How do your forms/katas progress?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by skribs, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. Hyoho

    Hyoho Black Belt

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    What you say is not strictly true about koryu or waza. One could say that no two situations would ever be the same from a distance, position, timing etc. For this reason we have henka. We can do a particular waza with a specific variation. But that waza must still contain the fundamentals of a school. My school "always" does henka for public exibition/demonstrations. I do not allowed students to show the original as it still "mongai fushutsu". Not the be taught outside the gate. That's why we have the kata (the breakdown) To set in stone the fundamentals and possibly rearrage them. It's still X Ryu doing X Ryu. Not X Ryu making it up so that it's no longer X Ryu.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  2. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed. I just don’t think it is necessary to have a kata that goes beyond basics. It can be useful, but isn’t necessary.
     
  3. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I’m not sure that’s universal. Is it necessarily true that kata give the few of the style? Perhaps they do, if they are important to the delivery of the curriculum, in that they actually influence the feel.
     
  4. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    i do understand what your saying. i might not have communicated well on my part about karate. the meanings behind most of karate kata has been lost.(even though most will not admit it) perhaps they were never known by the Okinawans and certainly would be lost in transmission to the main land Japanese. so where in Koryu you have the ability to differentiate between henka and uchi-soto (not sure if you actually use that term that way, but hope you get my meaning) in the waza. the bunkai for karate is very subjective. which can have drastic influence on the preformance. no one within a Ryu can define definitively what the bunkai would be. that is a big problem.
     
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  5. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    i think there is a problem with the kata must have a bunkai application, i suspect that the " meaning "hasn't been lost to time, rather there never was one in the first place. Or the application is very apparent, if its not then its of no consequence. There are not secrets hidden in kata to be un covered.

    kata works as a means of learning/ re enforcing movement patterns, particularly the transition from one to another. Beyond that level of application it becomes a dance, a dance that becomes increasingly complex for no other reason than its more difficult to learn
     
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  6. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    This is how I prefer to use and teach forms.
     
  7. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    By the time I make up my mind on how I'd do things, I will have decades of experience ;)

    This is actually part of why I like doing the theoretical. Because if I just come up with an idea on the spot, then it's going to suck, but if I spend years going over the theory in my head, and refining that theory as I learn more, then at some point I may have something really awesome.

    Of course, my plan right now is that when I become a master, I use my Master's curriculum, with a few minor tweaks, i.e. add one punch to the basic punch list, move a jumping kick a belt later, a couple things like that.

    At my school, the kata definitely play into my Master's self defense strategy, which involves deeper stances for balance and power. It does not reflect our sparring style at all.

    I have had a hard time with this. However, I've come to the conclusion that even if you won't use the particular technique in a form, the muscle memory you build can be useful for other techniques, and that something increasingly difficult to learn can be a good thing, too.

    On the one hand, the muscle memory can be an important thing. For example, there is a double punch technique in Taebaek Hyung (which is also in our version of Palgwe #4). I've seen that used as a double-punch by Miesha Tate in MMA, I've also used a similar motion when doing an outside block and a punch, or a high block and a punch. While I don't expect to use the double-punch itself, the technique isolates muscles that I would use with other techniques.

    On the other hand, I feel that for people at the edge of our age ranges, meaning especially young kids (i.e. 4-8 years old) and our older students (50+) the complexity of the forms can be a good thing on its own. It helps kids built study habits and it helps adults keep their brains active.
     
  8. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    yes I'm with you NEARLY all the way, learning something, anything, is in its self a good thing, be they movement patterns from ma, movement patterns from playing music or just dates of battles. Good.

    but movement patterns that have no practical application to ma, should be replaced with ones that do, or you might as well spend your time learning guitar as you will get much the same benefits.

    if a double punch, is good for block and punch, then DO block and punch as that will be better again at muscle memory just as kicking a football is better practise than kicking a cardboard box if kicking footballs is what you are after.

    you can't of course do that, as its not in that kata, so you have to follow what there even if its not optimum because of " tradition!

    there is a double punch in one of the katas we do, where you invisible opponent, is on the floor and you squat down and double punch, this should be replaced by kicking them in the ribs, as its a far more practical and effective response. But ma in general seems lacking in kicking prone opponents
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  9. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    The motion for the block and the punch (of this type) is similar enough that it doesn't matter. It would be more like a kicker working on his kicking motion and applying that to both kickoffs and field goals.

    I'd also argue that punching their head into the concrete is going to be very effective, likely more effecting than kicking them in the ribs.
     
  10. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 3rd Black Belt

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    Doing a Soccer kick to someone's ribs probably didn't seem "kungfu-y" enough for the kata compared to the double punch. Image is very important ;)
     
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  11. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Actually, anyone with some reasonable athletic skill can learn flashy moves like jumping spinning kicks. Even a beginner in the martial arts. It’s not an advanced technique.

    I’ve seen kids come into capoeira as complete beginners, but they have the athletic ability to do all kinds of outlandish acrobatics. But as a capoeirista, they are a complete beginner with no understanding of the fundamentals nor how to engage in the roda.
     
  12. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 3rd Black Belt

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    Agreed, and often the difference between a beginner doing a technique and an advanced student doing a technique is the ability to apply that technique in combat. As a beginner Martial Artist I have no problem doing a Tornado Kick to thin air, but I doubt I could pull it off effectively in a fight. Some people might argue that the technique is just ineffective in real combat no matter who is using it, but there have been cases where a pro MMA fighter has used a flashy technique successfully in a match.
     
  13. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    we would have to have the input from a Chinese MA to answer that question. the Okinawan kata were transposed from the Chinese. some forms are identical others only exist as Okinawan styles now, the original Chinese versions being lost to time. as i study the Chinese versions more and more, at this time i am under the impression that every action has an application. i have also found that the Okinawan versions of the same actions are often distorted and that the application is nothing like the Chinese understanding. within a kata, the mere rotation of a hand 30 degrees could change the way an entire sequence of moves are interpreted. if we look back on the beginnings of Okinawan karate, we see some very basic and rudimentary understandings. its like comparing the old Irish fighters or Gentleman Jim Corbett with Mike Tyson or Floyd Mayweather. in Choki Motobu's book he refers to forms as styles. this implies to me that just knowing one form was seen as something special. karate in the beginning was not the complete art that we know today. most likely an Okinawan was shown the superficial moves of forms and left on their own after that. there are known exceptions to this but i think it applies to a large majority of what we have today. but that doesnt mean the Chinese didnt know what they were doing.
     
  14. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    if you look at Chinese forms and Okinawan forms. when you look at the same form from the two cultures there is a stark difference in the feel of how they are done. there is a huge disconnect there. if we look at that double punch example, that action does not really fit in with the rest of the body of work in the karate style. it seems a bit out of place. but if we look at the Chinese styles it fits like a duck to water.
     
  15. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    karate.




     
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  16. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    There was a HUGE debate about this in the Taekwondo forums about the practicality of Taekwondo sparring techniques and tactics in a self defense situation. My opinion is that it CAN be effective, but you can't use it expecting it to be like it is on the mat, where the ground may be different and the person you're kicking can grab your leg.

    I remember watching a lot of the very flowy Chinese forms and thinking it was more of a dance. Having taken Hapkido for a few years, and then watching Chinese forms again, I see a lot of throwing motions. However, they seem to be interpreted to the uninitiated (as I once was) as either a dance or some weird slaps and strikes. I wonder if this is where part of the disconnect is.

    With that said, I don't know that anyone is arguing that the Chinese don't know what they were doing.

    Care to elaborate?

    Edit: I see you've posted some videos (as I was writing this post). However, they aren't loading for me right now...
     
  17. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    that's not really a,sound, argument, first your assuming concrete, it could as,easily be a muddy field, the movement of kicking, is far more efficient than bending and punching, and should be harder, legs generaly be stronger and having more travel than punches, if it a max damage situation you want , a stamp to the head is still more efficient and more damaging than a punch, but there a man slaughter, charge in there if your unlucky

    its hard to argue, though it seems you try, that doing something which is quite close to the movement you want, is as good for muscle memory as doing the exact movement to want to replicate from muscle memory?

    there is,an old joke round these parts that goes... Would you hit a man when he is down? No id kick him its easier, seems to sum it up nicely
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  18. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    what we are actually talking about here is realist art VS abstract art.
    does the kata look like real fighting moves or are they abstractions of movement. there is nothing wrong with abstraction . sometimes abstractions are more real. but where i have a problem is when someone looks at the abstract art and says "oh see that..now that is clearly a painting of the Millennium Flacon" when it was painted by Van gogh.
     
  19. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    Kneeling down and punch and standing up is faster for me than to do a kick on the ground.

    Kicking someone in the ribs is a different motion than the kicks I'm taught on standing opponents. It involves bringing the leg back to generate the power. If I were to kick someone in the ribs like I kick someone in a standing position there would be no momentum at all going into the kick. Then they could grab my leg and trip me over.

    The same applies to a kick down into the face. We do use some of those, but we much more often teach the kneeling punch, because it can be very easy for someone to trip you from the prone position. The kneeling stance is a much more stable platform to strike down from.

    A downward kick also lacks the ability to generate power from the ground. Of course, the same argument could be made for a downward punch, but it's easier to put your shoulder into a downward punch than your hip into a downward kick.

    Many of our techniques on a downed attacker also occur after a take-down. In many of those we end up knelt down and still have hold of them. A kick wouldn't work from that position. If we're standing, we're usually holding onto the wrist, and would prefer to break the wrist or elbow than kick to the ribs.

    Basically, my "weak argument" is that I prefer a more stable platform where I still have hold of them and am less likely to be tripped.
     
  20. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    I'm not sure we are on different sides of this argument?

    with out the in-depth knowledge of some, id say that the transition from Chinese to Japanese ma is more cultural than lost techniques, the. Chinese being more fluid and dance like the Japanese being more stiff and powerful short movements.

    i don't think one is superior to the other, just different, if there were lost skills, rather than forgotten as they didn't work in the new style, Chinese ma would be better and it's not
     

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