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#306191 - 12/06/06 05:17 PM Re: ambidextrous kata [Re: Ed_Morris]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
you make good points Ed and it's something im not totally sure of myself.


I come from the place (first 10 years of training) where both sides were worked hard, on everything and the theory was that you could do everything on both sides equal as needed, good training I guess.

Currently for bunkai practise we work both sides, however I accept that we have a weaker side and I cant say I make a point of working harder on the weaker side these days, to many other things to ge ton with.

Im trying to be as true to the kata as possible, and as you say it would seem that the kata favour one side in some movements - why isnt everything repeated and returned to first position ? (which by default trains one side more anyhow),

Perhaps mirrored kata is important from this respect?

Part of what I do is to strip my karate down to its bare bones, including training practises,

I do this as I want an applicable self defense system ie natural and effective, as historically accurate as I can make it (ie karate) and that doesnt require much sophistication, just hard training over a long period of time......it gets the job done.

Sure both side skill is obtained and beneficial but is it really the main driver in defending oneself to the level required? (different from tournaments or arranged street brawls of course).

As an example if we think of karate blocks, as blocks/deflections my foot/body position can generally mean that a 'one sided' technique ability is effective and keeps me in my comfort zone, or I select another appropiate technique, from a small batch of techniques that work.


ie front face punch coming in a left shuto uke has function dependant on my timing, distance irrelevant of which arm is coming in.

ie I will end up inside or outside - but shuto uke is trained both sides so bad example, I would use the relevant arm as best I could..........LOL

no easy awnser here I think, I know that I have trained front kicks hard for nearly 20 years now and yet when I spar relativly heavy (with a bit of pressure) its my left leg front kick that hits the honey spot - rarely the right??????????????? My right hand punch does the damage on body shots, always has...........

I think Victors point on time avalaible is a fair one and one I accept means that I NEED to have ability in a small set of things as opposed to spreading myself to thin.

I guess the opposite views of training boths sides to the same level or working your strengths both have merit.

But then again im an odd one as I genuinly find that I have favorite sides for nearly every technique, and a few that naturally work well both sides.
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#306192 - 12/06/06 06:09 PM Re: ambidextrous kata [Re: shoshinkan]
butterfly Offline
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Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
Jim,

Perhaps I am just over-thinking with respect to all of this (especially considering how I generally view kata), but basically I am just coming from this simple point: If you work a defense for a grab to your right hand using some simple techniques, wouldn't you work it in the reverse if your left hand was grabbed? That's it.

To me, if you are right handed and the opponent is more to your left...you can always throw a right cross or reverse punch in that direction. Now if he was to your right, all other things being equal, wouldn't you want at least a close approximation of ability to throw a left cross or left reverse punch over that way?

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#306193 - 12/06/06 06:18 PM Re: ambidextrous kata [Re: butterfly]
shoshinkan Offline
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Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
'wouldn't you want at least a close approximation of ability to throw a left cross or left reverse punch over that way?'

Yes perhaps you would,

but that isnt the same as making your weak side as good as your main side, which takes considerable effort and specific prolonged training.

Or you could just use another technique I guess is my point?
_________________________
Jim Neeter

www.shoshinkanuk.blogspot.com

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#306194 - 12/06/06 06:35 PM Re: ambidextrous kata [Re: shoshinkan]
butterfly Offline
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Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
I understand what you are saying, and yes, perhaps finding something "almost" as usuable would be ok too. My feeling is that you are still working out weak spots and thus, bring more utility to the game for efficiency's sake on one's weaker tools.

My argument would reside in the fact that everyone practices kihon with the idea of using both arms and both legs in a similar way for all techniques done. You generally do an equal amount of right front kicks to left front kicks, despite feeling better with one side.

If I slid down the range of things to Victor's consideration (if I took his reasoning correctly) then I would only practice front kicks and side kicks with my right, and round kicks with my left...since these are my strong sides for these techniques. The point being, that utility of anything lies in its practice and I want to have more than moderate proficiency with my "weaker" side...not saying I would accomplish equality, but the learning and practice is there for use in case I find it more efficient to throw a good left, instead of doing three other techniques to accomodate my strong right.

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#306195 - 12/06/06 06:38 PM Re: ambidextrous kata [Re: shoshinkan]
MattJ Offline
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Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Quote by shoshinkan -

Quote:

but that isnt the same as making your weak side as good as your main side, which takes considerable effort and specific prolonged training.

Or you could just use another technique I guess is my point?




I guess I'm not understanding that, either.

Difficult for me to get why anyone wouldn't put emphasis on learning techniques both sides. At black belt level in AKK, you are expected to be able to do all the SD techniques fluidly on both sides, and the same in BJJ (starting at white belt).
_________________________
"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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#306196 - 12/06/06 07:30 PM Re: ambidextrous kata [Re: shoshinkan]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
what if my strong side for a particular technique happens to be the opposite of what kata shows? should I change the kata?

I know I'm being difficult - just instigating thought is all....

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#306197 - 12/06/06 08:06 PM Re: ambidextrous kata [Re: Ed_Morris]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
someday I'll learn and not try and make quick posts for a layered topic.

First some definitions.

A mirrored kata is performing the kata starting with the opposite side. If Seisan begins with Left Foot Forward Left Side Block Right Reverse Punch, Mirrored Seisan begins with Right Foot Forward Right Side Block Left Reverse Punch.

Most kata do techniques in series of two, three or four. As three seems unbalanced the idea behind mirroring a kata is that you are getting stronger with the side the source versions is slighting.

There are some tai chi groups that do this. At some point in their training they switch the form into the mirror version.

I have worked this a little, but it's not a focus of my kata practice.

I have no idea what any of you do, but I practice my kata as my instructors taught me. Each technique has meaning to be used to drop/break/throw/down/strike/whatever an opponent. Just because one side does it twice and the other side of my body does it once does not mean I work to make the application potential weaker when I use it.

BUT, most techniques can stop any attack if your training encompases the range of what they are, if you understand the correct way to set the opponent up so your angle of insertion works, etc. If your left side block right reverse punch is stronger, you can use it successfully against left or right grabs/punches, as an example.

Kata, as I practice it, is an energy development device. Working the application potential (with layers of ability) is a different task. I don't find that mirroring a kata inreases one's of your' sides abilites.

One of my instructors when he teaches the kata, actually takes each technique and works drills for the student on both sides, decoupling the techniques from the kata, as well as practicing the kata. Both tools have separate uses.

Back to definitions. Reverse kata is the concept you start on the end of the kata and work the kata back to the beginning. Mirror Reverse kata is the same but beginning with the other side.

Reverse kata is actually a vast concept, for when you look at the application potential of techniques backward, you are in for some surprising ideas.

BTW, These concepts and the marrying of the study of each techniques application potential is larger than anyone can really address. You can pick and choose pieces of it, but as the field is limitness you might well end up locked in a babble of potential.

Back to the idea, why have many kata? Again you do what you were shown. It's balderdash that in the past 100 years people tried to find simpler ways to look at their arts. Time after time people trained with multiple instructors and the arts grew.

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 didnt' care if YOU would know. They made it impossible for you to know and they succeeded.

You can logic any answer you wish, and it's unprovable, just logical, which is very very very different from true.

If one of your sides techniques are weaker, you have to train so that isn't so. Playing with the kata may help, or may be irrelevant, because I still maintian the real purpose of kata is to learn how to marshall your energies in your movement.

You might only ever need one movement for every occassion, but the wider potential of deep kata study might help you develop that one move far better than it itself.

pleasantly,


Edited by Victor Smith (12/06/06 08:14 PM)
_________________________
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

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#306198 - 12/06/06 09:05 PM Re: ambidextrous kata [Re: Victor Smith]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
thanks for elaborating Victor. never heard of 'reverse kata' nor do I see benefit....kind of like playing a beatles record backwards: it might vaguely happen to sound like something, but probably not intended.

about mirror kata - I understand performing the kata starting with the opposite side and working thru it. ...but I'm talking about taking a segment of kata of your choice (lets say, the opening to Sepai since we both are familiar with it), then working the principles of that opening with a partner (again, the application/interpretation of your choice).

will you ONLY develop the one-side of the application? or wouldn't you switch it up both sides? of course there will always be a favored side....we've all done simple punching on both sides pretty equally left and right, but yet there is still a dominant side - so I'm not talking about working hours and hours trying to remove that bias.

opening movement of seipai: let's say for arguments sake the interpretation is an attack from the left side - parry with the left hand while dropping down into an open right hand mawashi attack to the neck.

reset. now...someone attacks from the right side....repeat with it's 'mirror'.

makes sense doesn't it? the kata shows only one side, but it should go without saying that both are trained fairly equally. even people who don't train applications from kata work both sides in such drills, so theres the sanity check.

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#306199 - 12/06/06 09:49 PM Re: ambidextrous kata [Re: Ed_Morris]
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Ed, I guess you train application differently in goju than we do in shorin. For the most part in shorin an attack stikes. It doesn't have to be left or right. An attack simply strikes. I can use the same techniques against both left and right, however, they will be applied differently. Although I do train both sides it is simply because I am very comfortable doing so. However, in shorin there is no pressing need to, simply because blocking with the right hand, punching with the left hand, and turning 180 degrees can be applied in so many ways against any attack.

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#306200 - 12/06/06 11:06 PM Re: ambidextrous kata [Re: Ed_Morris]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
Ed, there are more things under the heavens than in our stories..... Reverse kata is an obscure practice, but it is real and works because it's just another layer of techniqeu. Few will undertake it because of the lack of time or inability to move in new dimensions.

One result of training programs often is to put walls around what exists, and create limits. That isn't bad or good, just the result of a training program. How we use those walls or learn to climb over them depends on many factors.

I feely admit I understand the training approach, but my own studies don't leave much time to really focus on it, and there are more layers still than what I've mentioned.

You might remember what you don't understand can often bite you. Its just how you play the percentages and how much you want your application of your art to be unknown by anyone else, including your students (another hint).

As far as working a technique, it's not just raw power. Many techniques can be worked soft, half soft half hard, and hard. A weak side isn't necessarily weak if you understand those potentials.

I recently took a long clincs where all the hard blocks wered done soft with great effect. The weak side might just be a mental focus instead of a reality.

In any case our training must be balanced on those portions of the art we're working with.

From my perspective our arts are vaster than any human being can fully approach. We only need a fraction of a fraction of their technique to stop anything. But life if its long allows us to keep building new skills and discarding some older ones, to keep our focus alive, our potential ever changing (so even our instructor doesn't fully know what we are - another hint), and the continual binding of everything together to craft a greater whole.

BTW, anyone who doesn't want to touch those potentials, I'm fully cool with too. Its what you can do that matters.


Edited by Victor Smith (12/06/06 11:08 PM)
_________________________
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

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