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#404598 - 10/01/08 09:08 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: medulanet]
Zach_Zinn Offline

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

Okay, so you are saying that rather than pulling individual techniques or techniques strings to "play" with you perform the entire kata with differences to match your application.

No, that's not what i'm saying at all, i'll try one last time:

When training "application" whether with a partner or solo I don't just perform the kata formally everytime, I take pieces of it and explore them. There.

I think this mode of practice is more beneficial than practicing the kata every time as a formal excercise where I worry about things like embusen and kiten point.

#404599 - 10/01/08 09:25 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: Zach_Zinn]
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Zach, that is how I have stated how I train in the past and in fact I mentioned it earloier in this post. I am not even sure what you were disagreeing with me about now. This thread was about solo practice of a kata begining and ending in the same place. Not isolating techniques and technique strings for training. Obviously you will will not follow anything near the oroginal embusen. So what does your argument have to do with the basic embusen of kata beginning and ending in the same spot.
Dulaney Dojo

#404600 - 10/01/08 09:29 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: medulanet]
Zach_Zinn Offline

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Nothing to do with it I suppose, other than tangentially.

However again I will mention that there are plenty of styles that do just fine not ending in the same spot, so I still feel this is not an important thing in the grand scheme of things.

Are Goju forms, or a myriad of Chinese styles somehow inferior or lacking because they don't end on the exact same

It also seems that as mentioned earlier kata where techniques are mirrored and repeated stand a larger likelihood of ending on the same spot, this is another thing that varies alot from system to system.

Edited by Zach_Zinn (10/01/08 09:30 PM)

#404601 - 10/01/08 10:23 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: Zach_Zinn]
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Zach, just because I state a reason why something is done does not mean it is therefore superior to those who don't practice what I do. If you look at my initial posts I state that this is they way my style was designed. It is not a judgement on others. In fact, I was accused of practicing demonstration kata, which appeared to be an insult, because the kata I practice are designed this way. If anyone should feel attacked it should be me. However, I don't, because demonstration or not the only thing that really matters is one's skill in application for real. No judgement call here, just answering the orginal question.
Dulaney Dojo

#404602 - 10/02/08 10:12 AM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: medulanet]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5843
Loc: USA
Excellent discussion!

My only deeply valued 2 cents on the whole thing is a "old soldiers" story....I really don't know if its true....can't even recall the first time or place or heard it, but it was interesting enough for me to remenber it.

As the story goes a Shotokan guy was doing his Heian Series kata on a beach---trying really hard to keep his kata as exact as possible---ending on the same spot etc.

When he was done he went back up to his room and as he looked down on his practice area and noticed that the patter he made on the ground was pretty close to the actual kanji of specific kata he was doing.

Is it true?

I have my doubts.....but its a good story non-the-less.

In terms of ending on the same spot--I do recall a more exact story of a man training in China with a kata awith pretty exacting dimensions of movement----he later had the chance to train with the head of the style and found that the dimesions in the kata matched with the confines of place the "headmaster" was himself traning.

There could be all kinds of reason that the kata in some organizations are "supposed" to end in the same guys have already covered a bunch.

Its been a good read so far!

Edited by cxt (10/02/08 10:14 AM)
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#404603 - 10/02/08 09:21 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: cxt]
JoeConshents Offline
Banned Member

Registered: 10/01/08
Posts: 1
Hello everyone.

I'd like to add, being a lifelong Okinawan Karate guy, that the idea of embusen comes from Kendo and other Japanese arts. I was taught that there is a difference between embusen and the sacred geometry inherent in the orthodox (Ryukyuan) kata. If you end up on the same spot, then you're lucky. Medulanet used the Nishime Kusanka video as an example of this positional coincidence. As a Mastumura Seito practitioner, I can say that you do often end up very close to the spot you started on. This is not any sort of rule though.

Delaney's bunkai description of Pinan Shodan is spot on, but he at once reinforces the opposing argument while invalidating his own. The idea he puts forth about the first movement in Pinan Shodan/Heian Nidan is the Okinawan way of looking at kata training. The student of good Okinawan Karate, and karate in general needs to understand the methodology behind solid kata training before application was an emphasis.

In its infancy the Okinawan style of training focuses on exactitudes: proper biomechanics, correct technique execution as your ryuha teaches it, blatant adjustment steps/foot movements, perfect alignment and getting the specifics down. Once this is a reflex and requires little to no thought, it is just a matter of repetitive and sound kata training before the analysis and applications start to come to you. There are always apparent bunkai, but the individual with a lot of experience and creativity will start to see the variety in the real world application of kata waza.

So thinking of that first gross movement in Pinan Shodan where you step to the left, right hand performing an upward "block" while at the same time the lower, left hand performs a middle outer "block", you can imagine at the later stages of training how just moving the feet or rotating the hips can lead to an application with the movements confronting a frontal attack versus a lateral one.

If the "embusen" was meant to be a true mirror image or to end up where you left off with every form, then the flexibility in kata training would be lost. You would be too concerned with preciseness beyond practicality, and most important of all, the intent of Okinawan kata training. This is of course to give a physical and mental mnemonic for solo practice, one which lends itself to a relaxed mind and body, resulting in efficiency and increased power generation. Partner sets are integral to karate training, as are jiyu kumite, iri kumi, hojo undo or the other aspects of karate training. Kata training enhances these adjuncts, but kata training is preeminent in the Okinawan MAs. It is the most important portion of ones training.

The important details are in the future unraveling of the so-called "hidden truths" which are revealed with diligent kata training. Whether or not you end up exactly where you started from is not one of these details. I'm speaking of most Okinawan systems. Maybe Nagamine's system is different and has been formulated to express his sensibilities and experience(s).

Good discussion. Don't ban the ones who keep these threads "hot". That Unyu guy is fun to read and he seems to know what he's talking about...

#404604 - 10/03/08 04:50 AM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: JoeConshents]
Barad Offline

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 427

Are you the fourth incarnation of Unsu? I think my count is correct but it is hard not to lose track...


Edited by Barad (10/03/08 04:51 AM)

#404605 - 10/04/08 05:26 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: Barad]
student_of_life Offline

Registered: 10/12/05
Posts: 1032
Loc: Newfoundland, Canada
most of the shotokan kata i practice are structured so that if your stance length is consistant you will end of the same spot you started on. tekki shodan does not end on the begging spot, and neither does chinte, or it will with 3 small strange hops, lol.

as long as your stance length is consistant, you will end on the starting spot. you can do them all shorter to mimic the reality of the application, or you can go with a lower stance for what ever reason. its a way to build muscle memory for different positions, if its that important to you. if its not, then i don't think its a huge deal.
its not supposed to make sense

#404606 - 10/05/08 04:44 AM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: student_of_life]
KickingAngel16 Offline

Registered: 07/30/08
Posts: 94
Loc: Dacula, GA
We are supposed to end in the same spot for our forms, but the steps that I take are usually not the same length. I got it down to only being about 3 inches off from where I started. It does not do too well when the student next to me winds up shifting towards me during their form. One moment, we are 5 feet apart and, all of a sudden, we are 5 inches apart.
If you're tired, kick some more. Your opponent most likely has extra kicks to spare on you.

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