Friday, November 3, 2017

Time to use a bit of Fun

A very long time ago back when I was beginning to explore how Isshinryu kata technique could be applied to an attack, I explored many things.
I worked several tracks in those studies.
1.  I was taking the first movement from Seisan Kata and seeing how many ways I could apply it, against a wide variety of attacks.
2. The other approach I used was to take movements from many forms, movements I did not think of as having martial uses, and see what I could do with them.
I would give them names and then look at different  ways from other kata to address those needs.
To have more fun I gave the movements new names.

The hammerfist strike study from Saifa became ‘The Eagle Swoops Down’.
The pullback became ‘The Snake Retreats’.
The ghost technique became ‘The Ghost Departs’.
The brush knee became ‘The Bear wipes it’s Claws’
The fair lady works shuttles became ‘The Bear wipes it’s Nose’.

There were many others, now found in some manual as this was prior to pc availability
3. One of my explorations was open ended, that of a minimalist system. The idea to determining what was the fewest techniques a system could have to conclude any attack.
 Logically one, any one movement, might be the perfect minimalist system.
Then as fortune would have it, I was going to do a presentation at a mixed style summer camp.
They were not Isshinryu stylists, except for my own students, so I decided to have some fun. I was going to create a mimalist system of 4 ½ moves.  I worked out the applications and even created a form for those movements, called
”the Son of the Magnetic Monster” (from Frank Zappa).
I had a lot of fun with that clinic,
The next year I gave it again, adding a few more movements.
And the form now became “the Son of the Magnetic Monster II”
And I even had a manual.
At the second clinic there was a young Marine there from one of the participating schools. When I demonstrated the use of one movement after which they practiced it. Then the Marine , who was 6’6” of vim and viniger, stated it would not work on him. The techmique was Da Lu from Tai Chi. I was challenged before everyone. So I asked him to attack me, As I stood waiting. When he stepped forward with the punch, I slipt to the outside and grasped his arm with Da Lu reinforcing his forward movement.  Then I continued forward with the lead hand. Moving forward into a fingertip strike into his neck, hard.  He went recoiling back and ended seated on the floor. I then told him “If you remember When teaching the technique I called the movement The Snake Retreats, and also showed you that snakes bite.
As we move forward, it is quite necessary
 to keep ourselves focused on the mission,
and to also keep a sense of humor alive.
The handbook for  “The Son of the Magnetic Monster II” can be found at

This is Seyru Oyata using a similar movement in a demonstration.



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