Tensho kata (internal form?)

Discussion in 'Chinese Internal Arts : Taijiquan (Tai Chi) and Qi' started by _Simon_, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Master Black Belt

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    Just had a look in my old syllabus but not much clarification there, except that the Dai and Sho don't mean anything specific to the kata, didn't know that! Perhaps simply as a way of differentiating it from Goju's Ichi and Ni series?

    Have written what it says here:

    "Gekisai Dai: Conquer and occupy - major. May also mean "Storm the Fortress". Created by Miyagi in 1940 with the purpose of teaching strong and powerful movement.

    Gekisai Sho: Conquer and occupy - minor. There is no reason why one is called major and the other minor. Can also mean "attack and smash, demolish, destroy, pulverize". Both kata teach strength through fluidity of motion, mobility and the utilization of various techniques. Flexibility of attack and response will always be superior to rigid and inflexible strength."
     
  2. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    A very well written and thought out post. I knew most of it beforehand, and calling Gekisai Dai Miyagi and Nagamine’s kata was the short version :)

    As Simon said ( :) ) we’re discussing Gekisai Sho, not Gekisai Dai and it’s versions. I’ve seen several versions of Gekisai Dai by Goju and Fukyu by Shorin Ryu. None of which are similar to Gekisai Sho.

    Mas Oyama has created a kata or two - one that I immediately think of is Garyu. He has heavily modified others. Gojushiho has been modified heavily by Oyama and he subsequently named his version Useishi. He heavily modified Seipai and Kanku as well. He’s modified common kyu kata such as Sanchin and Saiha, and slightly modified relatively scarce Yantsu (Shito Ryu) and Tsuki-No (Seigokan Goju Ryu).

    With all of that in mind, it’s entirely within the realm of possibility that Oyama created Gekisai Sho as what he (and I) feel is a logical next step.

    Kyokushin’s Gekisai Dai is a tweaked Gekisai Dai ichi. Kyokushin’s Gekisai Sho bears no resemblance to Gekisai Dai ni or less common san. The basic formula: counts, pace and embussen are the same; the movements are not, except the gedan brai into kiba dachi in the beginning IMO.

    On face value it would appear to be Miyagi and Nagamine’s kata. Thinking about it for a few minutes - specifically who does it and who doesn’t - and eyebrows get raised. IMO Hanshi Arneil was either misinformed about the kata’s origin or assumed incorrectly. As far as I know, he was the first to write about its origin, and everything afterwards is either a direct cut and paste or copied and changed a few words.
     
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  3. Yokozuna514

    Yokozuna514 Blue Belt

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    Occupy and Conquer Major and Minor is how I know Gekisai Dai and Gekesai Sho. What I always found interesting is the use of 'Dai' and 'Sho' to denote the 'grade' of the kata. When a Shihan is referred to as Shihan-Dai, it generally means this person can be deferred to as the Shihan if the Shihan is not on the premises. This implies that Shihan Dai is subordinate to the Shihan. In this context, I would have thought Gekisai Dai was the minor of the two Gekisai katas. When we look at the techniques used in the kata, I've always thought Gekisai Sho demonstrated technically higher level techniques but I admit I am far from an expert at the history or interpretation of these katas. I enjoyed the discussion and all the input though.
    There you go implying that Shihan Arneill has human fallibility again ;) ......
     
  4. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I think the Dai in Shihan Dai is a different word than than in Gekisai Dai. Like here and hear. I could be wrong though; my only Japanese is “dojo Japanese” along with a few phrases my Japanese friends have taught me.

    And that’s Arneil’s ONLY falliblity. Superman has kryptonite, Arneil has the origin of Gekisai Sho. At least Arneil’s won’t kill him :)
     
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  5. DaveB

    DaveB Master Black Belt

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    The Dai-Sho relationship in kata seems to denote a Primary/Core form (Dai) and a supplementary/expansion form (Sho).

    The implication being that the dai form is the source book for the principles and the Sho form shows other ways to embody those ideas.
     
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  6. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Master Black Belt

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    Ah I wasn't aware of the use of Shihan Dai!
     
  7. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Master Black Belt

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    That is... really cool! Thanks for that DaveB, that explanation makes alot of sense.

    Gekisai Sho definitely seems to contain/express the principles of Gekisai Dai, but it actually does seem to be an expansion of it. I'd also like to look at Kanki Dai as compared to Kanku Sho but don't know them well enough.

    Never heard of that way of explaining it :)
     
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  8. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    My former organization used it at 5th dan. 6th dan (and above) was Shihan. My former teacher told me Shihan Dai roughly meant “assistant master.” Kind of like assistant manager. That’s basically what Yokozuna514 was saying, only in a different way.

    Seido used it for a little while. My teacher has a plaque or two with “Shihan Dai Carter” written on it. I asked him about it, and he giggled and said he had 3 different titles without getting promoted while he was a godan. He went from Sensei to Shihan Dai to Kyoshi within a few years. It was during the time guys like Charles Martin and William Oliver were getting higher in rank and Kaicho wanted to differentiate them from the rest. Kaicho settled on Kyoshi for godan and had specific titles tied to specific dan ranks ever since, tying into the conversation we previously had about titles in Seido.

    Edit: Shihan Dai isn’t used anymore in Seido. It was only used for a few years at most.
     
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  9. TSDTexan

    TSDTexan Master of Arts

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    My bad. I totally missed reading the word "sho". I went back... and sure enough... it is there.
    Please forgive me for the lengthy and off topic post.

    It would only be off topic, if the kata Sho were not created at the same time and place.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
  10. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Master Black Belt

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    Ah I see, interesting, didn't know that. And yeah I think Dai must then be a different word altogether than the one used for katas.
     
  11. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Master Black Belt

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    Nah I enjoyed what you wrote, I find interesting not only the history of katas but why they were created, and what principles they're trying to teach the karateka :)
     
  12. DaveB

    DaveB Master Black Belt

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    Looking at Gekisai Sho, my money is on Oyama as creator:
    • Mid level side kicks indicate a post war origin.
    • The long stances are reminiscent of Shotokan which sit in contrast with the Shiko dachi not found in Shotokan kata but common to Goju ryu.
    • Oyama was fond of cat stance.
    • The only other place to find a technique combination like that would be Shito ryu, but they were too busy collecting old kata to make up a new one like this.
     
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  13. TSDTexan

    TSDTexan Master of Arts

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    @Flying Crane why the dislike bro?
     
  14. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Because you are a jerk and I like stalking you.

    Nah, just kidding.

    fat-finger syndrome on a smartphone. I didn’t even realize I had given the rating, I hit it by accident while scrolling through.

    I’ve removed it. :)
     
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  15. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Should’ve kept it. Just because. :)
     
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  16. VPT

    VPT Green Belt

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    Let me chime in to this conversation too! There's a few things that I'd like to comment about your kata, based on what I know about Southern Chinese styles and t3h iNtErNaL :D

    I frankly don't like some of the things that are specific to Tensho in Kyokushin. This is not style-bashing, just observations and my own preferences with my own reasoning. Like the mawashi-uke; the trajectory of the hands is too big for proper upper back support. When the elbows stray far enough from the body, you lose the muscular connection to the lats and start to rely on the weaker rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder. This makes the movement inefficient and breaks the structure. If I could choose, I would do it smaller; probably like this.

    Another thing is the stance, which is unnecessarily wide and angular. In general the Naha-te way of turning the rear foot in has always baffled me, since you can't find that in China, but I don't have any reason to judge that. Instead, when you want to root and adhere to the ground you need to have inward radial rotation/tension in your legs so that you engage muscular support in your hips (the feeling is on the outside of your hips and in the small gluteal muscles). Pre-turning the whole leg can counteract that (you have already manually turned the leg to its end rotation and can't twist any more) and having your heel further from your hips than your knee makes it especially hard to engage that tension. It actually works way better when the heel and the knee are stacked, but foot is still turned slightly inward. This muscular/structural support/tension is the explanation why you see so much variation in the Wing Chun "goat-squeezing stance". Optimally the leg could stand in an apparently neutral position while having the structure applied internally. The thing that I'm talking about is especially visible in this performance.

    Also, the slow version looked better than the fast one. When you are moving very vast, you seem to lose the gamaku support, as well as the hip, knee, ankle and foot structure that support the gamaku. This results in incessant shaking and vibration when you are moving through the kata sequence.

    The opposite, however, is true. You can take knowledge of movement you learned in an internal art and input that to an external art.

    This is surprising to hear; my experience tells me otherwise. A friend of mine met up with a White Crane teacher of some renown and described his and his students being "as good as the best Taiji that I've come across". And he does Chen with one of the best guys out there. Also, the stuff he brought along from this White Crane guy was very interesting and advanced, to say the least. Which crane exactly you have had experience with? Singing? Feeding?
     
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  17. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Master Black Belt

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    Thanks so much VPT, that was incredibly insightful! Appreciate it muchly :)

    Yep, what you say makes total sense. Stylistic differences aside, I totally get what you mean in relation to mawashi uke and sanchin. Our sanchin was always both feet turned in, but with enough torque/tension to hold one in place, but can see what you mean about being too much at the end range of that rotation. My sanchin dachi may have been a bit awkward anyway due to my ankle injury too.

    Admittedly not overly experienced with Tensho, but would you say in terms of losing gamaku support, in this context do you mean connection with my centre? Makes sense that I would lose the connection when doing it fast as I haven't worked too much with that. I guess why I was trying the slower/"internal" version to enhance that.

    Vids were great too :)
     
  18. DaveB

    DaveB Master Black Belt

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    I studied tiger-crane combination. In trying to learn more about it i wound up looking into white crane a lot. Its classified as half internal half external. My understanding of pure internal ma is training to conserve momentum which white crane doesn't do. But it does have many soft fluid elements including chisau.
     
  19. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    What was the source of your tiger-crane? If it was hung ga, that crane influence is Tibetan, not Fukien. So, entirely different method.
     
  20. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    Not internal, but it could be. Frankly I think Wing Chun Siu Lum Tao, done right, is very internal, why not this. When I use to do it I did it more like a Qigong

    1) internal, external does not really matter, train right, internal goes to external and external goes to internal

    2) Power comes from the root (feet) is directed by the waist and, in this case, goes to your hands. Use the entire body (feel every movement it in your entire body) and how they parts link together, upper and lower must be unified

    3) breath, no pattern, just breath naturally

    4) Yi, Qi, Li (Mind [Yi] controls Energy (Qi), Energy (Qi) controls muscle [Li])

    5) Qi, it is nothing more than the energy that we have in our body that keeps us moving. It is not some mystical force or magical energy. Strong Qi you are healthy, Weak Qi you are sick, No Qi you are dead.

    6) Sung - relaxed but not to relaxed, never hard
     
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