Thursday, November 15, 2007

Old School # 5: Shotokan Karate

Hands held low, Spirit held High...
Now here is some more serious 1960's Karate. As has been stated, some of this old stuff is somewhat lame, but these guys and gals at least show great spirit. I can't believe any fighting school ever allowed the low hand posture, leaving head shots wide open. What's up with that??? One would think that western boxing would have taught them a lesson by then. Ah, it seems to have finally caught on, the hands are held higher (except in Olympic Tae Kwon Do), and fighters protect themselves better.


Sa Bum Nim Pieschala said...

I love the old stuff! Especially the stuff where there are no pads! BUT, this also shows what I don't like.

"One step sparing"

It's always groups of 3's. Like DR commented on my "check list".

Ali said, "combination after combination". You have to assume 1 is a distraction, 1 just doesn't work, 1 does. If that doesn't end it then another set of three.

This is at the heart of JDK sparing and why sometimes ring time is time well spent.

Now you take this same philosophy and apply it to not just sparing punches kicks et al but self defense. In JDK we always called it Hap Ki Do (DR another link!).

Then combine it all with SPEED.

With that sort of tool set you have a good fighter. Here's a couple of combinations off the top of my head.

Feign a back fist to face -> left shin scrape foot stomp -> Right finger jab to throat

Didn't work ..

Left elbow to jaw -> right slap grab and tear to groin -> Right punch to Solar plex -> head butt (to get some distance)

Still up?

Right front kick to solar plex -> same leg shin kick to left thigh -> right palm heel to point below the nose (with left hair grab) push in and down and remove top teeth -> twist neck and take down -> right stomp to ribs.

Still up?

Violence can be are too. And for knowing TKD I only used one double kick in all that up there. Hmm ..

(all of that above just came off the top of my head, so go easy on the critique).


Dojo Rat said...

I totally get what you mean about the stop-and-start of one step sparring. I honestly think one of the best things I have gotten out of Tai Chi Chuan is continuous flowing non-stop movement. It made all my sparring so much better.
I have to say, it does crack me up to see these guys square off with their hands down at their sides. Like I say, a western boxer would have pasted them1

Bob Patterson said...

Some modern days styles of taekwondo and karate STILL do it this way. Others, like my school, touch on both aspects (i.e., hands up and hands down aka "traditional")

Most also still have the one-steps or three-steps too. At least we take self-defense and one-steps into what we call our "circle game". One person in the middle, everyone else gets to attack with any technique, one-at-a-time. It shows what works, what doesn't, or what may take years of practice and the right circumstances to make work.

It's just doggone hard to change tradition and while I respect it, I don't think I could ever TOTALLY train like the people in that video. I don't mind visiting that world but not 100%!


Hand2Hand said...

Hideyuki Ashihara, a former student of Mas Oyama and author of "Fighting Karate," speculated that classical karate emphasized the quick kill over defense.

It makes sense when you look at videos like this.

My personal belief is that classical karate doesn't teach blocking. IMHO, I honestly believe that those wide blocks, while powerful, are too slow to block a good punch or kick.

To me, it seems that they're more concerned with trying to break a grabbing or attacking limb than with keeping a punch from connecting.

Sa Bum Nim Pieschala said...

Karate or TKD's blocks done properly are designed to break bone. Or at a minimum cause "bone shock".

I used to break clay (no tricks) brick with middle and low blocks.

As for the speed of them I'm not going to judge. Some are faster than others, some generate more power than others.

Sa Bum Nim Pieschala said...

Off topic: Am I the only one addicted to the show "Human Weapon" on I think Discovery Channel?

Dojo Rat said...

Jeez, I hate to say it, I haven't seen a single episode of "Human Weapon". Scheduling I guess, and no TIVO

Sa Bum Nim Pieschala said...

You'd like it,
They had one where they were learning pancreanation or however you spell it. More like pain-crain-ation. They had this guy who was genetically and family wise a true spartan. One tough dude!

I like the Spartan variation of the Aikido arm pin. where the guy is laying on the ground on the stomach. You his arm under control the shoulder.

in Japan you'd lay his arm flat being able to apply pressure to the back of his elbow with your knee.

In the Spartan version you keep his arm locked in an "l" sit on his head and try to smother him and break his shoulder.

José said...

One of the problems with Japanese karate (as opposed to Okinawan9 is the disappearance of the higher level training methods, and of repetitive "give and take" drills to ingrain principles. I have seen a friend of mine (Tristan Sutrisno) do Shotokan that is totally different from this. The difference? It was learned in Tokyo in the 30's, rather than the 50's and 60's. Shotokan as it is taught today is essentially good basics with few high level training methods. Remember, 1 step and 3 step sparring is meant to be transitional to free sparring.

As for blocking aggressively, I' afraid I'm rather against it, mostly because I want to keep on practicing til I'm 90 and be the baddest dude at the resthouse...

I think that the "one strike one kill" philosophy of modern karate comes from too much influence of the sword styles.