Sunday, May 13, 2018

Let's start at the very beginning

Let's start at the very beginning
A very good place to start
When you read you begin with A-B-C
When you sing you begin with do-re-mi

So goes the song from ‘The Sound of Music’.


It is surprising how that is good advice about everything.


Back on the night I began my Isshinryu studies in Salisbury Maryland in Mr. Lewis’ dojo. After group warm-up and stretching, the three of us who began than night were given into the care of three green belts. And the first thing they taught us were the versions of Chart I and Chart II, hanging on the wall.


I do not remember much more about that night, but I sure remember that, for a long time working out before class I worked on those chart techniques.


And the first one was

Right Foot Forward into Seisan Stance
then Right Lead Hand Punch.

Kensho Tokumura demonstrating the first movement from Chart I


The second night I was shown the beginning movements for kata Seisan.

We know the first kata Shimabuku Tatsuo learn was Seisan.
His choice to start kata did not veer from that tradition.

 But I believe we should take a look at the drills he created for his art.

For sure the movements came from the kata of his system.

But that initial movement is most interesting.

Boxing has it’s jab, and that is logically the point to begin with why it was chosen first. When you need to strike, strike first with your closest tool.

I do remember that was what was explained to me.

What I didn’t realize the movement was in kata Chinto.

Which I would not learn for quite some time.


Here Tom Lewis demonstrates those strikes from Chinto kata.


It is interesting that those basic strikes on Chart I.
The only place they are found that was is in the kata Chinto.

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