Darting Leaves

isshinryuronin

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There was a karate historian by the name of Charles Goodin, I believe, who wrote an article on form/kata applications and he said to look at the kenpo self-defense techniques and you could find a lot of the applications you were looking for in the katas.
As I have gotten deeper into the root concepts of old Okinawan karate and better understood kata applications, I found much similarity between it and kenpo.

We should not lose sight of the fact that Mitose was a practitioner of Okinawan style karate and a major contributor to Prof. Chow's (Parker's teacher) karate foundation. So it should be no surprise that there are more than a couple of similarities between them:

Simultaneous defense and offense
Single thrust-dual purpose
Low target kicking
Close range fighting emphasis

Certainly the "flavor" and look of the style changed due to Chow's Chinese and Polynesian influences and further refinement by Parker.
 

Flying Crane

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This is a good example that a from is created from application. When you train form like this, your training can map into your fighting.

I wish all the MA forms are created like this.

I would say both yes and no. It depends on what the purpose of the forms are, within the methodology of the system, and how it is put together. From my experience with Tracy lineage kenpo (an early Parker derivation), there is a tendency toward over-complication which often results in unrealistic assumptions. I see that, in this particular video. But if done with more direct and un-complicated applications, it could be a good approach.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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there is a tendency toward over-complication which often results in unrealistic assumptions.
If your application contains 3 parts:

1. Set up (such as an arm wrap).
2. Technique (such as a take down).
3. Follow through (such as a kick at your opponent's head when he is on the ground).

1 is the set up for 2. 3 is the follow through for 2. From an unexperienced eyes, 1, 3 may look over-complicated. When you create your form, will you include 1 and 3 into your form, or you just record 2 into your form?
 

Dirty Dog

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The issue is you should not try to find applications in the form. The form should be the application.

The correct order should be:

applications -> form
I think you take too much of an absolutist view. I view forms as a teaching tool. Yes, they teach application, but not ALL applications.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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I think you take too much of an absolutist view. I view forms as a teaching tool. Yes, they teach application, but not ALL applications.
I'm talking about the future.

If you try to create a new form, what steps will you follow to create your form?
 
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isshinryuronin

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If you try to create a new form, what steps will you follow to create your form?
There are more than enough forms out there, designed by masters wiser in MA than me, so I feel no desire to create another. However...

One of the requirements for my black belt was to create our own kata using moves found in our style's 8 empty hand forms. My theme was a churning ocean, so had many quick turns and constant motion, all revolving around the starting point. It was fun to make, but it was a surprise requirement dropped at the end of the first night of testing. The other guy and I were at the dojo till 2 am. We had to have our forms memorized and mastered by the next afternoon, while still having to complete the second half of the test, so it was pretty intense.

Seems like a half century ago.................Oh, yeah.... it was.
 
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Flying Crane

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If your application contains 3 parts:

1. Set up (such as an arm wrap).
2. Technique (such as a take down).
3. Follow through (such as a kick at your opponent's head when he is on the ground).

1 is the set up for 2. 3 is the follow through for 2. From an unexperienced eyes, 1, 3 may look over-complicated. When you create your form, will you include 1 and 3 into your form, or you just record 2 into your form?
And yet the material in that video still manages to over-complicate things.
 

punisher73

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As I have gotten deeper into the root concepts of old Okinawan karate and better understood kata applications, I found much similarity between it and kenpo.

We should not lose sight of the fact that Mitose was a practitioner of Okinawan style karate and a major contributor to Prof. Chow's (Parker's teacher) karate foundation. So it should be no surprise that there are more than a couple of similarities between them:

Simultaneous defense and offense
Single thrust-dual purpose
Low target kicking
Close range fighting emphasis

Certainly the "flavor" and look of the style changed due to Chow's Chinese and Polynesian influences and further refinement by Parker.
Good point. Naichanchi kata was taught by Mitose and in Ed Parker's first book, Law of the Fist, one of the self-defense techniques he shows is the foot sweep from Naihanchi to counter a kick.

Also, Prof. Chow didn't really teach forms (there is video of him showing one, but that came later in his career when students wanted forms) and only taught applications. It was kind of the inverse of many people teaching kata without applications other than block/punch/kick.
 

Buka

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There are more than enough forms out there, designed by masters wiser in MA than me, so I feel no desire to create another. However...

One of the requirements for my black belt was to create our own kata using moves found in our style's 8 empty hand forms. My theme was a churning ocean, so had many quick turns and constant motion, all revolving around the starting point. It was fun to make, but it was a surprise requirement dropped at the end of the first night of testing. The other guy and I were at the dojo till 2 am. We had to have our forms memorized and mastered by the next afternoon, while still having to complete the second half of the test, so it was pretty intense.

Seems like a half century ago.................Oh, yeah.... it was.
I had to do the same thing on a dan test, fourth maybe. It was kind of fun, but I had a week to do it.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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And yet the material in that video still manages to over-complicate things.
One time someone demonstrated a Japanese sword form that he created. After each cut, there was

- a blood cleaning move on his sword, and
- a evil smile on his face, and
- look around to see anybody was still alive.

That's too much IMO.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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There are more than enough forms out there, designed by masters wiser in MA than me, so I feel no desire to create another. However...
It depends on the purpose of your form creation. If you just take techniques out of you forms, rearrange, and create a new form. It doesn't have much value.

I like to ask my guys to create a form with 5 different principles in it, and each principles need to have 4 different techniques. IMO, this is the only way that one can understand how to map principle into techniques.

For example,

Principle - use fake move to force opponent to block into the thin air. You then attack the opening you have just created.

Techniques:

- jab, jab, cross.
- jab, jab, hook.
- jab, jab, uppercut.
- jab, jab, overhand.

As far as I know, this kind of information doesn't exist in any MA forms yet.
 
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isshinryuronin

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As far as I know, this kind of information doesn't exist in any MA forms yet.
Yes, forms were designed primarily to teach and practice technique, and to store the knowledge to pass on as nothing was written down (at least in Okinawa). Further extension of this knowledge was passed on orally, such as variations of application and other facets of the form's flexibility.

Tactics such as feints were generally not put into the forms - tactics depend on the individual combatants. To "write" such a thing into a set form is not possible. There are just too many tactics and factors to take into account and is not in the realm of a form's purpose. The variations in application and tactics are subjects for the instructor, not the form, to pass on to the student.
 

punisher73

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Just because it has not been done before, it has value to do it.

IMO, to depend on teachers to pass down this kind of information orally is not the 21th century modern scientific approach.

The forms are full of "uproar in the east, attack in the west" type strategies that fall into the category of feint. Attacking low to get a response when the real attack is high etc. Also, if you opponent doesn't "react" to the feint, they just get hit with the technique. Other times, you would look at a target to draw their attention there and attack elsewhere.

Without instructor guidance, no matter HOW a form/kata is set up, you won't get beyond the simple block/punch/kick interpretation without input.
 

Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

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In the video on Darting Leaves you posted, it ends in the same kind of way as Charging Ram, in as much one hand guides the opponent forward and down, followed by a downward strike. This works in Charging Ram as the attacker's head is already low and his momentum is already going forward.

The 2nd half of Darting Leaves is much different, however. There is an upward elbow (opponent going up and back in reaction) followed by an open hand face strike (resulting in continuation of the up and back motion.) But this is followed by cupping the neck, stepping back and bringing him forward and down - the exact opposite motion from where the opponent's momentum is going. Tremendous strength would be need to force the attacker's head down and to the ground. Even in the video, against a compliant kid, the head did not seem to go down smoothly.

The bio-mechanics of these two parts contradict each other. This part of the technique will not work in actual application. Before the neck/head grab, there needs to be another strike or two to bring his head down and forward, such as an attack to his groin or knee. Only then would the pull to the back of the head and step back be sufficient to get to the end position for the finishing downward strike.

This just struck me as I watched the video. Most of what I remember of Ed Parker's techniques (he personally taught me Short 4, 'Open' Hand Set, and Dance of Death) they all flowed well with the opponent's natural reactions and in line with bio-mechanics.

I do not remember (unfortunately) much from that time long ago, but it may be possible something was either left out from the original design, or the end part shown for Darting Leaves is an poorly thought out extension added by some person unknown.
I learned the extended version the kid in the vid shows from "the horse's mouth", so to speak. The biomechanics of the downward palm don't knock the head back, as much as function to compress the cervical spine, loading the vertical axis of the attacker in order to root him in place.

The misleading piece in the kid's version is the type of elbow used. The elbow is a collapsing downward elbow which descends downward into the sternum to start folding the attacker forward, not back. The palm-heel/rake descends downward, adding to the directionality of the attacker. Both serve to fold him a bit, bringing his neck and head into reach for the latch.

The cervical latch grabs scalenes, SCM, buries the thumb into nerve bundles, and braces the back of the C-spine behind the skull, making it easy to yank him towards us.

The rear knee is a "secondary weapon". Not meant to be as destructive as a proper knee, it's just there for him to run into. And once he has, I know proprioceptively where to find him with my hand axe (handsword thrown with heavy momentum, as if trying to bury an axe deeply into a chunk of wood).

I have a vid from a time I taught it to a group. I'll see if I can add it here or post a link.
 
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