Always time for Seisan

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Always time for Seisan

Postby Victor Smith » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:02 am

A pleasant Isshinryu hi and an interesting look at your Seisan kata.


Seisan - Kanei Uechi

Seisan - Young George Mattson

Seisan - Shinyu Gushi

Seisan - Kiyohide Shinjo

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Re: Always time for Seisan

Postby Bill Glasheen » Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:35 pm

Thanks for posting these, Victor!

It's worth mentioning that Uechi and Mattson were pretty much in "instruction mode" doing their kata, while Gushi and Shinjo were doing their kata with a bit more mojo. There are only a few minor stylistic nuances amongst these 4 practitioners, but they are noted. For instance...

  • Kanei's supinated nukites near the end being very high and fully supinated. And nice jump, by the way!
    ...
  • A young George doing a lower hammerfist strike before "the association" developed a consensus that it should be higher. Been there, done that. I remember the camp where it was discussed.
    ...
  • Shinyu Gushi's "wrap-around" chamber before groin strikes.
    ...
  • Kiyohide doing his father's abbreviation of hammerfist/boshiken sequence, and extra step before front elbow.

Good stuff!

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Re: Always time for Seisan

Postby gmattson » Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:18 pm

Thought I better post a couple of the "old" George Mattson doing seisan. The few that are posted on youtube-public viewing, were taken from my old instructional VHS seires:

Here are a couple taken in the last couple years at camp and at a seminar, where the kata is performed at a more realistic mode:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3YCh-axTjg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPoBQNDrUuE
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Re: Always time for Seisan

Postby NEB » Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:16 am

I'm guessing that the two interpretations of the hammer-fist height are Sanchin height vs. temple height. By Sanchin, I mean the height your fist would be if in Sanchin posture. Which...would be kind of low considering the apparent application of the hammer fist (padded but dense weapon ideal for striking the temple). Was that the original conversation or something else?

Thanks!
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Re: Always time for Seisan

Postby Bill Glasheen » Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:51 am

NEB wrote:I'm guessing that the two interpretations of the hammer-fist height are Sanchin height vs. temple height. By Sanchin, I mean the height your fist would be if in Sanchin posture. Which...would be kind of low considering the apparent application of the hammer fist (padded but dense weapon ideal for striking the temple). Was that the original conversation or something else?

I had brought that up.

There really is no religion about the height of the hammer fist. As you said, it just makes more sense to think of it as temple high, or maybe to the triple warmer around about the base of the ear. But a lower hammer fist could be thought of as an elbow hyperextension technique.

I like thinking of the hammer fist in Seisan as a prequel to the subsequent left boshiken technique. As a monster whole-body palm heel to the jaw, the former is a great setup for the latter "lights out" technique. Several I know who studied under Shinjo Seiyu said they secretly observed him doing Seisan in a stylized manner that shortened the circle in-between the hammer fist and boshiken. But he'd get upset if he saw anyone else do their kata that way.

Can't be giving any secrets out now, can we? ;)

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Re: Always time for Seisan

Postby NEB » Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:08 am

Bill: Interesting...

Given that observation it would of diminished importance where the actual target is if....it were meant to be a decoy. Shinjo Sensei could have been "feeling" that sequence...a combat progression of attacking the available target with the right hammerfist, followed by the left boshiken, the latter being the "money shot."
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Re: Always time for Seisan

Postby Bill Glasheen » Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:50 pm

NEB wrote:Given that observation it would of diminished importance where the actual target is if....it were meant to be a decoy.

You have the right idea. But I wouldn't call it a decoy; rather I'd call it a set-up.

It's really more subtle than that. The origin of the sequence is in Seisan. We see it in Kanshu, but it's done with no step and they've added one more circle and a nukite. You sort of kind of see the relationship between it and what's done in Seisan, but the application ends up being different. In Seisan the subsequent final circle and nukite are done in a different direction with more stepping. So... it's just different. It's as different as saying you use a screwdriver to put the hinges on a door vs. using a screwdriver to make a repair on your car.

In Seisan the combination of the step forward, left circle, and right "chambering" for the hammer fist speak to me. It's one of those 90% solutions were no matter what you do, I'm going to be able to get inside and have my way with you. The step forward can be "the dragon's tail", getting inside the opponent's left front foot and breaking his center. The "chambering" for the hammer fist can itself be intercepting a technique coming from the left side, or could be part of breaking inside the opponent's stationary defenses. You could be contacting the person at one, two, or three points before you swing with the hammer fist.

My view of it is most definitely not what's in the "official" Seisan bunkai. That to me is just martial nonsense. Sometimes I think the choreographers just want to hide the good stuff from the gaijin. ;)

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