Although I am much less today, and no longer instructing anyone but myself, I have not turned off my thought process.
As it was I was watching another video of Oyata Seryu Sensti presenting a clinic. One where he would simultaneously strike someone with his kick and his hand technique, with precision, and put them down. Later last night it got me thinking.
“Slowly he turned, Step by step, Inch by inch…..” as the old vaudeville routing went.
It is natural to see kata in pieces, what the hands are doing taking precedence, because that is what the eyes first notice.
So we use the hand movements, mix in several force multipliers such as makiwara training, striking with the ridge of the fore knuckles, and correct breathing, and we have an application that works.
And the idea of applications which are shown arises.
But of course there are many ways the kata can be practiced. Such as stepping forward with a straight step or using the crescent step, and even variables like that present different application potentials.
Though human nature is that having a working explanation for a movement, we tend to stop there.
What finally registered was how Oyata Sensei was striking with his foot the same time he was striking with his hand. And of course this is just simple Isshinryu kata execution after all.
But to take advantage of it you have to look at the total execution of the kata movement, not just what the hands are doing.
As I have only done Seisan kata with the Crescent stepping movement, that is where I will start.
And this involves nothing I have not known for a long time, just that I never addressed it this way before.
Now at the beginning of the 2nd row of Seisan kata, you have turned 18- degrees to the rear and both hands have swept down to your sides. Thus you are standing open inviting an attacker to attack.
Take the next motion where you :
1. Begin to take the compression of the crescent step by moving forward with your right foot in alongside your left foot. This movement is a compression for the movement the use of the crescent step represents, and it is about 2/3s of the time of the crescent step. At the end the foot slices into the lead leg of the attacker with the inside of the foot, causing sharp pain.
2. As that is occurring your left open hand sweeps oven the attacker’s right strike and then flows down moving the attacking limb of the attacker down.
This motion generates a downward force to make the attackers balance begin to move downward, following the descent of the arm.
3. The right foot then continues to step out for the last 1/3 of the motion from the step of the kata. This is explosive in its nature.
4. As the step concludes the right open hand sweeps upward and becomes an ascending palm strike into the abdominal wall. So as their body is descending the upward force of the ascending palm strike generates a rising force moving inward and upward with their body.
As I see it those convergent forces, forward, downward and upward all explode within the attackers body.
5. Then in continuation the right open hand can sweep up to strike as an outward ridge hand into their neck. Another force inward toward the neck center.
6. Finally that right hand concluded by turning itself over to become a descending palm strike into their neck. Then the force is a descending shock toward the force of the rising force from the abdominal strike.
This is but one example, there are many other ways the crescent step can be used to also step and press down the foot, or perhaps a cutting sweep behind the lead leg (and what works for the lead leg can also be applied to the attacker’s rear leg too.)
This use of the stepping foot is then a force enhancer to strike with pain when unexpected. Making steps 1-4 alone enough to disrupt an attack, and steps 4 and 5 icing on the cake, so to speak.
There are then a whole rash of possibilities, I have but documented one.