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#305645 - 12/04/06 08:54 PM Shodokan Karate Form Applications?
Dojostudent Offline
Member

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 32
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts Near th...
Okay so I know that there are like 1,000 different moves you can do with just Heian Shodan (i don't know how to spell them, only to pronounce them sorry if they're wrong) but I'm having a hard time coming up with some moves. The most challenging ones for me is Jitte and Hangetsu.

for Jitte:what can that beginning slow motion three-hand move do? and after you do the inside cressing kicks and land in a horse stance, what does that twisting of the hands do?

For Hungetsu: Why the whole thing in a fudo-dachi stance, it seems like an awkward way to fight? also, what does that turning with the knee high in the air do?

Lastly, in Heian Gohdan, when you do the high-ex block, and then twist your hands....why? what does that do?

There are tons more but I don't want to be greedy and I know I have to come up with them myself, but just these I can't figure out. Thank you!!!
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#305646 - 12/04/06 09:36 PM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: Dojostudent]
student_of_life Offline
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Registered: 10/12/05
Posts: 1032
Loc: Newfoundland, Canada
hey bud,

from my limited expirence...

jitte: the twisting the hands in considered to be disarming of a bo from an opponent. or srtiking his legs and feet with a bo you already taken from him. tho there are many non bo applications.

hengutsu: the knee turing high, i was taught, can be lefting your leg over someone trying to sweep you and from the raised postition you can kick them or stomp it down fast on their leg or foot.

heian godan: the high x block, block a high attack and twist their arm over so their elbow is facing up, this helps break there balance. or someone has grabed both your shoulders from front on, cross your hands so your right hand grabs his right, and your left his left, then the twisting motion will cross his arms over, breaking his posture and reading your follow up hammer and lunge.

these are a few i was tought, there are many, many more though. sorry i only answered a few, but thats all i know.

yours in life
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#305647 - 12/04/06 09:40 PM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: Dojostudent]
student_of_life Offline
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Registered: 10/12/05
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Loc: Newfoundland, Canada
.....fudo dachi in hengutsu??, as i was tought the kata only has hengutsu dachi, back stance and cat stance.

if your talking about hengutsu dachi, the kind of front stance with your lead leg turned in slightly, then try fighting someone who like to kick the groin. its designed to protect your mommy-daddy button in one way, another is ......ask the goju guys im not really fond of the inside tension stances my self. sorry.

yours in life
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#305648 - 12/04/06 09:41 PM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: student_of_life]
Dojostudent Offline
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Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 32
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts Near th...
Thanks that gives me some insight. Any other ideas, I still don't see how an inside cressant, that hands up and then twisting them can disarm a bo?
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#305649 - 12/04/06 09:50 PM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: Dojostudent]
BrianS Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
Didn't your instructor teach you bunkai with the kata?
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#305650 - 12/04/06 10:01 PM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: BrianS]
Dojostudent Offline
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Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 32
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts Near th...
No, he wants us to try and figure them out on our own. I've learned a lot on my own, and he will verify and teach some Bunkai, but a lot of it he expects you to figure out. I have a lot more moves I'm trying to figure out, but the above ones are driving me nuts lol.
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#305651 - 12/04/06 10:21 PM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: Dojostudent]
student_of_life Offline
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Registered: 10/12/05
Posts: 1032
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sorry my bad, i was thinking of the wrong sequence.

try this one out. the moves befor the ones in question are designed for the disarming, the crecent kicks, as i was taght are driving knees, and the bo youve disarmed is held high attacking the face, i know its not the most practical bt its all i got.

as for the disarming, here we go, after the palm strikes the hands are raised once to block a bo attack (or a simualtinous block and strike), then lowered to control it and grab it (after the block, grad the bo and force it down). then the raising again is to wrench it from your opponents hands (and strike him in the face/under the chin) and then the knee and strike to his face with the bo.

man is it ever hard to descrive bunkai over the friggen internet....sorry if it dosen't make sense, but like i said it's all i got.

also by placing your leg down and then following with your trunk twisting, you can trip someone up by forcing them over the leg youve placed behind them.

yours in life
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#305652 - 12/05/06 01:09 PM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: student_of_life]
JohnL Offline
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Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
Hi SoL

It's always interesting to hear differing view points on bunkai. I've put my suggestions under yours for comparison.

jitte: the twisting the hands in considered to be disarming of a bo from an opponent. or srtiking his legs and feet with a bo you already taken from him. tho there are many non bo applications.

Try and grab someones Bo and chances are you're going to end up with broken hands. Try this instead;
Move forward using your upper hand to thrust to the side of your opponents neck while using your lower hand to grab your opponents belt or pants. Switch your upper hand to grab your oponents throat. Twist and pull as in the kata while sweeping his front leg out of the way. You should end up with your opponent's back across your knee while maintaining a strong strangle on his throat.
When opponent/Partner turns blue, release.

hengutsu: the knee turing high, i was taught, can be lefting your leg over someone trying to sweep you and from the raised postition you can kick them or stomp it down fast on their leg or foot.

I like to use the move myself as a sweep followed by a stamp to any part of the amatomy that's handy.

heian godan: the high x block, block a high attack and twist their arm over so their elbow is facing up, this helps break there balance. or someone has grabed both your shoulders from front on, cross your hands so your right hand grabs his right, and your left his left, then the twisting motion will cross his arms over, breaking his posture and reading your follow up hammer and lunge.

Instead of using this as a block, thrust your hands to either side of your opponents neck, grab gi and start choking. Release the right hand slightly and pull down. As the opponent is pulled with your left hand your right will slide across his throat into a strangle. I normally follow this with a left elbow to the temple (I'm close in by now and consider the elbow the first part of tetsui or zuki, whichever you're taught) and then punch whatever's left.

Hey, no-one ever accused my karate of being subtle!!!
Try them out and let us know how they go.

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#305653 - 12/05/06 01:25 PM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: JohnL]
student_of_life Offline
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Registered: 10/12/05
Posts: 1032
Loc: Newfoundland, Canada
johnl,

i like that sweep idea for hengutsu alot, thanks!

and as for the x-block chocking, lol ive learned tht one in judo, and im disapointed in myself for forgeting it, lol. its proably one of the better applications for that move too.

and about jitte, like i said i have trouble describing bnkai over the internet, thoes all seem like great ones!!.

yours in life
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#305654 - 12/05/06 07:32 PM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: student_of_life]
Dojostudent Offline
Member

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 32
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts Near th...
THey all sounds great and I never would have thought of them....they're so simple i cna't believe I couldn't see them, maybe I'm overanylizing the moves. Like for the slow hand moves in the beginning of Jitte I was thinking like ok block the initial strike with your right hand, then come across with your left hand to grab the gi, and as you bring it in your right hand comes out palm up to deliver a backfist to the bridge of the nose. And though the ending makes sense, you would never block a punch with the palm of you hand, that's kinda dumb. But that's definetly gonna help me get started with thinking of all the other applications, and I'll know where to go if I get confused again (cuz I think my instructor is getting a little annoyed with some of my questions )
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#305655 - 12/06/06 08:22 AM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: Dojostudent]
JohnL Offline
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Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
For the opening move of Jitte, I tend to use it as a defense against a grab. It can be done either when when the guys grabbed you (Use one of Raul P's patent distraction techniques to facilitate this) or before the grab has got a hold.

For a left hand grab use the move as done in the kata, for a right hand grab simply reverse it.

Use right hand to come down on the inside of the grabbers elbow joint while pushing up at the wrist from the underside with your left. Keep contact with both your hands, push forward and follow the move of the kata. You'll find the guys arm falls into an arm lock over his own shoulder and he should be lying on the floor. Then like any good cooking recipe, beat as required.

Oh the fun of Bunkai!!
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#305656 - 12/06/06 08:53 AM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: Dojostudent]
Barad Offline
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Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 427
Try performing Jitte whilst holding a staff all the way through-you may see that it fits, sometimes in a slightly stylised way, bo strikes, thrusts and parries. My suspicion is that it is not an empty hand kata at all. It may help if you have studied some bo to learn the various overhead, up and side strikes. If you start the kata with the bo held upright in your right hand in yoi (ready) position, the opening slow movement may have you dropping the lead hand (left) holding the bottom third of the bo and the top hand (right) making an overhead strike as you step back. You then step at 45 degrees to the left and make an up strike with what looks ibn the kata like double palm heel, similar to the three towards the end of Enpi. Just my thoughts and very hard to explain without demonstrating face to face.

Fudo dachi appears mostly in Sochin, not at all in Hangetsu, which uses mostly Hangetsu dachi, IMHO a widened and impractical version of the excellent, groin protecting Sanchin dachi.

Barad

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#305657 - 12/06/06 09:18 AM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: Barad]
Dojostudent Offline
Member

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 32
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts Near th...
hmmm i see, I was always told that in Hungetsu it was more like a fudo-dachi stance....interesting. Oh and yes I do have a lot of bo training so I can see the strikes you are talking about. It's weird to think about Jitte not being an open hand form, but using a bo instead, like in shochinikan (I don't know how to spell the bo form sorry). I never would have thought of that since I know Karate literally means Open Hand. Very interesting.....


Edited by Dojostudent (12/06/06 09:19 AM)
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#305658 - 12/06/06 10:12 AM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: Dojostudent]
Barad Offline
Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 427
Excellent-try it with a bo and let me know what you think.

Fudo is a deep cross between zenkutsu dachi and kiba dachi as I see it .

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#305659 - 12/06/06 01:10 PM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: Dojostudent]
Barad Offline
Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 427
On the high turning knee in Hangetsu, if it is of any help, in an earlier version of that kata that I also practice, Aragaki Seisan, there is just a turn into a low, quick front kick to knee level coupled with a strike upwards and then a hammer fist downwards (where you see a downwards backfist in Hangetsu after the turn). I suspect the big, dramatic turn in Hangetsu is just a Shotokanised, more athletic version of the earlier movement without any real significance for bunkai.

B.

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#305660 - 12/06/06 01:27 PM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: student_of_life]
Barad Offline
Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 427
SoL,

I remember being taught by traditional Shotokan teachers that some of these movements in Jitte were for blocking and catching a bo. Then I trained in bo a bit under someone who specialised in kobudo and I was convinced that blocking and receiving a properly delivered bo strike would most likely break your arms and hands unless you happen to be able to wrestle it from someone without their actually striking, which seems unlikely and strength dependent. I prefer the admittedly unproven theory that Jitte is a bo kata itself all the way through.

B.

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#305661 - 12/06/06 01:33 PM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: JohnL]
Barad Offline
Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 427
JohnL,

I like the non-bo interpretation of the double grab and knee raise. I have seen something similar before with a grab to the throat then twisting and it makes sense to me for empty hand.

It reminds me a little of the two handed grab and twists early in Bassai Sho, also interpreted by some as wrenching away a bo but, to me anyway, better as a grab to throat and groin and twist or alternatively as lock on an elbow from beneath whilst stretching out someone's arm.

B.

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#305662 - 12/06/06 03:07 PM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: Barad]
student_of_life Offline
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Registered: 10/12/05
Posts: 1032
Loc: Newfoundland, Canada
Barad,

thats kool too man. i was also taught by a kobudo man who told us that the most dangerous part of any blunt weapon is the last 20%, so while catching a bo with your bare hands is not the best option (commen sense really) it is A option.

and as for having your arms broken by blocking a bo with your bare hands....well if your standing dead on and taking on the intended angle of attack, then yes, yours ass is grass so to say. however many traditional okinawian styles were adapted to be used in defence against a weapon. (the debate of weather or not jitte is or isn't intended for this purpose is another thread) i have seen and preformed myself many a disarm of a bo being whiped around by big, big men. the key as in all fighting is use the right agles of approach. it is always dangerious, yes your right, but who's to say that if your timing is good then you can't get in on him and snuf out the attack befor it becomes a threat, just like stoping a kick really. kicks are powerfull and were taught not to block them head on, similar to a bo.

if your not comfortable with taking a bo from someone empty handed, thats fine and well. but, the bo is only a threat if its given time to build power, like any punch of kick, all it takes is timing.

yours in life
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#305663 - 12/06/06 08:21 PM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: student_of_life]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
Hangetsu's turn to the rear with a descending backfist and a descending toe technique, if you look at the kata sequence, it is a defense from a grap to your arm from the rear. You rise forward, pulling them foward so they intensify their pull back, then you enter with the turning motion, you hand slapping down to break the grab and your leg descending into their leg as a stomp.

The technique is found in Yang tai chi chaun, it is used in baguachang, the rising knee pointed toe kick can be found in the Matsumura Patsai.

There are other potentials but it's the simplest to describe this way.

As a general rule any 180 degree turn is likely a defense against an attack from the rear, in all kata.

On the other hand I really get a chuckle out of using Jitte as a bo kata. If that was done before a competent kobudo instructor their laughing might be why the bo was dropped. Sorry for the joke, but I think it's true, Jitte does not promote good bo technique.

Now the time Funakoshi received Jitte and added it to his Shotokan there are two logical answers as to why it is so, I can't think of words do describe it.

One either there were specific empty hand uses and they werent' shared with Funakoshi because he wasn't good enough, or by extension he didn't share the applications in Japan because the students weren't good enough,

OR, another thought is that the current Jitte was just the beginning Jitte study, and if you reached the advanced level of execution the basic study required, then the additional moves were addeed to make the kata more complete in your study.

I've actually trained in such a tradition, that only after years of hard work were the 'extra' movements shared.

Such a tradition isn't holding anything back, it's just using the tool till you're prepared for what follows.

If that was the case (this is somewhat within Demura's 'kakushite' traditions), Jitte could only be the opening study of Jitte technique.

The wonderful thing is the past didn't care if we ever got more, for if someone knowledgable wasn't there to answer the questions, they succeeded in keeping thier tradition close.

From my perspective, and I was shown how to perform Jitte, the form isn't in my tradition. I think it is worth practice as a difficult energy/movement development form and not worry about how it's applied. By the time you get to Jitte, you have enough technique to actually use, so focus on what it develops in long practice.

Ahh, the old secret, long, very long practice, and subsidiary training values.


Edited by Victor Smith (12/06/06 08:29 PM)
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#305664 - 12/07/06 08:26 AM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: Victor Smith]
Barad Offline
Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 427
Victor,

I am familiar with the movement you describe, which I have seen shown as an application for Aragaki Seisan. hangetsu looks to me to have taken that movement but the very high knee lift was probably an affectation for Shotokan kata tournaments.

I am delighted that the thought of Jitte as a bo kata amused you-I do not think it is nearly as ludicrous as you imply but short of posting film of myself performing Jitte with a bo (I am too camera shy!) it is hard to explain in writing where the strikes etc might fit the movements. I do not think I am the first one to suggest Jitte might have this purpose, as I am sure some article or other planted the seed years ago.

Finally, I have to say that for me-just for me-to practice a form simply for movement development without considering its application is not something I would want to spend time on these days. You are of course correct that by the time most people learn Jitte, they will have many other tools.

B.

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#305665 - 12/07/06 08:33 AM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: student_of_life]
Barad Offline
Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 427
SoL,

Thanks for your post-I was not saying you could not defend against a bo with bare hands and I agree with what you say about correct angles etc. The Jitte applications against a bo taught by the likes of Enoeda and descendants in the UK consisted of, for example striking horizontally at an incoming bo with both arms raised in the sequence of three stamping/crescent kick steps into kiba dachi ending in the first kiai. To me, these are an impractical application, with also no explanation of the high leg movements. Equally, the double grabs were often explained as catching a bo as it descends towards you, no suggestion of moving either side and helping it on its way to the place where you, the defender, just moved from. This is what I had in mind when I referred to broken hands.

B.

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#305666 - 12/07/06 09:41 AM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: Barad]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

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

I always stand to be corrected, but as I visualize Jitte as a bo form it doen't seem very 'bo' from my point of view. I of course can only rely on my practice, and stand to see something that can change my mind. But I have seen Isshinryu's bo (and practic it), Taira's, Akamine and Innoue's groups, as well as Yammani and Matayoshi bo. Not ot mention Chinese and Burmsese staff traditions.

It is against those contexts I base my opinion, but am always willing to see a reality that is different from what I understand.

I also don't practice kata for movement development (for example I don't practice jitte), as my tai chi study is to drop karate-ka not move slowly and prettly. But just because I don't do it doesn't mean it may not have a place.

I only theorize one answer. If my theory is correct you wno't get a better answer until you find someone whose spent several decades in such study. They may exist, but not in my framework.
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#305667 - 12/07/06 10:05 AM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: Victor Smith]
Barad Offline
Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 427
Victor,

I must have misunderstood your comment on energy/movement before.

Re Jitte as bo kata, I will try to find the original source, with photos if I can find them, and post a link. Without this, it is hard to explain convincingly how it might work. I am not 100% sold but equally I do not consider it totally implausible and it felt ok in practice without having to modify the kata to any great extent, unlike many of the IMHO stupid empty hand applications for Jitte that I have seen demonstrated over the years.

B

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#305668 - 12/07/06 10:14 AM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: Barad]
Victor Smith Offline
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Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
Barad,

I frequently discover there are more things under the martial roof than I had thought, and I am willing to be shown wrong.

I don't recall Jitte mentioned as a Bo kata, but perhaps some do it that way. I've seen many empty hand kata done with weapons, which I've seen always as individual practice.

While I've studied the Isshinryu kobudo for decades (and a bit more) I'm not impressed with kobudo for its original purposes, that of fighting with them. The world has turned away from those needs, bo sai kama tonfa for self defense.

What I find parallels older Chinese training, long, very long work with the weapons increases the empty hand potential of techniques, in effect advanced weight training for specific movements. I can show the parallels and see those uses as very valid for my long term students.

I have friends who practice all of the systems I've mentioned, but there is a limit to what anyone can do and I find my practices more than enough.

From my perspective if one wants kobudo the best answer is train directly in a kobudo group. Working it out on one's own might work, but it will take a very long time, imo.
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#305669 - 12/07/06 04:40 PM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: Victor Smith]
kakushiite Offline
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Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 266
Loc: Ithaca, NY, USA
Victor,

In another post you wrote the following:
Quote:

What is the true past, listen very closely I'll give you something totally true. The founders of the current arts had no desire for you, or me or any of us to know the past. Except for the imperfection of oral transmission, they left no record so NOBODY has any idea of what the past was.

And the oral record, nobody can prove. It's simple they didn’t care if YOU would know. They made it impossible for you to know and they succeeded.



I can’t agree more. Some karate practitioners might be blessed with some tie to the past, but these are becoming ever so fleeting as the old masters die off.

Regarding any kata, we should treat them as a blank slate. We can do with them what we can. But we can never know if any idea was in the minds of the developer of the technique, or in the minds of the many that passed it down from generation to generation. Few, if any concepts have been passed down.

Regarding Jitte, we don’t even know much about its origin. Of Itosu’s students, only two passed it down, Funakoshi and Mabuni. Not Toyama, or Chibana, or Nakamura. I wouldn’t be surprised if Funakoshi learned it from Azato and passed it on to Mabuni, the great collector of kata. I would surmise that Mabuni’s has the more modern changes. His version does not include the interesting hand combinations in the opening movements, nor the three successive open hand techniques following the four big kiba dachi movements. (You can view both the Shotokan and Shito Ryu versions on youtube.)
Shotokan - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAiAm0W-zgw
Shito Ryu - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTclr8vsY8k

Year’s ago, I read that Nakayama had said that Jitte was designed to defend against a bo. Now this made good sense to me since I couldn't see much in the way of practical empty hand application with some Jitte movements. I know a little of the history of the arts, and I have learned that the bo was widely used to carry things. A person would lay the bo naturally across the trapezius and shoulders, with pails, or bundles hanging from each end. The pails and bundles would hold water, fish, or rice, wood, or whatever. But the key point is that virtually everyone had a bo, and carried it often. For me that meant that an attacker with a bo was a very common threat.

We all practice this great art of karate. It was just inconceivable to me that the masters would have neglected this common threat and focused exclusively on empty hand vs. empty hand, and weapon against weapon. I believed there just had to be good ways to defend against a bo, hidden well within the kata. I uncovered many movements across many of the kata I practice. But for Jitte, I wanted to understand if the whole kata could be used.

I worked for a long time on a whole series of applications designed to intercept and strip the bo from the attacker. The more I worked on Jitte, the more sense it all made. From beginning to end, I can use any directional sequence, and most all of it makes great sense. I have a good friend in the arts that grew up on a farm, and as a result of milking goats as a boy, he has a remarkable grip. I had to do a lot of trial and error to learn how to break his strong grip on the bo.

Then a few years ago, I made a discovery that many of you might also have made. I began to realize that some movements in kata, which don’t seem to me to have much in the way of good utility in empty hand application, work great when you are holding a weapon. So I looked to each of the Shorin Ryu kata that I practice, and worked to map a weapon to them. And I have had great success. I have found that some kata even map well to two or more weapons. My goal for this weapons training was not to develop new kobudo kata. Rather, I found that the weapons training srengthened my empty hand movements. The mass of a large bo, or of a sai, or tonfa, really help to increase speed and strength of a number of empty hand movements.

For Jitte, I worked to see how a bo could be used. I have made good progress here as well.

Now one cannot expect that the exact hand movement in a kata will map perfectly to both an empty hand application and a weapons application. What I have found is that the Jitte hand movements map extremely well to empty hand defense against a bo. But in order to have effective bo applications, some movements require some modifications. But it was really surprising to me just how little had to be changed to make the movements work well against common bo attacks.

On this forum, I have tried, probably in vain, to share some ideas on application. But I have found that it is very difficult to effectively explain in text all the variables that go into an effective combination. I read somewhere recently that Ohtsuka of Wado Ryu began writing a book, but decided it was impossible. He just couldn’t explain the complexity and variability of a combination in text and pictures.

So while in in karate, a picture may not be worth quite a thousand words, a video certainly can be. So in the next few weeks, I will videotape my Jitte with the bo, with some applications, and also some Jitte empty hand against the bo, and put it up on youtube to share with the fightingarts community.

-Kakushite

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#305670 - 12/07/06 05:06 PM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: kakushiite]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
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we used to practice empty-hand kata while holding chiishi...so maybe kata was designed as a hojo undo? Hey! I could write a book!

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#305671 - 12/08/06 04:55 AM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: Victor Smith]
Barad Offline
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Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 427
Victor,

I have to agree that kobudo for practical purposes is not worthwhile (we cannot carry a sai or bo in London, although there are a lot of guns and knives!) I do not practice kobudo at all these days, as I no longer train with the gentleman who taught it, who also taught karate (in separate classes, not as a hybrid art.) I only mentioned it as it was raised in the forum and, as I have said, I consider it a possibility.

Again I am dredging my memory until I can find time to seek the original information/theory but I think the point was that Jitte was itself a kobudo kata (not an adapted empty hand kata) that somehow ended up in the Shotokan system without an understanding of its original intent, like many kata. I seem to remember reading something similar about Chinte kata but I will research some more before expanding on that. It may of course be nonsense.

In any event, I can see the benefit of training heavy weapon movements if the parallel to some extent empty hand movements.

B.

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#305672 - 12/08/06 05:01 AM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: kakushiite]
Barad Offline
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Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 427
Kakushiite,

Interesting to know that I am not the only one to have considered Jitte holding a bo (if I have understood you correctly). I look forward to seeing your photos of the kata showing defence and attack with a bo.

B.

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#305673 - 12/08/06 08:04 AM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: Barad]
kakushiite Offline
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Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 266
Loc: Ithaca, NY, USA
Barad,

You are not the only one to think that Jitte can be used holding a bo. Several years ago, 24fightingchickens.com had pictures of Elmer Schmeisser holding a bo in each of the Jitte postures. His argument that it was a hidden bo kata.

My study of the kata leads me to a different view, supporting Nakayama's claim, which I would imagine came from Funakoshi. (Where else would Nakayama have gotten it from?) I believe that fundamentally Jitte is an empty hand kata designed to defend against the bo. But miraculously, as with so many Shorin Ryu kata, it still works with a weapon, and in this case, the bo. To me this gives a yin-yang quality to the kata. Two complementary opposites (empty hand or with bo) providing a completeness. In this case, providing for defense against the bo whether you have one or not.

It is my view that the weapons part requires a fair amount of tweaking to make it work (to have useful applications against another bo, or perhaps sword). In contrast the empty hand applications work pretty much as they are found in the kata. As I noted in my earlier post, regarding what these movements were truly designed for, we can only guess. From the masters (at least in the Itosu line, and to some degree with Kyan's students as well) although we have received the kata, there has been remarkably little instruction handed down on how the movements were to be used. So we should expect that we all would come to different conclusions about how kata movements can be used.

Regarding Nakayama's claim, I find it rather unique. He didn't say that parts of the kata were to be used against a bo. He stated that the kata is for bo defense.

In his books, Nakayama published a lot of kata application. As I have discussed in other threads, I simply can't believe that this is what the masters had in mind when they designed the kata. IMHO, virtually all of it is based of poor fighting principles. But regarding Jitte, we have from Nakayama this kernel of information, almost certainly from Funakoshi, that the kata is for bo defense. In all of Funakoshi's writings (at least those available in English), there is no similar statement, especially one so full of information.

Regarding my videopost, I would do it sooner, but I need some time since I haven't worked the Jitte kata, nor the applications I developed, in years. So I have a bit of practice ahead before posting.

In another post I offered Student_of_Life video of some of my ideas, and he responded "ohhh its like christmas!!". So for Student_of_Life, Merry Christmas.

-Kakushite

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#305674 - 12/08/06 09:07 AM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: kakushiite]
student_of_life Offline
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woot for HO HO!!!
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#305675 - 12/08/06 09:53 AM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: Dojostudent]
oldman Offline
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#305676 - 12/08/06 07:00 PM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: Dojostudent]
gojumaster Offline
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Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 46
Just to clarify...it appears that you are talking about ShoTokan.

ShoDokan is a branch of Goju-Ryu created by Higa Seiko.

Best Regards,

Russ
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#305677 - 12/09/06 05:58 AM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: kakushiite]
Victor Smith Offline
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Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
Kakushite,

I've just been watching a few different jitte performances..

I believe I see it's potential as a series of technique insertions into bo attacks. Perhaps that was an older use of Jitte. I also see it's empty hand potential and can see where, following one of my instructors paradigm's, additional techniques complete some of the empty hand usage.

Being outside of my lineage and that I don't focus on empty hand defense against bo or other Okinawan kobudo practices, I can see why I haven't thought on this before.

I can understand what a bo in the performers hands might do while performing jitte, but I still feel it's not a kobudo kata at source. But I would enjoy seeing your interpretaion of that, and would not be disappointed if that changed my mind.

"True" kobudo stylists occasionally critize Isshinryu's kobudo as moving too far away from the original technique. I belive the source of their comments would be that Shimabuku Tatsuo's training was too short to get the 'real stuff'.

Perhaps they're right, but performing the Isshinryu kobudo curricula does most definately increase the power use of our empty hand technique in application as they decades pass. Even more so as the base remains Isshinryu.

The addition of kobudo into karate as been a rather swift infusion. I think we're still sorting its potential out.

You have many different lineages and Jitte might have been developed for countering bo, but consider how long ago that was?

I've read that the turn of 1900, the police and court logs from Okinawa show almost no crime of note. Karate studies before that were very small groups of people. As it seems most of todays karate practices solidified from the mid 1800's onward, in a period where people weren't really attacking each other with weapons (except perhaps for an antidotal story), if jitte was developed specifically for countering bo usage, it has to have been in a very distant past.

Perhaps in the end we can only understand the progenitors of today did their job really well and left no clues by their design.

We wonder and probe don't we?
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#305678 - 12/09/06 10:16 AM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: Victor Smith]
student_of_life Offline
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the history i've herd about jitte, is that jitte, jion, and one ji-type kata all came from a temple and a monk, who the kata were named after. but, then again the history i've herd is most likely just as authentic as what the rest of you have herd.

but if this is true in the smallest sense, maybe some research into the monk jion and his temple would help. unless i have been beaten to the punch again and this subject has already been researched.

have you herd anything like this victor??

yours in life
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#305679 - 12/09/06 11:08 AM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: Victor Smith]
kakushiite Offline
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Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 266
Loc: Ithaca, NY, USA
Victor,

As usual, a thoughtful reply. Thank you.

I must reiterate something you said before.
Quote:

What is the true past, listen very closely I'll give you something totally true. The founders of the current arts had no desire for you, or me or any of us to know the past. Except for the imperfection of oral transmission, they left no record so NOBODY has any idea of what the past was.

And the oral record, nobody can prove. It's simple they didn’t care if YOU would know. They made it impossible for you to know and they succeeded.



I believe your statements are true for all of karate, not just the empty hand. You mention “true” kobudo stylists. In my view they have no monopoly on interpretation. As you said above, the old masters left no record. They didn’t for empty hand, and my belief is they probably didn’t for kobudo as well.

As Taira Shinken went around the islands collecting his kata, I wonder just how much the masters shared with him beyond the kata itself. He didn’t really leave a record that describes how much he learned in addition to the kata. What he learned, and what he figured out is all blended together. As as far as those who denigrate Shimabuku's contribution, all I can say is that he had plenty of good training and in my book, he was more than competent to be able to figure out what he needed to and create useful concepts as well.

Now we have students of students of Taira Shinken and others claiming to be the “true” kobudo stylists. I look at Taira Shinken’s system as I do Mabuni’s. A vast collection of kata with incomplete application handed down with it. Your description of our legacy, IMHO, applies equally well to kobudo as it does to empty hand. (Caveat, I am no authority on Shinken's art, but I have seen different interpretations of kata movements that descend from him, and I wonder how many of these were his. There is a fundamental problem when you amass 50 kata. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okinawan_kobudo) Passing down the kata alone is a vast and daunting task. Successfully training your students in the hundreds of application concepts in addition to the kata is just not practical.)

When I look at kobodu across the various arts, I find it fascinating just how different the basic movements are, just as we find in empty hand. Akamine’s (Taira Shinken’s) kobudo art, Soken’s kobudo art, Oyata’s kobudo art, Hayashi’s kobudo art, Shuguro Nakazato’s kobudo art, Matayoshi’s kobudo art, Oshiro’s kobudo art, Richard Kim's kobudo art, Nagamine’s kobudo art, Miyagi’s kobudo art, Funakoshi’s kobudo art (yes he did pass it down to some students.). The list goes on.

They are all so very different. Often two or more systems may share a kata with the same name. But the differences are analogous to Itosu's and Kyan’s different versions of Chinto and Passai. These share only a fleeting resemblance. What is very interesting to me is not so much the different patterns, but just how different basic movements are.

For the reasons you state above, I don’t put a whole lot of faith in so-called "experts" who claim to be able to tell what is true and what isn’t. I wonder just how many effective family kobudo arts never survived to be shared with the general public. If the many kodubo variations are any clue, any newly discovered art would likely be different. But as with many arts, it would likely contain its own internal logic. If some GI suddenly brought to light some obscure art he learned 50 years ago in some Okinawan village, his art would likely be ridiculed by "experts" as not "Okinawan" because it didn't look like the other arts. I would find such a statement to be foolish. Since so many of the surviving kata and systems are all so different from one another, how could one draw that conclusion.

I view Jitte in this light. While many of the movements can be used for empty-hand against empty hand, some IMO, just defy good application in this context. I have found however, that all the movements can be used quite effectively against bo attacks whether you have a bo or not. The kata to me has a comprehensive internal logic in dealing with bo attacks. I can't help but believe that these concepts must have been in the minds of the developers of this kata. I do recognize that this is a novel approach and many today who have not seen or practiced these concepts find this bo-defense approach unconvincing. But as you stated above, we have only the kata (and Nakayama's statement) and nothing else that guides us in any particular direction. We have only our own ideas and the judgment of our students and peers as to the effectiveness of them.

Regarding your mention of crime statistics, I would like to share the following thoughts:

First, I think the development of the Jitte kata might precede 1900 by many years.

Second, although I believe the personal histories we do have were likely embellished, they are full of fighting, challenge matches, and bands of thieves and ruffians out to prove themselves. (See Funakoshi’s My Way of Life, Richard Kim’s Weaponless Warriors, Mark Bishop’s numerous tales, including one regarding the possible cause of Ankichi Arakaki’s untimely death. p.82.) There are so many stories similar to Nagamine’s tale of Kyan’s riverside challenge. Regarding the statistics, my uninformed belief is that many of these fights and robberies may well have gone unreported to the police.

Finally, regarding the need for empty hand defense against the bo, I have another suggestion. Itosu wrote that one of the main purposes of karate was to prepare for military training (2nd lesson of tote). I believe, therefore, that Itosu had a strong incentive to hand down kata that would develop such skills. Bo fighting skills and skills for empty hand against the bo would have direct practicality in military service. Bayonet fighting began in the early 1800’s and it is likely that Itosu was well aware of this military development.

-Kakushite

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#305680 - 12/09/06 11:15 AM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: student_of_life]
Victor Smith Offline
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Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
student,

John Sells Unante describes Jitte, Jion and Jiin as being found in Kobayashi, Shito and Shotokan. The origins have stories about temple or monk origins but nothing that can be verified. The Demura article on Jiin and the Yamashita article on Jion from the 70's do not explain their history. Tony Annesi's text on the 3 kata roughly covers the same ground but also mentions the Wado folks use them too.

Back to my assertion the seniors did their job right and made sure nobody could ascertain the truth.

P.S. Something tells me we should be getting paid for discussing and sharing this in public <GRIN>


Edited by Victor Smith (12/09/06 11:19 AM)
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#305681 - 12/09/06 11:24 AM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: kakushiite]
Victor Smith Offline
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Registered: 06/01/00
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Loc: Derry, NH
Kakushite,

You're responses are thoughtful and filled with information as well.

I found the idea of bo as prepartion for bayonette training interesting.

Funakoshi was working in Japan in the pre-war, or early Japanese conquest years, but there's no record he shared bo as pre-military skill development.

The apparent rise of kobudo systems within family or very local groups does not seem to have influenced preparation for military training by including bo studies from what I've read.

The thought is fascinating, but was it acted upon and used that way?

Just asking,
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#305682 - 12/09/06 07:58 PM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: Victor Smith]
kakushiite Offline
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Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 266
Loc: Ithaca, NY, USA
Victor,

Kobayashi systems (at least the systems that descend from Nakazato, Higa and Miyahira) practice Jion only, not Jiin or Jitte. Regarding Wado, it is a derivative of both Shotokan and Shito Ryu, and so has Jitte and Jion. I neglected to include Wado Ryu because I was only discussing the kata of Itosu students of which Ohtsuka was not one. Of arts that descend directly from Itosu’s students, I believe Jiin and Jitte are practiced only by Shotokan and Shito Ryu. That neither Chibana nor Toyama systems practice Jitte and Jiin make me wonder if one or both may have come from Azato rather than Itosu, or perhaps one of the other masters Funakoshi studied with. (In My Way of Life, he mentions studying under Kiyuna, Toonno, Niigaki, as well as Matsumura. p.13.)

One thing I find interesting regards the sources of kata. Kyan shared with us which masters taught him which kata. On the other hand, Funakoshi only partially does that. He says that during 10 years of training with Itosu, he learned only the three Naihanchi kata. But he never catalogs which other kata he may have learned from Itosu and which from Azato or other masters. If Funakoshi did learn Jitte (and/or Jiin) from some other master, it would not be surprising to me if shared the kata with Mabuni, the great kata collector.

Regarding the concept of bo defense for military training, I do not believe that this would have been something important to Funakoshi. I think the opposite. Although the Japanese military conquests did not begin until Funakoshi was in Japan for 12-13 years, I imagine he found the Japanese attack on Nanking, and its staggering loss of life to be unsettling. IMHO, I can’t imagine a peaceful scholar such as Funakoshi would have wanted to enhance the skills of the Japanese military in any way whatsoever.

Rather, I think that Itosu, who had such a key role in introducing karate to a broader community, may have been more concerned with this. With this in mind, he may have chosen to pass down techniques in kata that could be used for this purpose.

But this gets back to your point regarding the fundamental lack of transmission of application for kata. I imagine it was always that way. You would be taught a kata and after you practiced it for years, you should be able to decipher the movements for yourself. (Itosu tells us this in his 6th lesson of to-te). If a student weren’t able to develop much, then perhaps they would need to practice the kata another few thousand times.

I have an idea regarding how masters might have revealed a kata's secrets, while transmitting virtually nothing. I have no historical basis for this, so I indeed recognize that the following is pure speculation. But this is how I imagine that students might have been introduced to a kata's great capability.

We all know that if we are shown a large number of applications, especially quickly, say in a demo, our senses get overwhelmed and we forget almost everything. (Thank goodness for video cameras.) Also we all know that if we are acting as uke and techniques are done against us, especially rapidly, that it is hard to see just what is going on as we are on the receiving end, getting hit, trapped, locked, and taken down. We are more concerned in ensuring a good attack than with what follows.

So I speculate the following may have occurred. Itosu or Azato, having fully mastered a kata like Jitte, would teach this kata to Funakoshi, and make him practice it thousands of times. Only then, would they ask Funakoshi to pick up the bo and attack them with all sorts of different attacks. They would respond in rapid fire, using the many combinations to defend against the bo. These masters would be lightning quick, and the combinations would be instantaneous.

In the end, Funakoshi would come away, well knowing that the kata had great depth. But he would likely be able to recall very little of what had just been thrown at him.

Whether he was then able to re-engineer any of what he was shown is a matter of speculation. He probably may have come up with a few ideas, maybe what he had seen, maybe some of his own creation. It is all irrelevant, since Funakoshi chose to pass down so little in the way of complex application.

We can all speculate on why Funakoshi did not choose to share sophisticated kata-based fighting applications with his students. Maybe he was taught a great deal, and excelled at developing great kata applications and of this great knowledge, he decided not to teach much. On the other hand, maybe he learned kata, but was not shown much application, and never endeavored to figure out useful applications. We can never know. To me, this is all irrelevant.

IMO, Funakoshi believed the art was for something other than fighting. If one trained really hard (and his students did so) even in the absence of sophisticated kata applications, one would still greatly improve his fighting ability. But what was important to Funakoshi, as with many masters, was that the study of the art was to improve the character. The less “fighting” he taught, the less that bullies would want to train. Rather, only those truly dedicated to the art would remain to train.

IMO, Funakoshi likely trained in a system of endless kata with little or no sophisticated application taught. Although he may have later attained great knowledge, he ultimately decided to pass on his art the way he first learned it. And for better or worse, that's what we have for his legacy. Many choose to complain about Funakoshi teaching schoolboy karate. Fortunately a growing community is following Itosu's 6th lesson and delving into his kata to uncover the great fighting applications hidden just beneath the surface.

I trust that when I post my concepts, that you will judge them on their merits and let me know if I meet your standards for useful applications, as I reveal some concepts (bo against bo, empty hand against bo) that you may not have considered before. I look forward to your feedback.

-Kakushite

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#305683 - 12/09/06 10:45 PM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: kakushiite]
Victor Smith Offline
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Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
Kakushite,

I look forward to your sharing your understanding of the kata technique applications.

I don't hold to the schoolboy karate answer myself. I think it's become a derogatory shorthand to try and encompass events that are much larger and detailed than that phrase implies. But we live in times where people don't care much about the past and are willing to surrender to simple answers than the larger more complex reality.

In my experience it is very difficult to share technique application studies in depth until the student has entered real indepth training. I don't think applications weren't passed on purpose, they weren't passed because the students total abilites were not of a place that they could perform them.

I follow several of my own instructors paradigm for that instruction. Before black belt the student only focuses on a relative handfull of techniques for development of fitting skills. But I do show them a great range of what those applications will do if the student is ready to receive them. Next I share a rather simple application, show it in full detail, really work them on it's path of application and sit back and watch them discover they really can't do simple things I can do with ease (and I'm getting old and slow).

There are many factors involved in this, but I feel the major reason is they don't trust the technique and when faced with the pressure of even modest beginning training attacks, they don't believe in themselves and then do something else. That loses site of the mission, specific skill acquisition.

I'm certain the applications were there in the past, but I wonder how skilled they were at transmitting how to make those applications work, and with the full range of potential in any of the karate sysetms, how to pick and choose, etc., is the larger skills after all.

Good discussion.
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#305684 - 12/10/06 08:01 PM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: Dojostudent]
Mark Hill Offline
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Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 1068
Loc: Australia
for Jitte:what can that beginning slow motion three-hand move do? and after you do the inside cressing kicks and land in a horse stance, what does that twisting of the hands do?

The salutation is an augmented s-lock. The unfolding of arms ends in a finger lock on one of the two pairs of fingers. The separate movements emphasise the motion needed to throw someone after you have locked them out or upset their balance.

For Hungetsu: Why the whole thing in a fudo-dachi stance, it seems like an awkward way to fight? also, what does that turning with the knee high in the air do?

Fudo dachi and sanchin stance are like a boxers stance. It offers stability and lateral evasion. The turning is an arm bar or finger/wrist lock which then gets augmented by the step over and the following knee of the kick. it's been a while so that may not work out.

Lastly, in Heian Gohdan, when you do the high-ex block, and then twist your hands....why? what does that do?

High x-block CAN be used to block attacks...but not like what you see in the movies.

i) Use the "movie block" but very quickly and immediately twist away and roll it into an arresting motion behind their back

ii) Intercept the arm slightly below the elbow on the biceps (in front of the arm) and slightly above the shoulder on the biceps (behind), and roll them down.

I think I may have repeated what others have said...
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#305685 - 12/11/06 10:07 AM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: Victor Smith]
student_of_life Offline
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shame on you victor, you teach for free!

thanks for the info too, i guess we can never know...unless chen zen comes out and admits he founded those kata just to screw up us dumb kata folk, until then nothing i guess.

yours in life
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#305686 - 12/11/06 01:26 PM Re: Shodokan Karate Form Applications? [Re: student_of_life]
Barad Offline
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Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 427
SoL,

Common karate wisdom has it that Jitte/jutte means ten hands (implying strength of 5 men perhaps or ten onehanded men ), Jion means temple sound/bell and Jiin means temple ground but I believe the verifiable meaning is unclear because the characters used nowadays to write the name of the kata are not necessarily the ones used originally. The "monk" connection may be spurious. "Ji" I think means mercy or somthing similar and supposedly there are many temples with names such as Jion in Japan. Maybe it just refers to a distant relationship to Shorin/Shaolin martial arts. I will have to look in the Bubishi to remind myself if any of these are referenced as Chinese forms originally.

There are certainly obvious similarities between the three, including the fist in the hand at the start, mirrored movements start Jion and Jiin, three palm strikes (3 shuto in Jiin/3 tetsui strikes in Jiin and Jion, latter with stamping kick, stamp in Jitte with high almost tetsui movements), manji-ukes and age-ukes in all three but also techniques common to only one kata (double fist techniques end of Jion, possible bo grabbing techniques in Jitte, wedge blocks etc in kiba dachi end of Jiin). All three always felt similar in practice and the embusen are very similar as well. I have read that some people think Jiin and Jion are variations of the same kata or alternatively that these three kata make up a separate system but who knows...

How could we ever really find the origin unless you discovered a Chinese group previously unknown using identical forms? Does it matter (although it may be interesting), if we are still able to find practical applications for the movements?

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