Tsukuri - Kuzushi - Kake
(The Magic 3)

These are very old but important concepts in Japanese Martial Arts. They represent the 3 entities that have to come together to effectively execute a technique on a non complying opponent in a live scenario.

Tsukuri (Set up)

Tsukuri is the ability to trick your opponent into attacking you where you want them to without them realising it, or the ability to initiate your attack with the least amount of risk possible.

Contrary to what many people believe, in Martial Arts, we do not guess what an opponent will do. Instead, we limit their options and trick them to attack roughly where we want them to.

Training in Tsukuri involves using various tools that allow you to manipulate an opponent.

- For example -

Guard Changing and Moving:

In Yoseikan the guard is not static but constantly moves and adapts to have an efficient fence in front of the opponent based on what they are doing.

Distance (MA):

Work your distance to put the opponent out of range so they cannot attack and put them back in range when you want them to attack.

Without an effective Tsukuri you will always have to guess what your opponent is going to do next and you will have a Martial Art that will be solely based on Instinct and Reflex. Your Martial Arts skills will also rapidly DECREASE as you grow older.

(Break the Balance)

Kuzushi is the ability to create an opening for your attack.

Depending on whether you are STRIKING or GRAPPLING, the Kuzushi will take a different shape. The 8 Directions are heavily used in creating effective Kuzushi.


After you set up the opponent for a particular attack (by creating the intentional opening in your guard) you will move through that attack using one of the available angles to slip the attack and position yourself for your counter-attack.


After you have clinched, you will pull the centre of gravity of your opponent over the edge of their standing base to break their balance before using the appropriate throw.

Without an effective Kuzushi...

IN STRIKING: you will never be able to counter-attack effectively.

IN GRAPPLING: you will always have to use strength, making it less effective and also increasing the risk of injury.

Kake (Technique)

Kake refers to all the different techniques available in Martial Arts.

It also refers to specific concepts that are inherent to the correct execution of each technique.

In Yoseikan one of these concepts is

There are 10 Waves that translate into the 10 different directions in which power can be generated from the human body. The Waves substantially increase the speed and power of the techniques.

Another important concept is

Correct alignment allows power to condense in one direction, avoiding dispersion of energy that will reduce the efficiency of the technique and increase the risk of injury.

There are many techniques in Yoseikan: Strikes, Throws, Joint Locks, Strangulation, Ground Techniques, Weapon Techniques...

For a technique to be effective, TSUKURI, KUZUSHI and KAKE have to be fused into one entity.

It will take a fraction of a second for all three to be fused and executed and if the fusion is right, the execution of the technique will be flawless, making it impossible for the opponent to counter it.

If you make one mistake in one of the three, or if you don't fuse them properly, the technique will be easily countered by your opponent or it won't work at all.