Continuity of Attack

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Continuity of Attack

Postby JimHawkins » Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:48 am

One of the first things you "get" when you go from karate to kung-fu is the idea of continuity. No such thing as "a strike" in kung-fu, you don't *expect* that your first or second strike will necessarily land or finish the opponent, you just go. All the styles I've seen and talk with other folks about include using striking in some kind of continuous flow. WCK has the chaining of strikes, be they the punches or palms or even chops; While other styles like Hung have these long swinging blows, but again they flow right into each other and the order varies for application. This flow also seems to universally clear away obstructions in these systems, a very important tool. Just these couple of flow attributes can make a big difference IMO for effectiveness in fighting.

It makes you think back to the karate... Why is there so much stoppage? Block, wait, strike, stop, strike, stop...it's very stilted. Was this stoppage, often thought of as the 1 punch kill, intentional or some kind of miscommunication, or was something left out intentionally? It is a stark difference in both training and thinking of what it means to attack to adapt and continue..

So what do you folks think? Does this represent a stylistic, tactical difference or did something get lost in the translation of these arts along the way.

If the former then why and if the latter then how to put the continuity back into your karate..?
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Postby Rick Wilson » Wed Sep 21, 2005 6:02 am

Hey! I do Kung Fu! :wink:
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Postby Stryke » Wed Sep 21, 2005 6:07 am

Hey !! Laird taught me Kung fu !!!! :D 8) :lol:

I agree Jim , good topic

Answer japanification , solution research the roots , and if your really smart , train with the IUPA folks ;)


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Postby Ruiner » Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:02 am

We run across this at the Banff dojo with people who have trained in other dojo's. In a bunkai they throw one punch but then have trouble continueing the attack, the pause has been engrained. Luckily Laird (and my Tai Chi) has encouraged a flowing attack, striking with whatever weapon is closest at any given time. Laird posted some of our bunkai, hmmm not sure which thread tho..

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Postby MikeK » Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:02 pm

It makes you think back to the karate... Why is there so much stoppage? Block, wait, strike, stop, strike, stop...it's very stilted.

There really aren't any stops in the karate branch of the arts. People may have added some to kata for drama but it's a recent addition. Here's what I've noticed: any karate school that views itself mainly as a fighting art will have flow, any karate school that views itself mainly for self improvement will look more orderly and precise but lack much of the flow that make techniques work.
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Postby Rick Wilson » Wed Sep 21, 2005 2:00 pm

Excellent post Mike! :D
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Postby MikeK » Wed Sep 21, 2005 2:54 pm

Thanks Rick, and since I'm on a roll I'm going to try and poke a hole in something else that's said on the forums that I think is a myth and that's the Japanification of karate made it stiff. Can anybody show me an example of a stiff and stilted Japanese martial art before the Okinawans brought karate to Japan? Can anybody show me a Japanese martial art that didn't have flow or continuity of techniques before karate came to Japan? Does anybody here think that a warrior society wouldn't know that stiff and stilted gets you killed? Did they suddenly get the idea that stiff was good? I don't think so.

If you see stiff karate blame the instructor (American, Okinawan or Japanese) and ourselves, not just attribute bad karate to Japanification of the art.

Rant over. :wink:
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Postby Guest » Wed Sep 21, 2005 4:30 pm

So who put all the starch in karate?

http://banffuechiryu.tripod.com/bassaidai.mpeg

http://banffuechiryu.tripod.com/7_basaidai.avi


Lots of systems utilized Shotokan kata. Some of those systems emulated the rigid pausing performances that some instructors favored. Some systems explored the transitions between the moves. My question is why the martial arts got rigid after leaving China and arriving in other lands.

Is it a misunderstanding of the original purpose or is it an improvement…thoughts?

BTW Kevin, I've never had to worry about getting you to continue the attack. My challenge has always been getting you to stop. 8O 8O :splat:
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Postby benzocaine » Wed Sep 21, 2005 4:43 pm

It makes you think back to the karate... Why is there so much stoppage? Block, wait, strike, stop, strike, stop...it's very stilted. Was this stoppage, often thought of as the 1 punch kill, intentional or some kind of miscommunication, or was something left out intentionally? It is a stark difference in both training and thinking of what it means to attack to adapt and continue..


I dunno... you don't see any stop-bolck -wait-strike in Seisan kata and bunkai. It's all either attacking an attack or using the opponents own energy to draw him into your pointy thingy or other defense.
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Postby MikeK » Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:09 pm

My question is why the martial arts got rigid after leaving China and arriving in other lands.

I don't think they were ever rigid no matter where they came from or ended up. Even Shotokan isn't rigid by it's nature, heck even the the JKA Shoto-dudes who have more "defined" movements in their kata move damn good when sparring. I think "defined" movement makes teaching large classes easier. For example I watched someone catch a shuto to the chops because they and the other person were way out of synch during group kata.

Could be a lack of understanding of kata. One sensei I had didn't get into bunkai so he made the kata nicer to look at. It wasn't until my back went out and I could only kick low that I realized what half the techniques in the kata were, as he had changed all the kicks to high ones. Also add in some dramatic stops to get the instructors or judges attention.

I can't see your videos at work Laird but if it's the guy doing the blocky bassai see if you can find the Shotokai guy doing the same kata. The ones with the flicker that look like they filmed off of a TV set and where the guy moves like a snake. Watch that guy and compare him with the blocky guys. 8)
Last edited by MikeK on Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Van Canna » Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:09 pm

the pause has been engrained.


And this is what really worries me and many others. :(
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Postby Guest » Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:13 pm

I dunno... you don't see any stop-bolck -wait-strike in Seisan kata and bunkai.
Depends on who is performing. I've seen plenty of robotic performances over the years. I'm sure we all have.
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Postby Guest » Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:36 pm

Ha Mike you don't need to see the clips thats exactly what I've posted two guys doing the same kata one shotokan on shotokai. The difference in flow is remarkable. I suspect the shotokai folks might focus more on the transitions between the moves.

Maybe Marcus will come on line and address this as he's trained both. I'm interested in why some groups appear so yang. And others more ying.

I see the real rigid power as the hard and the more flowing as the soft.

In Uechi I see new students very focused on power and striking or applying hard technique, I see the folks that have been in the system a while longer more inclined or willing to be exploring those soft yeilding applications.

I wonder if the hard rigid look of some systems are a result of the founder breaking off from the parent style before they have an understanding of the soft. As this continued again and again over time the soft was lost in many systems.

The focus on the one shot one kill mentality may be another reason for kata and bunkai that just stops. A dangerous habit I believe.

Anyone have any theory why karate became so rigid compared to systems in china?
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Postby Stryke » Wed Sep 21, 2005 7:07 pm

when the Dai Nippon Butokukai tried to push karate into it`s system it changed it detrimentally IMHO

the new sport format , and focus on striking led to a lot of this IMHO

basically karate assumed a varied kendo sport format , 1 strike 1 kill anyone ?

and the mass training and militiristic slant .... all the pre ww2 attributes that would make Japan great :roll:

and the beginning of one size fits all , not wonder things got crystilised and rigid .

quick post of to work ......
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Postby MikeK » Thu Sep 22, 2005 1:19 am

I suspect the shotokai folks might focus more on the transitions between the moves.
From my experience with my instructor, yes. And those transitions are a bitch when they are happening to you. :wink:

The more defined movements could also be a matter of trying to preserve an art exactly how it was taught. Supposedly the JKA were trying to make sure that the kata were done exactly like they had been taught, which is a bit ironic since Funokoshi made changes to them as did his son Gigo. Could be a lesson there about trying too hard to preserve an art.

On the other hand we have Egami...
"Kata must be done with movements that are full of vital energy, not merely movements".


This gets a little metaphysical but I think there is a good point in here. http://www.shotokai.com/ingles/history/style.html
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