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#107047 - 01/15/05 08:57 PM Re: . One interpretation of the Isshinryu as opposed to an interpretation of the Soken Ma
Multiversed Offline

Registered: 03/11/03
Posts: 642
Loc: Sa, Tx. USA
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Victor Smith:

Now as for your comments about the Isshinryu striking technique, you're argument actually strikes me as valuable as the comments that the science proves bumblebee's can't fly.

I find it interesting you maintain your punch has no torque, but starts from the same chamber as Kyan's.. Let's see that means the punch has to turn from chamber to delivery, and to me that turn is torque, and that turn is the functional weakness of all such punches. Whether you feel you're ending place is better or not, the vast weakness to exploit exists to the skilled.

I truly maintain if you're 'theory' about Isshinryu's vertical strike had any creedence there would be statistical proof within the wider Isshinryu community from the resultant injuries. You're theory aside, where is the statistical evidence? You don't have any.



I'm talking about fists not arthropods, man! I think my science is based on fact not esoteric newtonian theory which is flawed in many ways. The biomechanics and anatomy of the hand is what I'm speaking of.

Is there evidence that the Isshin punch is wrong and unhealthy? Is there evidence that living in LA, Mexico City or Houston causes more reactive airway disease, asthma, COPD and lung cancer? Sure, but you'll never see it posted anywhere! Jst like the Sanchin "breathing" in hard Sanchin practice, bad, bad, bad no matter what anyone tell you!

Anyway do whatever it is you do.

The torque you speak of is from a chambered position. That type of training is for the sinews and muscles, not proper punching technique. When punching from a guard position, hands up and towards the front, which is how we always train outside kata, the twisting of the hand is quite minimal, and it does add strength to your tech without slowing things down. Like a boxer "turning his punches over". Moderate torque is good.

BuDoc asked earlier if we could ever get together and share. I would love to do that with any good karate-ka . If any of you guys are ever in the South or Central Texas area just hit me up on here and we'll get together--- if you're not a psycho!

More power to you all...

#107048 - 01/15/05 09:40 PM Re: . One interpretation of the Isshinryu as opposed to an interpretation of the Soken Ma
Stampede Offline
Lord of the Kazoo

Registered: 04/08/04
Posts: 967
Loc: El Dorado, AR
Whereabouts in Tejas is your school, Multi? It'd be cool to workout with another style (though everyone knows Isshinryu is teh deadly). As of yet, I've met no instructor from whom I can't learn. I'll be at the Taiji Legacy this year, so I'll be in the state.

And as soon as I can, I'm headin' up to try and con a workout or two out of sensei Smith. I'm always looking for new insights into my chosen art.

[This message has been edited by Stampede (edited 01-15-2005).]

#107049 - 01/16/05 06:58 AM Re: . One interpretation of the Isshinryu as opposed to an interpretation of the Soken Ma
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH

It sure is interesting to have intelligent conversation on ones points of view.

I really feel your paper and continuing work on your science should be published for wider discemination. Schmucks like myself who rarely get past 'the finger bone is connected to the hand bone....' will find it useful, but I would humbly suggest more is better...

For myself my standard reference on the hand to that which I really don't understand, not having the experience in disection (my father's lifetime work as a butcher not withstanding), clinical treatment, etc., is I.A. Kapandji's "The Physiology of the Joints, Volume One, Upper Limb" which was used at a friends Physical Therapy training at Penn. Not that my trying to read it makes me knowledgeable, Doctor Harper made that point to me very clear, but one can try.

It is difficult to just study written literature and in turn utilize what is there.
One tries. In fact I will solmenly try to cross reference your work to his to see if I can learn more.

But our practices are what they are. I still see little reason to abandon our method of striking.

Thank you greatly for clearing up the punching motion you were describing, as not being from chamber. I had hypothized this was your point and understand fully your contention. It's a shame you can't study with Tris Sutrisno, his advanced training might lead to interesting parallels about how you use your striking. Course with a Shotokan essential he does complete turn his fist as he explodes into his technique, but the greater point is the manner in which he explodes.

For myself my focus is on the full and exact potential of actual kata technique. Whether this is the real old style Okinawan karate or not.

My study is supported by the very short time I was able to train with the late Sherman Harrill, who excelled in his efforts to use kata technique fully, even if in fractals of the motion. Talking about him brings so much saddness to me. He was so knowledgable and so sharing but then he was gone. Dealing with loss is very difficult. I tried to do it by cataloguing what he shared which is how I came up with the 800 application potentials we felt, experienced and tried to grasp. I figure out that perhaps in a couple of more decades I'll truly understand what he knew.

Here's a short story about the last clinic I attended with him down in Rhode Island. He was questioned about never using sparring as a teaching or training tool by a RI Shorin black belt (not Matsumura Seito) the individual kept questioning how his students could defend themself if they didn't fight. So Sherman asked him to attack him and promised he'd only use about 1/2 power. Without waiting the Shorin guy waded into Sherman to strike him. Sherman responded by turning and using one technique, cracking a low block down across the guys punching arm, and that arm just dropped toward the floor, useless. Believe it or not, I do I was there and am working at being able to have the faith to do it myself.

I realize you've worked in multiple systems besides your current training. I've had chance to see many people, some of them quite good in my opinion. More to the point, their being good rarely means they're doing the same thing or have any interest in others, except in friendship. They got good in my estimation by really, really working at what they do. What I've learned is it is very difficult to accept any point of view as being the best, they're all relative.

You've never heard me say a word against the potential of the Matsumura Seito study. No reason to, I have a friend who studies it and his belief in his studies is enough for me to accept it.

But it is a large world.

Now I do and teach Isshinryu, but I make no claim what I do is what others do. You mention Sanchin. Most specifically when a Sho-dan I began my Tai Chi study and had an immediate conflict between hard Sanchin training and where Yang Tai Chi Chaun was leading. I choose to make a choice and discontinued hard Sanchin as a staple of my studies about 27 years ago, just kept it as a study.

Over the years I heard so many times Sanchin was only for training, it had no martial application. Well if that was the worlds opinion I realized the world was wrong for I only saw Sanchin as a way to bust somebody up. I had worked up a complete 'bunkai for lack of better term though the use of the term isn't Okinawan in origin' for Sanchin log before I met Mr. Harrill.

Eventually 2 years ago it struck me to take another step and re-start sanchin study, but with a slight difference. I only did it with natural breathing and at full speed. Boy was that a revelation. I felt great doing it and realized I should have taken the time to do this decades before. For myself if pressed and had to tear into somebody, Sanchin would be my technique of choice. I really don't worry about what others do, but I'm finding its practice quite advanced to say the least.

I find it interesting you study what the strip mall people do. I don't pay any attention to them at all, too busy gagging I guess. I have a weak stomach for their antics, but its a big world and those who want to study there, I truly, truly want to do so, think about why. Once had a guy come to my adult program who wanted to train because he wanted to be a ninja someday. I was glad to direct him to a local ninja training group, the same group that were marching ninja's in the local Christmas parade. That you should have seen. I want people to be happy, especially if what they're doing wouldn't concern me.

And you are right. I am a peaceful person in a peaceful corner of the states, and I do spend my time trying very hard to learn how to break arms better. Guess I'm creating work for you!

My focus of outside 'study' is to understand the groups in the area I'm living in that would be the strongest challenge in the arts. Here in New England much of that is Goju or Ueichi. I imagine Uecihi which doesn't really use striking might give you orthapedic issues, with their finger tip strikes, thumb strikes (hardest blasted tuumb strikes against a Makiwara I've even seen) and toe tip striking. They're actual practices are interesting, bare toe tips into tires and such. Tactially my concern is to position myself not to be where their toes are going.

Though I like toe tip kicking, but my derivation is from training in Tam Tuie a Chinese Moslem practice using toe strikes (but in shoes which works for old, slow me).

Trying to understand what we're talking about I've started reviewing Toshiaki Gillespie's Gojushiho as compared to the Sutrisno Gojushiho I study. I assume Toshiaki Gillespie is somewhat similar to yours in content. Very interesting stuff, and vastly different potentials even with the forms similarities.

Just trying harder,


#107050 - 01/20/05 09:09 PM Re: . One interpretation of the Isshinryu as opposed to an interpretation of the Soken Ma
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
I thought some might find how I approach tactical analysis interesting. As I've been considering the very little I understand about the Seito system, as a result of this discussion with Multiversed.

So using his explanation of his 'Seito' punch here is my analysis: "How would I attack the `Seito' punch?"

From Multiversed:
> "..there is no torque in the Seito punch. It's the the way your arms
> naturally are when your arms are held out in front of you, neither
> twisting in (horizontal punch) or out (vertical punch). Our"standing
> fist" as you call it is exactly the same as Kyan's. This includes
> throwing hook punches and even uppercuts. You can corkscrew them but
> why?"
> "The vertical fist seen in other styles is fast but lacks stability
> to dish out sustained punching without possibly injuring the wrist,
> especially if you make contact to a hard area with the soft, flimsy
> last two knuckles supported by the weak ulna. This is due to the way
> the hands and arms are built."

My starting premise for this study is that I would prefer to attack the attacking limb. There are an entire magintude of other answers, however, as he questions the efficency of Isshinryu, it will be my starting point.

So from his 'fighting stance he just throws his natural, no torque 3/4 punch.

Interior line of defense. This is my 2nd choice I'd much rather work his arm from the outside, however, in a less than perfect world you need to address every option.

Response 1, I'd use a straight counter alongside his striking arm to strike into his shoulder on the 'line' above his armpit, with the standing ridge of knuckes using the Isshinryu standing punch.

This follows an entire line of logic, striking with either hand into the shoulder stops their arm from reaching you. Some karate systems use a vertical standing knifehand/palm just to this point too. That palm press forms the same answer, but the 2nd knuckle of the Isshinryu fist penetrates that shoulder with some interesting pain.

Response 2. I'd use a straight counter alongside his striking arm to strike into the biceps of his advancing arm, with the standing ridge of knuckles using the Isshinryu standing punch. This is also a great pain response, their advancing arm slams into your knuckles, maginfying the pain. Either hand could strike into this point, but the lead hand on the inside is likely faster.

Response 3. Here is where you can use the double knife hand kame from Wansu, or the stepping sweeping palm strike from the first section of Wansu for the same effect as in No. 2, striking into the biceps.

Of course I can go on and on, but I think this is fair choice of how to disrupt his striking arm from the inside.

Exterior Line of Defense - My preferred line of defense, being outside their striking arm limits their ability to use their other hand and side of their body.

Response 4. For this I'd use the Indonesian snake strike to break their arm. I never said my idea of responding to their attack was 'fighting' or 'nice' did I. This is actually a variation of the tora guchi from Sanchin Kata's ending. Either stepping forward or backward, the one hand parries across your body into their arm, the other hand flows up, hooks over and begins to pull, as the forearm (or other palm) of the other arm strikes into the backside of their elbow at the triceps insertion, where the arm's bone is weakest.. Extremly nasty and can be practiced only with very little power, not to rack out your partner.

The interesting part of this goes back to his contention he's not using the corkscrewing punch. Actually as he's striking out with his fist in the 3/4 position he doesn't need to. The turning punch has vast weaknesses as their arm turn can be magnified to your advantage. If they're stepping and corkscrewing the punch in, the moment you want to intercept their arm to maginfy the turn, is the point where the arm is in the Seito punch. So they don't have to be turning, they're already in the position where the turn will come when the pressure is applied.

The analysis behind this is similar to the way 1,000 straight lines can make a circle, as points touching the circle, the circle is formed. So though the Seito punch isn't turning, its a straight line on a curve waiting to happen, if you know how to use it.

I long ago learned, one of the vast values to Isshinryu's striking is that much of the defense used against other punching styles does not readily work, unless you are very, very, very good. As the I punch is vertical, the arm isn't turned over to give advantage from those who'd like to use your arm to throw yourself.

Response 5. For this I'd use Kusanku with the turning rising knife hand parry and then stepping spear hand attack. Again your hooking their arm and using the spear hand to roll across their triceps insertion as you step forward. In this case you're likely not disrupting their arm, instead you're using their pain and your stepping to force them into a projection (down to the floor).

Well that gies you some of the things I see that can be used against the 'seito' punch (and many other forms of punching as well).

Well this is my opening thoughts. I'm just using it as a tactical exercise, one I use about the systems around where I live, anyway.

Something to consider.


[This message has been edited by Victor Smith (edited 01-20-2005).]

#107051 - 01/20/05 11:21 PM Re: . One interpretation of the Isshinryu as opposed to an interpretation of the Soken Ma
Multiversed Offline

Registered: 03/11/03
Posts: 642
Loc: Sa, Tx. USA
Are you sure you don't practice Pilipino Kali or Kuntao Silat? Those limb destructions sound similar in logic. When it comes to "defanging the snake" Shorin Ryu is second-to-none.

The best defense against any punch especially a real punch which goes in and out so fast that a lot of the defenses you detailed would be fruitless, is to change body, get their rear corner, placing them in a position where you can strike/attack using all limbs whereas they can only counter with 1 or 2.

The Indonesian Snake tech you mentioned sounds good, but I doubt you could control a big or athletic guys arm so easily as to effect a break. The attacker would still have his entire body to work with while you conentrated on getting the arm bar. Why would you grab someone who might be able to really grapple, or a big muscular guy with real fight experience. I'm suspicious of that one.

I like your Exterior Defense #4. It's straight from many of our 2-man drills. I detailed this in my first paragraph.

In-close it's best IMO to use non-punching techs, unless you're working uppercuts or short hooks. I prefer headbutts, elbows, nukite to the throat and even thumbing techs. Also once in-close, if you're one-on-one its good to understand some Naihanchi fumikomi "geri" sweeps, trips and takedowns. Stomping kicks, low-line ricocheting whip kicks to throws and so on are also good.

Your projection/throw sounded like an aikido tech. That stuff looks good bit real Okinawan grappling is a bit nastier and more realistic. If you think that some of those defenses will work against the speed and size of the Seito guys I know you are sadly mistaken. That stuff looks good in a controlled environ, but concentrating on one or two punches when there is gonna be much more going on, including odd, varying angles and movement which Shorin is also known for, is short-sighted training.

Your bunkai sounds good and probably looks good, but is it from a more original version of the kata or the Shotokan or Isshin version.

It's good to hear what you would do against a theoretical Seito stylist based on one punch that stays out there. What would you do against stylists who are fast, athletic, big, strong, flexible, resilient and know various ways to "get the message across"? Look at that pic of my bro and me again (it's included with the article). I think you're not dealing with the average Buck Fifty-Five dojo sucker.

Again like I said before, it sounds like you know karate, but not the karate I know. Yes it may work, but duct tape bunkai lacks depth and real world efficacy.

#107052 - 01/21/05 08:13 AM Re: . One interpretation of the Isshinryu as opposed to an interpretation of the Soken Ma
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH

I certainly did not intend this Ďstudyí to be a complete answer, but one has to investigate the toolbox before one can pick the appropriate tool. No where would I assume a Seito trained person would just be sticking the arm out to work on. This investigation is just to look at some of the potential ways that can be used to work on that arm attack, if the appropriate entry is devised.

And I realize thereís much more than striking involved. For example if one was just trying to strike me, Iíd be just as likely just kick into their opposite hip to stop them from a greater range. But thatís the issue trying to put complex answer into simple words, you canít convey the entire range of your answers. It is not my intention that these responses are the complete or necessarily correct answer to the attack.

But then again Iím not particularly concerned that a Seito stylist is going to attack me anytime soon, or a stylist in any other system of training. New Hampshire is currently pleasantly below zero, with wind chill in the -20ís, and I would be interested in seeing how Seito attacks one in full winter garb while standing on ice. In reality I would probably to choose to respond with my tai chi chaun in these circumstances, but then I practice it outside in the winter and have for 18 years now. But enough of such pleasant digressions.

All Iíve tried to do is suggest a series of potential answers against that Seito strike. This is just a very minor portion of the studies I do, and in this case I was working on my students arms to understand where youíre coming form.

I chose that simply because of your making the point it is the superior strike, so it is a starting point. In reality I doubt there is anything really special preparing for a Seito stylist than many others I would choose as a model to focus on. But I thought this might show how one can logically proceed to examine the contention.

One rarely gets a chance to see how anyone really uses their system. Nor can you really get the focus of my students study from this analysis. FYI, the responses Iíve chosen actually come from my practice as follows:

Response 1 is the first technique taught by Shimabuku Tatsuo and is a 100% application of the same technique in Chinto and Kusanku Kata.

Response 2 and 3 are direct applications from two different sections of Isshinryu Wansu Kata. It took me years doing it from the first Tjimande(cjimande) Juru taught to me before I realized it was already within the Isshinryu kata. This is where looking at other systems might show you what is also within your own training. Course you often first have to wake up. But I came from the days nobody in my Isshinryu lineage worked kata application, and Iíve had to continually fight myself not looking at what I was doing.

Response 4 is from my Isshinryu Sanchin practice. I had been working variations of this for years when I saw the Cjimande version with a slight change of angle of insertion. In practice it is extremely fast, the art depends on how you set up the situation that theyíre delivering their arm. The Indonesian version involves shifting away drawing them out, but Iíve done a lot of work slipping in alongside the strike to use in that way too. Perhaps you might be surprised at how fast this can be applied, but it is not a universal answer either.

Response 5 is 100% Isshinryu Kusanku, first shown to me by the late Sherman Harrill. It works the triceps insertion and it involves more movement than Iíd prefer and requires much more set up to deliver, but in the appropriate circumstances will do as delivered.

A very necessary understanding is that kata application potential is only a small piece of the puzzle, which I know you are well aware. There are other important aspects of the art, which as youíve indicated.

Iím interested in why you feel the applications I described came from other than the Isshinryu kata implying older versions. Iíve been doing a bit of work comparing one Matsumura Orthodox Kusanku to Isshinryuís Kusanku, and while on a macro level they are similar (moving in somewhat the same direction) on the micro level they are completely different. Each has entirely different application potential, and I find that neutral, for either set of potential can work, theyíre just different, as all the Okinawan kata are.

I have tried to study Ďolderí kata versions, but not to learn them, just to understand where they moved as time progressed. Currently Iím trying to get into a study of the movement changes within Patsai kata in a dozen or so different Okinawan versions, all of which are real movement, and involved many different principles.

From my probably incomplete understanding but still my operating system, the kata being used are irrelevant, the deeper principles are the issue, and if you understand them you can work at making any kata variation work. Thereís a vast difference between basic application to teach beginners some technique and/or where to move spatially in kata performance, and the range of any techniques potential on the macro level down to the fractal analysis of the movement.

Now as to the concept of limb destruction, the tjimande/cjimande training I received (really very little but it works very well) concentrated on limb destruction. But Sherman Harrill using just Isshinryu did an incredible amount of working the limbs.

As to the entire range of things you mentioned you might use for in-close fighting, I see nothing that we also donít address. But then weíre all from the same pot, Okinawan karate.

Finally we donít always assume our students are facing ĎSeitoí opponents. Many people will be attacked by somebody grabbing them first, and the angle of insertion of a grab is almost identical to the strike you describe. In fact in some parts of the world. Most attacks begin by a grab, so these response have merit in practice for multiple reasons too.

Pleasant discussion, thanks.


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