Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A principle behind the Isshinryu Seiunchin Augmented Block


The more you look at something the more opportunity you have to learn.

 From the time Mr. Lewis used to drill us in Seiunchin kata, for a exhibition we were doing, this kata became speciat to me. From the mid 80s when I began my own study into kata application potential, and the uses of Seiunchin was one of the places I started.

 Now it is time for a George Dillman story. I was familiar with George from many tournaments he held in Penna. When I lived there. I recall when he met Oyata, and trained with him. About the time I moved away started reading stories in the magazines that he broke from him and now was doing his own ‘tuite’ and similar stuff. In 87 I had a chance to train at a clinic he was holding in Manchester, NH near my home. It was different. For hours he explained what he knew with many stories. While his histories by my recollection were perhaps flawed, I didn’t take notes and won’t get into them at this time. Most notable was he did show nothing for hours, just talked.

Then he turned to me and said “Aren’t you Smith from Pennsylvania, and you do Isshinryu?” I was unaware he remembered me. In my Pa. days I was a non-entity in Dillman circles. I replied ‘Yes”.  He then asked me to show how Isshinryu uses the reinforced block of Seiunchin kata, I imagine as The Isshinryu I experienced and knew did not do much with kata application studies in those days.

 Well it turned out this section was one of my studies. He had someone attack me with a Right lunge punch. I angled in at 45 degrees to the right, parried with the augmented block. My hands separated and the right hand hooked over the attacking wrist; while this was happening my left forearm pressed into the attackers biceps tendon; and then the attacker bent over from the pressure. I continued at that point to backfist into their face. My answer on how to use that section of the kata.

 George then went on with his lecture and didn’t address me further that day.

 Several hours later I had to leave, not seeing him perform anything. So the clinic brought me no closer to understanding what he had. I decided to purchase his video on Seiunchin to see what he had. Simply I have a vastly different understanding what kata and bunkai should be in karate. I later gave that tape away.

 The point is not the application given, for there are many answers starting at the block’s deflection.

 But beginning at that point to try and understand why the left hand augments the right block. The augmented block is not just reinforcing the right block for power, pressing hard. Actually too much power can be a hindrance to use the applications potentials.

 When the left hand touches the right forearm it draws the left side of your body forward. Increasing your body alignment, and increasing the power of the technique allowing the left hand mobility for other uses. Just a light touch has the same effect. This is an example of a force multiplier coming from superior alignment of the body.

 The same effect manifests itself whenever you touch the other arm in applying a technique.

 1.       When you reach forth in aikido drill #2 to adhere and pass along the attacker’s arm, you can use your left hand to touch the right forearm as a force enhancer which makes the right deflection safer for the beginner.

  2.       In Kusanku kata where the lead hand is extended, the reciprocal hand is placed back on the bodies centerline as the same force enhancer. The same effect is found in the Kusanku Sai Kata.

  3.       Likewise the kamae within Wansu Kata uses the same force enhancer principal.

These are but several examples found in the kata.

A similar effect can be used as a counter for grabs. Where a slight shift of a hand undergoing a wrist lock, to the side, makes it very difficult for the lock to continue. (All locking techniques require exacting alignment to work).Even a slight touch to the hand or even the arm attacked, disrupts the attacker. Even a finger tip brush alongside the arm.  By that touch the alignment of the body strengthens.

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