Thursday, September 3, 2015

Seiunchin - SunNuSu Kata application


I never did believe that I would be involved with the study of martial arts as I age. I didn’t start karate study to do this. I just wanted to do karate.


In those days training was kihon (mostly on your own), technique drills, kata (close to 50%), kumite (the other 50%) and some applications. Dealing with pain just an occupational requirement.


Then along the way, I met a few people, and studied a few things, and tried to remember them. The more I learned, the less I knew .In time what I came to understand karate was changed. Charlie told me that would happen, “ Vic, the first 20 years your art is your Sensei’s, after 20 years your art is your’s.” That’s about the way it went.


My art is ground in my teacher’s art, however it is ground in each of them, they all shared lessons I can’ forget. Tom, Dennis, Al, Marvin, Reese, Charles and many others. Then Ernest, Tris, Carl, to Sherman, to John and more than I can name any longer, Yet all those lessons linger.


I rarely can watch more than a few minutes of Sherman, though many are at my fingertips, too painful to recall his passing. But when I see, hear and watch John Kerker I hear Sherman’s lessons, and every time learn more about what he shared. Of course John has his own voice and it speaks clearly to me too.

As much as I got from Sherman I am very aware of what I did not receive. We focused more on some kata than others. More on the more advances ones. Less often on Seisan or Seiuchin. So the other day at random I picked up a clip of John talking about SunNuSu kata


The opening section was one Shimabuku Tatsuo took from Kyan Patsai from his studies with Kyan.


In his discussion of the applications he moves on to how the same movement is found in’ the archers block’ from Seienchin Kata.


Two years ago I first saw this application when Charles and I went to Springfield. I was astounded by it. I am sure John was schooled in this many times by Sherman. But it was new for me, and not in my records.


Here are some videos I made of the technique that day.


However as in many of our studies, it is difficult to sustain in depth training. For one thing my disabilities can make it difficult. But this is outstanding.

More so it also offers something very unique. It allows me to work on a hypothesis I have had for some time.


Okinawa is not a large place. Most of the population centers which we know are almost on top of each other. From many sources there may not be as much difference between the various source arts as many believe.

When I think on Kyan’s Shorin ryu (tomari te in origin) with it’s Patsai kata, it does not occur to me that the same flow of techniques are found in Miyagi’s Goju( Naha te in origin) Seiunchin Kata. But as John shows, it is.

Clearly there is greater resemblance in the tools of the various systems than most imagine.


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