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#391638 - 04/18/08 04:48 AM Which kata is best for self defense?
Shonuff Offline
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More interesting to me than which style/art is best for self defense is the question of which kata?

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?
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#391639 - 04/18/08 08:38 AM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Shonuff]
Barad Offline
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Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 427
Kanku Dai for me from a Shotokan/Shorin perspective-good range of flinch response and receiving techniques, open and closed hand strikes to all levels, a couple of kicks, takedowns, wrist locks, an arm bar and a possible leg lock, several throws and escapes. 3 months would be a tall order though-what is happening in 3 months?

That said, there is so much overlap between kata in terms of application and principles (when real men only practiced one or two ) that real concentration on Bassai Dai or Enpi or even Jion would achieve something similar. Equally Gojushiho/Ueseishi or Unsu or Nijushiho/Niseishi might achieve good defence but teaching sometimes slightly different skills and principles.

B.


Edited by Barad (04/18/08 08:42 AM)

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#391640 - 04/18/08 08:53 AM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Shonuff]
oldman Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
I would have to say, Goose Man Kata for obvious reasons.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVk7RFEo6dc
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#391641 - 04/18/08 09:20 AM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: oldman]
Raul Perez Offline
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That kata was so redic I had to comment on the video.
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#391642 - 04/18/08 01:09 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Raul Perez]
harlan Offline
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Registered: 07/31/04
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Loc: Amherst, MA
Saifa. It's got a lot in it.

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#391643 - 04/18/08 01:26 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: harlan]
cxt Offline
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Posts: 5823
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harlan

Good call--even has a (arguable) defense vs a single leg takedown in it.

I'd go with Seisan myself--partial to the goju version--but any of them would do.

If I had one kata to work with I'd pick Seisan.....as of today..might have a different opinion next month.....and another still the month after


Edited by cxt (04/18/08 01:28 PM)
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#391644 - 04/18/08 01:37 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: cxt]
Seiken Offline
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Registered: 03/29/08
Posts: 131
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Quote:


If I had one kata to work with I'd pick Seisan.....as of today..might have a different opinion next month.....and another still the month after




My view exactly.

Also seems to be the one kata practiced in all Okinawan karate styles.

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#391645 - 04/18/08 01:40 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Seiken]
Stormdragon Offline
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It's not practiced in Shorin ryu, or, at least not in Matsubayashi.
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#391646 - 04/18/08 02:04 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Stormdragon]
Raul Perez Offline
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I'm partial to the Naihanchi Series mainly because it deals exclusively with "In-fighting" which is where most self-defense situations happen (face to face).

Although I do enjoy and respect Passai for it's applications and evasive manuvers/vicious counter attacks/locks/throws, etc.
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#391647 - 04/18/08 02:57 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Shonuff]
BodhiHuss Offline
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Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 120
Loc: Greenville, SC, USA
Quote:

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?
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#391648 - 04/18/08 03:01 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: BodhiHuss]
harlan Offline
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Most of our katas are pretty short. No problem teaching them the kata in 3 months. Teach, and train the techniques in the kata in 3 months time? Absolutely.

The kata is only to remember them after the classes are over. It's up to the individual to continue training after that.

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#391649 - 04/18/08 03:26 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Shonuff]
medulanet Offline
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It depends on their level of experience. However, if I had to teach a student brand new to martial arts I would teach them Fukyugata Ni. Now by teach the kata I mean the first two months would be exclusively dedicated to learning the basic techniques in the kata and applying them against committed attacks. Using the striking techniques against kick shields and focus mitts. And seperating the grappling techs (pretty much all standing in this one) to teach the student how to obtain a dominant position. The last month would combine the previous training and add developing fluid motion, speed, overall balanced conditioning and intent through kata performance. Since more advanced power generation would be out of the question a strictly power/strength based approach would be used aimed at very general vital regions such as groin, nose, jaw, outside/inside of thighs, and the gut. It has much of the self defense techs you'll ever need such as a variety of very simple striking techniques and basic stances such as walking, horse, and front stance. No complex shuto chudan/gendan uke (most advanced of intermediate techs). It has a variety of basic blocking and covering techniques. It also contains grappling entrance techniques to provide a vehicle for application of grappling/wrestling skill and many joint locking techniques found in more advanced kata.

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#391650 - 04/18/08 03:32 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: harlan]
budobrubbie Offline
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From a Shorin-ryu perspective, I would have to agree with Mr. Perez. Naihanchin Shodan has many applicable self-defense techniques. I don't know Sanchin and it's true, it's not practiced in my style, so I can't really comment on that. An alternative would be Passai Sho, which also teaches joint locks, throws and ground-fighting techniques, as well as an emphasis on tai-sabaki. IMHO.

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#391651 - 04/18/08 04:37 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: budobrubbie]
medulanet Offline
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Posts: 2142
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Quote:

An alternative would be Passai Sho, which also teaches joint locks, throws and ground-fighting techniques, as well as an emphasis on tai-sabaki. IMHO.




Watch out, they're gonna to get you. Your not supposed to say the k-word and the g-f word here in the same sentence. Have at him boys.
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#391652 - 04/18/08 05:41 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Shonuff]
Zach_Zinn Offline
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Quote:

More interesting to me than which style/art is best for self defense is the question of which kata?

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?




Goju seisan, it has alot of nasty stuff that doesn't require alot of fine motor skill, and can be used by anyone.
Obviously that's true of many kata, but seisan has always struck me as very simple and to the point.


Edited by Zach_Zinn (04/18/08 05:43 PM)

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#391653 - 04/18/08 05:47 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: BodhiHuss]
Zach_Zinn Offline
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Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Quote:

Quote:

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?




You're reading too much into the question.

I don't think he's talking about mastering a kata or it's principles, just asking which you would "bring to a desert island" kind of thing.

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#391654 - 04/18/08 06:46 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Zach_Zinn]
Victor Smith Offline
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If the goal was a 3 month competency program I'd simply teach stick and several of its open hand uses for the general movement too.

I've been training people for too long and don't see karate having much value in 3 months. The role of kata is a long term study as it was meant to be.

Just my opinion.
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#391655 - 04/18/08 07:46 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Victor Smith]
Zach_Zinn Offline
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Registered: 12/09/07
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Loc: Olympia, WA
Bah, you guys over analyze everything lol. I think we all realize how little can be acheived in a 3 months period.

Anyway, given the way he phrased it:
Quote:

but you had to derive your teachings from a singe karate kata




I assume that teaching a few applications is exactly what Shonuff was talking about, he's just wanting to know which kata those would come from, in our eyes.


Edited by Zach_Zinn (04/18/08 07:48 PM)

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#391656 - 04/18/08 07:58 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Stormdragon]
Seiken Offline
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Registered: 03/29/08
Posts: 131
Loc: USA
Quote:

It's not practiced in Shorin ryu, or, at least not in Matsubayashi.




One could wonder why Nagamine left it out, perhaps because of the kata he created? Did he study long enough? Interesting topic. I do know he learned from Chotoku Kyan who did teach Seisan and was one of Nagamines teachers. And other students of Kyan taught Seisan kata. Hmm...

I should of been more specific though, its found in the 3 major styles, Shuri, Naha, Tomari. Not including japanese styles, I know its in 13 Okinawan karate substyles. Only a few katas can be found in so many styles, Kusanku(13), Passai(14), NaihanchiShodan(14), Gojushiho(13),Chinto(12). With dozens others appearing in one or two styles, and only a handful in about six give or take two.

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#391657 - 04/18/08 10:21 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Zach_Zinn]
Victor Smith Offline
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Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
Zach,

In my group the Bando Short Stick form is part of our studies, and the stick techniques I would teach come from it.

Have to be honest in the short term the minute I put a stick in a beginners hand they can hit 10 times harder, etc.

The stick techniques are also an empty hand art which I teach too. It likewise is a art that can use anything I place in my hands with the same techniques.

Using a natural weapon there is a tremendous amount that can be covered in 3 months, whereas the empty hand arts are not in the same time frame.

If I was restricted to 3 months and empty hand, I'd just pick 3 or 4 techniques and show how you can work into any attack in existence with them, and of course pray if that student had to try same.
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#391658 - 04/18/08 10:25 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Seiken]
Victor Smith Offline
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Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
Seiken,

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.
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#391659 - 04/18/08 11:40 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Seiken]
medulanet Offline
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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.
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#391660 - 04/19/08 06:27 AM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: BodhiHuss]
Shonuff Offline
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Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 603
Loc: London, UK
Quote:

Quote:

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)
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#391661 - 04/19/08 08:03 AM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Shonuff]
blakmetalpanther Offline
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the KATA DANTE.... koga ryu.
your enemy will be bleeding from his face and lying on the floor by move two.
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#391662 - 04/19/08 09:04 AM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Shonuff]
JKogas Offline
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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.)


-John

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#391663 - 04/20/08 05:09 AM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: JKogas]
Shonuff Offline
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Some very good points John, although I think we're all aware that kata are not needed for self defense.
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#391664 - 04/22/08 08:34 AM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Shonuff]
Mark Hill Offline
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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!
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#391665 - 04/22/08 08:48 AM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Victor Smith]
puffadder Offline
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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.

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#391666 - 04/22/08 10:52 AM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: puffadder]
Ives Offline
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I second that!
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#391667 - 04/22/08 12:00 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Seiken]
jude33 Offline
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Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1539
Quote:



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.

Jude


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

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#391668 - 06/30/08 11:45 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Shonuff]
whitetigerschool Offline
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Registered: 06/29/08
Posts: 15
Frankly, every kata has great applications. I once saw a grandmaster get asked the same question and he told the student to attack him. The studetn asked him how he should attack and the GM said "However you want." The student charged in and made like he would tackle the GM, but found himself laying sprawled on the ground. The GM then explained to the student that the move came out of that system's white belt form. He said that for him it was the best kata for self-defense, because it was the one he had been working on the longest.

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#391669 - 07/01/08 04:27 AM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: whitetigerschool]
dandjurdjevic Offline
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I would choose Nevarikin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJjLknCsOQo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOFcgs9LRA0

Actually if I had to choose, I think goju seiunchin has the most comprehensive and useful applications and combinations.

But somehow I find myself agreeing with John (JKogas). Kata has many uses, including learning technique. But for me the primary goals of kata are to teach and inculcate certain necessary "foundational" concepts (eg. taisabaki/tenshin, kime etc.) - not to serve as self-defence tools. In other words while I can see they have contributed to my skill set overall, I don't know about their specific application as "self-defence sets".
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#391670 - 07/01/08 07:52 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: dandjurdjevic]
Shonuff Offline
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LOL

What would be really interesting is if that kid actually stuck it out and continued developing his Nevarikan for the next 10 or 15 years and then wiped the floor with some big name UFC champ of the future.

Unlikely? Of course, but all martial arts had to start somewhere.
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#391671 - 07/01/08 09:40 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Shonuff]
dandjurdjevic Offline
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He's trying to reinvent the wheel imho. He might as well be trying to build a silicon chip from scratch.

Having said that, he's not doing all that badly - he's stumbling clumsily into some well established concepts like the snap kick and roundhouse. His comet punch is however just too silly (although in his second video it's starting to look more like a right cross).

Go Nevarikin!
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#391672 - 07/02/08 12:31 AM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Shonuff]
Ed_Morris Offline
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#391673 - 07/02/08 06:25 AM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Shonuff]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
Naihanchi Shodan for me.

self defence application city !
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www.shoshinkanuk.blogspot.com

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#391674 - 07/02/08 07:29 AM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: shoshinkan]
Zyranyth Offline
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Registered: 09/13/06
Posts: 188
Loc: Finland
Because of my past ignorance (or that of my senseis, for having me do more sparring than kata), I'll go for Gyaku-To . Granted, it's not karate, but it's still a nice and no bs kata.



Edited by Zyranyth (07/02/08 07:33 AM)
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#391675 - 07/02/08 09:08 AM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Ed_Morris]
dandjurdjevic Offline
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Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 844
Loc: Australia
Quote:

3 months? how about gun kata? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4SV2pyiBNo&feature=related

That gun kata ain't too bad!




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#391676 - 07/02/08 09:56 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: dandjurdjevic]
BrianS Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
3 months isn't long enough to know the self defense applications of a kata imo.

There really is no best kata for self defense either. The one that is best is the one you have studied and applied the most and that will vary greatly from style to style and from person to person.
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#391677 - 07/03/08 04:17 AM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: BrianS]
shoshinkan Offline
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Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
not sure I agree with that Brian,

I think simple self defence for most people can certainly be taught in 3 months, if it is focused to the job in hand.

in relation to the kata thing, again I think the selection of which kata is very important, hence why I put Naihanchi Sho forward,

it delivers (IMO) a real foundation in basic self defence for most situations, I would need a Pinan to make the job really good however...............
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Jim Neeter

www.shoshinkanuk.blogspot.com

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#391678 - 07/03/08 07:37 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: BrianS]
Shonuff Offline
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Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 603
Loc: London, UK
Quote:

The one that is best is the one you have studied and applied the most and that will vary greatly from style to style and from person to person.




Perhaps thats why the question was "which would you pick and why?"
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#391679 - 07/03/08 08:53 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Shonuff]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
Quote:

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?






Sorry, I guess I didn't read the question thoroughly enough.

I would pick seiunchin because it has bunkai that can be learned quickly with little motor skill,but it also has bunkai that can be a long term study.
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#391680 - 07/24/08 05:24 AM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: BrianS]
Yudansha34 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 07/24/08
Posts: 4
Loc: Michigan
I am relatively new to martial arts with only 18 years studying kobayashi shorin-ryu. So my opinion would of course be limited by my knowledge and subject to change as I progess in training.

But Naihanchi Shodan would be my choice. The bunkai is in a range most self defense situations will end up. The pull/strike, elbow, and kick/sweep/stomping techniques can be very effective and powerful for someone of limited training and small stature. The blocking and hand sweeps mesh pretty well with a flinch response. And the angle of attack on most techniques is pretty forgiving.

The conditioning training is pretty good. And it does teach great power generation. The angle and power principles in my experience are easier to get a grip on then say gyaku tsuki.

Probably the biggest reason for choosing Naihanchi Shodan is the grappling and ground fighting bunkai. Many MMA fans or BJJ students will recognise the guard, half guard, sweeps, submissions, elbow strikes, and mount escape.

With only 3 months to train its a big ask. But I do think there is a breadth and simplicity of technique that could certainly improve one's self defense chances.

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#391681 - 08/31/08 10:31 PM Re: Which kata is best for self defense? [Re: Shonuff]
fileboy2002 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 11/13/05
Posts: 999
Loc: Chicago, IL
That is not a choice at all. Buy them a can of mace instead.

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