Unfortunately, I find incorporating ALL the articulated ideals rather like trying to force in a jigsaw puzzle piece that doesn't quite fit.
I'm with you. I don't identify with all the descriptions either, Mike.
We each speak a unique language. But the concepts often remain the same. Eventually the understanding must become your own. And you really understand it when you can articulate it to others, and an outsider agrees that the product looks good.
Trying to keep one foot firmly planted at all times and not "disconnect" the hip movement from the initial step is rather a challenge. Perhaps part of my difficulty has to do with my limited ankle mobility.
Instead of thinking what you must do, think instead of what you shouldn't do.
- You shouldn't at any point be spinning on the only foot that's touching terra firma. This isn't a Michael Jackson spin for a Thriller video. The way I view martial arts is that you could be in contact with the partner and doing something in-between the fixed positions as well as during them. When you watch people fight for real, this is what they do. They don't take a coffee break in-between stances. They must maintain an ability to give and take - no matter what or where.
- You should make the turn as simple as possible. Making minor adjustments here and there during the turn is wasted movement. Why waste movement, unless you are so gifted athletically that you always do things faster than the next person? (Not!!)
Then, just do it 1000 times until it no longer feels like a technique. Do it until it feels natural. That means you're going to take something that looks like it came out of a template, and eventually turn it to something that looks and feels natural.
I don't really want to be in the position after the first step, where momentarily both feet are properly positioned to be front feet in opposite directions. As I only angle my front foot slightly in Sanchin.
The standard angle as found in Kanei Uechi's kyohon is 30 degrees. It works. The standard angle w/o a protractor is a pivot equivalent to the width of your foot. That ends up being... about 30 degrees.
If you don't pivot very much, you aren't taking advantage of torsion forces in the legs. These can be used to grip the floor like a bug grips glass. These can be the cocked trigger that allows you to kick off the front leg in Uechi. (I love to show people how. No flicky kicks when you learn to put a little torsion and tuck into a front kick.)
The resulting position as a "stance" would be unstable, so it must occur only "dynamically", as my hips are carrying out the turn. That's fine, but there doesn't seem to be much tolerance for timing the foot and hip movments. My best effort so far has resulted in a little bit of pivoting of the rear foot before the front foot is fully set. I am thinking that I cannot get this right (in the sense as described here) by linking my hip movement either to the movement of the front foot or the rear. It must interpolate the two, but that seems rather sequential, not simultaneous, as Bill was discussing.
Am I missing something?
Just remember a few things.
First... take the damn thing out of the box and play with it. Try different ways of doing a turn. For example the way Rick is doing his turn at the half-way point isn't exactly the way I described it. He is leading a bit with the upper body - as if anticipating an attack from the rear.
But it works.
And so does the way I said to do it (generically).
And so does a few other ways.
Play with it. Play some more with it. Then play even more.
Then when you start to find 2 or 3 or 4 different ways to apply the same idea (it's just a technique...), find a way to do it in kata that ties all those ideas together with some lowest common denominator of movement.
Keep it simple. Always make things simple in kata. Kata is kata; application is application. Make kata a physical pnemonic that you can attach lots of applications to.
Now and then... A smart teacher may come up to you in your journey and suggest that just maybe you ought to tweak your kata technique here or there. If they give you a really good reason, well then maybe it's time to reflect on how you are doing things. Digest the new information, and then go to another place that is again your own understanding of what "it" is.