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#128188 - 12/21/04 12:50 PM Variation vs Change
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
Here is an interesting concpet. I know alot of Aikidoka like to train in 'pure Aikido'. So they usually do technique the way their Instructor shows. Now here comes another Sensei along and shows a different version of the same technique. He says its a variation and the one he learned from his Sensei. Most people will accept this and try it out, maybe even keep it in their arsenal(if their Sensei doesn't care). How do you really know he got this from his Sensei and didn't make it up himself. Now if he would have said this is my version, would he be as seriously taken or accepted? So what is the difference between a variation of technique and changing a technique. Nikajo, Nikkyo or Kote Mawashi, I have seen dozens of variations, how do I know which came from a Sensei and those that are made up. How do you choose what you accept and what you don't? For me its how it works for me. I don't care if "Magilla Gorilla" showed it, if its effiecient, and works for me I will use it. I had an intersting insight from a Sensei. He said that any lock winds, and they can be unwound, and go the opposite way. So as an example, a Nikkyo winds one way, a Kote Gaeshi unwids and winds the other way. So any lock has a wind and an unwind. I wonder how may people would accept that as a variation of technique, its change but then again its not. So does it really matter if its a change, or a variation?

#128189 - 12/22/04 07:03 AM Re: Variation vs Change
schanne Offline
breaks things

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 4370
Loc: Woodbury NJ
This topic comes up to often in class. My old sensei said this is the right way and another old timmer will say this is what my instructor tought me and he came from Japan so he has to be right? As an instructor you hear it all the time from older students that have similar MA back grounds. I don't want to disrespect anyone so I just let it go and accept what works. The only thing that bothers me is if a person tries to change kata. There is no reason to add or try and change what is in stone. To many ego's have changed them already!

#128190 - 12/22/04 01:57 PM Re: Variation vs Change
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
I whole heartedly agree, and never change kata. My Sensei told me to never change kata, but he did. He took the "Goju step" and added it to his Shito Ryu. His Sensei Master Terou Hayashi showed him the "Goju step". Master Hayashi studied Ruye Ryu Karate, Shito Ryu and Judo. MAster Hayashi added little modifications to his kata, yet we are not to change Kata. Soke Kuniba added modification to his as well to distinquish his Kata from Hayashi's and everyone elses Shito. Wait a minute, we aren't suppose to change kata, Motobu did it, so did Mabuni, so look at all the changes in just Shito Ryu. Now look at Shorin Ryu and all the different Ryu HA there, Shobayashi, Kobayashi, Matsmura Orthodox, Matsmura, and Kenshi Kan. There couldn't have been this many versions of one kata. Truth is, they all made modifications to their katas. One reason suggests that when they did Bunkai, some made modifications to the kata to reflect their interpretation of their Bunkai. Either way, changes, modifications were made, so for us to believe its written in stone, and we don't change anything, look what was changed before we got it. I know people who have learned several versions of one kata, then they put it all together they way they like it. To me thats change, and I won't do that. However my Nahanshi's are done Motobu Ha Shito Ryu. My Pinan's are done Kuniba Ha, most of the rest are Hayashi Ha with exception of a few that I do Kuniba ha. So I don't change them, but I do use the version that I like best. Still I am not teaching a complete Kuniba Ha style or Hayashi Ha but I am not changing anything, yet I am. So when you look at change, we do it sometimes without meaning to. My biggest point is why change them, there are too many to learn as it is. I bet I have 5 different versions for Shisochin, and Seuinchin. So kata should be written in stone, yet it really isn't

#128191 - 12/30/04 03:47 PM Re: Variation vs Change

To borrow a phrase from Lao Tzu:
"The one beget two, the two beget three, the three beget the 10,000".

Ignoring the fact that change is a synonym for variation... I think it's a question of semantics.

What is perceived as a "change" could simply be a "variation" due to body type (of uke and nage).

Whilst I appreciate the need for not changing a kata (since it is the mode of transmission of knowledge to subsequent generations), it is nonetheless important to understand why these "variations" exist, so long as the principle of the movement is not compromised.


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