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 Post subject: A step out of the past
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 9:57 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2006 2:17 am
Posts: 203
Location: Derry, NH, USA
Bill and all,

You might find my recent blog entry on kata stepping of interest.

http://isshin-concentration.blogspot.co ... -past.html

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Victor Smith
bushi no te isshinryu


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:56 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 17113
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
Hello, Victor!

I too have spent more time in the last half dozen years on stepping. Tomoyose Ryuko once said that the secret to kata was in the movements in-between the movements. I evolved to an understanding of his statement by connecting the step, shift, or turn with the subsequent hand or leg technique. What ensued was not only kata that flow as if one is moving naturally (imagine that!!!) but also complete paradigm shifts of interpretation. For instance often a turn isn't facing a new bad guy, but rather reorienting yourself around the same attacker. Two techniques done at different angles are two attacks at different angles on the same person.

The "stomping" part is also interesting. I've taken to labeling a concept in Uechi kata - the dragon's tail. With proper training in the weight and fitness room, one can develop a dexterity with the legs to the point that they are constantly manipulating the partner's legs, thereby off-balancing him or executing throws. If not an overt throw, the simple act of moving someone's leg makes them vulnerable to the point that the hand techniques are executed without resistance.

Good stuff, Victor. It's a pleasure - as always.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:27 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 2:37 am
Posts: 24
Location: Lake Worth Florida
Wow, great post Bill,

Correct me if I am wrong, for I have not been with the forums long, but this the first I've seen of a discussion about the Kata as a tutorial of how to move in and around an opponent. We have basic Bunkai/Yakusoku to build skills in redirection and suppression of attacks and they great building blocks for understanding movement. All attacks have holes and all practice attacks are designed to fail. The goal is to recognize the holes and then learn how to exploit them. Kata gives us the directions and the techniques. It is up to us to explore the possibilities.

I like to try have my students understand three concepts. What you need to do "don't get hit". What you can do "not get hit" and then when you can consistently keep yourself in one piece, only then will you find the answer to What you want to do.

Rick


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:08 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
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Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
Rick Potrekus wrote:

Correct me if I am wrong, for I have not been with the forums long, but this the first I've seen of a discussion about the Kata as a tutorial of how to move in and around an opponent.

The topic is brought up on rare occasion. Some of our more frequent posters will bring up the concept of tai sabaki. Alas it mostly gets lip service. In the end we have lots of fans of good-old-fashioned bash fighting, and not so much on good footwork. And yet we're supposed to be tiger, crane and... dragon. Go figure.

I was fortunate enough to have studied for an extended period of time (goju and aikido) from a retired special forces instructor who sought me out to learn Uechi. He started martial arts early in Judo, and then made his way through Kyokushinkai, Goju (Yamaguchi Gosei and Kimo Wall), aikido, and whatever else he could pick up as he made his way around the world when in the military. He moved well, and taught me well. The rest then just revealed itself to me over time in the kata. I began infusing some of what I learned in prearranged kumite. I've promised myself I'd do my own yakusoku kumite one day to deposit some of the cool ideas I've collected.

On the movement idea... I was inspired very, very early on by a fellow Uechika at UVa who used to compete in intramural boxing. He was voted most valuable boxer (across all weight classes) two years in a row, and it wasn't an accident. Mack used to tell me that the thing which distinguished him and one or two other fighters from the hackers was his ability to hit while moving. Here it was a fairly straightforward idea - hit WHILE charging straight in rather than hit AFTER moving in. But add the turns and suddenly you've begun to bring the concept farther. Pick up a thought from Tomoyose here, some aikido and Goju classes from Dr. King there, and suddenly it's just obvious. It's like that line in a rock song you sang when a kid and never got, and then heard it two decades later and had a jaw-dropping moment. :mrgreen:

Trying to teach it isn't always easy, but it's something I think we owe the people who practice our style. It's all there in what we do, and yet it's such an unexplored facet of our art.

- Bill


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