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#173801 - 08/01/05 07:47 AM Re: Kata,bunkai,and self defense [Re: SANCHIN31]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
My position is one of balance but based in reality, ie the 'do' and 'jutsu' schools re kata.

It is my belief and expieirence that kata certainly is the 'core' of karate, withoubt doubt.

Therefore when you study kata it is important to stay true to the form, establish the principles and extract them from the kata to allow application.

I agree with the view that karate (self defense perspective) is designed for application against a relativly untrained agressor, so once you understand the likely attacks that untrained people make on the street you have to then apply the defensive principles from the kata to those methods, otherwise your not doing self defense IMO.

i also think that kihon and pair work should also be extracted from the relevant kata you study, with repetition and increase in intensity of training being key to self defense application, against street attacks of course.

If all that is done then you are doing kata.

Of course im sure many others have different views and good luck to them, this is simply how I uderstand things now - 10 years ago things were different and kata really just looked nice..............However I dont just train in karate for sef defense, if that was my goal then I accept that there are other methods that bring better results, quicker.
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#173802 - 08/01/05 08:27 AM Re: Kata,bunkai,and self defense [Re: kickcatcher]
Chatan1979 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/21/05
Posts: 338
Loc: Mahomet , Illinois
Quote:

Re the history issue. You may care to take the approach that karate started day one 1477 and was defined thus as materially different from Chuan Fa (“kung fu”). That could be seen as the absolutist opinion (hint not likely to be popular with genuine historians). Or, the alternative view which I buy into which says that although karate can to an extent be traced back, it was likely a gradual process building up as basically a spreading of Chuan Fa which over time became distinct from mainland (Chinese) practices. This date of the watershed is open to debate but saying it’s 1800s is not historically ignorant. I suggest we put this issue aside as it will defocus the tread. However, I will reiterate my point for clarity: What I was getting at is that kata as we think of them is not that old and that the kata themselves are substantially different from what would have been practiced when Chinese masters were still the primary source of reference for Okinawan MAists. This undermines the “Ancient” justifications so often argued in kata’s favor.
Quote:

I think one would have to have many years doing kata and learning bunkai to be an authority on them.


Can we assume that you are an authority and that everyone else’s opinion is less valid? Please let’s not fall into this trap, remember that a fair smattering of kata’s keenest supporters are comparatively inexperienced –it works both ways.
Quote:

Who's to be the decider of if any style evolves or not.Who says karate does not evolve with kata?


Well I suppose musical kata is an evolution. Lol. No, but the natural extension of “kata has evolved” argument directly counteracts your previous “kata is ancient” argument. It’s beginning to sound like you’re inclined to rattle of a mixed list of logics supporting kata without a unified construction.
Quote:

It is my experience that the best practitioners of martial arts are those who study and practice kata the most diligently.


Well we should be glad you’re sharing such a vast experience. A pity of course that you aren’t sufficiently experienced of the likes of Helio Gracie, Kano (see note 1 below) and Muhammad Ali, then perhaps you’d see the ridiculousness of such an argument.

Interesting comparison can be made between the evolution of Jiujitsu kata and karate kata. In jiujitsu the kata developed as a safe way of practicing LEATHAL moves –mainly because weaponry, particularly swords, was the focus. When unarmed SD became the focus this tradition of kata carried forwards even though the moves were NOT LEATHAL in the same manner. Kano’s genius was that he identified this inconsistency. A similar pattern can be applied to Karate. Arguably the evolution of American Kickboxing from karate demonstrates a similar Darwinian logic. However, in mainstream karate people still insist on performing kata even though the moves that materially make up karate are NOT LEATHAL in the training context. I realize that this fact may be have a knee jerk unpopularity with some, but let’s keep things in perspective –when’s the last time someone died sparring reverse punch?

Note 1. Just to preemptively extinguish any misguided debate on whether Kano was a diligent katiast. He wasn’t, he openly disregarded the jiujitsu kata emphasis and carried over only an extremely limited (and sidelined) notion of kata to Judo which at any rate is fundamentally different from kata in karate.




Um.. youve obviously not spent anytime at all with traditional Karate kata to think that they dont contain Lethal techniques. Kata is designed to adapt to any situation. It can teach you ways of dealing with a situation where lethal force is being used or where only a simple controlling lock is needed.
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There is always someone who knows more, and noone who knows it all....

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#173803 - 08/01/05 08:45 AM Re: Kata,bunkai,and self defense [Re: Chatan1979]
kickcatcher Offline
Member

Registered: 12/30/04
Posts: 200
Loc: UK
Quote:


Um.. youve obviously not spent anytime at all with traditional Karate kata to think that they dont contain Lethal techniques. Kata is designed to adapt to any situation. It can teach you ways of dealing with a situation where lethal force is being used or where only a simple controlling lock is needed.



Dangerous to make assumptions.

So your karate is too deadly for sparring?
_________________________
Judokakakakaka!!!!!!!

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#173804 - 08/01/05 09:10 AM Re: Kata,bunkai,and self defense [Re: kickcatcher]
Chatan1979 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/21/05
Posts: 338
Loc: Mahomet , Illinois
Who said anything about sparring? any decent karateka knows kata and sparring are 2 different things. Also i said that kata is made to ADAPT to any situation. That doesnt mean its too deadly. It means that it can be deadly if need be. You can take a single or series of techniques from kata and use them in a very controlling manner i.e and arm lock or controlling wrist lock or pin. Or you can take those same moves and escalate them in to something a little more lethal, i.e, nerve strikes, neck breaks , and strikes for rupturing organs. The techniques are there if you take the time to study them.
Sparring is a relatively modern invention. Someone can correct me if i am wrong, but Gichin Funakoshi even stated that Karate works best againgst UNTRAINED opponents. He was extremely opposed to the ideas of sparring and was reported to have discontinued visiting a particular dojo that advocated sparring. Kata was the main way of training before (again someone correct me if im off on the date) the 1930s.
Kickcatcher may i ask how long you have studied karate?


Edited by Chatan1979 (08/01/05 09:12 AM)
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#173805 - 08/01/05 09:44 AM Re: Kata,bunkai,and self defense [Re: Chatan1979]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
IMVHO, at the end of the day, it all boils down to what you want out of your MA's. If you purely want to learn how to defend yourself then kata is not the way to go. All things being equal, if you took two students and drilled one in pure reality based self defence and the other in pure kata and bunkai, IMO in a fairly short period of time the SD guy would become far more effective figther on the street. Kata involves learning complicated patterns, applications and a plethora of other stuff that isn't needed on the street. I've had the opportunity of meeting some top class MA's. Through my line of work, I've also met some guys who have never stepped foot in a dojo, yet would quite literally tear most of the MA's into pieces. I think with regards to the kata's being deadly, I'd have to agree. However, I firmly believe that there are very very few MA's out there, who when it really counts could apply the bunkai that they teach. It's hard enough to get a clean choke on someone on the street, let alone a neck break.

shoshinkan has stated a few times that self defence isn't the only reason why he practices karate. And I've got to say I agree with him. If I was purely practicing to learn to fight I can honestly say that I would never do another kata again! Kata for me is definately more of an artistic way of expressing my martial techniques that has some real nasty bits in!
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www.SHIKON.COM
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#173806 - 08/01/05 10:41 AM Re: Kata,bunkai,and self defense [Re: Chatan1979]
kickcatcher Offline
Member

Registered: 12/30/04
Posts: 200
Loc: UK
Quote:

You can take a single or series of techniques from kata and use them in a very controlling manner i.e and arm lock or controlling wrist lock or pin. Or you can take those same moves and escalate them in to something a little more lethal, i.e, nerve strikes, neck breaks, and strikes for rupturing organs.



Chatan, you are saying something along the lines of “Kata contains moves which can be lethal”. My viewpoint is that kata contains moves which if tried, are not likely to result in the fatalities ascribed for a number of reasons, not least that they are unrealistic. As Gavin highlights, there is a world of difference between having supposedly deadly moves in kata and actually doing them for real. How many organs have you ever ruptured on d’ST433T? (rhetorical question BTW).
Quote:

Sparring is a relatively modern invention.


Pankration anyone?
Quote:

Kickcatcher may i ask how long you have studied karate?


About four years, plus TKD and Hung Gar which in many respects have similarities.
_________________________
Judokakakakaka!!!!!!!

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#173807 - 08/01/05 11:10 AM Re: Kata,bunkai,and self defense [Re: kickcatcher]
CVV Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 605
Loc: Belgium
I think that Chatan ment that free sparring in karate is a fairly new concept. As far as I know it was introduced into karate training as jyu kumite by Gogen Yamaguchi at the end of 1930thies beginning 1940thies. Apparently, on Okinawa there were experiments with protective gear in the 1930thies.
As for lethal moves, there are some headlocks with neck breaks wich I consider potentially lethal in Kururunfa kata. There is also nasty larynx grabbing and crushing technique in sesan kata wich has potential to kill or to intimidate towards killing potential. As far as attacks to vital points go, I am told that some are potentially lethal, and some of them I can subscribe to the best of my knowledge (hammer fist on GV24, fontanel --> saifa kata)) others I have to take the word of my instructors for it.
Aside that, wether a technique comes from a kata or is used without refering to kata, does it matter ? It's still dificult to apply on a resisting opponent and requires training.
Kata have specific techniques regarding SD, but is kata only to broken down to individual techniques or could it also teach general principles regarding SD, like what area to attack at what distance ? Where do blocks effectively hurt the attacking limb ? Maybe there is more to kata than the application of a series of techniques or an individual technique.

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#173808 - 08/01/05 02:08 PM Re: Kata,bunkai,and self defense [Re: kickcatcher]
Alejandro Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/02/02
Posts: 940
Loc: Las Cruces, NM USA
While karate kata as we know them aren't ancient, the concept is very ancient. Between 960-1279 AD, 108 responses to civil physical attack were established (essentially Chin Na). These techniques became part of virtually every style of Chuan Fa, which furthered and expanded routines to incorporate many principles. These "Hsing" were a way to pass on effective responses to physical violence from teacher to student, and a means of practicing them. Several of these styles and even specific hsing influenced the development of Tode in the 17th to 19th cenuries. So sure, kata are ancient.

I don't believe anyone says that it is "necessary" to use kata as a learning medium for self defense. It is necessary. however, for learning true karate. As for effeciency, if you have spent significant time in correct okinawan karate training, you would know how efficient its methods and techniques are. By "the threat has changed", are you referring to guns, bombs, terrorism, etc? Of course that is true. But people have the same two arms and two legs as they did 500 years ago, and that is what karate deals with. Karate gives you all you will ever need, physically and mentally to preserve your life, in more ways than one.

Of course, as has been said already, self defense is not the only reason one trains in classical karate. Good karate ka aren't out to always be progressive and on the self defense bandwagon. Karate is also a practice in health and self-discipline, one that is known to increase longevity and give one a sense of personal power and dignity. It is a method of mental and spiritual introspection and philosophical contemplation, using the body as a gateway to the mind. We karate ka are also out to carefully preserve a priceless human treasure for those who will follow us, one that, if its methods and essence are lost, so will it be lost. Perhaps not for all, but for many, it is a way of life.

Sorry for the ramble!
_________________________
In Budo, -Al

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#173809 - 08/01/05 04:29 PM Re: Kata,bunkai,and self defense [Re: kickcatcher]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
kick...

You write intelligently enough but have a closed mind. 4 yrs of karate (could mean anything), some TKD & HG doesn't make you an expert.

Have you seen/trained in KM? This is a so-called "modern" SD art, right? So many of their techniques can be seen in kata it's more than coincedence. I'm not saying that KM is a direct descendant of karate, just that the body operates the same around the world & it's dynamics & weaknesses can be utilized & exploited in the same ways around the world & throughout history. Now if you put a dozen of those techniques together in a string of techniques, what do you have...kata.

The gross misconception is that kata represent one long fight/defense scenario against multiple opponents. That isn't & never was true. If it was, why would you do a technique to the left & repeat it to the right? Are the bad guys so bumb that they would attack you in the same manner immediately after you successfully defended yourself against his buddy???

Now to address your lethality comment. Some kata techniques have the potential of being lethal. We don't have to take an old Okinawan's word for it. Just ask any ER doctor. Providing you have the correct technique & perform it correctly, you should have your answer. Are some of these techniques hidden? Yes - & the reason is obvious. Does it take training to master? Yes.

So remember that sparring isn't fighting or SD & should never be used as a barometer for effectiveness.

BTW: You mentioned Helio Gracie. Having trained briefly w/ him, Rorion & Royce, I can attest that BJJ has kata. Just as Judo uses 2 people for kata, so does BJJ.

It was also written that "lots of MA don't have kata" (or something similar). I'll go out on a limb & bet that more have kata than not. They might not look like karate kata but repetitious, controlled skills practice appear in most defensive/offensive arts from SWAT hostage rescue scenarios to wrestling.

owari

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#173810 - 08/01/05 08:13 PM Re: Kata,bunkai,and self defense [Re: hedkikr]
SANCHIN31 Offline
Former Moderator

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3783
Loc: Arkansas, U.S.
Every kata I know has 'kill' moves within them. Most karateka see kata merely as block ,punch.This is not the case. Read articles here www.iainabernathy.com

Good post hedkikr! One would have to have alot more than 4yrs of good instruction in karate to understand these things.
I respect mma,sportfighting,TKD,BJJ,and every art the same.I also respect the rights of individuals rights to experience whatever art they choose. I had bad experiences with other arts and even my core art at other schools because of poor instruction,but I'm not on a quest to rid the free world from them. McDojo's are just sad and pathetic and can create hostility toward the arts IMO.
I like kata,I do kata,and I teach kata,and I will always pass on the way I was taught as long as I can. To each their own.


Edited by SANCHIN31 (08/01/05 08:14 PM)
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