Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Hidden Moves


The question is posed "So are we back to "Hidden Moves" inside kata discussion/argument? Where the masters only showed these to their favored students? "
 

We need to make some fine distinctions here for intelligent conversation.

I have experienced several different versions of this training, to understand that not only one approach to training is being discussed.


In each case being a student was not a democracy, where their wished had any impact on what the student wanted.


First, there is the traditional program that the instructor experienced himself, and that training was taught in a specific order. There his instructor did not discuss what was available with students before they reached a designated lever in their training. Most likely that was how they too were taught.
 

So someone in that tradition would not share information until the student qualified for that level of training. They are secrets in the sense that they were never discussed until the appropriate levels of training were reached. And that may have involved decades of training.

 

Next is the traditional instructor who shared some knowledge, but then the student choose not to work  and master that knowledge. In return the instructor would choose not to share more knowledge.
 

I am thinking of one instructor I know who often taught a kobudo kata to a student, then in time the student decided there were more interested in another weapon, and stopped practicing what they were originally shown. And they were not shown anything more. As they failed the test, they were not even informed what the test was, it being their dedication to the way the instructor shared the system. In this case any time a student choose to find another way, that disqualified them from other training. Not fair, but the way they were taught.

 Another answer is that the student is never shown information before they have trained to the point they are ready for that information. So hidden secrets are just that, information that one is not ready for in that system of teaching.

 It is not impossible to understand if that is the way the instructors instructor taught them. Then they are simply keeping a tradition alive.


Of course today with so much information being exchanged, the idea offends some. Then again who is to say that it is not right to offend them?


A different sort of instructor is one who worked themselves to understand how kata applications could be used. When you experience such an instructor, most times they are so focused they cannot stop sharing what they are continually discovering.


But at the same time there are no secrets to what they show.  If you experience what they have via a clinic. That is almost the same as getting nothing. For every potential application builds forward. Without the one to one experience, you will unlikely really get what you have been shown.

One very traditional instructor I experienced, explained that his father would be called on for ‘secrets’ when he would give a clinic. He never hid anything, gave them the full technique series. Knowing no one present would actually retain it, except where they were actually at the level to ‘get it’. Otherwise it became ‘vapor ware’ or ‘ the technique of no technique’. I have experienced that from various instructors from different cultures.

 
Knowledge involves work sweat equity. Not casual discussion. There are layers and layers of understanding. Just wanting simple answers is rarely that you will understand what is shown.

 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

When Push Comes to Shove - the fourth answer

Again to continue with this theme, another answer is

what the ‘low block’ can turn into.

 

The movement that begins as a low block changes with another

Circular movement and becomes a inverted ridge hand strike.

 

Thus the low block becomes a strike

moving through the space provided by the attacking arm or leg.

 










 

Again the transition from the low block to inverted ridge hand strike is done with a circular motion, when done with a shift in the hips becomes another force enhancer.

 

This also permits you to be unpredictable in your use of technique.

 

Taken together these four techniques

Are a way to make your karate more unpredictable.

Using blocks as opening movements for strikes.

 

They can be practiced individually, each a singular drill.

You can also take any kata and replace the blocks

With the enhanced movements.

 

This can also be practiced as a new extended kata,

For advancing skills with these movements.

 

You are in control as to when you choose to use them.

And of course this is not everything,
but it is a good beginning.

When Push Comes To Shove – A Third Answer

To continue with this theme, another answer is

what the ‘inside block’ can turn into.

 

The movement that begins as a inside block changes with another

Circular movement and becomes a backfist strike.

 

Thus the inside block becomes a strike

moving through the space provided by the attacking arm.








 

Again the transition from the inside block to backfist strike is done with a circular motion, when done with a shift in the hips becomes another force enhancer.

 

This also permits you to be unpredictable in your use of technique.


 

When Push Comes To Shove – A Second Answer


To continue with this theme, another answer is what the ‘side block’ can turn into.

 

The movement that begins as a side block changes with another

Circular movement and becomes a vertical knife hand strike.

 

Thus the side block becomes a strike moving through the space

Provided by the attacking arm.

 

Mike Cassidy demonstrates this below.

 



 



Another look at the technique movement is provided

By Devin VanCurren








 
Again the transition from the side block to the vertical knife hand is done with a circular motion, when done with a shift in the hips becomes another force enhancer.


This also permits you to be unpredictable in your use of technique.

 


 
 
 
 
 


Saturday, September 23, 2017

When Push Comes To Shove – One Answer



Should you be pressed to respond, and you are unsure how to best us a technique series from your kata,

 

I have a principle that was shared with me long ago

The principle of Short Range Striking.

 

Not found directly in kata,

But using movements in a new way but also familiar.

 

Take anyplace there is a high block in a kata sequence.

 

Instead you replace it with a circular descending strike,

That begins like a high block,

But as the high block connects the arm begins to deflect down from that block,

And become a descending strike into the attacker.


 

The transition from the high block to the descending knife hand is done with a circular motion, when done with a shift in the hips becomes another force enhancer.

 
This permits you to be unpredictable in your use of technique.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Application Potential versus Application Skill Acquisition


It seems a day hardly goes by without somebody challenging ‘bunkai’ for a kata technique. I would like to examine this.

 

First set aside the term ‘bunkai’ (there is a lot of charged issues behind the term). I would suggest rather a clearer term, that of kata application analysis.

 

Kata representing a  set of movements. Application analysis the logical way those movements may be used to 1. Insert themselves into an attack (interior line of defense vs. exterior line of defense) or even (interior line of offense vs. exterior line of offense) And each might be done moving towards the attacker, away from the attacker, or various angles around the attacker.

 

Thus any movement has a large set of possibilities.

 

Some of them might be useful for helping a beginner remember the movement.

When basic skill in acquired, they may be useful for developing the potentials for those skills.

When advanced skills are acquired they may take on different meanings.

 

Demonstrations rarely do more than suggest some of the possibilities for applications.

 

Often others watching those demonstrations may make observations on their potential worth. Ignoring the reality if one has developed the skill to make it work, it does not matter what an outside observer thinks. For demonstrations are just that, a way to provide some education of the movement. Never replacing the full skill development required.

 

Then there is the other half of the equation. Development of Application Skill  Development. Or the training actually required to develop that application potential. This is the larger part of the puzzle of how an application works. I have never seen a video showing this training. It is beyond the scope of a demonstration.

 

Which also explains why some felt things were being hidden.

 

For is one has not developed the skill required to move into this application potential, it is likely not worth the time to show the potential. Time better spent working on developing the skills involved.

 

Of course it does not take into account one’s WANT’S to know what is out there. But I imagine the instructors of the past did not care on whit about what a student WANT’S, instead caring desperately about what skill a student can develop.

 

Another thing is that you do not need to know everything. You just have to develop the skill to make what you already know actually work, every time.

 

So why more than one movement. Life is long, and we need continual challenges to push ourselves forward. Knowledge skill development to keep ourselves fresh.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

So a new day and another choice of a technique.


Another day but cooler weather.

Though that means it still will hit 100f.

 

So a new day and another choice of a technique.

 

Just for simplicity I will use a left arm/hand strike towards you.

And the response will be an interior line of defense.

 

I turn toward the right, step back with the left to facilitate the turn.

Then both arms rise, the left before the right,

Forming a ‘X’ block against the attackers arm,

Both hands facing you.

 

This ‘block’ is very powerful, no matter how hard they strike

The alignment of the body behind the ‘X’ 

Becomes a force enhancer for the block.

 

Then the left hand rolls out to move their arm,

 away from your center.

 

As that occurs the right open hand moves forward past their head,

And then slices back into their neck from the side.

The hand then retreats to your center of your chest.

 

Finally that right hand strikes out with the yoke of the hand,

Between the thumb and the forefinger.

Allowing after that strike to grab their throat.

 

This technique uses multiple striking.

A slicing movement into the side of the neck,

Then a strike into the throat.

 

 

This is a variation of the ‘Archer’s Block’ from Seiunchin Kata.

 







Saturday, September 16, 2017