The layered bunkai theory is stupid

GojuTommy

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A lot of places teach ‘beginner’ interpretations of kata movements, along side mid level and advanced interpretations.

Some people even claim this was an intentionally created feature of kata…something I don’t believe for a second.

However I understand aside from a few newer kata it’s pretty much impossible to know original intent behind kata movements. This means your interpretation is just as valid and true as mine, assuming both make sense and can be practically applied. This does open the door to teaching multiple techniques of varying difficulty for the same movement or set of movements, which is fine.

My issue is that the beginner’s interpretations are often taught to simply mimic the movement from kata, including chambering an empty hikite, which plays no role in fighting in any sense, and which only builds bad habits, and harms the students ability to effectively apply a technique.
 

JowGaWolf

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There are some boxing guys at my gym that I taught clambering to. The concept is simple but why it should be done are numerous. If I were to teach a beginner to chamber then I would give an overview of the benefits. Then I would simplify it. Just do it without thinking. Just do it correctly and all will fall into place.

I gave them a punching drill and had them to focus on clambering to drive the punch. The end result was that they were punching so fast that they couldn't get the second punch's structure aligned before their fist hit hit the bag.

I think people do a better job when there is some understanding of why things are done a certain way
 
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GojuTommy

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There are some boxing guys at my gym that I taught clambering to. The concept is simple but why it should be done are numerous. If I were to teach a beginner to chamber then I would give an overview of the benefits. Then I would simplify it. Just do it without thinking. Just do it correctly and all will fall into place.

I gave them a punching drill and had them to focus on clambering to drive the punch. The end result was that they were punching so fast that they couldn't get the second punch's structure aligned before their fist hit hit the bag.

I think people do a better job when there is some understanding of why things are done a certain way
There is one purpose to chambering.
Every other explanation and justification of it is 100% unproven and unsupported pseudoscience at best.

I cannot find one example of an explanation of hikite from someone who taught preWWII that was something other than grabbing and pulling an opponent.

If you know of such, I’d love a link.
 

J. Pickard

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There is one purpose to chambering.
Every other explanation and justification of it is 100% unproven and unsupported pseudoscience at best.

I cannot find one example of an explanation of hikite from someone who taught preWWII that was something other than grabbing and pulling an opponent.

If you know of such, I’d love a link.
given that Karate was a self defense art and self defense tends to happen up close, the original intent probably was just to pull and assist in grappling, but who knows. However, here is a video that shows a boxer using what appears to be a hikite, or at least a very similar motion, to hide and set up powerful crosses.

Based on this it is possible to use hikite at a longer range as a sort of trick to hide/disguise a powerful reverse punch. Probably not it's original intent but still interesting to consider.
 

Buka

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given that Karate was a self defense art and self defense tends to happen up close, the original intent probably was just to pull and assist in grappling, but who knows. However, here is a video that shows a boxer using what appears to be a hikite, or at least a very similar motion, to hide and set up powerful crosses.

Based on this it is possible to use hikite at a longer range as a sort of trick to hide/disguise a powerful reverse punch. Probably not it's original intent but still interesting to consider.
I loved watching that video.

Tommy Hearns showed me the various jabs he used and how he used some of them to hide what was coming.

He showed me them in the dining room of the Ponchatrain Hotel in Detroit while we were having dinner. Nobody found it unusual, Tommy was from around there.

Tommy Hearns is one of the nicest, mellowest people I’ve ever met in the Arts.
 

JowGaWolf

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There is one purpose to chambering.
Every other explanation and justification of it is 100% unproven and unsupported pseudoscience at best.

I cannot find one example of an explanation of hikite from someone who taught preWWII that was something other than grabbing and pulling an opponent.

If you know of such, I’d love a link.
I think you are be rigid about it's fun tonight by limiting it to only only purpose. When this the hikite is performed do you open your hand to grab first or do you do it following a punch?

Here is some perspective. In Jow Ga Kung fu we train the same technique. In the beginner for we pull back after a punch. But we also open the outstretched hand that grabs an imaginary arm or clothing followed by the punch. The is often more than one function for the same movement.

Here's an example: if your opponent tries to round house kick you in the side of your ribs then performing a hikite is the fastest way to get your punching arm in a position to cover your side.

Is there a reason it has to be pre WWII instruction?
 

JowGaWolf

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Also think of it this way. The sooner you pull Bach you right punching arm, the sooner you'll be able to punch with your left arm.
 

JowGaWolf

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Video from 1924. Chamber of the fist shown here followed by an elbow strike. The had is not pulling a person as it doesn't make sense to try to pull a person with their left arm and then try to elbow them with that same pulling arm.
 

JowGaWolf

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Look at this video and watch how the hand is chambered and what comes before and what comes after. Then pay close attention to around 21:40. Where he demonstrates the pulling hand. Notice that the pulling hand doesn't comes after a grab.. Jow Ga has this same technique in the beginner form. Sei Ping


Oh Thrust Punches also chamber at the hip in application.

Chambered fist at the hip is also found in Boxing. George Foreman used it.

Here's another video.. You can see here that he uses an open hand and he grabs and pulls back as he punches.. There is also the mythical double punch in this video. Which some martial arts say doesn't exist and that it's really a throw and not a punch.

You can also see a fast chamber as he delivers a combo punch. I hope this helps and sheds some light on things.
 

JowGaWolf

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Based on this it is possible to use hikite at a longer range as a sort of trick to hide/disguise a powerful reverse punch. Probably not it's original intent but still interesting to consider.
This is not far fetch. I think all martial arts systems hide strikes. Often the strike hides behind the body or under the field of vision where the person is not able to see the punch coming until it's too late.
 

bluepanther

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No one knows what the karate kata moves actually were intended to be. With grappling being so popular now, it appears that some of the moves might be grappling. But I agree with you in that interpretations are merely guesses and we will never know for sure what the moves are. So instead of imposing grappling and throws and certain movements upon traditonal kata, just practice those movements in and of themselves and practice kata for is historical sense since the practical can only be guessed at.
 

JowGaWolf

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With grappling being so popular now, it appears that some of the moves might be grappling.
Karate Kata has quite a few grappling movements /techniques in it. I often wonder if Karate and Judo were taught within the same school then eventually separated. It could be that the names of techniques carried over from grappling components and were used when talking about striking, since a student would have trained in both. I don't know how many different ways there are to pull the arm back in a way that protects against strikes against the ribs or defends against under hooks.

Martial arts also changes from teacher to teacher as they find news ways to do things. Kung Fu shadow boxing was a big part for learning how to use Jow Ga, but I don't know of any schools that were doing the same thing that I was doing when I was teaching. That was almost 10 years ago. As of to date I only know one school that does it.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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mimic the movement from kata,
This is the major problem for the TMA. Instead of to mimic the movement from solo form, the solo form should mimic the movement from fighting instead.

Here is a form that mimic the moment from fighting. When you train form like this, your training is the same as your fighting.

 

marvin8

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There is one purpose to chambering.
Every other explanation and justification of it is 100% unproven and unsupported pseudoscience at best.

I cannot find one example of an explanation of hikite from someone who taught preWWII that was something other than grabbing and pulling an opponent.

If you know of such, I’d love a link.
The Machidas discuss the problems with hikite.

 

JowGaWolf

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The Machidas discuss the problems with hikite.

hmmmm. I don't think they are being completely honest there. They are too knowledgeable to not know how to use it in a fight. My guess is that he's in marketing mode. He picked something that most people think is useless and then showed how they train. My guess is that if they are still doing Kata in the school, that they are chambering the fist. Some people get stuck on the arm chambering low without really understanding the full range of things you can do with the arm pulling back.

Here's him chambering the punch at the hip. Lyoto first threw his right and then quickly pulled his hand back. This does 2 basic thing. The first is that it allows you to send your second punch punch out ASAP. The other thing is that it doesn't give your opponent time to seize your arm because you are pulling it out of danger. This would be the most basic concept

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Lyotomay have simply determine that it's easier to teach people to pull their arm back in a high guard first, becasue that is easier for beginners to grasp vs being less flexible with techniques thinking that the hand always has to return to the hip. Maybe the application of chambering at the hip is an advanced technique. Similar to how beginner boxers learn how to keep their hands up but when they hit an advance level, the learn how to safely have their hands down. Who knows?
 

Tony Dismukes

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Lyoto may have simply determine that it's easier to teach people to pull their arm back in a high guard first, becasue that is easier for beginners to grasp vs being less flexible with techniques thinking that the hand always has to return to the hip. Maybe the application of chambering at the hip is an advanced technique. Similar to how beginner boxers learn how to keep their hands up but when they hit an advance level, the learn how to safely have their hands down. Who knows?
I can't speak to Machida's perspective, but you are pretty much correct with regard to boxing.

The overwhelming majority of beginner through intermediate fighters naturally drop one hand down and back (not necessarily all the way to the hip) when punching with the other hand. It's a combination of instinctively feeling the extra reach and rotation that provides and the inability to maintain mental awareness of both hands at once. It's a very strong instinct, because it happens in sparring and fighting even with students who have spent a lot of time training to keep their hands up.

The problem is that it takes a lot of fight experience to develop the understanding of when and where the advantages of the low chamber outweigh the risk and the skills to execute in those moments without getting hit in the head a lot. So we spend a lot of time yelling at our fighters "hands up!" "hands up!". Once a fighter can consistently keep their hands up during the adrenaline rush of a real fight, then they can start to explore the possibilities of using the low chamber advantageously.
 

JowGaWolf

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I can't speak to Machida's perspective, but you are pretty much correct with regard to boxing.

The overwhelming majority of beginner through intermediate fighters naturally drop one hand down and back (not necessarily all the way to the hip) when punching with the other hand. It's a combination of instinctively feeling the extra reach and rotation that provides and the inability to maintain mental awareness of both hands at once. It's a very strong instinct, because it happens in sparring and fighting even with students who have spent a lot of time training to keep their hands up.

The problem is that it takes a lot of fight experience to develop the understanding of when and where the advantages of the low chamber outweigh the risk and the skills to execute in those moments without getting hit in the head a lot. So we spend a lot of time yelling at our fighters "hands up!" "hands up!". Once a fighter can consistently keep their hands up during the adrenaline rush of a real fight, then they can start to explore the possibilities of using the low chamber advantageously.
Hands up and deal with the lead hand are the most difficult lessons for people to learn. Stuff drives me nuts as an instructor.
 

drop bear

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Most bunkai is stupid.
The partner drills are where you should start developing your own game.
hmmmm. I don't think they are being completely honest there. They are too knowledgeable to not know how to use it in a fight. My guess is that he's in marketing mode. He picked something that most people think is useless and then showed how they train. My guess is that if they are still doing Kata in the school, that they are chambering the fist. Some people get stuck on the arm chambering low without really understanding the full range of things you can do with the arm pulling back.

Here's him chambering the punch at the hip. Lyoto first threw his right and then quickly pulled his hand back. This does 2 basic thing. The first is that it allows you to send your second punch punch out ASAP. The other thing is that it doesn't give your opponent time to seize your arm because you are pulling it out of danger. This would be the most basic concept

View attachment 30367

Lyotomay have simply determine that it's easier to teach people to pull their arm back in a high guard first, becasue that is easier for beginners to grasp vs being less flexible with techniques thinking that the hand always has to return to the hip. Maybe the application of chambering at the hip is an advanced technique. Similar to how beginner boxers learn how to keep their hands up but when they hit an advance level, the learn how to safely have their hands down. Who knows?

It is still different to kata punching as he is using angles to defend himself rather than his guard.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Most bunkai is stupid.
The partner drills are where you should start developing your own game.
Are you still training your Karate system if you train the following combo?

- right groin kick,
- right jab,
- left cross,
- right hook,
- left uppercut.

Ther are only a finite number of punching and kicking techniques in the world. Why should you let the term "style" to define a boundary on yourself?

Instead of trying to figure out some combat application from your solo form, why don't you just create your own combat training?
 
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GojuTommy

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Also think of it this way. The sooner you pull Bach you right punching arm, the sooner you'll be able to punch with your left arm.
That’s not remotely true.
Again absolutely unproven pseudoscience…even calling it pseudoscience gives it too much legitimacy.
 
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