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Victor
24th September 2002, 01:22
Antonio asks the question,

ďSo, what about the folks who claim to know 50, 60 and even up to 100 forms? Even for the die-hard kata afficionados, I see no need to try and learn so many forms and I believe it is a waste of precious time to do so. Especially when there are other important aspects of training that demand attention.Ē

Which of course raises the point, one personís honey is another personís poison.

Some systems use kata (or forms), some donít. As far as I see it nobody is so definitive in their reason either side that the opposing point of view really listens. Likewise I see that individuals who use Kata in their training who are successful and there are those who donít use kata at all who are likewise successful.

Styles of arts do follow trends, and what is trendy today may be outmoded thinking to the commonality in 20 years, from a point of view. But your guess is as good as mine what those trends will be. And there will always be those who donít pay attention to the common herd either.

So, what I propose is a discussion, solely on how many Kata are enough? If you disbelieve Kataís worth, that is entirely a different discussion and feel free to start that thread yourself.

By discussing Kata Iím specifically referring to the Okinawan and Japanese arts derived from Okinawan arts. Or even the Chinese (and other) arts which may have or did (depending on your point of view) influenced the development of the Okinawan arts. I consider the Japanese systems which developed an equal partner, for the original instructors were Okinawanís, too.

From my vantage point, most of the Traditional to Modern systems (1900-1960 or so) were developed from individuals who trained with a number of instructors. On occasion they kept to one instructors teachings, other times they incorporated all of all of their instructors teachings, or some of the same.

These range in systems such as Ueichi-Ryu which traditionally had three forms (with 5 additional forms developed in the modern era), Shorin systems with differing numbers of forms, Gojuís development of 8 empty hand kata, Isshinryuís 8 empty hand kata, up to Shotokanís original 15 or eventual +25, and Shito Ryuís development of at least 50 kata.

In addition there are those karate systems which have included kobudo in their training syllabus, expanding the number of kata involved.

This is a very high level analysis on the issue. Reference to works like John Sells ĎUnanteí, among other works can provide more accurate details. E-Budo members Like Harry Cook are literally experts in the development of Shotokan and may choose to offer greater insight into their development.

But it is safe to say there was no clear consensus as to what the Ďrightí answer of how many kata, should be.

And even when there was an answer, such as Funakoshi Ginchinís offering of 15 kata in his ďKarate-Do KoyhanĒ, he was still involved in his systems further development of additional forms, too.

In the traditional groups, if you were/are/or will be a student, it rarely is a question of choice. You do what your instructor tells you. Or you donít.

From what Iíve read, students moved between instructors on Okinawa, similar to today. There were likely many reasons, but disagreement with the course curriculum is as likely a reason as many others.

With so much diversity at Karateís source of development, how many are enough is likely a very old discussion, and each individual who became an instructor made their own peace with that issue.

It is safe to say the number of forms doesnít make a systems worth. But it is also safe to say the number of forms doesnít detract from a systems capabilities either.

Kata served many different needs. A textbook of technique (where there were no textbooks), a tool to increase a students capabilities, and an efficient means of developing fighting skills.

But consider many may have studied more than their system contained. Likewise individuals such as Mabuni, trying his best to incorporate the entire Okinawan experience in his system, found an answer from changing ideas an modifying kata to instead creating his own kata with those ideas he developed.

Or consider that Taira Shinken may have known over 200 weapons forms, as well as created many of his own. Nobody claims that he passed along his entire knowledge, but he did create several strong lines of students in Okinawa and Japan from what he did teach.

Other instructors with fewer forms had reputations of changing their forms as time passed. And if the form has many different versions, a case can be made that each is a different kata, regardless of the shared root.

In fact Okinawaís kata development often seems to be flowering from shared roots. Consider the 16 or so documented Okinawan Passai Kata, and other kata can make the same claims. Is each different or not?

Is the answer they were giants in those days, and we must not try to walk in their shoes?

There is no simple answer. Today information is shared where once it was held close. Instructors open their doors to outsiders, freely. Books, and video tapes also offer new information sources.

To most persuasively answer the question, it seems that those who have trained in dozens of forms may have pertinent thoughts.

Now look towards the Chinese systems. Iíve seen accounts of the forms being taught at the Shaolin Temple which were in such number that nobody could learn but a fraction of them. Many of the systems which arose from Shaolin origins, often have more than 100 forms in their curriculum. And in those traditions the forms are considerably longer than their Okinawan counterpart kata.

But China with its hundreds of martial traditions, runs the entire range from those systems with vast numbers of forms, to those with just three, or even those with none.

At the same time, the structure of those studies varies very different from those of Okinawa. For example, the student moves through forms, and doesnít return to them. The forms containing basics arenít practiced for life, as the basics are repeated over and over in the more advanced forms when you move to them. A very different set of circumstances than those of Okinawa where they spend a lifetime working on the same few forms. In fact in those systems it may be only those who are certified instructors know the entire system. [The source of this came from a friend in Northern Eagle Claw (Faan Tzi Ying Jow Pai) with considerable training in many other Northern styles.]

So out of whatever set of circumstances there are individuals who do know considerable number of kata or forms.

Sometimes by design, where the individual sought out such instruction. Sometimes by moving as work dictated and training in the available systems. Sometimes by friends sharing their training, in the days that Traditional Okinawan systems in the USA only did kata, and if you were training with them as a black belt, you were expected to remember whatever they shared with you. And in time the numbers accumulated.

If you can learn 50 or 100 kata, you do. And if you canít you donít.

Actually as many of the Okinawan kata share a similar vocabulary of technique, itís often not as difficult as it sounds. Perhaps you learn 3 different Seisan kata, 3 Kusanku Kata, 2 Chinto Kata, and so forth. Eventually you grasp their differences and only periodic practice keeps them fresh in your memory. So 30 may roll into 90 without great difficulty. In such cases one might then concentrate on the very advanced forms (complexity and length).

Likely there are schools who have 70 kata workouts, but I donít see that as the goal of such knowledge.

There are those who are into research into the structure and nature of the Okinawan arts. For them vast kata studies offer great vistas of the different systems.

Then there are those who are Senior Instructors, and wish to create individual curricula for their advanced students. Not to teach out their knowledge, but to build as strong a system of training for that individual as possible. They understand different forms develop different energy and techniques. Then large pools of forms give them choices that not having those forms at hand doesnít offer.

There are those who wish to develop their students core system to understand how to counter the trends of different schools of training. (Similar to football teams watching game films, or a prize fighter observing the opponents previous fights on film.) By teaching the students forms from those traditions, they can work on directly countering those systems tendencies. Which of course is just a tool for other studies.

While any finite number of kata have innumerable applications within them, likewise any finite number of kata have a finite number of techniques. Having a vast pool of other kata on tap allows you to explore other movement potential not in the core system.

Then thereís keeping things fresh for a lifetime. With a vast pool of kata, you can periodically have students (or even the instructor for that matter) throw out kata and replace them with new ones. This forces the advancing student to work harder, keep learning and aware, and keep their kata alive. Not just running through the same old kata just one more time.

And of course you may be doing so simply cause Sensei said to do so.

This is not meant to be as total defense for deep kata study. I can make just as sound a case that its not necessary and that I can find everything in Sanchin kata to take apart the rest too.

But I believe its not a matter of what is the right answer. Its just a case of what the answer is for you.

If you can you do, and you donít need anybody elseís justification for your actions.

If you donít, you donít. If your practices fulfill you then fine.

As for myself, I trained many different places, and nobody ever cared about my other studies, only about what they were teaching me.

They also made a point that ĎYou have a Black Belt around your waist. If youíre wearing that, you donít have the right to say you canít do something.í

So good or bad, right or wrong I studied whatever I was presented.

I guess Iíve learn close to 200 kata, forms or whatever, but of course Iíve only been training 28 years. Can I run all of them? No, nor do I wish to try. But I can pull most of them up from memory if not in training, or from my notes. And use them to do all of the above.

[BTW among my senior instructors one of them runs about 60-80 forms in his traditions, another has studied multiple hundreds in the Chinese traditions, and yet another, just using the 8 Isshinryu empty hand kata does thousands of applications from those eight forms. I very strongly consider myself a very junior student to their abilities at every level.]

Do I teach them all? No. My core curricula including Isshinryu is about 40 kata, but also in addition I teach the Yang 108 Tai Chi Chaun form and am a student of the Wu Tai Chi Chaun form, for their martial benefits.

BTW, my advanced classes are much more than kata studies. Instead we focus far deeper into the application potential of kata technique and other involved two person drills in various arts.

But as I said, there are those who do, and there are those who donít.

Sincerely,

Victor Smith
Bushi No Te Isshinryu

Bustillo, A.
24th September 2002, 10:59
Victor,

Good idea starting a separate thread on this topic.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I understand it was not so much that Gichin Funakoshi believed in trying to learn a long list of katas but there were several reasons why he chose to introduce so many forms to Japan.

Having a familiarity with a myriad of forms is one thing, yet claiming to 'know' 60 or more...I doubt it.
Whether it is Kata or individual techniques, practicing, learning and making a few good ones 'yours' should be more important.

Victor
24th September 2002, 12:18
Hi Antonio,

Regardling Funakoshi Sensei's, and the JKA's reasons, I'd have to actually dig through Harry Cooks vast and great work on the development of Shotokan. All I can recall at this time is they did increase the number of forms.

I do seem to recall reading that perhaps it was influcenced by Mabuni Sensei's development of Shito-ryu, too.

I agree with you, excellence in execution is the goal, and it is impossible to do so simultaneously in multiple 10's of forms.

But there is no reason you can't switch from form to form either as time passes. My own black belt group have been with me 15+ years, and as time passes have had many form studies, but on a weekly basis, we tend to focus on a very few of them at any time. And I tend to direct different students towards different forms studies.

On the other hand, one's capabilities are often greater than we wish.

My friend Ernest Rothrock, underwent the Master Instructor testing in Northern Eagle Claw. A part of the test required a very high level execution, with no mistakes or hesitation to remember their forms for a random selection of 25 out of 50 of their curricula (which totally nears 100 forms).

For three years he spent the better part of his time focusing on those 50 forms, and the length of some of them is so incredible it's difficult to compare to the Okinawan/Japanese arts at all. Then as fate had it he first drew Lin Kuen or 50 rows of technique, their longest form (roughly the equivalent of the entire Okinawan kata curricula IMVHO).

He did succeed that and the rest, but afterwards for several days really couldn't talk because of the mental drain the preparation and test had taken on him.

Of coruse he went through exceptional effort and training to do so, and anyone not putting forth the same effort could not reasonably hope to make similar efforts.

I would accpet it is possible, but I would also accpet there are very few who would pay such a price, epsecially as Kata or forms are still only a piece of the training potnetial to address.

I do look forward to others opinions, on this. This concept is one area which defines our differing arts.

Victor Smith
Bushi No Te Isshinryu

Bustillo, A.
24th September 2002, 13:02
Victor,

You mentioned Mr. cook's book, excellent reference.
However I think you misunderstood me and perhaps it was my fault for not making it clear. When I mentioned G. Funakoshi and his reasons for introducing so many forms to Japan, I meant pre-JKA days. For the most part, Okinawan instructors emphasized that only a few forms were necessary. And, perhaps Funakoshi thought along the same lines.

I'll let others and Mr. Cook expand on that issue.


Thanks

Sochin
24th September 2002, 15:23
For the most part, I don't think kata really teaches fighting technique, they teach artistic movement grace, agility and body control for the expression of relaxed hitting power. They contain fighting techniques as a reminder of them and some hint as to how to use them but fighting is so fluid and unpredictable, kata can't really teach it.

Therefore, one kata is as good as another to learn the expressions of power and movement germane to the style you are practicing. From this pov, learning a new kata can keep the training fresh, the mind involved and your expression of the style updated.

All kata are good, so there is no limit on learning them!

In my years of training since 1972 I've learned over 60 kata, but many of them were "repeats" of other kata. Sometimes the changes had an interesting move so I switched to the new one, sometimes not. I did not however, try to learn all 80 some kata available to me to become a walking kata encyclopedia as some of my peers did.

Right now I can go out on the floor and perform correctly and with some modicum of focus just over 50 kata...well some of the newer ones might be a little shaky, :(

CEB
24th September 2002, 18:18
Originally posted by Victor
Antonio asks the question,

...

But consider many may have studied more than their system contained. Likewise individuals such as Mabuni, trying his best to incorporate the entire Okinawan experience in his system, found an answer from changing ideas an modifying kata to instead creating his own kata with those ideas he developed.

...

Sincerely,

Victor Smith
Bushi No Te Isshinryu

I was working out with a Goju older brother one weekend. My friend has been working Goju well over 30 now but there was a period that he lived in Chicago and worked Shito Ryu under John Nanay. My friend was showing me the Shito Ryu version of Nepai, I believe it is called Nipaipo. I told him "I don't know about Shito Ryu any system with 40 or 50 kata is to much a load for me. I have hard enough time trying to master the 14 I have in my school." He told me that the purpose of all the kata was not so that the practicioner would have to learn all of them. He told me that Mabuni desired to catalogue all the forms so they would not be lost. Shito Ryu was to be like this giant library where practicioners could check what books they wanted to study from. If you wanted to learn Nepai it was there if you wanted to learned Paisai it was there if you wanted to study Suparinpei it was there. Perhaps Rob or some other Shito Ryu practicioners will comment.

Zoyashi
24th September 2002, 21:38
In my honest opinion...
Zero.
The best fighters in the world (MMA's) don't learn any, and anyone who thinks they aren't the best is either dreaming or applying much wishful thinking.
Now, of course, that's not Karate, so if the question is "How many kata should one learn to be proficient in their style of karate?" The answer to that will depend from style to style and sensei to sensei. Personally, I think 4-6 is a good number, although this is fewer than most styles have. This is because of the principles of redundancy. the first five Heian/Pinan are all chunks of Kusanku, so once you've learned Kusanku you should probably focus on that instead of doing Pinan 1-5. I found that four or five kata drilled regularly and broken down into bunkai was more useful than running through all 18 forms I learned. Now, some people just love kata, and I say for them, the more the merrier, as long as they realize he limitations of kata training.

Josh Gepner.

Goju Man
24th September 2002, 22:13
In my honest opinion...
Zero.
The best fighters in the world (MMA's) don't learn any, and anyone who thinks they aren't the best is either dreaming or applying much wishful thinking.
Well said Josh. I myself learned about twenty. There are some good self defense techniques but we all know them without necessarily doing kata.

For the most part, I don't think kata really teaches fighting technique, they teach artistic movement grace, agility and body control for the expression of relaxed hitting power. They contain fighting techniques as a reminder of them and some hint as to how to use them but fighting is so fluid and unpredictable, kata can't really teach it.
I respect that Ted, but didn't you say that your fighting proficiency came about from strictly kata training? I thought I read that recently. But everytime the kata argument comes along, well you know.;)
I personally think that it's very difficult to learn sixty, eighty or so completely different kata. Maybe different versions of the same kata, ok, but eighty different kata? I don't think you can master any of them. Furthermore, if you're doing hojo undo, bunkai and kumite, I don't know where you would find the time to learn and/or train eighty kata. When I would run through my kata routine, which consisted of about twelve to fifteen, (depending if I did the taikyokus) it would take quite a while and much sweat to run through them and do hojo undo.

Ron Rompen
24th September 2002, 23:52
'If, by the time you reach Shodan, you know one kata well, then you have succeeded' (source forgotten)

I currently 'know' about a dozen karate kata's, but cannot in honesty say that I know any of them 'well', although it is slowly but surely coming to me.

I would settle for knowing Seiunchin (sp) well, and never learning any more, but thats (at this time) just an artistic ideal...I think that it is one of the most visually attractive Goju katas that I have ever seen (at least when it's performed by someone other than me!)

Rob Alvelais
25th September 2002, 01:40
Originally posted by CEB


I was working out with a Goju older brother one weekend. My friend has been working Goju well over 30 now but there was a period that he lived in Chicago and worked Shito Ryu under John Nanay.


John's a Shorin Ryu practitioner, and a good one too! He does run some shito ryu kata though, and is pretty good at them, I must say!



He told me that the purpose of all the kata was not so that the practicioner would have to learn all of them. He told me that Mabuni desired to catalogue all the forms so they would not be lost. Shito Ryu was to be like this giant library where practicioners could check what books they wanted to study from. If you wanted to learn Nepai it was there if you wanted to learned Paisai it was there if you wanted to study Suparinpei it was there. Perhaps Rob or some other Shito Ryu practicioners will comment.

You said it quite well. That's my understanding. Mr. Mabuni was a sort of archivist and preservationist. The style isn't a synthesis of Higaonna and Itosu's methods, but it strives to preserve them intact within the system. The Higaonna kei kata of shito ryu are to be performed differently than the Itosu kei kata. The Higaonna kei should emphasize breathing, circular movement, dynamic tension, etc. while the Itosu kei kata should have a much lighter feel to them. So, while we have all of the different kata, the performance of them doesn't reflect a "blend", but strives to preserve them independently.



Rob

Bustillo, A.
25th September 2002, 07:37
I trained katas for years. Yet, I realized it was over-rated and not necessary to learn self-defense. Therefore, I chose to dedicate my time and effort on other drills and aspects of training.

Even so, for those members of the 60+ kata club...where do you find the time?

Solo kata training.
Let's use a rough estimate and take 30 katas. Granted you don't do all the forms every session. Nevertheless, things don't add up.

Let's just say it takes approximately two minutes to go through each form, catch your breath, pause and reset for the next. Running through 30 forms in one training session, 1 hour.--It will probably take longer--- That is one hour dedicated to going through 30 individual katas one time each. To maintain a reasonable level of proficiency takes more than going through each form one time per session.

Many folks believe kata has many benefits. Perhaps.
However, it neither improve timing, power nor your reflexes and you don't experince any type of contact. You need other drills to balance the training if you are concerned about being well-roundeded.

That leaves how much time for the following; heavy bag work, partner drills, pad work, sparring, endurance exercises, weight training, makiwara, conditioning, body toughening and so on.

So, even if you believe in kata training, I say trying to learn so many is counterproductive.

Do the math.

Harry Cook
25th September 2002, 10:59
The desire to increase the number of kata almost certainly finds its origin in Itosu who collected kata from a number of sources and created some new ones. This trend was continued by his students Gichin Funakoshi and Kenwa Mabuni. A similar process was at work in Okinawan weapons where Moden Yabiku and his follower Shinken Taira collected kata, training methods etc from a wide variety of sources to create a kind of standardised Okinawan kobu-jutsu.
In the case of those Okinawans who took karate to Japan this process may have been unconsciously or perhaps consciously influenced by the growth of judo and kendo. Both methods essentially evolved by fusing elements from a number of classical ryu with some ideas taken from western sporting and military methods. Gichin Funakoshi almost certainly wanted to do for karate what Kano had done for ju-jutsu, hence the need to make use of kata which represented different streams of Okinawan karate.
The question was asked how many kata are needed. Of course we must ask ďneeded for what?í. If the purpose is simply to teach basic techniques then a single kata such as Kankudai should be enough. A logical approach would be to teach the 5 Heians/Pinans as intermediate steps, then teach Kankudai as a kind of summary of the techniques.
However if the intent is to teach something more than kihon or exercise more kata are required. Hector mentioned on another topic (ďChambersĒ) that stimulating the imagination is critical to develop effective skill. Learning and analysing more kata is an effective way to stimulate a studentís imagination. The number of kata depends on the personality of the student. A convergent thinker probably requires less than a divergent thinker. Of course at the end of the day the kata are presenting a relatively small amount of information, but by varying how that material is presented the studentís imagination can be stimulated in many ways. Please note that I am not advocating acquiring kata simply as a collector - the kata must serve as a base for further investigation, the development of which is structured by ideas such as riai. Antonio mentioned the importance of partner drills, conditioning/body toughening etc. For myself it is the kata that provide the data to structure these drills, and I regard this kind of training as part of kata, ie. in the same way that the traditional Japanese ryu used short two-man kata to learn, develop and improve their skills with lethal edged (and other) weapons. I also think you need to do a lot of training actually hitting things such as pads, bags, makiwara etc. This is kihon for black belts if you like, and lifting heavy objects to develop strength so that when you apply the locks, throws and takedowns found in the kata you will be able to inflict pain on the recipient of your attentions. Again I see this as part of kata training.
Yours,
Harry Cook
Yours,
Harry Cook
Yours,
Harry Cook

Victor
25th September 2002, 12:27
Hi Antonio,

Several quick comments.

"for those members of the 60+ kata club...where do you find the time?"

There are different answers for this. A professional instuctor who studies hundredsd of Chinese forms, actually spends several hours daily running different kata groupings for each day of the week.

There are some schools who concentrate on 30+ kata workouts.

For myself, I have a different answer. Kata learning focuses on one kata at a time, but kata maintenance is a different activity. If one does know the kata, periodic light practice to keep it fresh in the mind is often enough and rotating focus on individual kata or groups of kata to keep high level skill fresh is sufficent. Then rotating the current kata focus, keeps you alive in execution and always working to develop technique higher. As a great deal of kata technique is redundant from form to form, practicing several kata, are also re-inforcing those on light schdules.


"Many folks believe kata has many benefits. Perhaps. However, it neither improve timing, power nor your reflexes and you don't experince any type of contact. You need other drills to balance the training if you are concerned about being well-roundeded. "

I agree with the need for additional drills, and do see choice of kata in training a tool for focus of study activities as well as simple practice.

I don't agree that kata can't improve timing, power or reflexes. It just depends on what one considers kata practice.

I don't see kata as do this and that's that.

Kata can be very alive, with timing changes across the kata or in individual sections. Power is as much a function of technique as it is shere muscle mass. Improving your technique execution improves the power transmisson capability. Kata can be integral in doing this, if you approach kata from that perspective. Likewise kata can enhance reflex ability if timing execution chagnes are approached realistically.

I don't maintain kata are absoultely necessry, or the only tool involved, but they are a tool and if you explore their potential, they can offer many choices.

The issue of kata, does reside in choices of inidvidual schools.

Victor Smith
Bushi No Te Isshinryu

Michael Clarke
25th September 2002, 13:33
Hi All,
Like Harry said, "Needed for what?"
I think a few people on this thread see kata as just some exersise done over and over again in thin air, but that is only one way to train kata when you don't have a training partner, or something to work with like a heavy bag etc...

Someone said the goal of kata is to do them well without mistakes, and yet someone else said they don't teach how to fight.
I've yet to see any system that can teach a person how to fight, and I'd add that if you have to be taught it, you are not likely to be that good at it.

Miyagi Chojun sensei (goju-ryu) only taught his students sanchin and then one (maybe two) other kata. The other kata he taught depended on the students build and temperament, health etc... there was no advanced kata and beginners kata. It was only after WW2 that he began to teach all the kata to his students, and this was said to be because he feared the system might die out if he didn't. At the time he died there were no more than a handfull of students in Okinawa, so it was not an unreasonable fear.

The kata need to be studied ,not just practised, in order to understand the meanings in them. They are the rosetta (sp) stone of karate and sure,if you don't have the ability to see into the form they are in deed nothing more than pretty patterns.

People would do well to remember that there is no such thing as advanced karate technique, only people who have advanced abilities. Likewise there is no such thing as basic karate either, only people with a basic understanding of what it is their doing.

I asked Kanazawa sensei from shotokan how come there are more kata in that system now than the 15 Funakoshi sensei taught? He said he wasn't sure but maybe it was because people wanted to look good and so started doing 'new' kata? Not much of a reason to do kata if you ask me.

Just before I take off and leave you all to it, I'm never sure why those who advocate training in karate without studying bother to train in karate at all? If fighting is all you want, why not just go and fight?

Just asking.

Peace and love,

Mike Clarke.

Sochin
25th September 2002, 15:15
Goju Man wrote:

I respect that Ted, but didn't you say that your fighting proficiency came about from strictly kata training? I thought I read that recently.

Well, I really meant it did not come from sparring! A sparring match for me was the guy moving toward me, scoring a point, doing it twice or three times and I go sit down for the rest of the night. This lasted for 5 years or so. I was stiff and unaware of what my body was really doing.

But I was also drilling like crazy, we did walking drills and standing drills for hours as well as kata. At the end of 6-7 years I could still not spar well but my job moved me into dealing with angry and aggressive criminally inclined teens who I had to manage physically on a daily basis. I never got hit or kicked (avoided or blocked every one), I got bit once, I never hit anyone (but I kicked the wind out of one who scared me too much) so I used arm bars etc and weight control / off balancing.

So I contend that kata, not sparring, helped me to move into a fighting expression of my karate, but I must admit I can't deny the drilling must have had its part.

The main point was the give and take of sparring, the moving in and out, the looking for and taking advantage of openings all left me behind but the approach kata takes, look at your probelm, turn towards it, move in and overwhelm it, all were what I needed when some 185 lb teen started to throw his desk around the room at the other kids.

hector gomez
25th September 2002, 15:36
My friends,

I did not know that karate owns all the major principles & theories of self defense tactics.I agree that I might be on the wrong forum but the last time I checked this was not kata.com but a karate forum and I believe that word means a lot of things to alot of different people.

Example, just look at the largest viewing karate tournament in the world the K1,the promoter insist on using the word karate(I believe it is modified muaythai)you go figure.

The High education of study of self defense is also not exclusive to kata(there is many ways to study) as I have witnessed many practicioners that have not seeked out the proper knowledge on how to hit the bags,mitts and pads properly,IMO their research & studies have been minimal in this area to say the least.

Hector Gomez

Rob Alvelais
25th September 2002, 16:15
Originally posted by Bustillo, A.
I trained katas for years. Yet, I realized it was over-rated and not necessary to learn self-defense. Therefore, I chose to dedicate my time and effort on other drills and aspects of training.

Even so, for those members of the 60+ kata club...where do you find the time?


As Victor alluded to, maintenance of something requires less effort and time than the acquisition of that skill. So, one needn't have all 60 or whatever number at tip top polished world championship form. What I do is to try to specialize in a couple that I really like, and maintain the others. So, if I work a couple extensively, and just run through , the others, periodically, I can remember them all and perform them all as well. Of course, if I'm going to be giving a seminar on one of the ones that I'm not specializing on, then I do need to work on it more, to polish it up for presentation. Not so mysterious, or time consuming eh?




Many folks believe kata has many benefits. Perhaps.
However, it neither improve timing, power nor your reflexes and you don't experince any type of contact. You need other drills to balance the training if you are concerned about being well-roundeded.

Absolutely! But, Kata helps me to organize many of the drills. As Harry said, part of Kata practice is not just the endless (and sometimes mindless) repetition of the form, but partner drills derived from the concepts contained within the kata. Arm bars, self defense maneuvers, etc derived from the kata's movements.

Most instructors do some sort of self defense training, against some common types of attacks (swinging punches, grabs, shoves, etc). Many, many of those that I've seen in my travels correspond to applications that can be derived from my kata. So, here again, kata helps organize the "Self Defense" sort of training, for me.





So, even if you believe in kata training, I say trying to learn so many is counterproductive.

Do the math.

That's only if your goals are my goals, and that isn't always the case. For example, were I to be training for a NHB competition, I'd radically change my personal training regimin. If my student body were to be training for a kumite competition or a NHB competition, I'd drop the kata altogether. I'd try to make the training specific to the demands of the event that I'm preparing for. When I was competing on the USA Karate Team, I minimized the amount of time spent on kata and maximized the time spent on kumite related training, conditioning, etc.

The other thing to consider is that the only people who "need" to know so many kata are those of us who are trying to preserve and pass on the style. Really, that's just a few of us nutcases in the Shihan Ranks. I know of no one, say, who requires 60 odd kata for their black belts. It's only those who are not just running dojo, but whose responsibilities go beyond the dojo and affect the organization and will be preserving and passing on the system. So, IMO, considering that, it's not so unreasonable.

While perhaps not your cup of tea, we have to acknowledge that archivists and preservationists are important (at least as important imo as the radicals and innovators) in Martial Arts. I think it is a tragedy for a body of knowledge to pass away into the ether. YMMV(wouldn't it be cool to see true Taekyon; I mean, just to see it?)

Rob

Bustillo, A.
25th September 2002, 17:14
Different opinions yet good imput all the way around by Ed, victor, Mr. Cook, Zoyashi, Rob, Hector, Manny & Sochin.

Thanks.

For the most part, when someone claims to 'know 'something that means they can apply their knowledge. 80 katas? I don't see how anyone can honestly claim to know and apply all the so-called hidden secrets of 80 forms. That they can run the sequences and explain what they are doing, that is different and good for them. Yet, I doubt they can really apply most of that when it counts. Therefore, how much do they really know?

For example, I've practiced judo and 'some' grappling; I can pull some of the moves off. However, as a drill I can execute some of the moves better than others and explain it well enough to teach another person how it is suppose to work. Yet, I am not so presumptuous to think I really know it, or as they say, "that certain techniques are really mine".


Even so, while realizing the limitations of collecting kata's, Rob brings a good point about preserving and passing on an old art. If that is the objective, I can't argue with that.


However....The following needs some explaining.
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Michael Clarke
[B]Hi All,
I've yet to see any system that can teach a person how to fight, and I'd add that if you have to be taught it, you are not likely to be that good at it.

A.B. responds.
Who, what, where and how did anyone come up with that conclusion?
The martial arts are based on learning self-defense. Most of the folks posting their opinions on this thread are instructors. Among other things, last I Iheard, martial arts instructors teach self-defense and methods of fighting.

Walt Harms
25th September 2002, 17:29
A very interesting thread, MHO is that there are to many kata being taught. However some ryu have a handle on that problem. Uechi ryu I believe has only 5 until recently only 4. The Wado people have kept it at 15. To learn a few kata 7 or so, to study those hard and to completely? understand them could take a lifetime. Choki Motobu, if I remeber the folklore, really only practiced Naifanchi (tekki JP, chulgi Ko). I still can not do Naifanchi well. My point is that unless you just study kata as performance art . to realy understand the kata, the bunkai and the dynamics is extremely difficult. Who was it that stated, "everything is in Pinan"?

Walt Harms .. I know what I am trying to say.

Rob Alvelais
25th September 2002, 18:54
Originally posted by Bustillo, A.


For the most part, when someone claims to 'know 'something that means they can apply their knowledge. 80 katas? I don't see how anyone can honestly claim to know and apply all the so-called hidden secrets of 80 forms. That they can run the sequences and explain what they are doing, that is different and good for them. Yet, I doubt they can really apply most of that when it counts. Therefore, how much do they really know?

For example, I've practiced judo and 'some' grappling; I can pull some of the moves off. However, as a drill I can execute some of the moves better than others and explain it well enough to teach another person how it is suppose to work. Yet, I am not so presumptuous to think I really know it, or as they say, "that certain techniques are really mine".





Antonio, excellent analogy, thanks!

Really, the acquisition of a bunch of kata is much like learning the entire kodokan syllabus. How many can apply every technique in the syllabus at a high level? Really now, even with the top Judo competitors, only rely on a relatively few techniques in the syllabus for their arsenal. So, do these people not know the other techniques? Clearly they do, it's that they've attained a level of "Mastery" and reliability on a smaller subset of techniques.

In a similar manner, people can know many kata, however "Mastery" of any number of kata is a completely different matter. Clearly, I haven't "mastered" many (or even any :( ) kata, but I know a ton and can perform a bunch of them. But, to get to the point of knowing and applying all of the secret, mysterious, and hidden techniques contained within them is a completely different thing.

Rob

hector gomez
25th September 2002, 19:14
Thanks Antoino,

I started thinking I was loosing my mind there for a moment and your reply snapped reality back into my life,thanks again.

Hector Gomez

PS.That's why they call him kahuna.

Sochin
25th September 2002, 22:48
If I needed to teach my son how to fight in three weeks because he was going to jail, I wouldn't teach him a kata.

But if he came to me asking for help because he felt so bad because he got frustrated easily and had a bad temper or that he just knew he would never get anywhere because he was lazy and a procrastinator,

THEN I would teach im kata, fully and properly. The value of kata is not in the teqhniques or the self defense but in the mind: "The true value of karate is not found in victory but in the character growth of the participants." Funakosi Gichen

How do you use kata to battle bad habits and character defects? Ahh, it is not a secret but it is a mystery...

Tatsu
25th September 2002, 23:59
Originally posted by Zoyashi
In my honest opinion...
Zero.
The best fighters in the world (MMA's) don't learn any, and anyone who thinks they aren't the best is either dreaming or applying much wishful thinking.

Josh Gepner.

You know all the best fighters in the WORLD? Sport or real life? I don't know every person in the world, so I could never make a sweeping statement like that. I guess some people do and can. MMAs is martial sport and a misnomer. Most pro athletes who concentrate 100% of their time to ring sport can whoop arse, but can you say that they are the best at self preservation? I dunno.

Goju Man
26th September 2002, 00:38
Most pro athletes who concentrate 100% of their time to ring sport can whoop arse, but can you say that they are the best at self preservation? I dunno.
Well Bryan, I would put my money on them against ANY kata afficionado you would like, known or otherwise.:D
Ted, an analysis of your history. The fighters you were fighting against were better at that, no biggie, happens to us all. However, do you ever think that all of your fighting with faster, superior fighters just made you that much better? I don't think that those troubled youths would be better than any of those fighters. So then the point I've always made is if you train for the better fighter, the better you'll be against an untrained one. So when karateka say I'm training for the guy on the street, your training would probably not be as good as the guy who's training for the fighter. If you can fight a fighter, you should do very well against the untrained, right?;)

Victor
26th September 2002, 01:45
I never cease to be astonished how everyone can take a topic and turn it into a statement about any point of view.

Trying to discuss "How Many Kata Are Enough?" and your guess is better than mine how many different threads are rolling around.

For example where does the concept of Mastering Kata come from? I'd really like to know. Except for reading it in magazines, I don't think I've ever heard any instructor I've trained with ever say we're trying to Master anything?

Does it mean, getting to perfect performance? If so what is the standard? Some time to run the kata set in the 1920's or some time set by a tournament supervisory board today, determining the 'perfect' time for a kata's performance.

In his quite amazing book, Okazaki (sp? sorry my book isn't nearby) discussed how kata performance times have shortened over the years.

If there is any truth to this, then what does mastery mean? Doing Chinto in 1 1/4 minutes (a la 1920's) or in 55 seconds (a la today) [standard disclaimer, this is just a theoritical example.]

Now using kata, which is what I do, is an entirely different concept from Mastery.

There are different ways to time a kata, or define the internal technique sequences. Use the movements to inspire differing applications, after all to stop an attacker, its a technique, perhaps one drilled through kata and application study that will do so.

I know of Chinese and Japanese practitioners who only use their form technique for their sparring practice. Of course for the Chinese stylist, they don't have hidden locks and throws as well as strikes and kicks. Their forms do all of that on the surface. I've been fortunate to study a little bit of that and take the time to include it in our studies too.

But kata and forms are just technique. Todays fighters still use techniques, and with very little effort anything being used can be found within any number of kata.

I strongly believe the real value to kata lies in its use for energy development, and application isn't just technique, but the transmission medium to move the energy from practice to actuality.

No magic, just lots of hard work.

Having a few kata or dozens and dozens still the same thing.

Using large number of kata, for the instructor, simply provides ranges of choices for lesson topics. But instructor in the old sense, of spending a long, long time learning your craft.

Making the application analysis and drills alive enough to stop anybody is a very large challenge. And thats no different for any art.

Perhaps the topic should be modified to, "How Many Kata are appropriate for an Instructor to utilize?"

Victor Smith
Bushi No Te Isshinryu

Goju Man
26th September 2002, 10:57
Victor, the thing is that a kata can mean one thing to someone and something else to another. I can understand the preservation of a style, passing it down and all that but sixty or even eighty kata, how many styles are you trying to preserve? And further, eighty kata,
how much true understanding and mastery of any can you have? The Masters used to say that it took a lifetime of study to master a kata. Well, what about eighty??I also read someplace that Chinese styles used to have hidden applications in their forms to hide them from rival schools. At any rate, I personally don't see how so much time can be dedicated to mastery when having to learn or perform so many forms along with all the other training involved.

Michael Clarke
26th September 2002, 13:35
Hi Antonio,

What I was getting at is this. The martial arts teach methods and techniques, but that's not fighting. Real fighting is an attitude, an attitude that knows no fair play, rules etc.
Traditional martial arts, and even sports like boxing, all have rules that people for the most part follow.
This is why I said that I don't know a system that can teach, or does teach, such a mentality. If you know of one I'd like to hear of it.

I came to Karate from jail 28 years ago (G.B.H. A.B.H and wounding). So I know what real fighting is, and it's nothing like even the hardest sparring done in a dojo.

I guess I was trying to say; it's not the dog in the fight, but the fight in the dog.

Regardless, if a person wants to learn to fight, they need to fight for real, no rules. If they want to learn to better themsleves through honest struggle then MA's are great.

Part of that struggle is the de-coding of information from kata. It's a job that can often take a life time.

Hope that gives you an answer?

All the best,
Mike Clarke.

Sochin
26th September 2002, 14:51
Mike sed:


What I was getting at is this. The martial arts teach methods and techniques, but that's not fighting. Real fighting is an attitude, an attitude that knows no fair play, rules etc.
Traditional martial arts, and even sports like boxing, all have rules that people for the most part follow.
This is why I said that I don't know a system that can teach, or does teach, such a mentality. If you know of one I'd like to hear of it.

and I can only agree.

But I found that I could express the proper attitude (hidden, inside) better in kata than in sparring...using kata to re-program my attitude was what it was about for me.

Then I found the WWII attitude of cqc and woah, that rocks! Teaching technique will not teach attitude but having the technique may allow the attitude to surface when needed even thru fear.

Then again, from another pov, I learned most of my kata well after the probablity of getting into another fight was over...I chose a kata club to give me something to do with the karate I love as I got older.

Goju Man
26th September 2002, 22:24
What I was getting at is this. The martial arts teach methods and techniques, but that's not fighting. Real fighting is an attitude, an attitude that knows no fair play, rules etc.
Michael, I agree in part. I don't beleive that that's always the case.
I don't think that attitude can be better developed doing kata than in the ring. I've seen really good kata guys buckle when the first leather smack lands. You can develope an attitude doing kata all you want but the imaginary opponents aren't touching you. You're always the victor there as where you won't always be the victor in the ring. Sure they have rules, but you are more likely to learn attitude from swapping leather than throwing techniques in the air to no one. So mma and nhb have rules, yes they do. However, all those guys have this: technique, experience and attitude under fire, real fire, not imaginary. They are much more likely to win the "real" fight than a guy fighting an imaginary opponent. You can imagine you're fighting someone like Bob Sapp all you want doing kata, I gaurantee a slightly different scenario in real life.

Victor
27th September 2002, 01:34
Hi Manny,

"I can understand the preservation of a style, passing it down and all that but sixty or even eighty kata, how many styles are you trying to preserve?"

If you don't mind I'll try responding in my own case. I don't believe I'm preserving a style. I have studied a whole mess of kata, but I don't expect any of my students will make an effort to even learn but a piece of them.

They represent personal challenges made to me by many different instructors. I have a core system my students study. The remainder form challenges for them to find ways to counter specific techniques from other systems, or they form new challenges in learning to keep their studies fresh.

I'm not trying to preserve my studies. Instead I'm working on developing each students potential, and I have a large pool of technique to draw from. If much of my own studies don't pass beyond me, that's fine.

"And further, eighty kata, how much true understanding and mastery of any can you have? The Masters used to say that it took a lifetime of study to master a kata. Well, what about eighty??"

Again, except for reading that, nobody who ever trained me ever discussed mastering anything. We just studied and train, as I do with my own students.

Frankly, there isn't a great deal of difference between the various kata. They mostly share the same technique pool, just vary sequence, pattern and timing. If you develop good performance in say 10 or 12 forms, and have knowledge of another 20 or 30, it is rather simple to take one and brush it up to a good level of performance.

Now everybody has different capabilities, but eventually I got the nack to get the basics of most forms in an hour or so. The real work isn't learning moves, but understanding the underlying nature of the energy work invovled.

I find at different times I'm better in some and less better in others, then time changes and I change with it.

As an instructor, it does give be a wide pool of kata to customize an advanced students development (after 5 to 8 years of training). Then I can help them find kata which push their indivdidual capabilites further.

"I also read someplace that Chinese styles used to have hidden applications in their forms to hide them from rival schools. At any rate, I personally don't see how so much time can be dedicated to mastery when having to learn or perform so many forms along with all the other training involved."

With thousands of systems, there have to be a great variety of ways the Chinese systems are taught. My greatest familiarity lies in a series of Northern Shaolin system, taught by my friend and instructor.

The magnitude of his forms (which are only a part of his training) is so vast, all okinawan kata are a drop in the bucket in comparison.

In the Northern Eagle Claw system he's spent 30 years of hard study to learn the entire system. Where as my not teaching much of my studies doesn't affect the development of my students, in his case as he may be almost the only individual to get the entire Northern Eagle Claw system, en total, it is likely that nobody will rise to the same challenge. After all who today is willing to spend 30 or so years studying such a complex body of knowledge.

The fact that he, and others in the Chinese sytems, do undertake such challenges, simply underscores some will go that way.

And in his case, forms are only a part of the vast study. The two person sets, and the weapons (which I personally believe assist in grip development) are only the forerunner into Eagle Claw sparring, with any technique in the system allowed, and a round is never finished until one of the individuals is locked.

While I (and the various instructors I've trained with) do believe in the value of kata as a component of good martial arts.

I just as strongly believe, good martial arts can be done without kata. Simply different strokes.....

And by the way, I don't believe anyone ever has fought with kata, instead they fight with techniques they sell (and succeed) or techniques they don't sell (and lose). The study of kata is a different thing than applying techniques. They can be related with work, but one does not necessarily mean the other, either.

What a vast world we deal with.

Victor Smith
Bushi No Te Isshinryu

knotwell
27th September 2002, 05:44
As a midget in a field of giants, but I'd like to thank everyone who has contributed to this discussion.

Without a doubt, threads like this is why I visit e-budo.

Again, gracias to all!

Michael Clarke
27th September 2002, 06:05
I think I might not have made my point very well;)

What I was trying to say was fighting is about attitude (not knowledge of techniques), and kata is about something else.
I don't feel myself I could learn to have "Attitude" through kata training alone, but maybe this is possible for other people?

I don't fight anymore (in the street) though with what I know now I think I would be a more dangerous fighter than I use to be if I did.
However, the years of kata training , and dojo training in general, have given me a attitude that now stops me fighting.

So, Although the original question was, "How many kata is enough?"
Like Harry Cook said, "Enough for what?"
I think we all need a clear understanding about why we go to the dojo (or wherever!) and what it is we think we're doing there?

I would say if it's only kata, then it's not learning to fight, and if it's only fighting we're not learning to live.

Group Hug:p

Mike Clarke.

Bustillo, A.
27th September 2002, 07:21
Micheal C.

Thanks for ecplaining.

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Michael Clarke
[B]
I don't fight anymore (in the street).. though with what I know now I think I would be a more dangerous fighter than I use to be if I did.

A.B.
You 'think' so, perhaps. It is great to be confident of your skills. However, you don't fight, anymore, on the street, so no real test. Speculation? Assuming?
I've eaten delicious meals in fancy restaurants. I buy groceries. I have all the ingredients and spices to cook elaborate dishes. I study nutrition and diets. Yet, I have only cooked a few 'certain' types of meals. On occasion, I've seen professionals at work, Martha Stewart and the Iron Chef. And, I've experienced the heat in the kitchen while other people cook.
'...with what I know, I think I can cook a five course meal.'

M. Clarke-
I would say if it's only kata, then it's not learning to fight, and if it's only fighting we're not learning to live.

A.B.-
I don't beleieve anyone is claimiming that it is only one or the other. Like you said, it depends on the objective of training. Attitudes can be changed and the mind-set can be forged into developing tough mental fortitude and an indomitable spirit.

Bustillo, A.
27th September 2002, 07:55
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Michael Clarke
[B]Hi Antonio,
What I was getting at is this. The martial arts teach methods and techniques, but that's not fighting. Real fighting is an attitude, an attitude that knows no fair play, rules etc.
Traditional martial arts, and even sports like boxing, all have rules that people for the most part follow.
This is why I said that I don't know a system that can teach, or does teach, such a mentality. If you know of one I'd like to hear of it.


A.B. responds,

Among others, a top Goju man, Mr. Ken Ogawa, once told me he attributed his fighting approach and hard-core real fighting 'attitude' and mind-set to the training he recieved from his teacher, Morio Higaonna.

Michael Clarke
27th September 2002, 11:28
Hey Antonio,

Of course I have to speculate these days, I've grown up (47 years old and still kicking)and no longer want to fight in the street. But I base my "thinking" on comparing what I knew then, and what I know now about the human body and how easy it is to damage it.

As for fighting spirit etc. I knew a kid who had heaps of fighting spirit but a skinny body, so he waited for the guy he wanted to damage and came up behind him with a house brick and smashed his head in.This is a true story not something made up to prove a point.

Now if you know a school that teaches such a mentality, let me know?
I've trained with Higaonna sensei many times (I was awarded my shodan in goju-ryu from him at his Tokyo dojo), unless he's changed his approach to teaching, I can only say he wasn't teaching "hard-core" fighting attitudes when I knew him.

As far as I know, Higaonna sensei has never had a real fight in his life, so how come Ken got this attitude from him? more speculation I surpose?

Regardless, my confidence (such as it is) comes from my experience
of fighting guys in the street, at soccer matches, in pubs, in clubs, with knifes, with bottles, with dogs (not all at once of course).
and surviving life inside a maximum security prison as an eighteen year old. And all that before I ever put a gi on.

So if you can tell me of a school that will give it's students an equal education in the fistic arts, I'd be glad to hear of it.

As a final word on this thread, I still believe the study of a few kata(depending on your physique) will help a person in all sorts of ways, but on their own, I don't believe they will equip you for a real fight.

But that's just my opinion.

Peace and love,
Mike Clarke.

hector gomez
27th September 2002, 14:29
The reality of the situation is that everyone must find their own personal truth,my truth is that all the side benifits that one can attain thru kata training like,internal peace,relaxation,getting to know your body,and certain coordination skills,can also be attained thru,yoga,zen meditation and tai chi,offcourse this is just my own personal truth and I respect everyone elses reality as seen thru their own eyes.

I have now reached the 40yr old club and I have to be honest with you
I have been told ever since I was a teenager that I would eventually drift back to kata training because the body cannot fight or be that physical into late adult life,well I got news for all you old dogs out there,sure your body is not what it use to be,my body sure isn't but we can modify,I don't fight full blast all the time anymore but I still try to improvise as much as I can to set the training situation as realisticaly as I possibly can.

The martial arts is the only animal that I know of were the practicinors claim to be better prepared for combat at an older age because of this new found hypothisis they learned thru kata.

This analogy is not directed at anyone that has posted on this thread,it is an observation taken from meeting hundreds of people at different functions and gatherings and talking with various different practicioners,kata does have benifits,probably more to do with feeling real positive and good about yourself similar to a runners high or finishing a yoga class were you are totaly relaxed and know for sure that you have done something good for your soul,but let's not confuse this feeling with the realities of hands on practical self defense,this is were things start getting cloudy for some.

Real self defense is a physical act no matter how much we want to think otherwise it is what it is,the deadly techniques that were put into kata before there was ever even a kata were extracted from a real life or death situation,how could that be?how could it be possible that someone can be effective with a technique before it was ever even catologued or put into a kata sequence.?If someone can use a technique effectively before it was chronicled and filed it should tell you right then and there that good old physical combat can definitely be attained with out kata training.


Hector Gomez

PS.Not sure myself what point I was trying to make.

Bustillo, A.
27th September 2002, 16:31
Sir Michael Clarke,


[QUOTE]Originally posted by Michael Clarke
[B]Hey Antonio,

Of course I have to speculate these days, I've grown up (47 years old and still kicking)and no longer want to fight in the street. But I base my "thinking" on comparing what I knew then, and what I know now about the human body and how easy it is to damage it.

[AB.]
Due to the fact that you haven't tested your since then, self-proclaimed high level of knowledge, it remains nothing more than speculation.

[M.C.]
I've trained with Higaonna sensei many times (I was awarded my shodan in goju-ryu from him at his Tokyo dojo), unless he's changed his approach to teaching, I can only say he wasn't teaching "hard-core" fighting attitudes when I knew him. As far as I know, Higaonna sensei has never had a real fight in his life, so how come Ken got this attitude from him? more speculation I surpose?

[A.B.]
Ken Ogawa trained with Higaonna during the 1960's. Long before you entered a dojo. I'll rely on Ogawa's take on things.

[M.C.]
Regardless, my confidence (such as it is) comes from my experience
of fighting guys in the street, at soccer matches, in pubs, in clubs, with knifes, with bottles, with dogs (not all at once of course).
and surviving life inside a maximum security prison as an eighteen year old. And all that before I ever put a gi on.

[A.B.]
On another thread you boasted how you think youe are worthy to hold anybody's jock-strap.... Well excuse us...we didn't know we were dealing with the Big-Daddy Bad-Ass of Ebudo. Yet, by your own admission, you haven't had a serious real confrontation since you were eighteen or so. Don't be too surprised that, on this end, more than a few of us are a little more current and not so long ago battle tested. Therefore, even though we don't brag about holding men's sportwear lingerie, don't be too surprised that some of us have more experince.

[M.C.]
I still believe the study of a few kata(depending on your physique) will help a person in all sorts of ways, but on their own, I don't believe they will equip you for a real fight.

[A.B.]
On this point, I see it the same way. That is whu we were stating that so many katas weren't necessary.


Hector Gomez,

You mentioned getting older and training. I agree with you 100%. We may need to modify our training somewhat, yet that doesn't mean we need to do an 180 degree turn.


Thanks

Tatsu
27th September 2002, 22:58
Originally posted by Goju Man

Well Bryan, I would put my money on them against ANY kata afficionado you would like, known or otherwise.:D



Didn't you guys take logic in college? There are no absolutes, and to say you would put your money on ANY MMAs vs. ANY Traditonalist that is proficient at kata is just ridiculous. If a person is a true "afficionado" of karate then he/she would understand that training under different teachers, after a base style is established, has always been a tradition in the Rykyuan arts. Bruce Lee didn't invent crosstraining, he bit that idea from real fighters like Hohan Soken, Draeger, Bluming and "Judo" Gene Lebelle to name a few.

I know more than a few karateka, that if they were given a chance to train for months or years, 8 hrs. a day on fighting in a sport fashion, including road work, sparring (striking and grappling), bag work etc., would destroy the multitude of journeyman warriors that call themselves MMAs.

What is this "holier-than-thou-it's-all-about-competition" mentality that is such a big part of American MAs? That's totally against the traditional way of the warrior. I don't know how many great fighters from Miyamoto to Funakoshi emphasized this. I guess a lot of karate guys got upset when they witnessed all comers get demolished by someone who knew a real, effective traditional style like GJJ. They felt like all their years of BS tournament sparring got them nowhere. Now they'll never train in the toudi way, like they shoulda' been doing from jumpstreet, and will never have the evidence they need to prove to themselves that real karate is a good MA. I have always been friends with very influential and knowledgable GJJ types. They know what I know ain't no Fred Ettish Matsumura Kenpo, and that my ability as a MA is comparable to any competitors types they know.

My bro who is an Orthopedic Spine Surgeon attended a Caique seminar that I set up last year. There were some people who came down from his Houston branch to roll and help the participants. Even the purples couldn't do a damm thing to him. Their locks wouldn't work, and he just manhandled them. That's the truth. He never trained in GJJ or Judo, just rolled and learned a little from me, but their ground game just didn't convince him. He is a former college running back, but he swears that what helped him most was being in street fights when younger and the training in Shorin Ryu he has had. When asked by one of the asst. instructors "what about karate taught you how to grapple/groundfight", he replied "kata".

This sounds like bs or conceit, but it's just truth. I don't like to be a "my style is better than your style" guy, but some styles really are better than others. The Japanese karateka obviously think this because they often fail to include Okinawan Shorin or Uechi in their discussions about karate styles. If you don't pay it no mind the truth just might go away, I guess.

So all I really wanted to say was 5-10 kata should be enough. Kata is karate. Those styles claiming they teach karate with no kata are idiots. They are just kickboxers. As for the Thai Boxing fascination. Again, I grew up with real Muay Thai, buddhist disciple kids overseas, and their art wasn't the most effective fighting style I witnessed. In the ring they can be good, but with all that telegraphing it's really easy to see and counter. Shotokan and Kyokushin (which is basically Shotokan) may look like Thai Boxing, but the way they practiced and trained for years tournaments and point fighting, and their focus on disseminating karate as a world-wide enterprise, led to them to being whuped-up on by Thai boxers. They even forgot that leg kicks, knees and elbows are an integral part of Shuri and Naha te, as well as devastating hand techs (without the chamber, haha). So now instead of learning what was never taught to them they train in an art thathas nothing ore or less to offer than good traditional Okinawan karate.

If you do 50+ kata proficiently, and find some efficacy in the bunkai, more power to you. It probably won't hurt you at all. In the end many traditonalists will be 80+ years old and healthy enough to protect themselves, and NHB fad jumping bandwagoneers will be crippled and easy marks, hahaha! So check yo' neck! Just joking of course.

hector gomez
28th September 2002, 00:27
Bryan,
Boxing no big deal
Muaythai no big deal
Bjj no big deal
Wrestling no big deal
M.M.A no big deal

I must admit you "ALMOST" had me going until I realized you are either trolling or suffering from a very serious mental illnes.

Hector Gomez

Daruma
28th September 2002, 05:27
As individuals we train for different reasons, ask any group and you will get a pile of different answers. So The Question of How many Kata is enough is really a personal one for each person to decide.

How many Kata is enough for me? - 1 - the one i am training in at that time. The one where I am dripping in sweat and my muscles are aching and crying out stop I can't take it anymore and the Sempai shout do it again and I do it I know I can't do it but somehow I pull some extra strength from somewhere and do it one more time even as my eyes are burning and my body is shaking, then do it again.

Ok so there is a lot of redundancy in any systemised method, most of the Kata will have a common element or series of common elements threaded throughout them, so learning 25 or 50 Kata will result in the teaching of certain principles, each Kata will reveal a different aspect of the same principle(s). Since each style has distinct principles that are the centre of its methods the Kata will reflect this.

Kata is alive, there should be an evolution during your training your understanding and even the Kata itself should evolve. I think this stagnation that seems to be happening alot is due to many people misunderstanding the purpose of Kata and the rise of Kata in a purely aesthetic form. This mastery i seem to hear a lot about is'nt really a mastery of the Kata, its mastering yourself and then naturally the Kata will be mastered.

The question of Kata vs Modern methods is a different subject and should be addressed in another thread,

With Kata I am training myself, learning about myself, learning my limits then breaking them, learning that my mind or my body is'nt in charge but I am.

Breaking down your limitations is painful but worthwhile, every frustration and every success will teach you something.

Tatsu
28th September 2002, 05:34
Originally posted by hector gomez
Bryan,
Boxing no big deal
Muaythai no big deal
Bjj no big deal
Wrestling no big deal
M.M.A no big deal

I must admit you "ALMOST" had me going until I realized you are either trolling or suffering from a very serious mental illnes.

Hector Gomez

So now I'm a crazy troller because I can fight with the karate I've learned? If anything you and your contingent are trollers who are constantly putting down the most significant aspect of KARATE training on a friggin' karate forum- KATA!!! Are you really serious?I'm sorry you feel your karate training entailed years of wasted effort. It works for those of us who trained under someone who could fight. plus, you have to know how to kind of fight if you're ever gonna be good at fighting. Traditional or Modern.

I ain't no troll. Everything I say here ain't based on feeling. It's based on fact. My own empiricism and observation ability. You go ahead and "juice" up, journey through the MMAs, and live in your world. It ain't mine. Plus, if you're so impressed with NHB competiton why don't I see you in any of the real fights? I have a few hardcore MMA friends who fight all the time. Yeah and 2 of them are traditional MAs guys (this includes Caique). They'll tell you what I'm telling you. If you think wrestling and ground and pound is a fast and effective way to fight, let me see you use it in competition. At least train one of your disciples and enter them in a NHB event.

It won't happen, and all of the BJJ and NHB guys I know have never even heard of you. Why do you jock people you don't know? Man, your memory is short and your reading comprehension leaves something to be desired. Watch what you are fishing for before you point someone out as an angler.

Boxing is a good art, nay a science, but I went from Judo and Boxing to Shorinkan for a reason. I'm not a professional sadistic-masochistic type, and the only time I had to fight was when some unknowing fool wanted to jump bad. Not one of them ever, EVER had any skill,. So why sould i train to fight Tito Ortiz, if Tito is the rarity and not the norm? Man, what freakin' planet do you come from. All that head contact ain't good. Spar about and have a trollie week!

Tatsu
28th September 2002, 05:54
Originally posted by hector gomez
Bryan,
Boxing no big deal
Muaythai no big deal
Bjj no big deal
Wrestling no big deal
M.M.A no big deal

I must admit you "ALMOST" had me going until I realized you are either trolling or suffering from a very serious mental illnes.

Hector Gomez

So now I'm a crazy troller because I can fight with the karate I've learned? If anything you and your contingent are trollers who are constantly putting down the most significant aspect of KARATE training on a friggin' karate forum- KATA!!! Are you really serious?I'm sorry you feel your karate training entailed years of wasted effort. It works for those of us who trained under someone who could fight. Plus, you have to know how to kind of fight if you're ever gonna be good at fighting. Traditional or Modern.

I ain't no troll. Everything I say here ain't based on feeling. It's based on fact. My own empiricism and observation ability. You go ahead and "juice" up, journey through the MMAs, and live in your world. It ain't mine. Plus, if you're so impressed with NHB competiton why don't I see you in any of the real fights? I have a few hardcore MMA friends who fight all the time. Yeah and 2 of them are traditional MAs guys (this includes Caique). They'll tell you what I'm telling you. If you think wrestling and ground and pound is a fast and effective way to fight, let me see you use it in competition. At least train one of your disciples and enter them in a NHB event.

It won't happen, and all of the BJJ and NHB guys I know have never even heard of you. Why do you jock people you don't know? Man, your memory is short and your reading comprehension leaves something to be desired. Watch what you are fishing for before you point someone out as an angler.

Muay Thai is a solid, easy to learn fighting style, Have you ever seen these guys fight a real street fighter using those highly telegraphed techs? I have. The win ratio in reality was below 50 %Boxing is a good art, nay a science, but I went from Judo and Boxing to Shorinkan for a reason. I'm not a professional sadistic-masochistic type, and the only time I had to fight was when some unknowing fool wanted to jump bad. Not one of them ever, EVER had any skill. So why should I train to fight Tito Ortiz, if Tito is the rarity and not the norm? Man, what freakin' planet do you come from.


Why even post on a karate forum? All you do is dis the art that made you who you are. You may just like arguing for arguments sake. That's also another definition for a troller....


All that head contact ain't good. Spar about and have a trollie week!

hector gomez
28th September 2002, 09:00
Bryan,

What's up my brother,we have actualy been having a good intelectual disscussion here with differences of opinion with a lot of respect intbetween that is until you showed up on this thread and lost your cool.you make comments on bjj but aparently know very little of the art,go ask rorion to let you borrow the elementery gracie in action video tape that every begginner in bjj sees when they first start
training.

In that video they will express their philosophy on why traditional martial arts don't work(now this is not totally my opinion)but how can you possibly get on here and speak for them like if they represent your view,when there whole marketing campaign has been about debunking the myths that you stand for,almost all brazilian fighters train in muaythai & boxing along with bjj,you are definitley a world of contradictions.

I have a lot of traditional karate friends that read this forum who honestly would rather not get your help in their defense,mostly because your actions on here are exactly the way you portray that bad boy image of M.M.A to be,you don't help their cause one bit.

We are all entitled to our opinions without having to get personal
I respect victor,kusanku,Ed and harry cook even if I might not see eye to eye with them on certain issues,they come on here and elaborate nicely their thoughts and ideas.

I don't really see you elaborate much on anything that you believe in or even explain to us why it is that you do what you do,until then my only opinion I can possibly have on you is that your kata(and mental) training has not worked for you to control your anger as you get bent out of shape to easily when you hear opinions you might not agree with.


Hector Gomez

Goju Man
28th September 2002, 13:36
Yeah and 2 of them are traditional MAs guys (this includes Caique).
Caique? Traditional? That's all I need to know.:D

So now I'm a crazy troller because I can fight with the karate I've learned?
Well, we only have your word for that.

If anything you and your contingent are trollers who are constantly putting down the most significant aspect of KARATE training on a friggin' karate forum- KATA!!!
So is this the let's blow smoke up each others butt forum?

Man, your memory is short and your reading comprehension leaves something to be desired.
My memory is actually quite good, in spite of all the head shots I've taken. I can remember you as Shorinichi on here, with that well written departure of yours, claiming to be a Caique representative in Texas. I remember.:laugh:

I know more than a few karateka, that if they were given a chance to train for months or years, 8 hrs. a day on fighting in a sport fashion, including road work, sparring (striking and grappling), bag work etc., would destroy the multitude of journeyman warriors that call themselves MMAs.
Bryan, for a little background info for you, it may be that way for SOME now, it wasn't that way in the begining, in fact, one of the early competitors worked for Home Depot. Where were your compads then?
They know what I know ain't no Fred Ettish Matsumura Kenpo, and that my ability as a MA is comparable to any competitors types they know.
Well Bryan, my logic tells me that I would put my money on Ettish over you.
. I don't know how many great fighters from Miyamoto to Funakoshi emphasized this. I guess a lot of karate guys got upset when they witnessed all comers get demolished by someone who knew a real, effective traditional style like GJJ. They felt like all their years of BS tournament sparring got them nowhere.
Bryan, Funakoshi I don't beleive was known for his fighting. The book about you and your supposed freindship with Caique is still very vague. I e-mailed Caique once before about you, when you were Shorinichi and claiming to be his rep. and never got an answer. You'd think he might want to promote his rep. :D
I was told by someone that they thought you were probably a seventh kyu or so, I think they were rather generous.:D

Goju Man
28th September 2002, 13:44
I know more than a few karateka, that if they were given a chance to train for months or years, 8 hrs. a day on fighting in a sport fashion, including road work, sparring (striking and grappling), bag work etc., would destroy the multitude of journeyman warriors that call themselves MMAs.
What, no kata training?

Goju Man
28th September 2002, 14:07
Victor, sorry I got sidetracked. I can appreciate your experience. I personally know about twenty kata myself. I personally don't think kata is needed for combat but enjoy doing them on occasion. It is a great workout though.:D I think that Harry said it best. We must first define what our purpose is to define how many is enough. For my personal sweat routine, fourteen is good. I have also found workable techniques in them, but don't beleive that actual kata repetition is not the way to do it. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy them though.

Tatsu
29th September 2002, 08:29
Originally posted by Goju Man

Bryan, Funakoshi I don't beleive was known for his fighting. The book about you and your supposed freindship with Caique is still very vague. I e-mailed Caique once before about you, when you were Shorinichi and claiming to be his rep. and never got an answer. You'd think he might want to promote his rep. :D
I was told by someone that they thought you were probably a seventh kyu or so, I think they were rather generous.:D

Why would Caique need to talk to you about me? Who the heck are you? I WAS his rep, but first and foremost we are friends. I train with Ryron Gracie when I visit LA a couple of times a year, so being Caique's rep at this time wouldn't be fair to either party. Don't claim that you have ever pimped his thoughts on what he thinks is traditional or not. Caique doesn't put down traditional karate or judo. In fact if you read the interview they had with him in "Grappler" mag a few months back you would've read that he feels there are lots of good self-defense techs in BJJ and traditional arts like karate.

BTW, what the fruck is a 7th kyu in BJJ/GJJ? I'm definitely higher than that, hahaha! They don't use the Japanese Kyu/Dan ranking system. If I'm a white belt or a 2-stripe brown belt, really doesn't concern you. At least I know what type of ranking system they use! You don't have to believe anything I post. I'm just here to give you my take on this kata bashing that you Florida guys like to partake in. I don't mess with blowing smoke or anything else up a dude's arse. That sounds real gay to some guys, haha!

Traditional does not entail antiquated. It refers to a system passed down, usually as a family style- like GJJ, and kept effective over a significant period of time. Modernized systems haven't stood the test of time, and really only impart quick-fixes for some perceived dilemma. They tend to be simple and superficial, and usually only give the "practitoner" a journeyman's knowledge of fighting. Even traditional Asian systems like karate have adapted to the times and it is rare nowadays to find a martial artist that hasn't trained in grappling and striking (this includes western boxing).

I'm neither coming nor going as Hector likes to say. I am a divergent thinker, and I mix the modern with the classical. I won't say that one is better than the other only that some aspects of both have their merits, and some are less useful for certain situations. That's just like anything in life. Everything is an amalgamation, and similar ideas and concepts are expressed in different ways, transcending time and cultural boundaries.

BTW, kata is good in karate and judo. The number you learn won't hamper your progress as a martial artist IMHO. That's that. You do have to have rational applications for the movements, though.

Tatsu
29th September 2002, 08:49
Originally posted by hector gomez
Bryan,

What's up my brother,we have actualy been having a good intelectual disscussion here with differences of opinion with a lot of respect intbetween that is until you showed up on this thread and lost your cool.you make comments on bjj but aparently know very little of the art,go ask rorion to let you borrow the elementery gracie in action video tape that every begginner in bjj sees when they first start
training.

In that video they will express their philosophy on why traditional martial arts don't work(now this is not totally my opinion)but how can you possibly get on here and speak for them like if they represent your view,when there whole marketing campaign has been about debunking the myths that you stand for,almost all brazilian fighters train in muaythai & boxing along with bjj,you are definitley a world of contradictions.

I have a lot of traditional karate friends that read this forum who honestly would rather not get your help in their defense,mostly because your actions on here are exactly the way you portray that bad boy image of M.M.A to be,you don't help their cause one bit.

We are all entitled to our opinions without having to get personal
I respect victor,kusanku,Ed and harry cook even if I might not see eye to eye with them on certain issues,they come on here and elaborate nicely their thoughts and ideas.


Hector Gomez


First off I admit my words do sound a little harsh at times. I know that others here have an idea about what type of martial artist you are. Many have said that you are very accomplished, and your skills are to be respected. I just don't understand why someone with a traditional foundation who is a good martial artist wouldn't see the benefit that kata training and classical training in general, had for them. I do get carried away at times, so I apologize. I am young and have a long way to go.

Yeah, I know a lot of folks would disagree with my methods and my rationale for who I am, what I do and what I say. Cool. I've lived a singular life, and have different views, just like most folks. If you guys can disagree continually with the "traditionalists" about the benefits of kata training, then I have the right to express my objections to your perspectives.

The tape that you speak of that Rorion made is years old now. Regardless of the views expressed on that tape, nothing is universal. Not all traditional systems are the same, and Rorion in his vast knowledge of many things including Law and BJJ, hasn't been exposed to many good traditional systems. He's basically lived 2 different places, LA and Brazil, and neither is known as a Mecca for traditional systems. Most dojos and training halls in LA are strictly competition oriented. Commercial to the max. That is LA after all. It would only make sense that they would train in sport-oriented striking arts like thai boxing and boxing. How has this served them in competition in the long run? Has it made them proficient strikers? You could say it has (especially Rickson). They are all very good fighters, and that is all that matters in the long run, I guess.

Anyway sorry to side-track things. I should at least have more respect for Victor's thread and not hijack it with my mini-tirades. Apologies to all...

Victor
29th September 2002, 10:17
I'd just like to make a comment.

Who ever said the martial arts developed focus and control?
As I pointed out in the begining, everyone chooses to take any discussion and turn it into whatever they choose.

Now in fighting, that may be advantegous, but in discussion, that only cements that little communication takes place.

Trying to focus back on how many kata are enough, lets try a few questions.

1. How many kata do you require your kyu students to study?

In my case they learn 14 (and the youth spend 7-9 years qualifying for sho dan). For the Sho Dan examination I demand absoulte perfection in the first 6 and high level execution in the rest.

They represent:
From Isshinryu -Seisan, Seiunchin, Nihanchi, Wansu, Chinto, Kusanku, SunNuSu and Sanchin
From Shorin sources - Fkyugata Sho, Annaku
From Goju - Saifa
From Shotokan - Nijushiho
From Ersent Rothock - Lung Le Kuen (Supple Dragon)
From Bando - The hidden stick (short stick firs 1/2)

2. What kata do you offer for your Sho Dan studies?

I teach Isshinryu's - Tokomeno No Kon (bo)
Bando - The hidden stick (short stick compelte form)
Tai Tong Long (N.Mantis) - Sip Jau Jing (Slip in and Hit)
Tjimande - Matzan Tildur

3. Where to you go from there?

After Sho-dan I like to begin with either Wandan or Tomari Rohai, simply because they are used by drilling forms during my advanced classes, in large part for their technique selections.

All other study is directed by the students interests. Often in kobudo.

And of course none of these studies are ever at the expense of contining development of Isshinryu. They represent continuing additional study.

Pleasantly,

Victor Smith
Bushi No Te Isshinryu

hector gomez
29th September 2002, 15:04
QUOTE:Why?If I trained in traditional martial arts don't I see the benifits of kata training?

Bryan,its not so much that I dont see the benifits of kata training,I respect everyones opinion,it's about the fact that I personaly train with and know of many martial artist that do not use traditional kata training as part of their training methods and have acomplished very good fighting skills without them,I am not talking about just sport competitors either.

You must not assume that persons that have this philosophy are young and inexperienced ground & pounders that just want to kick somebody arse,you mention the word traditonal gracie jiujitsu,now you do know that they do not have one single traditional kata in their system as opposed to tradional koryo jiujitsu systems.

A better word for them would be old school judo but then even old school judo has kata,can you be traditional without kata?sure you can, I think the most important thing here is the traditonal values that someone carries with them, as opposed to traditional the methods of training.


One last thing I have never been much on talking about myself but I encourage anyone that has an opinion on any art to not just to simply base their opinion from the outside looking in but experience the art hands on for a long lenghth of time before speaking about the pros or con of any art.


Hector Gomez

Goju Man
29th September 2002, 16:49
BTW, what the fruck is a 7th kyu in BJJ/GJJ? I'm definitely higher than that, hahaha! They don't use the Japanese Kyu/Dan ranking system.
I am speaking of KARATE. I know you don't have jack in bjj.

Why would Caique need to talk to you about me?
If you are his rep. as you say you were, I would think he would promote you as such to a potential student no?
I am a divergent thinker, and I mix the modern with the classical. I won't say that one is better than the other only that some aspects of both have their merits, and some are less useful for certain situations.
Muay Thai is a solid, easy to learn fighting style, Have you ever seen these guys fight a real street fighter using those highly telegraphed techs? I have. The win ratio in reality was below 50 %Boxing is a good art, nay a science, but I went from Judo and Boxing to Shorinkan for a reason.
Coming or going Bryan?
Traditional does not entail antiquated. It refers to a system passed down, usually as a family style- like GJJ, and kept effective over a significant period of time.
You mean no kata? BJJ does not have a single kata in it. Furthermore, bjj is constantly EVOLVING, if you train with the people you say you do, you would know that. Karate, for the most part is trying to do thing EXACTLY as it was done fifty or a hundred years ago. Your poorly, fact deficiant posts only lead me to beleive that you are inexperienced, and when you have ventured to travel outside your safe confines have not fared very well so you have returned making excuses of why that particular art isn't real or what have you. You lack many of the benefits you write endlessly about on this forum, so your kata must not be very good. You say you were a rep for Caique but no more, well that tells me : a) you weren't that good, b) didn't know how to teach, which is the reason your school didn't make money. Being that the average bjj school charges $100. a month or more, which means you didn't have any students. I think you should drop it while you're not even ahead.

Daruma
29th September 2002, 19:08
Karate, for the most part is trying to do thing EXACTLY as it was done fifty or a hundred years ago.

I think basically this is the crux of the argument, I have experienced Karate practiced like this too Manny, so i fully agree with you that there is a large degree of stagnation in Modern "Traditional" Karate(now thats a Oxymoron).

But I have to add this is mostly to do with the individual, many people enjoy the structure of the art and as they are doing it for personal reasons, which often don't involve actually learning to fight then it suits them to practice this way.

In the Dojo where I train now there are at least 15 Yudansha Sempai at any given class, every single one of them practices for different reasons some come to enjoy the environment and watching them you sense the plateau in their skills, but they still have a lot to offer to us Kohai and a responsibility that goes with their rank.

There are others who are very alive, watching them do Kata is a learning experience in itself, I know three of them also train at some of the Pride gyms too, and many of them cross train in Judo and other arts, so even among the traditional arts there is a long standing culture of evolution, of growth.

The number of Kata really is just personal choice, if you want to learn just one or ten or a hundred thats fine you will learn and be able to pass on what you learn, any given person will have something to offer you in your own study(even non martial artists), Kata is an invaluable piece of the martial arts, I think its as important a tool as any other method of training, but I have to stress that it is only part of a much larger picture.

Its importance shold not be over stressed or Under appreciated.

Goju Man
29th September 2002, 20:46
Andrew, I agree. I've stated many times that I still practise kata on occasion. I am very emotionally attached to karate. But at the same time, I am well aware of its strengths as well as its weaknesses. The emphasis on karate used to be self defense.
These systems were always evolving in the days of Higaonna and Myagi. When it was introduced into the public school system, it was added to. Now an emphasis on physical benefits were apparent, but the emphasis still was combat. After all, if it were just physical fitness, there are many other activities that don't include having to fight that will acheive the same results.
Now, organizations, dues and fees, status within an organization comes around and the evolving stops. I have spoken with many students who have trained in our dojo over the years, and allthough the primary responses have included getting into shape, somewhere in the reasons is always wanting to learn to fight. That's the ONE thing that they have all had in common.
If you got into running, swimming, weight training, etc; you would still be in shape. Why would you want to go somewhere where combat is the tool? Furthermore, cardio kick boxing and cardio karate now separates the people strictly looking for physical fitness via the martial arts. So having all these things at their disposal, why train karate? Why are the instructors credentials and lineage so important if you're just there for other reasons? Why do we always argue combat effectiveness of kata? Why are always debunking kata? You have some on this forum constantly throwing out HIS little war stories about combat, so if combat isn't important, what is?
True there are other benefits but I've never heard that as a primary reason for learning. Years ago, I attended some Yoga classes to help alleviate stresses of running a business. Having talked to many people there, they were there for stress reduction, spirituality, and just to plain feel good. Why haden't they joined a dojo?
MMA and nhb guys are into combat in its enirety. They are interested in techniques that are proven to work. If kata were PROVEN to work, I can guarantee you that all of these guys would be in line.

Victor
29th September 2002, 22:54
Manny,

The issue isn't whether inclusion of kata is proven to work, the issue is rather, there is great diversity and always has been.

People see things in different ways. What does exist of the historical record shows this.

If any one side to such discussions (and there is more than two points of view on the topic) had any real proof, that's all any logical person would do.

But even proof depends on your point of view.

Let's say I really work on low level kicks as my primary technique. Drilling to focus on smashing into the opposite hip, the inner thigh or the lower leg. And I practice with kata, drills to kicking targets, and working with partners to always kick past target, but to work on zoning while a wide range of things move in my direction.

At the same time I never engage in free sparring, because I have no desire to actually blast those areas destroying my opponent.

The charge can readily be leveled that I'm afraid of fighting art 'xyz'. Of course that may or may not be true. On the other hand, is it rational to want to spar with such a technique?

Now I'm not being theoretical here. The Chinese art of "Tam Tuie" actually focuses on kicking to just those areas. Techniques which are rarely found in Karate arts. Its techniques have been core training with the Jhing Wu (sp?) Association training group, and included in such arts as Northern Eagle Claw.

But does one want to spar with such technique, where the purpose is to destroy those areas?

One answer is to say the form Tam Tuie isn't worth the time. On the other hand, such training (which for all forms) is just a piece of an art, from the very strong Chinese Muslim traditions. And those forms of kicking are very real.

And the method of delivery for such kicks, also includes dragging the toe of you boot across the floor, to be able to slingshot forth with great power at an angle which makes many counters very difficult to perform. Especially if you're not expecting such.

Certainly there are karate equilvalents of this. And training to work in delivery against many ranges of opponents is necessary, not just flapping in the air.

But we choose which if any techniques make our art. And then work to sell them.

Just a thought,

Victor Smith
Bushi No Te Isshinryu

Minor aside, I have trained in Tam Tuie, though I'm far from an expert. If one gets the chance it is a dynamic addition to any art.

Tatsu
1st October 2002, 21:26
Hector: Thanks for the civil reply. We agree about a lot of things. Kata is a subjective term. I understand what you are trying to say.

Manuel: First off check your spelling before you attempt to type. Next, who the hell did you talk to that knows the first thing about me or my rank or experience in anything? I am a yudansha grade in 2 ryuha of Shorin. There isn't even any 7th kyu in the style I practice now. Only White belt and black belt. I am the latter. As for all this scientific assumption and delusional speculative psychic ability you have, no wonder you're lost in the glory of superficiality. If it's what you say it is then that is reality. What a friggin' joke!

If someone told you I was a non-BB then they were sadly mistaken. Not that being a BB nowadays means anything, but in my association it means everything. As for my not being a good rep... I taught karate and supplemented training with BJJ. Caique made me his rep for a time because he thought that SA might be a place to start a school. Plus, I'm his friend not some guy trying to hang on his jock because he is Caique. Caique saw why SA would never be a lucrative spot for CJJ. There are too many competing styles, and boxing rules. There are very few NHB/MMA avenues here. No instructor is above Purple.

BTW, I don't own a school. I'm in med. school, and that gives me very little time to do other things except learn and train. You wouldn't have a clue about higher education though, so I won't bore you with the details. See I can be a master of assumption, too!

You have a major problem, bro. You think I'm someone I'm not. Do you really want to make more assumptions? You might be putting a foot or 2 in your mouth! You really are a confident cuss ain't you? If you don't know reality then you might find out by observing honestly. Read my words and understand that if anything I'm an intelligent person, that's done just as much if not more than you to deserve some semblance of courtesy. BTW "i" before "e" except after "c"! Remember that from 1st grade? Make me "believe" you got a clue.

Check yourself... I'm not responding to anything you write, ever. You don't exist... You talk too much of smack, and I ain't wasting my time with your BS! Later for you and this thread! Sorry Victor!

Goju Man
2nd October 2002, 00:27
Bryan, I may have implied some other things, but not uneducated. Young, obviously. The problem is that you write one thing today and another tommorow. You're posts, unlike that of Harry Cook, Kusanku, Ed Boyd, Victor to name a few are written with some supporting factual data. For example, you claimed that you no longer represent Caique because he doesn't think SA would make it.

Caique made me his rep for a time because he thought that SA might be a place to start a school. Plus, I'm his friend not some guy trying to hang on his jock because he is Caique. Caique saw why SA would never be a lucrative spot for CJJ. There are too many competing styles, and boxing rules.
Yet, a few posts ago, you made a different claim.

. I train with Ryron Gracie when I visit LA a couple of times a year, so being Caique's rep at this time wouldn't be fair to either party.
Bryan, this is the problem when you write things that don't match. Personally, wether you are or not a yudansha doesn't matter. There are a few of us whose spelling, grammar, or punctuation leaves a little to be desired, but this is a martial arts forum, not a spelling bee. This forum is an international one, so there are many from different parts of the world. I'm sure in spanish or german, yours would leave a little room for improvement. If nothing else, everyone here is pretty consistent, wether we agree or disagree, many of us have been saying many of the same things for a long time. When you find a factual misrepresentation on my part, back it up with facts. You're a young guy with many years ahead of you, while many of us have been doing this a long time. We can discuss kata all you want. Chances are, while you were learning your grammar, many of us were already doing kata and fighting, and not always in the dojo. The South Fla guys you are talking about have varying backrounds from Police Officers to Security Consultants to International competitors.
Wether we agree to disgree or not, do us all the courtesy of sticking to the same story.;)

tamashi
2nd October 2002, 16:32
Bryan Cyr:

Hi, this is tangental to the current thread
but what is your basis for saying Kyokushin
is essentially the same as Shotokan?

or was there a specific point you were trying to make?

thanks,

Paul

Goju Man
7th October 2002, 00:40
Paul, I don't think you're going to get an answer. But let me post a question. How many and how much kata do you train? I know that it was part of Kyokushin, or still is I'm not sure. Maybe you can give us your take. Thanks.

Sochin
7th October 2002, 03:06
Gentlemen,

this topic has unreavelled into personal slanders.

It is over.

Feel free to start a new topic.