Understanding the TSD Seisan and Changes

Makalakumu

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Here is the Tang Soo Do version of Seisan


The closest version of Seisan to this is Shotokan's Hangetsu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gfKxxBnEcE&feature=related

Here are some other versions of Seisan

Kyan no Seisan -

Isshinryu Seisan -

Aragaki Seisan -

Goju Ryu Seisan -

Uechi Ryu Seisan -

Here is the Wiki on Seisan. Lots of good information here. This is one of the more ubiquitous kata in all of the karate systems. It's found in almost all schools and is considered by many to be one of the oldest kata found in Karate.

It's interesting to see the different variations of this kata. When one tries to understand where seisan comes from, how it evolved, and how to understand it's application, this is essential. One thing that is really interesting is that if you look at these kata in the order that I posted them, you can see what looks like a gradual removal of grappling techniques.

Notice, even in the TSD version, the grappling moves aren't entirely absent. Still, it would seem that the closer one gets to the Chinese roots of this kata, it becomes clear that all manner of technique was included.

Any theories on why these changes occured? Can anyone explain some of the TSD specific changes? What applications do you see?

And the most important question...

Would you adopt movements in other versions of the kata in order to have access to those applications?
 
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terryl965

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The problem is not so many different variations but the fact that so many people have put there hand in the cookie jar. I have been doing MA for over forty years and till today I have come to fianlly relize that people make changes to fit there needs. I can see grappling moves from all poomsae but that is me. I can see make some minor chamhes so the poomsae fits into my style of fighting, is'nt that really what it is there for in the first place.

I do want to thank you for all the differences that are in place and I would dare to say there are probaly a hundred more out there.
 
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Makalakumu

Makalakumu

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I've always thought that as long as one understood the principles of a kata, why not look at what other people have done in order to learn more and maybe make a few changes along those line. For example, I really like some of the moves in the Uechi and Goju version of Seisan. It wouldn't take much to alter a few positions in order to access those applications.
 

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The version of Seisan that I know came to me from Sensei Peter Carbone. It is of the Isshinryu lineage, but it is slightly different from the version that is linked in this thread.

In response to your question, yes I would definitely tweak a kata that I train with so that it fits the applications that I wish to utilize from its teachings. Indeed, I have already done this with my Pinan Kata (Pyung Ahn Hyung). I learned a TSD version of these forms when I was young. As I've learned more about the martial arts and have begun really analyzing the forms I train with, I've realized there are some things about these kata that I need to change a bit so that they fit me as a martial artist. Some may say this is heresy, to change what you learned, but I think that it makes complete sense.

I'll give you an example. In the TSD Pyung Ahn Sam Dan that I learned, the last moves were taught to me as an elbow and a punch to the left side to someone who is standing right behind you, then jumping over someone who is on the ground and then repeating the strikes to someone behind you on the right side of your body. I was taught to turn my head to the left when striking with the elbow and punch on that side and vice versa for the right side. I never liked that application. It made little sense to me.

The applications that I use for that sequence are a body-drop throw for the turn and then a rear choke for the final two moves. I don't jump at all and in the last two moves (the choke) I don't turn my head to look behind me anymore. I now enjoy that sequence. It makes sense to me that way.

I'm just learning Seisan now. I don't know my Sensei's applications yet. I'm sure that I'll train with this kata in my Sensei's way for some time, but if in the future I discover there are some awesome applications that I would rather have in my study, then I may tweak my kata a little bit.

I wouldn't go out though looking for applications I like and then start randomly adding them into my forms or just adding more forms though. Sometimes less is more. I don't want to bog down my training with too many forms and too many applications. I just want to train with forms and applications that work the best.
 

RobBnTX

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Notice, even in the TSD version, the grappling moves aren't entirely absent. Still, it would seem that the closer one gets to the Chinese roots of this kata, it becomes clear that all manner of technique was included.
I am not ranked in either Shotokan or Shudokan Karate, or Tang Soo Do so please excuse me if I am talking out my you know what. Also excuse me for posting to a thread that is at least a couple of months old.

Are you not sure that the TSD version is actually closer to the original than what is practiced in JKA style Shotokan? I have always thought that on many levels, TSD is closer to its roots than modern day Shotokan. I remember one Tang Soo Do instructor who told me that he loves to work out with Shotokan guys so he can show them how it is done right!

From what little of it that I have observed, Tang Soo Do looks, at least to me anyway, more like Shudokan Karate (Kanken Toyama lineage) than it does modern day JKA style Shotokan. Again I may be talking out the you know what.

I am interested in starting TSD though. Formally trained in ITF Taekwon-Do and a little Shorin-Ryu.

RFB
 

Tez3

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This is the Seishan I'm familiar with from Wado Ryu.

 
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Makalakumu

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From what little of it that I have observed, Tang Soo Do looks, at least to me anyway, more like Shudokan Karate (Kanken Toyama lineage) than it does modern day JKA style Shotokan.

That's very interesting. What are you using for comparison?
 

Tez3

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I was just playing around with the concept and came up with this hybridized seisan.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3458543100447969198&hl=en

Fun, but I'm not sure how useful will turn out to be.

I like that! One thing I've always found difficult is making the slow moves powerful if you know what I mean? I've been told before just to tense all the muscles but frankly that just looks like you've got constipation lol! I suspect it may be in the breathing?
 
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Makalakumu

Makalakumu

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I like that! One thing I've always found difficult is making the slow moves powerful if you know what I mean? I've been told before just to tense all the muscles but frankly that just looks like you've got constipation lol! I suspect it may be in the breathing?

It's interesting because once you see all of the kata lined up like that, you can start to see where they have principles in common. What I was attempting to do with the hybrid kata was pick and choose applications I like that fit with the general principles and put them together seisan-like kata. It was interesting because I gained some insights on how kata could change over time.

I'm not exactly sure about some of the more esoteric breathing involved. I've heard this kind of breathing has something to do with "Iron Shirt" training. It would be nice to learn how to actually do it right...LOL!
 

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When we focus on certain techniques in kata, we limit, and stagnate it's purpose. There are some signature moves that distinguish it, but for the most part, kata opens many doors. Just some of my thoughts, but kata, any kata, is limitless.
 

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I like that! One thing I've always found difficult is making the slow moves powerful if you know what I mean? I've been told before just to tense all the muscles but frankly that just looks like you've got constipation lol! I suspect it may be in the breathing?
It is, in the breathing. You had mentioned it in another thread "Holding my breath" that, when doing kata, so as not the be holding the breath, you were taught to let air out with every technique. I feel, as you have alluded to, that free transfer of air is good for many reasons, including power.
 

Muwubu16858

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From what little of it that I have observed, Tang Soo Do looks, at least to me anyway, more like Shudokan Karate (Kanken Toyama lineage) than it does modern day JKA style Shotokan. Again I may be talking out the you know what.

Could have been influenced by Yun Kwai Byeong(Jidokwan) from when they temporarily joined the Moo Duk Kwan in 1960. Hwang Kee lists many kata from Nahate in his 1970 "Soo Bahk Do Dae Gam that weren't from the shotokan lineage, that he may have picked up from GM Yun, a student of Toyama Kanken(held 4th Dan when he returned to Korea) and Mabuni Kenwa(rank unknown). and GM Hwang even lists the movements of Seipai without pictures in that same book.
 

RobBnTX

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Thanks Muwubu16858 for the historical information. Interesting.

Yeah you know I really cannot pinpoint it, I am just not all that knowledgeable about it, but TSD to me does not look like modern day JKA Shotokan, it is not as stiff, is more fluid and the blocks are loaded different.

When looking at various Japanese styles, Shudokan to me just stood out as the one that comes closest to TSD, but again let me that state I am only going from my own uneducated observations and I am far from being an expert. To be honest, I was more or less throwing something out there to see if anyone else who may be more knowledgeable than I am could tell me if there is any connection at all between TSD and Shudokan Karate and you may well have. Can you (or anyone else out there for that matter) compare and describe the similarites or differences in how hip rotations are utilized in various different techniques and movements in the katas/hyungs between TSD and Shudokan Karate for me? I think that would be an interesting starting point to see if there may well be a connection between the two styles.

Thanks,
RFB
 
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Master K

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That is Master Saavedra from Chile. And for the record that is one of the "modern" ways that TSD stylists are performing this hyung.
 

Master K

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Could have been influenced by Yun Kwai Byeong(Jidokwan) from when they temporarily joined the Moo Duk Kwan in 1960. Hwang Kee lists many kata from Nahate in his 1970 "Soo Bahk Do Dae Gam that weren't from the shotokan lineage, that he may have picked up from GM Yun, a student of Toyama Kanken(held 4th Dan when he returned to Korea) and Mabuni Kenwa(rank unknown). and GM Hwang even lists the movements of Seipai without pictures in that same book.

In reference to the Yun Kwei Byeong influencing Hwang Kee with regard to hyungs that is not correct according to my sources.
 

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That is Master Saavedra from Chile. And for the record that is one of the "modern" ways that TSD stylists are performing this hyung.

Could you please elaborate a little more on that?
Perhaps some videos to compare old vs modern style of that hyung. It would be interesting to know what is your criteria to call something "modern" and not modern


Regards.
 

Muwubu16858

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OK, not so much "influenced." BUt because the Jidokwan joined in the 60's, GM Hwang included several kata not in his own syllabus in the Soo Bahk Do Dae Gam, and GM Yun later left because Hwang wuld not share leadership, infuriating many Jidokwan members, since technically, GM Yun outranked Hwang, as Yun came back to Korea in the late 40's a 4th Dan licenced Shihan in Shudokan(5th Dan being the highest rank in Kanken Toyama's style), while GM Hwang had about 2 yrs max with GM Yang Kuk Jin in China, and had a green belt from the Chung Do Kwan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwans, and learned from books. Not that that is bad, but Yun had more formal training.
 

Master K

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Could you please elaborate a little more on that?
Perhaps some videos to compare old vs modern style of that hyung. It would be interesting to know what is your criteria to call something "modern" and not modern


Regards.

This version is very similar to the way GM Kim, Chun Sik performed this form AFTER starting his own Federation (the International Tang Soo Do Federation). The practitioner pivots on the front leg at the top of the form. This is one of the tell tale signs that it is modern. If this were traditional, then the practitioner would have pivoted and moved closer to the starting point instead of moving further away when reversing direction. There is also a jumping sequence which has been added. The practitioner executes hammerfists instead of backfists which is also a recent change.

Keep in mind that each Tang Soo Do organization which has its roots in the Moo Duk Kwan has changed this form too. If you look at the members of the World Tang Soo Do Association (GM Shin, Jae Chul organization) and the way they practice this form, you will see some changes in the way they perform this hyung. I will look to see if I can find a link to them doing this form. I had it a while back, but I am not sure I have it anymore.

As a matter of fact, the form was changed by the US Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation as well. If you watch the way they perform this form in the 1990s you will see changes when compared to the way the members of the Moo Duk Kwan performed this form in the 1950s-1970s.

I hope this helps.
 

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