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#391658 - 04/18/08 10:25 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Seiken]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

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

Seisan is practiced in many Shorin systems, just not in Matsubayshi Ryu.

The way I've heard it, while Kyan began teaching Seisan, Nagamine had previously studied karate and Kyan may not have considered him a beginner and thus not have taught him Seisan.

In those days there were not systems of training on Okinawa, instead instructors would often individualize the instruction.

Without other reference, the issue of whether Nagamine choose to not use Seisan, never was trained in it, or forgot it, who can say.

Tactically, Seisan is very powerful karate, but Matsubayshi Ryu, without Seisan, is just as powerful in its own right, IMO.
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

#391659 - 04/18/08 11:40 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Seiken]
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Victor is correct, Nagamine trained with Kyan when he was in his 30's or 40's and he already had 20+ years training. The skills/lessons that seisan taught Nagamine had already been exposed to. In fact, Nagamine's goal when studying with Kyan was to deepen his knowledge of Chinto and Kusanku and work advanced principles and advanced kata.
Dulaney Dojo

#391660 - 04/19/08 06:27 AM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: BodhiHuss]
Shonuff Offline

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


If you had to teach someone effective self defense skills within a 3 month time limit, for use in everyday situations, but you had to derive your teachings from a singe karate kata, which would you pick and why?

No kata. Teach a few basic techniques and drill them over and over and over and over. You think you can learn, understand, and apply the principles of a kata in 3 months?

No, I don't, which is precisely why I asked the question.
Nobody wants to spend 20 years training before they are competent enough to defend themself, and I'd guess that very few people who seek to learn specifically self defense want to take more than a few weeks before at least feeling a little more confident. Hence my comments in other threads that Karate is too long winded to be a good place for self defense only.

As Zach pointed out, I asked where your self defense techniques would come from and why. The last thing I'd expect is for someone to try and teach a raw beginner of unknown fitness a whole karate kata and applications in 3 months and expect them to be remotely competant.

On the other hand I think one could construct a short syllabus using techniques derived from a single kata to cover all or most eventualities.

For myself I would probably cheat a little and count the Heian (pinan) as one kata and derive my methods from them.

The emphasis would be on teaching evasive movement (derived from back stance) re-interpreting shuto as eye rakes and low kicks, heavy use of elbow strikes for close defense and finishing, the transfer of weight into these is further fasclitated by the body shifting practice used in evasion drills. Lots of oizuki to train the legs.

The first month would probably look like kihon training mixed with intense cardio and resistance to condition the body, plus lots of hitting either bags or partners to condition wrists and ankles and get the student used to aiming. Throughout this time as well principles of safety and self defense psychology, including things like seeking ways to distract the opponent, looking for makeshift weapons, the law, use of body language etc. These would be drilled into the student to be practiced continually throughout the course.

Month 2 would centre around the evasion skills and actual escape drills with intensive cardio and resistance warm-up to encourage fitness and to make all training begin from a base of fatigue so that determination is developed as well as the ability to function when not at 100%.

Month 3 would be based around pressurising the student, running at them with a kick shield, attacking full bore while armoured, using more advance striking skills to force them to adapt and grow under pressure and press the development of an aggression switch and a strong determination etc, while impressing on them the reality of their skills and limitations. Month 3 would also be a good time to introduce marker-pen knife drills and defense against weapons. These would be built from the skills they already have, emphasising evasion and escape.

The way I see most of the Shorin kata mentioned is as systems where each part affects the others and the sum is much greater than the whole. I would find it very hard to break down something like kankudai, I would have to teach the whole thing, plus most of the 3 months would be spent deeloping the coordination and motor skills to work the applications consistently leaving no time to internalise them or understand how to put them together.
However the Heians are pretty much a mish mash of SD techniques anyway, their guiding principles as found in heian nidan are few and simple.

Give me a few days and I might change this completely.

Edited by Shonuff (04/19/08 06:37 AM)
It's Shotokan not Shoto-can't!!!

#391661 - 04/19/08 08:03 AM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Shonuff]
blakmetalpanther Offline

Registered: 03/23/08
Posts: 2
the KATA DANTE.... koga ryu.
your enemy will be bleeding from his face and lying on the floor by move two.

#391662 - 04/19/08 09:04 AM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Shonuff]
JKogas Offline

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
Really interesting conversations being had here fellas. Hope you don't mind my joining this conversation.

As much as I'm not into the practice of kata, I agree with many things being said here.

One, I agree with Victor that, anything worthwhile will be worth devoting MUCH time to. His art and my own are lifetime arts. You develop the SELF as opposed to mere "technique collection". That takes time. There are no short-cuts.

But short-cuts are what we're talking about here.

In my own opinion, given three months to train, less is definitely more. Do you need to derive anything from kata? I don't know about that but, whatever you do should have a short list of solutions to a WIDE variety of problems. Universal solutions to many things.

For example, we teach a covering posture called the "helmet" (this is being taught in quite a few places anymore). The helmet is a three-point covering method that is used to defend from punching & kicking, regardless of the incoming angle. One solution to a variety of incoming shots. That's basically what I'm talking about.

Now as with anything, when you have only one solution (or a few), it won't be complete and cover everything you may need. However, you have to start somewhere and if people genuinely want a functional way of defending themselves in a short period time (such as the LEO may), fewer universal options are naturally better.

The ISR matrix from the SBG and Paul Vunak's "RAT" are a couple of approaches that adhere to this basic idea. (None of which by the way, were derived from kata as is the topic of this conversation.)


#391663 - 04/20/08 05:09 AM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: JKogas]
Shonuff Offline

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 604
Loc: London, UK
Some very good points John, although I think we're all aware that kata are not needed for self defense.
It's Shotokan not Shoto-can't!!!

#391664 - 04/22/08 08:34 AM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Shonuff]
Mark Hill Offline

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 1068
Loc: Australia
Well said John & Victor, and others, but for me Heian Godan, Tekki Shodan, Jion and Enpi.

They're not pretty, they are practical.

Kata are a great tool, but are terribly time inefficient. If you have never done kata before, it might take you three months just to learn one kata.

Better to teach the applications of the shortest kata you know by parts and finally teach the performance.

I reckon you'd be flat out teaching someone footwork for stand up fighting alone during that time!
It takes a village to stone somebody to death.

#391665 - 04/22/08 08:48 AM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Victor Smith]
puffadder Offline

Registered: 04/29/07
Posts: 250
Loc: UK
Obviously nobody can answer this one as nobody can know all the forms and kata in the world. It would also depend on what circumstances you would need to use it. Are we talking acout close range, medium range etc. one or several attackers, armed or unarmed and so on. Basically I think you are asking which is people's favourite form or kata but I don't think there is one that is the 'best' for all occasions.

#391666 - 04/22/08 10:52 AM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: puffadder]
Ives Offline

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 691
Loc: the Netherlands
I second that!

#391667 - 04/22/08 12:00 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Seiken]
jude33 Offline

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1539

One could wonder why Nagamine left it out, perhaps because of the kata he created? Did he study long enough?

Long enough as in ?

Staying on topic kata for self defence in 3 months?

First I dont teach.

If I did then no kata in any great detail.

Running? If they dont trip then they should be ok.

I go with Victor on this one.


Edited by jude33 (04/22/08 12:01 PM)

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