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#366047 - 11/05/07 11:41 PM Re: Bunkai Methods......Kise Seisan..............? [Re: medulanet]
Unyu Offline
Banned Member

Registered: 09/05/07
Posts: 62
Loc: Where I'm At

I have heard a lot of great things about this man from many Matsumura Seito types. However, going off this video alone

I am thoroughly disappointed. I HOPE this is a simple demonstration of sequence and general techniques of this kata, because it seems poorly executed buy a below average karateka. If this is Hohan Soken's best student then it appears to lack the depth that the karate I know has. I know Mr. Cyr has an opinion. I would like to hear what he has to say about Kise's kata.

It's an average performance at best. Actually I like the Passai kata vid better ! That Kusanku clip is very good for sure, but the video quality is horrible.

As for Kise, it does look like there is very little kime in his execution of Seisan. Not that you need a Kendo term to enhance your Okinawan Karate, but you do. I will say that the movements are exactly as I learned them, but the performance is lackluster. I definitely think that Lindsey looks better doing it. Maybe the fact the Kise was a Shorinji Ryu guy plays into this.

One thing I have noticed about many Seito practitioners is that they use a lot of arm and very little compression, or whipping movement of the hips. A very salient aspect of this brand of Shorin Ryu is the use of rising and falling power. At least the way my brother and I were taught. IOW bending/flexing the knees when striking to the body and a slight upward (extension) movement of the knees/body when striking (punching) high. I don't see that in any of these vids except for a little in the Kusanku video.

That Hakucho vid of my sensei was done about 20 years ago. That form is used more for "chi-gong" than for fighting techs. Lindsey Sensei has gotten exponentially better as the years have passed. Working with various other shifu and sensei has helped his karate evolve, plus he continually trains and searches for better ways to do things. For 40 years he has never stopped. Still, his kata looked good albeit less relaxed than it now does. For a 6'3", 250# guy he is really quick and incredibly strong. Unlike most older sensei he keeps in great shape too.

I have seen and trained with many styles and stylists. The Seito guys are no better than the rest, and in fact with the exception of about 6 or 7 guys who are all Yondan or above, most of them looked very normal. The stylist does contribute to the efficacy of a fighting style for sure. Most folks just are not that good at fighting. What makes Matsumura Orthodox better than most are Hohan Soken's principles. They are based on very sound logic and physics compared to the other Shorin systems I've encountered. The problem is it is hard to convey these aspects and ingrain them at the same time. It takes years and years of training to "unlearn" a lot of bad habits.

I guess what I'm getting at with this bunkai thread is that if your kata is so remarkably different than the original Shuri-, Naha- and Tomari-Te forms then how do you figure out what the bunkai is? Were these forms made to combat multiple opponents or to impart much more? I think that's why I gravitated towards the older systems. I do believe in "adaptation", but as I've said before not in change for the sake of changing.

One last thought, Kise's kata looked, well, mediocre, but what I've heard from those who trained under him was that he was a real tough guy. A real street fighter who they witnessed countless times take on a dojo challenge with the end result being the challenger dragged, KTFO out of the dojo when things were done. So in this instance at least, you can't look at kata performance and know how good of a fighter he is. He was "cock-diesel" according to many.

His kata changed from the early 1970's to become more simplistic and routine in its training. He stopped teaching the real stuff in the late 70's early 80's. That is why many of his students broke away from him in the 1980's.

Of Kise's and Kuda's American students Greg Ohl, Ron Lindsey, James Coffman and Dr. Charles Tatum have been identified as being the most skilled and able to tranfer Soken's art with the original intent and techs virtually intact.

I will say that from my experience with Shorin Ryu, with Seibukan types and other Kyan influenced stylists, the Chibana-Ha types, the Matsubayashi guys and of course the Soken-Ha practitioners, the guy who has impressed me the most both in knowledge and practical ability is Ron Lindsey. Like Kise he is an awesome fighter. Unlike what I saw in Kise's kata vid, he is also an exemplary font of kata skill and knowledge.

Ron Lindsey does do seminars at any school who will have him and his organization is not exclusive to Seito. It has Kyokushinkai, TKD, TSD, Matsubayashi, Kobayashi, Seibukan, Shito Ryu, Shuri Ryu, Shotokan and Naha Te dojo in it. Everyone should check out what he has to offer before the guy gets too old. It will be an eye-opening experience to say the least.

Lindsey said an interesting thing to my brother and I once. He said that with hard training and a decent mind and physical skills, the most a karate-ka can expect to attain is a 4 or 5 on a scale of 1-10. A 6 is rarer. He said that my brother and I could easily become 7, 8's or even 9's and that a 10 was unheard of. No one except Soken was a 10. This was early in our training. We received our yudansha grade in about 12 months. Most take 3 years or more if they really, really devote themselves. This gave us an idea of what type of folks practice karate, real or not .

I don't want you guys to take any of this as arrogance, it's just what I know and have been told and have observed. So if you take a mediocre system being "conveyed" by a mediocre teacher to very average students you get, well, something average AT BEST. This is why I tend to call most MAs <traditional or otherwise> "less-than'real". Great karate from a great sensei will make you pretty darn good. The problem is most folks aren't privy to this kind of karate because it really exists in very rarified air.

So you guys debate bunkai and I question whether or not what you do is even a practical interpretation of a form. I mean why shoudln't I? Most karate I've seen just is not any good for anything except role playing like Civil War reenactment. The forms are usually unrealistic and far from their point of origin where the bunkai application was known, but now how can it be with a dilution of a dilution? Stances are "unscientific", fist forms biomechanically unsound -or- maybe I should say not as anatomically sound as they could be, there is too much crossing-up of the arms, the turns are done at 90 vs. 45 degrees... The list goes on and on.

So is what we're doing bunkai or just bunk made up by some guy? I dunno, but good luck with it all.

Great travels with few travails...

BTW oldman, I'll never discuss religion because it ain't worth talking about. It has and always will create more problems than it solves. "Divide and conquer" ! Later...
Verily and mayhaps, the morrow beckons, like watchtower beacons, and war does to weapons...

#366048 - 11/06/07 01:09 AM Re: Bunkai Methods....................? [Re: Unyu]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
Well Bryan, since you did mention me twice I feel compelled to respond.


So when someone like BrianS who hates me because I joked him about his "-ectomy", BTW I am happy that you are well, dismisses all I say because he thinks I'm a troll, I just laugh because the bigger picture (real karate) is being overlooked. Your loss bro, not mine.

I don't hate anyone. Infact,I never use the word. I don't recall you ever making fun of my lefticle either. That has never bothered me. you are a troll because of your extreme superiority complex.


I am not a liar, and am not operating under multiple guises for the helluv'it. I changed my name initially, because the site crashed multiple times and when it came back up didn't recognize me. Then BrianS and Kogie and others got their panties in a twist because they were losing arguments so they used their power and influence to ban me.

Hogwash homeskillet!!!! I never lost an argument to you!!

Please tell us lowly school boy doing karate wannabe's how things should be. We will forever be in your debt.

The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<

#366049 - 11/06/07 01:17 AM Re: Bunkai Methods......Kise Seisan..............? [Re: Unyu]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
I have the Hohan Soken DVD "Life of the Grandmaster" -you and others have probably watched it...


Hohan Soken - The Life of a Grand Master This historic video is a documentary on Hohan Soken, 10th Dan and founder of Matsumura Seito Shorin Ryu Karate. It includes “Newly Discovered- Lost Footage” of Hohan Soken. It includes a biography of Soken Sensei detailing his life in Karate Do. It also shows rare historic footage of Soken Sensei performing various kata including: Naihanchi 1-3, Seisan, Chinto, Kusanku, Gojushiho, Rohai, Tsuken bo, Kama Kusari and Hakutsuru, the closely guarded secret white crane kata of Matsumura Seito Shorin Ryu. Additionally, the video includes rare footage of some of Soken Sensei’s top students performing in Okinawa in the 1960s and much more! This documentary style video is a piece of history and brings the past to life! It preserves the teachings of a highly respected Okinawan Grand Master whose legacy was to bring karate from a bygone age into the modern era. A must for the serious martial arts collector.

as far as what is shown on there of his top students during the 60's (which is prior to when you say things started getting washed out), I didn't see anything other than your typical vanilla Itosu shorin-ryu type movement that you berate. It's the type of movement that speaks as students not knowing the application of it's principles or body dynamics.
I reserve giving opinion on the Hohan Soken himself kata footage, since he looked quite old. we can only hope to move as well at that age - but it's difficult, if not impossible to see the dynamic which seniors are demonstrating with a slow step-thru....and maybe his students were just imitating the movement of their aged master.

#366050 - 11/06/07 05:11 AM Re: Bunkai Methods....................? [Re: jude33]
jude33 Offline

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1539
Well at least the hellfire stuff is getting less from most guys.

Why does it seem such a big secret with kata?
If the kata has a purpose why cant that be discussed?
I am a student so it might be up to some of you guys with the knowledge to perhaps get a kata.
Dissect it
Reason for it being formulated
Then discuss it?



Edited by jude33 (11/06/07 05:17 AM)

#366051 - 11/06/07 03:47 PM Re: Bunkai Methods....................? [Re: jude33]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
Jude, as a non-combatant, not-really-enthused-about-kata kinda guy....well, it is never the discussion, it is and always will be about HOW it is discussed.

If nothing else, for a non-kata-nut like me, I did enjoy the fireworks and show.

#366052 - 11/06/07 05:22 PM Re: Bunkai Methods....................? [Re: butterfly]
jude33 Offline

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1539

Jude, as a non-combatant, not-really-enthused-about-kata kinda guy....well, it is never the discussion, it is and always will be about HOW it is discussed.

If nothing else, for a non-kata-nut like me, I did enjoy the fireworks and show.

I see your point.
But you were a combatant once werent you?


#366053 - 11/06/07 05:45 PM Re: Bunkai Methods....................? [Re: jude33]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA

But you were a combatant once werent you?

LOL. Only in things that I have a small and passing knowledge of or in which I detect some misuse of logic where I can't follow along and want some more illumination.

If people are intentionally obfuscating their contentions with pointing fingers, name calling, or ad hominem attacks that side track the discussion, then I might jump in. Otherwise, I am generally too ignorant to know...and too stupid to care.

In this case, I am following the thread out of curiosity since I am not vested in traditional MAs and have only cursory experience with them. In that regard, I would like to see what all the hub-bub is about. If I can find some curious or enlightening tid bits discarded in the conversation, then it was worth the read.

I do have to admit that there is more than a bit of sanctimonious attitude spilling out of some of these posts. But occasionally, this is what greases the wheels to help drive these threads along. As an agnostic to the old world religion of traditional karate, I just don't know if many of these things deserve the conviction that they receive. So here I sit, peeking in.

#366054 - 11/06/07 05:50 PM Re: Bunkai Methods....................? [Re: butterfly]
jude33 Offline

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1539

Looks like we got our wires crossed. I thought you meant combatent as in you took part in competition.

Not combatent as in on the forum.


#366055 - 11/06/07 05:52 PM Re: Bunkai Methods....................? [Re: jude33]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
Ok...don't really compete in competitions either.

So no, not a combatant in any sense of the word. Just a dusty old guy who hobbles around for the most part.

#366056 - 11/06/07 06:56 PM Re: Bunkai Methods....................? [Re: butterfly]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
Well ths way to question whether 'bunkai' or application analysis has value is simple, will the technique execution drop the attacker (or other appropriate response).

Whether original 'bunkai' from a lineage, or whether the techniques logical analysis.

The problem with analysis is it still is just a starting point. at times it will suggest more, but at other times more work is needed.

Kata represent a technique warehouse, depending on your orientation a fininte amount of techniques or a humongous amount of techniques.

But the reality is if you can drop one, then all other opinions about its worth are worthless.

There is a value to layers of instruction but if must point to the simple truth, the use of a technique is to end a fight situation. It takes more than just kata analysis to do that, you have to work on the underlying principles.

For example when should the strike be soft, not hard, to hit harder. or how can a reverse punch drop anyone 100% of the time.

The answers are in Karate, but not directly the kata, but practice and more practice.

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

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