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#219205 - 01/02/06 02:17 AM The fighting Mime...
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
The topic of this thread should address the question: "why does your kata look different in performance when compared to actual application?"

I think of kata as the 'ideal principals'...not necessarily the actual movement of application. Movements during application with a resisting opponent are inexact, 'messy' and adhoc depending on the physical characteristics of your opponent and a host of other factors.

It could be that when seeing someone perform kata, they over-exaggurate movements in the kata to match more closely to the actual in order for visualization...kind of as a mnemonic device. the principals stay the same, just the performance looks different. While others could perform the same kata with more stress on the principals of movement, so again the kata appears slightly different with another emphasis but the meaning in application is the same.

I'll give a specific example. opening sequence to Saifa.

which application are you learning for this? a popular one is, opponent grabs wrist(s). app: while grabing your own hand, step off to 45' angle while lowering your center of gravity and offbalancing your opponent down and to the outside.
Spring up and stike the opponents elbow, upper arm, or head with your elbow right into his offbalenced direction.

ok. freeze there for a sec.

look at your feet position. if you are doing kata, you are in masubi dachi (attention stance, forming a 'V'). when you do this with a partner full speed, where do you end up? you end up facing the same direction, but your stance is open, probably shoulder width apart.

so why, in this instance and others, is the kata different from what 'feels' right in real-life?

Should your kata really be as a 'fighting mime'? (to coin a phrase for what I mean).

I don't see it that way. How can you really expect to make kata performance realistic when there is no resisting opponent pulling and pressing on you? you can't really unless your pantemime skills are phenominal...but even then, it's acting.

An open hand at the right time/space can just as easily grab as it can deflect in application...which do you show in the kata? the answer is it doesn't matter, as long as you know the principal it took to get the hand there in the first place.

instead of working it backwards starting with kata like us karate guys/gals always do...lets go forward and start from scratch:
For the people who don't practice kata at all...lets say you had a simple parry/counter combo worked out. then you add a slight variation to it. is there a way that you could work the principals of movement to both variations using one drill? when you have that drill, you can practice it alone in front of a mirror for muscle memory, timing, etc. - congratulations, you've just created a mini kata dipicting one pre-packaged fighting principal. what would it look like if you strung a bunch of those together, and designing it so you could practice while conserving the amount of floor space needed (eg. work the principals with turns).

hope this topic makes sense.

for those that skip to the bottom of an old windbag's post , the question is:
"why does your kata look different in performance when compared to actual application?"

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#219206 - 01/02/06 03:35 PM Re: The fighting Mime... [Re: Ed_Morris]
MattJ Offline
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Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Ed Parker addressed this in regards to AKK self defense practice (which is basically a bunch of short 2-man kata).

There is "ideal" phase. Kata is taught in a uniform way, emphasizing perfect postures and angles on the assumption that practicing perfect form will help to carry over in the chaos of actual combat.

The "what if?" phase comes into play to address particular deviations from the intended "ideal" phase. Your parry/grab would be a good example - changing one part of the kata to handle an unexpected change.

"Formulation" phase would be application of the kata in a free, spontaneous enviroment. The techniques may be similar or totally different to the original kata. The multitude of variables in a combat scenario that are NOT present in typical kata practice (physical enviroment, weather, number of opponents, your starting position, etc) will almost always make kata application very different.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#219207 - 01/02/06 03:50 PM Re: The fighting Mime... [Re: MattJ]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
I like that explaination...maybe I'll have to read more Ed Parker stuff. Thanks Matt.

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#219208 - 01/02/06 04:21 PM Re: The fighting Mime... [Re: Ed_Morris]
Diga Offline
Member

Registered: 04/15/05
Posts: 209
Loc: Hoodsport, Washington
Yes...I believe you have it right.

However...lets look at the "freeze point" where you land with the feet in a V and standing upright.
This position is there because the kata is meant to heve the most opportunity for change at each manouver.

What I mean is - If you get the to that position you have more height, which gives advantage for leverage when moving a tall object. ( naturally that needs tons of explination , it is from Aikido )
Also, with the feet in the V, you can turn in any direction useing gravity for power as your body lowers when stepping in any direction. ( again - the explination is in Aikido )

Sooo..All I am saying is that formal kata has thaught out the extreme or maximum positions for its movements.
When it comes to sparring everything in the kata is subject to change as you said.

I too have decided today to search out Ed'S posts.

Good stuff.

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#219209 - 01/02/06 05:45 PM Re: The fighting Mime... [Re: Ed_Morris]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
Hi Ed,

My response to your question "why does your kata look different in performance when compared to actual application?" is faith.

I've long experienced students with years and years of practice on a kata, being shown an application to a sequence, in detail, find when they try and apply it turn the movement into something else.

But the application was one I had just come up with and could execute the first time, and did so before them.

It isn't practice with a partner that is the answer, its, IMO, that you have to believe in your technique. Not a lip service belief, but a belief that it will succeed and you have no reason to change it.

And when a student doen't believe, even repeated practice will not make it work. No matter how much detail goes into the explanation.

I believe this is one of the reasons kata applications were not extensively taught until the student really had their technique and belief in it down.

Antidotal evidence from schools in Kyan's lineage is that they don't focus on applications, rather just on improving kata execution.

The answer obviously has layers of issues.

First, what is the technique, the obvious movement, a combination of movements, or fractals of movement.

Second, there are no lines to stop anything. Kata pracitce may be viewed as energy development drills, and perhaps the optimal response isn't from a kata, but the energy release developed in kata technique maybe the underlying structure of the response. In that case the response not following kata is rational.

Third, some (as in Oyata Sensei) hold that the higher levels of defense actually take pieces of different kata to integrate them into a defensive solution.

All of the above have rational design. Personally I focus on the first most of the time, but understand why other ansers exist.

BTW none of the three are answers for the lack of faith in a technique I originally described.

Thoughts,
_________________________
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

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#219210 - 01/02/06 06:57 PM Re: The fighting Mime... [Re: Victor Smith]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Victor -

I am afraid I do not understand your post.

Quote:

Second, there are no lines to stop anything. Kata pracitce may be viewed as energy development drills, and perhaps the optimal response isn't from a kata, but the energy release developed in kata technique maybe the underlying structure of the response. In that case the response not following kata is rational.




This reads to me almost like an argument against kata. Can you clarify please?
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#219211 - 01/02/06 10:14 PM Re: The fighting Mime... [Re: MattJ]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
Matt,

It's not an argument against kata. Rather there really is no evidence what the real past was. Nor is there any 'proof' that karate was just kata.

A strong case can be made that kata was to develop specific energies, and they could transfer into any shape of response appropriately.

In many of the chinese arts, the use of forms is as much for energy development as it is for technique.

Contemporary discussion (say the past 40 or so years) worldwide tends to focus to much on just part of the path, and obscures what may be the larger reality. That the ways of kata are deeper than mere discussion suggests.

IMO this theorum depends on high level kata skill, and the ability to shift appropriate strands of those skills to any movement required.

In fact this is the anthisis of the 'kata is a waste of time movement', for those skills are unlikely to really get developed otherwise.

The dao always stated 'the way which can be spoken is not the way'.
_________________________
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

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