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  1. #31
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    Thank you Brent. That explination serves very well on how everything ties together. Its all stuff that I knew on some level but have never seen presented in this manor.

    Traditionally are Kata set in stone? I would think flexability in practice would be natural. As an example if it was cold outside and one was wearing a hoodie the Kata would just change organically to clearing the cover garment during it. This would also serve to show where a deep knowedge of the material would guide things.
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  2. #32
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    Traditionally, are they set in stone? That is a can o' worms. Yes, as soon as they were codified, they were set in stone. Coincidentally, that's the moment where "pretty" began it's acendency. While things were a form of shadow boxing, pretty had less pull and "henka" addressed the variants due to circumstances.
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  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorkface View Post
    Thank you Brent. That explination serves very well on how everything ties together. Its all stuff that I knew on some level but have never seen presented in this manor.

    Traditionally are Kata set in stone? I would think flexability in practice would be natural. As an example if it was cold outside and one was wearing a hoodie the Kata would just change organically to clearing the cover garment during it. This would also serve to show where a deep knowedge of the material would guide things.
    I typed a bunch of stuff but lost it.

    I'll try to expand later but I would say no, don't change kata. You can ADJUST it (drawing from concealment, wearing a coat, holsters in different locations, practicing in different terrain, etc.) but that is different than CHANGING it.

    Think of kata as a RECIPE. Don't fuck with the recipe or else it becomes a completely different dish. A little more salt, a little more pepper...this would be an adjustment to particular necessities but it's not changing the recipe.

    Almost all the Karate kata of today have been greatly changed from their original form (for various reasons but mostly for the shallow reason of looking pretty). Because a few generations of people didn't understand what they were doing, we don't know exactly what the original kata looked like. (I practice what I believe to be as close to original as possible, but I'm under no illusion that I will ever know for sure...we just do the best we can). Looking pretty is fine as a by-product of good movement, but that is not the goal of a fighting system.
    Brent Yamamoto
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  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Spade View Post
    Traditionally, are they set in stone? That is a can o' worms. Yes, as soon as they were codified, they were set in stone. Coincidentally, that's the moment where "pretty" began it's acendency. While things were a form of shadow boxing, pretty had less pull and "henka" addressed the variants due to circumstances.
    Actually...historically speaking, the kata must be set in stone, otherwise everyone's opinion is equally valid and that is simply not the case. The purpose of the kata is to codify what we know to work, and to present it in a logical and repeatable manner so the system can be taught to others...and as I near my sixth decade and know the end of the race is closer than the beginning of it, so the system will outlive its founder. You will not get that if every student decides his view is different. To an unproven student with a different POV I would say, "Go win a few gunfights (win them by killing the other man decisively using the methods you wish to teach) and then come talk to me about changing the system".

    The historical development was thus.

    Founder of the system gets into a fight and wins using a concept, strategy, or technique.
    Founder repeats this several times developing a theme for the system (Small Circle JJ, Hard-Soft karate, etc.)
    Founder teaches others these techniques as individual actions. Those actions are then trained against others with varying resistance.
    (It should be known that in that era, an injury such as a broken arm could be life changing or ending, so care was taken to train without injury).
    As the system develops, and the danger of not including all parts of it, a Kata is created which is simply a collection of what he knows to that point.
    Students knowing the applications FIRST then have a different take on the Kata than an outsider would.
    Kata was a training aid that allowed repetitive training and a drastically increased number of repetitions.

    For those interested I suggest a couple of books - The Way Of Kata, and The Bubishi...for a thorough historical explanation of the development.

    Now...flash to the end of the conflagration of WW2 and to Okinawa. The Okinawans didn't like the Japanese and they suffered greatly as the war ended. Faced with the reality that their economy was in shambles and the only way to feed themselves was to teach these big Americans their Okinawan Te, they began to teach US GIs. The Okinawans spoke no English and the Americans spoke no Okinawan. So it was very much a "watch me...copy what I do". Then once the GI's seemed to get it, "You...grab shirt...watch kata".
    To put it into perspective, imagine being dropped in the middle of Malaysia and needing to teach Malaysian IPSC guys what we do and why - without knowing a word of their language.

    The Americans took what they learned home to the USA and framed it what they knew...US Military organization.

    I will add that the kata - insofar as Karate - lost muchof their value once they reached US shores, few instructors knew what they meant, and they began to be seen as athletic endeavors. And then the gay spectre of competition reared its head. I have written that competitive efforts always water down a martial system and degrade its applications. Fairbairn agreed. Watch an original Kata...one that was not "updated" or "improved", and you will see very conservative movements...like my expression of Bassai and like Diagonal Lines. Simple...valuable...and filled with true fight applications.

    When competition became the focus, Kumite (combat application) became a game of tag...even if they tagged you hard...it was still a game...and kata became a venue to express athletic aesthetics. Neither of these were the object of the exercise originally...but that is the object of many karate systems today.

    So while THIS FOUNDER is alive, these are set in stone, although each student will manifest the concepts and techniques differently. My Bassai will look differently than Brent's, and Eric Tull's Bassai may require the clearing of an entire city block...but conceptually it is still the same thing.
    Gabriel Suarez

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  5. #35
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    Soon I will redo the video and actually publish it more broadly. I will show it open carry from front, back and overhead, as well as concealed front, back and overhead. There will be kata for every concept and application we have. And while we will publish one or two openly here, the rest will not be free. They will be taught in an upcoming class that will cover this sort of thing as well as be available for download on a streaming service we will offer.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

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  6. #36
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    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

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  7. #37
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    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

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  8. #38
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    I will add this - for the Karateman -

    If your Kumite does not look like your Kata, your Kumite is not emulating a real fight. A mutually agreed upon duel by physical equals is not a street fight. A street fight is what Karate is for.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel Suarez View Post
    For those interested I suggest a couple of books - The Way Of Kata, and The Bubishi...for a thorough historical explanation of the development.
    This one?
    Attachment 55275

    Yes, that's a good book and as I recall does a great job explaining many things about kata.

    I've trained with Kris and Lawrence a lot, they are based in Seattle. Kris and I come from different backgrounds, but we eventually found the same teacher...the guy that taught Kris the magic was at my dojo last night.
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    Brent Yamamoto
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  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel Suarez View Post
    I will add this - for the Karateman -

    If your Kumite does not look like your Kata, your Kumite is not emulating a real fight. A mutually agreed upon duel by physical equals is not a street fight. A street fight is what Karate is for.
    And adding again - I have studied this in depth as Karate was what began all of this back in 1970. The entire "self-perfection" spiritual stuff that gets thrown in is a modern affectation. The founders were fighting men, and lived their lives fighting. They would have eaten David Carradine alive, and used his bones to pick their teeth.

    The whole "other than killing" stuff was added when Karate was taken into the Okinawan and Japanese school systems by a man named Funakoshi and needed to be made, using the modern analogy - politically correct. As I recall...Motobu, another founder, had little kindness toward Funakoshi and considered what he was doing as foolish and a waste.

    As a comparison...imagine taking what we do and using purple nerf guns, and big clown helmets. And using that for force on force where you could not get any closer than ten feet and everyone began with the nerf gun in hand and had five shots. And it was "played" on a big water mattress. You would scoff at the ridiculous antics, and call it as one man did, "Parlor Karate". In our context that would be "Gay Gunfighting"
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

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