Hey Ed

Well, that'll teach you to show people video's, won't it!

I just want to comment on your quote below, but will probably dfrift into a couple of other points you made.


I think my question has been covered. In comparrison, goju has mostly a vertical center of gravity...in order to do this, goju stances 'tuck in the buttocks' - which in effect, aligns the top and bottom body angles. (straight up and down)

Matsubayashi has a slight tilt forward (hara projection is at a front angle, almost as an invisible 3rd leg)...this no doubt gives a better weight transfer into the target, but maybe at the expense of something else...maybe not. there isn't much linear retreating philosophy in Karate (except with off-balancing), so why not take advantage of that fact.
forward tilt seems like a sound principal, the reason it doesn't look like it makes sense is because I might be looking at it from the logic of sparring principals. When sport sparring, you want to be able to spring in any direction. In self-defense, you need forward and forward angles. Goju is about holding your ground and attacking in place or to the side - let the attacker come into your space.

Let's start with the basic "lean" of the style. I don't accept Medulant's theory that it doesn't exist in advanced practitioners. Look at photo's and video's of the senior representatives of the style. They lean. That's OK, let's just not pretend it's not there.

I don't accept that there is a difference between the SD and sparring philosophy's. They both have the same requirement, in that you put your body in a position from which it can most effectively move in any desired direction. To say we don't go back, is fundamentally flawed. As such, I believe leaning forward, while it MAY have an advantage in some way (Don't know what yet) it does put you in a poor position to move. In addition it restricts your kicking ability in the direction that you are striking, requiring a repositioning to a more central body position before being able to kick effectively.

Whether you use your back or side muscles, I don't know. I tend to think of them as a complimentary unit that work together. Kind of like a soccer team with forwards, a midfield and defence. They work as a unit to be effective. In the video I saw of you, I believe you had an over emphasis on the upper torso muscles at the expense of the lower muscles. This gave the impression of power generation from higher up than I believe is desirable. (Kind of like a soccer team with great forwars, but who suck at the back. Something Arsenal could never be accused of!)

Why the lean?

I'm a great believer that karate is an individual thing. A master has over the years developed his own way of doing things that work for him. Fine, I have no problem with that. It's when the students then try to delve into depth to explain why it's the way it is that you start to run into trouble. It may have been that the guy originally trained with people smaller than him and didn't need to go backwards as he felt comfortable overpowering them in a forward direction. Maybe he didn't worry about kicking because he sucked at it anyway. Who know's!

I suggest that rather than looking at it as style based element, look at basic mechanics and see what works for you.

(Best topic in a while though)
John L