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#404528 - 08/12/08 11:30 PM The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y
Ronin1966 Offline
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Registered: 04/26/02
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Do YOUR kata begin & end in the identical spot? If there is a genuine function (a martial principle(s)) to this action, what do you think it might be?

Jeff

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#404529 - 08/13/08 01:40 AM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: Ronin1966]
Yugen83 Offline
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Good question. I have heard many times that the enbusen rule was used as a way to conserve space due to the large number of practitioners and the limited amount of space in the training halls back in Japan at the time. That is one theory, I suppose.
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#404530 - 08/13/08 04:55 AM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: Yugen83]
shoshinkan Offline
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some kata are certainly designed to end up, near'ish or on the same spot you started, some are not.

personally I see no importance at all with being on the same spot, and just feel it's another 'formalisation' for group training and sport.
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#404531 - 08/13/08 07:13 AM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: shoshinkan]
Barad Offline
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Quote:

some kata are certainly designed to end up, near'ish or on the same spot you started, some are not.

personally I see no importance at all with being on the same spot, and just feel it's another 'formalisation' for group training and sport.




I totally agree-where you end up is functionally irrelevant IMO but it seems to please the Japanese if you end up in the same spot. Maybe it is a (faux) Zen thing, kata as moving meditation, only circular and complete if you come back to the same place.

B.

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#404532 - 08/13/08 08:55 AM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: Barad]
shoshinkan Offline
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yes possibly where and why it came about, alsorts of symbolism seems to have been included in kata over time,

including the mudra elements etc etc.

it's a very murky area to get any real awnsers.
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#404533 - 08/13/08 01:38 PM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: shoshinkan]
medulanet Offline
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Its positional coincidence. Kata are designed to train the body evenly. Therefore, generally speaking, what is done on the right is done on the left especially in the basic body development stages of karate training. If your kata are balanced and your stances are consistent and all front stances are the same, cat stances are the same, etc. you should end up within about 6 inches from where you start.
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#404534 - 08/13/08 04:44 PM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: medulanet]
shoshinkan Offline
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well yes thats a given Med's
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#404535 - 09/07/08 09:11 PM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: Yugen83]
Ronin1966 Offline
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Hello Yugen83:

I was curious though about YOUR practice, your kata specifically! The theory obviously makes sense from a logistics (?) standpoint, crowded space, movement highly limited unless in perfect sync with the person behind, beside, in front of you...

Maybe

Jeff

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#404536 - 09/07/08 09:15 PM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: shoshinkan]
Ronin1966 Offline
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What do you make of the observation that different CHINESE arts, (IMA's) often have forms that begin/end in the same spot also???

We're not talking about Wushu, but instead their elder "grand parent" arts? How would that factor in... given an entirely different culture...?

Jeff

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#404537 - 09/07/08 09:17 PM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: Barad]
Ronin1966 Offline
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Hello Barad:

IYHO... it is an asthetics <sp.?> thing then???

Jeff

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#404538 - 09/07/08 09:23 PM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: shoshinkan]
Ronin1966 Offline
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Hello Jim:

"Mudra"...

Last time I checked were the exclusive "property" of the Ninja folks. Though I've also read certain koryu (bujitsu) art forms maintain them as well, but those arts are OOOOLD and deal with weapons rather than empty handed practice.

Whats the connection of a Hindu Yogic practice (Hand Mudra) within our kata???

Jeff

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#404539 - 09/07/08 09:34 PM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: medulanet]
Ronin1966 Offline
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Hello Medulant:

<<Its positional coincidence.

Sounds like your calling it a causal design to me.

<<Kata are designed to train the body evenly.

I'd buy both that sides are used, or even that both sides are definately trained... I can think of several kata that are by no means even... between left and right.

<<you should end up within about 6 inches from where you start.

Doesn't that presume left and right equality??? My left leg is not the same length as my right and combined throughout the kata... should add up.

IYO are there better/deeper reasons beyond the "basic body" level?

Jeff

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#404540 - 09/07/08 10:04 PM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: Ronin1966]
dandjurdjevic Offline
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Quote:

Do YOUR kata begin & end in the identical spot? If there is a genuine function (a martial principle(s)) to this action, what do you think it might be?

Jeff




So you don't run out of R-O-O-M?

Seriously - most kata don't finish and end on exactly the same spot. But if they go to much all over the place it does limit where you can practise the kata. Generally, given the length of Okinawan/Japanese/Korean forms, returning to more or less the same place limits your overall movement to a pragmatic "footprint", particularly with T, X or + embusen.
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#404541 - 09/08/08 01:33 AM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: Ronin1966]
medulanet Offline
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Its a "side effect" of perfect technique execution. I don't know about other styles, but Matsubayashi is designed to end on the exact same point give or take about 6 inches. People always talk about advanced training, principles, and applications. Well, training kata correctly will help develop the advanced level of skill necessary to apply these things. Its also about having good spatial awareness. Can you perform kata blindfolded and end facing the correct way in the correct place?
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#404542 - 09/08/08 01:53 AM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: medulanet]
Zach_Zinn Offline
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Firstly, there are plenty of kata that don't do this as we've established...there's a reason for "yanjigo" in Goju Ryu classes lol...

Anyway, I think it's just a structural cohesion thing, much like the "I" or "H" embusen I don't think it has any martial significance, it's organizational.

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#404543 - 09/08/08 01:58 AM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: Zach_Zinn]
dandjurdjevic Offline
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Marcel's point is not without foundation: if your kata is performed correctly you'll end up on the same spot. If it isn't (ie. if you have uneven left and right stances, for instance) you'll end up "off centre".

But for me this concept is only really important for basic training. Goju katas and Chinese forms end "roughly" on the same spot. As near as I can make out, this is principally for pragmatic rather than philosophical/esoteric reasons; ie. keeping as small a "kata footprint" as possible within the constraints of the techniques being exercised.
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#404544 - 09/08/08 07:31 AM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: Zach_Zinn]
medulanet Offline
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Quote:

Firstly, there are plenty of kata that don't do this as we've established...there's a reason for "yanjigo" in Goju Ryu classes lol...

Anyway, I think it's just a structural cohesion thing, much like the "I" or "H" embusen I don't think it has any martial significance, it's organizational.




Well Zach, if there are I don't practice those kata, so I really can't comment on them. And what is "yanjigo?"
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#404545 - 09/08/08 08:47 AM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: Ronin1966]
Barad Offline
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Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 427
Quote:

Hello Barad:

IYHO... it is an asthetics <sp.?> thing then???

Jeff




Yes, basically aesthetics IMO. I can see no practical reason for it. I can see a philosophical case for it based on kata as moving meditation (no really my thing but some see it this way) at which point completing in the same spot and maintaining symmetry (not that all kata are symmetrical by any means) is perhaps attractive if you think this is some circular Zen-like function. Personally I think it is irrelevant. But then I am just grumpy and ill-disposed to most things...

Ben

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#404546 - 09/08/08 11:43 AM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: Barad]
puffadder Offline
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Registered: 04/29/07
Posts: 250
Loc: UK
Our forms begin and end in the same spot but then we join the last move onto the first move so that you can go around it as often as necessary. In practice you should be able to start and finish from any position thus not needing to alway start at the same place makes the form more functional and flexible.

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#404547 - 09/08/08 12:10 PM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: puffadder]
Barad Offline
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Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 427
I tend to see the kata as a series of defensive movements and strategies collected and summarised as a pneumonic/memory aid for various kinds of attack and response. The beginning movements are not directly connected to the end movements unless you see a kata as representing one long fight with lots of opponents so I do not see why the end position being the same as the start is of any value, although I do end up in roughly the same spot.

I agree you can start anywhere and isolate any part to look at more closely. I am not sure I like the idea of going round and round on the same kata without end though!

Ben

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#404548 - 09/08/08 01:20 PM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: medulanet]
Zach_Zinn Offline
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Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Quote:

Quote:

Firstly, there are plenty of kata that don't do this as we've established...there's a reason for "yanjigo" in Goju Ryu classes lol...

Anyway, I think it's just a structural cohesion thing, much like the "I" or "H" embusen I don't think it has any martial significance, it's organizational.




Well Zach, if there are I don't practice those kata, so I really can't comment on them. And what is "yanjigo?"




If there are what?

Yanjigo is a command to move 45 degrees to approximately where you began, since alot of kata don't end in exactly the same spot. Especially relevant when a class is doing kata together.

I've never really done a side by side comparison or anything, but at least as I was taught them, most Goju kata don't end in exactly the same spot, just the ballpark. I think Saifa might, personally it was never something given alot of concern in my training.

Here:

http://www.iainabernethy.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=11;t=000006


Edited by Zach_Zinn (09/08/08 01:22 PM)

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#404549 - 09/08/08 04:37 PM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: Zach_Zinn]
medulanet Offline
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Never heard of that term before, I wonder if it is an okinawan term, or something the Japanese added to describe elements of kata. For Matsubayashi every ending step we take has meaning. Again, beginning and ending on the same spot is a side effect of proper technique. It tells you if your stance work and angles have been consistent.
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#404550 - 09/08/08 04:51 PM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: medulanet]
Zach_Zinn Offline
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Quote:

Never heard of that term before, I wonder if it is an okinawan term, or something the Japanese added to describe elements of kata. For Matsubayashi every ending step we take has meaning. Again, beginning and ending on the same spot is a side effect of proper technique. It tells you if your stance work and angles have been consistent.




I don't see this as unreasonable, but I will point out that there are plenty of systems who do just fine placing no emphasis whatsoever on this, including plenty of Chinese ones. Whether or not you end up in the same place doesn't say anything about whether or not each step has meaning, nor does it really say anything about depth or use of application.

Again the way I learned Goju kata the only one where you end up in the same place in a precise fashion is Saifa, thena gain some Goju kata tend to be less linear and with less repetition than Shorin kata, which may account for that.

Personally I think it's a little silly to try to equate whether or not someone focuses on this as having something to do with quality of their Karate...is that what you're saying or am I reading you wrong?


As far as if the term is Japanese or Okinawan in origin, I don't know, and I don't really concern myself with that kind of thing, I can tell you it's pretty standard in some Goju classes i've been in but that's about it.

I will say that honestly it strikes me as a more Japanese-Budo type concept to be that concerned with ending up in the exact right place, it reminds me of those old "Best Karate" books with the detailed embusen drawings. However. that is simply my own personal take on it and I could be wrong. It's been years since I done any Shorin kata minus Naihachi Shodan, but it would'nt surprise me if this is just down to a difference in style.


Edited by Zach_Zinn (09/08/08 05:01 PM)

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#404551 - 09/08/08 05:36 PM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: Zach_Zinn]
medulanet Offline
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Zach, again, I don't know about Goju, I'm just talking about Nagamine's style. Its very simple. Nagamine's kata/system are designed with measuring sticks of your technique. When learned right you can correct your own technique and improve on your own at certain levels. For example if your front stance measures two feet in length and and your perform moving basics down the deck in front stance three times and end up 7 feet from where you started. Then you do it again and end up 6.5 feet from where you started. Then do it again and end up 8 feet from where you started your technique is off. Your stance length is varying when it should remain constant. The kata I practice are designed to measure this. Its not about large classes or military training, its about an okinawan method of technique development and evaluation. Its not a judgement on what you do, I'm simply explaining what I do in the style I practice. Or maybe think of it like this. Do one of your kata that do not end up in the same place. Mark where you start and where you end. Then do it again from your previous starting point. If you do not end up facing the same way in the same spot as before, your technique is off and your stance length is varying. Now, that's not necessarily an okinawan thing or a japanese thing, its a stance thing. There must be a measure of consistency in your technique for it to reliably work for you. If you are a boxer and practicing targeting and can't hit a target reliably your boxing will not work reliably.
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#404552 - 09/08/08 05:45 PM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: medulanet]
Zach_Zinn Offline
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Quote:

Zach, again, I don't know about Goju, I'm just talking about Nagamine's style. Its very simple. Nagamine's kata/system are designed with measuring sticks of your technique. When learned right you can correct your own technique and improve on your own at certain levels. For example if your front stance measures two feet in length and and your perform moving basics down the deck in front stance three times and end up 7 feet from where you started. Then you do it again and end up 6.5 feet from where you started. Then do it again and end up 8 feet from where you started your technique is off. Your stance length is varying when it should remain constant. The kata I practice are designed to measure this. Its not about large classes or military training, its about an okinawan method of technique development and evaluation. Its not a judgement on what you do, I'm simply explaining what I do in the style I practice. Or maybe think of it like this. Do one of your kata that do not end up in the same place. Mark where you start and where you end. Then do it again from your previous starting point. If you do not end up facing the same way in the same spot as before, your technique is off and your stance length is varying. Now, that's not necessarily an okinawan thing or a japanese thing, its a stance thing. There must be a measure of consistency in your technique for it to reliably work for you. If you are a boxer and practicing targeting and can't hit a target reliably your boxing will not work reliably.




See, that all makes sense, but it works with Shorin kata more I think because so many techniques are mirrored and generally the kata very symetrical, I can respect the purpose behind it, but there are plenty of systems where one doesn't end in the exact same place. I've yet to see one however where you don't end facing the same way.

I understand the variation in stance thing, but to me you should have that down before even touching kata, that's a kihon thing that needs to be addressed by itself.

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#404553 - 09/08/08 06:27 PM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: Zach_Zinn]
medulanet Offline
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Quote:

I understand the variation in stance thing, but to me you should have that down before even touching kata, that's a kihon thing that needs to be addressed by itself.




Exactly. In kata if you notice you are ending in the wrong place then you need to go back to kihon and fix it. So then the question is how do you tell you stances are jacked up when you do kata if there is no system in place to alert you of this possible short coming?
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#404554 - 09/08/08 06:33 PM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: Zach_Zinn]
Victor Smith Offline
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Hi Zach,

While quite a bit out of the karate setting, Pai Lum Kuen from the Pai Lum system ends 90 degrees from the start. Back in the early 70's George Dillman used to complete with it in forms divisions.

Depending on what you call ending, Chinto kata ends 180 degrees from the opening, to have to rise and turn that 180 to complete the rei.

Similarily Chinte kata (Shotokan) requires 3 rearward bunny hops to end up at the starting point.

Those come to mind at this moment.
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#404555 - 09/08/08 06:34 PM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: medulanet]
Victor Smith Offline
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Hi Med,

How do you tell...... In my case it was my instructor's guidence.
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#404556 - 09/08/08 06:45 PM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: medulanet]
Zach_Zinn Offline
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Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Quote:

Quote:

I understand the variation in stance thing, but to me you should have that down before even touching kata, that's a kihon thing that needs to be addressed by itself.




Exactly. In kata if you notice you are ending in the wrong place then you need to go back to kihon and fix it. So then the question is how do you tell you stances are jacked up when you do kata if there is no system in place to alert you of this possible short coming?




Well the answer is your instructor will show you lol, the way I was trained with both my Goju teachers you constantly have someone showing you exactly why you should do things one way and not another by showing how to "put it in your body" and showing by application to do things a certain way...a simplistic example would be testing someone's movement from the tanden in sanchin stance, with enough of this work it becomes automatic.

I can respect what you are saying and it seems equally valid, I just don't think beginning and ending on the same spot is neccessary for good technique or kata, though obviously one should always be 'in the ballpark' in the kata was performed correctly.

For me symmetry is of way less importance than proper posture, movement etc. Someone can have a slightly longer zenkutsu or something at some certain point of Kata without it being an issue as long as it is still zenkutsu, is being used right, and the intent is understood...in fact I would argue that as someone continues to train kata goes through subtle changes like this regardless.


Edited by Zach_Zinn (09/08/08 06:55 PM)

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#404557 - 09/09/08 04:21 AM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: Victor Smith]
Barad Offline
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Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 427
...and Victor believe me lots of Shotokan karateka have tied themselves in knots trying to explain a fighting application for the Chinte bunny hops. I also saw an explanation that they represented a supplicant wife bowing to her husband because Chinte is sometimes charaterised by the Japanese as a "woman's kata".

Ben

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#404558 - 09/09/08 11:30 AM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: Victor Smith]
medulanet Offline
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Registered: 09/03/03
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Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Quote:

Hi Med,

How do you tell...... In my case it was my instructor's guidence.




Not when you are learning Victor, but when you train on your own, leave your instructor, and investigate things for yourself. Much of the crazy crap I have seen out there is due to people who had no means of improving their karate and advancing through self study because they were so used to being spoon fed corrections and were not taught how to correct themselves. So the question is how do you know that you are STILL on the right path to proper karate technique in the absence of your instructors?
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#404559 - 09/09/08 04:39 PM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: medulanet]
Zach_Zinn Offline
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Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Quote:

Quote:

Hi Med,

How do you tell...... In my case it was my instructor's guidence.




Not when you are learning Victor, but when you train on your own, leave your instructor, and investigate things for yourself. Much of the crazy crap I have seen out there is due to people who had no means of improving their karate and advancing through self study because they were so used to being spoon fed corrections and were not taught how to correct themselves. So the question is how do you know that you are STILL on the right path to proper karate technique in the absence of your instructors?




If your instructor has taken the time to train you in the mechanics and function of what you are doing, this shouldn't be a question by that point. There are a million different ways to test and verify good technique, from pushing on a wall to pushing on a abdomen to two man drilling.

Basically in kata I think there are minutae that matter, and then there's minutae that most definitely don't, and good instruction I would think will give you the capabilities to understand for yourself what's important and what isn't.

While I can respect the focus on returning to the exact spot, if it were as important as you are saying it is my feeling is it would be more widespread than it is....as it is though, there are plenty of successful traditional arts that pay this concept no mind.


Edited by Zach_Zinn (09/09/08 04:41 PM)

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#404560 - 09/10/08 05:15 AM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: medulanet]
Victor Smith Offline
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Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
Hi Med,

Well for the past say 32 years I have been on my own, no longer in the presence of my instructors, almost immediately after reaching black belt.

First I came to realize I wasn't good enough, so I started watchin those who were better (including my instuctors on the rare occassions I could see them.).

Then I analyzed what was different and worked out a way to strengthen it. In my case I started with stance, and moved on from there.

Then I competed as frequently as I could, especially in empty hand and weapons kata. Forcing myself to do so before others makes you work harder.

Then I used my developing understandings to train my students, re-inforcing what I was working towards, and seeing the reflection in their own development.

This was over 30 years ago and formed my beginning on this.

I was also training with other people, many very, very good MA"s, none of who gave a durn about my Isshinryu, but I began to understand how good crossed systems of training.

The day came when my tai chi insructor explained his body alignment princples, inreasing power, technique, etc. That helped me form a greater context to both train myself and have a road map for my students to do the same.

Among other things I've become incredibly picky about very small details, igoring everyone who says such things don't matter. Today among the minimum requirements to become an instructor in my group is 15 continous years of training, enough time to know what you need.

It's a day by day, decade by decade experience.

PS, I've never worried aobut ending anyplace. I had trained for decades before I had heard Isshinryu kata could do it that way. I then played with it, understood the point, and ignored it.

I see it useful as a high level goal for pushing performance, and extraneous outside of that, IMO. IMO Kata is to learn how to use your energy in movement more efficiently. The purpose of that movement to then shift and apply at technique within any attack to disrupt the attacker.

The ending point that is the focus, the attacker lies broken on the ground. Any attacker, any time.... and if you can't use the technique studies to do that you have to train harder.


Edited by Victor Smith (09/10/08 05:20 AM)
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#404561 - 09/12/08 12:18 AM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: Ronin1966]
Yugen83 Offline
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Registered: 08/02/08
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Quote:

Hello Yugen83:

I was curious though about YOUR practice, your kata specifically! The theory obviously makes sense from a logistics (?) standpoint, crowded space, movement highly limited unless in perfect sync with the person behind, beside, in front of you...

Maybe

Jeff




Hey, how's it going ? In my own personal practice, this is not a point that is stressed in our training. As long as we don't end up on the other side of the dojo when the kata is complete, then it is of no consequence. I see value in it for artistic purposes and for peformance purposes, but I think that it is ultimately useless for practical application of technique. A real fight is not going to start and end in the same place, and neither is a self defense scenario, so there is not much emphasis put on it. The only time there is ever any mention of it is when we are preparing for demo's or kata tournaments and we want our kata performance to "look" perfect in every single way for the judges. We don't make a big deal out of the enbusen thing and our techniques are still nice and crisp, and we apply our techniques in kumite with surgeon like precision. So it neither helps nor hinders our skill levels, it is nothing more than a small quirk within our training.
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#404562 - 09/29/08 11:44 PM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: medulanet]
Unyu Offline
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Quote:

Its a "side effect" of perfect technique execution. I don't know about other styles, but Matsubayashi is designed to end on the exact same point give or take about 6 inches. People always talk about advanced training, principles, and applications. Well, training kata correctly will help develop the advanced level of skill necessary to apply these things. Its also about having good spatial awareness. Can you perform kata blindfolded and end facing the correct way in the correct place?




The idea of ending up where you started was not a factor in toudi kata training. The advent of modernized and regimented schoolboy and then Japanized forms/karate changed this.
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#404563 - 09/30/08 12:55 AM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: Unyu]
medulanet Offline
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Really Unyu, that is interesting. From your statements I would think that your Kusanku would not begin and end in the same spot if it were done with consistent stance work. I have never seen a version of Kusanku like this. In fact the Nishime Kusanku on youtube that you say is like the one you do appears to begin and end on the same spot. If this is your "position" it may be more than a "coincidence" that Nishime's Kusanku appears to exhibit this "school boy" trait.
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#404564 - 09/30/08 04:50 AM The same spot - arguments against [Re: medulanet]
puffadder Offline
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There is an interesting point against this...

If your forms always start and end in the same place then it follows that every movement within that form follows the same angles of attack and defence. However, we all know that real life doesn't work like that and attacks can come from any angle. Forms need to be flexible enough to deal with changing attack scenarios not be so rigid that every movement is the same every time. That doesn't teach students to react effectively to what's going on around them which is surely one of the aims of form training.

Once the student has the basic form and can follow the traditional angles of the form we teach them to use those movements to react to attacks coming from other angles - ie if they are facing north then the first attack could be from East then South West etc which may not be normal angles of attack for that form. Obviously then they may not end in the same place.

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#404565 - 09/30/08 07:05 AM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: puffadder]
CVV Offline
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In goju-ryu it is not a requirement to begin and end at the same spot. I know that most shotokan groups have this rule but in goju-ryu it is not.
Take eg tensho, 3 steps forward and 4 steps back.
But goju-ryu kata do begin and end somewhere in the same circle with diameter of about 2 meter.

I agree with Unyu that this is imposed as a result of the unifomication attempts to accept Karate into the Butokukai.
Same with the kiai on fixed locations.

Look at the kobudo-kata, many never end and start in the same vincinity.

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#404566 - 09/30/08 11:26 AM Re: The same spot Begin/End W-H-Y [Re: Ronin1966]
JAMJTX Offline
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Often, those kata that are designed to have you end up in the same spot will require you to take the same size steps and keep the stances consistent throughout the kata.

But not all are designed that way.

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#404567 - 09/30/08 12:48 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: puffadder]
medulanet Offline
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Quote:

There is an interesting point against this...

Puffadder, if your forms always start and end in the same place then it follows that every movement within that form follows the same angles of attack and defence. However, we all know that real life doesn't work like that and attacks can come from any angle. Forms need to be flexible enough to deal with changing attack scenarios not be so rigid that every movement is the same every time. That doesn't teach students to react effectively to what's going on around them which is surely one of the aims of form training.

Once the student has the basic form and can follow the traditional angles of the form we teach them to use those movements to react to attacks coming from other angles - ie if they are facing north then the first attack could be from East then South West etc which may not be normal angles of attack for that form. Obviously then they may not end in the same place.




A couple of things. First, if you always adjust the angle of your technique when exploring bunkai you will be missing alot. What I mean is take Pinan kata. In the first movement many people assume that the attack is coming from the left side. However, that is basics training. For in close combat the attack would be coming from straight on. However, if you ajust the angle of your technique to accomodate what you believe the bunkai to be if you believe that attack is always coming from the left you will lose much of what you can do with that technique. In fact, this is how karate application is. On technique for many attacks. Of course there are small adjustments to be made in application, but drastic changes in angles on techniques is not the way to go imo.

Now, lets talk about kata training. It seems you are talking about the various training methods for kata such as variable timing/speed training and bunkai/application training with a partner. Now, I am not sure how you train application with no partner and performing the entire kata. If that is your practice what we do is worlds apart. I am pretty certain we were not talking about more advanced kata training methods. With such methods positional coincidence does not apply. Especially when you remove all of the repeating techniques in a kata to further explore its combat effectiveness. But that's another story. Other than speed/quickness training I have never seen an advanced training methods that requires performance of the entire kata.
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#404568 - 09/30/08 01:03 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: CVV]
medulanet Offline
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Quote:

In goju-ryu it is not a requirement to begin and end at the same spot. I know that most shotokan groups have this rule but in goju-ryu it is not.
Take eg tensho, 3 steps forward and 4 steps back.
But goju-ryu kata do begin and end somewhere in the same circle with diameter of about 2 meter.

I agree with Unyu that this is imposed as a result of the unifomication attempts to accept Karate into the Butokukai.
Same with the kiai on fixed locations.

Look at the kobudo-kata, many never end and start in the same vincinity.




Actually positional coincidence is an okinawan thing and has nothing to do with Japanese acceptance. It is from the same theory as that of okinawan dance. In addition it is not the number of steps in a specific direction with make this theory a reality, but the intermediate movements and postures which bring it all together. As for Goju, Nagamine mentions Shuri-te and Tomari-te with no mention of Naha, so your art is not included in this discussion.

In fact, it might be benificial for those who do not follow this principle when performing kata to list the kata which don't begin and end on the same spot with in say 6 inches.
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#404569 - 09/30/08 02:55 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: medulanet]
shoshinkan Offline
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off the top of my head in our Seito Matsumura the Passai Sho and Passai Dai kata end up a distance forward from where they start, about 4 ft if I recall.

our Naihanchi end up 2ft forward as we cross step at a diagional rather than cross step on the same line.

the rest, I think (I have no room to do them correctly and check right now) end up fairly close, within 6 inches.

But there is no emphasis on ending up anywhere in what we do, sometimes stances are shorter, sometimes longer, sometimes you tak a bigger step, sometimes you take a different angle, depending on who you are and what your doing.

each significantly experienced person works the art their way, messy as hell !
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#404570 - 09/30/08 03:58 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: shoshinkan]
Ed_Morris Offline
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two questions for medulanet:
Do you have more than 1 application for kata principles?

Do you visualize an opponent when training solo kata?


The answers to those 2 questions determine if you end up in the same spot each time or not.

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#404571 - 09/30/08 06:35 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: Ed_Morris]
medulanet Offline
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Ed, the answer two both questions is yes and I can still end up in roughly the same spot when performing kata.
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#404572 - 09/30/08 10:11 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: medulanet]
Ed_Morris Offline
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#404573 - 09/30/08 10:23 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: Ed_Morris]
medulanet Offline
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Quote:






Actually its pretty basic stuff Ed. So even though you are "wowed" its nothing really. Some people train kata application through solo kata performance. I guess positional coincidence means nothing to them. The funny thing is Nagamine's style teaches how to bridge the gap between kata performance and kumite(bunkai, application, etc). And it does not involve solo kata performance. That is for technique perfection/development. If you want to learn to apply your stuff for real you need a training partner. Of course if you haven't sufficiently developed your technique it won't work for you either so you need both.
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#404574 - 09/30/08 11:11 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: medulanet]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Check your browser settings, you may have your sarcasm filter on.

Landing in the same spot during solo kata, would mean that since you imagine one of a variety of responses using the kata's principles for any given technique/sequence, then all of those response variations have exactly the same footwork?

somethings gotta be wrong there, thats not coincidence, thats dogma. Adding to Bryan's train of thought, there is a difference between demonstration kata and training kata. Many only learn the demonstration orthodox form and force the training into that, since they don't have anything else to work with and are told 'kata should never be changed'.


Since the demonstation form was popularized directly and indirectly thru Japanese influence, fitting it into geometric angles and precise vectors became the status quo - anything else was considered 'sloppy'. Not to mention hard to manage a courtyard of students in unison. Thats the modern invention Bryan was talking about before he got banned, and he is correct.

If taught to always end up where you start, then you likely learned the demonstration form and were not shown the freedom of the 'sloppy'.

However, people -say- they follow the demonstration form's body mechanics EXACTLY when they do 2-person applications of the kata...but they don't really. They just say that. I've seen a bunch of times when someone says they do the solo and 2-person with the same exact mechanics, yet when demonstrated, they aren't anything alike - in some cases even using completely different body mechanics unrecognizable to the solo counterpart. Thats when non-kata people scratch their heads and rightfully ask...why even use the solo kata if the applied technique isn't the same in practice?

and that's also how people come up with 'this kata technique has a 1001 applications' ...and then by the time they demonstrate application #3, it's veered off to lala land and isn't related to the solo mechanic.

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#404575 - 09/30/08 11:53 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: Ed_Morris]
Victor Smith Offline
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Personally I think you are all trying too hard. I see a variety of training ways using kata, all of which have purpose depending on where one is at.

I find little value in 'slop', there are too many schools in every town that master that.

Not a fan of ending up in the same point, if you do you do, but there can be reason to build personal precision that concise kata performance has value.

There are no rules after all. You can use kata 100% as practiced to take someone apart, and you can perform solo kata with the opponent in mind no problem, of course the angle each technique is delivered isn't tied into one visualization.

Skill in execution is not something to be sneered at. Working to bind that skill into random response is better than sloppy practice and less capability if required.

Of course I don't see one kata execution as the goal, rather layers of execution potentials each having different purposes. I was trained that way and incorporate it into my students studies too.

But one technique is a kata, and any one technique can be delivered the same way to defeat dozens of attacks. And there are no rules that you have to follow the kata.

Kata builds movement dynamics that can transfer into any movement of choice.

Draw your lines small and you get small answers.

One choice is to do a kata such as Chinto or Seipai with utmost precisions even to ending in the same spot if desired, and then using those precise movements, stepping, turning as the weapon not the strikes or thrusts.

Kata isn't the end, it's just the beginning.
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#404576 - 10/01/08 12:18 AM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: Victor Smith]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Hi Victor,

"Draw your lines small and you get small answers."

in general, and on it's own, thats a wise statement... conversely, it could be argued:

"Draw your lines too big and you get any answers."


for random instance, can a solo movement in kata that looks like an upper block, but applied as a spinning backfist? Or how about it looking like a punch in the solo kata, but interpreting it as a cresent kick? is that drawing the line wide enough?



if you think so, then all the power to you...except it wouldn't be relating the applied to the solo - rendering the solo form arbitrary.


and how can you draw lines smaller than always trying to end up where you started in kata? by the way, just curious and you may know since I think you mentioned you did some competition judging - do they take off points when a solo-kata performer doesn't end up in the same spot?

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#404577 - 10/01/08 01:54 AM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: Ed_Morris]
medulanet Offline
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Ed, yes, obviously I only know the "demonstration" kata and everyone who ends up in a different place everytime knows the super deadly secret oringinoo krotty. I don't know if anyone was listening, but if all of your stances are consistent most shorin kata will lead you to the place where you started within 6 inches. Now, maybe if you try to do this, and fail, then you can argue that the only reason why you are unable to is because your karate kata performance is too deadly to end up in the same place because it is illegal in your state to kill the same imaginary person more than once. The bottom line is that it is an okinawan principle taken from okinawan dance and most likely came into practice when the kata were standardized from their free form predecessors. What most on here don't seem to know is if they practice a kata which has the same techniques each time they do it they are in fact practicing the demonstration gendai version of kata. The old kata were most likely had no set techniques. So I'll leave you to your slop.

Karate is about a general technique that can fit into any attack. Ed, I mean really, just how many ways can someone attack you? You may imagine fighting female midget wrestlers one day and a Yeti the next which causes drastic differences in the execution of your kata and your stepping? I don't know, but my karate is much simpler than that. So good luck with your more than demonstration kata Ed.
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#404578 - 10/01/08 02:43 AM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: medulanet]
CVV Offline
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In regard to demonstration kata versus trainig kata, I agree with Ed. Concerning Goju I have been thaught that you can alter the number of steps in training. Of course the demo version is the one that is to be used in public demonstration and end-up roughly same space.

Another thing not always persued in Goju is to train both sides. But you can add-on steps in training kata just to compensate. The right side is emphesized in Goju. Neither do we visualize opponents in performing solo kata, but stress on maximum power release through timing, speed and technique. Nowadays also focus on posture towards principles in up-right position (look nice, always same posture in technique, competition), although in older interpreteation towards combat posture.

But these are my experiences in Goju-ryu, I cannot talk about Tomari-te or Shuri-te.

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#404579 - 10/01/08 05:36 AM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: Ed_Morris]
Victor Smith Offline
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Hi Ed,

I'm not buying your 'reductio ab absurdum' argument (and I'm no taking the time to check the latin spelling ((real men don't use spell check anyways)).

That said a kata rising block can legitmately be a spinning back fist using 'kakushite' or hidden hand instruction. But I think the rules on that are if I show it I have to destroy you, or it wouldn't remain hidden.....

As I said I'm not a it matters if you stop at the starting point type of guy, I just can see a use it it at different stages of training, depending on what the instructor is trying to develop.

I find the range of potential in the arts vast, and doubt anyone comes close to using all of the potential. It is very possible that there are things we don't agree with that can still be used positively in a program.

At the same time, there are things that can end up being done for rote and lose value too.

In this case it's not the existence of the training method, its the choice how it is used. I"ve not had occassion to make that choice yet. Of course on our next encounter I will go out of my way to 'force' it on you <GRIN>.

Yes I did judge for about 10 years and no stopping at a special point was not one of the judging criteria. I judge in open competition tournaments, not closed style ones. TKD, Goju and Shorin side by side.

While there are many reasons, among them when I came to realize 95% of the competitors would be better served to not compete but spend that time training, was at the time I set tournaments aside.

Today I only use one set of criteria if I would judge. Using my study of technique alignment, if I would see a black belt competitor who was unaligned in any technique (creating an opening I could attack) I would score them 0, otherwise if there was no misalignment I would score them 100. My reasoning if I see a black belt make a mistake I could attack they didn't surive the fight.

BTW, for my own students (black belt) if they made a mistake I would do the same. I have one student I judged a 0 who took first place in the division, once upon a time.

But I don't judge these days....


Edited by Victor Smith (10/01/08 05:38 AM)
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#404580 - 10/01/08 07:46 AM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: Victor Smith]
Ed_Morris Offline
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not selling it Victor, so no need to buy it.

I suppose, some liken kata to cloud interpretation - anything can be anything.

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#404581 - 10/01/08 01:11 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: CVV]
medulanet Offline
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CVV, other than training a kata at combat speed or taking out steps/techniques to better understand bunkai, why alter the steps in solo kata training when you could spend that time working with a training partner?
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#404582 - 10/01/08 02:03 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: medulanet]
Ed_Morris Offline
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if you are willing to argue that, then it sortof puts into question the need for the solo kata at all - since you could be instead spending THAT time with partner drills/sparring.

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#404583 - 10/01/08 02:36 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: Ed_Morris]
medulanet Offline
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Quote:

if you are willing to argue that, then it sortof puts into question the need for the solo kata at all - since you could be instead spending THAT time with partner drills/sparring.




Not really Ed. Kata is important to develop proper technique and ingrain the lessons of karate's fighting strategy. Too much sparring can ingrain bad habits such as too much stepping back to avoid rather than setting up your opponent and gaining superior position to counter through tai sabaki. All partner drills with no kata or basics training and cause technique execution to erode. There are many pieces to the karate puzzle. Kata is your text book, pad/makiwara work is your scratch paper/notes, conditioning is your homework, and two man drills/sparring is your lab. Unless you are a prodigy or genius all are needed for a complete martial education.
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#404584 - 10/01/08 02:53 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: medulanet]
Ed_Morris Offline
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thanks, but I'm not exactly new to Karate.

you would rather spend the time doing extra partner work than doing a semi-adhoc solo kata - fine. but you won't comprimise the time you spend doing the dogmatic solo kata practice?

doesn't make sense - you are willing to practice semi-adhoc partner drills (it has to be at least somewhat adhoc, assuming your partner isn't attacking/resisting exactly the same way each time), but you aren't willing to carry that over into solo work - instead, for the solo work, you do the exact angles and precision stepping form and practice landing in the same place.

it shouldn't be a stretch to imagine some places however, allow for the subtlties learned from partner work, to carry into the solo form.

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#404585 - 10/01/08 03:26 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: Ed_Morris]
medulanet Offline
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That's just it, everything learned from the two man drills, pad work, sparring, etc. is carried over into kata training. Except I don't see the need to do three chest blocks rather than two as a method of improving my fighting. Or imagine that my opponent is now attacking from the front so I need to turn 85 degrees rather than 180 degrees and add a few punches and a kick before the original low block. But if you can benefit from that training be my guest. I'd rather get my stuff perfect like lightening and then go see how it works against someone trying to take my head off.

As for practicing landing in the same spot I don't. That's just it. I explained why it is done. But a lot of emphasis rally should not be placed on it. Its good for beginners and it us a method to get feed back on your kata stance work if you so desire.

Now, let me ask you a question Ed. Do your altered kata improve your fighting more than the prearranged ones?
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#404586 - 10/01/08 03:49 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: medulanet]
Zach_Zinn Offline
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Ok, i'm gonna go ahead and throw this out there:

In arts other than Karate what Ed is talking about is not only accepted, but to some degree expected, even in solo work there is room for expansion upon what you are doing, particularly as one gets higher up in understanding.

Why this would be a controversial idea I really can't grasp.

The idea of "kata is only this way" in terms of practice is great for beginners but I really think it lacks usefulness later on. You should understand what you are doing and why, but you should also understand that it's always about context and there are almost infinite variations.

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#404587 - 10/01/08 04:00 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: Zach_Zinn]
medulanet Offline
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So Zach can we assume that you do kata differently everytime you practice it as well? Its one thing to shadow box with karate techniques, but to choses a kata and then do something other than that kata is weird. Now, I can understand unfolding the "hidden" techniques within a kata since this is a part of advanced training in shorin ryu, but to randomly stick in techniques and steps into a kata just seems odd. But if it floats your boat and makes you a better fighter go for it. And I will keep doing my demonstration karate.
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#404588 - 10/01/08 04:48 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: medulanet]
student_of_life Offline
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you talk alot of reasonable stuff med, can't argue that. so please, explain this....

"but to randomly stick in techniques and steps into a kata just seems odd."

but in your last post you said this...
"Or imagine that my opponent is now attacking from the front so I need to turn 85 degrees rather than 180 degrees and add a few punches and a kick before the original low block. "

now, i know in your world you have a reason for this. like for example the techniques you used in the example were "called for" under your imaginary circumstances. but which side of what fence are you on, i'll never know, haha.

"And I will keep doing my demonstration karate."

" Its one thing to shadow box with karate techniques, but to choses a kata and then do something other than that kata is weird."

keep on being weird my friend, its working for you.
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#404589 - 10/01/08 05:09 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: student_of_life]
medulanet Offline
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Student, you misunderstood. When I said "Or imagine that my opponent is now attacking from the front so I need to turn 85 degrees rather than 180 degrees and add a few punches and a kick before the original low block." I was imagining how strange and random the stuff Ed, Zach, et al were saying was. This is not what I do. It is what I imagined that they do. Get it?
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#404590 - 10/01/08 05:34 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: medulanet]
Zach_Zinn Offline
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Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Quote:

So Zach can we assume that you do kata differently everytime you practice it as well? Its one thing to shadow box with karate techniques, but to choses a kata and then do something other than that kata is weird. Now, I can understand unfolding the "hidden" techniques within a kata since this is a part of advanced training in shorin ryu, but to randomly stick in techniques and steps into a kata just seems odd. But if it floats your boat and makes you a better fighter go for it. And I will keep doing my demonstration karate.




No, but practicing variation in kata is pretty basic stuff, if practicing kata to you just means rote practice of the same srquences over and over, id say that's a pretty limited view, further i'd say it's practice more based on aesthetics than on training skills.

Has nothing to do with randomly sticking techniques, has to do with actually training the kata rather than just "performing" it.

Again, it amazes me that this concept is controversial to anyone.

No one said anything about random BTW, read what we write before editorializing about something that's not even there.
So you imagine we do some "random strange stuff".....right back at ya I guess dude.


Edited by Zach_Zinn (10/01/08 05:39 PM)

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#404591 - 10/01/08 05:49 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: Zach_Zinn]
medulanet Offline
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Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
I guess you have never read some of what I have written on training kata versus performing kata. After the basic level you are right simply going through an entire kata the same way over and over makes no sense. However, I don't train that way. For me it is about training individual techniques or technique strings and developing them or training the entire kata at combat speed to develop footwork and combat effective speed or posibly taking out the repeating techniques to get at a deeper meaning to the kata. What I find strange is to perform an entire kata and changing things here and there all along.

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#404592 - 10/01/08 05:51 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: Zach_Zinn]
medulanet Offline
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Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Okay Zach. If when you perform an entire kata and step here instead of there and kick instead of punch if its not random then explain the systematic way you determine when and where to do what.
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#404593 - 10/01/08 06:09 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: medulanet]
CVV Offline
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Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 605
Loc: Belgium
Quote:

CVV, other than training a kata at combat speed or taking out steps/techniques to better understand bunkai, why alter the steps in solo kata training when you could spend that time working with a training partner?




Because we are training the solo practice.
When I do partnjer drill, it's either bunkai kumite, explaining a movement from kata or yakusoku kumite taking a combination derived from kata/fighting experience.

Adding on steps, executing a combination of techniques from a step multiple times, more as foreseen in the kata, is a way to, train these individual steps. It does not to create a new enbusen that I like more, just training.

I take 2 examples.
Sanchin training, just repeat sequence till you at the end of the dojo floor and then turn, repeating this sequence agin till end of dojo then turn, repeat sequence.
This is the way Kanryu Higashiaonna trained this kata (around 1885 - 1915). Purpose Iron body traing and basic stepping-striking technique.

Shishochin kata. Their is weird combination of techniques in it to dislocate elbow/submission technique on elbow. It's executed in both directions north/south twice in the kata (right and left side). In training I just could do more of these same steps to train this technique solo.

You could argue that you could just break up these sequences and train them in a kihon practice but setting up combinations in kihon technique is not something that is emphesized in kihon practice in the goju-ryu sects I have trained with. They rather train this from kata practice.

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#404594 - 10/01/08 06:53 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: CVV]
medulanet Offline
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Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
CVV, but now are we talking about practicing a kata or isolating technique combinations and training them? Remeber, this discussion was regarding performing a kata and ending on the same spot. Many here argued that this did not happen because their kata practice had advanced to a level that they added steps, changed the angles, and added techniques. I don't see taking a set of techniques from a kata and training them up and down the deck as the same. No one ever talked about training specific kata sequences seperately. It was about creating an on the spot kata variation and unable to end on the same spot due to this variation on the kata. Now, if all of the detractors are now talking about taking individual techniques or technique strings and training them in isolation of a particular kata that I agree with. Wait a minute, I think I mentioned that earlier as a kata training method I prescribe to. So if this is what you are talking about I have no beef with you.
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#404595 - 10/01/08 07:58 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: medulanet]
Zach_Zinn Offline
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Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Quote:

Okay Zach. If when you perform an entire kata and step here instead of there and kick instead of punch if its not random then explain the systematic way you determine when and where to do what.




Well ya know how a technique can have alot of different uses, and even within a single use, you perform it differently depending on the sitaution...same thing there.

I'm not saying I do the "offical kata" differently everytime...i'm saying that pulling apart the kata and training it with some intent and understanding is much more important than where you start and end, and whether all you zenkutsu stances are the same length.

I really don't think kata were meant ot have such an exact performance, I feel this is mostly modern contrivance and probably largely due to Japanese budo influence...there's definitely right and wrong ways of doing stuff, but treating kata like a formal exact dance is silly imo.

To touch on the original subject, as far as arts using solo kata I think it is a small minority that pay alot of attention to this kind of detail, and I can say from experience most Goju don't end on exactly the same spot, nor do they need to.

Personally when in doubt I try to err on the side of substance over ceremony, and i'm just not convinced that where you start and end is a consideration of any great substance or depth.

Obviously you don't add or subtract things from the offical version of the kata, however being able to adaptively use it, pull it apart and understand it is kind of a big deal, so beyond the "offical version" I don't see a point in NOT playing with it, whether solo or paired.


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

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#404596 - 10/01/08 08:31 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: Zach_Zinn]
medulanet Offline
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Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
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.
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#404597 - 10/01/08 08:42 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: medulanet]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
referring to earlier, I wasn't talking about gross changes to the kata - I meant using the same principled mechanics of the technique/sequence but allowing for variance of that principle instead of strickly mimicing an orthodox form.

you don't strickly adhere to the orthodox form when doing partner drills of any given principle, so why have that restriction during the solo set? ...was my point.


my other point about 'sloppy' is what the above mentioned allowance looks like to an orthodox-minded observer. They see that the person isn't adhering 100% to to the orthodox form and sees that as 'slop'....while the experienced viewer on the other hand, can see solidly applied application more clearly.

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#404598 - 10/01/08 09:08 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: medulanet]
Zach_Zinn Offline
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Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Quote:

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.

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#404599 - 10/01/08 09:25 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: Zach_Zinn]
medulanet Offline
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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.
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#404600 - 10/01/08 09:29 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: medulanet]
Zach_Zinn Offline
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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 spot...no.

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)

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#404601 - 10/01/08 10:23 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: Zach_Zinn]
medulanet Offline
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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.
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#404602 - 10/02/08 10:12 AM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: medulanet]
cxt Offline
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Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5821
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 place........you guys have already covered a bunch.

Its been a good read so far!


Edited by cxt (10/02/08 10:14 AM)
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#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...

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

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 427
Joe,

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

Ben


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

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#404605 - 10/04/08 05:26 PM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: Barad]
student_of_life Offline
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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.
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#404606 - 10/05/08 04:44 AM Re: The same spot - arguments against [Re: student_of_life]
KickingAngel16 Offline
Member

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.
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