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 Post subject: Crescent Step
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 1998 10:37 pm 
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Location: Mount Dora, Florida
rom: david
Date: 15 Aug 1998
Time: 06:54:52

John,
From my experiences in karate and kobudo practice, many of the techniques we learn initially (and later perform formally in kata) include exagerated movements. As the practitioner becomes more advanced and the techniques mature, these exagerated movements tend to disappear. It often looks like the
mature martial artist is violating a lot of the principles taught early on. Nevertheless, the results of the drilling in exagerated form have settled in and become a natural part of the advanced practitioner's technique. A beginner seeing this execution may then think: "...well, if he or she doesn't have to use hip action or crescent stepping, then why do I?" If the ingredient is then overlooked, an essential aspect of the overall technique that has lead to the development of an integrated execution, may be missing, and so the student might never
understand how to harness, store, and seamlessly deliver energy and momentum from the body to a weapon (hand, foot, bo, sai, etc.). I go through the "...how did he do that so smoothely?..."
This is explanation is better than most I have heard. Food for thought.
I will definitely seek you out next summer. I would be grateful for any practice
techniques you can share with me on the jo.
regards,
david


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 Post subject: Crescent Step
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 1998 10:38 pm 
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From: John Hassell
Date: 15 Aug 1998
Time: 09:30:26
Remote Name: 192.208.46.249
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David,
If you are in New England/New York area, I would be happy get together to train.
John


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 Post subject: Crescent Step
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 1998 10:40 pm 
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From: david
Date: 16 Aug 1998
Time: 06:05:22

John,
Your offer is very generous and much more than I expected... I am in the Boston. I train sporadically with Mattson sensei. I train weekly with several of my sempai in a private, Chinatown men's "club"/association. We will, however, move our practice to a Chinatown school building in the Fall to open up to a small number of new students. Where is your dojo?

I was serious when I said I more "play" with the jo than practice it. Use of the jo and bokken is a minor part of my aikido dojo's curriculum. Minor because "weapons class" is held only once a week on Tuesday evenings. I have not made evening classes in almost two years. When I used to attend that class, the
bokken was practiced much more than the jo. The "ken" is by far more favored by the Japanese for its "nobility". I happen to like the "lowly" jo. Must be the "peasant" blood in me. My family are farmers from the old country...

I and another person who trains with me would really like to learn more about the jo. Anything you share with us would be more than what we know. Thank you.
sincerely,
david


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 Post subject: Crescent Step
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 1998 10:44 pm 
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From: david
Date: 13 Aug 1998
Time: 04:51:58

Hi Maurice,
You missed camp! You missed camp! Neah, Neah, neah, neah, neahhhh....

Well, GEM can probably answered better about the "traditional" aspect of the crescent step in our style and other styles. But, here are some of my thoughts on its utility... I shouldn't give the impression it's always bad to do a crescent step. It depends on the context. If I were attacking in sparring or fighting. The crescent step is just
superfluous movement that adds time to covering the distance. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line (except flying in airplanes I heard). I will either do slide stepping, meaning my forward foot goes forward and my rear slides behind and ending in the exact stance I started with; or I will step quickly through with the rear foot. With the latter, there will be a shifting of weight to the supporting leg. But I certainly wouldn't exaggerate the weight shift and extend the movement by making a cescent more than what's natural.

The crescent step seems entirely appropriate in certain defensive situations, e.g. an attack against the leading leg. In this situation though the crescent move would be made going backwards and not forwards. I seen this in escrima practice. The attacker is swinging for the lead foot and the defender retracts the lead foot toward the rear supporting foot while blocking/parrying with his stick.

After the block/parry, the moving foot would either go forward or backward, set into a stable stance as the counter strike is just about completed. This sequence of movements, of course, is completed in milliseconds. I am sure this applies as well to empty hand fighting with attacks against the leg.

Also, there is a crescent stepping in escrima "triangular" stepping. It's hard for me to explain. One is supposed to move along a triangle, or three points, either forward or backwards. Where one starts is the triangle apex. You move covering the other two points. When done fast, there is a crescent movement effect with the shifting of weight.
These are just my thoughts on it
david


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 Post subject: Crescent Step
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 1998 10:45 pm 
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From: maurice richard libby
Date: 13 Aug 1998
Time: 14:43:42

So David taunts me and I am all over green with envy and jealousy, hanging my head with shame, and generally depressed. I think I go out and insult Mr. Canna (congratulations, by the way) just to put an end to it all and make my misery go away.

Thanks John and David, for your answers. I begin to see the continuum develop. I have, however, been told that the crescent step is marginally faster because it is more balanced and you don't waste microseconds in adjusting the balance. I'm not sure I buy that, but I have heard the argument advanced. I know that I , like David, don't crescent step when I want to attack very fast.

One other thing I do know is that the crescent step is also a technique in itself. In most Shotokan kata every step is also a throwing technique, and the crescent step is a large part of that technique. The kind of throw is determined by the stance and the turn, if there is one. I know that many Shorin Ryu people say the same thing, (although most that i know don't do the crescent step in kata).

So, I still would like to know whether the crescent step was always an intergral part of Uechi technique, as it seems to be in Goju, oe whether it is another example of syncretism.


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 Post subject: Crescent Step
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 1998 10:46 pm 
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From: Van Canna
Date: 23 Aug 1998
Time: 19:33:40
Remote Name: 207.180.41.21
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Dear Maurice,
Sorry for the late reply ! I am a pretty good judge of character even as by the written word !

I know that you could never offend me no matter what you said ! Thank you for the
thought and for staying involved on this website !
Van Canna


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 Post subject: Crescent Step
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 1998 10:48 pm 
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From: maurice richard libby
Date: 24 Aug 1998
Time: 11:42:44

Sensei-Canna,
I am deeply touched by your words. I thank the kami and GEM for the opportunity to meet and communicate with serious, intelligent martial artists.
Be well,
maurice


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