Tag Archives: Kata Training Ideas

Time Modification Of Kata – Kanto Example

11 Oct

 

Ah, I’ve just returned from a long weekend in Provincetown, Cape Cod. This annual sojourn gives me the time to think. And what better topic to think about than – time. Not the scientific concept of time, but time as it relates to martial arts.

Time is an ignored element of the martial arts. It is almost never considered in kata bunkai (analysis). Whether they realize it or not, most martial artist think in terms of distance as three dimensional. Distance is only defined as a function of the three dimensions of length, width and height. In reality, there is a fourth dimension that mandates exploration – time. Please see the resources in Endnote # 1 for an introductory discussion of this topic.

Exploration of the time dimension is facilitated by expanding your kata bunkai (analysis) to include consideration of time. How does time affect kata and its application is a subject limited only by the imagination of the karate-ka (practitioner).

The following two videos provide two examples.

The first is from the Gekisai kata. In the video the kata sequence whereby an open middle block followed by a front snap kick is manipulated. You can see how time is manipulated to gain an advantage over your opponent. This is commonly referred to as “speed.”

In the second video you see a sequence whereby a reverse punch is followed by a front snap kick; a very common sequence in many kata. In so far as one’s leg is longer than one’s arm, there is a distance problem (see the video). This is overcome by manipulating the timing of the punch and kick as show. Again, while the dimensions of length, width and height traditionally determine range to the target, the fourth dimension of time must be accounted for.

Once you begin to analyze your kata and practice kata with an awareness of time, you may be confronted with kata sequences that are not so readily manipulated. This results in a necessary change to the sequence of the kata to overcome the limits of the time dimension. An example may be found in the Kanto Kata of the Goshin-Do Karate system. (See Endnote # 2 for a video of this unique kata) Kanto translates as “Fighting Spirit.” It was created by Hanshi Frank Van Lenten to illustrate the techniques and ideology of the Goshin-Do Karate style. Within Kanto Kata there are sequences which are difficult, if not impossible, to achieve maximum time efficiency. One such sequence is as follows.

Move # 1: Stepping forward on a forty-five degree angle, a middle block is performed.

Move # 2: The blocking hand then executes a jab to the opponent’s nose.

Move # 3: This is then followed by a reverse punch.

To achieve maximum time efficiency in any kata, a block and a counter should be executed simultaneously. (see Endnote # 3) So in the above sequence, if not for the jab, it would be simple to execute the middle block and reverse punch simultaneously. The jab causes a problem. It is impossible to block and jab with the same hand simultaneously. To be sure, you can perform these two movements as fast as possible, but never at the exact same time. Further, if you perform the middle block and link the jab and reverse punch to hit simultaneously, you have achieved time efficiency with the two counter attacks, but you still have not linked the block and counter as simultaneous. To overcome this problem, you must modify the sequence itself.

You step forward and perform the middle block and reverse punch simultaneously (moves # 1 and # 3), then,

You perform the jab (move # 2)

 

In modifying the sequence, you will now counter attack as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Thus achieved efficiency in the fourth dimension of time. This concept can readily be applied to your other kata. I’ll soon post an article extending the concept to Seisan Kata.

You should strive to include the fourth dimension of time into your kata bunkai (analysis). I not only do this when I have a partner available to apply my bunkai, I also do this when practicing alone. I perform my kata using the traditional sequences and then perform the kata using the time modified sequences as above. In this manner you are performing bunkai solo while simultaneously performing your kata (more on this at a later time).

If you subscribe to the training maxim that kata is one tool that will help you achieve maximum efficiency in a self defense situation, then you must include this type of practice into you regime.

Respectfully submitted,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

     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!
  For a refreshing and innovative discourse on kata and bunkai, please feel free to visit Sensei John’s Kata Laboratory and “THINK * SWEAT * EXPERIMENT” using this convenient link: https://senseijohn.me/kata-lab/

© Copyright 2017 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

Endnote:

1. Use this convenient link for a basic understanding as to how the three dimensions of distance – length, width and height apply to all karate technique and the necessity of understanding the fourth dimension of time –
https://senseijohn.me/2015/11/23/underground-bunkai-sneak-peak/

2. Kanto Kata video

3. Those familiar with the five responses to attack will understand that transitioning from a block followed-up by a counter attack to a block and counter as one movement is a transition from the state of GO NO SEN (after, later-before): block & counter attack to a state of SEN NO TE (before-hand): block and counter attack are in one movement.

You may wish to view my other blogs –
     my fishing blog which includes my fishing journals and the interrelationship between martial arts protocol to fishing http://flyfishingdojo.com
and
   the Goshin-Do Karate blog at http://defeliceryu.com

Kata Lab # 4260 – Kata & Perception – A Puzzle

18 Jan

 

Un homme se définit aussi bien par ses comédies que par ses élans sincères.” (“A man defines himself by his make-believe as well as by his sincere impulses.”) Albert Camus

KATA LAB

Background:

This Kata Lab is based on an episode of one of my favorite television shows, “Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman.” The specific episode was entitled “Mysteries Of The Subconscious.” It featured an experiment devised by Dr. Alan Snyder of the Center For The Mind in Sydney, Australia. The experiment looked to test a method of altering the brain’s perceptions (See Endnote # 1 for details of the experiment).

It occurred to me that Dr. Snyder’s experiment can be it can be used to test my theory that kata can be used to alter brain perception. (See Endnote # 2) There have been studies as to enhanced brain function resulting from zazen (seated mediation) and prayer, most notably the experiments of Dr. Andrew Newberg, M.D. (See Endnote # 3) My idea that kata, like prayer can stimulate specific areas of the brain is by far no “leap of faith.” I have previously submitted the idea that kata is the functional equivalent of the Apostle Matthew’s “inner room.” (See Endnote # 4) Not withstanding the effects of kata as analogous to prayer, no experimentation has been done as to kata and enhanced brain function. Dr. Synder’s experiment offers a means to test this enhanced brain function as it relates to kata.

The Experiment:

As in Dr. Snyder’s experiment, there are a series of puzzles which you are to solve. Each puzzle is written in matchsticks using roman numerals and depicts an incorrect mathematical equation. You are to move the position of ONE matchstick to correct the equation. For example, the first puzzle, as written is 1 + 3 = 9. You must move any one matchstick to correct the equation.

Puzzle # 1

puzzle-1

Puzzle # 2

puzzle-2

Puzzle # 3

puzzle-3

Puzzle # 4

puzzle-4

Most of you can solve the first three puzzles. Many of you will have experienced difficulty in solving the final puzzle; in fact, many will not be able to solve the puzzle at all. This is because the final puzzle requires the use of the creative areas of your brain. Kata will be used to stimulate specific areas of your brain. After stimulation, you should then be able to correctly solve the puzzles.

Kata Guidelines:

  • It must be remembered that the fuel of the brain is oxygen; in order to function properly and efficiently, the body needs to maximize the exchange of oxygen to the brain. Thus while my theory applies to any karate-do kata, it is more evident when kata based upon deep abdominal breathing and bodily movement are performed. To this end, certain kata derived from Goju-ryu, Pang-Noon-Gai-ryu or Uechi-Ryu are preferred. My personal favorite (in general terms) is what I call my “Sacred Trinity” Kata; performing Sanchin, Seienchin and Suparunpei Kata as one kata.
  • Your choice of kata and combinations thereof will require continued future performance of this and other Kata Labs designed to alter perception. In fact, you should have performed all of the “Spiritual” Kata Labs before attempting this experiment. Please refer to the Table Of Contents using this convenient link: https://senseijohn.me/kata-lab/

Your Experiment:

  • Choose your kata in accord with the above guidelines;
  • Your kata should be deeply and sincerely performed; NO interruption should be tolerated;
  • Practice should be continual for at least one-half hour; do no stop (if you must catch your breath slow your pace and decrease the intensity of the kata, but keep active). You should strive to use your kata to enter “your inner room and close the door”;
  • After your practice, try to solve the puzzles;
  • More than one kata-problem solving session may be required to achieve success. Do not give up if your first attempt does not result in success.

Solutions to the puzzle are posted in Endnote # 5.

Conclusion:

This Kata Lab is but one of many gateways to start to explore how kata can alter your brain’s perception and empirically test same. It is intentionally submitted in general terms to stimulate your own self-exploration of kata. Realizing that that is a formidable task, I have set forth my own specific kata regime to alter perception in great detail in Kata Lab # 4270 – A Kata Riddle.

HANKO-master

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

© Copyright 2016 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

sunsu-2   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!

ENDNOTES:

1. The experiment required a subject to solve a series of mathematical puzzles. The first few puzzles required the subject to make use of the analytical areas of their brain. These puzzles were solved with relative ease. The solution to the next series of puzzles required the subject to use the creative area of their brains. These puzzles presented difficulty, which, more often than not, resulted in the puzzles being unsolved. Dr. Snyder then stimulated the brain’s creative areas with electrical impulses and the subjects were able to solve the puzzles.

2. My theory is codified in a philosophy I call Jiriki Kata-Do (“JK-D”). For those unfamiliar with the term, JK-D is my dynamic-philosophy of using kata to attain well-being from within oneself. Well-being in this context is physical, spiritual (state-of-mind, emotions and psyche) and environmental (how your environment interacts with you and vice-versa). To understand the manner in which I conceived of Jiriki Kata-Do from the practice of Goshin-Do Karate-Do, please feel free to read the following article: https://senseijohn.me/2011/10/02/jiriki-kata-do-an-epiphenomenon-of-goshin-do-karate/

3. You are wholeheartedly encouraged to read Dr. Newberg’s experiments, findings and conclusions contained in his book: Newberg, Andrew, M.D., D’Aquill, Eugene, M.D., Ph.D. And Rause, Vince, Why God Won’t Go Away: Brain Science & The Biology Of Belief (Ballantine Book, New York, NY 2001).

4. “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men.” . . . “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray. . .” Matthew 6:5-6 (Emphasis added).

5. Solutions to the Puzzles:

puzzle-1          puzzle-2

puzzle-3          puzzle-4

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 # 1150: Kata – Makiwara – Kata

23 Mar

“A pond which is not fed by a fresh stream becomes stagnant and will die and so will an ardent karate-ka continually modify their art.” —- Chosin Chibana

KATA LAB

Kata Lab: Kata with makiwara or heavy bag

Background:
Too often kata is viewed as either an individual pursuit limited to performing the kata or one requiring a partner (bunkai practice). The purpose of this Kata Lab is to introduce you to the idea that you can begin to expand your kata practice and bunkai (analysis) by yourself, without a partner, beyond the scope of the kata itself.

Experimental analysis (Recommended Reader Experimentation):

Select a favorite kata that you are very familiar with and can perform technically well. Practice the kata using the following procedures:

procedure # 1 (full kata-heavy bag):
Perform the kata with the appropriate speed and power with a state-of-mind that you are in a real fight; (at the end of your kata, you must have “survived” the fight);
Immediately after the kata, use either a makiwara or heavy bag (practice only basic technique – simple reverse punches, front kicks and the like) full speed and power,
Immediately after that, perform your kata slowly, paying attention to executing the movements;
during the kata performance, recall how your body felt as you hit the heavy bag – what your knuckles or ball of the foot felt like, what the bag itself felt like as you impacted it, how your stance felt at the moment of impact and the like;
try to recall this feeling into your future kata practice.

procedure # 2 (kata interrupted by bag, return to kata):
This will require either a partner or a self-timer. If using a timer, set the timer to ring at about halfway through your kata;
Begin your kata ;
At a random point in the kata performance, the partner calls out a command (or when the timer rings);
At that signal, interrupt your kata and practice on the makiwara or heavy bag as in procedure # 1 for about 30 to 45 seconds
After the time limit stop the makiwara or heavy bag work, remain where you are and in whatever direction they are facing;
Then return to performing your kata, but you must begin at the point where you left off and finish the kata;
Advanced version: during the time you are striking the heavy bag, use strikes, kicks and combinations from the kata itself.

I have filmed the following brief video to illustrate the concept of kata interrupted. The video was filmed at the spectacular Lower Salt River, Arizona.

Conclusion:
The above procedure will help you begin to expand your kata practice beyond the scope of the kata itself. This will enable you to advance to more difficult procedures both without the need of a training partner and with a partner when one is available.

Please remember, the mandate of the kata laboratory is

lab-collage-6

Respectfully submitted,

HANKO-master

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/

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 combining martial arts protocol with fishing http://flyfishingdojo.com

and

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

2014 Is Over ” . . . That’s OK”

29 Dec

Its been quite a while since I posted a group Online Kata session. Here is one of my favorites; a New Year’s Day cyber group kata session. For those unfamiliar with my “Thats’ OK” (Online Kata), I have provided a descriptive link in endnote # 1.

A few very important notes:

First – A new idea: you do not need to know a kata to join in the session!
If you are a martial artist but do not know or use kata, then perform the basic technique of your discipline. For example, if you are an MMA fighter, then shadow box.

Second – Remember, the group concept is fulfilled not by our being physically together at one location, but rather, by each person participating simultaneously as described in the session parameters;

Third – Share your experience in the comment section. I would like to hear about your experience. If you have an idea for a session, let me know. I would like your feedback, ideas and suggestions. With greater participation, this can grow via social media, a new Facebook page, twitter, et cetera. But, that cannot happen with you – this is not my session (I will practice anyway) this is our session to share a common experience globally through the internet.

 

With the above in mind, I present the “2014 is over . . .“That’s OK” (Online Kata) Session.

Session Parameters:
Date: New Year’s Day, 2015;
Time: Sunrise (okay, if you partied hard New Year’s Eve then as soon after you wake up as possible);
Location: preferably outdoors, in nature facing the rising sun.
Salient Points:
Look, its New Year’s Day so I’m not going to be overly heavy with concepts, how about we simply all look forward to the coming year, its good, bad, ugly and beauty, challenges and rewards and yeah even a few hardships along the way; but, damn it to Hell, thats LIFE, so lets LIVE it!
Kata Sommelier: Normally, I would suggest a kata for my karate-do colleagues. For this session, please choose your own kata. I would ask that you comment or e-mail and let me know the kata you chose AND why you chose that kata as the first of the New Year.

The last requirement of this “. . . That’s OK” session is to remain in a positive physical, emotional and mental state throughout the day by way of the concept of “Zanshin” (the “remaining mind.” For information on the Zanshin state-of-mind, please use this LINK:
https://senseijohn.me/2014/02/23/zanshin-remaining-mind-shibumi-project/

Once again, you may wish to not only perform this “. . . That’s OK” session as scheduled, but may also revisit the session as a regular part of your kata practice.

invincible summer  Be ready to have a great 2015. In closing I remain excited about what I have to share on this blog and my videos on my FlyFishing Dojo you-tube channel,

HANKO-wood

Sensei John Szmitkowski

If you enjoy this That’s Ok session, please help support this blog by visiting our store:

Come visit my store on CafePress! all items have a minimal mark-up of only $ 0.75 to $ 1.00 over base prices!

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

ENDNOTES:
1. Here is a link to my first submission in the “. . . That’s OK” (Online Kata) category. https://senseijohn.me/2014/01/19/thats-ok-it-speaks-for-itself/
To practice sessions that were previously published, please view the category in the side-tab.

KATA LAB  For a refreshing and innovative discourse on kata and bunkai, please feel free to visit Sensei John’s Kata Laboratory and “THINK * SWEAT * EXPERIMENT” using this convenient link: https://senseijohn.me/category/kata-laboratory/

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

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