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#154231 - 06/09/05 01:36 PM Kusanku kata applications
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
For those who are interested in the challenging, how about describing Kusanku Kata applications.

To do so effectively answer:

Kusanku Version:
System:
Description of Kata Section:
Application Description:
Range of the Application:

For example:

Kusanku Version: Isshinryu Kusanku
System: Isshinryu Karate
Description of Kata Section:
Section stepping forward with three middle knife hand
blocks
Application Description:
1.In low light situations when one searching knife hand encounters an arm, you immediately step forward, the searching hand grabs their wrist pulling them forward, and the other knife hand strikes their a.arm behind the elbow or b. neck
2. The above in normal lighted conditions can utilize the stepping forward motion as a following sweep to control their lower body during the following strike maximizing the impact.
Range of the application:
These applications are likely only opening choices against specific attacks, and would likely be followed with other actions. Some kata application is sufficient to finish an attacker, other applications are openings, or other sections of a complete answer.


Note: these are generic answers I teach solely for opening descriptive purposes. I specifically chose the low light answer to iritate those who don't believe Okinawan kata have night fighting possiblities, not that the same answer can't work in daylight. There are several Okinawan groups that investigate this along with Isshiryu's founder's belief the applications would work too.

But outside of having fun with the idea, applications are just what they are.
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#154232 - 06/09/05 09:36 PM Re: Kusanku kata applications [Re: Victor Smith]
Sanchin Offline
Member

Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 174
matsubayashi

shorin ryu

Opening movement, commonly reffered to as the "Viewing the Sky" part.

1. As a flinch reaction much like that used by the SPEAR system of Tony Blauer. http://www.freewebs.com/sanchin/spearkusanku.jpg
(BTW the ending salutation of Sanchin can be used exact same way)

2. As a neck lock when behind your opponent, your head will be placed against the back of opponents neck, your hands pulling back on their forehead. This application can be seen on Morio Higaonnas Power Training Video.

I hope thats good enough explanation.


Edited by Sanchin (06/09/05 09:37 PM)
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#154233 - 06/09/05 11:06 PM Re: Kusanku kata applications [Re: Sanchin]
Kintama Offline
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Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
Sanchin, I never knew Morio Higaonna taught Kusanku. or were you referring to his kata Sanchin ?

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#154234 - 06/10/05 07:49 AM Re: Kusanku kata applications [Re: Kintama]
Sanchin Offline
Member

Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 174
wasnt referring to him teaching kusanku at all, i was referring to a technique he did on one of his videos.
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#154235 - 06/11/05 03:23 PM Re: Kusanku kata applications [Re: Victor Smith]
kakushiite Offline
Member

Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 266
Loc: Ithaca, NY, USA
This application is for the same shuto series described by Victor Smith. Of all the sequence of movements in the kata, these are perhaps the most uniform across the various systems. The lineages of Kyan, Itosu all have three shutos going forward after kicking to the rear. This application will continue with a fourth stance forward using nukite, as found in the Itosu systems. (I profess ignorance on the Matsumura Seito version, I have never seen it.)

I would like to share some ideas, but in a way that is meaningful. Some applications have quite a bit of things that need to go right if they are to be effective. So I have chosen to provide a lot of detail to ensure that some students that try to use this application don't experience the many problems that I have seen teaching it over the years.

First, a word about stances. This technique will use four stances. It starts with a counterclockwise rotation into cat stance, continues with 2 more cat stances and ends with a short forward or natural stance. The Okinawans commonly used stances that are a single stride in length and stances of this length will work for this application. Long stances, such as those found in many Japanese systems will not, unless, of course, you are fighting someone 7ft or taller.

The attack is a left strike.

In this application, you begin with a left block, follow with an armbar to the left, continue with a chicken wing to the left arm with a simultaneous left strike to the neck, and finish with with a scissors choke, pulling the opponent to the ground.

The attacker steps left foot forward with a left strike to the head. You begin with your feet equidistant from the attacker.

You begin by rapidly pivoting 90 degrees counterclockwise, into a cat stance, blocking with your left shuto on the outside of his left arm, lightly hooking your fingers over the arm as you charge forward to the second knife hand, an arm bar to the elbow. When you spin hard to the left, with your right foot momentarily off the floor, your rotational force carries you slighty to the right and slightly forward, about 1 foot or so in each direction. Don't go any more than that to the outside. Your right foot should travel forward and to the right no more than 2 feet, less if you are shorter than 6 ft.

To use a cat stance, you will have to pull your left leg in perhaps a foot or so. I have taught many students who want to keep their left foot in its initial location without moving it back towards them. They want to keep the foot more than one stride away in a Shotokan like backstance. So when they step forward, they are too far forward and on the wrong angle.

The angle of the counterattack is very important for a successful armbar. You are charging at his arm at close to 90 degrees. You can get to this angle very quickly if you start with your feet equidistant. This stance is found at the opening of this and many other kata. Some of you will feel compelled to try to start with your right foot back in a sparring stance. Please note that it is VERY difficult to get your right foot forward where it needs to be for the proper angle of counterattack. That big step usually takes far too long. In the time it takes to get your right foot forward enough to have a 90 degree angle of attack for the arm bar, the attacker has plenty of time to retract the arm, or throw his second punch. It is surprising how many times I have taught this technique emphasizing the need for the feet to be equidistant from the attacker, and then students go try it with the right foot back in their "fighting stance". They just can't seem to understand why it doesn't work.

The right knife hand goes from the chambered position at the solar plexus in a straight line directly to the triceps tendon. (This is a variation on the movement in the kata, where shutos have a side-to-side element.) The arm bar relies on a rotational twist of your torso, with your left arm pulling back and right arm pushing forward. If you have a strong counterclockwise rotation of your torso, leveraging the power of your hips, you have to rely a lot less on the forward movement or arm strength to make this arm bar successful. You will see some students bend over when they do not have enough power. The have to work to twist faster and harder, keeping both elbows in close.

One common problem to watch out for is that students often twist too early. They over-rotate on the initial block, or during the step forward, so that there isn't much ability to rotate further after they step forward. Without body rotation, the arm bar is much weaker. On the initial block, your body has to be only a partly rotated (counterclockwise) and the step forward has to have no rotation, prior or during. As much as possible, you need to leave your right shoulder and hip cocked back when you step forward so that you can turn (counterclockwise) a significant amount once you do step forward. This is a modifaction to the movement in the kata, but very helpful in delivering an effective armbar against a bigger opponent.

You will need to take full advantage of the cat stance used in the start of the sequence. You start from a straight leg position and drop your weight into a bent legged cat stance. You shouldn't really view this as a stance at all, only a fleeting transition. It's best to imagine this "transition" like you would a trampoline or sprung floor, you drop in and spring out (forward) instantanously. You don't sink to the bottom of the trampoline, and wait a moment before bouncing back up. It is immediate. If you pause in the cat stance, and lock into it like some systems teach, you will lose an essential component of the spring action, and with it the speed you need to get your mass to the attacker's arm fast enough to successfully perform the armbar. The arm will be straight for only an instant and you have to be attacking it with your forward charging/twisting body before the opponent has a chance to snap it back. You should practice this springing independently of the technique. Just twist/sit and spring forward.

Also, don't forget, when stepping forward, to use the crescent step, where the right foot brushes by the left. You will not be stepping directly on the 90 degree line you began with, but with a slight angle towards the attacker's body, much like the corner movement of Shutos in the kata (90 degrees, then 45 degrees). You have to make sure your right leg does not collide with his left, or your toes with his foot or shin. You need to circle your foot around, a very useful application for the crescent step movement.

After the arm bar is complete, you will roll the opponent’s left arm into the crook of your right arm as your are stepping forward to the third shuto, a strike to the neck. You use both hands to first bend the straight arm by rolling the attacker's elbow towards the attacker, pulling back and in slightly on his wrist to bend his arm without losing the arm bar. Keep up the pressure with the right knife hand just above the elbow throughout this bending process. With your left hand still holding the wrist, circle the opponent’s left wrist counterclockwise over the bend in your right arm and drop it in place for a chicken wing. This is done as you move forward into your third shuto. The movement of your left arm so far was in a clockwise arc. As you release the left arm with your left, you continue your counterclockwise circular motion and strike the back/side of the attacker’s neck.

Remember that the attacker likely will try to get up after the arm bar bent his torso over. You can slow his rise with the chicken wing. Ensure your right elbow is tight to your abdomen, and your right wrist is pushing down on the bent area above his elbow, with your own hand as close to your hara as possible. Your entirk right forearm and hand should be squeezed tight the body with the focus on driving your right wrist down, which slows the opponent's efforts to stand up.

The key is that this chicken wing is not designed to hold a bigger attacker in place, just to slow his rise long enough to give you time to bring the shuto down hard on his rising neck. This is one of those applications where you use your opponent's own energy against himself.

For a finish, I like to use a scissors choke, pulling the attacker to the ground. I begin by sliding the right hand under the neck, raking his trachea, and grasping three fingers (pinky to middle) of my right hand as it slides to the far side of his neck. This is done while stepping forward, the right foot landing under and slightly past his neck. (This movement is an application for the nukite (spearhand) movement that is found in the Itosu and Hohan Soken versions, but not the Kyan versions which have another shuto block.)

Once the hand is grabbed you squeeze your elbows together in a scissors choke by lifting your hands. This brings the elbows and forearms closer together for a "wind" choke compressing the trachea. You need to ensure the attacker can't upend you by grabbing your legs, so you need to pull your weight back, stepping back, and rotating violently to one side (both work), bending forward, dropping your weight to the floor. You should wind up several strides away from where you started. Be generous with the distance you need to cover. You (and if you teach this, your students) also need to be careful in practice of this pulling and dropping the attacker. The uke often has a hard time making a good tap while being pulled violently forward and twisted, all while having his trachea raked (twisting) and choked (squeezing the elbows).

-Kakushiite.

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#154236 - 06/12/05 06:43 AM Re: Kusanku kata applications [Re: kakushiite]
kakushiite Offline
Member

Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 266
Loc: Ithaca, NY, USA
Two corrections on the scissors choke. One, grab the fingers of your left hand, not the right, as stated above. The left forearm is sitting on top of his neck, having just done the shuto strike. As you move forward, the left hand naturally slides across the top while the right pushes forward underneath. The right grabs the left fingers.

Second, you have to release the chicken wing with your right before sliding your right hand under the neck, raking the trachea with your radius bone. You pull the right back a foot or so just before stepping forward into the last stance forward to do this.

-Kakushiite

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#154237 - 06/12/05 10:21 PM Re: Kusanku kata applications [Re: kakushiite]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

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

I'm enjoying the convesation. This is what I believe can be most fun for those of us who care.
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victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

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#154238 - 06/13/05 03:47 PM Re: Kusanku kata applications [Re: Sanchin]
kakushiite Offline
Member

Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 266
Loc: Ithaca, NY, USA
I would like to add another move to follow that shown in the JPEG that Sanchin posted. A modification to the move showed in this jpeg is a great setup for a guillotine choke.

Imagine you have an opponent about your own size, and he is delivering the right hook shown above. Since he is your own height, but looking to take you out, he has to really put alot into the strike, so he commits more of his body mass. This is a different kind of strike than the one shown in the picture where the attacker is erect.

A fully committed strike will bring his body mass more forward, his right shoulder dropping as he leans in to get more of his mass in on the strike.

Just as in the opening of the kata, you start with your feet are equidistant from him. Think Muay Thai where the right leg is only slightly back, no further. Don't have it back in a kamae or fighting stance, or this technique will not work.

In this application, you need to stay upright, which is common in some Itosu variants. In Kyan variants you bend forward, just as in the jpeg, but here we need to be erect to successfully complete the wrap required for the guillotine.

By bringing your right foot slightly forward, you better evade the attack, and also position your right elbow for a solid strike to the shoulder. This requires a strong counterclockwise pivot. If you turn hard and fast, you have a lot of power with this elbow. As in the Shito Ryu and Shotokan variants of the kata you want to be erect, not bent over. Think of your body is is like a barn door with your left foot the hinge, and your right elbow the outside of the door.

Since the opponent's right shoulder has dropped for more power, so too has his head and neck. In the kata, the opening move has two components. First the raising of the hands, which is what has been covered. Then a big circling of them. This application requires the big circle as well.. Use your right arm to circle around the back of his neck, while simultaneously wrapping you left arm around his right arm. For the neck wrap, first push out, unbalancing him, then quickly push down, then pull in. You can shift slightly forward during this. But however you do it, his head has to be under your right arm when your are done. It must be securely locked in under your arm before you can continue.

Grasp one of your wrists with the other hand, (whichever feels more natural and stronger). Drop your weight to the floor, sitting back, keeping his head under your arm. Wrap your legs around his lower torso and hook them together. Exhale. Check your grip.

Pivot your hips up and legs down, while inhaling.

With practice, you can do this entire movement without pause. The elbow strike to the shoulder only minimally slows his forward momentum, because you are striking more to the outside than towards the back. It is a safety precaution to prevent his strong hook from reaching your head. You can reinforce the strength of both blocks by interlocking the hands, both palms out, right further out, right thumb on top of the left hand, fingers at right angles to each other.

Just remember that a key goail is not to break his momentum with your elbow. Rather you want his weight to keep coming forward, and you augment this by pulling forward once you have wrapped the neck and arm.

Kakushiite

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#154239 - 06/13/05 07:52 PM Re: Kusanku kata applications [Re: kakushiite]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
all have three shutos going forward after kicking to the rear

with that in mind my stance on these techniques is as follows -

simply use the first 2, the third links the finger strike (ala Pinan Shodan) in this case.

check a frontal attack down (across your body a little) with the rear hand of the shuto, this should 'open' the attackers neck area a little, slightly after strike with the shuto to the neck, the forward foot movment adds your weight to the strike and imposes you in the attackers space, then stepping through (to the outside, or stomp works if position right) switch hands and grab the attackers hand with what is now the rear hand of the 2nd shuto and twist (hand faces up) whilst striking with the shuto to the jaw , follow this strike through to 'extend' the attacker and you should have an arm bar across your chest to control, im using the foot work as a simple indication of forward momentum at 45 degrees or so in this application. its a nice standing control technique, obviously applied with gusto its all over. As with all application work a little compliance is necessary as we cant strike full force.

Im told it stimulates all the relevant points for PP knock out, im not that skilled and dont understand PP nearly enough to endorse that, however im confident the strikes work, specifically if you use seriuto to extend the knife hand.

this technique is full of kyusho, sticky hands and body dynamics, shows two way movement, great for hikite application - a great one to practise, I also really like the control it gives you on an opponent by 'imposing' your presence upon them.

nice thoughts from Victor and Kakushite by the way, lets keep this topic going, i hope its ok to post, i dont study kushanku yet but have studied kosokundai historically. My apologies for my rushed words, its better to train and work it after all !

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#154240 - 06/13/05 10:24 PM Re: Kusanku kata applications [Re: shoshinkan]
kakushiite Offline
Member

Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 266
Loc: Ithaca, NY, USA
For those interested in the comparative study of kata, there are excellent on-line resources for the study of Kusanku.

From Kyan
|
|---Tatsuo Shimabuku – Isshin Ryu
| . . http://www.americanisshinryukarate.com/mpegs/Shimabuku_Kusanku_Kata.m1v
|
|---Zenryo Shimabukuro - Seibukan
| . . . .|
| . . . .|---Zenpo Shimabukuro
| . . . . . . http://www.uechi-ryu.com/videos/tc_videos.html
|
|---Shoshin Nagamine - Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu
| . . . .|
| . . . .|---???
| . . . . . . . .|
| . . . . . . . .|--- Jim Sindt (4th Dan)
| . . . . . . . . . . http://www.matsubayashi-ryu.net/video/18%20-%20Kusanku.mpg
|---???
. . . .|
. . . .|--- Seiki Toma – Seidokan
. . . . . . .|
. . . . . . .|---Roy Hobbs – (10th Dan)
. . . . . . . . . . http://www.goyukan.net/video/shorin/kusanku.mpg


From Itosu
|
|---Chosin Chibana - Kobayashi Shorin Ryu
|. . . . |
|. . . . |---Yuchoku Higa
|. . . . . . . .|
|. . . . . . . .|---Oshiro Iko
|. . . . . . . . . . http://www.okinawakaratedo.com/Shinjinbukan%20net/Multi-media.htm
|
|---Gichin Funakoshi - Shotokan
|. . . .|
|. . . .|---???
|. . . . . . . . http://www.natkd.com/movies/Old_Katas/KankuDai-old.mpg
|. . . .|
|. . . .|---???
|. . . . . . . .|
|. . . . . . . .|-??? (JKA Distributed)
|. . . . . . . . . . . http://www.unh.edu/shotokan/mpeg/KankuDai-new.mpg
|
|---Kenwa Mabuni - Shito Ryu
|. . . .|
|. . . .|--- Kenei Mabuni/Manza Iwata
|. . . . . . . .|
|. . . . . . . .|--- Hasegawa (All-Japan Kata Champion)
|. . . . . . . . . . . http://www.shitokai.com/movies/koshokundai.php
|
|---Shigeru Nakamura - Okinawa Kempo
. . . .|
. . . .|---Seiyu Oyata - RyuKyu Kempo
. . . . . . . .|
. . . . . . . .|---???
. . . . . . . . . . . http://www.ryukyukempo.com/kusanku.html

Also

Hironori Ohtsuka - Wado Ryu (Student of Funakoshi, but kata appears very much influenced by Mabuni)
. . . . . http://www.zanshin-kai-karate.co.uk/downloads/kushanku.zip

For a detailed look at Shotokan's Kanku Dai, go to:
http://www.usankf.org
and select Training, Videowerks, Kata, Kanku Dai
There is both a front and back view, and bunkai as well. (Typical JKA one-strike self-defense applications)

Enjoy,

Kakushiite

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