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#105915 - 07/08/04 06:47 PM Re: Why no Kata?????
Raul Perez Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 2805
Loc: Lake Ronkonkoma, NY, USA
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Brian Mullen:

I study Okinawan Kenpo and Jujitsu, The style of JuJitsu that I study I Taki Aki Ryu.
And we do not have kata.

[/QUOTE]

Brian,

You say you study Okinawan Kenpo. Kata is the heart and soul of Okinawan Kara-te. I find it very hard to believe that you do not learn kata in Okinawan Kenpo. It is either your instructor's preference to not teach kata or you have been mislead and you do not truely study Okinawan Kenpo.

Regards,

Raul

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#105916 - 07/08/04 07:47 PM Re: Why no Kata?????
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
How I love these endless discussions.

Frankly it's very simple. For Karate, assuming we're talking about the original, Okinawan variants, there is no answer but kata is the soul of those studies. And if you're not doing kata then you're not doing karate.

Then the world changed and everybody thought they were all doing the same thing and they had the right to do whatver they did and call it whatever they wanted.

Other arts choose other methods, some using forms some not.

Of course I find it interesting that nobody seems to accuse the hundreds of Chinese systems as being 'weak' because they study forms, of magintude and complexity, often, than anybody in karate ever dreamed.

And I'm not referring to BL.... for he studied forms too and then created something else.

Well there's always something else. Okinawa had a long and strong sumo (local catch as catch can wrestling) tradition. Many who enterd karate experienced sumo too.

Funny thing is if one looks hard, or is trained correctly, there are tons of wrestling counters in those worthless forms.

And as for martial, well David Lowry said it best... it ain't martial..... the chinese invented gunpowder and since roughly 1850 the world martial artists, the military, been using guns and stronger alternatives. hand to hand and non projectile weapons do exist, but only in small specialist terms.

And for karate, it never was martial (though some in the military did chose to study it). Okinawa wasn't a violent place. Karate as it grew served some other purpose in the practitioners lives than wasting people.

Just a long confusion of terminiolgy.

pleasantly,

Victor Smith
bushi no te isshinryu

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#105917 - 07/08/04 09:55 PM Re: Why no Kata?????
Dr. Krunk-n-stein Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/04
Posts: 120
Loc: here nor there
It's so great to know there are some true martial artists left in this superficial, ADHD world.

Kakushite said he likes doing kata because of the ties it has to the old masters. That is so profound and the way that I've always felt. If you understand and respect the spirit of a thing it will respect you and reveal its truths to you. If you question yourself and what you decide to do continuously, you will never master yourself. It will be an endless search.

I can almost guarantee you that most so-called ex-karateka who now train MMAs style, were McDojoists, or kids who were forced to do it by their parents. I have NEVER met a true Okinawan karate stylist (this doesn't include cats like Fred Ettish) who dismissed the Okinawan fighting systems and converted totally to MMAs. There is no need, 'cause good karate IS a MMA.

Great posts guys! Most practitioners are not as adept and knowledgeable as Raul, Kakushite and Victor. Kindred spirits are hard to find. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

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#105918 - 07/09/04 11:19 AM Re: Why no Kata?????
Brian Mullen Offline
Member

Registered: 02/25/04
Posts: 60
Loc: kcks USA
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Raul Perez:
Brian,

You say you study Okinawan Kenpo. Kata is the heart and soul of Okinawan Kara-te. I find it very hard to believe that you do not learn kata in Okinawan Kenpo. It is either your instructor's preference to not teach kata or you have been mislead and you do not truely study Okinawan Kenpo.

Regards,

Raul
[/QUOTE]

My post was not clear enough and I am sorry, I meant that in the JuJitsu there is no Kata.
And yes I do study "real" Okinawan Kenpo and yes it has a fair share of kata!!!

To senseilou and Kakshiite:

Thank you for your posts, both were very knowledgeable, and I appreciate you kindness, most people automatically assume that my views don't matter. And I kinda understand were you are comming from when you say kata unites you with the masters of old. And how kata basically is a bunch of different teqniques such a ( shadow boxing ) etc.....
I am officially going to "empty my cup" and embrace all that kata can give me.

my instructor says all the time that "kata gives you all the answers, It's up to you to find the questions" and it really did'nt make sense to me untill I read your post. and again I thank you

Brian

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#105919 - 07/09/04 04:23 PM Re: Why no Kata?????
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
Brian... I am not expert on the subject of kata like others here, but having trained in Jujutsu alot of years and karate so I get to see both sides of the coin. I think your Sensei though is a 100% correct and that was the way my Sensei approached me. When I would ask for a certain Bunkai or explaination, he would tell me I had to give him one first, then he would share one with me. If I didn't like it or it wasn't enough, I would have to give him another before he would share more. On and on like this for over 10 years. My Questions were answered first with my answers, then his. I really learned alot. And if I may offer some other advise. Sometimes, Okinawan kata is vague and hard to see the Bunkai. I have struggled for years over certain movements. to see how kata works on a more technique basis, look at some Kempo kata's, the older Kempo styles the Bunkai is just right there and not so hard to translate. It helps seeing what they did, and then the Okinawan katas are a bit easier to see. Kempo kata deal in self-defense techniques, and there is not much variation to them(a little but not like Okinawan)Okinawan kata, you can study movement and see much. But if you want to see kata with a different flavor look at some of the Hawaiian Kempo katas, Shaolin Kempo(Grandmaster Castro)Ed Parker Kempo etc.

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#105920 - 07/09/04 04:38 PM Re: Why no Kata?????
kakushiite Offline
Member

Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 266
Loc: Ithaca, NY, USA
Brian,

You wrote that your teacher tells you:

"Kata gives you all the answers, It's up to you to find the questions"

This is a profound thought. Here is Patrick McCarthy’s translation of one of Itosu’s 10 precepts. (In Nagamine’s Tales of Okinawa’s Great Masters)

“Handed down by word of mouth, Karate is a myriad of techniques and corresponding meanings. Resolve to independently explore the context of the movements, using the principles of torite (theory of usage), and the applications will be more easily understood.”

Here Itosu tells us to that it is up to teachers to give us the basics (torite) and up to us to map those ideas onto the kata. You are fortunate to study two systems that give you key principles. Your system of Okinawa Kenpo probably comes from Oyata. He has certainly been the most prolific master in passing on the tuite and kyusho jitsu hidden in the art.

But you also study JuJutsu, and here you learn a whose other set of grappling skills not commonly taught in karate systems.

With these two systems, you have the tools, the torite, to help unlock the secrets of the kata. So many karateka think that all combinations must end with strikes or stomps.

As my art has evolved, I grow more towards the principles of JuJutsu and Aikido. Locks and chokes are often better finishing alternatives (at least against single attackers). I really like the Aikido principle of subduing an opponent without hurting him. Although I have an important modification. Add the word "seriously" to the end of that statement. I firmly believe you have to hit/kick someone good and hard to disorient/unbalance them long enough to set up the locks, throws and chokes found in the grappling arts. And if your lock just happens to dislocate a joint in the process, well it's not a perfect world.

To me, one of the great aspects of karate is the combination of incredibly powerful strikes/kicks, packaged right along with movements that seemlessly add locks, chokes and throws.

I find the key to good bunkai is to never be satisfied. If something works well against a grab, how can you make it work against a strike. If it works well against a left jab, how can you make it work against a left jab/right strike combination. If the attacker strikes with his right, and your counter is designed to go to his neck, how do you modify against someone whose left hand naturally covers the area. How do you penetrate that defense?

All I teach is applications from kata. But my students don’t think that my ideas are the only ones. They know how important it is for them to help with the discovery process, to help explore new possibilities, and then work out the kinks until something is really effective.

Some of my best combinations have key components that come from my students. It's been a great collaboration.

[This message has been edited by kakushiite (edited 07-09-2004).]

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#105921 - 07/09/04 07:46 PM Re: Why no Kata?????
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
Have you ever experienced the layers of training around the subject of kata? This might be worth exploring.

One tradition is that it's up to you to find the answers. There's a long line of traditional arts that pass that along. The list of schools that follow that approach is too long to list.

Yet a different tradition is the 'kakushite' hidden hand tradition. As a student (Dan level) you don't find anything. It's all taught to you in such depth you'll spend the rest of your life working hard. Instad of seeking you spend your time training and learning when and where to pick and choose from your answers. A solid example is the Shotokan instructor, Tris Sutrisno, I trained with for 10 years. I don't know how many thousand techniques he knows, but as a student with him (he's from an Indonesian Shotokan/Aikido/Tjimande tradition, not straight line Shotokan), instead of thinking you sweat, and his job is to teach skill.

Yet another is the instructor looking at the infinite potential of every move of every technique in their system. There the student is in the middle of the mix of the instructor studies, growing and learning to execute and to understand a techniques potential. The late Sherman Harrill is a great example of that style of teaching.

With both Sutrisno Sensei and Harrill Sensei, you were totally caught up in the joy of learning new.

Yet another answer (of many) is those Chinese systems that only teach one application per movement. But they teach thousands of movements in their incredible long forms.

But for all those answers the teaching is just one step of many to come for advanced skill.

Thought some of the many layers of possiblity might be interesting.

Victor Smith
bushi no te isshinryu

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#105922 - 07/09/04 09:05 PM Re: Why no Kata?????
Raul Perez Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 2805
Loc: Lake Ronkonkoma, NY, USA
[QUOTE]Originally posted by kakushiite:
Here Itosu tells us to that it is up to teachers to give us the basics (torite) and up to us to map those ideas onto the kata. You are fortunate to study two systems that give you key principles. Your system of Okinawa Kenpo probably comes from Oyata. He has certainly been the most prolific master in passing on the tuite and kyusho jitsu hidden in the art.[/QUOTE]

Kakushiite,

Just because he says Okinawan Kenpo does not necessarily mean his system is from Oyata's. Remember Shigeru Nakamura first coined the name Okinawa Kenpo and Oyata was his student. His system could be part of Nakamura's tradition or students from Nakamura (not necessarily Oyata).

If he studies Oyata's system he would probably use the name Ryu-Te, Ryukyu Kempo or Oyata Shin Shu Ho.

Also give a considerable amount of credit to Hohan Soken for Tuite too. Lets not be biased here [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

Kind regards,

Raul

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#105923 - 07/09/04 09:45 PM Re: Why no Kata?????
Brian Mullen Offline
Member

Registered: 02/25/04
Posts: 60
Loc: kcks USA
Raul,

I asked my instructor were "my" Kenpo stemmed from and he said Sekichi Odo which falls in line wth Nakemura if I am not mistaken.

Again I am thankful for your insight and being so open minded to my naive questions

Brian

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