Saturday, February 02, 2008
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
With those kicks you have to swivel your supporting leg very quickly to counter-balance the effects of the rotation so as to not hurt your knee. Let me know if this helps.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Being level headed
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Kata, hyung, quan and forms
"Oh a fight is never played out like that," they say.
"That is so fake! What if the guy kicks you in the nuts," and so on and so forth they continue.
As if I was completely unaware of those arguments.
During my education of the martial arts I have learnt tons about forms and why certain arts have them which lead me to draw my own conlusions and attach a value to such a training tool.
I really don't think that forms should be criticised and berated so harshly. Most arts use them as a supplemental training tool but one should not view them as a mock fight. They are more than that. The traditional Okinawan forms are known to disguise certain joint-lock and pressure point moves; this is formally known as tuite. Since most Japanese forms, Japanese arts being by far the most popular around the world, take root in the Okinawan forms it is natural to conjecture that Japanese forms would also contain these elements. However, now since most arts are taught as a competition form, this aspect tends to be diluted out very easily.
Wing Chun, my art, views forms differently. They view them as a reference book for moves, like an encyclopedia. All the relevant moves are present in the forms and each form is presented for a general situation. The first form for instance is used to define the centerline which is the most important concept of the art. The second for lays the groundwork for closing in on an opponent. The last empty hand form focuses on getting out of precarious positions. Moves from the forms can be viewed singularly or as a compendium of various moves depending on the situation one finds oneself in.
These are but two different opinions on forms and I am sure there are more than just these. All things aside, even if we do not look at forms traditionally there is one thing prevalent in all forms whether karate kata, taichi quan, taekwondo hyung etc.; concentration. All require the practitioner to concentrate very hard on what they are doing forcing the mind play to an active role during training and for this reason I personally believe that a martial artist should not give up form practice. Bruce Lee's famous essay "Liberate yourself from classical karate" teaches otherwise, and although I am a huge follower of his teachings I would love to differ with him on this. I feel that the concentrat on that forms teach and the obstacles they present are extremely important to a martial artist's repertoire. These things are hard to train and forms present an excellent pathway to that goal.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Karate Ni Senti Nashi
There is no first strike in karate.
I believe this axiom is very important for martial artists to remember and keep at the forefront of their minds. Martial artists have a bigger responsibility than most people when it comes to violence, since they are trained in combat, one would think they could easily come out the victor in a challenge. In most cases this would be true - ceteris paribus - the person with the higher skill level would be the victor. Martial artists must remember that the best way to avoid a fight is to not partake in it. However, if things get really bad then by all means do so, but if one can avoid a fight one should do so. There is no shame in walking away from a potential altercation before it exacerbates. This way pain and damage is avoided. It is easier to hit a person than not hit.