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Thread: Wow!!! What the heck happened?

  1. #16
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    Default It's all good

    Maybe everybody's right. As far as I can tell, all okinawa karate uses cresent stepping but not all use straight. All shorin styles do crecent-like steps like in the four shuto's of Kusanku. Cresent step is'nt for forward power but angle power whereas straight stepping is for linear power. Yamanni-Chinen Ryu is mostly straight but there are also off-angle cresents. Shuri-te was once a weapons and empty hand art propogated from Sakugawa to Matsumura. So traditional shurite most likely was mostly straight but also with off-angle cresents.

    The cresent step is really just an exagurated straight step anyway. In both instances the feet pass each other as close as possible. the idea with a crecent step is that you can work angles defensively and offensively to get into the opponent or away from him. When the feet are close together in movement you can choose quickly which direction you want to go. So it seems all good to me.

    Paul Adamson
    Last edited by PingAnTu; 29th May 2002 at 09:48.

  2. #17
    kusanku Guest

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    Well, I wasn't counting the cat steps but yes, they are crescent steps sort of. They kind of do have to be since you are going to forty-five etc.

    So, perhaps so.Perhaps so.You have to step how you have to step to get where you need to be relative to attacker.

    Especially if you are going to achieve the highest level of Okinawan Karate striking waza, nameley and to wit, braining the opponent without him seeing it coming after he initiates the lethal attempt on you first.

    This necessitates particularly stealthy usage of defensive or countering footwork, and we all know what that means, don't we fellows? It means going right to his blind spot forty five to the front or rear.

    Which may necessitate a de facto crescent step.But that was a seekret, Paul.The Matsubayashi Ryu Oath, a copy of which I have never seen, prescribes absolutely never telling anyone we actually may use a crescent step.Remember?

    Of course you must deny this as we were never to tell that such an oath existed either.It doesn't, either.Doug will of course, tell you the same.Since all three of us deny such a thing exists, no one will be able to discover if it does, or not.Of cours,e it does not,That is the truth.(watch someone start a website now,, with mention of the Secret Matsubayashi Ryu Oath:-)I swear they will, someone has already pirated some of my stuff on a soke website.No kidding.I wanna know how they got to be tenth dan soke and I am nowhere near that.They should know twice what I do, that rank.At least.But nooo, hadda go'n' swipe my stuff.I'm thinkin', Man, this guy really is making sense, Hey, those are my words!
    Then I though, well, Heck, least he';'s givin' em good information.:-)
    Regards

  3. #18
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    Default Re: more

    Originally posted by johnst_nhb


    Interesting. This contradicts what I was told by Kuda shinshii. He told me that the circular stepping he used to do was from his training in Okinawa Kenpo and that it changed to the straight step when he began Matsumura Seito under Soken.

    ....
    j
    Hello Stebbins Shinshii

    I concur with what you said. My son's sensei teaches straight stepping. I have Soken Hohan on tape performing Paisai Sho and he steps straight. Glad to have you on the forum. Take care.
    Ed Boyd

  4. #19
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    Default

    Originally posted by kusanku ... Which may necessitate a de facto crescent step.But that was a seekret, Paul. The Matsubayashi Ryu Oath, a copy of which I have never seen, prescribes absolutely never telling anyone we actually may use a crescent step. Remember?

    Of course you must deny this as we were never to tell that such an oath existed either. It doesn't, either. Doug will of course, tell you the same. Since all three of us deny such a thing exists, no one will be able to discover if it does, or not.
    I never use crescent stepping (not as far as you know at least).

    In all seriousness, I do use crescent stepping in certain kata and I have picked it by studying several folks much more senior than me. That said, it is not the pronounced crescent stepping found in Goju ryu. It is more the hint of a crescent than an actual arc.

    IMO, the crescent step is a key element of learning and maintaining the ability to generate gamanku (hip power) in certain (but not all) waza. However, the crescent step never finds its way into kumite practice (ippon/sanbon, yakusoku or jiyu).

    In application, the crescent disappears (to the eye) but remains in effect in the actual technique.

    I hope that makes sense.

    Regards,
    Doug Daulton

  5. #20
    kusanku Guest

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    Yep. That's sorta kinda the way I view this as well.:-)

    It's like, you may kind of use one, in some certain kata, or some waza practice, but in the kumites, or in self defense, never see it.

    What however, you Do see, and a lot of, in Matsubayashi Ryu, and its no secret, is a step around movement to achieve positioning on an incoming opponent, usually into cat stance, as in all the Pinans for instance.

    This may well take the place of the more overt crescent step seen in other styles of karate.

    A buddy of mine in Shito Ryu tells me that the seniors in his style, use the step around as in Matsubayashi Ryu in their applications or kumites, but not in the kata.

    Which is kind of funny, if you think about it, because they use the crescent step big time in the Higaonna-ke forms, ie Goju forms.

    Anyway, it all goes to the question of gamanku or hip positioning and usage, I suppose. Good to hear from you Doug and all.

    Regards

  6. #21
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    Perfect sense, Doug

    Rob

  7. #22
    kusanku Guest

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    And speaking of which, by the way,hows about we mention that in more advanced practice in about all Okinawan styles, sliding, and shifting direction during such, even though we in Matsubayashi Ryu as Doug has now told you in accordance with the Oath that does not exist, no it doesn't,Never use crescent steps, amounts to crescent movement anyway?

  8. #23
    kenshorin Guest

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    Originally posted by kusanku
    Never use crescent steps, amounts to crescent movement anyway?
    kusanku -
    HEY! No talk of the secret Oath in public!

    Funny story about this actually... A while ago my sensei and a few seniors went to Okinawa to train with Nagamine Shoshin. Well, one of the seniors thought he was a hotshot and always used the "pronounced" circular step like you see in Goju. From what I heard, he was doing kata in front of O-Sensei like that, and O-Sensei called him out on it, something to the extent of "You want Goju? They're down the street..."

    After this, there was a little tidbit dropped by O-Sensei that came back here. He basically said (and I'm paraphrasing here), circular steps are wrong. Linear steps are wrong too. Matter of fact, ANY FORCED UNNATURAL step is wrong. Just step. See?

    Truth is, the human body doesn't move 100% linear. Nor does it move in giant concentric arcs. Naturally, it has its subtle curvature.

    The point was, sometimes martial artists try to force stuff and add techniques where they aren't neccessary. So to take a quote from Nike, "Just Do It"

  9. #24
    kusanku Guest

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    Originally posted by kenshorin
    [B]

    kusanku -
    HEY! No talk of the secret Oath in public!
    Ossu! What Secret Oath?Never heard of any Secret Oath, have,m we , guys?Doesn't Exist, I tell you!Ahem!That better?

    Funny story about this actually... A while ago my sensei and a few seniors went to Okinawa to train with Nagamine Shoshin. Well, one of the seniors thought he was a hotshot and always used the "pronounced" circular step like you see in Goju. From what I heard, he was doing kata in front of O-Sensei like that, and O-Sensei called him out on it, something to the extent of "You want Goju? They're down the street..."
    That's funny.And as expected.He never heard of that oath, either!

    After this, there was a little tidbit dropped by O-Sensei that came back here. He basically said (and I'm paraphrasing here), circular steps are wrong. Linear steps are wrong too. Matter of fact, ANY FORCED UNNATURAL step is wrong. Just step. See?
    Actually, yes, and clearly.You force it , its not real.

    Truth is, the human body doesn't move 100% linear. Nor does it move in giant concentric arcs. Naturally, it has its subtle curvature.

    The point was, sometimes martial artists try to force stuff and add techniques where they aren't neccessary. So to take a quote from Nike, "Just Do It"
    Well said, indeed.If someone attacks you, how will you step? However you really step, is how.

    Good stuff, and plenty of it.

  10. #25
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    Default Great replies!

    Thanks for all the feedback. You guys make great points. I actually have no preference when it comes to stepping. I was taught the 45 degree method and feel comfortable with it. I've been given numerous explanations as to why the styles I've trained in prefer this method over the traditional linear method: "You're sweeping the battlefield of debris; it's for sweeping the leg of your opponent; it generates more hip rotation momentive force." Basically many of the same points discussed thus far. I tend to think that some of the basic reasoning with training footwork in this way may be related to the fundamental definition of Okinawan Karate as a whole- that it makes use of Goho (Ijiki) and Juho (Soyora). Many newer styles of karate (especially those of ShuriTe lineage) emphasize offensive, linear actions (very Goho).

    At many traditional tournaments this attitude is displayed in the Kumite. With the exception of the few Chinese-flavored schools that sometimes enter, many of the fighters look very similar. They may be of Shorei or Shorin lineage, but to watch them you wouldn't be able to spot any subtleties or tell-tale signs of this. There are very few tricky or finesse techniques. They all look a little like controlled kickboxing, not really karate. Use of taisabaki is practically nonexistent, and usually those with a good urate (gyaku) tsuki, mawashi geri, yoko geri and mae geri are usually the strongest competitors. That's four techniques out of the myriad you learn in the dojo. These kihon are usually executed in a 'get in get out' manner. Circling the opponent rather than running in or backing up, is rare. BTW IMO, teaching softness and circular motion too soon can lead to weak, slow beginners and not-so-fast, flexible, yet soft, black belts/sashes. The middle path seems to be a good remedy for the over emphasis of ijiki or soyora.

    You can reach your opponents "rear corner", or position yourself at a 45 degree angle to his anterior with linear steps. The thing is with all the walking kihon line training that predominates the modern dojo, the karateka may never, ever even think of moving to a position around his opponent, where use of all your weapons vs. only 2 of his is a distinct advantage in any fighting situation.

    Use of crescent stepping, or more accurately 45 degree stepping, has helped me to understand this aspect of body positioning. It also reminds the karateka (at least in my case) to use his hips and bring the power up from your root and to the weapon you wanna use. When we do Hohan Soken's Fighting drills (2-man drills), the use of angles and positioning is a must. Many, but not all of the drills, use lateral movement and pivoting.

    Stepping off-center to the right or left is facilitated with 45 deg. stepping. The action is really very linear, but not straight ahead. When I asked my Sensei what was the fundamental fighting philosophy of his Matsumra Seito he exclaimed, "Get out of the way"!!!

    Thanks again, sirs. Looking forward to more interesting discussions.
    Last edited by Tatsu; 6th June 2002 at 07:11.
    Bryan Cyr (pronounced "SEER")

  11. #26
    kenshorin Guest

    Default Re: Great replies!

    Originally posted by Tatsu
    I've been given numerous explanations as to why the styles I've trained in prefer this method over the traditional linear method: "You're sweeping the battlefield of debris; it's for sweeping the leg of your opponent; it generates more hip rotation momentive force." Basically many of the same points discussed thus far.

    At many traditional tournaments this attitude is displayed in the Kumite. With the exception of the few Chinese-flavored schools that sometimes enter, many of the fighters look very similar. They may be of Shorei or Shorin lineage, but to watch them you wouldn't be able to spot any subtleties or tell-tale signs of this. There are very few tricky or finesse techniques. They all look a little like controlled kickboxing, not really karate. Use of taisabaki is practically nonexistent, and usually those with a good urate (gyaku) tsuki, mawashi geri, yoko geri and mae geri are usually the strongest competitors. That's four techniques out of the myriad you learn in the dojo. These kihon are usually executed in a 'get in get out' manner. Circling the opponent rather than running in or backing up, is rare.
    Man, you aren't kidding. A lot of people pay no attention to what their feet are doing. I circle around A LOT, almost to the point of refusing to back up. It helps. I know people who have great techniques, but use no footwork (or the predictable in-out thing), and they can't touch me. I like that

    You know how I said "sometimes martial artists try to force stuff" referring to funky steps? Well, for a while I was the funky step king. Forced steps galore. Had em in my kata, had em all over the place. Had them not even fully understanding why I was doing them. Just because it was the cool thing to do. I've trained with circular steps, linear steps, and natural steps like I described above. I tried to force a FULL linear step, and it was much too jerky. The circular step does help for sweeps; however, you have to do it right because it leaves you in a funny position to get swept too if your opponent catches you when your feet are close, and the more you do it, the more likely your opponent is going to catch it.

    I found that a natural step is usually quicker (for me) because its just what I do. Not that I ignore the concepts of taisabaki, stance and balance, but I integrate those concepts seamlessly into how my body works. I allow the shifting between stance to just happen, and not try to integrate all these unnatural intermediary movements. That said, I'm glad I went through my funky step phase, because it taught me a lot about footwork, and the advantages, disadvantages, similarities, and differences of different types of movement. Because of that, I still use a circular step in kumite occasionally, but I do so with a purpose, knowing the benefits and disadvantages of it; I don't avoid it because my "style tells me to". That would be stupid. The point is, you can over-do circular steps. And you can overdo natural steps too. Just do what works for the moment.

  12. #27
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    I have trained in Matsumura Seito Shorin-ryu, Matsubayashi-ryu, and Sorinkan Shorin-ryu. I was taught to step naturally in each. Their are some rare instances where I cresent step in Matsumura and Shorinkan. Seisan, for example, in Matsumura or the Kihon Kata and Pinans in Shorinkan. I'm not a very high ranking student so I can only pass on what I have been taught.

    Tommy Lane

  13. #28
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    Hakutsuru: Who did you study Matsumura Seito under? Just wondering. Crescent stepping is used in all of the kata I was taught by Kyoshi Lindsey. Every one except Naihachi 1-3, that is. The Shorinkan kata I learned also make use of an even more pronounced, lower based crescent step. I have seen many Shorinkan guys perform their kata in this manner.

    It has been mentioned that Goju has a very pronounced crescent stepping action in their forms. I can say that I know of a few BBs in Morio Higaonna's style, and they say that they only use crescent stepping in Sanchin, in accordance with the hourglass stance. Otherwise, they tend to step very linearly.

    I don't think it matters in the long run. I posed the question in the first place to spark conversation. I have read many stylistic descriptions throughout my life and found it interesting that a majority of authors consider Shorin offensive and linear and Shorei defensive and circular. My experience with Shorin was a combination of both ideologies.

    When we practice 2-man drills, a lot of linear stepping is used. This may be an illusion though, because like someone already said, everything in the universe is traveling in an arc-like manner, even light. Thanks to all again...
    Bryan Cyr (pronounced "SEER")

  14. #29
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    I study under Chuck Chandler. Mr. Chandler at one time trained under Mr. Lindsy I believe.

    I'll have to give my shorinkan teacher a call and ask him about his stepping. I watched him very carefully. I tend to be very picky about things like this. In all but the most basic kata he seemed to step naturally. Could be he just picked it up from watching me

    Goju-ryu and Uechi-ryu are whole other animals I think. Their stances are a bit different from shorin type schools. I started in Matsubayashi-ryu then moved. I then trained in Seido and Goju-ryu. Man it was hard to break the cresent stepping habit when I went back to Matsubayashi. Got more then a few stern looks in class.

    Now I have it squared away. I don't confuse styles anymore...well let me call my Shorinkan teacher and make sure I got it right

    Tommy Lane

  15. #30
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    Default And in the year 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by johnst_nhb View Post
    Just FYI,

    Matsumura Seito and other offshoots do not use a cresent step. They use linear stepping. There are exceptions in some kata, but its rare.

    -j
    I know this is old, but I differ... during the time I was in Okinawa ('66-67), under Seiki Arakaki with Hohan Soken present, we practiced the crescent step. From what I understand, Fuse Kise modified the step. I spent a year just practicing the step.

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