Are we ever going to learn something from Kata?
Let me first say that my major learning ground is our Uechi Kata, so I am asking this question to hopefully generate thought and discussion.
So let us take Sanchin, Seisan and Sanseirui the big three original Uechi Kata.
Look at the movements.
Which direction are we going the big majority of the time – forward.
Angular movement and absorption are up next and there is a good amount of it in Uechi Kata particularly if you open your mind to different origins of attack.
And YES, there is a rare occasion where there is a draw back or even a jump/step back to show that it CAN be an option. But it is very rare.
AND what is the move that immediately follows any draw or step back??
An aggressive drive forward.
Which matches George’s approach to flinch back and then engage. Definitely something to be part of our skill set according to Uechi Kata but perhaps not what should be the major focus of our training based on the movements of Uechi Kata.
So in most cases IF IF IF IF you look at the Uechi kata we are engaging immediately and aggressively.
Seems to me that if Uechi is a Kata drive martial art (which I believe), then we should be training to engage and rarely step back.
I think that the key to everything you ever wanted to know about Uechi Ryu is in the Kata.
Study the kata deeply and you will find Uechi Ryu.
Uechi Ryu kata do not go back except in rare occasions (perhaps that totally unexpected true ambush George prepares for in the drill he posted
Now is the time to focus on the more major movements given to us in our Kata.
By the way I also believe it is totally acceptable to play with any drill, teaching any skill set, that you want.
It is totally acceptable to play with any drill that explores any avenue or technique or principle you want.
I am all for exploring any and all aspects.
But as for the core foundations of Uechi Ryu the drills should be derived directly from our Kata and our Kata do not go back the majority of the time so the drills should not go back the majority of the time.
I guess I am really not so much a heretic as I would love to believe, instead I am a die hard true Uechika truly believing in the effectiveness of our Kata.
(Sometimes I think that the reason many Karateka and others are no longer see the value of Kata practice is because the Kata are not taken into their drills and applications.)
I truly feel the questions asked need to be pondered by Uechika.
As always please come to your own conclusions (of course) and I do wish you would share them here along with how you derived them.
In the end I guess you will just have to call me a Uechi Traditionalist or maybe a manly man.
But I guess I am not a true manly man because I said it was okay to go backwards sometimes as long as you remember to switch up and win the fight.