Funakoshi's lost Mantis throws

Warning! The techniques described below can cause serious injury or death and are shown for historical purposes only!

When I was a very young shotokan karate player, I was intrigued by the fact Funakoshi shows some throws in his 'Karate-do kyohan' book.

Look, throws from the old karate! There must be some deep 'bunkai' behind that! Unfortunatelly, back then, before the fully developed internet, it was impossible to get to the original source; so I only got the names. But with my then-state of knowledge, I would only be confused by them anyway.

Today, anybody can see the throws for himself:

And I understand a lot more about karate; so I am not particularly impressed by the throws.

Still, there are several interesting things behind the 'lost throws of Funakoshi':

1)The throws are all done using Mantis archetype. This means they come from some Mantis wrestling system (not from 'Okinawan te' or some such).
2)The throws are all done using Mantis archetype. This also means they are not 'bunkai' for any of the common Okinawan forms; as no common Okinawan kata I know of employs Mantis archetype.

So all people that think these are 'bunkais' of Heians, Bassai etc are wrong, simple as that.

3)The throws are all done using Mantis archetype. That means that even Funakoshi demonstrates them wrong! Instead of the Mantis claws inherent to the archetype, he uses normal 'human' hands. This makes all the throws a lot weaker than they should be; defeating their original purpose.

The key to their full power is using Mantis claw, the basic hand of form of Mantis archetype:


Let me explain what I mean by that:


a)Byobu daoshi("the folding screen topple") - instead of using hands, use Mantis claws to grab opponent's right wrist and left jaw (not his chin or throat!). Then sweep his front leg; this folds him down and makes him fall on his tailbone, breaking it. So Byobu daoshi is not some stupid variation on judo osoto gari; but a tailbone breaker!

Ie the purpose of the technique is not to take the opponent down; but to break his tailbone, neutralizing his fighting potential quickly and effectively. (With a broken tailbone, you cannot walk a lot, much less fight).

Note that only using the proper technique does the name make sense - you are folding opponent body like a folding screen("byobu") as you take him down("daoshi") so he falls directly onto his tailbone.


b)Koma nage("spinning top throw") - instead of using hands, use Mantis claws to grab opponent's right wrist and elbow. When you grab his elbow with left Mantis claw, you must seize the tendon inside his elbow crook with your fingers(thumb and middle finger); this is a special method of elbow seizing in Chinese kungfu (see also my book on Chinto).

Then apply the armlock by pushing circularly against his elbow. You must do it quickly; done this way, it both breaks his elbow joint and neurally makes him fall forward onto his jaw while opening his mouth, thus dislocating it from both joints superiorly (jamming it into the nerve clusters behind the ears; for details, read my book on Seisan).

So again, this is not some stupid armlock; but a jaw dislocator!

Actually, I believe the 'spinning top' here does not refer to the motion of the throw, but to something more devious! The double jaw dislocator causes so much pain to the opponent he will keep rolling around on the ground in pain; resembling a spinning top.


Using Mantis claws for this is practical too:
By seizing opponents biceps tendon, you prevent him from resisting your straightening of his elbow; which is otherwise hard to do, as people resist with all their might getting their arm straightened.  This is why I never liked this type of straight armlocks, as I had people wrestle with me for the straightened arm all the time.
However, when you seize his biceps tendon, there is no wrestling - you can straighten his arm with zero resistance.
This is another reason the Funakoshi technique (shown by Funakoshi and repeated by people on the internet) is shitty; while the Mantis-clawed original is the real one.



c)Kubi wa("neck encirclement") - instead of using normal hand, use right Mantis claw to encircle opponent's neck. If you use Mantis claw, the throw takes him down on the back of his skull, giving him a brain concussion.

Again, this is not some stupid clothesline takedown; but a sure method to cause a brain concussion.


d)Katawa guruma("cripple wheel") - again, use Mantis claws - to grab the back of his neck with right claw and the inside of his right knee with your left claw. Executing the throw like that misaligns opponent's spine(changing its shape irreversibly), making a cripple out of him. I believe this is why it is called 'cripple wheel'!

So again, this is not some silly throw (Fireman's carry! I am at a loss for words); but a spine misaligner that makes a cripple of the opponent.


e)Tsubame gaeshi("swallow's sudden turn") - use left Mantis claw to seize opponent's right wrist; while striking upward into his chin with your right Mantis claw (the hooked wrist).

This is a nerve freezer that makes the following throw possible; so when Funakoshi demonstrates a backfist strike here, he also demonstrates his ignorance; as backfist does nothing.

Then spin leftward and get on your knee, while using your right Mantis claw(index finger and thumb) to hook the tendon inside opponent's right elbow crook with your thumb and index finger as described above in Koma nage. This is a special elbow-seizing method of Chinese kungfu and the only way you can execute this throw properly.

Using this grip, spin leftward and get on your knee. This breaks both opponent's knees by first pulling him sharply down onto both knees; and then spinning him around you, which damages the knee joints by twisting them; this is the 'swallow's sudden turn'.

Again, not some silly throw, but a Mantis twin kneebreaker!

f)Yari dama("ball spearing") - use left Mantis claw to seize opponent's right wrist; and use your right Mantis claw to seize his left knee from the inside.

Do NOT strike or seize his balls as Enkamp prescribes, gloating over it (but that guy always looked gay anyway). Instead, just lift him and pierce with your right hip into the right side of his pelvis.

Done like this, the throw dislocates both opponent's hips as you bend him over your right hip. So again, not some stupid judo throw; but a hips dislocator if done properly.

Note that the name 'yari dama' - 'ball spearing' - describes the action of your body; you must use RubberLegs(see my work on Carioca) to jump/pierce upward, spearing upward with your right hip into the side of opponent's pelvis; so both his hips get broken by this sudden action.

It resembles thrusting a spear upward to pierce a ball that floats above you.


g)Tani otoshi("valley drop") - use left Mantis claw to seize opponent's right wrist, as usually; then use your right Mantis claw to seize his left floating ribs.

Do not perform any strikes, as eliciting 'natural flinching response' would only ruin the throw (that applies to all these Mantis throws).

Turn leftward and sweep upward with your right leg into the outside of his right leg.

Done like this, the throw breaks opponent's left floating ribs and plants him on the back of his neck in an ugly way ("valley drop"), misaligning his neck spine forward, again, making a criple out of him that will have his head bent forward all the time.

Again, no 'seoi nage'; but a rib breaker and neck misaligner.


h)Ude wa("arm circle") - equip both Mantis claws and make a circle out of your arms, claws pointing together; striking opponent's arms upward with this contraption; creating a nerve freezer, making the following throw possible. It also arches him neurally backward.

Then circle down, without breaking the circle or the claws; slapping into the backs of opponent's thighs with your Mantis claws.

This will neurally make the muscles on the backs of his legs contract violently; forcing him into squat; and as he is arched backward from the first nerve strike, the squatting tears the muscles of his pelvic floor; making his unable to walk until this heals.

Again, note the irony - people think this is some poor man's double leg takedown; while in fact, it is a nerve technique designed to tear the muscles of opponent's pelvic floor.


i)Gyaku tsuchi("back sledgehammer") - as always, equip your Mantis claws and enter under opponent's right arm; hugging his middle back with your right arm (keep Mantis claw!) and seizing the inside of his right knee with your left Mantis claw.

Throwing him like this strains and tears the deep muscles around his thoracid spine; which feels like getting a sledgehammer to the back, I suppose; perhaps that is the source of the name("back sledgehammer")

The opponent will not be able to walk for some time. So again, this is not a silly pro-wrestling piledriver; but an erectors-tearing technique.



j)Nodo osae("throat press") - not one of the 9 throws; but still, demonstrated by Funakoshi, uses Mantis archetype and the principle is the same; so I guess it is part of the original Mantis wrestling too.

As usually, use Mantis claws to seize his right wrist and his throat. Then arch his head backward with your right Mantis claw; but also twist the claw CCW as you press down.
This dislocates opponent's larynx; making it very hard for him to speak or breathe. He will not suffocate, but he will be unable to fight until somebody puts his larynx back.

Similar technique is used in YCWC Seisan; see my book on Seisan.

Again, done the way demonstrated in the video, it is a just a silly takedown.


As for the version where you grab his leg, this is a stupid throw that does not even use Mantis archetype, on top of it; and does not work as a larynx dislocator. It is only a derivation-by-ignorance from the misunderstood original throw. Do not use it.



Note that the entries Funakoshi presents
1)are stupid (catching punches out of air!)
2)do not use Mantis archetype; so they were not part of the original techniques and were added by him later. As usually, 'wrestlings' do not have entries, just finishes; see my other books.

Also note that all the Mantis grabs done properly are nerve disruptions; so there is usually no need to strike the opponent to be able to throw him effortlessly (in fact, if you strike him, you will probably have trouble throwing him). For more on nerve disruptions, read my works on kungfu and Carioca.


Trying it out

Note that what I described above are not some ellusive, controversial techniques I dreamed up. They work and anybody can try them out by simply adding Mantis claws to Funakoshi's throws.

Of course, if you decide to try them, it is at your own risk - you must be extremely careful not to hurt your training partner (which might mean, for example, executing the throw into a deep pool in the case of Tani otoshi; as normal crash mat is not enough to prevent the neck misalignment).

The only technique that really cannot be tried out is the 'cripple wheel' Katawa guruma. Executing it even lightly using Mantis hands will misalign opponent's spine and I am not sure contemporary medicine can fix that.

So be very careful with the above techniques - these are real weapons, not quasi-judo throws for fighting hobbyists. In fact, in this article, I am trying to open people's eyes a bit as to what real martial arts looked like, before they became a glorified game of tag.


As you see, Funakoshi's '9 lost throws' are not some stupid judo throws; instead, they are originally crippling methods (finishes) from some Mantis wrestling system:

-tailbone breaker
-jaw dislocator (also elbow break)
-brain concussion
-spine misaligner
-knees breaker
-hips breaker
-neck misaligner (also floating ribs break)
-tearing pelvic floor muscles
-tearing the erector muscles
-larynx dislocator

Note that all these are small finishes (see my book on Seisan); ie these are non-lethal techniques that also do not break opponent's spine. The spine misalignments do not reach opponent's spinal nerves, just change the shape of his spine. In other words, this is friendly stuff as far as old Chinese kungfu is concerned.

From the fact the techniques injure various peripherals of opponent's body and use one archetype (Mantis), it seems this was not just a hodge-podge of wrestling techniques; but a small system of Mantis-powered small-finishes wrestling somebody probably cherished; and somehow, it got passed on to Funakoshi on Okinawa.


Properly, all the throws must be done using Mantis hands; as not using them makes the techniques just poor man's judo throws that do nothing special.

Unlike proper kata techniques, they lack usable entries (ie they are just wrestling - read my books on kungfu for details); still, they are a lot more powerful than the trash Funakoshi demonstrates in his books and his modern lackeys gloat about.

So let the modern shotokan players play with their silly judo throws; in full knowledge they are thousand miles from the truth.



But it is pretty cool, is not it? In Funakoshi's uninspired books about karate, there is hidden an old Mantis wrestling like one from a Hongkong kungfu movie - but a real one!

Come on, 'cripple wheel' - do you not love this? I know I would have when I was a young martial arts student.

And this, my dear reader, is why I am publishing this article at all - because I hope that at least some people will find joy of knowledge in it.

Ones that are tired by the 'practical bunkai' charade and would like to learn the real stuff.

For the rest, well, there is always that Enkamp's site. Fireman's carry!



People who did not read any of my books on kungfu will probably be confused by this article. They know throws (from judo and wrestling); they know strikes (obviously); but what is this 'crippling' stuff? Tailbone breaker? Spine misaligner? Since when you do such things in a fight?

Laconically, there is an enormous cultural divide between a contemporary fighter and the fighter of old China or Okinawa. In contemporary society, we are taught (by our media, sports etc) that 'fight' means that two men throw strikes to the head of each other until one of them drops down. Or, less often, wrestling - that you grab the opponent and take him down.

But old Chinese kungfu masters had a different view of fighting (they probably did not go to the movies). In Chinese kungfu, you grab the opponent and cripple him in one decisive move; damaging his body so he cannot go on fighting. Old Chinese had little patience with strikes(read "boxing, karate etc.") or throws that do nothing but take the opponent to the ground (read "most of judo")

This is why modern people will always be confused by the old Chinese techniques; as they will always look for punches and throws - and because there are usually none (see above), they will make up their own.

For more on this topic, read my books on kungfu.
























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