Bassai Dai - Martial Arts Rosetta Stone

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by mrt2, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. Yokozuna514

    Yokozuna514 Purple Belt

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    Nice video. I really enjoy seeing two different styles perform the same kata in their own unique version. Especially when both proponents are very confident in their approach.
     
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  2. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Not side by side, but a little something for the Kyokushin guys...
     
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  3. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Many claim Kanku/Kusanku was the basis for the Pinan katas, but some claim Bassai is the truer source. Pretty hard to disagree.

    *Note: Not the Kyokushin version of Kanku. Mas Oyama heavily modified it.
     
  4. Never_A_Reflection

    Never_A_Reflection Blue Belt

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    Itosu Passai is certainly popular among Shuri-Te styles, but I don't know that I would call it a "Rosetta Stone" of karate. For one thing, it isn't even the most common kata among Shuri-Te styles--that would be Naihanchi. Beyond that, it isn't really found outside of Shuri-Te styles, so it doesn't have the broadest use across karate, as a whole--that would be Seisan.
     
  5. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    A very different version, cool. What were the guys holding breaks doing? I thought he was fixing to blend breaking with his form, which would be awesome. This version also has some common movements with Koryo as well.
     
  6. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Would you say that this is a good rendition of the Kyokushin way and reflects the Kyokushin approach to how things are done?
     
  7. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Master of Arts

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    Very cool :) quite liked that version too
    I could see that. Both katas definitely I could see as having influence
     
  8. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Master of Arts

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    I believe he would have done the breaks straight after the kata, have seen that format a few times in demonstrations. A shame they cut the vid short hehe.

    I have seen breaks done throughout a kata before which was really cool!
     
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  9. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Master of Arts

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    I would say so, Kyokushin kata tend not to be as ermm "pretty", they're more powerful and direct, stances maybe not as deep either as other styles. Especially the use of shuto mawashi uke which is mainly a Kyokushin technique (have not been a fan though of substituting in shuto mawashi uke instead of the usual shuto uke in the longer kokutsu dachi used in Shotokan, I think the Shotokan version is more dynamic and makes sense being used in those katas!).
     
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  10. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Who was the guy in the video? Is he recognized as a skilled fellow? Is he representative of leadership in Kyokushin, either on some regional or national or international level?
     
  11. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Master of Arts

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    Yeah for sure, Sensei (actually Shihan now I believe) Artur Hovhannisyan I believe ran the Kyokushin federation in Armenia and I think now is at the main honbu headquarters in Tokyo helping to run things. Has won a fair few championships, but of note has done the 100 man kumite which.... is quite an elite feat haha, which not many have successfully done.

    I remember reading an interview in Blitz magazine they did with him, seems like an awesome guy and understands Kyokushin and the depths of what it is about very well.

    Of course I've never trained with him, but he is very skilled from what I know.
     
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  12. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    There’s a longer version somewhere on YouTube where he breaks the stuff. I haven’t seen it in a while, but I think he more or less goes over about 5 seconds afterwards and goes around breaking everything. Not much wind-up and showmanship, just go to it, measure up once or twice and smash through.
     
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  13. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I won’t quote both posts, but I’ll answer both...

    Artur Hovanissyan is, or at least was the man. Basically, what Simon said. He won the World Kyokushin Championship once or twice, basically cleaning house when he competed. He completed the 100 man kumite, which is facing 100 men. Full knockdown rules, 2-3 minute rounds, fresh black belt every round. And I’m pretty sure he faced 2 beasts in the Kyokushin world in his final rounds - Exerton Texiera (not 100% sure though) and Francisco Filho (last opponent). He was chief instructor at Kyokushin headquarters dojo in Tokyo for a period too. He ran or runs Kyokushin in Armenia. Gotta give a shoutout to my fellow Armenian :)

    The most recent stuff I saw from him was strength and conditioning stuff. No gi, no formalities, not even karate movements. It was in Russian without subtitles, so I don’t know what was said in it. He could’ve been aiming it at karateka or not at all. No clue. It was some pretty good stuff though.

    Bassai isn’t in many Kyokushin curricula. It was a while back but Mas Oyama dropped it along with a few others. Some people are bringing back some of those kata. Kyokushin kata isn’t pretty. The main thing is the focus, determination and power. The other flashy stuff like stances aren’t the focus. I guess you could say they favor grit over flash.
     
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  14. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Absolutely. But I see more Pinan in Bassai than I do in Kanku Sho and Dai and Kusanku. Kyokushin Kanku looks more Pinan, but it was heavily modified after the Pinan katas were already out there so I don’t consider it in this discussion.
     
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  15. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    You guys have both mentioned that kyokushin kata are not pretty. In my mind, that is an irrelevant point because kata was not meant to be performance art. It is a training tool. How aesthetically pleasing it is or is not, is beside the point.

    What I see in this fellow’s Kyokushin kata is bigger movement when compared to the other videos in this thread. Those other videos are quicker and sharper in some ways, but the bigger movement of the Kyokushin fellow better grabs the full- body engagement and better harnesses that power. In my opinion, that is more important. As a training tool, kata ought to be done with an exaggeration in the movements, for that reason. Kata is not a fantasy fight. You are not play-acting a battle when you do kata. It is practice of technique and the principles that drive the technique, heavy on fundamentals, so heavy emphasis on that proper movement is important.

    While the technical approach to the training looks to be quite different from my method of Tibetan white crane, that big movement is a similar concept, so it’s in my wheelhouse. I would like to see him translate the movement from the feet and legs on up, some more, but overall he is quite impressive.

    This is why I was asking if this fellow is representative of how it ought to be done by Kyokushin standards, or if he is a leader in the system. I wanted to know if he is doing it well, or might be considered an offshoot who is doing it his own way.
     
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  16. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Gotcha. He’s pretty much in line with the Kyokushin way, or what I’d expect to see from a Kyokushin kata. It’s not a typical Kyokushin kata, so there’s no real basis of comparison to others.

    Kyokushin movements are very big and full power. More so than the Japanese norm, which is typically bigger than the Okinawan movements. Different ways of generating power; Okinawan is typically more from the hips with relatively stationary feet and a compact delivery. Japanese is typically more exaggerated. Kyokushin is more like swinging a sledgehammer. All IMO. Neither way is wrong nor more effective for everyone; it’s up to the individual to make it work.

    A lot of people will watch Kyokushin guys do kata and say the stances aren’t wide and deep enough, he’s muscling things too much, etc. Because of that, typical Kyokushin guys don’t do very well in open kata competition. I don’t think they care much about that though. Kumite/sparring is their utmost concern.
     
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  17. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I completely understand the “swinging a sledgehammer” approach. That is a pretty good description of our way too, when it’s done well.

    I did see him rotating his torso a lot, to an extent that some might consider it exaggerated. Thats what I am focused on. That is where the power comes from. And it may be that he is engaging his feet and legs to drive that rotation more than it seems to me. It is certainly possible to do it without being so obvious, and in a fight that is what I would expect. In kata practice, I encourage the exaggerated range of motion, because that is where you first train and develop, and then maintain, that delivery method. The big movement can be reduced in a fight while still getting that power if the method had been well developed and understood. But in practice, we like to always continue to reinforce the big movement.

    Like I said, he is an impressive fellow and that video revealed a lot.
     
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  18. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    He’s definitely impressive. And his knockdown fighting is even more impressive IMO.

    I’ve trained a little bit with Okinawan style guys. They usually scratch their heads in wonder when they see movements they do done Kyokushin-like big. My simple reply is it doesn’t matter how big or small that movement is in kata, so long as you know why you’re doing it and can do it the right way in a fight. I usually get the “well played” head nod.

    I like the big sledgehammer-like movements. I guess maybe it’s because it’s what I “grew up with.” Small movements seem restrictive to me. I guess the smaller movement guys probably feel like the big movements are a waste of energy or something.
     
  19. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    The Okinawan folks may do smaller movement as a result of the Hakka Chinese influence in their lineages. Things like Fukien white crane and such, compared to the Tibetan method that I do, go about it differently and it definitely looks “smaller”.

    The big movement method, once i got the proper instruction in it, just made more sense to me than anything else I’ve done.
     
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  20. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Makes more sense to me too.
     
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