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#326729 - 03/10/07 08:00 PM Re: Temple Boxing - A study of a system [Re: medulanet]
Shonuff Offline

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 604
Loc: London, UK
Thanks for the input Med. The idea that these kata are Tomeri-te is not mine, as I said these are just about the least understood kata in Shotokan, but every source that notes any history of the kata states that they are of Tomari, and before that chinese origin.

I can certainly see a similarity to Ananku, mostly in Jion, but not enough of one to suggest that it may be an origin for these forms as it lacks anything like the signiture techniques of the three kata in question.

Lets for a moment assume that the vague history given is correct and that these kata are of chinese origin and were passed down through Tomari. If this is the case then it is likely that the forms would have been standardised from their chinese origin to fit the Tomari mould which according to yourself -

"is about evading, getting in close to grapple in the clinch range in order to launch striking techniques to eventually take your opponent down and finish them on the ground. It can be used other ways, but this is one of the main fighting philosophies."

Shotokanisation as I have come to understand it, more often than not just meant changing the way in which the principles are conveyed in the kata. It may account for the lack of the key combination you mentioned, or perhaps tomari te was simply broader in it's approach than you thought. After all there are only so many occasions that you need to repeat a sequence and the kata you mentioned may not encompass the entirity of what was tomari-te.
Either way if we take the information of the Kata's origins as true then your description of tomari fighting principle gives us a reference around which to build (rebuild) applications, and so find exactly how these forms fit together.

Thanks again for the input, I think it will be very valuable!
It's Shotokan not Shoto-can't!!!

#326730 - 03/11/07 06:27 AM Re: Temple Boxing - A study of a system [Re: shoshinkan]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
Hi Jim,

I think the assessment that the "J" kata are kihon kata holds weight.

It is difficult to discuss kata you don't practice. I've had a slight touch of them in Shotokan but nothing more than suggesting they were other forms.

Back in the early 1970's Demura Fumio demonstrated the kata in detail in one of the older karate magazines. Of course he reversed a movement or two so nobody could learn the right kata from that magazine (old style thinking but often done in those presentations).

His kata was Jiin, from the Shito Ryu he practiced. He did not explain the kata's derivation, but the article did include a explanation of 'kakushite - hidden hand' with accompanying photo's of one of Jiin's hidden secrets.

If anyone wants a scan, contact me privately and I'll get around to sending it.
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

#326731 - 03/11/07 06:27 PM Re: Temple Boxing - A study of a system [Re: shoshinkan]
Shonuff Offline

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 604
Loc: London, UK
Hi Shoshinkan

As I mentioned to Medulanet, I realise that there seem to be mostly non Shotokan karateka here, however I was hoping to find some of the kata reverse engineers who floated about the net before everyone went to schools that have always taught application based karate. (they were few and far between a few years ago).

Failing that I would like to try and pool any and all knowledge that may be relevant to a study of the forms (based on the information we have on them) and see what we as a group can collectively make of it all.

So then let me ask some different questions. For those of you who practice Shuri-te derivatives, What principles theories and applications dominate the tomari-te kata that occur in your system?

For the naha-te practitioners, Do the kata shown or parts of the kata shown bare any resemblance to anything you do? They are said to be of direct chinese origin and I often here of the chinese connection to naha-te.

If they do bare resemblance, in what way? and what are the naha-te equivalents used for?

For those of you who practice or have knowlege of chinese arts, particularly shoalin styles, do any of the movements or sequences look familiar.

I read somewhere in my research that the double claw movement from zenkutsudachi in Jitte (immediately before manji kamae) occurs in the bubishi as one of the illustrated defences, a simultaneous throat and groin grab.
Do any of the bubishi researchers out there recognise any other movements?

Personally I don't think that these kata are purely kihon, especially not within systemised Shotokan. Jion was the Final kata taught by Funakoshi when he brought the original 15 from Okinawa. The Pinan and Naihanchi were all present at that point and they teach more than enough kihon between them. Plus Jitte Jion and Jiin each have fairly unique signiture movements that take up around 50% of the form.

I would ask that anyone helping with the analysis tries to forget that the forms are Shotokan and imagine they are from your own system. What then would you make of them?

There you go, question for every persuasion
I look forward to reading the responses!
It's Shotokan not Shoto-can't!!!

#326732 - 03/12/07 01:46 AM Re: Temple Boxing - A study of a system [Re: Shonuff]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772

For the naha-te practitioners, Do the kata shown or parts of the kata shown bare any resemblance to anything you do? They are said to be of direct chinese origin and I often here of the chinese connection to naha-te.

I don't know the kata, but since you ask of opinion based on overall impression is that it's so highly formalized (at least from the videos), that perhaps most of the natural movement of it's application principles may be obscurred beyond recognition.
so I looked at older video:
no help there. the interpretations are utterly rediculous. and it appears just as stylized as the modern video. (the video is a good example of how not to interpret kata, particularly when you only have a highly stylized form to begin with.)

comparitively, the three kata do seem related. they all have wide open movements, all have a similar subset of sequences. There were only a couple movements I could identify...those found in Gekisai and Fukyugata introductory kata of Miyagi and Nagamine. There was some hint of Pinan movements as well...particularly from Pinan sandan.

my wild guess is that if these were indeed from China...they are northern forms. You may start by having a look at Northern Long Fist forms. other than that...I got nothin' sorry.

#326733 - 03/12/07 06:22 AM Re: Temple Boxing - A study of a system [Re: Ed_Morris]
WuXing Offline

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
18 Arhats - this one is a modern representation of what they say is one of the earliest Shaolin forms

Lohan Quan, which is based upon the 18 Arhats movements

Da Hong Quan, big red fist, another style incorporated into shaolin "Northern Fist"

Xiao Hong Quan, another red fist form

Pao Chui, cannon fist, another form incorporated into shaolin

Qi Xing Quan, Seven Star Fist

Tong Bei Quan, Connecting Fist form

These are all pretty standard "long fist" sets. Of course, who knows if the way they are now is the way they were a couple hundred years ago. Their present incarnation is certainly more complex than the shotokan "temple" kata. That is the case pretty much across the board with karate kata, however. If they were derived Chinese forms similar to these, something was lost in translation.

#326734 - 03/12/07 07:22 AM Re: Temple Boxing - A study of a system [Re: WuXing]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
I was thinking at a more 'basic shape' level:

but a wild guess is a wild guess.

#326735 - 03/12/07 09:44 AM Re: Temple Boxing - A study of a system [Re: Shonuff]
Barad Offline

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 427

Thanks-my view is that pretty much all of the applications are or should be viewed as close up including striking/locking/grappling and striking. Even the kicks have to be seen as low, albeit shown as chudan in the kata, to be in the right position to then grapple and triple punch in the early sequences. The extended stances are just "Shotokanisation" for show and they should be ignored when looking at applications IMO. I agree there are steps into strikes but even a short step (and with an added slide even better) can add power to a strike.

Striking attacking arms to disable them is great in theory but this is more what I had in mind with the outstretched arm, attacking an attacking limb and trapping, not just receiving it passively but to my mind the main arm techniques are for hitting in the head and neck to make for a hopefully quick finish, not giving people sore arms.

As for the Tomari controversy, I always heard this as well but it was rarely substantiated in terms of technique. Nor did I ever hear Tomari technique defined by a single trapping block/strike either but who knows? Personally I am less interested in lineage (I used to be) than practical usage.

I sense quite a lot of antipathy to Shotokan by other karateka on here. Personally I do not find these kata that basic, although they are quite easy to perform and if I could reliably use instinctively a good proportion of the bunkai that I see when under pressure, I would be happy, as in many cases they seem to provide decent responses to common attacks.


#326736 - 03/12/07 01:52 PM Re: Temple Boxing - A study of a system [Re: Barad]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
I'm curious as to how people would interpret this signature:

is it defensive or offensive? or is it a throwing principle?

the other reason I say it may come from Northern Chinese forms is the exaggurated extention of arms. other Shorin kata also have exagurations approaching the flambouyant. It's almost as if no application was intended at all, but more an overall 'economy of movement' exercise.

another instance in the J katas ... it makes very little sense to turn 270 degrees to face an opponent. the only reasonable principle can be a throw for such a turn. But the demonstrated range of what the kata shows seems problematic dynamics to interpret it as such.

all I can say is: good luck with that.

#326737 - 03/12/07 01:58 PM Re: Temple Boxing - A study of a system [Re: Ed_Morris]
Shonuff Offline

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 604
Loc: London, UK
Ed, thanks for trying
I think I see what you mean about similarities to Pinan sandan. Any other Naha-te stylists about? Goju, Uechi etc?

Just a couple of questions, what did you mean by too highly formalised, and what do you consider stylised and unnatural about the kata? How then do you feel about the Shaolin forms?
Do you have any links to video's that give good examples of interpretting kata?

Wu Xing, thanks for the links, I forgot what a joy it can be just watching Shoalin forms and I think they will be a valuable resource for this study. I agree that Karate kata are usually much less detailed than kung fu forms, I can only imagine that it implies that the Karate forms kept the core essentials of what was passed on by the chinese dignitaries/monks/sailors etc who taught the Okinawans.

Barad, I agree these forms aren't basic, around 50% of each are non standard signiture techniques, Jion and Jutte were at the end of Funakoshi's original syllabus while the forms that we know make up Shotokan kihon, pinan and naihanchi were at the beginning.
I feel the individual applications of the kata movements are secondary to how the apps relate to each other.
Take Jion for example, the last age uke to the first kagi zuki may be seen as a counter attack throw and floor strike. The last taisho to manji uke and jodan morote uke could be the same thing but with a lock instead of a strike. Assuming both are correct, what is it about the kata that shows us which is approriate when?
I think I have become fascinated with these kata precisely because of how open and varied manyof the possible applications and underlying ideas are. And I am one who believes in pinning apps down and defining kata.

As for antipathy... well that's just the cross we Shotokaner's have to bear until the legacy of JKA ignorance is overcome.

Just out of curiosity, what do your teachers at Kissaki Kai have to say about these kata.
It's Shotokan not Shoto-can't!!!

#326738 - 03/12/07 02:09 PM Re: Temple Boxing - A study of a system [Re: Ed_Morris]
Barad Offline

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 427

My comment to Shunuff addresses the stance issue I think-they were introduced for show without any consideration of what they do to the application and possibly for leg strength training. Once you revert to a shorter stance as they originally were, it makes a lot more sense.

As for 270 degree turn into a throw, that is precisely, almost word for word, what I wrote earlier in the thread. I agree that is the likely application.

I am not sure I would consider the arm movements especially flamboyant. To me, where I have an application for them, they make sense if you have someone else's arm/head/hair/body trapped or locked or grabbed in some way.

I do not like the way that gentleman represents manji uke (arm too high for me with no bend). It is hard to describe an application but after a turn, it can be the end of a throw but without a turn it can also be an entry with mawashi uke (as the arms cross) followed by a downwards strike (lead arm) to the back of the head now at chudan level and a lock/grab on the opponents attacking arm. I practice both of these regularly as manji uke appears so frequently and for me they work well as far as i can tell.

The interpretation depends massively on the preceding and sometimes the following movement. It also suffers from the general Shotokan tendency to lengthen any arm or leg position, even if only for show, as I mentioned above and this can disguise the usage.


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