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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:14 pm 
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Bill,

Thought of you when I saw this.

沖縄空手道 2011 ALL-OKINAWA CHAMPIONSHIP - KATA

NOTE: I tidied up the link for Victor -- Bill

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 Post subject: Re: Kata video
PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:04 pm 
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Wow... Thanks for posting this, Victor!

I have lots I could say. But out of curiosity, what made you think of *me* when you saw this, other than the fact that these were all Uechi kata? (Sanseiryu, Kanchin, and Kanshu respectively)

One final note... As difficult as it is to do, I try very hard not to over-critique kata I've found online unless they're really bad and can mislead people who might try to copy them. All three of these fellows put themselves "out there" for that tournament, which is more than most would do. And nobody embarrassed themselves. These were all fun to watch.

More later after I hear from Victor.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Kata video
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:55 am 
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Bill,

I enjoy watching all types of karate performance, and when I see Uechi performance I always find your forum a good place to share it.

I thought their performance worth sharing. Unfortunately I'm not qualified to judge the Ueichi fine points just the spirit of the competition.

Likewise in sharing I just posted my original instructor Tom Lewis doing a Karate Demonstration in 1976 you might enjoy too.

Tom Lewis - Dennis Lockwood Demonstration


Seasons Greetings,

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 Post subject: Re: Kata video
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:32 pm 
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Hello, Victor!

I hope you and your health are doing well. It's always good to see you.

That's a fun video by your instructor Tom Lewis. The one-step demos were a big part of karate at one time, giving people lots of opportunity to show creative responses. Remember when it was a regular feature in Black Belt magazine? Every person interviewed got to show his response to the lunge punch, etc. In any case, your instructor's responses were very basic and brutal - the way self-defense should be. Even in his flash, he hit below the belt.

We all appreciate that you share with us here. Just to let you know... That tournament is a very big deal to Uechi karate. The only one I've ever gotten a chance to be a part of (as a judge) was one held in Atlanta. It's a chance for a new generation of Uechika to show their stuff. In the past it was dominated by the Okinawans. But some of the better Uechi practice now shows up from the west. The third place gentleman I am guessing comes from the European region that was once the former Yugoslavia. I'm hesitant to guess which ethnic group it is because of the history. But I've worked out with Igor Prasnikar when he spent time in the States.

More later.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Kata video
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:50 am 
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What I'll try to do when commenting is to stay mostly positive. And there's plenty positive about these three performances. So with that approach in mind, here goes.

  • The thing I like most about these performances is their exactness. While I do things differently, it's eminently clear what each of these gentlemen is doing. With only one exception (and not where you think...) these men do what they mean and mean what they do. Perhaps you'll disagree with the timing of this or that, the way the energy is produced, or the way things flow. But there's abundant clarity of movement. This is one of the features I look for in a winning kata. It's what allows me to step outside my own way of doing things, and appropriately acknowledge another approach.
    .
    And now and then... if I see something different that I like, I'll steal it. ;)
    .
  • Here's something that I know some disagree with me on, but I'm big on it. Each and every one of these three gentlemen obviously have strong hip flexor muscles. Note that after the kick, there's no urgency to drop the leg. It stays high, firm, and unwavering - just like a crane! (Imagine that!)
    .
    Yes, yes... you can sneak a kick in faster if you come from the floor at an angle. And if you like that, you like that. But there is tournament (where the first point wins) and then there is the street (where sometimes the most direct shot wins). So imagine my surprise and delight when I see all three gentlemen kicking the way I like to kick. I have exercises I do in class to teach people those mechanics.
    .
    There's more you can layer on to this basic leg movement. But what they're doing is a good start. The rest comes with age and better core training.
    .
  • These gentlemen aren't rushing through their kata. There's at least some attempt to take one's time. And there's actually just a bit of what I like to call "dynamic range." Other stylists do this much, much better than your average Uechika. I blame the typical metronome kata on the ichi-ni-san training in large classes. At some point, you need to take the kata and own it. And this means understanding that Uechi mechanics vary from move to move. The more you study, the deeper your appreciation will be. There's a time to snap and a time to move smoothly. There's a time to whip and a time to thrust. There's a time to flurry and a time to ippon. Etc. etc.

I'd love to have others share their impressions. And by all means, ask questions! We'll try to answer them in a respectful manner.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Kata video
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:22 pm 
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The first gentleman, the winner, has a very rooted look. I enjoyed watching him. I do, however, think some matters of timing should not be adjusted for tournament purposes. There were times I think in all three performances where the step was made and completed before the strike. They are trying to look very precise by doing that. It succeeds in that much, but my brain wouldn't accept it. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Kata video
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:04 pm 
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mhosea wrote:
some matters of timing should not be adjusted for tournament purposes. There were times I think in all three performances where the step was made and completed before the strike. They are trying to look very precise by doing that. It succeeds in that much, but my brain wouldn't accept it. :)


Mike

I've looked at the winners of the men's and women's divisions. They all appear to be cut pretty much from the same cloth. The students are to be congratulated for doing the kata as taught, and staying very close to a tightly-managed template. That template on the other hand is the mission and responsibility of their instructors. So when you see certain thing you consider contrary to your belief, I believe you're having an issue with the template and not the performer.

Yes, Mike, I noticed.

As organizations, we have a responsibility to preserve the base material. In doing so, there's a certain degree of fidelity that must be maintained. It's my observation that many Okinawan teachers have chosen a somewhat reductionist approach in that regard. What very well may have been kata which moved with tremendous fluidity (as observed via performances of a young Tomoyose Ryuko) has evolved in large classrooms to the ichi-ni-san, metronome-like kata we see today.

Back in the day, kata were not done in large groups to a cadence. Students came in to work on their material, and the instructor approached students one at a time to look at their performances and make suggestions. Individualism was not just tolerated, but encouraged. And when I say individualism, I don't mean a loss of fidelity. Rather I'm suggesting that a good student evolves in key aspects like intra-movement timing and how energy is generated. (S)he also evolves in the understanding of movement, which necessarily changes how one executes the diverse toolbox of techniques.

More later.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:44 pm 
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Wow! Bill, you and Mike handled the critique thing alot better than I could... So I think I'll just keep my big mouth shut this time... :lol: :lol: :lol:

Wel......Maybe one word... Rock em Sock em Robots???? LMAO!!!!

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:44 am 
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Stevie B wrote:

Wel......Maybe one word...

Speak his mind? Not Stevie!!! :lol:

old commercials rock em sock em robots

Maybe it's best that some things lose their meaning across generations and cultures. ;)

What we need, Stevie, is to take it up a notch.

MMA Rock Em Sock Em Robots


- Bill


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:00 pm 
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:lol: :lol: :lol: Hahahaha.... "Boy, this is the greatest!!! " :lol: :lol: :lol:

BTW, I'll venture to say that the 3rd place is from Vlad Popovich's group from Serbia as I've seen Vlad posting all of this on Facebook and looks like his video crew's editing.. I liked the Kumite portion.. Some3 good solid leg kicks and sweeps... Let me see what I can find for you..Also I did notice the MMA robots were a bit more fluid and had a better rythem than the originals...LOL Very good upgrade :lol: :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:21 pm 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iql2CBvUxeM

Yep... Here you go Bill.. The kid that came in 2nd had some pretty fast hands and good distancing IMHO.. Some pretty good techniques throughout.. A little sloppy from time to time, but World compitition has the nerves on frey anyways..All in all it seemed like a good day for the guys..

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:59 pm 
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Stevie B wrote:
I'll venture to say that the 3rd place is from Vlad Popovich's group from Serbia as I've seen Vlad posting all of this on Facebook and looks like his video crew's editing.


I think you're right, Stevie. That fits with the documentation on all the videos. Thanks for the ID.

They've done a masterful job with the filming and editing.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 2:26 pm 
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Stevie B wrote:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iql2CBvUxeM

Yep... Here you go Bill.. The kid that came in 2nd had some pretty fast hands and good distancing IMHO.. Some pretty good techniques throughout.. A little sloppy from time to time, but World compitition has the nerves on frey anyways..All in all it seemed like a good day for the guys..


As is usual it's the antithesis of what you see in the kata division.

As you stated, that level of neurohormonal stimulation (the nerves on frey) compromises fine motor and some complex motor coordination. That's what leads to "sloppy from time to time." It's par for the situation, and what one can expect in a true self-defense situation. In the safe confines of the dojo, things always are more crisp and exact. But that's not the way it happens on the street.

I do like the kumite matches. The judges managed to let the matches go to the ground and allowed for takedowns without any injuries (here). Naturally we don't see any shooting per MMA matches, but it's at least a taste of the dangers that a prolific kicker can expect from someone who knows how to receive and counter.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:26 am 
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Ha!
My daughter used to leave after tournaments and say "I can't believe those stupid robot kata's won."
I can't understand why the judges like them and only make them more prevalent.
Injecting sport into a martial art always has some drawbacks.

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