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 Post subject: Re: At GEM`s request
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:45 am 
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CANDANeh wrote:

He makes a papa proud! Sniff!!

I had to look at it a few times to check the routine out. I think he may have a minor hiccup in two spots. But he does it probably better than anyone I've taught so far. He's even layered in a few personal stylistic nuances in the form.

And for what it's worth, I have some of my own nuances that I try to teach. But for the most part most are happy just to be able to do the "what." It takes time to layer in the "how."

As an aside... I noticed somebody (??) stuck a video of me doing Kanchin on YouTube in the same group. Dang! Can't get away with anything these days! :lol:

- Bill


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 Post subject: Benefits of summer camp
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:10 pm 
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Quote:
He makes a papa proud! Sniff!!


Pretty cool seeing part of ones self expressed by another artist. A number of years from now you may see 3rd or 4th generation interpretation of what you taught...leaving good "footprints" is whats life`s about.
I have written down pretty much every twitch in the kata, watched the video and of course had one on one tutoring from him. I still need cue cards in front of me to simply walk through most of the kata :oops: One weekend with Bill and this performance returns to the great north 8O
Put a challenge out for others to do the same at the next summer camp...gotta be a prize available for that.
However, 10,000 hours of practice will certainly enable me to perform this kata in the "Barren wasteland" we call New Brunswick ...with my unorthodox flavor attached no doubt.

Quote:
As an aside... I noticed somebody (??) stuck a video of me doing Kanchin on YouTube in the same group. Dang! Can't get away with anything these days!

- Bill


Videos are a nice tool but they do not evolve with the person eh :lol: Moving pictures ...memories.

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 Post subject: Superempei interview
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:52 am 
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As promised, here is the link to my 2nd interview with Simon Lailey, following his second trip to China where he studied with the old master who claimed knowledge of a student who may have been Kanbun Uechi. The interview is in two parts because of its size.

http://url.singlaji.com/superempei

For the record, I feel the same about this kata now as I did at the time of this interview.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 5:15 pm 
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Click here:

http://tiny.cc/06itb

Comments???

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:26 pm 
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Interesting interview. Simon seemed frustrated (as many of us would) that he was shown the same form in different ways. A hammer is a hammer but it has evolved over the centuries. How many of us would want to use a hammer from the early 1800`s ? However, we still pound nails ;)
Some changes occur by design and some by interpretation or past influences... environmental influences as well. The key in my opinion is to look at any changes you think you see with a learning mindset. Why is or why did a "change" take place and how can I make it work better for me? Does it serve my needs? Have I the ability to back track someone on a change/error they made (which you think is ineffective) so they understand the form better? Can you accept that eventually improvement will come to what you teach? That a student will gain your insight and hopefully also add theirs? If so...you are a master.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:12 pm 
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on Victor Swinimer's Superempei kata and posted it on youtube. It is a lot clearer and a bit larger than the original one. Excellent performance Victor. Many thanks for filming it for the Uechi world!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAOlJVmy0wE

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:25 am 
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Hi...

I was asked about this form a few times over the years, and now that it has been posted, the topic came up again in dojo over the past day or so...

Mostly, the questions asked don't involve whether or not it is "THE" Suparinpe (we all know it is "A" Suparinpe), but these:

Does anyone perrforming/teaching this form know the real names of the techniques (rather than "twisty shoken thingies, splashing hands or petting the shi-shi puppies, etc.)?

Does anyone performing/teaching this form know what the techniques do - how they are used - have developed a basic sort of bunkai for each "new" technique?

If Shuu Sensei knew 17 different animal systems, which one did this come from - did each system have its own Suparinpe?

How does the modern "Uechi-ized" version compare today with the "non-Uechi-ized" version taught in China today? Not the version Simon showed/taped years ago while still learning it, but the finished, polished, fluid-moving form that is shown or taught by the Chinese teachers? Is there a video available of a Chinese master performing this very form in its unchanged Chinese style?

Actually, the original video posted by Victor-san moved more smoothly and one could see power transfer from technique to technique more easily. The new video posted shows somewhat choppy results (result of compressing to a smaller file by reducing frame-rate, I think). So I went back to the original clip posted by Victor - and it's gone...!

Can that one be posted again?

[added - one can increase the frame size to make it a bigger picture but decrease the frame rate to make it an .flv file, or to reduce the total size of the file for uploading, or to add effects, etc. Some programs do that automatically while changing the format to .flv]

I recall seeing a later, several-hours-long video some years ago that shows a greying but far more powerful Simon being put through his paces by a senior student. The form was taught exactly the same way time after time, session after session - at least it seemed so to me, and my eyes are not exactly untrained... Overseeing all was a very old but incredibly spry Guo Sifu, who was often an active participant in the training.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:07 pm 
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Hello, Seizan! Good to hear from you. And thanks so much for your thoughts.

Seizan wrote:

Does anyone perrforming/teaching this form know the real names of the techniques (rather than "twisty shoken thingies, splashing hands or petting the shi-shi puppies, etc.)?

Wow! Don't you love questions like that one?

If anyone ever asked me something like this in class about the style of Kanbun we all teach, I would have an answer grounded in my own personal opinions on the matter.

One thing I really HATE about how some teach this style is this very obsession with naming things - particularly when something is lost in the translation. For example, why on earth does anyone call an uke a "block"??? Uke translates roughly as receiving something. Blocking implies a very passive activity. Okinawan karate as I have learned it has no "blocks." When "receiving" an attack one is quite capable of expressing "displeasure" with the gift. The fight can in fact end with this first reception.

My philosophy becomes all the more compelling when viewing the "groin strikes" followed by "circles" in Seisan, or even early versions of "circles" (later removed) in Itokazu's Seichin. These aren't blocks or even receiving techniques by any stretch of the imagination of someone who understands the combat nature of the choreography. They are quite literally maiming and/or killing techniques.

As I am want to say, they are just circles.

One thing I appreciated about Yang style tai chi when I learned it and (for a while) practiced it was the completely non-martial nature of the names used for techniques in the choreography. There was a reason for that. If we follow Patrick McCarthy's philosophy that martial choreography is nothing more than the study of human movement, then our minds are left with many more martial possibilities. What is yin in one situation very well may be yang in the next.

But anyhow... interesting question. I could go on, but the next question you share creates a better segue for that thought.

Seizan wrote:

Does anyone performing/teaching this form know what the techniques do - how they are used - have developed a basic sort of bunkai for each "new" technique?

I can't speak for others, but... I have!!!!!!! If you've been in this martial choreography business long enough, the movements speak to you the way squiggles on a page of sheet music must have spoken to Mozart. You no longer see the squiggles, but rather hear and feel the music. And yes, I have come up with many martial applications or bunkai from these martial movements.

At Winterfest I was teaching the form in what really is a very short period of time given the immense body of knowledge that must be passed along. In order to help create mental mnemonics or "coat hooks" that hopefully will help the student remember what I've taught, I show how the sequences work with a real person. After watching me do this for about a day and a half, Fidele Cacia asked "Who taught these to you?" I actually had to stop and think about it. No... Simon never taught me ANY bunkai to the form, and he never led me to believe that he was taught any. But to me the applications I was suggesting were so obvious that I've never given it much thought. In fact... in my book the energy flow that Seizan suggests cannot happen without some understanding of what you're doing. Only in the context of working with an individual whose body responds to the various pokes and grabs can you see the importance of escaping what George calls "karate by numbers" and move into a realm of natural movement. Without that flow one isn't capable of entering the many windows of opportunity which present themselves in a "martial sentence" of techniques.
Seizan wrote:

If Shuu Sensei knew 17 different animal systems, which one did this come from - did each system have its own Suparinpe?

Good question!

I do know that I see tiger (hand), crane (on the rock) and dragon (stepping) in this form. I also at times feel mantis. Oh and there are definitely snake techniques in the form! But that's just my own personal experience with the choreography.
Seizan wrote:

How does the modern "Uechi-ized" version compare today with the "non-Uechi-ized" version taught in China today? Not the version Simon showed/taped years ago while still learning it, but the finished, polished, fluid-moving form that is shown or taught by the Chinese teachers?

As an engineer and now computer programmer who is "detail oriented", I used to obsess about things like this. I remember once asking a question about the final 3 turns in Sanchin while two Uechi masters were on stage (at Endicotte college). They didn't immediately answer. Instead they began to talk with each other in Japanese. I finally got an answer that was so lacking in content that I (much later) realized that the question itself was flawed.

In the book of Bill (danger, danger!!!!), it is just choreography. The individual breathes life into it, and not vice versa. I now ENJOY the myriad martial nuances I see expressed even in the simplest of forms. It's like listening to two individuals play the same piece of music, only quite differently. Each must bring their own abilities and ideas to it. Not allowing for personal variations means creating situation after situation of non-optimal expression. And this calculus-trained engineer cannot fathom a world where system optimization is not performed. To use language we carefully chose in my last job where we were building mathematical models to predict risk, the model had to be "tuned and tailored" to the context in which it was to be used. A well-designed model has BOTH distinct form AND this kind of flexibility. And so does a good piece of music. And so does good martial choreography.

But it goes beyond this.

Simon Lailey spent a good deal of time telling me how there was variation in the form both within the school in which he was taught and over time. And this variation happened right in front of the eyes of the instructor. Sometimes he looked and nodded. And sometimes he was visibly upset enough to get up, shuffle over to the center of the room, and express his thoughts with martial movement.

Simon also would stop while teaching the form and say "Here you do whatever you want. I'll show you what *I* like doing here." I kid you not! It is I who has frozen "something" in a moment of time so that it could be gotten on film and shared with whomever wants to see it. (See elsewhere on this site.) What I do is my own thing. But Simon has seen me do the form the way I do it, and I don't get much in the way of complaints. So my form is what it is.

If for no other reason, that very activity (which Simon at first was uncomfortable with) is a reason to believe that the Fuzhou Suparinpei I teach is A Suparenpei and not THE Suparinpei that Kanbun allegedly saw. Even if this is of the same lineage, there is no way that significant change could not have happened over time.

If you've spent all your life in Okinawan karate, you might not appreciate that. There is an Okinawan way.

If you understood the genius of the great Chinese martial masters, you would know that they sometimes choreographed forms for individual students. That's the Chinese way the same way that "jamming" is the way of jazz musicians. You experience and appreciate the moment, and don't expect that moment to be the same ever again.

George once got a contingent of Chinese martial masters over on Thompson Island for a week. One crane master in particular showed this "jazz musician" genius. He did have a "vanilla" way he taught his form. But when it came time actually to demonstrate it, he did it differently every single time. Like a good jazz musician, he worked within the structure but was able to express variations on the theme at will. It was nothing short of stunning to see.
Seizan wrote:

I recall seeing a later, several-hours-long video some years ago that shows a greying but far more powerful Simon being put through his paces by a senior student. The form was taught exactly the same way time after time, session after session - at least it seemed so to me, and my eyes are not exactly untrained... Overseeing all was a very old but incredibly spry Guo Sifu, who was often an active participant in the training.

If such a video exists, I of course would love to see it.

It's been a while since I've been able to contact Simon. If ever we are able to meet up again, I will ask him about this. I'm sure he'd readily share what he has - even if it is for a price. (A guy deserves to make a living after all...)

- Bill


Last edited by Bill Glasheen on Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:54 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:10 pm 
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Quote:
The new video posted shows somewhat choppy results (result of compressing to a smaller file by reducing frame-rate, I think). So I went back to the original clip posted by Victor - and it's gone...!

Can that one be posted again?


It has been reactivated (original link now works) at your request sir. I was playing around with settings on my "youtube" and privacy settings were put in place.

Please keep in mind that the filming took place shortly after learning the sequences of the kata...a challenge in itself.



Quote:
Does anyone performing/teaching this form know what the techniques do - how they are used - have developed a basic sort of bunkai for each "new" technique?

My opinion? We should not seek a bunkai or attempt to put any application to techniques in teaching the kata. Sensei Victor demonstrated some applications (nothing to put to stone)on me and I found them very effective and intriguing. I will eventually learn the kata and hopefully pass it on to others in the future. A gift when sanseiryu is "polished". Also, it might be wise not to make it a requirement or allow it to be standardized. I noted the pleasure Mattson sensei and sensei Bill had in viewing the kata...It has so familiar a "tone" yet we can not quite place the "song".

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 Post subject: one finger
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:23 pm 
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Quote:
I can't speak for others, but... I have!!!!!!! If you've been in this martial choreography business long enough, the movements speak to you the way squiggles on a page of sheet music must have spoken to Mozart. You no longer see the squiggles, but rather hear and feel the music. And yes, I have come up with many martial applications or bunkai from these martial movements.


When I started typing with this index finger of mine your reply was not yet posted. Americans type and talk fast...No wonder you sold your norther neighbor on free trade 8O

Not wanting to see the applications as it is like telling me the ending to a good movie.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:31 pm 
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CANDANeh wrote:

My opinion? We should not seek a bunkai or attempt to put any application to techniques in teaching the kata.

Too late!!! :lol:

Stopping me from seeing and sharing applications is like asking a kitten to stay in a box. Ain't gonna happen! ;)
CANDANeh wrote:

it might be wise not to make it a requirement or allow it to be standardized. I noted the pleasure Mattson sensei and sensei Bill had in viewing the kata...It has so familiar a "tone" yet we can not quite place the "song".

Victor has already performed this form at a major Canadian tournament - and won the kata competition with it!!

At what point do we stop ignoring "it" and start acknowledging that it's something worth preserving and sharing? And if that's going to happen, how do you make that happen?

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: one finger
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:01 pm 
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CANDANeh wrote:

Not wanting to see the applications as it is like telling me the ending to a good movie.

I respect that, Leo. You obviously have a wonderful martial mind.

FOR YOU I wouldn't show the applications I have come up with. Rather I'd love to see you come up with your own, and compare notes later on. It would be a fantastic exercise.

- Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:37 pm 
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Victor-san (or Leo-san...?), many thanks for re-posting the video. Pretty darned good performance for someone who “just learned it”.

Bill, thanks for your thoughts on this. Interesting and quite revealing as usual.


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 Post subject: Must be. . .
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:06 pm 
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My eyes or my computer, but the original video was very dark. I lightened up the copy and am able to see it much better. Now I'm wondering if my partial colorblindedness (greens and reds) affect my computer vision.

BTW, very interesting discussion on Superempi. I know Simon gave me a bunch of video that he took on one of his trips. I'll see if I can find them and will post to youtube if I do.

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 Post subject: Speaking of Mochime..
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:07 pm 
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The best description I ever visualized was " think of a cow whip with an Iron Ball with some weight on the end.. This is Mochime !!! "

Then just add the Atefua and Kime and you're cooking with grease..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pxxiyctzr4M 8)


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