Likes Likes:  0
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Shotokan kihon- more than reverse punch??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    38
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default Shotokan kihon- more than reverse punch??

    Here are a few questions for all of you:
    1. When you are training, do you practice more than the reverse punch? If so, what other strikes do you train? From what stances? Would you say you train them all evenly?
    2. Do you ever train using the same hand to block and strike? If so, what block/strike combinations?
    3. What style do you study?


    The reason I ask is because I have studied several different styles of Karate over the years, mostly Shotokan or based on it; including JKA Shotokan. I currently study Okinawan Karate under an Okinawan sensei- and it is completely different from anything I have done in the past. I recently found an old Karate book by Nishiyama (originator of JKA), and it is very similar to the Karate I am studying now. Most of the various strikes are there, as demonstrated in this old video too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=visOc...eature=related
    I'm curious to see if anyone out there is still learning the old techniques. I saw a couple of them here and there during lessons, but we never practiced them... And knife block for instance was only used with back stance..
    Thanks for the insight!
    Last edited by bartfast; 29th June 2008 at 17:23. Reason: typo
    D. Fiorello

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Newport News
    Posts
    8
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Hi Danny

    For what you are saying, you may be studying shorin ryu right now, am I correct? In any case, regarding your question, shorin ryu, ruey ryu, goju ryu and other Okinawan ryuha are very different than JKA karate, most of them are doing something different.

    I would be mistaken if I told you that all Okinawan groups are different, since Japanese JKA style karate has influenced in some Okinawan dojo, but traditional Okinawa iis not JKA.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    38
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default

    I understand that JKA is quite different from what I am currently studying... The main point here is that there is in fact a great deal of overlapping or similar techniques in common theoretically, but not practically. If you look at old JKA books and footage like I mentioned in the other post, you see the "lost" techniques being practiced by JKA members. My question is therefore, Are these techniques actually "lost" in a manner of speaking? That is to say, in my personal experience 98% of all of our striking was reverse punch (including lunge punch, and also just drilling from a ready stance). Very rarely we would use a backfist, or a ridge hand, and even more rarely shuto (mostly from back stance). Where did these techniques go? Or are you guys actually still using all of these techniques?

    Is this an accurate portrayal? Is it just MY experience?
    here is a list of Shotokan strikes from wikipedia. Does anyone use these?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...28Uchi-waza.29
    D. Fiorello

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Seattle, Washington, USA
    Posts
    6,226
    Likes (received)
    117

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bartfast View Post
    I recently found an old Karate book by Nishiyama (originator of JKA)...
    I assume you're refering to Nishiyama Hidetaka.

    He wasn't "the originator" of the Japan Karate Association (Nihon Karate Kyokai in Japanese). He was a cofounder, along with Nakayama Masatoshi and a group of fellow karateka, and Funakoshi Gichin, the first headmaster. The first chairman was Saigo Kichinosuke.

    Nishiyama Hidetaka was also the cofounder of the All Japan Collegiate Karate Federation, and he founded the All America Karate Federation.

    HTH.
    Last edited by Brian Owens; 3rd July 2008 at 06:24.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    38
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default

    Ok...
    one of the earliest practitioners of the style that came to be known as JKA.

    My questions are the same... where did the techniques that he demonstrated as basic kihon go?

    We have a snapshot of what JKA Karate looked like in its early days (which is essentially what my current style still looks like), and I have experienced what the JKA is like currently (at least at dojo I have trained in).

    Where did the techniques go? Or in your experiences are they still prominent and integrated into the curriculum as heavily as straight punching??
    D. Fiorello

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Santa Monica
    Posts
    47
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default

    one of the earliest practitioners of the style that came to be known as JKA.
    The JKA is not a style its an association. Japan Karate Kyokai.
    The main style of the JKA is Shotokan although in the original constitution the possibility of practicing other styles was mentioned.
    Teruhisa Matsutaka

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    38
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default

    Ok...
    so, in the association named JKA, which practices the style currently known as Shotokan, though in a way particular to that association, which is to say that JKA practitioners have a certain "style" to their Shotokan which could differ from other associations; please address the actual questions in my original post rather than amusing yourselves with the minute correction of insignificant details.
    thank you.
    D. Fiorello

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Santa Monica
    Posts
    47
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bartfast View Post
    Ok...
    so, in the association named JKA, which practices the style currently known as Shotokan, though in a way particular to that association, which is to say that JKA practitioners have a certain "style" to their Shotokan which could differ from other associations; please address the actual questions in my original post rather than amusing yourselves with the minute correction of insignificant details.
    thank you.
    I was only trying to help you make your question clear. I won't bother you again with such 'insignificant' details like facts. Good luck with whatever it is you are asking.
    Teruhisa Matsutaka

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    38
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default

    I don't mean to sound snippy... I apologize...
    My only point is that on these boards people lose sight of the question and go off on tangents. I appreciate your distinction being made, but I would be even happier if you had some input! Do you study Shotokan (JKA or otherwise?) or even any other style? Do you practice the techniques listed in the references I mentioned (youtube, wikipedia)? Or is it primarily reverse punching?
    You seem knowledgeable about the intricacies of Shotokan, your input would be especially helpful!
    thanks
    D. Fiorello

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Seattle, Washington, USA
    Posts
    6,226
    Likes (received)
    117

    Default

    Okay, I'll give it a shot.

    I've never practiced Shotokan nor been in the JKA, but it may be similar to what went on in the Washington Karate Assocoiation when I was practicing.

    While the WKA started as a group of schools that included Isshin Ryu and Shito Ryu, eventually it was a Shito Ryu-specific group, much as JKA is a defacto Shotokan group.

    The WKA was very heavily into tournaments, as was (is?) the JKA. (Nakayama pretty much started the whole tournament thing, to the objections of many Karatedo masters, from what I have been taught.)

    Over time, it became clear that certain techniques were more likely to score points when fighting under the tournament rules than others, and those techniques were emphasized in training. Soon, even the performance of the kata began to evolve based on the mindset of the tournament champions.

    Everything seemed to become very hard and very linear, and the reverse punch was definitely the technique of the hour.

    When Master Hayashi came over for an extended instructor's training, he set about to correct the changes. He emphasized that Shito Ryu contained both hard and soft methods, and that emphasizing one over the other was not a balanced approach. He retaught ("changed" to some people's minds) the kata, so that some of the linearity was replaced with circularity, and some of the hardness was replaced with softness.

    The change didn't sit well with everyone. One high-ranking member quit the WKA and told all his students that the "new" style was "fag karate" and that he would have nothing to do with it, so he started his own organization and several of the other teachers within WKA went with him.

    Anyway, lest I stray too much further from the point, something similar may have been at play in the JKA school you attended. While the kata almost certainly contained much more than just straight punches, the teacher may have been more limited in his or her emphasis, at least at the level at which you were training.

    In a given month, what percentage of your time was spent on kata, versus the time spent on kihon and kumite?
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    38
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default

    It was my suspicion that tournament play was influencing the actual practice of technique, and that because of it, the non-tournament friendly techniques began to slip into obscurity... but I thought that might be too simple of an explanation...

    Class time was pretty much the same every time... start off with a few minutes (maybe 10) of warm ups, then about an hour of mostly punching (side, roundhouse and front kicks in there too...) and then about a half hour of kata. And it was a mixed class white through black belt.

    Other than pre-arranged kumite and 3 step sparring there was no real "kumite".

    Another interesting thing is the idea of "combinations", which in those schools meant low punch, high punch, high punch... or something like that...
    Instead of knife hand, palm heel, hammer fist, etc.

    But I do agree that it seems to me that tournaments are at the heart of the disappearance of the other techniques... I was just hoping I was mistaken and that some people were still practicing them...
    D. Fiorello

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Seattle, Washington, USA
    Posts
    6,226
    Likes (received)
    117

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bartfast View Post
    ...But I do agree that it seems to me that tournaments are at the heart of the disappearance of the other techniques... I was just hoping I was mistaken and that some people were still practicing them...
    If it's anything like what I've seen around here, the techniques aren't so much lost as they are ignored by the young bucks.

    Once the tournament scene becomes old hat, many of the more experienced teachers seem to go back to the "old school" art and start trying to rediscover the kata; really studying them in depth, and in so doing finding a renewed sense of discovery and joy.

    I know that before he died, my teacher and friend Jerry Ferguson was really involved in his study of kata. Although he had been a long-time student of Julius Thiry, and had received personal instruction from Hayashi Teruo, he also sought out teachers of other systems, including Chinen Teruo and Mabuni Kenzo.

    Just a personal reflection, and it may or may not apply to your experience.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Leicester, UK
    Posts
    10
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Brian's tale rings true with me, although I never trained in the JKF my Sensei did for many years and used to compete in their UK (KUGB) competitions a lot. Punches were of course the order of the day, with flashy kicks for the right situations. When the dojo he used to train at moved over to another Shotokan organisation (under the late Taiji Kase) he went back and training focused much more on use of open hand techniques at higher levels.

    To answer Bartfast's questions:

    Quote Originally Posted by bartfast View Post
    1. When you are training, do you practice more than the reverse punch? If so, what other strikes do you train? From what stances? Would you say you train them all evenly?
    2. Do you ever train using the same hand to block and strike? If so, what block/strike combinations?
    3. What style do you study?
    1. I include all the strikes listed in that video in my training, although Kumade(palm) , Kakuto (wrist) and Nihon Nukite (2-finger) are barely present in my style so I don't use them so much. Most commonly I would use elbows (empi), ridge hand (haito), sword hand (shuto) or spear hand (nukite) strikes in a variety of ways in whatever stance is most appropriate. Use of Fudo-Dachi (rooted stance) is encouraged at the higher end of the syllabus I train under. Punches are still more common, mainly because they're what we drill in the most. We introduce students to open hand counters at 4th kyu level in front stance.

    2. Since 1st Kyu level I practiced front hand (sei-te) counters starting with punches, backfist and hammer-fist and progressing on to open hand techniques after passing Shodan. At present I almost always use 1 or 2 front hand techniques, whatever fits, before a reverse punch, open hand or empi finish. Maybe a takedown as well.
    So many possibilities, but a simple example would be shuto block, shuto counter same hand, haito with rear hand to temple as a finish.

    3. Shotokan Ryu Kase-Ha, though I do not belong to the organisation.
    Henry Bellinger
    Kase-ha Karate
    Leicester & Loughborough Shotokan

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    229
    Likes (received)
    2

    Default

    If you look at the history of Shotokan, and place it into it's historical context it became a method of teaching young kids how to be good soldiers. The family individualized training that marked Okinawan training was now replaced with rank structure, obedience to authority without question, and uniformity. Since Judo was on the rise and was very popular, Funakoshi needed a way to make karate just as marketable. This started with the early sport karate, the change from "Chinese hand" to "Empty hand" and the renaming of katas to more japanese sounding names.

    Kicks became higher since you couldn't kick the knee/groin anymore and techniques that couldn't be used in competition were ignored. Kata was not studied in depth to find it's lesson. It was just material for testing and tradition. Time was spent on kihon and kumite. Look at the number of styles that came from Shotokan that evolved just from the tournament fighting. Kyokushin, Seidokan, Ashihara etc.
    "Hard won, buy easy lost. True karate does not stay where it is not being used."

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Tokorozawa, Japan
    Posts
    1,275
    Likes (received)
    18

    Default

    My take on the whole "just reverse punch" thing is the JKA's (and its derivatives) emphasis on solid basics.
    As has been mentioned, the shift to a military-style training methodology and competition mindset reinforces the "stick with what works" attitude.
    One of the greatest strengths of Shotokan as taught by the JKA is its strong basics. One of its greatest weaknesses is a failure to get away from the basics.
    We hear stories of very senior people who spent hours every day punching the makiwara with the reverse punch. Would we expect them to exploit an opening with anything other than the technique they've practiced tens of thousands of times?
    The reverse punch is also the competition winner. I attended the 2004 Shoto Cup in Tokyo and all the kumite events were won with the gyakuzuki. The competition winners are the ones who become the next generation of instructors, who teach the techniques to win competition...
    Look at the early 1956-57 JKA promotional videos and you'll see the likes of Nishiyama, Okazaki, Kase, and Kanazawa performing throws, kicks from a kneeling position, a variety of strikes - all "beyond the basics". I'm sure these other techniques are not dead, but just neglected.

    My ¥2 worth (and with the exchange rate the way it is, you're getting extra value )
    Andrew Smallacombe

    Aikido Kenshinkai

    JKA Tokorozawa

    Now trotting over a bridge near you!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •