Karate is kata, kata is karate

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Bill Mattocks, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    Hard times build character, think of it as conditioning for the mind :p

    Yeah, I could have been clearer admittedly - is it partially cleared up now?
     
  2. wab25

    wab25 Black Belt

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    So, I have spent time since that last thread you reference, looking at the TKD version of this technique... (or at least what I see on youtube) and I found a few things that I thought were useful. (tried a few of them out on unsuspecting jujitsu students...) Rather than list what I found, I want to go through how I found them.

    I started with the Karate version first, as I study that version. Also, the Karate version is in the lineage of the technique in question, at least partially. In the karate version, when the main hand chambers up to the side of the face, the back hand makes a palm up spear hand forward, instead of going back like the TKD version. This is taught as guarding the center line, while chambering... followed by the knifehand block. This can be seen as a spear hand strike to the solar plexus, followed by a block to the side of the neck. In karate, the open hand also signifies a grab. Instead of the back hand delivering an initial spear hand strike, it could be grabbing the gi, then pulling the guy into the block to his neck, or slowing down a little, pulling the guy guy in deeper and executing dump over your forward knee type throw. So, things to take here to the TKD version: the open hands can be spears, knife hands or grabs... the application can be during the initial chamber... changing the distance will change the outcome.

    In the TKD version as I see it on youtube... both hands move back together, front one to your face, rear hand goes behind you, then both come forward to the position in the picture. Assume you are facing the other guy, he is grabbing your neck with both hands (dumb choke). When you drop into back stance, do it so that your "front" foot turns out, and your rear foot stays pointing at the other guy. The main hand comes up to your face, from underneath both of the guys arms, while your rear hand chambers behind you. Use the main open hand to grab the guys wrist. (if my main hand is my left, it comes under the other guys left hand, and grabs his left wrist) At this point, my main hand "blocks" which will extend his arm and his side, also rotating him to his right. If you are close enough, the rear hand knifes through his elbow... elbow break or arm bar. (I had to play with getting the distance right, but once you figure it out...) If you are closer, that rear hand can deliver a knife hand to the kidney or short ribs, which are now open.

    There is a foot propping throw that we do, where you start facing the other guy, grabbing gi lapel and sleeve. I get the guy to suddenly take a step forward, while using my foot to stop his ankle, preventing that step. If he knows how to fall, it looks pretty cool, if not, he face plants pretty hard. In order to get that sudden step forward, my hand on his lapel, comes to my center, while my hand on his sleeve takes him forward to the far corner. It can look very similar to the chamber before the double knife hand. If you transfer your weight to the front foot, instead of the back foot, you could easily prop his foot for the throw. The hard part of this throw, is generating his forward step. You could take the propping foot out, so as to get closer to the TKD technique. Start in front stance, front hand grabs his lapel, back hand grabs his sleeve. Shift into back stance, using your body weight to generate the power, chambering your hands for the double knife hand block, further propels him past you. As the back hand comes forward, still grabbing his sleeve you can produce and nice arm whip type throw, if your timing is right... or just let them go.

    Another art I have looked at a bit is Daito Ryu. They teach big motions first, then make them smaller and smaller. Since Funakoshi was further simplifying things for elementary students, he may have made things even bigger. Start with a cross wrist grab, right hand to right wrist. Its common to cover his fingers with your left hand, circle your right to the outside and produce a lock, in the downward direction. The Daito Ryu guy I train with, does this with out covering the fingers, if you blend right, its not needed. Then after you get the lock going down, he cuts horizontally back into you. This will put you up on your toes like a ballerina trying to get away from the lock. If you start the double knife hand thing from TKD, where the other guy has this cross wrist grab... when your back hand goes into chamber, it just needs to go to the outside of the other guys hand. As you roll your hand to palm up, execute the back side block to your chest, it produces the lock, and cutting motion through the other guy. You will have to make the motion a bit smaller and blend, but it works well.

    I hope this makes sense... sometimes my writing leaves some to be desired when describing this stuff. But, by looking at where the technique came from, and by focusing on some of those things as I did the newer TKD version, I found some interesting things there that work for me. Whether you agree or get anything from this doesn't change the fact that when I looked at a TKD technique, looked at how it was done, where it came from and started playing with those ideas, I was able to learn quite a bit about things that had nothing to do with blocking punches. It helped my jujitsu get a little better. It helped my karate get a little better. It helped me figure out that silly Daito Ryu lock. I also got to throw an unsuspecting student quite far.... his face was priceless. Anyway, thanks for inspiring me to learn a few more things by looking at TKD forms and technique.
     
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  3. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    Partially.
     
  4. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    Second quote of this part...

    I understand why you're asking the questions, but I'm surprised that someone of your rank has to ask them.

    I can't remember how old you are, nor how long in total you've been training - which could be very relevant here.
     
  5. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    Those need thinking about, but my initial impression is that they're perfectly valid.

    I've done quite a bit of thinking and research the other direction - going 'back' to karate from my ITF baseline, and in a fair few instances looking at CMA as well.

    For me, it all leads into possible interpretations and applications rather than the somewhat limited single explanations.
     
  6. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    What you're doing here is mostly what I would consider the level 2 and level 3 analysis of the technique. What I'm looking for is the level 1 analysis.

    It's kind of like how I work in IT as a system's administrator (Tier 2 or Tier 3, depending on the heirarchy). A lot of my coworkers are great at Tier 3 functions, and have absolutely no concept of Tier 1 (help desk). They can build websites and databases, they can make complicated server architecture with ease, but if they have to tell a customer how to log in, they're baffled. They can use all the technical jargon they want, but when it comes down to simply explaining a basic process in a way that makes sense to the end user, they're flummoxed.

    This is the thing. I have, in a lot of cases, a tier 2 or tier 3 understanding of the technique, but I'm trying to figure out that tier 1 application. To look at specifically what I'm being taught, and to not overcomplicate it, but to just look at it for what it is, and see what use that is.
     
  7. wab25

    wab25 Black Belt

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    We may disagree here, which I admit... but this is only my opinion...
    The tier 1 application is to get you to tier 2 and tier 3. Period. It is to give you the proper mechanics. Instead of put your hand here and move it there, its called punch here then block there. The punch and the block don't have to be practical, though many times they are. The punch and the block have to give you a reason to work on the proper mechanics, rooting, power generation, balance, transition, body unification... how to I send power from the floor to one hand? How to I send it to two hands? Don't over complicate tier 1. Tier 1: a block is a block and a punch is a punch. Now, take what you learned to tier 2 and 3 and 4. Don't ignore, skip or throw away tiers 2 and 3, just because you can't make the tier 1 into something you like. Tier 1, is to train your body and get it ready for 2 and 3. At your rank, go back and do your very first white belt form... as tier 2, then as tier 3. Tier 1 is just a building block to get you further to the other tiers.
     
  8. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    With the double-knife-hand block tests that you did, it was all Tier 2 and Tier 3. There was no Tier 1. There was the Tier 1 motion with no Tier 1 application. Then there was modifications of the motion and the situation which bring it to Tier 2 and Tier 3. In the example @pdg provided earlier, there was a Tier 1 application to the technique he applied in sparring. The form has a block and a punch. He did a block and a punch. This is Tier 1 motion, with Tier 1 application. His later connection of the turning motion to the double-knife-hand block was a Tier 3 application of that movement.

    I said your post missed the Tier 1 application. That suggests that the Tier 1 understanding was not important to your ability to apply Tier 2 and Tier 3. What is the Tier 1 application you found? Or did you not find one?

    You also seem to be confusing "not relevant to the question" with "I don't ever want to ever ever learn it ever because it's useless to ever know it." I'm not saying that Tier 2 and Tier 3 should be thrown out. I'm saying that if I'm trying to get a better understanding of Tier 1, I want to temporarily ignore Tier 2 and Tier 3. Those are rabbit trails that will distract me from my current goal.
     
  9. wab25

    wab25 Black Belt

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    I found no tier 1 application, beyond training the motion, power generation, rooting and such. Simple answer: I found no application. However, I have not closed the door. I allow that there may yet be an application that I have not found. I may find it later or, more likely, someone will show me. Its just that I have not found it yet. I don't let that change the way I train it. And I don't let that stop me from going to tier 2 and 3.

    I am not sure why I would ever get confused...

    ... oh, yeah, I remember now.

    I can only go by what you post. You keep posting that drawing application is a waste of time, because they are all surface level, with no depth at all and you are looking for nothing more out of them. That reads to me like trying to go to tier 2 and 3, from the forms is a waste of time, searching for something that isn't there and that you are no longer looking. Then you ask what is this move for... Makes me wonder why you are wasting your time... instead of just doing them for mimicry sake.
     
  10. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    When I say they are all surface-level, I mean there is no Tier-1 application, and within TKD there isn't a push for a Tier 2 or Tier 3 understanding. A lot of it sits at that Tier 1 movement, with no Tier 1 application. Maybe I need to re-work my model, add in Tier 0 as the movement in the form, with Tier 1 as the literal application. That makes more sense.

    So applying that to the double-knife-hand, as it is trained in KKW TKD:
    • Tier 0: Double-knife hand block, chambered with both hands to one side, executed with the main hand in front and off-hand at your solar-plexus.
    • Tier 1: ??
    • Tier 2: ??
    • Tier 3: ??
    Now, we can do the analysis. It can be done as a self-study elective by a TKD student, or as a part of normal training by a Karate student. We can come up with:
    • Tier 0: See above
    • Tier 1: ??*
    • Tier 2: This motion is similar to a wrist lock or a choke escape. It can also be similar to a leg sweep this way or that way. It can also be similar to a block and strike to the ribs.
    • Tier 3: This motion teaches the body mechanics of how to move both hands together. It shows putting your off shoulder into the block, which translates will into a strike-and-counter motion. It teaches how to move your shoulders with your hips during turning motions, which is useful for sweeps.
    *I put a ?? here, because we did discover in this thread, the Tier 1 application could simply be to teach the concepts in Tier 3, and there isn't actually a direct Tier 1 application. If so, it hasn't really been made clear. The specific details I had a problem with (the orientation of the off-hand, for example) seem to fit this purpose. There may be a better Tier 1 fit, but there isn't a practical one, not that you or I could find.

    To be honest, a lot of the Tier 3 stuff wasn't apparent to me until today. The Tier 2 was, but I was still left with that burning ?? at Tier 1. And we can talk more and more about Tier 2, and fill it with paragraphs and paragraphs of information, but there's still that nagging ?? at Tier 1.

    Now, maybe I missed it, but I don't think anyone actually took the time to say "there is no direct application for that movement." There wasn't anyone to say "you train that movement this way, because of X." @pdg is the first person to answer that question, in the many threads I've brought it up. As much as I've been arguing with him in this thread, I don't think he realizes just how grateful I am that he made this clear to me, because it's something I have been struggling with for years. There may not be a direct Tier 1 application, but at least there is a Tier 1 purpose of the form that translates to the Tier 3 analysis.

    With that in mind, the Tier 2 analysis does not require a Tier 1 application in order to be performed. Your analysis pretty much proves this, because you could do that Tier 2 analysis without the Tier 1 application. All of that Tier 2 analysis serves a great purpose, a good mental exercise, good martial training, and all of that. But my quest is to get rid of that "??" in Tier 1. Pdg has come the closest to doing that of anyone I've asked.
     
  11. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    Also, @pdg, this is why I continue to train under my Master even if I don't understand everything. I've spent the last 5 years working on my double-knife-hand in pretty much every form. My body's learned the lesson even if my brain hasn't.

    I'm starting to think that might be the reason for a lot of the stuff in the forms.
     
  12. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    You are a hilarious contradiction of terms.
     
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  13. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    You do not take them well at all but I am going to give you a suggestion.
    A long time ago I learned about the Rule of Five. It takes the average person hearing something five times before they fully comprehend it. It is most effective if they hear the same thing (questions or suggestions for example) in different ways. Everyone perceives differently. Often the way You understand a question, no one else will understand. It is an art in conversation that is most often hard to learn.
    So instead of asking a question the way You understand it and then getting frustrated because you did not get the answer You expect, ask the question differently. This is a big, big reason you get ridiculed by others. You are bringing it on yourself. I am not saying this to be offensive, I am simply trying to help you reflect and do a little self examination.
     
  14. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    In YOUR TKD there may not be a push for understanding. Do not paint that picture of all TKD. It simply is not true.
     
  15. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    I do. Then they get upset that I didn't like their answer. If you want a perfect example of how it looks, this one person recently said "You do not take them well at all but I am going to give you a suggestion."

    I've been making this statement for years, and thus far nobody has proven me wrong. People have said I'm wrong, but nobody has proven it. Nobody has given me actual examples of doing the analysis that @wab25 described. The examples I've found on youtube were mostly McDojo quality, so I'm not sure if that helps or hurts your argument.

    Now, I haven't had much response from people who train ITF and don't think I've gotten any response from ATA on the subject. But so far @pdg has come the closest to telling me about doing application study, and that was simply that he took two moves in a form and used them in sparring. Not that he explored them further.
     
  16. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Skribs, ALL this is on you. You are a 3rd Dan BB. That summation is awful and a bad reflection on you. How can you read all the post on this forum and other sites and not hear the wealth of information, knowledge, depth, (I can go on and on) others have gained from forms and not think there may be more to them than your limited understanding?

    I HOPE I do not sound disrespectful to anyone or any style. I have immense respect for all the MA pioneers. I never met any of the originals but have met many contemporaries. I did get to meet GM Kee, Hwang but never got to work under him enough to gain any deep learning from him. But most of the originals Masters are from a different time and there were vastly different battle and fighting styles/plans. Certainly there are many things that hold true today but some have become irrelevant over time.
    So, to stay on point with the thread, some if not much of what we learn through kata/poomsae we create ourselves. We all tweak certain things in a move because it works with our body type better. We should exhaust every effort to adapt where it makes sense, but there are times when it simply does not.
    A simple example is in poomsae competitions. Even in WT events where there is a huge emphasis on forms being a specific way, everyone does them slightly different. How else do you think there is a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place?
    A more practical example is the much discussed knife hand. While most look all but identical, few really are. This doesn't make any of them necessarily wrong. An experienced Master/instructor/teacher will see and understand when a slight variance in a technique is acceptable. They may be wise to discuss it with the student and talk through any differences to make sure there misunderstandings.
    So skribs, there is much more for you to pursue in your MA journey. It is not going to be found in a book or on a forum and likely will not all be learned from the same instructor. This is certainly a time when Quantity and Quality in practice is invaluable. Patience is an ally you need to learn to lean on more.
     
  17. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    No, that is being ignorantly prideful. Even though we sometimes get bashed and have a "here's your sign" moment, we should never be too proud to ask a question. There is a great value in the tact we take with how we ask the question however.
     
  18. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    If you think that I'm not, you're simply blind. What do you think I'm doing here? I'm learning stuff in my time here. Not every post has to be an epiphany or something I agree with. But if you think I'm burying my head in the sand, why am I here?

    Because one person did it more correct, with better control and athleticism than the others. I thought that was obvious. I don't even know why I need to explain it.

    You say patience is an ally. I've been on this forum for 6 years, asking questions the whole time. If I am not patient, why am I still here?
     
  19. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    No, you are wanting people to spoon feed you an answer that You think is correct.
     
  20. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    Do you want answers that you think are incorrect?
     

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