Stand up grappling applications in Isshin Ryu kata at 10:22

Discussion in 'Karate' started by TaiChiTJ, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    While I understand the desire to maintain the link and tradition (I've made some choices, myself, for that reason), doesn't that mean that if application continues to evolve - as it should - that kata will become less and less pertinent, since it becomes more distant from application?
     
  2. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    This is part of why I take issue with attaching too much importance to how things were done by the founder (or some other important person in the history of a given art). We know things, because we (hopefully) have built upon what they handed down. And in many cases, I doubt they were done adjusting what they did. If they were still alive, many of them would be teaching a different version of the stuff they used to teach - probably including some of their forms.
     
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  3. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Wait, what are the turtles like out your way, John???
     
  4. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Man, I wish I could agree with this twice, Michael.
     
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  5. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    That is a true and accurate statement. But there are a great many older/original Masters, instructors, and fighters I would love to be able to imitate.
     
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  6. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Not greatly I do not think. A jab or reverse punch is/was the same. I think what is changing the most is the variety within application. Most teachers/instructors today have more knowledge about a punch, and convey the information better, and broader to their students. So, in broad brush strokes, things are not all that different. The way the information is transferred very much is.
     
  7. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    This is my take on it. And since we are nominally talking IR, I'm just going to say my piece.

    People change Soke's katas because they think they understand them and have found something lacking that they can improve upon. This is their mistake. They are missing a great deal of information that the original contained, and since they change it, they truncate the ability to learn it or teach it right there.

    Surface karate is fine as far as it goes. But yes it has limits and I'm sure people see improvements they could make to it. But they don't do it from a place of understanding, they do it from a place of ignorance. Worse, they do it from a place of pride and hubris because they think they have learned all the kata has to teach.

    Like the layers of an onion, I have dedicated my remaining years to diving deeper and deeper into what can be found in the kata as it exists, without the need to change anything.

    Oh, but we know so much more now than primitive villagers did do long ago. Like fun we do. We blind ourselves to what is there and congratulate ourselves on our ignorance.

    And it cannot be written in a book or put into a video. As some of you understand about your own styles, tuition is pain, effort, and time, and these are currencies our generations seem unfamiliar with.
     
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  8. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I disagree. Most karate instructors teach surface karate to children.
     
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  9. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    We think we know things.
     
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  10. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    With strikes there may be some truth to this. With grappling, there's been a lot of learning and change in approach, strategy, etc.

    More importantly, IMO, is learning what works for teaching. A kata is meant to be a tool for the student. That tool can always be improved. As application evolves, especially, the principles reinforced in kata either follow the evolution of the application, or they grow more distant from it.
     
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  11. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    If, in fact (as I would agree) we do not understand everything the founder/whoever understood, why should we attempt to teach the same way they did.

    I don't think accurate full transmission of understanding is ever possible for any topic of even moderate complexity. Some percentage of knowledge will always be lost from instructor to student. That being the case, if the student strives simply to repeat what they learned, the art is diminished in each generation. If, however, each instructor strives to add a bit of new understanding (some of it being more a rediscovery than anything truly new), then the art is more likely to grow.

    (Add to this the concept @drop bear brings up from time to time that innovation of technique comes more from students than instructors, and the approach becomes more valuable.)
     
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  12. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I think in many cases what you are saying here holds true. Perhaps even in most cases. But I do not agree with this in every case.

    Later generations are able to build upon what earlier generations have done. And as I pointed out, sometimes there is simply a difference in understanding, whether or not the difference is recognized or intended, and that means it is not identical to what the founder did. I don’t believe this is avoidable.
     
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  13. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    If the reproduction is faithful, the information encoded within it remains and can be discovered through diligent study and practice. Even if the scribe didn't speak the language, they could reproduce the book, so to speak.

    Bad reproduction leads to loss of data, of course. And none of us is perfect, but I strive not to change what was taught.
     
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  14. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I can see your point. My assertion is that there is always interpretation. I can never know exactly what my instructor thought/knew - only what I interpreted from what he taught. If I take something from the forms in an art, no matter how good or bad that thing I took is, I can't really know (unless the founder is available to talk to) whether that's something intended to be there at inception, or something I found in it, but which the founder had never conceived of. So, when we look to learn what's in the depths of a form, there's a very real chance (in fact, a likelihood) we're actually adding our understanding to the art. Which is a good thing.
     
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  15. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Both adding to the art in what we perceive, and losing something by (probably) not understanding everything that the founder understood.
     
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  16. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    What is the value to the scribe, in reproducing the book by copying the symbols that he does not know, if he does not speak the language?

    I could copy a text written in Chinese or Russian, copy the characters or the Cyrillic letters perfectly, and I could do that over and over, but I don’t speak nor read Chinese or Russian. The exercise will teach me nothing of the meaning of the text.

    Copying the movements of a kata without understanding what it all means is a very slow path to developing one’s skill. And in the context of a kata, it is virtually guaranteed that there will be subtleties within the kata that would be lost to such a person who is copying the movements. That is a huge reason why I argue against learning by video: because it essentially amounts to the same thing, and those subtleties can mean the difference between time well-spent or time wasted.
     
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  17. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    There is always a good reason for evolution.

    Let's take the 'hip throw" as an example. The traditional SC hip throw is done by sliding your feet backward and use your hip to knock your opponent's body off the ground. Since during the old time, all SC matches were done outdoor on the dirt ground. To slide feet along the ground was possible. Today we all wrestle on the mat. When you try to slide your feet backward on the ground, your feet will be caught on the soft mat. In order to solve this problem, the modern hip throw use the waist lift motion instead without the backward feet slidding.

    Today, all SC students know 2 different ways to execute the hip throw. Is that a bad thing? I don't think so.

    The traditional "hip throw" that slide both feet backward.



    The modern "hip throw" that doesn't slide feet backward.

     
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  18. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    We all take what we can and pass along as much as possible. I used the scribe as an analogy. A person who studies diligently should absorb quite a bit. But there are many reasons that all the inner understanding will not be revealed to a particular student. If they can use what they have learned and faithfully pass on what they have been taught as the founder taught it, they will have done well nevertheless.

    To some extent, we all fail to make to the ultimate core of the arts we study, in large ways and small. And that's OK, we are all human. What bothers me is when a person has absorbed all they can or choose to, realizes the shortcomings of what they have, and decides that this means they must extend or add to an otherwise inadequate system. Never stopping to think that perhaps it is they who are inadequate. I speak as one who is entirely inadequate, so please don't think I feel myself to be a master of anything in particular.
     
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  19. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I am sure you're a good person and a diligent student of your art, but you and I will never see eye-to-eye.
     
  20. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    If evolution has no value, it will disappear in the MA history sooner than we can predict.

    Let's take the "foot sweep' as another example. A traditional SC teacher will teach foot sweep directly to his students. A modern SC teacher will teach his students in the following order:

    shin bite -> sticky lift -> scoop kick -> foot sweep

    You first learn how to lock your instep behind your opponent's ankle. You then learn how to lift your opponent's foot vertical upward. You then learn how to pull your opponent's foot horizontally along the ground. Finally you learn how to sweep your opponent's foot 45 degree upward.

    The modern training method has more detail than the traditional training method that go directly into foot sweep. It adds more value into the SC system instead of taking things out of the system.123
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019

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