull him in towards you means that you are disabling your opponent from using his waza (technique) and making him lose balance.”

2. The enemy seizes your right hand with their right hand. You rotate your wrist so that you can grab the enemy’s hand, once grabbed bring your arm back to hip whilst rotating the wrist so that your fingers point upwards. This will cause the enemy to lean forward and you finish off by stepping forward to deliver the punch.

3. The enemy is threatening you with their right hand. As with application no.1, you seize the threatening limb with your right hand and as you pull the arm to your hip you step forward with your left leg and pivot 900 to the side and using the “prime” for the low block, you hit the enemy’s elbow. This will cause the enemy to jolt forward and as they do this, you continue to push the arm down and finish the “block” by striking to the enemy’s groin.

I hope this has helped to explain what the Hiki-Te and develop your understanding of how this misunderstood aspect of karate can be better utilised.

Upcoming Seminars

We currently have two seminars remaining for this rest of this year and also one-weekend course for anyone that would like to attend. The details are below:

Andrew Rheeston – Mixing Arts Seminar – Sunday, September 17th at 11:00–15:00

Following on from the great feedback of the seminar with myself and Iain Abernethy earlier this year I have arranged to continue the theme and teach another seminar which will focus again around the similarities between Karate and Kali Motions.

As well as the empty-hand motions we will also take a look at how these can be used against blunt and edged weaponry. Also, we will see how the motions can be translated to impact equipment.

During the session, we will be using focus mitts, Kali stick and training knives. For attendees that don’t already have this equipment, there will be spares available on the day.

The cost of this seminar will be £30 per person and can be paid via bank transfer (contact Andy to arrange payment), via cheque made payable to Mr A Rheeston and sent to Mr A Rheeston 106 Piccadilly Close, Chelmsley Wood, Birmingham, B37 7LQ. Payment can also be taken in cash on the day once your space is booked.

Brendan Westwood Seminar – Sunday, 1st October 2017 at 10:00-14:00

Our friends at Lee Taylor Karate ( are hosting MKG UK Director Brendan Westwood who will also be visiting us later in the year. Details of the seminar are here:

We have the honour of hosting Brendan Westwood who is the UK & European Director of MKG (Minnesota Kali Group) for the first time here in Wales. Brendan ( is also the owner and head instructor of MKG Bournemouth with an impressive martial arts career spanning over 20 years this will be a special seminar not to be missed!
This is an open seminar for 15yrs + covering various arts under the MKG banner.
Seminar Details:
Time: 10am-2pm
Venue: Memorial Hall, Station Road, Presteigne, Powys. LD8 2LB
Cost: Adults £30 per person
Payment: PayPal use email to pay and state Brendan Westwood Seminar / Bank cards can be used on the day if required along with cash but reserve a place in the first instance / Bank Transfer ask for details

Rick Faye UK Seminar 28th & 29th October 2017

I mentioned this seminar in last month’s newsletter and the details have now been finalised and can be found below: Guro Rick Faye – the owner and head instructor of the world-renowned Minnesota Kali Group – is back in the UK for a weekend full of martial arts goodness!

Guro Rick Faye – the owner and head instructor of the world-renowned Minnesota Kali Group – is back in the UK for a weekend full of martial arts goodness!
Sessions run from 10am to 2pm on both Saturday and Sunday – for anyone with an interest in martial arts (not just MKG students).
PLUS, there will also be an additional instructors’ only session from 2.30pm to 4.30pm on each day – so a great way to get your hours in with Guro Faye.
Tickets start from £60 per day, and there are additional deals for accommodation. Visit the MKG UK website for details, and to reserve your place (£20 deposit).
This will be Guro’s last Seminar in the UK for 2017 – so do not miss out!
Follow this link for more information and to book your place.

MKG UK Seminar with Brendan Westwood – Sunday 3rd December at 12:00–16:00

Following on from last year’s successful seminar with have the pleasure of hosting Guro Brendan Westwood the UK & European Director of the Minnesota Kali Group for another seminar around the MKG arts. The session last year focussed around stick and knife training, hubad (a sensitivity drill to feel pressure from a partner or opponent to manipulate them into positions where they are off balance and easy to hit) and impact work on the focus mitts. Was a great session and sure this year’s session will be just as fun!

The seminar will be held at Team Black Belt Dojo, Lode Lane, Solihull, B92 8NU. The cost will be £30 for the seminar and can be paid by either cheque or cash on the day. In the first instance please book and confirm your place with Andy prior to sending payment, as places will be limited for this event. Contact details for Andy are tel: 07929989720 or e-mail

New Student Offer

New Student Offer


At the end of July, we held our second ARMA – Karate grading of the year due to holidays some people were unable to attend and wash-up grading are going to be done during August for those people. However, Congratulations goes to the following for their belt promotions.

9th Kyu (Red Belt)

Ashleigh Hill
Brandon Matthews
Chelsea Sutcliffe

8th Kyu (Yellow Belt)

Ryan O’Neil

7th Kyu (Orange Belt)

Jay Wilkinson
Demi-Lea Bratby

5th Kyu (Blue Belt)

Logan Rheeston

4th Kyu (Purple Belt)

Ella Rheeston

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I will have more content added from next month if there is anything you would like to see in these newsletters Kata performance or bunkai videos, the link between karate and kali etc. please let me know and I will do my best to get any question included in the next newsletter.

If you would like to host me for a seminar, are interested in any of our classes or if you would like to have to some private training I can be contacted at or by telephone on 07929 989 720

See you all again soon and take care 🙂

Andy Rheeston
Telephone or Text: 07929 989 720