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E.elemental
23rd July 2005, 16:43
My question concerns the more traditional katas and kumite forms used by Taira/Moden, Matayoshi and Yammani-Ryu. Are serious competitions something good or bad, or neither of the mentioned?

If there are a event where different pracitioners show a kata (or many) from their kobudo style, does this have a positive effect an the art and future of kobudo or is there a danger in making the different schools something that are judged solely on apperence. To perform infront of an audience is of course to put some stress on the practitioner, this could be good since the performer must be more focused and know the form better. But this is something you also can achive in different demonstrations. Is it up to the individual to decide in what to partisipate in or should perhaps competitions and demos be a must?

My personal opinion is that competitions MIGHT shift the focus on applikation to purely judge the looks and apperance of the kata. And can judges make a fair comparison between the different styles? On the whole I am negative to competitions but not to demonstrations. What are your thoughts? Hope I could explain the subject somewhat correct, if something sounds strange I will of course try to elaborate my opinion. The discussion is perhaps similar to Karate and its competetive forms. But to me Kobudo and Karate didnt appear for the sake of competition, not to say its all bad, definately not. I just think we shouldnt give competitions to much attention.

harleyt26
24th July 2005, 21:17
I am all for the demonstrations. I have always enjoyed comparing the different styles of kobudo.But I do not think someone could fairly judge any style outside of a style they perform themselves,and even then that judge would need to be of higher rank and knowledge than the competitors.The style I do is from the Taira/Akamine lineage but I have freinds that practice Matayoshi style kobudo,some kata are similar but the styles are nothing alike. How could anyone judge both fairly and without prejudice? Tom Hodges

Rob Alvelais
25th July 2005, 15:42
When one judges kata, it is appearance that's being evaluated. The only sense that the judge can use in evaluating kata is sight. One can't really discern what's in the competitor's mind and not all applications are obvious.

Rob

harleyt26
28th July 2005, 03:41
Could you explain "appearance".I do not feel judging kata by how it looks to someone from another system is a fair evaluation.For instance in our system we use a lot of hip motion that to some styles could possibly look incorrect or sloppy.I am sure there are things that your style may do that would seem incorrect to me.I do not feel it would be a fair contest for me to judge you, or you me.If you are not familiar with the applications being demonstrated in the kata being performed,then you must be judging it as if it were a series of movements in which you are looking for particular stances to be done so you could compare to your own perception of correct.Your perception of correct may not even be close.I would like to see some form of competition developed for kata but I can see no way to develope a sound base of judges for a multiple style event. Tom Hodges

dsomers
28th July 2005, 09:19
Tom ,

Hello , long time no see . I hope all is well . I think if anyone is judging Kata , that person should be educated about differences in styles . When I used to go to open tournaments , I used to get very upset , cause they would have people judging that have no clue as to what I am doing . I suggested on that circuit that we should meet , discuss , & demonstrate the Kihon from each style , so we can be informed . However , my idea was just shot down . I think the ideal thing is to get together to compare , & learn about other styles , like we do w/ our Tomo No Kai , here in Florida . Like , I am not a Matayoshi stylist , however being best friends w/ Russ , & friends w/ Bill , & watching them train , as well as having footage of Matayoshi Kobudo , I would know what to look for . The Yamani Ryu , however I have not had much exposure to however I do have some footage , & I would know it if I seen it . I think a few things to look for though is timing , good stances , proper shifting of weight , power , kime , etc , if you are not familiar w/ the Kata , IMO .

tgall
28th July 2005, 09:35
Hello,

judgind different styles of kobudo is an intersting topic. But I think it is the same with differnt styles of karate, they are also judge together. At the world tournament at okinawa they also judge all styles of kobudo (except Yamanni-Ryu (Oshiro just gave a demonstration)) and all styles of karate together. The judgeing criterias I don't know, but a compentioner of our groupe who had just shown 3/4 of the kata got really good points, missed the 2nd round just for two places. It seems like the main critieria comes form a good weapon movment and expression of the "fighter".
From my german judging experience I'll know, that it is difficult to compare the katas of other styles, but it works. We started to do regulary compentions not long a go, and the 1st time, we but all starters with all weapons in the same groupe. And this was not the best solution. Cause it was different to judge two handed weapons together with bo and hanbo, cause a bo-kata gives an totlly other look then a kata of sai, tonfa or kama. For the 1st time the decisions was made more for a bad bo-kata, if they was compared with an good kata of a two handed weapon. For that reason we devieded it into two competion-groupes: two handed weapons and bo/hanbo. That works good, and this show that sight plays a mayor rolle while judging.
In my oppinion it would be quite difficult to compare Yamanni-Ryu with the other Okinawan Kobudo Styles, cause the dynamics and the body movment is totaly different.
A good reason for doing kata competions is, that it is a motivation basis for the students, exspecially in the youth area.

Thomas

E.elemental
28th July 2005, 10:05
What tgall wrote about judging karate and Kobudo Kata I do agree with. The same dilemma is also found here. But I think that the different karate-styles are better known among karatekas then different Kobudo styles among them practising it. Or I could be wrong but I think so. I might add that I am not really found of judging Karate Kata by appereance either. But now back to the subject.

Yes judging different styles must be extremely difficult for judges, if you dont know the form and applikation on the kata shown, how can you judge it? This means that a judge or the judges must have a very good all around knowledge of the styles and the forms practised within it. I dont know if there are so many judges that qualify for that. The problem with a style that appears sloppy is that a judge that dont know the style characteristic judges on what he do knows from his style. That would be unfair, when this is noticed among the practitioners they might try to do the kata on a way that is easier to judge. And thus change the feeling... or the apperance. So judges should have knowledge about many different styles including the bunkai and oyo. Since my belief is that very few have this I must say that I am not to positive about competitions, not because who "wins" or "loses" but because I am almost certain that a style that competes much slowly adapt to the conditions of competing and therefore slowly changes and focuses more on apperance then understanding. This surely goes for Karate also, but as I wrote before I dont really like Kata competitions there either. I hope that nobody will get upset, this is only my way to believe. Competitions are not all bad, but I am certain that styles will change because of them. And that perhaps make the styles look more alike to eachother? I dont know but I do enjoy the differences that are, this is a part that makes Kobudo so interesting.

Shikiyanaka
29th July 2005, 22:33
Hi all,

I do not know that much about competitions/demo; however, it seems to have been a part of Karate and Kobud˘ history ever since; maybe more than anything else!

I guess many of the K˘dansha are very much into Enbu Taikai - which would correspond to Demo. Most often, thare is a reason for such a Taikai, for example, the appraisal of a deceased teacher, a prefectural cultural festivity, some official holiday etc.

Many also like competitions, even those we would describe as purely traditional people. The significance of competition even among traditionalists one can see from this example:

Anan was demonstrated by Tsuguo Sakumoto, who won an excellent victory in the World Karate Championship Tournament. Since then it has been demonstrated by his disciples at the World Championship Tournament, the Asian Tournament, the All Japan Championship tournament, and the National Sports Festival. It achieves high points each time even today.
This is written on the Okinawa Karate Kobud˘ Website (http://www.wonder-okinawa.jp/023/eng/010/001/). It is all about competition, which is a means of keeping it alive and spreading it, which is completely ok, I think.

When we try to derive insights from and make comparisons with tournamanents or enbu taikai on Okinawa, we should, however, bear in mind tha fact that the performers are mostly high ranked, trained by high ranked people; often the Kaich˘, Kanch˘ etc. or other high ranking people of the style one tries to represent. For example, it was the son of Nakamoto Masahiro who won the Sai competition some years ago. Some of the performers are Yondan or something and trained directly under the chiefs for yeras or even decades.

Furthermore, the judges - I guess - are all Okinawan dignitaries of Karate and Kobud˘, and we talk about Okinawan Karate and Kobud˘, not the American or British or French or - oh, I forgot, - the German Karate and Kobud˘.

At the 1997 World Karate and Kobud˘ Tournament in the Budōkan, Onoyama Park, Okinawa, I know for sure two of the judges were Gakiya Yoshiaki 我喜屋良章 and Yogi Kiyoshi 與儀清, which are both Uechi-ryū stylists, I think, and at least Gakiya is also prominent Matayoshi Kobudō. I do not know who else was serving there as judges, but I guess all those people have been training for decades on the "island of Karate".
If there is a style of Okinawan Karate or Kobud˘, they would have been people able to judge it. Furthermore, there are always more than one judge at the mat; so, how they are chosen. I don't think that anyone would surmise that they would put, for example, three judges who only know G˘jű-ryű on a mat where Matayoshi-Kobud˘ Kata are performed. Apart from that, there are of course a certain number of official Kata, set up by the 沖縄空手・古武道世界大会 executive commitee; this is true for Karate as well as for Kobud˘ Kata. Those Kata are all well known there, and the judges are trained for that, so it maybe would not be a good idea to bring up some personal tokui, however good (what does it mean) it may be. If there is no Kata in the list of Ufuchiku-den or Motobu Udundi in the Kobudo Kata list, well I do not know, although these are very traditional Okinawan styles, I think. In Yamanni style, Sakugawa no Kun and Shuuji no Kun have been practised traditionally, I have heard. As the official Kata list bears "Shuuji no Kun (Sho/Dai) and also "Sakugawa no Kun (Sho/Dai)", it may be possible that the "pure" form would be possible to perform (I mean, without the Sho or Dai). Shiromatsu no Kun is also on the Kobud˘ Kata list, which is a Kata having been taught by Mr. Kyan Shin'ei of Matsubayashi-ryű Honbu and is also trained by some of the many Yamanni stylist, I think (this Kata seemingly was used as a "Kata" in sense of template. It changed very very much within some decades. One can see it from a video from the 1960s; I have learned it exactly this way, and I also know a newer version, which some say is Yamanni, which is enhanced with some movements of some other Kata or some tokui.)

So, all in all, in my opinion competition is fine, and Enbu Taikai is also fine. Maybe competition is more sport (which is ok), and Enbu Taikai more cultural (in a positive sense); in which "Enbu" - (the performing of) military exercises - clears up that it is NOT cultural without being martial (as cultural is sometimes seen).

The crunchpoint in judging different styles in competition is simply that: you would need a lot of judges and trainers who are highly sophisticated and have expert knowledge in the field of Kobud˘, not only in their respective style.

It is not completely fitting here, however also not completely wrong; you may like it:

Atsuko Wakai at the World Games 2005 in Duisburg, winning Gold with Suparinpei:
Preliminaries: Annan (Ryűei-ryű) (http://www.quastl.de/AtsukoWakaiAnnan.wmv) (sorry, more than 50 MB)
Final: Suparinpei (http://www.quastl.de/Suparinpe.wmv) Suparinpe (sorry, more than 50 MB. Note: In the Japanese header I accidentally wrote "Ryűei-ryű" instead of G˘jű-ryű)

E.elemental
30th July 2005, 21:36
Andreas: As so often a well written answer coming from you, although I dont agree with everything. :)

The judges seem to be a key point in this, since Okinawa has as you say many fine practitioners of Karate and Kobudo, if someone is able to judge competitions/tournaments correctly it should be they. The question perhaps is not so much competitions or not but how much focus that should be put into it, I know of a club that always proudly presents the latest success in competitions, dont get me wrong but I get the feeling that thats the most important by always seeing this. I just dont want it to become the most important in either Kobudo or Karate. And participation should be totally on a volontary basis, they who want to compete must of course have the option to do so, but if someone dont want to compete this shouldnt be a problem either.

Just to return to the judge and their knowledge, they should at least know and understand the forms performed, if otherwise they only judge by its apperance and thats NO good. But lets say there are a competition with much less skilled practitioners then them on Okinawa and judges with perhaps just experience in judging Karate. Should we anyway support the competition, since we dont have the Okinawan resources we could do our best anyway, or should we be carefull in doing this?

Sometimes I can write a lot, many times I dont explain so good. But the content of this thread is that I am worried about apperance being more important then understanding, that is what my post really is all about.

Pavel Dolgachov
9th August 2005, 12:15
Shikiyanaka wrote:


Shiromatsu no Kun is also on the Kobud˘ Kata list, which is a Kata having been taught by Mr. Kyan Shin'ei of Matsubayashi-ryű Honbu and is also trained by some of the many Yamanni stylist, I think (this Kata seemingly was used as a "Kata" in sense of template. It changed very very much within some decades. One can see it from a video from the 1960s; I have learned it exactly this way, and I also know a newer version, which some say is Yamanni, which is enhanced with some movements of some other Kata or some tokui.)
I studied a Hakusho (Shirotaru? Shiromatsu?) no kun under Katherine Loukopoulos sensei. Is it this kata? (Hakusho=Shiromatsu?).
I saw film "Okinawan karate masters" by french TV-company (I think, 1997). And there are some Matsubayashi-ryu experts, who practise this kata, but in "Yamanni" manner. It was changed with time?

Shikiyanaka
9th August 2005, 20:56
I studied a Hakusho (Shirotaru? Shiromatsu?) no kun under Katherine Loukopoulos sensei. Is it this kata? (Hakusho=Shiromatsu?).
Hi Pavel, exactly: "Hakusho", in it's alternative pronunciation, is spelled Shiromatsu. They are the same Kanji, only different usage of On and Kun-reading of the Kanji (meaning is "White pine"). I think I remember Katherine once told me, that Nagamine Sh˘shin once told her that the Kata is called Hakusho no Kun, while Kyan told her, it is Shiromatsu no Kun. However, both is correct, just as saying Sh˘rin-ryű instead of Matsubayashi-ryű and vice versa. I have also heard from two different and not connected sources, that in the Honbu d˘j˘ they simply announce(d) it "B˘ kata."

Generally it is most often pronounced Shiromatsu no Kun.


I saw film "Okinawan karate masters" by french TV-company (I think, 1997). And there are some Matsubayashi-ryu experts, who practise this kata, but in "Yamanni" manner. It was changed with time?
I would love to see this film.

I have seen some old footage from the Honbu d˘j˘ from about late 50s to mid 60s. There this kata is performed, and it looks raw but concerning Enbu and technique it is the same as I learned it from Katherine, and I guess it is the way you've also learned it from her. She knows some versions of it, but she taught the original, explicit kata.

It is true, the Kata changed a lot, with added, and lost movements. For example, you know the special Uchi-uke done in the old form. It is not in the new form anymore. The same is true for the change of hands; the original form had been lost and replaced by the same change of hands as in Sakugawa no Kun; and the special form of Mae-te-tsuki was put away with and replaced by Nuki-tsuki etc.

I'am pretty sure that this Kata also played an important role in the Yamanni-ryű; that's maybe a reason why it looks "Yamanni"-like, or maybe Yamanni just looks Matsubayashi "B˘-kata"-like. Kyan Shin'yei is said to have been a great Sai master (see Bugei Ryűha Daijiten under "Shin'yei ryű" or "Kyan-ha", I don't remember right now.) He is also said to have been Yamanni-style and he was a founding member of Matsubayashi Honbu D˘j˘, I think; and he taught Hakusho (Shiromatsu) no Kun to all of them. There are some significant siilarities between this kata and some of the modern Yamanni kata. Exemplary for such a mechanism is Kyan no Sai, which is taught in Yamanni and is nothing else than the Matsubayashi-ryű Sai Kata of Kyan Shin'yei. Maybe it would be necessary to ask some Okinawan expert (who 1. lived on Okinawa for the last 30 years or so, and, if not, 2. has a job; I mean, who is not making a living by being a Karate Kobudo instructor :rolleyes: ).

Pavel Dolgachov
9th August 2005, 21:19
I understand. Sometimes it's interesting to look to "innovations" like in "modern" Shiromatsu. The way - Ymanni-ryu like - was surprised to me at first, of course.
I didn't communicate with Katherine for a long time. What can you say about Shiishi-no kun version, which Katherine sensei also teaches?
And I would like to ask you like a very informed person about Taira Shinken own tehniques. I saw a book of Patrick McCarthy "Koryu uchinadi" (part with english translation of "Ryukyu kobudo taikan" was even translated to Russian$ I suppose, Mr McCarthy doesn't know about it). Was his way close to modern Akamine-line? I think, pictures of Pat McCarthy show his Yamanni-ryu versions. Probably I'm not right...

Shikiyanaka
9th August 2005, 23:20
I didn't communicate with Katherine for a long time. What can you say about Shiishi-no kun version, which Katherine sensei also teaches?

You mean Shűshi no Kun Sh˘? Or the secret one which was seen in Okinawa when some guy looked over a wall and... ooops, forget this.

The Shűshi no Kun Sh˘ is from Ryukyu Kobudo Akamine lineage. She learned it from her Sensei and Senpai Uehara Ko (Goju-ryu/Ryukyu Kobudo), Shiroma Katsuo (Matsubayashi-ryű/Ryukyu Kobudo). She also visited, trained, and was tested in Shinbukan Honbu of the late Akamine Eisuke.


And I would like to ask you like a very informed person about Taira Shinken own tehniques. I saw a book of Patrick McCarthy "Koryu uchinadi" (part with english translation of "Ryukyu kobudo taikan" was even translated to Russian$ I suppose, Mr McCarthy doesn't know about it). Was his way close to modern Akamine-line? I think, pictures of Pat McCarthy show his Yamanni-ryu versions. Probably I'm not right...

I'am completely not aware what Taira Shinken's technique was like; I haven't met someone who trained with him nor did I have seen the filmed footage of Smithonian Institute until now. I only know that he was instrumental in putting up a work group of experts (Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinkokai), where seemingly anyone in Okinawa at that time participated in some way or the other. By the way; his friend Hohan Soken was part of this all, and also a certain Masami Chinen, of whom one photo exists in a deep Zenkutsu-dachi with a normal Uke and white Karate-d˘gi.
Taira traditioned the Kata he learned from Yabiku, some of which are only known in this lineage and would have been lost forever without him (Taira received Menj˘ Kaiden from Yabiku in B˘jutsu and Saijutsu). And he worked with any other expert he could find, like Mabuni, Nakasone, etc. He studied the Okinawan Kobud˘ Kata by traveling over Okinawa, visiting anyone he could. While doing this, he met Akamine Eisuke, who was a student of Yamanni-ryű B˘jutsu from four recognized students of Chinen Sanda (all were only some years younger than Masami Chinen). He was open minded and worked with the excellent Japanese Bud˘ka like Konishi, Inoue and Fujita Seiko. Altogether this was a big step for the Hozon and the Shink˘ of Ryukyu Martial Arts. He also developed Kata by himself. His style was also called Kong˘-ryű.

Miyagi Tokumasa on Yabiku M˘den:


"The honorable teacher Yabiku M˘den was born in 1878 in Shuri Gibo-ch˘. At that time, the change of Ryűkyű-han to Okinawa-ken took place, which was put through with military force in Okinawa. He had three brothers and one sister and he was the eldest son. In his youth he was rather small. He learned Karate from Itosu Ank˘, Kobujutsu from Chinen Pŕchin Sanda, Tawada Shinboku (Mŕgantű), furthermore from Kanagusuku Ufuchiku (Kanţusumŕ). Finally he became a Bujutsu expert himself. In the pre-war era, together with ďshiro Chojo (1887-1935), he stood in the status of a leading figure in Okinawa Kobud˘, to which's development and promotion both persons contributed very much, and they tried to teach the younger generation."

On Taira SHinken he wrote:

"Apart from Taira Shinken Funakoshi only had a few students at that time and lived a modest life. In his book Karate-d˘ Ichir˘ 空手道一路 Funakoshi wrote, that in 1929 he recommended Taira Shinken to Yabiku M˘den (1878-1941), when the latter was in the capital (Tokyo). Taira took the chance and began his training in Ryűkyű Kobud˘. He developed quickly and in 1933 received Menjo Kaiden (in Bojutsu and Saijutsu)."


"With respect to the fotographs from his youth, he really had a good physis and gave a powerful impression. When I met him personally around 1960, however, with his protruding jaw bones, his broad-bony stature and the dark color of his skin, he defacto appeared to me as the typical Okinawan (UchinÔnchu) himself. In addition to it, when I met him at an old age, I met an good-natured old man of gentle character."

When Taira came back to Okinawa in 1940 or so, he also taught the Karate he had learned from Funakoshi, which was Sh˘rin-ryű, not Sh˘t˘kan. The style survived and is still taught there in some d˘j˘.

Concerning the "Yamanni-style" pictures, an example: You may show the Ushiro-age Sunakake and thrust (or however one may call it) in Shűshi no Kun Sh˘ (if you think this is the application). Or you can show the explicit version, which maybe would be called "Ushiro-tsuki", or (preparation for Mae-de-tsuki while ducking away, or whatever); than it may be Sunakake, but also maybe something else. You may show the evading movments of the upper body, or you leave it to the student to find out (if he is worthy, he will!). Who knows. If "Yamanni style" is showing Sunakake as the application of this technique, than the pictures of PM maybe Yamane. Otherwise I thought the Kata in his book was Shushi no Kun Sho, or even Dai. I can't find the book right now.

Pavel Dolgachov
10th August 2005, 14:40
You mean Shűshi no Kun Sh˘? Or the secret one which was seen in Okinawa when some guy looked over a wall and... ooops, forget this.
No, I don’t mean Shushi no kun. Shiishi no kun has a straight “forward-back” embusen, way of grip – bo under armpit. Most stances – zenkutsu. I remember, Katherine said about biologist, whose name was Tawada, who practised only this kata. If memory doesn’t fails me…


You may show the Ushiro-age Sunakake and thrust (or however one may call it)
I think, Kamine line has only one way to demonstrate it in kata. So, there will not be a sunakake application :)

dsomers
10th August 2005, 15:35
Some pronounce it Soeshi , or Soeyoshi .

David

Pavel Dolgachov
10th August 2005, 17:06
I don't think, that version of kata I mean is a version of Sueyoshi or Sheshi. It's another kata.

Shikiyanaka
10th August 2005, 22:55
I guess you'll have to patient with this one :rolleyes:

Doug Daulton
13th August 2005, 07:48
Taira experimented with kendo-like bogu gear to allow kobudo sparring. The results were mixed. As with kendo (as I am told by both kendo and koryu folks), the addition of bogu alters waza in a significantly negative way. Timing, targeting and distance are all affected. So, were one looking to create a sport derivative of Ryukyu kobudo, the bogu approach might work. However, the end result would have similar relationship to Ryukyu kobudo as kendo has to Katori Shinto Ryu or another koryu combat school.

Absent protective gear, Ryukyu kobudo kumite would only be possible at the highest level ... where most practitioners have discovered the fundamental flaws in inviting sport into budo. Unptrotected jiyu-kumite in the lower ranks would almost certainly lead to serious and possibly fatal injuries.

This leaves only two options as I see it. The first is kata, which I will address in a seperate response. The other would be yakusoku (promised/prearraqnged) kumite. These are not as clearly codified in Ryukyu kobudo as they are in most karate ryuha. But I've always thought that armed or unarmed yakusoku kumite, and their variants would be a better judge of knowledge and application than point fighting. Sure, it is not as sexy for the masses, but I'd pay to watch it and I think most serious students of either art would as well. :)

Great thread. Hope this helps.

Doug Daulton
13th August 2005, 08:06
When one judges kata, it is appearance that's being evaluated. The only sense that the judge can use in evaluating kata is sight. One can't really discern what's in the competitor's mind and not all applications are obvious. Rob, I think I know where you are coming from, but I think your point is a bit too general.

One thing I learned early on is that, if one knows what to look for, one can pick out the effective, dangerous fighters by watching the way they do kata. For lack of a better description, the thing to look for is their intent. As a Matsubayashi man, I may not know the specific bunkai for a Ryuei-ryu kata, but if the person doing it is well-trained and has the right mindset it definitely stands out from someone running through the motions or doing "Team Paul Mitchell" performance kata. You may not know precisely what the person is doing, but you can tell that he knows what he is doing. Does that make sense?

To clarify, I do not mean loud kiai or hip-popping gi/obi sound effects either. Lots of folks learn to show spirit in their kata while failing miserably and illustrating their knowledge of the waza. On the modern competition circuit, genuine, skillful and conscious intent is a rare find during kata embu, but you know it when you see it.

So to follow-up on my previous thread, Ryukyu kobudo kata could be a viable competition platform if the standards of judging are shifted to look for demonstrable knowledge, application and intent rather than a skillful, beautiful parroting of the teacher's embusen or, worse yet, spirited budo-esque gymnastics.

Regards,

Rob Alvelais
13th August 2005, 15:39
The crunchpoint in judging different styles in competition is simply that: you would need a lot of judges and trainers who are highly sophisticated and have expert knowledge in the field of Kobud˘, not only in their respective style.


Or, one could set up a "compulsory round" where the competitors are to 1) perform either a form created for this purpose or 2) choose from a small list of kata to be done in the first round or two. Then free kata in the final round (s). It'd be much easier for one to become familiar enough with a couple of kata from other styles to judge them competently, than to try to become familiar with the loads of kata from a bunch of different styles. I think it'd make it an even playing field to sort out the most technically competent of the competitors. Then, in the final rounds, one can open it up. So, you have a technical portion and an esthetic/technical component of the competition.

Otherwise, it's damn near impossible to judge a Yamanni Ryu Sakugawa No Kon, say, against a Kenshin Ryu version of the same kata. The approaches sure appear different.

Rob

tgall
5th September 2005, 09:45
Hello Doug, Hi all,

if collectect some very good experience with Bo-Kumite and free-sparring in Germany.
The history of our Bo-Shiai Fighting-Systems starts in the early 70th, where in the starting competions the used Kendo-Bogu-Gear. In of of the finals the destroyed 7 bo's. After that, the development of safty Bo's started. With these Bo's you don't need any protectiv closes.
The bo's consist of an Aluminum-Pipe 170 cm with about 1.4 cm in diameter, and they are sourunded with and Pipe-Isolation matarial (180 cm). The end of the pipe is closed with an plate and after it would come about 5 cm pipe isolation, so that the pipe is fixed in the sourunding isolation material. The important reason for it, that you could do a tsuki attack with the Bo, without pressing the pipe into the opponent.

I hope i could explain it to you, how we make our Safty-Bo's.

Thomas Gall