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#139638 - 05/08/05 01:07 AM Re: wasted or necessary movements? [Re: Kintama]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
just remembered a simple example to try at the dojo...
line up an extended reverse punch in front of your suspended bag; have someone (or yourself) swing the bag into your fist from increasing heights...what part of your body buckles first? If your torso moves back, try it again with the rear leg straight.

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#139639 - 05/08/05 06:22 AM Re: wasted or necessary movements? [Re: Kintama]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
Interesting, any one of these could be a complete topic in their own right, but as an Isshinryu stylist I'll try to answer.

* 1. Bringing closed fist up to shoulder before doing a gedan uke (or gedan barai).

Two schools of thought. One terribly important, if the initial chambering is part of the deflection the low block is using, or if it's to strike into an attacking limb before the technique then strikes into the body. The second school of thought is for speed, and advanced students after say 15 years of training, move to shortened executin and just explode into the movement conclusion. Both schools ofthought have merit, one not better or worse than the other, just different answers.


* 2. Head snap to first look in the direction you are going to move next.

Basic rule of life, what you can't see you can't hit. Feel free to believe otherwise, I hope you teach your students not to look first, truly I do, makes it easie for mine.

* 3. back leg is straightened in zenkutsu dachi.

Unfortunatlye Isshinryu doesn't use zenkatusu dachi, so no reason to do so. our front stance is a modified version of Seisan. Now I practice other ways too, and the manner where zenkatsu is performed depends on the intent of the application. Sort of you either are trained to make it work or not.

* 4. open hand with thumb bent in.

Sure, but creating the hand bow takes a long time to learn how to relax properly and make it work. Not bending the thumb is a factor showing alternate answers to proper training.

* 5. open hand with fingers straight and together.

See 4 above. Okinawan training can be found using both schools of thought too.

* 6. lift back heel slightly when punching.

Depends on how your trained. When I teach Isshinryu the shape of the body when striking uses the feet fully in contact with the floor, but the weight centered on the balls of the feet, not the heels. When I use bando stick, the descending strike uses a different body shape and the back heel rises, and their striking uses that shape to deliver their rolling punches too. One not better or worse, just different answers.

* 7. full turn of fist to horizontal when punching.

Isshinryu uses a vertical striking paradigm. Other answers strike as an upercut, or various turning answers to 90 dgrees rotation past the horizontal (Chinenese models) Issue has nothing to do with the fist being used, has to do with whether you're trained to deliver it correctly to the appropriate target.


* 8. guard hand is palm up during open hand strikes.

Yep, depending on the application being used. If your one hand is grabbed, it rotating palm up moves their arm so that your open hand strike into it creates the best answer to break their arm. Often real life answers are from somebody grabbing you first. Hence every application has true meaning.


* 9. crossing arms at midbody during blocks.

Terribly important, correct body mechnaics, and using your centering to increase the techniques effectiveness demand this. Of course fractal analysis also yeilds incredible subtle applications for this crossing movement too, where strikes into the opponents most open body areas are possible.

* 10. knifehand strikes starting at the head or from behind the head.

Terribly important, for those applications that relate to answers no. 1.

* 11. long and low zenkutsu dachi.

As before Isshinryu has absolutely no need of zenkatsu dachi. On the other hand I trained under a shotokan stylist and made the point their answer was too slow. Grinning he snapped back into a terribly low zenkatsu dachi with super speed and then blasted a front kick into my lips with focus. Makes one realize it ain't the stance, its how you're trained.

There aren't straight line answers, just many different layers of training, IMVHO.

Victor Smith
bushi no te isshinryu

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#139640 - 05/08/05 02:08 PM Re: wasted or necessary movements? [Re: Kintama]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
Nutz, Great topic!

For anyone who's listening & interested, Kin is absolutely correct about locking the rear leg @ the moment of contact (solid bar vs. a segmented bar for support theory). Most don't know but Kimura knew.

The bent thumb for Haito is incorrect as he experienced. Haito was never intended to be executed w/ bent thumb - folded across the palm is correct. Folded thumb is only used for Shuto (uke & uchi). The reason it's folded is to precipitate a grab which would be impossible if your thumb is in your palm.

Many large actions we were taught were implemented as a teaching aid leading to the acquisition of more precission skills (learning to write in capital letters before cursive). Sadly, many instructors who thought they knew it all & left their sensei to teach on their own didn't know this. They taught what they were taught as gospel. This refers to the full-twist punch, standard gedan barai/uke, raising the hand to the ear, turning the head (what do you think periferal vision is for?), straitening the fingers etc.,etc., etc. I've actually heard a Shotokan instructor say "If it was good enough for Funakoshi, it's good enough for me."

Owari

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#139641 - 05/10/05 03:17 AM Re: wasted or necessary movements? [Re: Kintama]
Multiversed Offline
Banned

Registered: 03/11/03
Posts: 642
Loc: Sa, Tx. USA
Quote:

In the style/philosophy of karate you practice, are these wasted or necessary movements in kata...

(I started to use English technique names, but since this is a karate forum now...ha... Nihongo hanashimasho ka!)

  • 1. Bringing closed fist up to shoulder before doing a gedan uke (or gedan barai).

  • 2. Head snap to first look in the direction you are going to move next.

  • 3. back leg is straightened in zenkutsu dachi.

  • 4. open hand with thumb bent in.

  • 5. open hand with fingers straight and together.

  • 6. lift back heel slightly when punching.

  • 7. full turn of fist to horizontal when punching.

  • 8. guard hand is palm up during open hand strikes.

  • 9. crossing arms at midbody during blocks.

  • 10. knifehand strikes starting at the head or from behind the head.

  • 11. long and low zenkutsu dachi.


I look forward for your feedback.




1) No, it crosses you up.

2) Of course. You have to see where you're going and what's there before you go there.

3)Not when punching, but maybe when caught in a double-leg takedown attempt. Sitting down on your punches especially for body shots and slightly flexing your rear leg for higher level punches makes more sense, but you have to train this way for it to make sense and work.

4) I don't want to explain why, but the "structural ki" of a shuto with straight fingers, thumb included, is much stronger. For Nukite the thumb should rest on the palm (bent).

5) Yes or slightly apart and hand slightly cupped.

6) Only if you're boxing with gloves. In karate being rooted is essential for proper energy distribution and to avoid having 1.5 contacts vs. 2 when facing sweeps and throws. In karate you can push with your rear leg, but most styles employ steeping with the front leg first then pulling the rear leg up. That is why hip rotation and the use of physics is more important with bone-to-bone/tissue strikes.

7) Yes, but only for certain hooking and circular strikes. Otherwise 3/4.

8) Sure why not, but common sense would tell you that a halfway point with the thumb side up and fingers forward pointing 45 degrees from the horizontal, makes more sense. It gives you more options and a greater range of hand motion.

9) Yes, but not crossing yourself up. The ulna side should always be out in case your arms get trapped. This gives you more strength in a forward push. That's all I'll say, because you'd have to be in front of me to really explain.

10) You could call that "halfway giving your opponent a choke". Use gravity that's all I'll say, but folks will still teach the "Gorilla Pimp Slap" uraken.

11) No. There are deep and wide stances in karate. They are seen in kata like Kusanku. But not a true forward/front stance. Zenkutsu as taught in gendai karate (specifically Shotokan) is adopted from kendo and also is an attempt to counter grappling techs from Judo. Of course the physical fitness, muscular development thing is a reason too. It was from schoolboy karate taught on Okinawa. It also decreased mobility and created an environment for the sportification of tode. It worked.

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#139642 - 05/10/05 04:19 PM Re: wasted or necessary movements? [Re: Kintama]
nenipp Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/13/04
Posts: 1205

  • 1. Bringing closed fist up to shoulder before doing a gedan uke (or gedan barai).
    Not if the only thing I'm doing is a downward strike

  • 2. Head snap to first look in the direction you are going to move next.
    Not necessarily head snap, I can change the direction of my mean glare without snapping my head (which only makes me dizzy)

  • 3. back leg is straightened in zenkutsu dachi.
    No, at least not locked

  • 4. open hand with thumb bent in.
    If I strike with haito, I want the thumb out of the way

  • 5. open hand with fingers straight and together.
    Saw someone talking about "nukite", on what target would it be better to strike with the tips of the fingers, than with some other part of the hand (very few that I can think of, I think nukite is a misinterpretation from the very beginning, but I'm probably wrong as usual)?

  • 6. lift back heel slightly when punching.
    the analogy with somebody pressing against you or absorbing the blow of a swinging bag, is flawed logic at it's peak.
    In a punch you need forward momentum.
    I've tried both, and I'd say that heal down does allow me to hit harder, but that does definately not mean heal up means weak punching.


  • 7. full turn of fist to horizontal when punching.
    Depends, seldom full turn

  • 8. guard hand is palm up during open hand strikes.
    If it is a GUARD hand, why should I turn the palm up, I don't get it?

  • 9. crossing arms at midbody during blocks.
    Not if they are BLOCKs, but if they are oyo jutsu from uke waza.. why not

  • 10. knifehand strikes starting at the head or from behind the head.
    See above

  • 11. long and low zenkutsu dachi.
    Not for any reason I can think of (doesn't mean there isn't any)

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    #139643 - 05/11/05 05:41 PM Re: wasted or necessary movements? [Re: medulanet]
    ai-uchi Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/01/05
    Posts: 200
    Loc: harlow essex
    Quote:

    . Gravity is used to move forward, not muscular power like straightening and pushing with the legs.

    i cannot accept that gravity moves anything forward, it moves it down only, well after 3 years of sport science and a post grad course i think i finally cracked that one.

    as for raising the back heel i cannot believe karateka think that keeping your heel on the ground is the way to developing power. as karate works on science principles how cn you get full rotation of the hip unless your rear heel is lifted (this comes about due to hip rotation nt as a separate discrete movement.

    if it did not produce power then other sportsmen would not do i.e. boxer do not punch with a foot flat on ground when punching 100% with rear hand

    first post in the new forum
    _________________________
    streakers - your end is in sight

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    #139644 - 05/11/05 05:54 PM Re: wasted or necessary movements? [Re: ai-uchi]
    medulanet Offline
    Professional Poster

    Registered: 09/03/03
    Posts: 2142
    Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
    I don't have a lot of time so I will say one thing now, and more later. When a person falls they do not fall straight down, but either forward, backward, or to one side or the other. In karate we can move by learning to control this "falling" to move forward, backward, or to either side. This is not a western concept like that class/classes your took, but it is eastern. Gravity is not only directly below us but it is all around. By using just enough force to over come it we can use it to your advantage. Along with sport science maybe you should take physics.

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    #139645 - 05/11/05 06:49 PM Re: wasted or necessary movements? [Re: medulanet]
    Alejandro Offline
    Enthusiast

    Registered: 05/02/02
    Posts: 940
    Loc: Las Cruces, NM USA
    Things from physics like gravity and action-reaction force became associated with karate in the 20th century; before that it was just natural body motion. The "falling" is like when you are walking. As you step forward while walking normally you fall slightly until your rear leg brings its foot forwardto catch the fall. This, applied to a straight punch, creates energy. A good karate tsuki doesn't rely on reaction force and exaggerated hip rotation, but allowing gravity to pull ones body weight down (created by a slight drop of the front knee), which lets the body shift (not really lean) forward; all that energy is then whipped out in the arm and fist into the target.

    The heel doesn't have to be raised, but it also doesn't have to be stuck to the floor. In order for the above-described energy generation to work, the rear foot must be light, with weight focused on the ball of the foot. However, in this tsuki one doesn't generate power by pushing off the floor with the ball of the rear foot, as in modern boxing. This sticks your rear foot into the floor, preventing you from allowing gravity to penetrate your fist into the target. By simply keeping the foot light, without worrying if the heel is coming up, it may just slide forward slightly at execution. If the heel comes up a little, cool, the foot simply shouldn't be stuck to the floor.

    ai-uchi mentioned that the heel must be lifted to get full hip rotation. That may be true, but karate tsuki does not rely on full hip rotation to generate power. The koshi, which refers to an area much greater than just the hips, it is really the entire core area, is snapped forward to aid the forward motion of the entire body and to add speed to the movement. A common Western misconception is that it is just the hips at work. The hips meet the punch squarely, not over rotated like much modern technique. The koshi motion is just one (albeit an important one) part of the whole package of energy generation.


    Edited by Alejandro (05/11/05 06:56 PM)
    _________________________
    In Budo, -Al

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    #139646 - 05/12/05 01:26 AM Re: wasted or necessary movements? [Re: Alejandro]
    medulanet Offline
    Professional Poster

    Registered: 09/03/03
    Posts: 2142
    Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
    Actually, I think gravity had an affect on karate before the 20th century.

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    #139647 - 05/12/05 05:50 AM Re: wasted or necessary movements? [Re: medulanet]
    Kintama Offline
    Professional Poster

    Registered: 04/17/05
    Posts: 2724
    Loc: Massachusetts
    weird... I woke up this morning and even before my first cup of coffee, I had this thought: What would fighting in zero gravity look like? (without needing life support suits). I picture lots of chokes, locks and grappling...I guess similar to underwater fighting. Your 'hara' center of 'gravity' would be dynamically changing and based upon the relation to your opponents body position, maybe. Strikes would be muscle power for speed only with only the mass of your hand behind it...no momentum! (unless you could push off a stationary object, then you'd have some momentum using your full body mass). bizaare.

    After I drank some coffee, the thought went away.

    spaced out on my own thread...

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