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  1. PO9 is offline

    10th level Superlesson Grandmaster

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    Posted On:
    12/26/2005 4:07pm


     Style: Currently Inactive

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by TekkaMaki

    Here is what should actually happen:

    1) having been grabbed at the wrist, we pull the arm upward to escape the grab while establishing a base. Instead of a downward block, this should be a grab of the attacker's sleeve.
    2) stepping forward, we pull the opponent's wrist "to chamber" and grab the opponent at the lapel. with the opposite hand.
    3) turning around we continue the motion with the hands still at the opponents' wrist and lapel, setting up a morote seoi nage throw.
    4) we execute the morote seoi nage throw.
    5) The final "punch" is actually a setup for another grab, which leads into the next technique, a repetition of morote seoi nage from a quarter turn instead of a half turn.


    You may begin flaming... now.
    Have you ever done a moroto seoi nage? If the chambered "punch" is supposed to be the kuzushi for the throw, then the pull is in the wrong direction (down as opposed to up). Furthermore, the footwork taught in that kata is not the same footwork used in moroto seoi nage. Finally, number 4 "we execute the morote seoi nage throw." there is no movement in the kata such as bending low at the knees or loading/unloading your opponent of your back. I disagree with this interpretation.


    Though I do agree the chambering is best interpreted as pulling your opponent, but in this case, probably pulling him into your reverse punch. The same beginning movements of the kata are also a great cross-wrist grab escape with the downblock being a strike at the grabbers thumb joint where it meets their wrist
    Who, for Pete’s sake! Is opposing science? In fact, we want MORE science by CRITICALLY ANALIZING the evidence-Connie Morris, Kansas State BOE (bolding and underlining part of original quote, red is my emphasis)


    As long as you try to treat your subjective experiences as if they were objective experiences, you will continue to be confounded by people who disagree with you.-some guy on an internet messageboard
  2. TekkaMaki is offline
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    Trying to make sense of it all

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    Posted On:
    12/27/2005 8:22pm

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     Style: Jiu Jitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by PO9
    Have you ever done a moroto seoi nage? If the chambered "punch" is supposed to be the kuzushi for the throw, then the pull is in the wrong direction (down as opposed to up). Furthermore, the footwork taught in that kata is not the same footwork used in moroto seoi nage. Finally, number 4 "we execute the morote seoi nage throw." there is no movement in the kata such as bending low at the knees or loading/unloading your opponent of your back. I disagree with this interpretation.


    Though I do agree the chambering is best interpreted as pulling your opponent, but in this case, probably pulling him into your reverse punch. The same beginning movements of the kata are also a great cross-wrist grab escape with the downblock being a strike at the grabbers thumb joint where it meets their wrist
    I was sure someone would point this out. I actually agree, and I have to say that it is a little off the cuff of what actually happens in the kata. Maybe it would be closer to an ippon seoi nage. I was using morote as an example, albeit not a terribly good one. The point is, it can be used as a setup for a throw. Or rather, the point was to discuss whether it could be used as a setup for a throw.

    I'd like to hear a bit more about the true origin of karate.

    Moving along, I am very intersted in Kyokushin and Enshin, they both seem very cool. I understand there are alot of excellent kyokushin fighters, I'm sure a good KK guy would whoop my ass pretty good, given the opportunity.

    So, thus far, Kyokushin and Enshin styles seem to be an exception to my inital idea.

    I think the initial post reflects more on the more common styles like Shorin Ryu and Shotokan.
  3. FredGarvinMP is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/28/2005 9:45am


     Style: Koei-Kan, Aikido

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Time for my 2 cents worth:

    Quote Originally Posted by TekkaMaki
    There should be absolutely no such thing as a chamber punch.
    I have never heard the term chambered punch. Are you referring to bringing the opposite hand back while the other executes a punch? If this is what you are referring to, in my style the hand coming back is only in the very basics and in katas. It is supposed to be a bit of a conditioning practice to get you acclimated to getting hit in the mid section. It is in no way a technique and is never taught as one except at the very basic, day 1 level.

    Quote Originally Posted by TekkaMaki
    Furthermore, the hand that is not punching should always be up, protecting the face. This is why we see in the techniques of, for example, kyokushin karate, a punching style that more closely resembles boxing. Teaching the movements of kata as blocks and punches have completely ruined the techniques of Karate Do.
    In my dojo, there are three types of activities; kihon / katas, drills and fighting. Only in kihon / katas are the hands permitted to drop because of the attempt to retain the "originality" (for lack of a better word) of the technique. Drills and sparring are always done with both hands up. Always.

    Quote Originally Posted by TekkaMaki
    The rigid stances should be used only for transitional purposes. Things like front leaning stances and horse stances are only to establish a base while throwing or tripping an opponent and should never be used as a fighting position. Training out of these stances causes bad habits.
    The stances seen in katas are for a couple of reasons that have already been mentioned. In my experience, the person just starting off has a woeful lack of leg strength. That lack of lower body strength is the main reason for horrible balance.

    Quote Originally Posted by TekkaMaki
    The hard, rigid 'blocks' of Karate should not be used to intercept punches or kicks. The blocking motions of karate, as they are practiced, are not to be used against punches.
    Eternal pretty much summed it up on this point. When I spar, I think the only real "block" I use is a cross between an inside block and an inside parry block. It is definitely not a rigid block. People find out quickly that rigid blocks are too slow and they usually leave other parts of you exposed to counters.

    Quote Originally Posted by TekkaMaki
    Karate jutsu does not contain long kata, but does contain alot of two-man exercises which involve grabbing and escaping, joint locks and so forth. For this reason, it far more closely resembles Jujutsu.
    I guess this is going to fall under what dojo one trains under. We do a lot of two man work, give and take, etc...

    Quote Originally Posted by TekkaMaki
    I can give a quick example of what I'm talking about here. Let's take the first kata that any karate school teaches. We all know it. We go to the yoi position, then step to the left into a horse stance with a downward block. (1) Next, we step in that same direction with the right foot and throw a punch. (2) We reach up behind the shoulder, turn around into a horse stance and execute another downward block (4) then finish with another forward step and punch(5).

    Here is what should actually happen:

    1) having been grabbed at the wrist, we pull the arm upward to escape the grab while establishing a base. Instead of a downward block, this should be a grab of the attacker's sleeve.
    2) stepping forward, we pull the opponent's wrist "to chamber" and grab the opponent at the lapel. with the opposite hand.
    3) turning around we continue the motion with the hands still at the opponents' wrist and lapel, setting up a morote seoi nage throw.
    4) we execute the morote seoi nage throw.
    5) The final "punch" is actually a setup for another grab, which leads into the next technique, a repetition of morote seoi nage from a quarter turn instead of a half turn.

    The subsequent "punches" down the middle can easily represent an osoto gari leg sweep.
    I could debate this until the end of time. I know it has been said time and time again, but I'll repeat it. People who teach katas as an introduction on how to fight are, well, idiots. Kata is not meant to take a set of movements and try to apply them in a fight situation. IMO, katas are meant to teach basic movements, increase strength and coordination and some balance. They also help develop the notion of trying to put techniques in a combination of movements instead of just one at a time. When one gets far enough along, an occasional class of all katas does make a pretty good workout.

    A lot of times I have real reservations when I see someone saying "at this point in the kata, someone is doing THIS to you, so you come back with..." It sets up the wrong notion of what a kata is for in the mind of the student.

    I think a lot of people are right in that it greatly depends on the dojo one goes to. God knows that's the truth in my style.
  4. sweats is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/28/2005 10:57am


     Style: Shotokan & BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I spent 13 years doing Shotokan and it's my opinion that katas are essentially useless. Of course my experience is limited to Shotokan and similar styles. I've trained with people who did Tang Soo Do, Kung Fu (yeah, I know it's not the correct term but they used it), Tae Kwon Do, etc., and I hold the same opinion about their forms. I feel that students, even beginners, are better served drilling techniques in isolation and quickly moving into dynamic environments. I don't buy into the whole "this teaches you correct form" argument. Yes, you do need to drill techniques in isolation so that people know what is supposed to be happening, such as how the hips are supposed to rotate where your feet should be etc. However, once basic control of the technique has been achieved, you need to learn how to apply it. Application practice doesn't have to be full contact sparring on your first day, but why not take out some pads and try that technique as someone moves the pad around without a pre-arranged sequence?

    As someone said before, you don't actually use the retracting arm when you're sparring or fighting. So why practice it? Train for what you'll actually use. I've never seen any non-laughable application for many of the techniques that appear in Shotokan kata. Many positions put you with a weak base and in a vulnerable orientation to your opponent (especially if that backfist to his sternum didn't take him out). If you know Baisaidai, you know what I'm talking about. Some of the off-balancing arguments that started this thread are interesting, but if you want grappling training most karate schools are not the place to go. If it's not directly applicable, I don't see why it should be done. If it's just for traditionalist purposes, fine, but I think it should be made very clear that it's done only for "preserving the heritage" and should by no means be mandatory in any serious training curriculum.

    I anxiously await the shitstorm of criticism and derision.
  5. PO9 is offline

    10th level Superlesson Grandmaster

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    Posted On:
    12/28/2005 11:24am


     Style: Currently Inactive

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    So how long into those 13 years of doing shotokan did it take to realize katas suck?
    Who, for Pete’s sake! Is opposing science? In fact, we want MORE science by CRITICALLY ANALIZING the evidence-Connie Morris, Kansas State BOE (bolding and underlining part of original quote, red is my emphasis)


    As long as you try to treat your subjective experiences as if they were objective experiences, you will continue to be confounded by people who disagree with you.-some guy on an internet messageboard
  6. SuperGuido is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/28/2005 11:41am


     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Excellent thread! I think this should be moved out of "Your Martial Art Sucks", and into another more pertinent topic.

    I agree with your main point nearly 100%. REAL, TRADITIONAL Karate was NOT the tappy tappy flip crap you see all over the place...it was a bunch of peasant farmers beating the hell out of each other! They even had the equivalent of modern day speedos on when they trained! Okinawa had its very own version of MMA! Woot!

    Also, I was always taught rather silly "surface" explanations for the various moves...then told that the more I practiced, the more I'd be able to read into them.

    Heian Shodan (or Pinan Nidan):
    -Yoi
    -Turn left into neko ashi dachi with hammer fist block, step into zenkutsu dachi with seiken gyaku tsuki.
    -Pivot to the right with a down block, pull back into neko ashi dachi with a hammer fist block, step forward into zenkutsu dachi with seiken gyaku tsuki.
    -Pivot the front with a low block
    -Step forward with three high blocks

    Ok...so I was first told that the three high blocks were aimed against an opponent that punches multiple times. At first I just nodded and grunted "osu!"...but after 8 years of practice (I continue to practice the Heian Series and Rohai regardless of what art I currently study), I began to question the "surface" reasoning.

    First off...how well can an opponent punch when they're back-pedaling? If I keep stepping forward with the blocks, then why would I even need to continue to block? Also...how fucking stupid is it to approach an enemy with rapid blocks?? I might as well approach while spinning in a circle with ballet shoes on.

    So I practiced it with a partner in steps. We both agreed that approaching with blocks was a stupid idea (I had since moved away from my Karate instructor, so I couldn't ask him).

    However...using the chambering motion of the arms to deflect an incoming strike while simultaneously strike the opponent's neck with a hammer fist/forearm strike made sense. The reasoning, as I saw it, for the multiple strikes also became clear.

    After the first deflected strike, the forearm strikes the opponent's neck...then grabs their collar. The other hand then follows the path of the arm to the other side of the opponent's neck and also grabs...for a cross-collar choke. The "chambering" of the arms was actually the act of securing and tightening the applied choke.

    The blocks weren't blocks at all...but set ups for a choke! Of course, this is probably pretty obvious for some, but for a student that had long since moved on to other martial arts, this little bit of discovery pleased me quite a bit.
  7. FredGarvinMP is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/28/2005 11:50am


     Style: Koei-Kan, Aikido

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by sweats
    I spent 13 years doing Shotokan and it's my opinion that katas are essentially useless. Of course my experience is limited to Shotokan and similar styles. I've trained with people who did Tang Soo Do, Kung Fu (yeah, I know it's not the correct term but they used it), Tae Kwon Do, etc., and I hold the same opinion about their forms.
    I would like to see a Shotokan practitioner do kata some time. I have limited experience seeing other traditional (none of the XMA or the like crap) forms doing katas. The ones I have seen I have not liked. They were slow and sloppy. Very few practiced with power and speed.

    Quote Originally Posted by sweats
    I feel that students, even beginners, are better served drilling techniques in isolation and quickly moving into dynamic environments. I don't buy into the whole "this teaches you correct form" argument.
    It's a valid opinion. I think there can be a middle ground in which kata is not concentrated on as much as a lot of schools do. I think a little bit of kata helps.

    Quote Originally Posted by sweats
    However, once basic control of the technique has been achieved, you need to learn how to apply it. Application practice doesn't have to be full contact sparring on your first day, but why not take out some pads and try that technique as someone moves the pad around without a pre-arranged sequence?
    Absolutely. I couldn't agree more. That is a standard thing we do for the first day student in our dojo to hopefully keep them interested and give them a little bit of instant feedback.

    Quote Originally Posted by sweats
    As someone said before, you don't actually use the retracting arm when you're sparring or fighting. So why practice it? Train for what you'll actually use. I've never seen any non-laughable application for many of the techniques that appear in Shotokan kata.
    I ask myself that question a lot. I have different opinions on different days. I have to keep going back to the notion that kata is not a tool in applying a technique in any kind of fighting scenario.

    Quote Originally Posted by sweats
    Many positions put you with a weak base and in a vulnerable orientation to your opponent (especially if that backfist to his sternum didn't take him out). If you know Baisaidai, you know what I'm talking about.
    Again, absolutely true. I think Basaidai (we call Pasaidai) is a good example for doing a kata though. In our style, Pasaidai has a lot of deep leg work in it as well as some of the awkward positions you're talking about. I agree that they could never be used in a real situation, but the kata is a good leg and balance test.

    Quote Originally Posted by sweats
    Some of the off-balancing arguments that started this thread are interesting, but if you want grappling training most karate schools are not the place to go.
    That is very true. I am trying to change that at my dojo.

    Quote Originally Posted by sweats
    If it's not directly applicable, I don't see why it should be done. If it's just for traditionalist purposes, fine, but I think it should be made very clear that it's done only for "preserving the heritage" and should by no means be mandatory in any serious training curriculum.
    I think you are on the right track in making sure that the program must properly define what it is they are teaching. I think though that you also need to define what a "serious" training curriculum is. I consider myself a serious student in that I am always trying to learn and will never stop. If you mean serious in that one doesn't do kata, then I'll simply take my own stance and disagree.

    Quote Originally Posted by sweats
    I anxiously await the shitstorm of criticism and derision.
    So far, this has been one of the best discussions I have seen here because it hasn't come to that level yet which it seems a lot of threads tend to do. I hope it can keep going.
  8. sweats is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/28/2005 12:56pm


     Style: Shotokan & BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Well to answer 2 previous questions. It took me a long time to realize kata sucked. Probably about 7 or 8 years. I was young and stupid, insert cliche here. Once I got to be a teenager I had a better idea. I stuck around after that for other reasons, but formal training slowly faded out over the years. When I went to college, I worked out with a small group of people from different styles. Since everyone had a different background and no one was really interested, we pretty much just sparred. There was the occassional comparative kata banter. "Oh really. That's interesting. Our form is similar, but it looks like this." The sparring was a wake-up call. I'm in grad school now and I joined the BJJ club about a year and a half ago. Never looked back and haven't done a kata since.

    As far as a serious training curriculum, I define that as a curriculum designed to impart useful skills in an actual physical confrontation. Of course, that's a subjective definition and ultimately what skills are useful in a physical confrontation is a matter of opinion. I recognize what's been said about balance and building leg strength, but I think there are more efficient ways of doing that. You can lift weights to build leg strength on your own time. Also, I think a different type of balance is required. Usually, it's more important to keep good footing and not be overwhelmed by a really agressive opponent than to be able to stand on one foot for five minutes. Just my 2 cents.
  9. TekkaMaki is offline
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    Trying to make sense of it all

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    Posted On:
    12/28/2005 6:46pm

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     Style: Jiu Jitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    good discussion! I like the idea of the cross choke. That's why I am looking for setups within the kata now, but it seems like some of you guys understand them alot better than I do. It all brings it back to my original point though, which is that the movements in the kata are actually meant to show specific movement for practice of technique movements, not scenarios or application.
  10. ojgsxr6 is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/28/2005 6:59pm

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     Style: Boxing/BJJudo/Crossfit

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    TekkaMaki, there are no hidden secrets in kata. Every technique or concept that makes up a style should be taught and walked throught step by step if necessary. There is no reason to search kata for chokes, sprawls, etc. They should be taught and drilled whether solo or with a partner.
    Even in Enshin they pimp the kata, saying it's a "fighting kata" or that techniques in kata are done as they would be done in real life. But it still remains that kata has been relgated soley to a grading requirment.
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