Uechi-Ryu.com

Discussion Area
It is currently Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:44 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:02 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 17068
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
Mike K asked me on Facebook to talk about concepts I was discussing in classes I taught at camp. George had me teach classes in Uechi Sanseiryu as well as the Fuzhou Suparinpei. The Suparinpei (Yi bai lin ba bu) was expected of me as I've taken the baton from Simon Lailey and "Uechified" his "Gojuized" form that he brought back from the village where Kanbun studied. The opportunity to teach Uechi Sanseiryu was a treat and a blessing to me, as I've been working A LOT on body mechanics, with both Sanseiryu and Suparinpei being the vehicles by which I could express them.

When you have a difficult concept that people don't understand, often it's useful to use a metaphor that people can relate to. With Sanseiryu, the Okinawans use mochi as the metaphor.

For those who have never been to a Japanese restaurant, mochi is a kind of stretchy rice cake, often surrounding a filling or ice cream. Here we see mochi with red bean filling...

Image

... and mochi surrounding a dollop of ice cream.

Image

Now and then a chef can get creative with the stretchy starch, as shown with this rendition of a samurai's kabuto helmet.

Image

The metaphor? It works great. The problem? Most Americans have not experienced the devilish pleasure of mochi, so haven't a clue what the metaphor means. Therein lies something very important lost in the translation.

So we end up with a Sanseiryu done like Seisan. That's fine, but... that's not Uechi Sanseiryu. It doesn't display the principles Kanbun was trying to get across when teaching people this form. And if you want to move on to the Fuzhou Suparinpei - a form Kanbun chose not to teach perhaps because it was so difficult - well forgetaboutit.

There are some good American metaphors which work. Here's one I often use.

Image

The problem? Kids today never saw Gumby cartoons, so haven't a clue as to the stretchy nature of this character.

Image

Here's another toy that gets the concept across, but again is outdated.

Image

So what is it that we're to investigate in Sanseiryu in great detail? It's learning how to develop and take advantage of the dynamic stretch reflex.

More later.

- Bill


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:44 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 17068
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
From (of course) Wikipedia. Yes, I know... But they're getting better and better. The point is that this material is available - at least at a superficial level - to any nerd out there with a computer and an internet connection.

- Bill
Wikipedia wrote:

Plyometrics (also known as "plyos") is a type of exercise training designed to produce fast, powerful movements, and improve the functions of the nervous system, generally for the purpose of improving performance in sports. Plyometric movements, in which a muscle is loaded and then contracted in rapid sequence, use the strength, elasticity and innervation of muscle and surrounding tissues to jump higher, run faster, throw farther, or hit harder, depending on the desired training goal. Plyometrics is used to increase the speed or force of muscular contractions, providing explosiveness for a variety of sport-specific activities. Plyometrics has been shown across the literature to be beneficial to a variety of athletes. Benefits range from injury prevention, power development and sprint performance amongst others.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:37 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2004 9:40 pm
Posts: 3700
Cultural references can be hard to get across. Plyo should be easier for a Westerner to understand, and see on youtube, than mochi. 8)
Can't wait to hear more Bill!

_________________
I was dreaming of the past...


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:43 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 17068
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
Here's something that also touches on the concept. This is in a site called Science of Baseball.

exploratorium.edu wrote:

When you pick up a baseball, it immediately suggests its purpose: to be thrown fast and with considerable accuracy. The pitcher, with his dance-like windup, prepares to do exactly that by transferring momentum from his body to the ball. To appreciate why this is necessary, try throwing a ball without moving your feet; it's difficult to throw it very far or very hard, but a forward step makes throwing much easier. So during the windup, the pitcher moves his entire body weight back behind the pitching rubber. Then he thrusts it forward to deliver the pitch.

This transfer of momentum from body to ball involves a biomechanical principle called sequential summation of movement. According to this principle, the largest body masses move first, followed by progressively smaller ones, in much the same way a multi-stage booster rocket jettisons a satellite into space: the large booster starts the process, is jettisoned, then is followed by the burning and jettisoning of progressively smaller and faster stages, until finally the small satellite is released at high speed. In baseball, the pitcher drives first with his legs, then his hips, shoulders, arm, wrist and fingers. As each part approaches full extension, the next part in the sequence begins to move, efficiently transferring momentum in a whip-like action. Proper timing is necessary to produce speed and accuracy, and to avoid strain and injury.


As I've explained to many... The thing about baseball is that you get direct feedback. As kids we don't talk much about mechanics because the ball doesn't lie. Like the Nike mantra, we just do it. If you throw it well, the ball goes far/fast/straight. If you don't, it doesn't do one or more of the above. The Platonic ideal in baseball is to have both power AND precision. You need both to hit a home run, as you need to hit a moving ball with maximum force while sending it out at a very, very narrow angle off the bat. Some martial arts "experts" would have you believe that you can't have both power and precision - particularly when neurohormonally juiced. For most, this is true. For the elite fighters, well they can get both power and complex motor coordination if they use their bodies correctly. And that would be if they use their core (the large muscles) for power, and use the periphery (the muscles in our extremities) to guide and shape the power that flows in a wave-like fashion from the core.

The problem with traditional martial arts is that we spend a lot of time with choreography (a.k.a. kata). That's all fine and good, except that we get no feedback when splitting air molecules with our punches (of doom). Just because we generate a lot of power doesn't mean we efficiently deliver said power to the target. One needs only to compare automobiles made in the muscle car era of the 1960s vs. those made today to understand that. You can huff and puff and make the gi snap and have a killer face (of doom), and yet be nothing more than a sheep in wolf's clothing because damn little of that energy is going out the fist. So one has to pay extra special attention to form while doing kata in order to prevent delusional martial arts.

Bill Stockey (hanshi from my former style) and I were discussing this at camp. He was wondering why Uechi Ryu as a former Chinese style didn't start with weapon work per the usual Shaolin Temple method. The reason for weapon work wasn't necessarily to get good at using the fancy weapons. It was instead to give someone a load to put on the hands so one could get feedback on the efficiency and productivity of movement.

Anyhow... here are some good pictures of pitching masters to show the concept.

Note this sequence of pictures of Randy Johnson.

  • Picture 1 is the start.
    ..
  • In picture 2, he's creating potential energy by raising his step-forward leg and loading his rear plant leg.
    ..
  • In picture 3 he has exploded forward by converting the potential energy of a raised leg to the kinetic energy of stepping forward. He's also driven off of the loaded leg. Note however how the ball is actually BEHIND him. The energy has been delivered from the big muscles of the legs/hips, and transferred to his torso and shoulder. They have stored this energy passively (viscoelastic properties of the muscles) and actively (triggering the dynamic stretch reflexes in his torso and his shoulder.)
    ...
  • In the final picture he has released the stored energy in the torso/shoulder in a whip-like fashion by crunching at the waist, slinging his arm forward, extending the arm, snapping the wrist, and finally flicking the fingers. That happens not all-at-once, but rather in a sequential fashion (just like pictures 1 through 3 above). Each point that the energy wave hits "tweaks" the neuromuscular reflexes, and the trained body adds to the energy wave at each point.

- Bill

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:37 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 17068
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
How can one train the mochi? It's generally done outside of our kata and off the athletic field with plyometric exercises.

The goal of plyometrics is to engage in exercises where "a muscle is loaded and then contracted in rapid sequence" per the definition above. When pre-stretching a muscle group or groups, one should not pause. Instead one should imagine oneself as a properly inflated ball, rebounding upon compression. The limits in how to apply plyometrics are strictly a matter of the person's imagination. The goal however is eventually train all muscles used in a sequence like throwing a punch or scooping and tossing with a shoken. It's very difficult to train them all in a single exercise, so it's best to start with a few muscle groups at a time. However with experience one can find ways to engage more and more muscles in an exercise. In doing so, this is where you enter "the puke zone."

One should also remember that this is EXPLOSIVE power. Consequently one wants to remain in the anaerobic phase of energy metabolism. Interval training is a good way to do this. There one has short rest periods so the body can recharge the phosphocreatine and glycolytic energy pathways.

The following video shows some plyometric exercises and interval training in action. Squint your eyes, and you can see martial-like movement in a few of these exercises.

Plyometric & High Intensity Interval Training

Here is an old school classic. I love these. If you're interested in Olympic lifting as a means to an end, do the squat jerk that the woman does rather than the split jerk that the guy does. But if you want variety and want to do a split jerk, try both sides to balance the development.

Clean & Jerk workout

If you want less strain on the back/knees and more work on shoulder stabilizers, this is a great exercise variation.

Dumbbell Clean and Jerk

Here is yet another variation. This chick is awesome!

60 pound 1 arm dumbell clean and jerk

I do the above exercise to get a dumbbell up, go through a full Turkish get-up routine, and then put the dumbbell back down again, only to do it on the other side.

- Bill


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:42 am 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 16, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 5986
Location: Mount Dora, Florida
You really did an excellent job teaching Sanseiryu and Superempei Bill. Lots of formally overlooked aspects of our kata were beautifully demonstrated, explained and taught at SummerFest.

Oh yes, congratulations on your much deserved promotion to 8th dan! I'm very proud of you and thank you for your long-term loyalty and dedication to Uechi-ryu and the thousands of students who you have taught and mentored over the years.

Hope you have scheduled the 2nd weekend in February. . . date of WinterFest. I've already begun working on it and I promise it will be most enjoyable and educational.

_________________
GEM
"Do or do not. there is no try!"


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:05 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 17068
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
George, your check is in the mail. :P

- Bill


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:24 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 17068
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
I was looking for what I consider "good" performances of Sanseiryu, and I'm running short on examples. The problem is... the people whose kata I like the most haven't videotaped their performances. Two people whom I admire greatly in this regard are present-day George Mattson (yes, the old fart and not the young man), and George Schriefer.

The former (George Mattson) and I independently "found" our hips in the shoken sukuiage uke. I recently discovered this at the 2011 Winterfest. I was having problems with the execution of what I knew I wanted to do. George's version gave me the confidence to "cheat" a little via some subtle rotation of the back foot. That gave me confidence to get a little more "drum technique hips" (reference Karate Kid II) in the back-and-forth of the rounded boshiken press (blade the hips), gedan barai (square the hips), shoken scoop (blade the hips), and shoken toss (square the hips). Add in a little verticality to the rotational movement of the pelvis, and you have what I'm talking about.

I noted George Schriefer's "live" hips maybe half a dozen years ago at a seminar in northern Virginia hosted by Rik Lostrito where Shinyu Gushi was the invited instructor. We were doing the kata and I noted a phenomenal snap in his hips on the shoken scoop move. I went over to him with wide-open eyes, and said "Do that again!" Half a dozen repetitions later, I got the idea.

At that seminar George Schiefer not coincidentally was teaching the famous Tsuken Akachu no eiku (Red man oar) kata. George's mechanics with the oar were stellar. George later told me he was chatting with Narahiro Shinjo recently. He said they were comparing notes and discovered they both "found" their Uechi hips in their kobudo training. They transferred the mechanics over to their Sanseiryu.

If you want a look at a reasonable performance of Tsuken Akachu no eiku, here's one below. I've filmed George Schriefer, but promised him I wouldn't post what I have. So this kid's performance will have to do. In any case, you can see how good legs and hips are important if you want to swing this oar around.

Matayoshi kobudo Eiku kata Tsuken Akachu No Eiku De

More in a bit.

- Bill


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:12 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2001 6:01 am
Posts: 1835
Bill this is the current day Gumby:

Image

Jake the Dog from Adventure Time, who can stretch wherever he need go. The metaphor might be slightly lost because his stretch limit is significantly higher than other stretchy characters, but he does eventually bounce back.

(It's totally for adults too, my wife [and she's not alone] thinks the show is so funny she bought us both Adventure Time t-shirts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffpdj1bIZEE Edit: If you're not older than 30 and have never played some sort of D&D type game don't watch this video. Edit 2: I just realized it focuses on Finn and doesn't show off stretchy Jake so don't watch it either Bill!)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:01 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:36 pm
Posts: 414
Location: Strongsville, OH
Bill, I usually keep most of what I learned at Kadena pretty close to the hip.. But since you mentioned my dear friend George in such a favorable light (most deservedly) I thought I would share this very simple and effective tool for developing torque and Mochi in your punches and kicks.. We simply tied one end to the bars and went to town with Mawashi geris, Shomen geris, yoku geris and seiken tsukis.. Then after about 30 reps with the bands, 30 reps without.. You will see immediate and profound speed and mechanical improvement..


http://www.shapeupshop.com/bands_balls_ ... ertube.htm

_________________




SILENCE!!! I Kill You!!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:21 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 17068
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
Good stuff, Stevie!

Back when I was in graduate school at UVa, there was an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine guy by the name of Dan Kulund (author of The Injured Athlete) who was famous for sending his patients over to the local bike shop to get old inner tubes to do this kind of work. Like the Okinawans and the Fuzhou Chinese, he was showing creativity in using that which was available to accomplish a physical training need. Think of the brilliance of using jars holding rice to develop the patented Uechi grip that makes all "Uechi pointy things" possible. (I NEVER thought I could do all these weird, Uechi thingies in practical application until after I started using other methods to do the traditional jar training.) This is just one more creative example.

About 40 years ago there was an article in Black Belt magazine about a math PhD candidate and karate instructor similarly using bicycle inner tubes in his class to give students feedback on their body mechanics.

- Bill


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:04 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 17, 2000 6:01 am
Posts: 2813
Location: Massachusetts
How about ElastaGirl? (grrrrrr-yooooowww!) Packs a nice punch from 50+' away, but my perverted mind... oh... nevermind... :P
:lol:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:16 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 17068
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
Image

Well she does have muscles in the right places. Witness the strong core.

Image

Just sayin...

- Bill


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:29 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 17, 2000 6:01 am
Posts: 2813
Location: Massachusetts
BTW, Bill-Sensei...

Congratulations on 8th. You've walked the walk and helped guide others on the path for a long time... ummmm... not saying you're old or anything, just... You've lived "the way" longer than most have even known there was a path... ummm... no, no, no, no... I mean... well, what I'm trying to say IS... I'm just digging deeper, aren't I... I should probably quit while I'm ahead... How about... I've been touched by your wisdom and knowledge in many areas and want to express my pleasure and acknowledgment at this fantastic accomplishment.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:48 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:36 pm
Posts: 414
Location: Strongsville, OH
Congrats on Hachi Dan Bill... LMAO at Panther... :lol: :lol: :lol:

I found an old video with yours truly getting the snot beat out of him.. Check at 6 minutes 21 seconds for another good way to train with inner tubes... luckily for me that Shinjo Sensei was getting discounts at Shureido at the time.. He ripped more than a couple of sleeves off my gis.. :lol: :lol:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUMHyjES ... re=related

_________________




SILENCE!!! I Kill You!!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group