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#316338 - 01/24/07 01:08 PM Re: Low x-block [Re: Shonuff]
Barad Offline
Member

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

Granted as a flich response, putting both hands crossed in front of your groin is better than being kicked there. I also accept that most Shotokan sparring involves little or no grappling of the kind I was describing as well as obviously no recognisable uchi/soto/age/juji uke techniques. However I find it very hard to see this as the original intent of the movement in the kata that you referenced because to do so would mean ignoring the surrounding movements and seeing one position in isolation. I cannot believe this is the way the kata were constructed. I find the idea of techniques flowing into each other (eg cover/strike/lock/trap/takedown) a more convincing explanation of sequential kata movements than taking one and finding an application for that on its own.

I will put the suggestion that I kick my training partners in the groin to test their reactions tonight and see if they agree to this kind of hardcore training!

B.

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#316339 - 01/25/07 12:37 AM Re: Low x-block [Re: student_of_life]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

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

I particularly like the mention of using the transistion from stances to throw. Thats not something Ive considered before.

As for the stances being low and contributing to footwork, I give it a maybe. To me though, being in a more relaxed stance while applying my art, my feet move differently and so does my weight distribution, since Im not in the same low, or elongated stance. I do agree that a by product of that training would strengthen the muscles and work the balance, giving you the ability to get better results from your footwork training.

As far as training multiple applications in kata, I understand how it could be done, but you must admit that many students, especially beginners, dont eplore much outside what is taught them. Blindly teaching a kata with one application for something that has found to bear multiple answers isnt a good way to teach, IMO. I think if you are going to stick to tradition and teach kata, then you must take your time with it, so that a student can yeild all he can from his teachings.

One technique. Make no mistake, every strike or attempt at my opponent is meant to do structural damage of some type. I want to end it as quickly as possible of course but I dont rely on the one thing. If I punch, I punch again. Or I grab and slam or grab and break. Whatever the case may be, the first hit might have got the job done, but after several, I feel much better about turning my back and gettin out of dodge.

Great Discussion. Thanks.
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#316340 - 01/25/07 03:50 AM Re: Low x-block [Re: Chen Zen]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
'As for the stances being low and contributing to footwork, I give it a maybe. To me though, being in a more relaxed stance while applying my art, my feet move differently and so does my weight distribution, since Im not in the same low, or elongated stance. I do agree that a by product of that training would strengthen the muscles and work the balance, giving you the ability to get better results from your footwork training.'

im pretty much with you here Chen, I see NO benefits to footwork by training very low stances as a habbit.

application of progressive force - now we are talking and specifically in the grappling range, under pressure tends to work from a solid base,

example think of an untrained person pushing a car - wide/long legs, low centre of gravity etc etc.

Natural is what my karate is all about these days, and that means getting a shift on with footwork, hence we train dynamic sttepping as a core method.
_________________________
Jim Neeter

www.shoshinkanuk.blogspot.com

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#316341 - 01/25/07 08:20 AM Re: Low x-block [Re: Chen Zen]
student_of_life Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/12/05
Posts: 1032
Loc: Newfoundland, Canada
well thanks,

i have to say it again about that stances, i feel the same way. while training in a low stance does have "x" benifets, i can see how training in the narutal stances are "closer" to reality and therefore definatly a mst if your to understand how to generate power at all ranges.

if you get the time to kill, check this site out...

http://blog.iainabernethy.com/

hes a guru when it comes to using shorin styles and applying them, just scroll down a little and take a look at the video posted there about a short application of a clasic reverse punch, knife hand block, and lunge punch. i think it will look closer to a "western combat" style then most would have thoght.

as beginers learning kata: its very true that most beginers are almost to scared to look for anything out side what they have been tought in trms of application or theory. however it's my beleife that its not the beginers place to ask to many questions, to many to the point where he fails to trust his instructor's wisdom. for example, while i was teaching hiean shodan to a new guy last night, i would go over each sequence preaching srtance transition, arm placement and posture, ect. and for each move i would breifly explain how they could be slightly altered to be answers for different attacks, but i told the student that using variations of a movement will come after he has a fair understand of the basic principals of movement and strength in general. the goal i train beginers towards is proper clasical exction of all the techniques, so that through the technique they learn power and speed, and through becoming familiar with certin kata and kihon pratice, they learn to, as mickey put it in on of the rocky movies, "snarl when they punch" i want them to understnad what intensity means, after they don't need to focus on there hands and feet anymore. once they get to this level, i'll open more class time to applying different movements in different ways. most drop out befor this though, as they don't see pratical application being praticed from day one, i feel thats its more right to teach them to understand the language their body speaks and to use it efficiantly first, befor we play.

we should spar sometie chen, lol, if were ever in the same time zone. we might learn something, or we might get into a cat fight,haha

yours in life
_________________________
its not supposed to make sense

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#316342 - 01/25/07 08:34 AM Re: Low x-block [Re: Chen Zen]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
A lot of quick considerations.

Low stances don’t work. As an Isshinryu stylist our basic front stance is more akin to a boxer’s stance than most styles. Long ago I had a discussion with a friend I was completing against at many tournament who was a Shotokan stylist. I tried explaining why Isshinryu must be better because of our higher stances allowing more mobility. He responded that I felt they were better than the lower Shotokan stances, and before I finished replying “Yes”, he exploded back into his front stance and then placed his foot in my mouth with a front kick. Lesson learned: always make sure you fully understand the capability of the person you’re trying to make points to before you make them. His Shotokan was and is very explosive, and stances are just tools, how you use them is the issue not which ones.

X-Block. Isshinryu contains the ‘x-block’ in kata Chinto, though I was never taught it as the block using the bottom of the ‘X’ formation to block say a kick. Rule, all block are strikes and or parries, all parries and strikes are blocks. We were taught it was a low block to a rising kick (not straight on) with an very quick following strike into the bone of the leg with the second piece of the block. So what looks like an “X” was a block/punch. There are various ways to use this against legs or the lower body, and there is a dynamic reason to have the punch cross the wrist of the other hand when striking, it more strongly aligns the strikers body behind the punch, to hit with greater power. In Chinto the ‘x-block’ is done in two directions, and one of the varieties of interpretation is using the initial strike to follow with a projection from the resulting arm lock.

From a broad view, x-blocks/strikes are special use techniques as opposed to general use techniques. They’re more situational in nature, and require higher level of training and experience to utilize correctly. Many of the skills in karate follow similar guidelines and unquestionably many don’t undergo the necessary skill development to use them more than just for exercise. But consider situational techniques did evolve because some situations could occur.

There is no guideline how kata applications should be taught. I personally don’t think much of the here is the kata now you take the time to figure out what to do with it, but many systems do teach that way.

The strongest model I know don’t train specific kata application until after reaching black belt training. In the prior ranks, situational self defense techniques are focused on.

Then there are different answers. Such as taking a kata move by more and exploring dozens of applications within each movement, and that also entails redefining what a movement within a kata represents on occasion. Other answers are to use kata as a technique encyclopedia and at each level of black belt training change the technique being studied. They are not better answers than just studying one application for each technique, they are philosophically different approaches to training. In any case correct skill development is required. Techniques must work and the goal is to take any technique and learn how to drop someone.

These courses of study are not intended to be quick answers for self defense. If local conditions are extreme, they would not be pursued for more strategic answers for the environment.

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

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#316343 - 01/25/07 09:17 AM Re: Low x-block [Re: Victor Smith]
student_of_life Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/12/05
Posts: 1032
Loc: Newfoundland, Canada
i was begining to think you had retired victor. nice to hear from you again.
_________________________
its not supposed to make sense

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#316344 - 01/25/07 02:26 PM Re: Low x-block [Re: Barad]
Shonuff Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 604
Loc: London, UK
Ignore the surrounding movements!?!?! ME!?!?!

Herresy I tell you!

Believe me dude, I do take into account the surrounding movements, it's just that here I only discussed the technique and gave a synopsis of what happens after, without discussing where it came from. Also I probably apply those surrounding movements differently to you.
It was the surrounding movements that lead me to think that in those kata the app I described was the most relevant.

As I said I belive that each kata teaches a consistent theme or themes and you cannot get that from random single position applications.

When I first posted on this forum I got quite frustrated because kata application discussions often didn't go beyond the opening three moves of a form. Standing to attention alone (moving into a block if you were lucky) could be 50 lethal death moves. There was no need at all for the rest of the kata and that made no sense to me. I think this discussion on a single technique is longer than every discussion I've stated about a single kata as a whole.

As far as the low x-block goes I do wholeheartedly agree that there are other apps, but I do also think that sometimes a block is just a block, and sometimes that block teaches us more than some shoulder lock we already know how to do. Saying that, I was taught the low x-block was to be used as Victor described it, but then at one point I was taught all blocks were to be used like that.
_________________________
It's Shotokan not Shoto-can't!!!

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#316345 - 01/26/07 02:45 AM Re: Low x-block [Re: Shonuff]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
If we ever get the chance, Id love to take you up on the offer student and thanks for the link, Ill give it a look when Ive got time.

Victor, always nice to hear from you and very informative. I found one line in your post particularly interesting. Im going to parahrase it but you said "These courses (Karate) arent intended for quickly learning defense". Why? I Understand that karate is a fully capable self defense system and the heart of japanese arts. I would imagine at its conception that it was designed for the purpose of combat, and having stemmed from chinese arts that it would have had some sort of structured form for teaching purposes. So if this initial base form was designed for these purposes in a similar fashion to the procedure in which its taught now, why the change over the years?
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#316346 - 01/26/07 08:24 AM Re: Low x-block [Re: Chen Zen]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
Chen Zen,

Why would karate be designed for a quick course of defense.

Of course we have almost nothing but the various oral histories to go on as the past instructors did a great job making sure nobody knew anything outside of those personally trained, so there is much speculation.

But for one thing, in the past 150 or so years when karate as we look at it today was defined, Okinawa wasn't a violent place. It wasn't a war zone (WWII excepted) and people didn't rush to find karate instructors to be safe.

If it does follow the Chinese models, they likewise are not quick systems to learn, many of them taking far longer than karate to develop because of the vaster depth of their systems of study.

Solely based on my experiences, it takes a great deal of time to give someone the skill and then the faith in that skill to use many of karate's application potentials. By inference that might explain why oral history tells us many instructors didn't get into the study of kata applications till the students had many years of training. Why give them what they can't perform, might be a reason.

But I don't focus much on the past, just what I've seen and what I teach.

For the record, too Karate has nothing to do with the Japanese systems of study, except it tried to blend into them beginning in the 20's and 30's in those arts that transplanted into Japan. Those blendings (rank, uniforms, organizations) didn't hit Okinawa till after WWII, in large part because Japan controlled the education system, and that they gave Okinawa to the Americans (coursg 'gave' isn't exactly the right word) and they finally got who was in charge - Japan in large part.

Outside of speculation, I reject anyone really knows why karate was developed, all we have is what has passed through many hands to today.

While interested in the past, my personal focus is how to make my students understand what I do and increase their potential.
_________________________
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

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#316347 - 01/26/07 10:27 AM Re: Low x-block [Re: Shonuff]
GriffyGriff Offline
Good Egg,
Member

Registered: 01/28/04
Posts: 414
Loc: Earth
Whoa dudes you seem to be missing the point here.

Picture the scene....
You are about to be attacked by 2x (Austin Power) Mini-Me's.
They are running with wild abandonment towards you and in parallel.
You wish to dispose of them quickly without breaking your stride.
When they are within striking distance you quickly use the movement of the lower X-Block to simultaneously punch each of the little miscreants in the side of their heads, thus forcing them to change their evil little trajectories, outwards and behind you.
You walk on, whilst they career out of control behind you.
....
Simple...

Job's a good-un.

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