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#394975 - 05/13/08 07:56 PM Re: Kata Embu [Re: dandjurdjevic]
Zach_Zinn Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Quote:

In terms of bad habits, I can see why the "traditional" gekisai 2 person drill might ingrain them: the person doing the kata is not employing much (if any) taisabaki in movement, but is performing the kata literally. The kata was, imho never meant to be a 2 person drill in itself, and trying to make it so is really stretching things.




Well, i'm not gonna defend the drill much, it's the only Toguchi drill we do anymore bascially for the reasons you mention above, however even with this ultra-simplified drill, if there is no taisabaki going on it's being done incorrectly.

The issue I have with it (the others we do are dissimilar to the standard gekisai one) is that it is an "equal exhange" (you do this, now I do this) of technique, that is where I see merit in the criticism that you are simply learning to anticipate and react, rather than control.

I notice with the other bunkai I've learned I didn't really need to learn a pattern of exchanges, if you knew the kata you were capable of doing the bunkai, so uke just tries to punch you etc, and if you know the kata and what it means(with instruction obviously) you already have the tools you need to act against him.

Basically the others I have learned don't rely on someone trying to do a kata or a mirrored pattern against you to work, they just require someone to come at you with a semi-fixed pattern of punches, grabs, etc.



Now for my own criticisms... (hey everyone's a critic, this is the internet right!)

Keep in mind no offense intended here as I really like what I have seen of your work.

However I personally don't see the merit in learning constant taisabaki movement like that beyond what is naturally implied by most kata, circling around someone alot is (just my opinion) not a hugely useful skill, and only tangentially related to the way you evade someone when they are actually trying to hit you.


Edited by Zach_Zinn (05/13/08 08:14 PM)

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#394976 - 05/13/08 08:41 PM Re: Kata Embu [Re: Zach_Zinn]
dandjurdjevic Offline
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Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 844
Loc: Australia
Quote:


Alot of people argue that this training creates a "reactive" mindset where you wait for the opponent rather than learning to control the situation




I think this view relies on a flawed assumption; namely that each move in embu is reactive.
Rather, each move is intended to dictate events by placing you in a dominant, controlling position.

Unfortunately every position has a weakness, so your opponent in embu can exploit this to 'turn the tables' - and so on...

It's like a giant game of 'rock, paper, scissors' - something can always trump you - if done early and appropriately enough.

This is where a dynamic environment is crucial. You need to be aware of the weakness you expose in each counter and react reflexively once you realise you are being / about to be trumped. This dynamic cannot be isolated and trained scientifically or methodically / thoroughly except in embu, in my experience.

At least that is how/why our embu are designed...

[cf. the old 2 person gekisai...]
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#394977 - 05/13/08 09:40 PM Re: Kata Embu [Re: Zach_Zinn]
dandjurdjevic Offline
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Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 844
Loc: Australia
Quote:

The issue I have with it (the others we do are dissimilar to the standard gekisai one) is that it is an "equal exhange" (you do this, now I do this) of technique, that is where I see merit in the criticism that you are simply learning to anticipate and react, rather than control.




Our embu sometimes have 2 or 3 attacks in a row - so it isn't just "you do this, he does this" etc. The idea is to create a dominant position. Yes, you do exchange dominant positions, but this is (a) part of learning how to hold a dominant position by flowing from one to another; and (b) learning how to stop your opponent from getting the upper hand.

The "exchange" element is is part and parcel of any "flow" drill - it defines it. However I am at a loss as to how to train "dynamically", yet methodically in any other way.

The best you can do is avoid a strict "you do, I do" - you go for "positions" each of which might involve a series of moves.

Quote:

Now for my own criticisms... (hey everyone's a critic, this is the internet right!)

Keep in mind no offense intended here as I really like what I have seen of your work.

However I personally don't see the merit in learning constant taisabaki movement like that beyond what is naturally implied by most kata, circling around someone alot is (just my opinion) not a hugely useful skill, and only tangentially related to the way you evade someone when they are actually trying to hit you.




I agree that constant taisabaki in itself is pointless. You should use it to evade attack and set yourself up in a dominant position. Our embu are not just about constant taisabaki. They are about learning to control your opponent and "staying in control". You need taisabaki for this, so taisabaki is the foundation. It is the means, not the end.
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#394978 - 05/14/08 04:47 AM Re: Kata Embu [Re: dandjurdjevic]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
I wouldn't agree that tai sabaki in itself is pointless.

The act of shifting and/or turning is a weapon in itself. It's just a question of timing and practice. The turns of Chinto or Seipai or those of any kata can be offensive maneuvers in their own right.
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#394979 - 05/14/08 05:16 AM Re: Kata Embu [Re: Victor Smith]
dandjurdjevic Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 844
Loc: Australia
You're probably right Victor - that was an overstatement.

What I meant was that taisabaki is a means (of evasion, of getting into a more advantageous or less dangerous position). The concept of karate isn't just to move fluidly - like a dance - but to use this as part of a defensive arsenal (and sometimes the taisabaki by itself can achieve an effective defence).

More importantly, I wanted to make it clear that our embu haven't been designed purely for taisabaki practice, but to enable practice of bunkai in a dynamic environment. This necessitates applying taisabaki as much as it enables practice/grooving of taisabaki.


Edited by dandjurdjevic (05/14/08 05:39 AM)
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#394980 - 05/14/08 12:50 PM Re: Kata Embu [Re: Zach_Zinn]
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

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

I've never quite understood this line of reasoning, if the above is true, how is it any less true for solo kata practice? I assume you do at least a little of that?




Well, a flow drill, such as the ones posted, are pretty much set in stone. What I mean is once you do one you are developing responses to attacks if you are training with fighting application in mind. Yes, you can flow one way or another, but if they continue to resemble the same type of "flow" as what was shown on the videos then this is the way you are training to react. When practicing solo kata you are practicing with visualization of application and this can represent whatever your fighting strategies are. They can be flow drills or they can be very different from these drills.

Quote:

Do you assume the same would be true of say Judo or Jujitsu kata that goes for a few moves? I don't.




I am not sure what you are referring to. Do you mean the two man kata which shows the application of their art, or resistive flow drills to gain grappling skill, which I said I do believe is an effective practice.

Quote:

I think it could ingrain bad habits, or it could be used to hone technique, obviously it's never a substitute for more free from practice, one of the best ways to train this stuff (imo) is to take a small bit, and practice "by the book" as you gradually move into new territory, and turn it into less fixed drills/sparring.




If this is so then why use a less effective practice?

Quote:

I personally don't know anyone who trains this kind of thing as a rigid, unchanging form, but hey maybe i've just not seen it.




Its not about being rigid or unchanging, its about training to NOT finish your opponent off. Its about training to strike a few times and then block a few times, etc. We are talking about application training right? I personally don't believe that such training is good to train application of techniques.

Quote:

In short, I think this stuff has it's place, but it also has it's limits.




Agreed, but I believe some practices are more limited than others.

When I think of the "flow" of karate I believe that as far as fluid movement goes, I do believe karate is like water. However, rather than a flowing river, it is like rapids or a water fall crashing on the rocks. And it is your opponent who will be swept up in your technique break on the rocks of your waza.
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#394981 - 05/14/08 03:55 PM Re: Kata Embu [Re: medulanet]
Zach_Zinn Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Hmmm...so what is your opinion on the standard Matsubayashi yakusoku kumites then? Did you drop them from your curriculum, or do they just have a limited place in your teaching?

Anyway, I think some of what you are saying here has alot of validity, I simply think these kinds of drills (especially at the beginner to intermediate level) have a definite positive effect when used in a measured way.


Edited by Zach_Zinn (05/14/08 04:01 PM)

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#394982 - 05/14/08 05:36 PM Re: Kata Embu [Re: Zach_Zinn]
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

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

Hmmm...so what is your opinion on the standard Matsubayashi yakusoku kumites then? Did you drop them from your curriculum, or do they just have a limited place in your teaching?

Anyway, I think some of what you are saying here has alot of validity, I simply think these kinds of drills (especially at the beginner to intermediate level) have a definite positive effect when used in a measured way.




The Yakusoku Kumite sets are a cornerstone of learning to apply kata techniques in kumite. However, the way they are usually practiced/demonstrated is not for combat training. Done right believe me, the "attacker" will break on the rocks or waza of the "defender" in yakusoku kumite.

If you notice they "end" with the defender attacking. In fact, any "blocking" the defender does is simply to gain a superior position to attack. In addition, when trained to fight steps backward by the defender are infact steps forward. Blocks strike and break your opponent's structure and at the advanced level there is more after the sets end. However, the "more" is not the defender then blocking some more and so forth, it is a continuation of the defender's assualt on his attacker. The drills hard wire a karateka to respond to attacks effectively. In addition, they are actually to be done full contact in a much more real sense than most practice them. If you mess up you get hit hard.
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Dulaney Dojo

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#394983 - 05/14/08 07:09 PM Re: Kata Embu [Re: medulanet]
Zach_Zinn Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Well then it seems we don't have much to argue about, what you describe above is no different from good execution of the kind of drills we are talking about.

In fact i'm not sure what you were objecting to in the first place if you feel like this lol, apparently you do think yakusoku has it's place when done correctly.


Edited by Zach_Zinn (05/14/08 07:17 PM)

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#394984 - 05/15/08 02:13 AM Re: Kata Embu [Re: Zach_Zinn]
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
I don't know what you do Zach. I was only posting my opinion about the videos posted. Those are very different from the yakusoku kumite I practice.
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Dulaney Dojo

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