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#204224 - 11/26/05 01:22 AM Re: Secret techniques in kata [Re: CVV]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
I don't look at it as 'secret'...perhaps 'unexplored' is a better (although less romantic) term.

think of it this way:
There are many standalone Te Waza in Goju practice. Replacing any techniques within the 'standard' kata would not be discovering a would be exploring a possibility.

any closed fist in kata can be opened(Nukite) or formed into the 2nd knuckle strike w/4 fingers(Hiraken) or one(Keikoken/Chukoken). etc, the variations are endless.

instead of bogging your brain down memorizing 'secret strike A goes with known technique B' - instead work on Waza drills and learn the principals of the standalone strikes...then you can apply/adapt during kata depending on what reflex at the time feels comfortable/comes quickest. or, if your imagery is good, do whatever adaptation depending on what your 'opponent' is doing. Double punch in Saifa? for fun, try with seiryuto to the collarbones.

theres the real secret....there is no spoon.
(you guys should spend some more time in the Zen forum.)

#204225 - 11/26/05 05:33 PM Re: Secret techniques in kata [Re: Ed_Morris]
CVV Offline

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 605
Loc: Belgium
T. Kisaki sensei said that Miyagi sensei never thaught bunkai. He said you will figure it out yourselve. One of his favourite quote's was 'Think !'.
In his book about Goju ryu history, M.Higaonna sensei talks about secrecy and the approval he needed to publish certain knowledge on history. He claims the same on his latest DVD sessions about Goju ryu.
Before WWII Miyagi sensei would teach like his teacher, teaching sanchin and 1 - 3 other kata. He changed the teaching method after WWII in the order of kata we know now. I guess when concentrating on a smaller curriculum, the exploration in it's application will be intenser. This leads me to the conclusion that nowadays principle is thaught before essence. I think this was not the case in the past (pre 20th century). However back then, martial art was part of a broader education.
Thanks to research of people like McCarthy and others, some of this ancient 'essence' was opened up to a wider public through their publications.
Upon exploring this, I had to think about certain explanations/thaughts/lessons I received from instructors. T. Uchiage sensei once said that every Goju kata has 2 secret techniques and showed some of them. I remember S. Akira sensei explaining on how self defense technique would rather use open hand or on-knuckle fist then seiken (closed fist). The reflection upon kata is through self exploration but also through instruction. In that regard, knowledge from the past was not always transmitted, at least not openly and that is how I 'feel' about secrecy in kata.
In S. Nagamine sensei's book 'Tales of Okinawa's great Masters' there is a passage about Kyan sensei in a confrontation with a judoka where he would stick his thumb on the innerside of the man's cheeck and trying to pull off the skin/flesh of the cheeck from the bone with his hand to render him imobile and in a lot of pain. He comments upon the use of this technique as 'his knowledge of such things clearly demonstrated his understanding of technique no longer practiced in modern karate'.
In the last 10 - 15 years (since I stopped focussing on competition) I try to research deeper into these subjects. I managed to find some applications on my own (tested in free continous fighting) but am also intriged by knowledge of others and 'older generations'.
In researching upon 'secret techniques' or 'secret teachings' I am more interested in the perception of 'secret' than the actual technique. That is why I opened up this thread.

#204226 - 11/26/05 07:40 PM Re: Secret techniques in kata [Re: Ed_Morris]
NEAS Offline
Banned Member

Registered: 10/30/05
Posts: 168
I think I would rather see the application of kata than work out the hidden moves. I like to automate techniques to a usable standard not do academic study although a long time ago i worked out that some blocks are also attacks.Some stances have a specific use.So if any body hqas some workable bunkei please let me know

#204227 - 11/26/05 10:36 PM Re: Secret techniques in kata [Re: CVV]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
ahh...sorry I misread your intended direction of the thread...I like it even better.

There are a few ways I've seen 'secret' techniques reveiled.
1. They were made up by the person teaching. Mostly in good faith, the instructor teaches a variation that they find effective....but throws in the word 'secret' to imply 'privaledged knowledge', and in fact, it is...but not necessaraly handed down from anyone. The variation may have taken years for the sensei to discover and that regard, they may be teaching many secrets in each class.

2. Plain and simply: marketing and student retention. If the student gets the impression of being the lucky winner of 'ancient secrets', they might be pursuaded to re-up their contract for another year.

3. Humor. I've found some Japanese in particular to at times have a sadistical twist while keeping a deadpan poker face. In Japanese, if someone reveils a 'secret' and then proceeds to tell you that it was a secret, then in most cases, they are screwing with you. It's as if the directness in telling you 'it's a secret' negates the secret they are reveiling. In a word, it's dry sarcasm. Perhaps this is lost in translation sometimes and the 'secret' is propegated overseas.

4. Actual privilaged information. I've never had direct access to it. I'm not rich, well connected, a family member of bushi class nor a famous karateka. I have no hope of gaining such status, nor do I think I'd want to invest in seeking it. Karate is not a status symbol for me and I'm not trying to sell's just Karate and if I have to learn something the hard way or not learn any 'secrets' at all, fine. I'll still enjoy my path.

People can claim all they want of their secret techniques and direct lineage...the people I seek to train and learn with/from are the people not making these claims even if they are true.

overall, I think the whole notion of 'secret techniques' has only served to misdirect people.

Great idea for a topic, CVV.
(btw, what does CVV stand for? ...or is it a secret? lol)

#204228 - 11/27/05 03:59 AM Re: Secret techniques in kata [Re: Ed_Morris]
CVV Offline

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 605
Loc: Belgium

(btw, what does CVV stand for? ...or is it a secret? lol)

They are initials of my name (Chris Vanvelthoven).

I was able to train with Osamu Hirano sensei on several occasions, in the last 15 years. He has his own organization (Kuyukai). He would never talk about 'secret' but about 'koryu' (=old way). I have never had to pay him for instruction nor did he ever ask me to be part of his organization. I always felt he was very open in his instruction but training would never focus on 'deceisive technique' (I mean to end physical confict). He would however touch the subject and explain briefly exactly how and where to attack for certain applications.
Regulary (every 2 years), I am able to receive instruction from Takeshi Uchiage sensei (his father, Kenzo Uchiage sensei, received instruction from Miyagi sensei at Ristumeikan University), and he talked about the secret techniques in kata and that every Goju kata had 2. These 'secrets' are not specific techniques, but possibilities you have from certain poses in kata, not shown in the kata. I will probably train at a seminar with him next easter, I'll ask more in detail. We are part of his organization but we never had to pay him for instruction nor for his organization. His focus on training is correct basics in kata (stance, breathing, distribution of power/energy) and history/evolution of kata.
From the Okinawan training method's (we were affiliated to IOGKF in the 80thies) I retain focus on strengthning and hardening and partner drills (yakusoku kumite, sanbon kumite, kakie, kata with partner in straight line, ...).
Never was there a focus on 'conflict ending' training.
That's why I conclude that todays training (at least here in Europe) is focused on principles and not on essence.
It is my believe that pre 20th century training had more focus on essence, how to end physical conflict, and that these techniques were not shared openly. That is how I perceive 'secret techniques'. The research into the past and the open communication tools now available as well as the possibilities to travel, open up a lot of possibilities for research in these matters and 'secrets' become more open knowledge.
Opening up these secrets, has to do with level of understanding as well as willingness to share. From the priciples, the essence can be researched.

NEAS, I have an application I was never able to test for it's useability and value in fighting. If you want to rip off an ear you have to pull from the lower end upwards. Never from the top down.

#204229 - 11/27/05 04:24 AM Re: Secret techniques in kata [Re: Mark Hill]
CVV Offline

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 605
Loc: Belgium

CVV: While Matayoshi may not share the secrets of his family, Kingai Ryu came from China, as did Pan Gai Noon Ryu.

Do you mean what the family teaches is secret, or all Kingai Ryu is secret?

I am not to well known with the te-art the Matayoshi family practised. I was told that his father brought most of the family art from China from several sources(nomadic tribes from the north, boxing in Shangai (from there he referred to the style as Kingai ryu) and southern (Fuzhou) styles. There was also knowledge from within the family from before his fathers travels to China. He was also a students of Gokenki and learned some hakutsuru (white crane) kata from him.
He also studied under Kyan.
To my knowledge , he did not instruct his te art openly. I believe that one of his Kobudo students was also instructed in the te art of his family (Gakiya Yoshiaki) but I am not sure of that.

#204230 - 11/28/05 04:58 AM Re: Secret techniques in kata [Re: NEAS]
phoenixsflame Offline

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 402
Loc: Chicago, Illinois
All blocks are attacks. All attacks are also blocks. Secret Bunkai! Do not pass go, do not collect one hundred dollars.
While everything changes, nothing is truly lost.

#204231 - 11/28/05 05:00 AM Re: Secret techniques in kata [Re: phoenixsflame]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas

All blocks are attacks. All attacks are also blocks. Secret Bunkai! Do not pass go, do not collect one hundred dollars.

I don't like that explanation.It makes it sound like a person should just block with force and that's the true meaning. Blocks are much more in my opinion,otherwise why the chamber?
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<

#204232 - 11/28/05 08:53 AM Re: Secret techniques in kata [Re: BrianS]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5849
Loc: USA

I think what Phoenix means (and please correct me if I misunderstood) is not to get hung up on the word "block"--which implies a static, mechanical kinda thing.

My first karate teacher focused on "block" being many things---almost all "active."

Blocks as strikes, blocks as "set-ups" for throws, blocks as "shock absorber," blocks as a means of unbalanceing, blocks as means of penetration of a center-line, etc.

Edited by cxt (11/28/05 08:57 AM)
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#204233 - 11/28/05 11:30 AM Re: Secret techniques in kata [Re: cxt]
dmsdc Offline

Registered: 07/27/05
Posts: 37
The receiving motions in kata (that is anything that doesn't look like a straight line punch) can be viewed at several levels. Since most people don't get past level 1 for any number of reasons then the other levels seem to be thought of as secret.

level 1 - impacting the attack without footwork (you hit their strike with your blocking posture from a static standing position)
level 2 - impacting the the attack with footwork. (you create a moving line of force against their attack with your posture and using footwork) This usually results in either you impacting them in a vital area or stealing their balance by disruption
level 3 - blending with the motion of their attack so that your receiving posture becomes the fulcrum by which they help you steal their balance and impale themselves on another part of your body, the floor, or a nearby object - or they are placed in such a position of compromise that you have your pick of the menu on how you continue to do them damage.

Within each of these levels are the opportunities to lock or destroy joints, seize flesh or vital points, and activate the flinch response by doing things like grabbing the genitals, spitting, flicking the eyes, etc.

The secret is being able to blend these levels of skills into continuous motion that leaves the attacker without balance, without consciousness, and with pain if they ever wake up.

Martial arts is a full body experience. You fight the man, not their arm or their leg.
happy training, Dana

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