A kata for self defense

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DaveB

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Different MA systems have different principles.

- Taiji has 13 principles,
- praying mantis has 20 principles (8 hard 12 soft principles),
- Zimen has 18 principles,
- long fist has 8 principles,
- Shuai Chiao has 60 principles,
- ...

Also the striking art uses different set of principles that's used in the grappling art.

If you have cross trained, you will have mixed principles from different MA systems. When you use principles from any particular form/kata, you are limited by the principles used in that particular MA system. When you create your own form/Kata, you can add in principles from different MA systems.

For example, you can add

- Taiji Peng principle,
- prating mantis Diao principle,
- Zimen sticky principle,
- long fist dodging principle
- Shuai Chiao tearing principle
- ...

into the form that you have created. This way, you are free and you are not restricted by any MA system. You are the master. Your form/kata is only your slave.

As I said, a topic worthy of discussion that really requires it's own discussion:

Create Your Own Kata MartialTalk.Com - Friendly Martial Arts Forum Community

Now there's more need to derail this one.
 

Oldbear343

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First up, can I say I disagree totally with anyone who suggests you make up your own kata. Why would you bother when there are dozens of kata available developed by masters over decades?

For me, I like seyunchin. It has a natural flow to it with high strikes followed by low strikes, elbows to the ribs, arm bars etc, etc. But really, it doesn't matter. Just pick a kata you like and study it.
Yes, seyunchin is a very nice kata
 
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DaveB

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For me, I like seyunchin. It has a natural flow to it with high strikes followed by low strikes, elbows to the ribs, arm bars etc, etc. But really, it doesn't matter. Just pick a kata you like and study it.

As I mentioned earlier, the question was less about advice and more a point of discussion/comparison.

With that in mind, what principles do you find self defense relevant in Seyunchin?
 

K-man

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As I mentioned earlier, the question was less about advice and more a point of discussion/comparison.

With that in mind, what principles do you find self defense relevant in Seyunchin?
Let me say at the outset, kata or even martial arts in general have little to do with self defence. Self defence is mostly about not fighting ;) , but for the sake of the discussion we'll assume it has all turned down and getting nasty.

Principles? Hmm! I'm not sure that there are any principles in the kata itself. The principles are in the style. Keeping weight low, entering and controlling, use of the body to overcome a larger opponent, attacking vulnerable (vital) points, etc. What I like about Seyunchin is the flow of techniques. From a fighting perspective there are many entry points into the bunkai from either side. I like the idea of striking high to get the hand up then attacking the groin to get the hand down before attacking the neck or temple. I love the side elbow strikes to the ribs leading into the arm bars. The elbow destruction is a nice touch from a simple gross motor action that is typical of this kata, practical, not flashy. The violent movement as you pull your attacker from one side to the other is very disorienting for him allowing for additional strikes.

As well as a great kata bunkai, Seyunchin also has some really good oyo bunkai. Escapes from grabs and holds, takedowns utilising transitions between stances ... just about a tool for every situation.
 
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DaveB

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Principles? Hmm! I'm not sure that there are any principles in the kata itself. The principles are in the style. Keeping weight low, entering and controlling, use of the body to overcome a larger opponent, attacking vulnerable (vital) points, etc. What I like about Seyunchin is the flow of techniques. From a fighting perspective there are many entry points into the bunkai from either side. I like the idea of striking high to get the hand up then attacking the groin to get the hand down before attacking the neck or temple...

The way I have come to see things is that Principles are the rules that sit behind a sequence like this. Here you are striking to the undefended zone. With that rule to guide you there is no need to be limited to the kata and you can practice the same concept with any combination of strikes.

Taken a step deeper you are creating openings by leading the opponent's guard. Again once you know that this is why the kata sequence is effective you can get in the ring with an opponent and try to use different techniques to achieve the same goal. Right hook to the ribs, again to the head then knee to to the groin follows the same guiding rule.

There are mechanical principles as well that guide how you move and generate power, like the weight sinking you mentioned, and principles of overarching strategy that determine the path to victory once confrontation has begun.

These three types of principle, (mechanical, tactical and strategic) taken together define a fighting style.

Kata means example and so the forms are examples of the style. The techniques and sequences can't be the totality because the potential situations one can encounter are infinite. Instead we have guiding rules that adapt to the situation.

All types of principle should be present to some degree in each of your art's kata. Though some forms like Sanchin focus much more on the mechanical than the strategy.
 
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DaveB

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That being said, not everyone believes the same. Which is part of why I asked.
 

tigercrane

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The way I have come to see things is that Principles are the rules that sit behind a sequence like this. Here you are striking to the undefended zone. With that rule to guide you there is no need to be limited to the kata and you can practice the same concept with any combination of strikes.

Taken a step deeper you are creating openings by leading the opponent's guard. Again once you know that this is why the kata sequence is effective you can get in the ring with an opponent and try to use different techniques to achieve the same goal. Right hook to the ribs, again to the head then knee to to the groin follows the same guiding rule.

There are mechanical principles as well that guide how you move and generate power, like the weight sinking you mentioned, and principles of overarching strategy that determine the path to victory once confrontation has begun.

These three types of principle, (mechanical, tactical and strategic) taken together define a fighting style.

Kata means example and so the forms are examples of the style. The techniques and sequences can't be the totality because the potential situations one can encounter are infinite. Instead we have guiding rules that adapt to the situation.

All types of principle should be present to some degree in each of your art's kata. Though some forms like Sanchin focus much more on the mechanical than the strategy.

I think Sanchin is a very special Kata. To me Sanchin means developing proper breathing and Ki for channeling it to the focal point of strike. The type of isometric workout it offers is simply amazing.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Principles? Hmm! I'm not sure that there are any principles in the kata itself.
The forms/Katas that you have learned may not contain all the "principles" that you want to train.

For example, The "principle" used to counter:

- "hook punch" is "偏(Pian) – head circling" by dodging your head under your opponent's hook punch.


- "foot sweep" is "跪 (Gui) - knee bending" by bending your knee and let the sweeping leg to pass under it.


- "single leg" is "撳(Qin) - pressing" by pressing your opponent's head down to the ground.

downward_pulling.jpg
 
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DaveB

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The forms/Katas that you have learned may not contain all the "principles" that you want to train.

For example, The "principle" used to counter:

- "hook punch" is "偏(Pian) – head circling" by dodging your head under your opponent's hook punch.


- "foot sweep" is "跪 (Gui) - knee bending" by bending your knee and let the sweeping leg to pass under it.


- "single leg" is "撳(Qin) - pressing" by pressing your opponent's head down to the ground.

downward_pulling.jpg

Those aren't principles, they are techniques. If the whole principle is missing it means either your art is incomplete or that it has other means of dealing with the situation.

If the principles are there but the techniques aren't, or the principle is missing then sticking a youtube drill into a home made form is a poor second to finding a school that incorporates what you are looking for.

This is because by just hijacking techniques you miss all the linked strategy and tactics taught in their home system. You risk compromising the mechanics of the art you are trying to fix by adding incompatible techniques.

For example, the southern kungfu I've trained doesn't really weave like the boxing you mentioned. There are good tactical reasons for not doing so. So while I could use the boxing weave, my body might be set up wrong because of the other tactics I was applying and so I end up worse off.
 

K-man

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The forms/Katas that you have learned may not contain all the "principles" that you want to train.
As DaveB said, you're discussing techniques and you are using them in isolation. Now I have no idea how you guys train your kata but this is a karate thread and you are nowhere near what we do. (I am assuming from your name you train KF but you don't list your art on your profile.)

For example, The "principle" used to counter:

- "hook punch" is "偏(Pian) – head circling" by dodging your head under your opponent's hook punch.

Kata for us are fighting systems. As such you can't be 'dodging under a punch' because that would be assuming a punch was coming which is choreography. Kata is giving you the means to enter and engage, not stand back trading punches.

- "foot sweep" is "跪 (Gui) - knee bending" by bending your knee and let the sweeping leg to pass under it.

Why would anyone be in that stance so someone could sweep? No one fights from that stance in the real world.

- "single leg" is "撳(Qin) - pressing" by pressing your opponent's head down to the ground.

downward_pulling.jpg
I think you have no idea of how kata moves from one technique to the next, especially when a technique has failed. You are taking techniques in isolation. You don't need any kata to do that.
 

Zero

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This guy used

- roundhouse kick,
- side kick,
- double under hooks,
- knee strike,
- outer hook,

and took his opponent down twice within 15 seconds. You can't find this combo in any Chinese form or Japanese Kata. It's 100% "self-created" sequence and it works.

I don't want to take this off the Op's topic anymore than it already has but, oh boy... Kata was never intended as a stringent straight-jacketed sequence you have to work your way through when you find yourself in a fight..."wait a minute, the move I want is in kata 3, just let me work through kata 1 and 2 and I'll get to it, don't attack with your follow up until then..."

And even if you are not karate based but in/from a Chinese system, well from my experience it's exactly the same...so not sure why you are saying it like this.
 

Buka

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The first vid Kung Fu Wang posted is not technique, it's a main principle of footwork and evasion in fighting and/or self defense.

I'm imagine that same principle can be found in some katas.
 
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DaveB

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The first vid Kung Fu Wang posted is not technique, it's a main principle of footwork and evasion in fighting and/or self defense.

I'm imagine that same principle can be found in some katas.

Either way, it's fine to bolt on techniques and ideas from other places, but to learn them you have to train in the root art anyway.

Boxing's kata equivalent is shadow boxing. Why bother training boxing to learn to weave, just to make a kata with weaving when to learn it I'd have practiced the relevant in art training method and have that under my belt anyway?

Weaving is rare in kata because karate links from southern Chinese fighting culture that mixes lots of standing grappling/trapping etc. So disrupting your balance by dipping the head has greater risks than in a boxing ring.

Bolting on weaving moves requires modifying or abandoning bits of the systems presented in the kata.

Not many fight using the principles in the kata though.
 

tshadowchaser

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try taking your favorite kata and doing it in reverse. Has the meaning of the move your doing changed? Do new applications of the move happen because the move that you do previously is now changed?
 

Tez3

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try taking your favorite kata and doing it in reverse. Has the meaning of the move your doing changed? Do new applications of the move happen because the move that you do previously is now changed?


Good grief, it's hard enough doing it the proper way! :D
 

K-man

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Good grief, it's hard enough doing it the proper way! :D
We used to do the reverse of the kata, as a mental exercise. Now that I have some semblance of understanding kata I feel it was a total waste of time. Certainly the reverse kata is as valid as the original but if you are goining to use it that way, as a fighting system, you are going to have to train it over and over, like the original. As you say, it's hard enough even learning a kata one way.
 

Chrisoro

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Sometimes I do the whole Taegeuk series of poomsae consecutively as a warm up.

As this series of forms, unlike most traditional kata(with the exeption of some such as the Pinan/Heian series), is meant to introduce the fundamentals of Taekwondo gradually instead of each form being a fighting system in itself(like traditional chinese styles, or the original okinawan katas, including the one the Pinan/Heian-series was based on), I feel the Taegeuk series as a whole should be thought of in a similar way. That is, as a single combat system.

Together, the eight taegeuk forms (from a pure technichal standpoint) includes most of what should be included into a self defense system based on striking, including cross and jab, uppercut, hammerfist, backfist, knifehand strikes, elbow strikes, grabs to head and clothing to limit mobility/reinforce strikes, kneestrikes, front kick, side kick, roundhouse kick, cresent kick, jumping and double kick, several guards and stances, various combos, and several different blocks to defend from strikes from most angles.

The only thing I regulary use in standup sparring (when not including takedowns and sweeps) that is not present in the Taegeuk series is good footwork, head movement, pushkick, hooks, spinning back kick and spinning hook kick. But as a repository of techniques, it is quite comprehensive.
 
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dancingalone

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Naihanchi Shodan or Gekisai Dai Ni or Pinan Nidan. Take your pick. All are easy to learn, but have sufficient depth in them to represent years and years of study. The purists will scoff at comparing the latter two to a classical form like Naihanchi #1, but I stray more and more from orthodoxy these days.

If you are prepared to teach a more methodical form, perhaps Seiunchin or a few rows of Tan Tui would be interesting. (Goju purists would say Sanchin.)

And I've always wonder what my karate would look like if I had only studied a single form like Rohai or Chinto.
 
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