Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Use of Kata Technique - Section II

The key to understanding kata application potential lies in understanding the underlying principles and force multipliers involved in those applications. Here are a few that I use.
This is not a complete list.

The Principles behind applying Seisan Kata’s Opening Section

1. Kata Technique Application Analysis

The Opening of Seisan Kata – version Bushi No Te Isshinryu

Steps of the first row forward as a description of the movement.

0. Rei and step to open

0.1. Attention

0.2. Rei

0.3. Hide Right Hand behind Left hand and Close Down

0.4. Cross Arms right arm on top

0.5. Right Foot Step to Right

0.6. Double descending block

1. LFF into left front stance

1.1. Cross Hands right hand on top and left hand underneath

1.2. Left Side Block with Right Side Chamber

1.3. Right Reverse Punch with Left Side Chamber

2. RFF into right front stance

2.1. Left Reverse Punch with right Side Chamber

3. LFF into left front stance

3.1 Right Reverse Punch with Left Side Chamber

4. Pull the right hand ½ way back to chamber

4.1 Left foot steps forward and the back foot slides forward with it to form LFF Seisan stance

4.2 Double Rising High Blocks

The definition of a kata technique is not restricted by anything except for your training or your instructor. A kata movement for application can be defined in any manner.

Using the above Seisan listing the opening technique may be defined many ways:

1 to 1.1

1 to 1.2

1 to 1.3

1 to 2

1 to 2.1

1 to 3

1 to 3.1

Though there are other possibilities beginning with the opening rei, those choices are outside of this discussion.

2. Crossing Hands

Tactical use of crossing the hands before a blocking technique.

3. Interior Line of Defense/Exterior Line of Defense

Exterior Line of Defense – you move outside of the attack

Interior Line of Defense – you move inside of the attack

4. Range of attacks – striking and accompanying movement

Lead strikes

Reverse strikes

Uppercut strikes

1-2 strikes

Boxing striking


Grabbing attacks

Grab and strike attacks

Grab and kick attacks

Tackling Attacks

5. Replacement Stepping

Executing the Crescent step when the moving leg moves alongside the other leg it then stops and the other leg steps away, leaving you in the desired LFF Front Stance, but you’ve moved away from the attacker. One use is to respond to a faster attack than expected. Another use is to shift away from the centerline of the attack, placing you outside of the attacker’s focus and at an optimal angle for return counter attack.

6. Chambering/Slicing Hand

Use of the chambering hand to 1) grab and pull the attacker forward 2) a slicing attack to the attacker 3) a slicing block against the attacker’s other striking arm in a 1-2 attack 4) protection to the lower abdominal area from attack 5) a rear elbow strike

7. 20 Degree Shift

The optimal angle to enter an attack.
Side Slipping

Replacement Stepping

8. Nature of the Outside Block

Side Block/Parry

Side Block/Suck

Side Block/Press

Side Strike

Side Descending Elbow

9. Method of Striking

Vertical reverse flat strike

Vertical reverse knuckle strike

10. Where to Strike
Interior Line of Defense against a Right Strike
  Opponents Solar Plexus
  Opponents Face
  Opponents Left External Oblique
Exterior Line of Defense against a Left Strike
  Opponents lower side below the ribs
  Opponents side ribs
  Opponents head below the ear
  Opponents thigh, striking directly into the bone.

11. Angle of Striking

11 o’clock

12 o’clock

01 o’clock

12. Speed of technique execution - Exactly the same as performing the kata.

13. Control of the “O” – the point to attack an attacking limb

14. Principle of Fractal Analysis

Fractal analysis is a term I borrowed from a BaGua-zhang discussion that I like because I feel it really describes what Harrill Sensei was doing. Fractals are a mathematical study where you bore down into smaller components of a process, and then deeper still, still yielding new study.

15. The Unlocking Principle

In its simplest statement, look at a technique from a right attack, from a left attack, while turning, or from rear entry. The technique in the kata, is not limited to what appears before you as for its application potential.

16. Performing the kata without stepping as if your back is against the wall.

Use of the Annaku pivot

The Force Multipliers behind applying Seisan Kata’s Opening Section

1. Makiwara

Decades of correct striking practice to forge the fist to deliver knockdown power with each strike.

2. Technique additions Depending on the situation, there are often other endings that provide great effect too. There are no rules in application potential that say you cannot use the application to its fullness and then add something on for greater effect, obtaining synergy from the combination of techniques.

Cross kick to disrupt inward stepping

3. Crescent Stepping

Energy Compression and Explosive Release

4. Knee Release

A component of movement is also used to help the center drop in coordination of technique for increased power.

5. Exhalation Breathing/Inhalation Breathing

Pairing the correct breathing with technique execution. i.e. inhale with sucking blocks and exhale with pressing blocks.

6. Jing Do Striking (Short Range Striking in ‘blocking’)

Side blocks roll into forward palm strikes

7. Technique additions

Shiroma Shimpan – Genwa Nakasone’s ‘Karate Do Taikan’ 1938

Side blocks roll into lead hand head strikes

Rising Thumb Strike

Reverse punch shift into rising thumb strikes

Multiple Striking

Reverse punch shifts into backfist strikes

Layered Striking

Reverse punch shifts into vertical palm strike

8. Striking Areas

Solar Plexus



Shoulder Tip


Inside Hip

9. Take the Next Step

Continue the technique into the following stepping movement of the kata. Essentially a sweeping takedown.

10. Stepping

Stepping as Stomp

Stepping as Kick

Stepping as Sweep

10. Grabbing inherent in blocking technique and inherent in blocking

Grabbing limbs

Grabbing throat

Grabbing wrists

Grabbing clothing

11. Body Alignment Mechanics

Use of correct body alignment to increase all technique effectiveness.

1 comment:

Charles James said...

Hi, Sensei: What would really help in posts like this is if you could add in say youtube clips to demonstrate some of what your saying.

Really cool if you did :-)