Tag Archives: Kata Drills

Kata Lab # 2240 – Ten Virtues Of Kata

29 Feb

KATA LAB

Background:

I often scent the dojo with incense (Koh). My favorite koh is the “Morningstar” line by Nippon Kodo. http://www.nipponkodo.com It is well made using traditional methods, burns clean and with little smoke. If you visit their website (which I recommend you do), you will notice a page entitled the “Culture Of Incense.” On the page is an article “The Ten Virtues Of Koh.” Though I first read the ten virtues of koh over two decades ago, I still remember my very first impression, “Wow! The same ten virtues apply to Kata!” Over time I explored these virtues as they applied to both koh and kata, often enjoying both simultaneously (even using koh outdoors with my kata).
With this Kata Lab, you may also explore the ten virtues of koh as they also apply to kata. So purchase your favorite koh, practice your kata and enjoy the journey.

Experiment:

Using the kata from within your style’s curriculum, select one kata to represent each of the ten virtues of koh listed below;
Note that the kata you choose to represent a specific virtue will change over time as your training continues, as you age, and other factors, so you should repeat this Kata Lab regularly.
The Ten Virtues Of Koh (applied to Kata):
1.  It purifies mind & body;
2.  It removes spiritual uncleanliness;
3.  Practiced everyday, it will do no harm;
4.  It keeps one alert;
5.  One’s age does not change its efficacy;
6.  When performed in abundance, one never tires of it;
7.  When performed sparingly, one is satisfied;
8.  In the midst of busy affairs, it brings a moment of solitude;
9.  It is a companion in the midst of isolation;
10.  It brings communication with the transcendent universal consciousness.

Conclusion:

I categorized this Kata Lab as a spiritual lab as it forces you to think, sweat and experiment with your kata so as to understand how kata affects your psyche and emotions. That classification is an oversimplification. This lab also is a physical kata lab as it forces you to perform your kata to experience a new physical perspective. In addition, should you choose to follow my recommendations as to performing your kata using koh, the lab provides insight into the environmental aspect of kata; namely, how do the different aromas of koh affect your kata performance.

Additional Kata Labs:
Lab # 2242 – Kata With Koh: Purchase several aromas of koh. Prior to practice, experience each aroma. Now practice your kata after burning the koh. How does the aroma affect your kata? Do different aroma of koh affect your kata differently. Admittedly koh is pleasant, but each scent will still have a different effect. If not, then in lieu of the pleasant koh, perform your kata in a setting with unpleasant odors and see how they affect your kata.
Lab # 3241 – Alternative experiment: Based upon my own practice, I now find that all ten virtues may be found in each and every kata simultaneously. Train your kata with the virtues in mind and try to find and perceive each virtue within every kata in your catalogue of kata.

In the end, not only is this kata lab enlightening, it is also very enjoyable.

HANKO-master

Cum superiorum privilegio veniaque (“With the privilege and permission of the superiors”)
Sensei John Szmitkowski

 nyc-suparunpei    For information on my “no-risk”, kata seminars, please visit the seminar page using this convenient link https://senseijohn.me/seminar-kata/ My seminars are the ONLY seminars that allow you to pay at the conclusion, thus insuring your complete satisfaction!

Featured Video:

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For the full Kata Laboratory Table Of Contents, please visit the “Kata Laboratory” page tab above.

© Copyright 2015 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

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Kata Lab # 2170: Blink-Of-An-Eye Bunkai

4 May

“Life and death in the street occurs in the blink-of-an-eye.” 
(Shihan Thomas DeFelice)

“Therefore kata bunkai (analysis) should include the blinking-of-an-eye.”
(Sensei John Szmitkowski)

KATA LAB

Welcome to this teaser from my Kata Laboratory Series, Kata Lab #2170: Blink-Of-An-Eye Bunkai ©

Preface:

For a behind-the-scenes look at how this Kata Lab developed, please refer to this article using this convenient link:

Sensei John’s Kata Lab: “The Process” – Link:
https://senseijohn.me/2014/04/20/kata-lab-the-process-of-making-a-kata-lab/

Analyzing Ananku Kata in the Kata Lab

Analyzing Ananku Kata in the Kata Lab

Background:
There are numerous karate-do techniques involving any number of striking surfaces with the hands, feet, knees, elbows, fingers and the like. These techniques are combined with any number of stances to form a posture.

These postures are linked together in a cohesive manner to form sequences which are combined to form a unified pattern called kata. This is the physical aspect of kata.

Bunkai (analysis) is used to understand the kata. The majority of practitioners limit their bunkai to the overt moves and sequences in kata. The transition from sequence-to-sequence, posture-to-posture that occur with a kata are often ignored in bunkai.
This Kata Lab looks at the physical aspects of those transitional movements.

Kata Lab: (Recommended Reader Experimentation)

To assist you in the process of this Kata Lab, I have a video after the procedural outline.

  • Select a kata that you are familiar with utilizing bunkai to perform the physical applications of;
  • Perform the kata slowly, paying particular attention to the transitions between movements;
  • As to the transitions, notice the shifting of weight, body movements, and hand positions;
  • Exaggerate the transitions so as to identify and define postures within these transitions, define a stance, and hand position;
  • Again perform the kata slowly, this time inserting the transitional postures into the kata as if they themselves were overt moves;
  • Perform the kata full speed, once again, insert the hidden postures into the kata as if they were overt moves. Does the kata maintain it’s “flow” when performed in this manner? If so, then your identification of the hidden postures was accurate.
  • Analyze the kata transitional positions with a partner, pay particular attention to your previous analysis to determine the extent to which the transitional postures enrich your application. The transitions should allow you to see new self-defense application possibilities.

Closing:
Including the transitional postures in your bunkai (analysis) of kata will enrich your understanding of the application of the physical movements. You will begin to see new possibilities. Better still you will see self-defense possibilities that those who do no analyze the transitions will be ignorant of. Thus, your arsenal of defensive possibilities surpasses theirs.
Additionally, the understanding of the physical aspect of the transitional movements will begin to foster a desire to understand the transitional postures from a spiritual (psychological, emotional and stat-of-mind) aspect and a metaphysical (the manner in which the kata connects you to the environment) aspect.

Please remember, the mandate of the kata laboratory is

lab-collage-6

 

HANKO
Cum superiorum privilegio veniaque (With the privilege and permission of the superiors)

Sensei John Szmitkowski

If you enjoyed this Kata Lab, please visit the online store to help fund more kata experiments.

Come visit my store on CafePress!

all items have a minimal mark-up of only $ 0.75 to $ 1.00 over base prices! Here are ONLY SOME of our support products:
Shop-cups-home

dreams-seisan   For information on my “no-risk”, kata seminars, please visit the seminar page using this convenient link https://senseijohn.me/seminar-kata/
NEWS sanchin  For details on how to participate in Sensei John’s most recent cyber-group Kata session, please use this link: https://senseijohn.me/category/thats-ok/

© Copyright 2014 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

Sensei John is now on Facebook, under – FLY FISHING DOJO, you are invited to send a Facebook friend request.

You may wish to view my other blogs –

LOGO-WEBSITE    my fishing blog which includes my fishing journals and the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fishing http://flyfishingdojo.com

and

DOJO STICKER-1 the Goshin-Do Karate blog at http://defeliceryu.com

 

Kata Lab # 2130: Kata-Kumite-Ichi

26 Jan

KATA LAB

Had I mastered mere technique without theory, I would have ended up merely a simple recorder, mechanically teaching what I learned without creative development of ideas. (See Endnote # 1)

Background:

All too often, western karate-do curriculum teaches kata as separate and distinct from kumite. Many Dojo have segregated the two topics so that they are taught in separate training sessions. A typical example of a three day a week training schedule often goes something like this: Monday night: stretching, conditioning and drills, Wednesday night: kata night (which includes, basics, (possibly) physical bunkai and kata drills) and Friday night: kumite night, which includes jiyu-kumite, ippon kumite and kumite drills.

Rarely, if ever, have I seen Dojo that integrate kata and kumite to the extent shown in this Kata Lab. Incidentally, this Lab was standard procedure at my Issho-Dojo where the idea of Kata-Kumte-Ichi was omnipresent. To integrate kata and kumite takes work, effort, frustration and dedication.

The purpose of this Kata Lab is to provide a basic means to start the integration process. While basic, for the uninitiated, it will provide quite a challenge. If the reader applies determination and sweat, this Kata Lab will bear fruit. It will allow the practitioner to progress to the next levels of physical bunkai of kata beyond the ken of the majority of karate-ka.

Experiment: (Recommended reader participation

This Kata Lab is best performed with three people, two participants and one acting as a moderator. Naturally, all three should change roles throughout the Lab.

  • The two participants should face each other, slightly askew (not in a direct line) and at a greater distance than normal for kumite practice;
  • Each participant starts to perform either the same kata or each perform a kata of their choice;
  • It is IMPERATIVE that the kata be performed with the mental attitude and physical commitment as if your life was at stake! You must perform the kata as if you are in a real  street fight!;
  • At a random point in the kata performance, the moderator calls out a command for the two performers to engage in kumite;
  • The kumite is limited to only about 30 to 45 seconds (no dancing or “sparring”);
  • The kumite MUST be performed at half speed and half power;
  • After the time limit for kumite, the moderator will signal to stop kumite – the performers freeze in place and in whatever direction they are facing;
  • The two performers then return to performing their kata, BUT they begin at the point where they left off and finish the kata (they begin in whatever direction they are facing regardless of the direction they started the kata);
  • Therefore, while engaged in kumite, they performers must be mindful of their kata, specifically where they paused the performance for kumite.

Keep in mind:

  • The emphasis is on the kata, not the kumite. It is for that reason that the kata is to be performed as a fight and the kumite at half speed and power;
  • The moderator MUST pay attention to the kata so that he can:
  •        – insure that each performer re-starts the kata from where they left off;
  •        – the kata is performed correctly
  •        – as such, there is as much pressure on the moderator as the performer.

Here is a video I filmed at the spectacular Lower Salt River, Arizona which gives you the general idea of interrupting your kata. The video uses a “natural makiwara” in lieu of kumite, but the concept is the same.

NOTE: you may notice that due to variations of the kata being performed and the random nature of the moderators command to engage in kumite, the performers may be some distance apart. This will be overcome in the future by combining this drill with my kata deconstruction technique. Do not adjust the kumite time, if the two performers can not either close the distance or figure out an alternative means to engage in kumite (hint) the fact that they could not adequately engage in kumite in the 30 to 45 seconds is their problem.

Closing:

This Kata Lab is a challenging means of integrating the idea of “Kata-Kumite Ichi”, Kata and kumite are one. When one is performing kata, one is engaging in kumite and vice-versa.

The Lab also provides a spring board for more difficult kata and kumite integration using  my kata deconstruction techniques.

Most importantly, the performers will be able to use techniques from kata in actual jiyu kumite. No more “Sparring combinations” that are not grounded in kata. Kata-Kumite Ichi.

While physical bunkai (analysis) of kata greatly improve, spiritual or mental bunkai will begin to be fostered. The proper mindset for kata will begin to take root and grow within the performer.

Please remember, the mandate of the kata laboratory is

lab-collage-6HANKOCum superiorum privilegio veniaque (With the privilege and permission of the superiors)

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Help support Sensei’s experiments –

Come visit my store on CafePress!

all items have a minimal mark-up of only $ 0.75 to $ 1.00 over base prices! Here are ONLY SOME of our support products:

Shop-cups-home
snowflake For information on my “no-risk”, kata seminars, please visit the seminar page using this convenient link https://senseijohn.me/seminar-kata/

© Copyright 2006, 2013 & 2014 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

ENDNOTES:

1. Toguchi, Seikichi-Sensei, Okinawa Goju-Ryu: The fundamentals of Shorei-Kan Karate. (O-Hara Publications, Burbank, CA, 1976) p. 17

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You may enjoy the Goshin-Do Karate-Do blog using the following link: WWW.DeFeliceRyu.Com

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