Pinans and SKK

John James

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Dear Kenpo/Kempo Brothers and Sisters,

I hope all is well with you and I hope that everyone had a wonderful Holiday Season. Since this post involves both Grandmaster Professor Bill Chun, Sr. and Professor Cerio, I’ve been asked by Master Bill Chun, Jr. to post his reply to this thread and then I, in turn, will respond to how it pertains to Professor Cerio, Nick Cerio’s Kenpo, and the Shaolin Kempo Karate lineage from GM Fred Villari.

First, Master Bill Chun, Jr.’s reply:

“Professor Chun, Sr. created the ‘Basic Forms’ to prepare the students to learn the H or I formations. Since we all should know, when a beginner completes this formation, then with promotion to the Kata of original background of either the Shotokan or Okinawan. But Karate is the simple way to put it or as some come to know it as KARATE - DO, and the correct Kata name from this is called HEIAN 1 (one). And of course it goes on. But when it became a Kenpo/Kempo Kata or Form, this is when the transaction or changes began when others completely changed and/or added to make it theirs. Professor Chun, Sr. simply modified the Pinans by using more snaps and center strikes. The Japanese moves are wide, short and jerky and the Chinese has more strikes with continuing with flow. I never said my father created Pinan 1 (one) and I wish everyone would close their eyes when I'm specking so they can listen with their ears and not their eyes. I hope this helps and if there's any doubts about this misunderstanding...you ALL know how to contact me.”

Now, please permit me to give some background on ‘Pinan 1’ as it is known in Nick Cerio’s Kenpo and GM. Villari’s Shaolin Kempo Karate, and ‘Basic 1’ as it is known in Go Shin Jitsu Kenpo/Chinese Kempo Kai. Professor Cerio learned Basic 1 from GM Professor Bill Chun, Sr. in the mid to late 60’s. At this time, 1968, Professor Cerio had started forming and evolving his system of Kenpo, which would become known as Nick Cerio’s Kenpo. Professor Cerio kept the Basic 1 intact, except that he changed the beginning and ending salutations, and then renamed the form Pinan 1 to serve as the foundation for his Nick Cerio’s Kenpo. At this time in the late 60’s, GM. Villari was a student of Professor Cerio and learned Professor Cerio’s ‘Pinan 1’. From there, GM. Villari spread the form to his students, and they to their students, and so on. I might add that I was unaware of these facts until a somewhat embarrassing incident occurred in Februrary 2003. At this time, Master Chun, Jr. was teaching a seminar for the NCK school in Omaha, NE. During the adult seminar, Master Chun, Jr. decided to teach us GSJK/CKK Basic 1. As we readied ourselves to learn, Master Chun, Jr. started teaching Basic 1. As we went through the bottom of the ‘I’ pattern, I remarked to myself that this was very similar to the NCK ‘Pinan 1’. Then when Master Chun, Jr. did three punches up the middle, I began to get a very uneasy feeling as I knew that we already had the form but under a different name. Master Chun, Jr. was quite surprised at how ‘easily’ we learned ‘Basic 1' without him having to break it up into smaller sections. As he told the students to practice the form, I had to tell him what I just found out to be true. I don’t know why Professor Cerio changed the name of the form and I’m not here to answer or argue that fact. I just wanted to let everyone know where your ‘Pinan 1’ comes from that is connected to, or an offshoot of, Nick Cerio's Kenpo or Shaolin Kempo Karate.

Thank you for your time and understanding in reading this post.

Sincerely,
Shihan John James,
Professor Nick Cerio student and
GSJK/CKK Representative
 
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RevIV

RevIV

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Shihan James,
Thank you and Master Chun, Jr. for setting the record straight. I will make sure my students from the last seminar understand the history more accurately.
 

Hand Sword

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I have a silly curiosity that's in my craw-lol. I guess I'm just a very technical person, right down to the details :)

On the second 1/2 of #2 pinan (up block, up block, thrust, back punches) do you:

1. After the first block, block, punch, punch, leave the punch in place, move forward, and up block from there?

or

2. Re-chamber your hands, move forward and begin the sequence again?

or

3. After the first sequence, circle the last punch down and up into the up block?

Was always just curious about the "proper" way to execute it. I've asked many and usually the answer is "the student's preference," or "tendencies." I always said that way back when there was the "proper" way to do the sequences. I just wanted to know what they are. So many just seem to flail away.
 

marlon

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i don't know if it is "proper" but I do not re chamber rather I follow the back two knuckle strike.

Respectfullly,
Marlon
 

Yondanchris

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I have a silly curiosity that's in my craw-lol. I guess I'm just a very technical person, right down to the details :)

On the second 1/2 of #2 pinan (up block, up block, thrust, back punches) do you:

1. After the first block, block, punch, punch, leave the punch in place, move forward, and up block from there?

or

2. Re-chamber your hands, move forward and begin the sequence again?

or

3. After the first sequence, circle the last punch down and up into the up block?

Was always just curious about the "proper" way to execute it. I've asked many and usually the answer is "the student's preference," or "tendencies." I always said that way back when there was the "proper" way to do the sequences. I just wanted to know what they are. So many just seem to flail away.

I teach Pinian #2 the first way mentioned, leave the punch in place and half moon forward then blocking from the point of origin of my punching hand.

I hope that made sense!

Chris
 

Hand Sword

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Got a request to post this with blessings:

"I was discussing the history of our forms with Professor Cerio after a lesson back around the early 1990's. I remember we went out to grab some lunch and had an interesting discussion on this. He had told me that SGM. Pesare had originally adopted the #1 Pinan into his curriculum back around maybe 65-66. He said he assisted in putting together the form from one of Mas Oyama'a books but it was called Taikyoku Shodan. Now, remember the term 'Pinan' was originally the name of the forms of KGS that Sijo Gascon had taught SGM. Pesare. Sometime later on, SGM. Pesare changed the name to "Kata". I know this for fact because I had began studying with SGM. Pesare back in 1978 when I was a nidan with GM. Villari. Back then, Mr. Pesare named the forms that had been called "Pinans" by Mr. Gascon, 'Katas", they were 1-7. However, he still, at that time, taught the Taikyoku Shodan which he called #1 Pinan. It was the same as Villari's except the half mooning was different, it was more of a circular pattern than a half moon. When I was studying with SGM. Pesare in the 2000's he decided to go back to the original name for the KGS forms and used 'Pinan' again and from what I could see he no longer taught the Taikyoku Shodan or what was call '#1 Pinan". Look, this is what I was told back then and what I experienced in Rhode Island first hand when training under SGM. Pesare and Prof. Cerio - Yours in the Arts, Prof. Joe Shuras."
 
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SGM Pesare does call them Pinans now -- and what we refer to as #1 pinan - he still teaches (modified - no more 180 degree turns) But calls it a line drill that students need to learn before they earn their white belt. This is what he has told me about 2 years ago.
Jesse
 

cda1210

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I have a silly curiosity that's in my craw-lol. I guess I'm just a very technical person, right down to the details :)

On the second 1/2 of #2 pinan (up block, up block, thrust, back punches) do you:

1. After the first block, block, punch, punch, leave the punch in place, move forward, and up block from there?

or

2. Re-chamber your hands, move forward and begin the sequence again?

or

3. After the first sequence, circle the last punch down and up into the up block?

Was always just curious about the "proper" way to execute it. I've asked many and usually the answer is "the student's preference," or "tendencies." I always said that way back when there was the "proper" way to do the sequences. I just wanted to know what they are. So many just seem to flail away.

The way that you have desribed in #3, above, is the way I was taught back in the late 70's. This is the way we still teach it today.
 

shima

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The first martial arts school I studied at (karate school, not kenpo) used the pinan's as their base kata's for ranking. Then added in basai and naihanchi's for red/black belts.

We don't do any of those forms at the kenpo school I'm studying at now. But one of the other black belts there does know the pinans from his previous studies elsewhere, so he and I practice them every once in a blue moon :)
 

14 Kempo

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I have a silly curiosity that's in my craw-lol. I guess I'm just a very technical person, right down to the details :)

On the second 1/2 of #2 pinan (up block, up block, thrust, back punches) do you:

1. After the first block, block, punch, punch, leave the punch in place, move forward, and up block from there?

or

2. Re-chamber your hands, move forward and begin the sequence again?

or

3. After the first sequence, circle the last punch down and up into the up block?

Was always just curious about the "proper" way to execute it. I've asked many and usually the answer is "the student's preference," or "tendencies." I always said that way back when there was the "proper" way to do the sequences. I just wanted to know what they are. So many just seem to flail away.

OK, now I have questions. Wouldn't it depend on the application of the movement? I mean, #1 makes sense and it is the basic application that we use when teaching. However, I could ask, "why would a person chamber their hands while moving into an opponent" when it comes to #2. The answer could be that while this is a beginner form, maybe it can be assumed that it is a beginner student and they need to chamber, use bigger movement to generate power ... just a thought. #3, this could apply dependent upon what's being blocked at what level. Yet another thought could be, what if they aren't blocks, what if they are forearm or crosshand shuto strikes, followed by the thrust punch and back two knuckle. Again, it depends on the application being applied. At our school, we teach the first method of application, what we call the traditional application and it is taught that way to all students. We do, however, vary that application later after the student has practiced and understands the traditional application. Just a bit different thought, I suppose.
 

MartialMellow

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I have heard of katas before I joined American Schools of Shao-lin Kempo a few months ago, but until then I have never heard of a pinion (spelling?), so what is the difference between a pinion and a kata?
 

SK101

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Pinans/Pinions and Katas are both terms for forms. They have different lineages hence the different names. There are posts for the history of the Shaolin Kempo forms. If you can't find it do a search of Joe Shuras posts. I believe he has posted at least a couple of times with detailed breakdown of their histories.
 

EddieCyrax

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I have heard of katas before I joined American Schools of Shao-lin Kempo a few months ago, but until then I have never heard of a pinion (spelling?), so what is the difference between a pinion and a kata?

Based on Cerio/Villari lineage
1-pinan is generally taught at Yellow Belt.
2-pinan at Purple.

Depending on how your instructors teach and how they mix or dont mix rank classes you might not have seen or heard of these yet.
 

MartialMellow

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Based on Cerio/Villari lineage
1-pinan is generally taught at Yellow Belt.
2-pinan at Purple.

Depending on how your instructors teach and how they mix or dont mix rank classes you might not have seen or heard of these yet.
Thanks. I have heard of "kata" through the years, but this is the first time I have heard of a pinan/pinion. I just made Yellow belt last weekend and am now learning the first steps of pinion 1.
 

Gentle Fist

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In NCK (Cerio's Kenpo), 1st Pinan was based on the basic block/punch form (1 Pinan) from Kushinkai Karate. The foot print of this form resembles an "H". 2nd and 3rd Pinan were the same foot print but with different Combinations used instead of the basic block/punch combo. In NCK there was 4th and even 5th Pinan but there were dropped from the main syllabus by Master Cerio. I heard they were more or less competition styled forms and not so much traditional.

1st Pinan was a yellow belt form, 2nd was taught at orange, and 3rd was for purple. The "Cat" forms followed those and resemble some of the old Heian Katas but were very much modified in the 70's and 80's.
 

punisher73

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Thanks. I have heard of "kata" through the years, but this is the first time I have heard of a pinan/pinion. I just made Yellow belt last weekend and am now learning the first steps of pinion 1.

Most of the time in karate the forms are called "kata". In old okinawan systems the "Pinan" were a set of 5 katas taught at the beginning for a student (I hate referring to them as "beginniner kata" because they do contain the advanced lessons learned in later katas like Bassai/Kusanku).

In Hawaii, Sijo Emperado originally called his forms "Pinans" also spelled/pronounced "Pinion". Later on he changed the name of his forms to reflect Kajukenbo's roots and called them "Palamas" due to them being created in the Palama Settlement where Kajukenbo started.

This brings us to SKK. Trace it's history back and it was influenced by Kajukenbo and thus the name "Pinan" for it's early forms, these were added in by Sonny Gascon. The later forms in SKK are called "Katas" and were added by Sonny Gascon (1-4) and then 5&6 were added by George Pesare. There was a 7th one that was taught that was added into SKK called "Swift Tigers" (Circle of the Panther in Nick Cerio's lineage)

SKK Pinan One is actually from Taikyoku Shodan found in Shotokan/Kyokushin. SKK Pinan Two was a version of Taikyoku Shodan with some different blocks/punches but the same footwork and pattern on the floor brought in by Nick Cerio. SKK Pinan Sandan through Godan are more recognizable to their okinawan counter parts of Pinan/Heian 3-5 with some minor differences. I would say that the embusen more resembles the letter "I" than an "H".

Here is a clip of Kyokushin's Taikyoku Shodan, and you can see it is the same as SKK Pinan 1
 
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Hand Sword

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OK, now I have questions. Wouldn't it depend on the application of the movement? I mean, #1 makes sense and it is the basic application that we use when teaching. However, I could ask, "why would a person chamber their hands while moving into an opponent" when it comes to #2. The answer could be that while this is a beginner form, maybe it can be assumed that it is a beginner student and they need to chamber, use bigger movement to generate power ... just a thought. #3, this could apply dependent upon what's being blocked at what level. Yet another thought could be, what if they aren't blocks, what if they are forearm or crosshand shuto strikes, followed by the thrust punch and back two knuckle. Again, it depends on the application being applied. At our school, we teach the first method of application, what we call the traditional application and it is taught that way to all students. We do, however, vary that application later after the student has practiced and understands the traditional application. Just a bit different thought, I suppose.

I have now returned to studying the source of 3,4,and 5 pinan in SKK by observing/practicing Shotokan. As for my previous question of what to do with the hands, I now have seen and done. Thanks and respect to Shotokan and to Master Abernethy for the practical and sense making Bunkai of the pinans as meant for self defence and not fighting. Extremely insightful IMHO.
 
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