Starting Katas on right or left foot?

opr1945

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I am on vacation and away from my Dojo. So I am asking my question here.
I am a new student.
I am studying Uechi-ryu.
There are 8 Katas.
I have been working on the Sanchin Kata. I have learned that it can be done starting on the right foot or left foot. The following actions are mirror images of eah other depending on which foot you started with.

Are the other 7 Katas done by starting on each side foot, respectively? Or only some Katas? If so which ones?

Thanks.
 
Do you mean after bowing at attention and stepping off to the side, or once this is done, stepping forward?

Sometimes the initial sidestep is part of the first technique. Stepping to the "wrong" side would render that technique ineffective. Major reworking of the kata would be required to keep things working as few kata are truly divided into two mirror image halves. After seeing hundreds of videos across various styles, I've never seen or heard of anyone saying that you can start with either side you like. Naihanchi is an exception, most styles going to the right but with some going to the left. But even this is consistent within a given style.

Why don't you just review Uechi ryu kata videos on youtube and see for yourself the answer to your question?
 
Okay, I was referring to the inital step forward, being what teacher calls for, Not optional. We have done sanchin first step forward with right hand. Tehn done it again with first forward step being left foot. I have only just started with kanshiwa. All the video I have seen on you tube start with turn to left first. So is Kanshiwa Always start with left turn?

Videos of Sanchin I have found on line the right foot always moves forward first. Yet at the Dojo we have done it both ways. So I do not to take that I can't find a video of Kanshiwa turning to right to start to mean it isn't done.

When I get back, several weeks, I will ask instructor. Thanks.
 
Not being a student of Uechi ryu, I checked out a couple of videos. Charles Quimbi performed one with commentary where he describes the first move (done after the sidestep) as an "open handed kamai." I don't agree with this description. Think about the following questions:

Why would you have an initial guard to the front, but then pivot to the side for a block and punch? Who are you on guard against? An attacker to the front? But then, does it make sense to turn and face an attacker to the side without dispatching the first guy? Of course, the answer is "no."

Consider this: The guy to the front is the same guy to the side. What?! The key in kata is not just one technique and doing another technique. It's what happens in between those techniques. In this case I think the first move is not just a passive kamai, but a double open hand block against an attempted grab, giving you position inside his arms. You then grab him and pivot to the left pulling him with you (perhaps using your right stepping leg to buckle his stance) as you hook his right arm with your left and right reverse punch him.

This is a better explanation of the opening to this kata. Is it the only one? Maybe not. There are always variations in application. I don't know Quimbi so he may be just giving a basic bunkai. But when you understand what kata is on a more advanced level, there is much more than meets the eye. As I mentioned in my first response, sometimes the very first move has a functional meaning and is linked to following moves.

If you stepped to the right, you would be more to the opponent's left. That would make your left pivot moves harder to execute effectively. So you have to look at the whole context of the series of moves to properly interpret them and how positioning plays a part.

I know this doesn't really address your initial question, but something to consider as you do kata. Have fun in your karate exploration.
 
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I can only speak to my own dojo. If you're talking about the initial bow in and ready stance, we step to the right for open hand kata and to the left for weapons kata. If you're talking about the initial movement of the kata itself, it varies.

Sanchin - step up right, foot turned in.
Seisan - step up left, foot straight.
Seiyunchin - step out on a right angle, right foot; left foot pivots.
Naihanchi - feet together, knees bent, step over to the left (other karate styles start to the right).
Wansu - block left, punch left, then step forward left.
Chinto - step back right to create cat stance.
Kusanku - step left wide, step right wide.
Sunsu - step up left.
 
I can only speak to my own dojo. If you're talking about the initial bow in and ready stance, we step to the right for open hand kata and to the left for weapons kata. If you're talking about the initial movement of the kata itself, it varies.

Sanchin - step up right, foot turned in.
Seisan - step up left, foot straight.
Seiyunchin - step out on a right angle, right foot; left foot pivots.
Naihanchi - feet together, knees bent, step over to the left (other karate styles start to the right).
Wansu - block left, punch left, then step forward left.
Chinto - step back right to create cat stance.
Kusanku - step left wide, step right wide.
Sunsu - step up left.
Yes, stepping with the left seems to be most common way to start most styles' kata. As to why, I can only guess that since most attackers are right-handed, the initial footwork is designed to handle a right-handed attack. This usually means moving in with the left foot to best intercept it. But other attacks than a right punch occur so there are various ways the kata may start as your list indicates.
 
I am on vacation and away from my Dojo. So I am asking my question here.
I am a new student.
I am studying Uechi-ryu.
There are 8 Katas.
I have been working on the Sanchin Kata. I have learned that it can be done starting on the right foot or left foot. The following actions are mirror images of eah other depending on which foot you started with.

Are the other 7 Katas done by starting on each side foot, respectively? Or only some Katas? If so which ones?

Thanks.
While I did learn all the kata, I now only do sanchin, seisan and sanseiru. I start the opening move with the left foot forward on each of those. Sanchin is often done starting with the right foot but this is only to practice the kata as a "lefty" and be ambidextrous. The same for Konshiwa. The official start is to turn to the left but at times the instructor will have you turn to the right. Again to be ambidextrous. I have not seen instructors do this for the other forms. Probably due to the complexity of the kata. It's just an instructor thing to make you more adaptable but each kata does have an "official" foot to start the kata. On the Big Three it's the left foot.
Oddly enough the Chinese Huzun Quan (tiger forms) I have incorporated into my training all start with the right foot.
 

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