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Victor
30th September 2002, 00:05
Well, having proved we have a very hard time staying on a single topic, lets do so again.

How about, Should Kata Change?

On one side, "Master XYZ, says don't ever change the original kata."
<beats doing the research>.

On the other side "Times change and we must go with the flow."

Lets keep kata in its original martial context. In other words, adding rolls, flips, and other techniques to win modern open tournametns isn't really the focus of this discussion. [If your heart's in that, start another topic, how to change kata to win.]

We all have heard stories/lectures. Kata must be kept unchanged.

And there are dedicated groups trying to keep things focused on an exact way of performance of kata.

I recall Funakoshi Ginchin was known for making such statements, of course that was after he changed the kata himself. (Forgive me Cook Sensei for vastly simplifing this discussion...please everyone read his latest work on Shotokan for a far more balanced analysis.)

On the other hand there are instructors who regularily changed their kata. I have read Kyan Sensei was known for doing so. From my observation of various schools which derived from his technique, thats a reasonable answer why they evidence differences.

Others like Shimabuku Tatsuo (Isshinryu's founder) likewise changed their kata at different times.

Now change may be for the physical requirements of the student. Currently I have a long term Tai Chi student who's been striken and can hardly move or do more than stand. I remain working with him modifying the Yang Form to allow him to do as much as he can with his condition. While an extreme example, that still may be one reason changes were made.

Or there was the time, before I really began to undergo fractal analysis of how a kata technique could be applied. And if I realized a different reason for the movement, I may have changed the movement ot fit the new explaination. That is a reasonable thought why change may occur too.

Is change good? Is change bad? Is change inevitable? Is change to be avoided?

There are strong arguments to be made for any and more of such answers.

So weigh in on your thoughts.

Pleasantly,

Victor Smith
Bushi No Te Isshinryu

Ron Rompen
30th September 2002, 00:12
I think you're asking two questions here;

1) Should kata change?

2) Is change inevitable, no matter what we think

To answer the first, my personal opinion is that a kata should stay as near as possible to the original. However, we are all different people, with different abilities. I am physically unable to perform a jump-spinning kick, no matter how much I want to....so if I was performing a kata which called for this move, I would have to adapt MY performance of it, no matter how much I wanted to stay with the original intent.

To answer the 2nd question, change will happen, whether we like it or not. Karate is (mostly) an oral tradition; my sensei teaches what her sensei taught as well as she can remember, he taught her what HIS sensei taught, as well as he can remember, etc etc etc. I have viewed a few of the older videos of some of the founders of MA, and have noticed some fairly obvious differences; I am sure that there are subtle ones as well that I just can't see.


So yes, kata will change, whether we like it or not. So embrace the change...accept that it will happen, and make the change a positive one, not a negative one.

Steven Malanosk
30th September 2002, 02:28
For an insight, into some early rapport on this age old question, see:

http://www.blackbeltmag.com/archives/blackbelt/1970/jan70/wha.html

larsen_huw
30th September 2002, 12:49
While i'm not very qualified to talk about this subject, not holding any teaching qualifications, dan grades or the like, i have trained in several different styles of karate, and have come accross the same kata in more than one style.

There have always been differences in the styles. Some emphisising different types of techniques, putting in kicks where another style had punches for example. Another difference would be emphesis on different moves in the kata,or different timings.

I enjoyied learning different variations of the same kata, but did sometimes find it confusing and do one styles kata in another styles dojo! That was usually as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit! Oh well.

I hope this post makes some sense, am about to be chucked out the computer labs here at university, and haven't had time to read through my post.

Budoka 34
30th September 2002, 13:14
In our school several changes to the Heian Katas have been handed down in the last three years. At tournaments I have had several senior Yudansha of variouse styles ask,
"Where did you learn the old kata, or where did you learn soandso variation of that kata."
I think its to late to ask if kata should/will change. I think that was happening even before Funakoshi Sensei. The Okinawans changed the Chinese kata they were taught and we (modern Karateka) continue the tradition.
When I studied Kempo I was taught 3 levels of Taikyoku.
At a recent tournament I spoke with a Goju Student who knew 6!

:smilejapa

CEB
30th September 2002, 17:06
Originally posted by Budoka 34

... The Okinawans changed the Chinese kata they were taught and we (modern Karateka) continue the tradition.
...
:smilejapa

What Chinese kata did they change?

Can change something you never had it?

CEB
30th September 2002, 22:32
Originally posted by CEB


What Chinese kata did they change?

Can change something you never had it?


Question should have been :

Can you change something you never had it?

Goju Man
1st October 2002, 03:06
Well, here's a news flash, yes I do.:D
I think if one would use kata, it should resemble actual fighting and not need a phd in astro physics to decipher. Once the student is proficient, it can turn into something like shadow boxing, un coriographed and natural. Guys like Peter Urban took the first steps in creating newer forms, then styles like Ashihara and Enshin have gone further. Even Tae Kwon Do changed forms some years ago. The emphasis on pretty, exhibition type movements should give way to more natural movements. Just my two cents.

Steven Malanosk
1st October 2002, 03:40
Speaking for the Naha Te, later to be CHANGED and called GoJuRyu, most of our kata, where either brought from, or are a take off of, Fukien Chuan Fa forms.

Saam Chien, became San Chin, the concept of RokKiShu became Tensho, SeiSan, SeiunChin, SanSeiRu, ShiSoChin, KuruRunFa, SeiPai, PeiChuRin, not to mention HakuTsuru and O Han, all came from the Motherland = China. If you look at Miyagi Sensei's original students, and then someone from the Seiko Higa lineage, you see Higashionna's older version which he no doubt left a signature on himself.

New kata? Saifa, Gekisai 1, 2, and 3, Tensho to start with, and that's before it even got to mainland Japan. That is, with the exception of gekisai 3 which was started by Miyagi Sensei, and finished by Toguchi Sensei of Shoreikan GoJu Ryu, after Miyagi Sensei's demise.

Okinawa had access to much Chinese kata through Higashionna, Ueichi, Matayoshi, and GoKenki.

Budoka 34
1st October 2002, 12:31
Steven:

You beat me to it.:D
Just to continue the thought, The Japanese continue to change the Okinawan kata they were taught.
We practice kata with both intentions pretty(for tournamnet) and hard (bunkai) for more practical use.

I was always taught that kata was a method of polishing kihon and developing flow of movement, and that most kata were designed with multiple bunkai(layers) in mind. Opinions?

I've seen many variations on bunkai for the kata I know. I wonder if anyone knows the original interpretations anymore? :confused:

This is fun stuff.:D

:smilejapa

CEB
1st October 2002, 14:31
Originally posted by Steven Malanosk


.....

Saam Chien, became San Chin, the concept of RokKiShu became Tensho, SeiSan, SeiunChin, SanSeiRu, ShiSoChin, KuruRunFa, SeiPai, PeiChuRin, not to mention HakuTsuru and O Han, all came from the Motherland = China. If you look at Miyagi Sensei's original students, and then someone from the Seiko Higa lineage, you see Higashionna's older version which he no doubt left a signature on himself.

New kata? Saifa, Gekisai 1, 2, and 3, Tensho to start with, and that's before it even got to mainland Japan. That is, with the exception of gekisai 3 which was started by Miyagi Sensei, and finished by Toguchi Sensei of Shoreikan GoJu Ryu, after Miyagi Sensei's demise.

Okinawa had access to much Chinese kata through Higashionna, Ueichi, Matayoshi, and GoKenki.

I think the link to China thing is over inflated. There is definite CMA influence in Goju but I don't think that Goju ever had any Chinese forms per se. Higaoshonna BEFORE going to China was a student of Aragaki Seisho. Aragaki taught the following forms, Sanchin, Seisan, Sanseiru, and Suparunpei. These are the same forms that Higaoshionna taught his students. Seiunchin is supposed to be very old I'm told so it probably came from someone in Okinawa but I think Miyagi Sendai invented the rest of the Goju forms based on concepts from Chinese and Okinawian teachers not actual Chinese forms. If you look at Higaoshinna's other students the 4 old forms are the only ones they learned also. The most famous is Jutsu Kyoda of To'on Ryu. The forms of To'on Ryu are 1)Sanchin, 2) Seisan, 3) Sanseiru, 4) Suparinpei, 5) Jion (from Kentsu Yabu) and 6) Nepai ( from Gokenki). Rokkishu was mentioned. In To'on this is not considered a kata just an exercise. It is the up, down side to movement found in tensho. I'm told in Uechi the fish tail exercise is similar also.

Steve, Hakutsura you mention, I'm curious if you are referring to Hakutsura No Mai. If you are that is an invention of Toguchi Sensei. Toguchi's crane form to me just seem like moves from all the other Goju kata combined together with a crane kicking technique (very diifficult if you do the posture slowly or atleast it was for me) added to it. Its like a Goju Long Form.

I've seen Saam Chien and San He and I see a whole lot of differences in the approach when compared to Goju. In Ngo Cho Kun I see similar appoaches in the use of breath. I think that Miyagi may have has a lot of influence from 5 ancestor fist. Occum's razor tells me that we more than likely had an indiginous Okinawian fighting system and along the way Okinawian boxers would pick up Chinese concepts and ways of doing things and incorporate it into THEIR methods.

This point has been brought up several times on this board: Why would men go to China and invested many hours, or days or in some case years learn Chinese forms then come back home to Okinawa and change it totally out of recognition. People from all over the world have been able to transmit Okinawian karate quite accurately and some of them have only study a fraction of the time some of the Okinawian supposedly studied with Chinese masters. Why can't you find forms done in China or Formosa the same way they are done in Okinawa? You can find Chinese froms done accurately in Singapore and the Phillipines why not Okinawa? I think it is because Karate is Okinawian not Chinese, just that on occasion they seemed to incorporate some Chinese concepts. However I'm all for invetigating CMA. I have learned a lot about my Goju from looking at Chinese arts. I gave me some different points of view. It all started when I saw application of 'Parting the wild horse's mane' and realized that was in my Shisochin and then I saw a BaGauZhang master teaching a drill I learned from Chinen Sensei. My interested in CMA took off like a jet. But this don't make Okinawian forms Chinese.

Way too long sorry. Everybody have a good week.

Walt Harms
1st October 2002, 19:13
Victor,

Should Kata change. My short answer is no. Kata should remain constant. As a standard (gauge) and out of respect for the originators. That being said if you want to, for any of the very good reasons stated so far - the kata should be renamed. Because once changed it is no-longer the same kata. IMHO

Walt Harms

Budoka 34
1st October 2002, 20:05
Ed:

As usual, well said. I agree on most of the points; however, I think it is like most things. Things change to better suit the culture. Over time things are slowly revamped to fit the needs of those praticing them. It is unfortunate, but history indicates its truth.

Just look at Karaoke! :D

:smilejapa

Budoka 34
1st October 2002, 20:09
Ed:

As usual, well said. I agree on most of the points; however, I think it is like most things. Things change to better suit the culture. Over time things are slowly revamped to fit the needs of those praticing them. It is unfortunate, but history indicates its truth.

As for the P.I and Singapore, I don't believe the history goes back quite as long, does it?

:smilejapa

Steven Malanosk
1st October 2002, 20:35
The original premise of this thread, is kata and change.

Well, we could debate for days on the semantics and views of different schools of thought, but as far as change is concearned, I think its pretty clear.

A: Hakusturu............Matayoshi

Victor
2nd October 2002, 03:49
Perhaps the Tao Te Ching, or the book of changes should be our starting point.

It seems my topic is running on several sites from different perspectives.

Historically, all it seems we can show is things do change. Many of the Seniors who proclaim, it shouldn't change, participated in change themself. From a historical perspective is there anyone who can show that what they're doing didn't change in a small period of time, say the last 100 years or so?

Perhaps for the 'student' it shouldn't change, and the instructor makes the point for that reason?

Why does change happen?

Perhaps people aren't fully trained. Perhaps it takes several decades to understand the worth of a particular point of view.

If people are in a hurry, they do something else, and change is a part of that. And that response isn't necessarily new, its likely very very old.

All of your responses are making me think.

I thank you and look forward to continuing this a bit.

Victor Smith
Bushi No Te Isshinryu

Also to ponder the China link.

First the link to China may be the Chinese community on Okinawa, and their practices may link back to the 1500's, which may explain why they aren't found today.

Second, consider how Okinawa has changed over the past 100 years. Well China and its arts have changed too. Perhaps those earlier instructors didn't have students perpetuate their versions of the arts. Or perhaps those arts mutated, too.

The 'historical record' likely would not interest any authentic historian as a complete record for verification.

A similar reflection may be how the American versions of the Okinawan arts changed too.

Goju Man
2nd October 2002, 12:11
Victor, nice topic.

Aragaki taught the following forms, Sanchin, Seisan, Sanseiru, and Suparunpei. These are the same forms that Higaoshionna taught his students. Seiunchin is supposed to be very old I'm told so it probably came from someone in Okinawa but I think Miyagi Sendai invented the rest of the Goju forms based on concepts from Chinese and Okinawian teachers not actual Chinese forms.
I thought these came from China. I was under the impression that , allthough Tensho has the basis of Rokkishu, it was made by Myagi I beleive? If you look at say Sanchin, there are at least two forms of Sanchin. I think change is good. The question is who will initiate change and in which way it will. Being that many traditionalists are concerned more with how it was actually done back in Higaonnas time as opposed to how to improve upon it.
Steve, who was the originator of the USA Goju forms?

CEB
2nd October 2002, 17:24
Originally posted by Goju Man
Victor, nice topic.

I thought these came from China. ...

We all did I think. That the party line that we were taught but the math doesn't tie. Perhaps people have always fibbed about their lineage. Who knows.

CEB
2nd October 2002, 17:52
Originally posted by Budoka 34
Ed:

As usual, well said. I agree on most of the points; however, I think it is like most things. Things change to better suit the culture. Over time things are slowly revamped to fit the needs of those praticing them. It is unfortunate, but history indicates its truth.

As for the P.I and Singapore, I don't believe the history goes back quite as long, does it?

:smilejapa

Actually we are dealing with fairly close time frames. Higaonna went to China around 1877 and was probaby there about 3 years, this is according to members of Higaoshionna's family. Yagi Dai-Sensei of Meibukan told a student of his I know that Higaonna spent 9 years in China. Mr. Yagi was at one time chief customs officer in Okinawa so maybe he knows some inside scoop.

Most the disemination dates that I've seen regarding Gung Fu styles being taught outside of China point to early 1900's (1900-1920's or so). I have a question. Was the Boxer Rebellion responsible for the disemination of Gung Fu outside of China ( i.e. The Boxers had to get out of Dodge so they settled elsewhere?) I know that after the failure of the rebellion schools started referring to themselves as athletic associations because the old names were not very popular after it hit the fan.

Now when you say quite as long are you meaning the boxing that came out of Kumemura? The Chinese settlement at Kume occurred in the 1390's so we are looking at 500 years of evolution so anything coming from that line from 1880-1930 I would consider Okinawian boxing not Chinese. Saying it is still Chinese after 500 years seems similar to me saying Cain son of Adam invented Ryukyu Bo Jutsu because he killed his brother with a stick. Well I guess I exaggerate a little but hopefully you understand what I mean.

Victor
3rd October 2002, 02:54
Rather than get into a war of quotes, questioning why forms do or
don't change, it seem to me there is a different question that should
be considered.

The issue of why forms have changed, from a classical through a
modern perspective.

An instructor admonishing the student that the kata should never
change, seems just that, comments directed towards the student.

But at some point, each of them stopped being the student and
considered something else. Sometimes changing and sometimes not.

Now espcially consider none of us can prove what we were taught. For
example I know the different variations of Seisan and Seiunchin I was
taught as a white belt and a yellow belt, almost 3 decades ago. [FYI,
variations is the correct word, we studied a number of different ones
for each kata, following our Isshinryu history tradition, which may
not be the same as other dojo followed.] I know, but what proof could
I present to you that I'm not changing things today. Without a very
detailed template, my knowing something can never be successfully
proven as un-changed.

The most we have are oral testimony, or some movies or even a few
books. Most of which are inadequate to prove anything, except what
they represent.

Forms may change if:

1. The person didn't train enough to get them down.
2. The person didn't understand the underlying nature of the system,
and being able to precieve it, changed things to compensate.
3. The person considered a different attack and modified the form to
meet that attack. (Long ago in the past I've done this myself.)
4. The person eveloped a new underlying template and modified the
forms to coincide with it. (Itosu, Funakoshi and Mabuni might be
considered in this light, emphasis on might)
5. The person was trying to change things just to place their stamp
on future followers.
6. The practice may be totaly individualized for the student. And
depending on their natural talents, variations of the form might have
been used to meet their needs.
7. The purpose of the karate study, may also have undergone
transformation, being different things with the same set of tools, at
different times.

And these are just a few of the possibilities.

I would suggest, the kata themself may be the smoke and mirrors of
the entire study. They're a tool, but the tool isn't the entire art
by far.

If the real purpose of the study is the underlying structure, a
method of energy release and application study, changing the kata may
be rather irrelevant.

If you consider what a small place Okinawa really is, and the
multitude of variations of the kata there, it is an absoulte
certainty that things kept changing all the time.

It seems most peculiar that any would wish to consider otherwise.

I haven't been to Okinawa myself. But one Kishiba Juku instructor who
has told me that each of the Shorin dojo on the island are really
unique from each other. And this last weekend a Goju instructor who
trained on Okinawa for two years (as a Black Belt) likewise found
each Goju dojo was unique in itself too. I sure others have
different shared experiences, but the record seems to indicate Change
Happens, period.

Now in my experience and training, I had very, very good students
competing 10 years ago that at that time I felt were right on. Today
if I watch films of their competition, I would never allow them to
execute in that fashion. They didn't get worse in time, they were
fine then. But I've changed, and do change, and see many things quite
differently today.

It's impossible that that may not influence how you treat kata.

I to feel for the student, kata shouldn't change.
But I also feel, if they move to understanding the underlying
structure of our instruction, the manner in which we pursue the
application potential of our technqiue, and the manner in which we
learn to bind our studies into anothers openings, the manner in which
they continue to execute kata or its variations becomes irrelevant.

At least that's what I'm training them for.

A personal observation.

Victor Smith
Bushi No Te Isshinryu

Steven Malanosk
3rd October 2002, 03:34
Manny,

The forms that you asked about "USA GoJu forms," and I speak of the indigenous ones unique to our style, i.e., Empi Ha, The Urban TaiKyoku, The Urban KuRuRunfa, The Urban Bo, and the Urban Suparenpei, are the opus of Sensei himself. The bunkai, is geared toward a Western ideology and scenario. There where at one time, quite a few more, but those are his babies still listed as part of the minimum standard of expectation. The other katas that we practice, speaking of the official ones, are either no different, or not much different, than the way Sensei was taught them, by Yamaguchi, Oyama, and Kim Senseis.

Incidentally, in many cases, what is seen in some places, labeled as USA GoJu kata, is a far cry from what we actually do.

Change........................................., sometimes it can be good..........................but sometimes...........:

Steven Malanosk
3rd October 2002, 03:37
What I meant to say is:

But sometimes......:toot

CEB
3rd October 2002, 21:43
Originally posted by Victor

....

Now espcially consider none of us can prove what we were taught. For
example I know the different variations of Seisan and Seiunchin
...

Victor, I'm curious if you have a theory on why Tatsuo Shimabuku changed the angle of the stance on the opening move of Seiunchin? I have an understanding of the movements when done from a 45 degree angle stance but when straight on from the side the oyo eludes me. Just curious. When done Isshin style it does remind me of an interesting little kata called Ryu Sho Ken.


Originally posted by Victor

...

If the real purpose of the study is the underlying structure, a
method of energy release ...


Just what do mean by this? Sincerly, I am not trying to be a wiseguy, I really want to know. I've been told this kind of thing on numerous occasions by other people and I'm not sure what exactly they mean.

People have told me that Sanchin builds energy and Tensho releases energy and that is why they begin class with Sanchin and end class with Tensho. When I asked for an explanation of why this is true nobody can really explain it to me. The closest thing to an explanation I've been told is that the open hands in Tensho open meridians and allow the energy to leave and the close fisted Sanchin retains and builds energy but I don't think I buy that one. Uechi Ryu Sanchin looks like it has similar training goals as Goju Sanchin but it is done open handed so I think it has to be deeper than the hands.

I study some Yang style Taijiquan. I am just a beginner but I sort of comprehend what my teacher is getting at when it comes to cultivating, building and releasing energy. It feels like it works but I still can't decide if it really working or if I'm subconsciously playing mind tricks on myself. I do feel better after class. But the principles applied in Taijiquan are so much different than the approaches used in karate I can't decide yet if the two cross over in the energy department. Just for grins I have applied Taiji stepping to kata Shisochin and it does seem like a good fit.

Good post Victor. Thanks for your observations

Victor
4th October 2002, 03:35
Ed,

You ask some very good questions, ones which there aren't easy answers.

For example, why did Shimabuku Tatsuo change the angles of Seiunchin Kata's opening?

As near as I can figure there are many possibilites.

1. Who can say his instructor didn't do the change, trying an experiement with some new students once upon a time. In that case he's just being a trained student.

2. Or did a friend suggest something triggering the change?

3. Or did he forget? Not impossible, surviving the war made many possibities. Personally I don't believe it. There were too many chances to see others perform the kata (such as festivals, or at schools, or friends he trained with).

4. The standard Goju application of the beginning seems to be a double grab to the throat. Perhaps he saw things differently.. Stepping to a new angle to help break the grab, or if the hands were grabbed, to step out on that new angle to set up an wrist lock counter, or to step out there to use the rising hands as a block to a punch.

5. A desire to be different?

6. A desire to hide the real meaning from Americans?

Anyone can pick any of them and there's on proof they're wrong. The applications (from contemporay analysis)at least can be performed.

And none of them make the slightest difference. The Isshinryu version is simply that, a tool which works, abet somewhat differently perhaps than the Goju version.


Now when I'm referring to underlying principles of energy development, I'm not referring to some abstract practice. From my own studies, I teach a specific signature movement in connection with our Isshinryu. In such a manner that no dan who trains with me would doubt why I'm doing this or dosen't understand why I work at it at every level of our instruction.

I believe I've posted a little about it on my web site www.funkydragon.com/bushi. I think you have to browse through the 'Meditations' section to find it. And meditations doesn't mean staring at my navel, though I have quite a nice navel at that <GRIN>.

Now I do believe in Sanchin for energy development, but I do Sanchin at full speed, with my energy management tools too. BTW, in large part they grew out of my Tai Chi studies, and similar principles my instructor taugth me long ago.

Many things go full circle.

Some will read and scoff, their choice of course.

And there are no freebies, just hard training, over and over, without end.

Victor Smith
Bushi No Te Isshinryu

CEB
4th October 2002, 19:12
Originally posted by Victor

....

Now when I'm referring to underlying principles of energy development, I'm not referring to some abstract practice. From my own studies, I teach a specific signature movement in connection with our Isshinryu. In such a manner that no dan who trains with me would doubt why I'm doing this or dosen't understand why I work at it at every level of our instruction.
...


Thanks for the reply. I read the material on your site about Generating Power in the Isshinryu System. I think this is what you were making reference to. Very down to earth stuff even I understood what you were getting at. Originally I kind of expected something like, I don't know maybe something like - When in masubi dachi or when stepping don't allow the heels to make contact because this restricts the meridians in the legs probhibiting the gathering of earth energy into your strikes. I'm just a farm boy from Illinios I have trouble comprehending some of the more metaphysical aspects of the arts and alchemy stuff just shorts out my brain. But the things you discuss are related more to physics and body mechanics. Good meat and taters stuff. Nothing from the abstract.

Thanks again for your reply.

Steven Malanosk
4th October 2002, 21:19
Change!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????
Who do they think they are?

Saves energy and illuminates better! It is shaped totally different, and at times comes from a place other than New Jersey or Florida, and they have the audacity to call it a LIGHT BULB!!!!!!

Just because they studied the works of Edison, they now feel that they mastered his art, and can improve on it!!!!!!!!!!!!!:p

And this thing they call an automobile! Where is the crank, I ask you?

Silly Japanese folks think that they can make a better car than Henry Ford Soke!

And why, I ask you, do they wear western attire when they manufacture their so called automobiles???

Heck, at least in the former Soviet Union, they had folks believing that Lennon invented the light bulb, instead of claiming to IMPROVE on our SACRED nomenclature!

The Bible? Why change from the original to Latin or Greek or King James or modern English, just so other cultures can understand?????????? Blasphemy I tell you!!!!!!

How does a Pollock become the head of a Roman based system??!!??

How does Rome become the Hombu of a Jerusalem based system!!!???

English!!!!! Why do Americans call their language English!!!!????

After changing the language so much, it simply cant be as good, useful, and or legitimate!!!

Jazz!!!!!!!!!!! You call that music???

Rock and Roll???????!!!!!!! If your not an old black man, singing the blues to rhythm with a bloodline to African beat, then you must be kidding!!!! Elvis, Bowie, the Ramones! You must be kidding!!!!

Now, if a person, never studied and understood the work of the predecessors, than I would be inclined to question...........

But progress is what took us out of the Stone age, Dark ages, and an otherwise Flat World.

I am not saying that the KoRyu should not also remain pure, but if you think that any deviation, in the name of progress, will make you fall off the end of the earth......................................

Last statement:

I love the old, celebrate the new, and live in the here and now.

Eureka!

Walt Harms
4th October 2002, 21:52
All,

I agree that change may be good and may even make the original better. But when changed it should not be portrayed as the original. Call it Steve's Sanchin or Victor-ryu Kushanku or whatever. Some form of the original (or as close as we can get) should be kept and guarded for future students to change and adapt and to guard and protect. Part of our job as instructors is to pass on what we were taught as we were taught it.

Respectfully
Walt Harms
Master of Wally-ryu Bassai

Steven Malanosk
4th October 2002, 23:09
You hit the nail, on the head, or should I say, No Kachi! Tetsui ken Shomen uchi, Ippon!

Incidentally: Wouldn't it be Wally Ryu Bassai Dai, with Beaver Ryu Bassai Sho being the shorter one? Actually, both are Ryu Ha of the Cleaver Ryu of Ward Soke. Rumor has it, that Eddie, of the outlaw Haskle Ryu, tries to pass his inferior forms off as the true Cleaver Ryu, but anyone who is familiar with the style, would know the difference.:up:

Victor
5th October 2002, 01:57
Walt,

Now while I appreciate the humor involved, suggesting Victor-ryu Kusanku is a bit too much. I'd settle on something far more tasteful such as Smith-Te (which I actually created years ago during my study of what a minimalist system should be comprised of, in that case 4 and 1/2 moves.)

Too much is made on names anyhow.

There has been such fluidity on the original themes of the kata, but still an underlying structure, such as a seisan-ness remains. A binding theme, that still is present after all the generations of change.

Trying to apply individuls names to kata, may be interesting, but as a student only learns whatever the instructor chooses to present, is it really very important whether it is a Tomari Seisan, a Matsumura No Seisan or any of the rest?

The idea of keeping a pure template is a tempting thought.

What is that template, what is the pure original version? How does anybody keep a straight face and maintain that?

I can tell you after 28 years of practice, I can no longer 100%guarantee you that I can present my original kata as my instructors taugth them, and thats in the recent past. I can offer you my remberences and you have no exteranl source that can offer better. But is my offering the true teaching of Tom Lewis in the mid 70's in Salisbury, Maryland.

And he was a student of Shimabuku Tatsuo in the late 50's, who in turn was a student a Kyan, Miyagi and others in his day, who in turn was a student of..... and so forth.

How do any of us determine what the root kata, the pure uncorrupted version was.

The seniors didn't look to the future. They didn't time bind their thoughts into writing, until some of them moved to Japan in the 20's and 30's, and began to write. Who is to say their answers for Japan were right?

David Lowry once made the argument that Traditional was whatever your instructor told you traditional was. Regarding the Okinawan arts, that has to be correct,for there is no other external reference. Sure there are other students, but how do you prove their words are right either.

You know, even the act of trying to keep things unchanging is change itself. Something new from my observations.

Can it succeed? You got me.

The past generations physically worked on their students until they got it (whatever it was) or they didn't. And oftimes the senior instructors may have gotten less than decades of training either.

But if you're an instructor, you should look ahead real hard, for if you're honest, you'll realize you have absolutely no control on how your students will take what you craft into them and do with it in the future.

Thats also a lesson history gives us, but one I see as a reality.

I've tried one small step to fight that, my new instructors have to have a continious 15 years training with me to recieve that designation. At least there is a conscious effort to try and see they've gotten a few things right.

Name anything what you wish, will anyone in the future take the time to recall the name?

Pondering away,

Victor Smith
Bushi No Te Isshinryu

Budoka 34
8th October 2002, 19:42
Ed:

Sorry I missed that response(several posts back).
I think that was the era I meant, and I agree that after that much time it would be Okinawan, I think that was my point.:)



:smilejapa

Goju-Ryu
9th October 2002, 22:26
One of the changes I've testified during my practice in Karate was the kiai in the kata Geikisai Dai Ni that changed from the empi uchi to the gyaku tzuki and at the final the 2 mawashi ukes are fast and then the toraguchi was slow and strong, opposing to the done before where both were slow (with muchimi)...

Walt Harms
10th October 2002, 13:51
All,

What I've been talking about is that if you change a kata - let your students know that you did. When I
teach kata I tell my students that this is the JKA version or the Moo Duk Kwan version or the Shorin Ryu (nagmine sp) version etc. Or I learned this from -----.
Secondly what I have been trying to do is to research as far back as I can old (pre war) films, older texts, that are becoming available, trying to capture kata before it became performance art (odori). IMHO I think that these efforts are valid and have a place in the martial arts .

Always with respect.
Walt Harms

Goju Man
10th October 2002, 21:53
Secondly what I have been trying to do is to research as far back as I can old (pre war) films, older texts, that are becoming available, trying to capture kata before it became performance art (odori). IMHO I think that these efforts are valid and have a place in the martial arts .
I would like to see how they were performed also. Somehow, I would think that they were more realistic at that time. (I would hope)

Walt Harms
10th October 2002, 22:15
Manny,

1) I do not know about "realistic" however they seem to be more forefull.

2) They are definitely performed faster.

3) The kicks/strikes/blocks look like they are executed stronger than in todays kata.

4) They are not as pretty.

I will try to figure a way to send you some mpeg files I have.

Walt Harms

Goju Man
10th October 2002, 23:03
Thanks Walt. Power, depth of stances, speed of techniques all have to do with how "pretty" a kata looks as opposed to its true intentions.
I look forward to those files.;)