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#398040 - 05/31/08 03:58 PM Information pertaining to Isshinryu kicking – old
Victor Smith Offline
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Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
I was recently reading several interviews with senior Okinawan Shorin-ryu instructors, Iha Seikichi and Miyahira Katsuya, and in the course of those discussions they both made the same point about kicking.

http://www.okinawankarateandkobudoinstitute.com/Seikichi%20Iha%20Sensei.htm

“In the “old days,” the kick was never extended past the extended punch. You always kicked within the extended fist. It is too difficult to do nowadays and students just ignore this concept. Nowadays, the students often seek the easier way and extend their kicks way past their fist. This is the sport kick, but it is okay for those who do not really understand kicking.”

“Remember that in kicking, the foot itself must be tight with the leg loose. You then hinge the kick out. The kick must be chambered, then kick and then re-chambered before the foot is set down. All the kicks in Shorin-ryu are done with the toes. I think that 85% of all the kicks are done mid-body. We then do have a thrust made to the head, but only about 15% of the time.”

Miyahira Katsuya stated, “The Shorin-ryu stydent must work on retracting their kicks quickly. They must also practice kicking within an arm’s reach. This is highly important in doing good Shorin-ryu kicks. The kick does not extend out but within the length of one’s arm.”

IMO, this fully describes how Shimabuku Sensei was kicking in our video reference of his technique.

Kicking at the range of direct engagement, striking distance. Fully raising the leg and then kicking out and retracting the kick, at a very close distance.
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#398041 - 06/02/08 04:42 PM Re: Information pertaining to Isshinryu kicking – [Re: Victor Smith]
Ogoun Offline
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Registered: 03/22/04
Posts: 96
Loc: Fort Myers, FL
Interesting article, I enjoyed reading it. Thank you.

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#398042 - 06/02/08 06:08 PM Re: Information pertaining to Isshinryu kicking – [Re: Ogoun]
Shonuff Offline
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Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 603
Loc: London, UK
Interesting point Victor.

I realised some time ago that particularly in Shotokan traditionally the front kick was always (or at least as I saw) a short snapping motion as opposed to the easier to hit with thrusting kick. The snap kick is much more useful for close quarter and below the belt kicking.
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#398043 - 06/02/08 09:43 PM Re: Information pertaining to Isshinryu kicking – old [Re: Victor Smith]
student_of_life Offline
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Registered: 10/12/05
Posts: 1032
Loc: Newfoundland, Canada
thanks for that victor, i like reading stuff from the older karate guys. their words are prety much bs free, and contain only truth from their training. for the most part, lol.

its interesting that they talk about kicking while inside the reach of your extended arms, its a preference of mine to use the knee to hit tragets the close instead of the foot. however, i have been exposed to a karate instructor of mine using a front kick from a back stance position while holding onto my sleves, where his kick hit my throat. snap kicks for in close, thrust kicks for farther away is a good rule of thumb.
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#398044 - 06/02/08 10:31 PM Re: Information pertaining to Isshinryu kicking – old [Re: Victor Smith]
cxt Offline
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Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5822
Loc: USA
Victor

Thanks!

Good read.
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#398045 - 06/03/08 05:01 AM Re: Information pertaining to Isshinryu kicking – old [Re: cxt]
dandjurdjevic Offline
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Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 844
Loc: Australia
I believe the "old style" snap kick is of tremendous value. We still use it in our dojo.

I have noted over the years that this particular kick has largely been completely replaced by a more penetrating front kick, which is very different in effect. I think this is because the latter is visually far more impressive and "powerful". It is also the kick one uses on a heavy bag, which has become more popular in karate training. In my experience, the short snapping front kick isn't really possible to practice on a heavy bag (at least it looks and feels awful when you try).

By contrast the short snapping front kick can be practised very well on a kickshield held by a partner.

The short snapping front kick imparts a "hydrostatic shock" rather than a "push", so it doesn't look as "powerful" when you are hitting things like heavy bags, but is still very much felt by someone holding a kick shield. It is very useful against the bladder or groin. The quick retraction means you don't run the risk of having your leg caught. It is also useful in tight quarters when a knee kick is just out of range.

Simple physics explain the operation of the short snapping front kick. Consider this theoretical model: If all your energy in kicking is imparted as destructive energy your opponent should, theoretically, fall on the spot. The more that your energy is converted into kinetic or "moving" energy in your opponent, the less destructive energy is being imparted. Thus a kick that pushes your opponent the furthest might not cause any real injury at all (as is the case with any "push" rather than "strike", when you think about it).

Of course, in practice every kick will "move" your opponent some distance - I was speaking in theoretical terms only, so don't flame me. Furthermore there is room in karate for kicking with a penetrating power (that inevitably causes more movement). But I think it is regrettable that it has, in many dojos, completely displaced the short snapping kick of old karate - a very effective, and arguably the most undervalued technique in the martial arts...

My 2 cents...
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#398046 - 06/03/08 05:26 AM Re: Information pertaining to Isshinryu kicking – old [Re: dandjurdjevic]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
I’ve been thinking about this kicking concept for some time “In the "old days," the kick was never extended past the extended punch”.

First I think we must consider that the use of language (and of course translation) may not fully describe what is being done.

I can see this several different ways:

1. Delivering the kick as if you in distance to strike a wall, and instead using the kick.
i. Targeting the lower abdomen.
ii. Targeting the groin/legs
2. Delivering a kick with the same body alignment as if you were striking, and not shifting the hip into the strike. In that case your kick might hinge further than the fist.
3. Targeting a space one arm length from the body that the opponent will be moving into as your kick is delivered. That is not the same as kicking a static distance, but one where the opponent is moving into the space you have taken.

I see each as having a different launch mechanism in practice.

I tried doing a search but didn’t locate any video of IHA SEIKICHI SENSEI to watch.
I did locate some video of his contemporary, Miyahira Katsuya, but nothing that makes a case either way.

When I watch Shimabuku Sensei’s kicking technique in the 1966 Seisan kata versions, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyUMPjddzZc&feature=related , I see his marvelous chamber, and kicks that appear to strike to the groin or the legs. In that case I see striking the distance a fist can strike, reasonable. You can watch them yourself and make your own decision.

I’m not sure any explanations of a systems kicking technique can fully describe what they may do.

At one time or another I’ve been trained in kicking from several different Isshinryu traditions, Korean Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan, several different Chinese traditions (N. Shaolin and Tam Tuie) as well as Indonesian ones. They each have their time and place, execution theories and strategy.

I firmly believe in my Isshinryu core and teach it as I was taught, but even in that there is flex. I was taught that one’s kicking potential was taken as far as they could go, and in turn use my other studies as appropriate for student growth.
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#398047 - 06/04/08 03:22 PM Re: Information pertaining to Isshinryu kicking – old [Re: Victor Smith]
Ironfoot Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 2682
Loc: St. Clair Shores, MI USA
Quote:

...I firmly believe in my Isshinryu core and teach it as I was taught, but even in that there is flex. I was taught that one’s kicking potential was taken as far as they could go, and in turn use my other studies as appropriate for student growth.




There it is. I will use any kick that works, and my favorite isn't really an Isshinryu kick in that it's not one of our 8 or 9 basics, and not specifically in our katas.
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#398048 - 06/17/08 05:31 AM Re: Information pertaining to Isshinryu kicking – old [Re: Ironfoot]
dandjurdjevic Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 844
Loc: Australia
For those who may be interested, I've posted a video illustrating the difference in effect between the common "push" kick and the shorter "snap" or "shock" kick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4qeNOE_LtY

Note also the targets at which that the "shock" kicks are aimed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GmQM_Dxe4s

The push kick looks more impressive because it shifts your opponent further - but this is valuable energy being converted to kinetic energy as opposed to destructive energy.

On the other hand the effect of the shock kick is quite subtle: notice in the slow motion video how the opponent "shakes" after the kick. Having experienced both (through the shield and otherwise!) I can tell you I'd rather take the push kick any day...
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#398049 - 06/17/08 11:25 AM Re: Information pertaining to Isshinryu kicking – old [Re: dandjurdjevic]
dandjurdjevic Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 844
Loc: Australia
I've also just written a blog article on the subject of "visible power" vs. real power. I hope you don't mind Victor, but I quoted you! For those who are interested, take a look here:

http://dandjurdjevic.blogspot.com/2008/06/visible-power-vs-real-power.html
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