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#289047 - 09/29/06 08:14 PM Re: Experiments with Matsubayashi Ryu [Re: Ed_Morris]
Unsu Offline

Registered: 09/29/06
Posts: 142
Loc: San Antone, Tejas
I have trained in Shorinkan and Matsumura Orthodox for many years now. I also trained in Matsubayashi Ryu for some time.Even amongst these three very closely related subsystems, power is generated in varied ways.

Shorinkan uses a lot of koshi/gammaku. It also utilizes elements of rising and falling power. Speed and power in conjunction are used a lot in Shorinkan. The use of crescent stepping in kihon and kata is meant to train this. Shorinkan guys tend to use more muscle than sinew power.

Matsubayashi uses very little rising and falling power, at least at the dojo I studied in. They tended to focus on using the hips more. They use straight stepping, unlike Kobayashi and Matsumura Seito. Mr. Morris showed a video from Okinawa which showed a sensei practicing his stepping punches. If you notice he recenters and uses crescent stepping when performing it in the correct manner. Is he a Matsubayashi Ryu stylist? If so the he practices his kihon stepping different from the way a Matsubayashi guy is initially taught. I also noticed that he perferred the use of a low chamber vs. the signature high chamber of Matsubayashi. Chambering is also an important aspect of learning to maximize your body and physics when delivering a closed fist strike, but that's a discussion for another time.

Matsumura Orthodox uses a lot less hip than Shorinkan pre-yudansha- not the way I learned it but that is what many dojo teach. It does use a lot of it after Shodan at which time one should have gleaned the salient training points of Seisan which teaches proper use of koshi, as well as rising and falling power. Many of Kise's students from the mid 70s-early 80's will tell you that a lot of their punching techs were arm punches with little use of the hip. They even abandoned the crescent stepping. Others who trained with Kuda will tell you that hip was emphasized. Could it be that Kise still had a lot of Shorinji Ryu in him (Kyan derived karate)? Could it be that Kuda still had a lot Okinawan Kenpo in him (Nakamura derived)?

Regardless, from my experience someone well-versed in a solid Okinawan karate system, who is also tutored by a very diverse and knowledgeable sensei will understand the principles of rising and falling as well as the use of the Earth's rotational force from the ground up- tranferred from the feet to the hip to the arm(s). Being relaxed or having as little anatgonistic muscle action as possible is also salient. That is what is meant by whipping power whether from punches or kicks.

Btw Mr. Morris your punch in that vid had good speed, but you did push your punch, instead of going through the target and retracting it to your guard as fast (or faster) than you punched through the bag. It takes many years of training kata/kihon to understand how to actually use your punches in a very effective way. That's where karate differs from a sport like boxing. Once the ideas are tailor-made for the practitioner the benefits of karate training are myriad, much beyond the superficiality of throwing a proper boxing punch or having great ring acumen.

Oh and keep your guard hand up. Good thread.

---Bryan the lowly Nidan

#289048 - 09/29/06 11:13 PM Re: Experiments with Matsubayashi Ryu [Re: Unsu]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
Hello Bryan,
Thanks for Sharing.

#289049 - 09/29/06 11:31 PM Re: Experiments with Matsubayashi Ryu [Re: Unsu]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
interesting post Bryan, and thanks for the pointers. I believe the bag strikes looked a little like pushing, because I held the arm out (intentionally) and since the bag had quite a bit of swing due to the length of it's chain. guard hand, chin tucked, etc ...I wasn't concerned with that during the exercise....just simple impact training with the punch from fukyugata. but I do have a tendancy to 'arm punch' from the shoulder.

separate sub-topic: I'm surprized nobody picked up on what JohnL noticed last year, when I showed this vid privately....which I believe he was quite right. In fukyugata san, I had a 'top heavy' reliance of power generation instead of it coming from the lower body more. This input from John led me to look at this pretty closely. Turns out, all I needed to change was the amount of sinking of my hara into the technique...and lead with it more when transitioning to another. a beginner would not have got that till years later...and I wondered, 'why is that?'...

one of the problems I found with shorin basic kata (including and particularly pinan kata), is that I didn't know what I was doing...literally. there wasn't any visualization because I wasn't imagining application. but the pitfall in learning that way is that the student is thinking just body mechanics, but doesn't know the GOAL of those mechanics....

so, I was told that shorin is 'lighter' and with less rooting than goju...and thats what I tried to do - hence the adjustment to stress upper body vs lower body -I thought in order to be 'lighter' then the lower body needs to be looser....but without knowing the application, how the heck is someone going to do the correct mechanics? the answer: they mimic their instructor (who hopefully knows what the mechanics are used for in application).

all well and good, BUT...

too often what I've seen and heard in TMA is the student mimics their instructor...but the instructor doesn't really know WHY those mechanics are the way they are. It becomes a study of body mechanics for the sake of body mechanics...the goal becomes the look and feel of the 'style' vs. the utility.

Is Karate mearly the study of a style of movement? It sure seems like it in the modern big-dojo ...I think it's suppossed to be a study towards the goal of a fighting method with particular tactics.

you've heard people say, "we've all got the same 2 arms and 2 legs". I'd add: yes, and we've also got the same potential in our brains too. just studying movement for the sake of stylistic movement is one-dimentional. if trophies are the goal, then that seems to be enough for people. let the masses do what they do best: trivialize. If we are serious students, we'll need to use our brain and work it out just like the rest of our body.

That said, the direction I'll go in the next post is taking a look at what I saw as the specific differences between a simple Matsubayashi kata and the Goju version of it. Fukygata Ni. not just the mechanical differences - but, with everyone's help, why we think those differences are present. I'll try to make and post supporting video this weekend for the conversation.

Matsubayashi's Fukyugata ni and Goju's Gekisai ichi were composed as one kata in joint corroberation of our two line's founders: Nagamine and Miyagi. After the corroberation in 1940, the kata split into two separate versions. I think it's a perfect place to start if people are into really looking at this.

so to recap the goal: compare Fukyugata ni and Gekisai ichi and theorize upon the REASON for the differences.

more to follow this weekend...

#289050 - 09/29/06 11:38 PM Re: Experiments with Matsubayashi Ryu [Re: Ed_Morris]
aoishi Offline

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 123
Loc: Massachusetts

That sounds like a really interesting comparison and with video it should make for a grat thread.

>separate sub-topic: I'm surprized nobody picked up on what JohnL noticed last year, when I showed this vid privately....which I believe he was quite right. In fukyugata san, I had a 'top heavy' reliance of power generation instead of it coming from the lower body more.

I don't know if it is the same thing, but I did mention that I saw less "loose koshi" than I see in some of the better people in my (Matsubayashi) dojo. In other words, power production looked like it was upper body.

I think I'll stop there before I again!

#289051 - 09/30/06 12:16 AM Re: Experiments with Matsubayashi Ryu [Re: aoishi]
kempo_jujitsu Offline

Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 1914
Loc: illinois, usa
maybe a bit off topic, but there has been talk of crescent vs. straight stepping.
im not a karate practitioner, so bare with me here. this is fascinating.
the steps in kata, are they meant to show the way that particular "style" moves? or could it be more application oriented, or interperated.
what i mean is, a sense once told me when i was working on one steps or set self defense techniques, any time you are stepping...other things can be happening. ie...when you step in you can kick to the shin real quick, which may not be noticed. and any kick can be a knee strike...etc etc. you know where im going with this.
just an idea i had while reading this thread, for example the crescent step, could be, against a left stepping punch, i might step in with my left, the first "half" of the step could aid in dodging the punch, and the second half could simply off balance the attacker. it could also be stepping around the opponents leg and behind him...just some ideas. the straight stepping could also be a dodge/change of angle. or a more direct entry if you will. infact the sensei i referred to bases all of his teachings on entering, its all in how you enter into it. would it not be better to practice both methods, for different reasons? could you not train outside the box, and use crescent footwork in your kata training, even though its not technically part of your style?
you can do anything you want just cant always do it alone
to ask is a moments shame, not to ask, and remain ignorant is a lifelong shame

#289052 - 09/30/06 12:18 AM Re: Experiments with Matsubayashi Ryu [Re: aoishi]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
I think I know what you mean...they are related, but not exacly the same thing. keep in mind too, koshi can be overexaggurated to it's detriment. in other words, too much koshi and you've got wasted movement. but as Victor and Paris (kichigai - good name btw ) mentioned, overexagurration is also a training device.

there comes a point in everyone's training when there is no need to overexaggurate anymore.

#289053 - 09/30/06 12:23 AM Re: Experiments with Matsubayashi Ryu [Re: kempo_jujitsu]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
you are on the right track. Goju absolutely has a tactical reason for cresent stepping. The answer to that is best shown in Judo.

watch a match sometime and look for the cresent step and why the use it.

#289054 - 09/30/06 12:32 AM Re: Experiments with Matsubayashi Ryu [Re: Ed_Morris]
kempo_jujitsu Offline

Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 1914
Loc: illinois, usa
hi ed,
thats exactly what i was thinking, coming from a kempo jujutsu standpoint.
osoto gari. is a prime example, that, and kazushi were the two things that jumped out at me. i used to do that to my friends all the time, side step then step (not separately) right back into them and knock them back.
in kempo/kenpo circles, they have some unique takedowns which use this principle. i once heard it called occupying space, you basically replace your opponents center with yours, of course from a weak angle, preferably, or when he is still committed to his forward momentum for example. i have some video of professor kimo ferreira demonstrating some techniques, and i also saw vic leroux do similar techniques, basically moving into a front stance backwards is a great takedown. almost like a back kick thrown at the ground.
thats at least three arts that use similar things, only teach them differently. but i think they're all more similar than we want to think.
this is jujutsu, but its karate, kung fu, and kempo too..they just teach it differently, or use it for a different purpose.
you can do anything you want just cant always do it alone
to ask is a moments shame, not to ask, and remain ignorant is a lifelong shame

#289055 - 09/30/06 12:36 AM Re: Experiments with Matsubayashi Ryu [Re: Ed_Morris]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms

A couple of things my body timing had a hard time adjusting to:
* matsubayashi's whip-like punch. first thing is knowing how to hit with a relaxed fist. imagine your hand as a 10lb weight at the end of a wet towel. lead with the hara...follow with the hip...follow with the shoulder...and let the rest fly out - all in one motion. don't 'muscle' or 'push' the punch. Matsubayashi gets it's power from the snap like the end of a weighted towel.

This is an idea found in JKD as well. When Bruce Lee would give the punch demonstrations this is the type of punch he would use. It sounds like a very interesting style. Impressive video Ed. Good Training.
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

#289056 - 09/30/06 02:47 AM Re: Experiments with Matsubayashi Ryu [Re: Ed_Morris]
jc4199 Offline

Registered: 07/10/05
Posts: 362
Loc: Pevely, MO U.S.A
As I do not study either of the two arts that we are comparing I do know full hand about what you are talking about. I our kata we step in a crescent step kind of like you would step around a barrel. The main reason I can think of using this step is it helps keep you shoulders level and dose not give off the impression of moving forward. By cutting down the up and down movement of the shoulders. It is kind of creepy to watch our instructor walk at us and not see him and coming forward.

As my instructor was a brown belt in judo before he started his Karate training in Japan he may have gotten this from judo as well
Defeat never comes to any man until he admits it.

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