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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    302

    Default Recommended H2H Katas

    I've been liking the new emphasis around here on the kata as a training tool, particularly those recently developed by Gabe and team for pistol. After getting some pistol kata practice under my belt, I am impressed by how well these ingrain pistol technique.
    The question came up in my mind recently whether you all (particularly the SI staff) have traditional karate katas that you practice regularly to hone your H2H skills; or conversely, ones that you don't like or recommend. In either case, what are they and what do you or don't you lile about them. I think it would be useful to have a handful of traditional katas to integrate into my practice and also to compare with what I have already been taught.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Western WA
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    5,664
    The kata I practice daily are Naihanchi and Sanchin. There's certainly a lot that they leave out, but they teach the fundamental body mechanics, structure and movement that I think are necessary.

    Kris Wilder has a DVD and a book on Sanchin, check those out. Learning from a book is nothing like from a teacher but sometimes it's the best you can do. Sanchin teaches some different ideas than Naihanchi, but you can apply a lot of the same ideas.

    There are a lot of good resources on Naihanchi (also known as Naifanchi or Tekki). There are tons of applications to be found in that kata. Apply the same structural ideas that Kris shares on Sanchin and you've got something.


    The Pinan/Heian series is approachable to most people and build on the ideas from Naihanchi. Iain Abernethy has an excellent series of articles discussing how this series is nearly a complete fighting system on its own.

    Gekisai builds off the ideas in Sanchin.


    There's lots of other kata but any of those are a good place to start. There is plenty of material online about how to apply them.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Western WA
    Posts
    5,664
    I like kata that teach you different things (as opposed to kata that just repeat the same stuff in a different sequence).

    Naihanchi shows you very different material from Sanchin, and both are very different from Pinan. Sword kata teaches a very different movement style than Jo kata.


    Kata that are incredibly long are like movies that needed more time in the editing room. Suparinpei and Kanku Dai come to mind. Way too long and feel like too much stuff is packed into them (and repetitive stuff at that). I prefer shorter kata that are more focused.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    289
    Naihanchi and Tomari Seisan are emphasized in my system. I think it will depend on your teacher.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    302
    Sorry, I spun this thread up a week ago and then dropped it.

    Good stuff, Brent. I have read Iain's articles on the Pinan/Heian series, but have not heard of Sanchin or Naihanchi katas. For those not familiar with these kaats, I found a couple of good videos below on the bunkai behind them; of course, Iain has some good videos on these katas, too. Both of these katas look like they have applications very similar to the style that I train in. It is cool to see them broken down into usable elements.

    Naihanchi bunkai: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpNTwZyZZzI

    Sanchin bunkai: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qrGwPGku68


    For comparison, below are some of the katas that I am used to practicing. Oddly, the katas in my system don't seem have the cohesiveness of some of the katas you referenced, Brent; they often seem (to me) to be just a variety of techniques pieced together with no obvious connection; at least, that is how they were taught to me. I have tried to apply Iain's bunkai rules for analyzing them and don't always see a connection between the techniques... maybe I am just dense. I would be curious of your opinion of them.

    Kenpo Short Form 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYRU4g4gjc0

    Kenpo Short Form 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwcIw20gpNg

    Kenpo Long Form 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSiVE4T6Wys

    Kenpo Long Form 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSdHKzgJzkQ

    Is there value in practicing katas from a separate system? Or would that just mess me up?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    391
    I recommend staying in one system...and with a sensei whose skill and knowledge you trust. If you have to switch systems to find it, that may be the path to take.

    Having said that, I know that Hohan Soken, who for many years was the head of my style, regarded the Naihanchi family as the best fighting katas. And they are convenient to practice, as they work in a straight lateral line....you can do them most anywhere. Pinans are OK, I think there's actually more material in the Passai family and Chinto. I have a love/hate relationship with that last, it's quite demanding of balance.

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