Friday, February 9, 2018

The thought occurred to me the best place to begin was with some understanding of the principles of application

First I am not right, but this is how I arrived attempting to understand how an application of amy movement (defined by me as to what a movement was). Logic became my point of starting.


Coming from a paradigm for Isshinryu, where there were virtually no kata application study in it, and it was a successful way to study Isshinryu, proven over many years.


Without an instructor to guide me, I worked out an underlying principle about how an application could work, which everything I later experience, and I never  discovered a better way to express what an application should be,


I called it the Unlocking Principle for me. Basically it stated that for any movement a block/strike could have a strike following and whichever combination was used resulted in a downing of the opponent (explosive striking, locking or takedown).


Several other Principles I worked from.


1.  Kata I’m defining as a relatively fixed tool (hey I’m polite) develop certain energy potential, and application potential tries to use as much of that energy as possible, as exactly as possible, for greatest results.


2.  A technique application may be Offensive in nature, Defensive in nature, or Counter Offensive. But as in combat all plans are thrown aside when the enemy is joined (borrowed that line of course from many movies – last seen in Tom Cruise’s Last Samuari) My definitions of course are just an arbitrary analysis of potential.


Offensive – when I choose to use a sequence to directly attack the opponent (frequently from the side or the rear).


Defensive – They strike first and I defend against their attack to stop it.


Counter-Offensive – They’ve attacked and I survive and counter-attack. The simplest answer is I’ve been stuck in their grab and yank and I respond.


3.  The manner of Stepping is not defined by the kata.

The concept of application potential does not follow 100% kata technique, but allows a bit of warp to consider all the techniques potential. Most times I start with identical stepping as in the kata, but at times when I find the shape of an attack does not make it harmonious I’ll step differently. Principles behind those choices will come at that time.


4.  The manner of Stepping is either Straight or Curved.  Now there’s a line that should be included in the Code of Karate, IMO  I must be clear I’m a solid crescent step guy. That’s how I was trained to execute the system, it’s how I teach the system (getting very heavy on my students (advanced too) cases when they don’t use it), and I believe it represents one of my core values behind Isshinryu energy development.


But being a rational individual I fully understand very similar power potential (perhaps the same) exists with the straight style of stepping. It’s just not what I do and if I go into my normal chant on stepping execution, feel free to tune me out. Course I’m right <Grin>


5.  Behind the crescent step. There are many types of energy development in our body all of which combine in our execution. What I really like about the crescent step is how we pull our lower body into our centerline and then can explode from that centerline into our opponent, increasing the energy of our strike.

The specific timing I strive for is 2/3rds of the step is drawing into the centerline and 1/3rd of the step to explode out.


There are subsidiary benefits, such as allowing you to change your mind ½ the way in your step and back up from the centerline using replacement stepping, if the opponents coming in faster than you wish. (thanks to Rich Kordel for suggesting that to me years ago).  So you get to compress some of your energy and explode it into your attacker, combining with the other energies from your body.


6.  Description Shorthand

I tend to use a short hand I developed long ago to write less.

RFF = Right Foot Forward

LFF = Left Foot Forward

RFB = Right Foot Back

LFB = Left Foot Back

RP = Right Punch

LP = Left Punch

And so forth.


Even other principles followed:


Murphy's law as: "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong".


Finagle's Law of Dynamic Negatives Anything that can go wrong, will—at the worst possible moment often restated as “Murphy was an optimist!”


Other principles I worked up;



And still more principles I discovered, ones used by Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming in his 2nd Book on Advanced Tai Chi, back in1986.


Avery movement can be used 3 possible ways (restated perhaps from my memory.

1. Every movement can be used as a cavity strike (a strike potential into the opponent)

2. Every movement can be used to lock an opponent ( as Chinna)

3. Every movement can be used to take down an opponent (takedown)


I have seen other Chinese styles later restate these principles, breaking some further down into sub categories.


As I was working out these principles I was also experiencing many other ways of study, perhaps re-expressed as paradigms of application. Each was different from each other in different ways, Yet they were also extremely effective.



One view I developed.



 An example where I used some of the above principles.


Other thoughts:




So that was where my starting point originated.


All of which came before I worked out my own answer. And there was more.


Yet that is something for another day.


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