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#326739 - 03/12/07 02:25 PM Re: Temple Boxing - A study of a system [Re: Shonuff]
Barad Offline
Member

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

I have never heard Vince Morris (Kissaki) talk much about kata origins on his courses. Occasionally he will teach by looking at the variations between say Enpi and Wanshu or Tekki and Naihanchi. Mostly it is just about finding credible interpretations, of which there are many (and they hurt, when applied to me at least!)

The central Kissaki tenets, not specifically about kata, are I suppose distraction, unbalancing of opponent, very close striking (ideally to weak points) and flinch responses with immediate, deep entering/closing followed by continuous, very aggressive counters forward (i.e not just one or two techniques) and no withdrawal (except as a deception) in response to an attack against you.

B.

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#326740 - 03/12/07 03:49 PM Re: Temple Boxing - A study of a system [Re: Barad]
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Quote:

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?




Its not as much about the technique, but the principle it conveys. In addition it is about it being a core technique of the style, one seen in different variations, but is usually seen, at least in the karate of Kosaku Matsumora. However, Oyadomari and others may have seen karate a different way. Does your style have any core techniques which convey principles of fighting which are almost always seen?
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#326741 - 03/12/07 07:34 PM Re: Temple Boxing - A study of a system [Re: medulanet]
Shonuff Offline
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Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 603
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Med, As I see it each kata or group of kata is a style in it's own right. The things which make an individual kata unique are what will make the style unique.

Ed, with regards to the image of manji uke you displayed, the movement is positional, neither offencive nor defencive in and of itself. The particular image you selected is not the best example but then kata are designed to hide applications not just contain them. However as Barad and myself have said there are direct applications for this movement as it is.
Also in combat one will often need to overcome resistance even if it is just the weight of the limb, an exagerated practice, like practicing punching through a target, can prepare a student for the extra energy required in real. I've experienced this southern kung fu as well as karate.

"I think one of the key features is in the Manji uke. It is used for slipping to the outside of an attack, where the high hand grasps the wrist of an incoming punch and pulls it back and high as you step past the punch."

I wrote this in an earlier post in this thread. This application is taken from one of Funakoshi's books (he actually wrote more down than people realise) and leads into a number of useful applications.

270d turns are not always throws, spinning attacks are often best used when changing direction/target (next time someone hops to the outside of one of your punches instead of just realining try spining straight into an ushiro-geri). Sometimes a turn will just represent a change of opponent and nothing more.

If you look at the oizuki that leads into manji uke in Jion as stepping into the opponent and slipping your arm under his to come around his waist the whole movement becomes one fluid entry and throw. Just as blocks are not always blocks strikes are not always strikes.
The preceding technique is a high block, but it obviously is not a defence against a jab as it is too large a movement, and you could never just step in and slip your arm past a gaurded balanced fighter. Thus you realise that the full age uke movement is specifically for use (when applied as a block) against larger movements (the kind of wild unbalanced over arm swing that an angry untrained thug might throw) that allow for such an opening to be exploited. And there as we see several apps come together to give us a rule for applying them we find ourselves a fighting principle. Adjusting the application of the age uke in context with the rest of the sequence alters the principle to deal with different situations. It is this applicable knowledge I am interested in more than historical origins. I feel that principles such as this one should likely be expanded on or added to across the course of the three kata.

I think what most people forget is that there are different ways to fight. Different philosophies that all work equally well as theories and whose success is only differentiated by the fighters who make use of them. The Crane kungfu I learned combined two different (actually probably more) close quarter methods in one. Trad Shotokan is one method but study of the kata (at least in my case) shows a variety of stylistic methods. Ive deciphered a different method again from the gojuryu that I have seen and a different one again from the what I have experienced of goju sparring.
In kata all we see are dead representations of these styles so it will be difficult to find the why's and wherefore's if you only understand one method of fighting as being correct (not saying that is you but it is often the case).

I personally think long stances work fine in the right context, though I don't make much use of them anymore. The Shoalin and a vast number of chinese styles were quite happy with long stances on battle fields, civil conflicts and self defence situations for many centuries. Even the JKA traditionalists know not to use a long static stance as your base but as a position to explode into to shift weight etc.

Any more ideas or theories about the J-kata?
_________________________
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#326742 - 03/12/07 09:09 PM Re: Temple Boxing - A study of a system [Re: Shonuff]
Victor Smith Offline
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Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
In quest of showing a relationship of the "J" kata to Northern Shaolin kata, I'm afraid my experience and studies don't lead me to make that relationship.

First if you take a look at the Shaolin forms previously presented they use a East-West embusen or lines to perform their techniques. The Jion-Jitte-Jutte kata do not follow that embusen line.

Now the temple they refer to might be the Southern Shaolin Temple (I have no idea if their forms are similar to the Northern Shaolin ones I've seen and slightly touched), but from a Northern perspective I don't see a relationship.

I base that more on just seeing what I've seen and/or can watch. I believe the Okinawan's really worked not to change their forms, in terms of the basic floor pattern (embusen).

As time passed many of the kata undergo tidal flow of change, but not to the pattern. They might turn in a different direction, but on the whole the embusen remains, even if some things are added.

Almost all of the Seisan share a common underlying pattern. The same with Chinto, Kusanku, Wansu, etc.

With such cultural tie to retain part of the past, I don't accept they would take Northern Chinese forms and mutate their embusen. Likely it is a very different source.

Separate points - critizing shotokan's potential is not rational. For exmaple their stances aren't as long or as deep as the Northern Shaolin ones. It's not the stance, it's how you use it.

Undoubtdly much of the applications shown are based on beginners training concepts, even when done by black belts. That doesn't preclude other potentials, unless the group choses not to do more.

My brush with the "J" forms came on Shotokan's Jion, but I only touched it a bit. Nor did I study the application potential. My Shotokan instructor does not follow the current trend, but rather his fathers instruction, using application as the Demura explained kakushite, techniques having nothing to do with the kata. So the kata becomes a physical training mechanism in his art, and the applications are something else entirely. His art isn't the standard Shotokan, but his father began his own study in the 30's under Funakoshi, and their art is what it is, private.

There is just technique, and the knowledge or ability to make it work. If you work until you can make it work what others think is irrelevant. If you can't make it work but you keep at it, in time things will happen. Then again if you write it off as unusable, guess what it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

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

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#326743 - 03/12/07 10:11 PM Re: Temple Boxing - A study of a system [Re: Shonuff]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
Quote:

with regards to the image of manji uke you displayed, the movement is positional, neither offencive nor defencive in and of itself.



not sure what that means exactly, what is a 'positional' movement?

Quote:

but then kata are designed to hide applications not just contain them.



for the kata that were taught in the middle school system after the turn of the century, I'm sure they were what people call 'watered down' versions. but I don't think they were changed in order to contain hidden stuff. They were most likely just an alternate version. and remember, teachers of that time had two streams of transmission: one to the public which was the basic shape. the second in small groups. Teachers taught in 2 places: on a school courtyard and in their own backyard. I'm willing to bet they didn't teach the same material at both.

Shotokan in particular (right after Funakoshi's death) purposely and deliberately changed their kata. some argue for sport/tournament reasons and some have other theories...but my sensability tells me that whatever the reason for the changes, they weren't for reasons of self-defense effectiveness - which moved those forms further away from what you are now intending them for. They were likely changed for a different purpose.

don't take my word for it. look at Funakoshi's form. his movements look more Shuri-te. now look at modern versions of the same forms. I've illustrated this before. where a 'neko ashi' transition used to be, it's now a long and posed kokutsu dachi. like a peacock showing their feathers to a judge. therein lies a possible reason for the change.


Quote:

"I think one of the key features is in the Manji uke. It is used for slipping to the outside of an attack, where the high hand grasps the wrist of an incoming punch and pulls it back and high as you step past the punch."



evading, then grabbing wrists of punching hands is not realistic. works well when people punch straight ahead and hold arms out there though. well, I should strike that comment...who knows what all can and can't do, plus there are training methods that use it as a learning tool. and I'm not willing to argue that.


I mean no disrespect to Shuri-based Japanese systems (as oppossed to Okinawan Shuri-based, which seem to have less of the problem of stylization corruption than Shoto/Wado)...but if you really wanted to anylize these kata, the first endevor should be finding out what the kata would look like with:
- shorter stances.
- tighter, less exaggurated movement (but not stiff).
- more circular and continuous flow with no 'posing'.
etc...


I probably overstayed my welcome in this thread.
sorry guys. it's the way I see it. right/wrong or crazy.

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#326744 - 03/13/07 12:14 AM Re: Temple Boxing - A study of a system [Re: Ed_Morris]
Unsu Offline
Member

Registered: 09/29/06
Posts: 142
Loc: San Antone, Tejas
Quote:

I'm curious as to how people would interpret this signature:
http://www.karatekas.com/katas/jiin/jiin003.jpg

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.





Well your Shorin is not my Shorin. Not only is that renoji dachi ridiculous and off the mark from the original Shuri Te stances it serves no utility and there is absolutely no way to interpret it as a valid tech, unless you understand the older forms.

BTW the real movement as seen in kata like Chinto is as a throw. Turns can be change-body, throws, or even balance and dynamic movement exercises. Balance is very important in life and fighting.

You see why Shonuff, who I can ony assume is an honest and skilled Shotokan-ka, is pimping us all for answers to exaggerated and diluted postures, waza and kata. Drift will occur so why aid it unless you have some other intent for kata training?

Too much change for no reason at all except personalization, aesthetics or sportificattion leads to the ubiquitous hollow karate-do which is now rampant from here to infinity.

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#326745 - 03/13/07 04:50 AM Re: Temple Boxing - A study of a system [Re: medulanet]
Barad Offline
Member

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

I am not sure what we do can be encapsulated in a couple of techniques. I would say that short, vertical fist and forearm strikes, using heavy hands rather than kime, all in sanchin dachi are common, as is mawashi uke and sliding footwork when appropriate but none of this is removed from the whole strategic practice of distraction and unbalancing and the psyche of close up, agggressive response.

B

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#326746 - 03/13/07 05:12 AM Re: Temple Boxing - A study of a system [Re: Unsu]
Barad Offline
Member

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

I don't think many people would disagree with you that extended stances for aesthetic purposes were a mistake by the developers of Shotokan. Indeed it has had the effect of disguising appropriate distance and application for many karateka. However once you accept that that those changes were not made for any reason other than looks, it is fairly easy to practice with smaller movements and stances and find workable applications at practical distances.

However for shotokan practicioners, in my experience, the barrier is cultural (admitting faults or ignorance in revered Japanese teachers) not practical. The shortened Shotokan techniques have the same origin and likely application as those who practice different forms of Shorin/Shurite. And yes, when we look at that movement in Chinto/Gankaku, it is seen as a throw as you said. Clearly you think you have a monopoly on knowledge and understanding on kata from the same original source, which is tedious as well as naive.

That your Shorin is different to many other peoples' Shorin is no surprise. Large variation within ostensibly the same groups is very common. However, you seem to assume that what others do differently to you is always wrong.

I am enlightened though to hear that "balance is important in life and fighting", although it sounds like something I might hear on a rerun of Kungfu (David Carradine). If you teach, I guess you say this sort of thing to your students. I have stood in classes where amateur philosophers have tried to tell me how to run my life when what I came for was a physical skill.

You criticise the extended postures of Shotokan, which may have been intended for leg strengthening but you said that turns in your kata may be to aid "dynamic movement". I am not sure if I understand the term as you intend it-it hardly sounds like an ancient Okinawan principle-but IMO kata techniques are for fighting, not for practicing movements separate from the practical, dynamic or otherwise. That you contemplate kata just to practice movement seems to undermine your whole issue with kata amended for looks or exercise.

B.

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#326747 - 03/13/07 06:09 AM Re: Temple Boxing - A study of a system [Re: Ed_Morris]
Shonuff Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 603
Loc: London, UK
Quote:

with regards to the image of manji uke you displayed, the movement is positional, neither offencive nor defencive in and of itself.



not sure what that means exactly, what is a 'positional' movement?




A positional movement is one that gives you a position, i.e. moves you to a specific place from where you can fight/run etc. In and of its self it is neither offencive nor defencive as it can be applied to both situations. eg. hop to the back left.

Quote:

Quote:

but then kata are designed to hide applications not just contain them.



for the kata that were taught in the middle school system after the turn of the century, I'm sure they were what people call 'watered down' versions. but I don't think they were changed in order to contain hidden stuff. They were most likely just an alternate version. and remember, teachers of that time had two streams of transmission: one to the public which was the basic shape. the second in small groups. Teachers taught in 2 places: on a school courtyard and in their own backyard. I'm willing to bet they didn't teach the same material at both.




The only kata taught in, or created to be taught in middle school were the pinan/heian. They are basic self defence/fighting methods put together under one core philosophy of movement. There's no evidence anywhere of watering down, the pinan were just more basic than the older forms and they were that way on purpose. When I mentioned hiding application I am refering to the culture of secrecy surounding MA's that Unsu believes is appropriate and that was prevalent at the time. In that line of thinking no one should be allowed to watch a kata be performed. Someone who does sneak a peak should have difficulty interpreting it so they can't know the style and defend or re-use it.

Quote:

Shotokan in particular (right after Funakoshi's death) purposely and deliberately changed their kata.




You are mistaken. Most changes came in with Gigo Funakoshi, many of those never stuck. The biggest changes were in technique, but even these had begun with Gigo. Rentan Goshin Karate Jutsu, Karatedo Kyohan and film footage of Funakoshi from the 1930's or 40's prove that the kata have not changed in any significant way. Now yes there have been a number of deliberate changes made over the years for various reasons, but they are not hard to trace.

Quote:

don't take my word for it. look at Funakoshi's form. his movements look more Shuri-te. now look at modern versions of the same forms. I've illustrated this before. where a 'neko ashi' transition used to be, it's now a long and posed kokutsu dachi. like a peacock showing their feathers to a judge. therein lies a possible reason for the change.




Wrong again. As far back as Karate-jutsu Funakoshi was using kokutsu-dachi where the Shorin styles use cat stance. Yes he used a shorter form (still used by the Shotokai), but it is back stance. The thing is even Nakayama's elongated technique is not impractically long. Over extension is a hallmark of the individual or group, not the art as a whole, and still so long as it is understood why it is done that way n class and not in application what is the problem?

Quote:

I mean no disrespect to Shuri-based Japanese systems (as oppossed to Okinawan Shuri-based, which seem to have less of the problem of stylization corruption than Shoto/Wado)...but if you really wanted to anylize these kata, the first endevor should be finding out what the kata would look like with:
- shorter stances.
- tighter, less exaggurated movement (but not stiff).
- more circular and continuous flow with no 'posing'.
etc...




I've asked the Okinawa Shorin practitioners there opinion and am happy to hear it. However my understanding of Shotokan precludes the need to make such adjustments but thanks for the suggestion. Why don't you give it a try Ed? You are Goju right? Make the front stances Sanchin dachi, the back stances Neko ashi dachi and the horse stances Shiko dachi. Circle your movements and exagerate some of the breathing and see what you come up with

You've not overstayed your welcome but I did start this thread with the genuine desire to debate some kata, I know i is the least popular activity on the kata apps forum, but I do enjoy it. Perhaps when we are done here someone could post a kata from a more respected or more obvious style. I do genuinely appreciate your contribution Ed, but bad history and off the cuff assumptions don't help.

Any more ideas on the forms?
_________________________
It's Shotokan not Shoto-can't!!!

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#326748 - 03/13/07 06:35 AM Re: Temple Boxing - A study of a system [Re: Unsu]
Shonuff Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 603
Loc: London, UK
Ah Unsu my old nemesis! I was wondering when you would pipe up. First let me thank you for the compliment, your people skills seem to be improving. However, you know what I am going to take issue with. Pimping you guys for info? Am I really Unsu? Really???

So far, no disrespect to those who have contributed, but I have put in far more information than I have gotten out. So in that case why don't you accuse me of educating rather than trying to illicit information? Why don't you accuse me of starting an unpopular discussion? You could even accuse me of holding on to faith in a dead MA system? What is it you are here for if not to discuss Forms & application???

Your opinion of Shotokan's uttility is your own, I have posted more than enough explanation of it, but even without a blindfold sight is impossible for the man whose eyes are closed. I actually agree with most of your post, but if you could take some time to discuss the kata in question, what they teach and how they relate to each other I would appreciate it.
_________________________
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