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Paul Anderson
Paul Anderson's picture
Sochin Bunkai

I am doing my second dan next easter and I am to focus on Sochin.

Looking for any good ideas/sources for Sochin Bunkai.  There's the usual knife hands etc but I'm interested in the double arm blocks/manji uke (seen iain's manji application but wondering how this relates to the double arm blocks) and the sequence after the knife hands, and then the final double inside block.

looked up you tube etc but not really seen anything convincing that I think I would find applicable in a Glasgow pub after 17 pints of super so looking for some inspiration !

Michael Stolberg
Michael Stolberg's picture

I also am interested in the bunkai for Sochin,her

here are some ideas:

the opening movement has your right hand go up and then down while the left hand goes up. You also have a very deep stance with the weight forward. Could this be a feeding of the head down with the right arm while lifting a leg up with the left arm in order to takedown an opponent. On the other hand if we follow the progression of kata this would be a difficult move right off the bat.

The following palm hand can be used to maintain contact with the opponent's head followed by the double punch finisher. I am thinking that the following manji uke might be used to pick up the opponent like in Iain's recent video if the double punch didn't drop him.

For the 2 straight shuto ukes followed by the nukite, double kick and strike.

I think the shuto uke can be used to hit the opponent in the neck, then the striking hand pulls the opponent had down while the nukite meats it as it strikes the throat, the legs or tighs are then kicked in, and then one hand pulls the opponent into the incoming strike.

The two inside blocks at the end are very similar to the bassai dai application posted by Iain.

Anyhow these are just some ideas. I would appreaciate for people to give feedback on what they think.

Mike

Leigh Simms
Leigh Simms's picture

Which Sochin did you mean? The Shotokan Version

or the ShitoRyu Version

If it is the first version (Shotokan) than my only concern is that it is questioned whether the kata had bunkai in the first place. The Shotokan Sochin does not resemble the other Sochin at all. I have found out that some Martial Artists believe that the Shotokan Sochin was a creation of Gigo Funakoshi. i agree with this due to the lack of resemblence between the two Sochin kata. 

If you were to agree that the Shotokan Sochin was a newly invented kata, from a time where kata and practical bunkai would be trained together, then I don't see how the kata could have bunkai at all (or at least practical bunkai).  Firstly, at the time Gigo would be about to create the kata, karate was no longer a combative self-defence lethal art. Because of this kata was not used as a record of fighting techniques and principles. Gigo was one of the men to be credited with lowering the stances and working the legs hard. Sochin kata seems to do that also and maybe this is the real bunkai behind the kata.

Therefore the reason the kata was not created as were the others, since the methodology is missing in the creation of  kata. I think that this kata has no bunkai and nor should it, the reason the kata was created was not like all other kata. 

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

Isn't that akin to saying that the pinan's don't ahve bunkai since they were put together for education?

If the kata contains the same movements and kihon as other kata, can't the movements be interpreted in similar fashion? The Shotokan version posted (sans the deep stances and aesthetic stuff) seems like it could have plenty of applicability...all those techniques are certainly found and ascribed meaning in other places, and other arts.

karim_benakli
karim_benakli's picture

Leigh Simms wrote:

If you were to agree that the Shotokan Sochin was a newly invented kata, from a time where kata and practical bunkai would be trained together, then I don't see how the kata could have bunkai at all (or at least practical bunkai).  Firstly, at the time Gigo would be about to create the kata, karate was no longer a combative self-defence lethal art. Because of this kata was not used as a record of fighting techniques and principles. Gigo was one of the men to be credited with lowering the stances and working the legs hard. Sochin kata seems to do that also and maybe this is the real bunkai behind the kata.

Honestly I would find it quite suprising that a kata is created just for this purpose. Gigo is indeed from the "new generation" and has brought some modernism in the way Shotokan is practised, but it does not mean his father did not teach him the "old" way too ! Of course it's all assumptions here and it would be very interesting if someone gets or has more detailed information on the nature of this kata ... 

Zach Zinn wrote:

If the kata contains the same movements and kihon as other kata, can't the movements be interpreted in similar fashion? 

This is in certainly a good way to identify a realistic bunkai for this kata, as it is also true for other katas. The elements to still keep in mind are the stances and the angles which may differ (for a same hands technique) and which could therefore have a different bunkai meaning.

DaveB
DaveB's picture

I have to agree with Mr Simms.

Personally I feel Shotokan Sochin was created to showcase fudo dachi: the immovable stance invented by Gigo Funakoshi. I think it has some rudimentary application and some minor variations on methods from other kata, but thats it.

This is a completely different state of affairs to the pinan kata which were designed as a self defence system in Okinawa by a renowned master of the old tradition some 30 or 40 years prior to what Gigo was doing.

Note, this doesn't mean Gigo did or didn't know any of the old way of Karate, but the old way was not what he was propogating so there's no reason to assume what he created was of the old way.

But the human mind is a wonderful thing. I'm sure someone can dream up some useful moves to superimpose on Sochin. Good luck.

Paul Anderson
Paul Anderson's picture

Shotokan Sochin.

I understand Sochin that was 'created' in the 1940-50s.  From the above debate the logial conclusion is therefore that Manji Uke/Shuto/Nukite in sochin does not have a practial application, but it does in older Kata. hmmmm !!

I disagree.  In the same sense Heian/Pinan were created 50 years previous to this, again when Japan and it's islands were rushing towards modernistation and actual fights to the death/maim were rare.  Therefore using the same thinking, all Heian Kata is useless. 

Infact all Kata is just for show unless it's 300-400 years old !

I prefer to think of Sochin 'brought together' in the 1940-50s from Gigo's ideas on stances and various other techniques that he took from other sources, more than likely far older than Gigo.  Did Gigo make the entire Kata from scratch?  No, that's obviously incorrect from the common techniques from far older Kata's in Sochin, hence the evidence clearly points towards him brinigng together his ideas with older 'more practical' ideas.  The same process that had been creating Kata for the last 3-400 years.

Flipping this arguement around, since Kata development stalled in the 20th/21st Century is Karate now a dead martial art?  Surely we should be seeing Kata created by todays masters taking into account situations, confrontations we see common today? 

Oerjan Nilsen
Oerjan Nilsen's picture

Interesting the direction the discussion took. Does Sochin contain practical bunkai, did Gigo Funakoshi know the bunkai, can you find practical bunkai in a Kata that was developed by people who did not know the practical bunkai? Just change all the japanese with korean terminology and you are stuck in the Taekwondo world:) The Koreans developed the Chang Hon series(24 or 25 patterns depends on how you look at it), the Palgwe series (8 patterns), the Taegeuk series (8 patterns), and the Kukkiwon black belt series (9 patterns). They used basic techniques (sometimes whole sequnces of movements) to develop all these new forms. Are there practical applications to be found in them? It is the same problem that some of you guys seems to be having with the Shotokan version of Sochin Kata.

I honestly think that as long as the creator used combative motion (wich he did use as the basic techniques can be found in older Kata) then there are practical applicatins to be found. This does not mean that the developer of the Kata knew this or even made it to be like that, but as most if not all techniques in Karate is designed to end the confrontation in the shortest time possible then most techniques will work together in one way or another if you look hard enough.

Is it an efficient use of time to do so? That depends on your goals. I have studied the Taekwondo forms for some time now, and many people have told me to give up and just practise Karate Kata instead. But since Karate Kata has to be intrepreted too it stands to reason that it is not much more time efficient to study Karate Kata as opposed to Taekwondo patterns? After all, we are left with only kick block punch bunkai in any case.

That bein said I found this video on youtube:

It might not be the most practical bunkai, but it is a good place to start:)

ky0han
ky0han's picture

Hi gents, Funakoshi Gichin listed Sochin in the kata list he published in his 1922 book Ryukyu Kempo Karate. In 1938 Mabuni Kenwa states in Karate Do Taikan on his description of Aragaki Sochin, that there are other versions depending on the teacher who teaches that kata. According to Karate historian Henning Wittwer Iwai Kohaku states that there are two lines of transmission of Sochin. The Naha-Sochin is that of Aragaki and uses Nekoashi Dachi. coincidentally Aragaki has the nickname Maya which means Cat. The Shotokan Sochin, Kudaka Sochin and Motobu no Sochin originate from Shuri. Here you can find Mr. McKennas translation of a kata list from the 1938 book Karate Jutsu no Kenkyu which contains the Motobu no Sochin. http://www.kowakan.com/?p=230 Kase Taiji told the story of Shirai Hiroshi performing Kata in front of several people on a learning trip to Okinawa. He performed Sochin (his favorite kata) and the audience was stunned and ask him where he knows the "Samurai Sochin" from, which was believed to be lost in time. So I think Sochin is a rather old Kata and was not compiled by Funakoshis 3rd son, though it was one of his favorite Kata. Hope that helps with the history stuff. Regards Holger

Harry Mord
Harry Mord's picture

ky0han wrote:
Kase Taiji told the story of Shirai Hiroshi performing Kata in front of several people on a learning trip to Okinawa. He performed Sochin (his favorite kata) and the audience was stunned and ask him where he knows the "Samurai Sochin" from, which was believed to be lost in time.

If it was "lost in time" then how did they recognise it as the thing that Shirai was performing? I always find these sort of anecdotes decidedly iffy.

Paul Anderson
Paul Anderson's picture

ky0han wrote:

Hi gents, Funakoshi Gichin listed Sochin in the kata list he published in his 1922 book Ryukyu Kempo Karate. In 1938 Mabuni Kenwa states in Karate Do Taikan on his description of Aragaki Sochin, that there are other versions depending on the teacher who teaches that kata. According to Karate historian Henning Wittwer Iwai Kohaku states that there are two lines of transmission of Sochin. The Naha-Sochin is that of Aragaki and uses Nekoashi Dachi. coincidentally Aragaki has the nickname Maya which means Cat. The Shotokan Sochin, Kudaka Sochin and Motobu no Sochin originate from Shuri. Here you can find Mr. McKennas translation of a kata list from the 1938 book Karate Jutsu no Kenkyu which contains the Motobu no Sochin. http://www.kowakan.com/?p=230 Kase Taiji told the story of Shirai Hiroshi performing Kata in front of several people on a learning trip to Okinawa. He performed Sochin (his favorite kata) and the audience was stunned and ask him where he knows the "Samurai Sochin" from, which was believed to be lost in time. So I think Sochin is a rather old Kata and was not compiled by Funakoshis 3rd son, though it was one of his favorite Kata. Hope that helps with the history stuff. Regards Holger

Interesting info !  I thought it came from 40s Gigo rather than had any previous lineage ...

ky0han
ky0han's picture

Hi Harry,

I looked it up. "Lost in Time" was my mistake. The masters said that this kata existed a long time ago and they thought it has been forgotten. So when the masters were old at the time the kata was shown to them and that Kata was practised in 1930 or around that time, when they were young, on Okinawa, than the chance of recognizing that Kata is not that bad. At least that is what I think.

When you look at that kata list in the McKenna article you will recognize a view kata names that you had never heard of before. That was my experience though. They are "lost" or forgotten now, but not back then. So it is not the case that they are lost since ages just a view decades.

Regards Holger

DaveB
DaveB's picture

Paul Anderson wrote:

Shotokan Sochin.

I understand Sochin that was 'created' in the 1940-50s.  From the above debate the logial conclusion is therefore that Manji Uke/Shuto/Nukite in sochin does not have a practial application, but it does in older Kata. hmmmm !!

No, not unless you view kata as jumbles of techniques with no relation to one another. If that is the case then by all means take the application of individual movements as you find them in other kata and drop them into sochin.

For myself kata application is much more to do with the sequences of techniques. I find that the sequence, the context, dictates the use of the particular movement. The contexts presented in Shotokan Sochin don't work for me. The only ones that do are those ripped from older kata.

Quote:
  I disagree.  In the same sense Heian/Pinan were created 50 years previous to this, again when Japan and it's islands were rushing towards modernistation and actual fights to the death/maim were rare.  Therefore using the same thinking, all Heian Kata is useless. 

Infact all Kata is just for show unless it's 300-400 years old !

No one has said any such thing. Making stuff up so that the counter viewpoint to your own seems ridiculous only hurts the debate.

In order to compare Pinan kata and Sochin (which for some reason people keep doing), you have to look at the circumstances around their creation. The historical record we have, from a student of the pinan's creator and the first person to bring them to Japan, states that they are designed as a brief self defence course and an introduction to the fuller methods of older kata.

There is no such statement with Sochin. What we do know is that Gigo Funakoshi was at the forefront of the Japanification of Karate, elongating stances, placing emphasis on generating power for a single blow, emphasising sparring as a competetive concern etc etc. I've read that fudo dachi was his creation numerous times and the length of the stance implies modernity. A shorter version of that stance would be sanchin dachi which was not common in shuri-te. And all this was at a time when kata application was not being studied and the whole direction of karate was moving away from such things. Do you know that the first edition of Karatedo Kyohan had a large section on application that would have completely disambiguated much of the kata movements that people wondered over for decades. It was removed!

It has been stated a number of times that the Pinan kata were supposed to be followed up by finding a master and learning karate proper. If the pinan were an introduction into the older view of karate it stands to reason they would hold application. No such thing can be said of Sochin. There is no comparison.

Quote:
Flipping this arguement around, since Kata development stalled in the 20th/21st Century is Karate now a dead martial art?  Surely we should be seeing Kata created by todays masters taking into account situations, confrontations we see common today? 

Only if we feel that people and/or culture have changed so much that there are genuinely new situations not addressed by the kata as they are. If so then yes, there should be new developments. I would imagine that not enough folk genuinely studying application to a deep enough level feel the need and those who might are not comfortable going against their style's governing bodies. Just my guess.

This discussion raises another question: does a kata need application to be valid? Mostly I think yes, but then look at Sanchin. The doing of kata, the performance, does not impart application ability. It is a training exercise in it's own right. Perhaps doing fudo dachi and sochin kata is a useful developmental tool as opposed to a fighting kata?

All that being said, I can think up applications for the form. But then I can think up applications for the solo routines in Dirty Dancing.

For the manji uke, consider (as occurs in the application of some southern chinese forms) that though shown together the two blocks are to be used on their own and that both age uke and gedan barrai are defending a high attack and pulling down with a twist (the age down and back to the hip, the gedan barrai twists back to the hip after completing its motion). The tate shuto becomes a trap against the extended arm and then punch fast and hard and repeatedly. The point being to use the depth and groundedness of the stance as a base to either pull or push off balance.  

Taking this theme forward, the ude uke's at 45d suggest an angled pressing attack (stepping into theopponents stance) perhaps using knee to knee pressure and the block its self as a trap. The oizuki could be trip or just a strike afer stepping around to a less defended angle.

The rest of the form is pretty self explanatory, but if the core theme is using fudo dachi to disrupt the opponents balance then you have a principle you can expand on: an acorn that can become an oak tree.

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

 I watched the kata, regardless of how you intrepret kata (unless it's something uniquely dependent on the sequence itself, which is less usuable to my mind in the first place), there is stuff there that can be used, and in fact plenty of it is so simple it's hard to debate it's usefulness...minus the aesthetic Shotokan-specific movement and such.

The argument about the source or background of the kata seems like a trivial distraction to me. If it were an 'unusable' kata, it would simply be unusable..instead it is made up of many of the same fundamental movements found elsewhere in Karate, and in other martial arts as well. No real mystery here, and no need for some kind of 'lineage of legitimacy' for functional bunkai, figure it out, work it, seems like it will be fine to me. If you can use a kihon and you ahve a kata made up of kihon movements, it kind of follows that you can 'use' the kata.

Wedge and punch will work no matter what kata you are taking it from!

DaveB
DaveB's picture

Zach Zinn wrote:

...minus the aesthetic Shotokan-specific movement and such.

Zach, can you be more specific about this please?

Also it would be interesting to hear your specific suggestions for application.

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

Shuto - Obvious i'm sure anyone on here knows how to use a shuto.

The push and two punches, again pretty obvious, it's fence or wedge or similar movements, maybe even just  a hand at the face to find a target with following punches.

The upper block/lower block things, those are more iffy, the only thing they look like in my frame of reference is push the upper arm for kazushi, then dump the body with your lower arm across theirs, or by shucking grabbing the pants legs. I don't remember the name of the throw, but it's seen commonly in aikido and jujutsu...it's somehjwat similar to ura-nage in Judo.

Alot of the other stuff is again obvious, the side/front kick elbow is in a Pinan kata or another Shorin kata isn't it?

Chudan uke + oi-zuki again pretty standard stuff. Parry/shield punch etc.

Some of it I wouldn't guess at because i'm not a Shorin guy...but it does all look like stuff i've seen in other kata if i'm not mistaken.

Even if the kata was not created to have a bunkai, none of the techniques are things that aren't seen  elsewhere so..why would it not have applications?

I guess if you wanted "sequences" you'd have to look elsewhere, but you certainly take stuff from here and get something out of it in my view, you could start with something like wedging in with Shutos, then bending the head back with the reverse hand for the double punches.

DaveB
DaveB's picture

Interesting.

As I said, a piecemeal approach to application doesn't suit me: I feel you make kata completely redundant with this way of doing things. You lose any strategic lessons that could guide you to winning fights and really might as well just stick to a list of kihon techniques to throw together as you like. Also it begs the question of why kata have sequenes at all.

To each their own...

I was hoping you would elaborate on this point:

Zach Zinn wrote:

...minus the aesthetic Shotokan-specific movement and such.

I'm not sure which points of the form you mean and how you destinguish aesthetics from points key to this form?

Paul Anderson
Paul Anderson's picture

DaveB wrote:
No, not unless you view kata as jumbles of techniques with no relation to one another. If that is the case then by all means take the application of individual movements as you find them in other kata and drop them into sochin ....

Thanks for the extended feedback, I'll have a think about your bunkai suggestions ..

DaveB wrote:
Do you know that the first edition of Karatedo Kyohan had a large section on application that would have completely disambiguated much of the kata movements that people wondered over for decades. It was removed!

Interesting comment, what was removed from the first edition?

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Hi All,

A few posts were deleted here due to the tone of conversation not being what is expected in this forum (see Point 4: http://www.iainabernethy.co.uk/site-rules). Please be sure to post in accordance with the rules at all times. Any questions, please let me know.

All the best,

Iain

Paul Anderson
Paul Anderson's picture

Apologies no offence to anyone for any comments that may have been interpretted as incorrect tone !

I have gained knowedge from the discussion so thanks to all participants !

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

 I don't think it was you Paul, my apologies for being out of line.

To clarfiy what I meant about "Shotokan specific" movement:

I didn't mean to sound negative, just that when you watch kata for performance there are often things thrown in that might not be there for practical purposes, lower stances, very delibrate, truncated pacing etc. All this stuff is debatable, and it seems to exist with any kata  being done as a performance, whatever the style.

Paul Anderson
Paul Anderson's picture

Zach Zinn wrote:
To clarfiy what I meant about "Shotokan specific" movement:

I didn't mean to sound negative, just that when you watch kata for performance there are often things thrown in that might not be there for practical purposes, lower stances, very delibrate, truncated pacing etc. All this stuff is debatable, and it seems to exist with any kata  being done as a performance, whatever the style.

I suppose in my head I see a sliding scale from the esoteric and combatively useless (in my view) freestyle Kata to music competitions you see in some organisations through to something like fully non compliant Kata drills pulled from a Kata in a spit & saw dust dojo.  Almost like drawing a line from one outercircle of Iain's Venn diagram on martial arts to the outside of another through the middle.  not sure if I'm describing it correctly however.

And we all sit somewhere on that line.  It's understanding that context, rather than us all believing we all own the rights to planet Karate !

DaveB
DaveB's picture

My post also was somewhat argumentative.

Zach, I didn't think you were being negative, but as you say drawing the line between aesthetics and applicable technique isn't always easy. Some details like stance length I feel are intrinsic to the form in this instance but it's just my opinion. I was hoping to expand the discussion along those lines.

As for what was removed from Karatedo Kyohan:

http://www.hawaii.edu/asiaref/okinawa/digital_archives/karate_museum.html

pg 109 onwards has the application section.

Grasshopper Jeff
Grasshopper Jeff's picture

Interesting discussion.

Just to use my imagination for a second....the title of Funakoshi's book, Karate-Do Kyohan , depicts an ancient statue on the front cover. With a little squinting, I see the musogamae stance.  The statue is at the entrance to the Todaiji temple in Japan, one of the two guardians. The last re-build of the temple was in the mid 1600's.

Hopefully, that will provide some idea of the age of the stance and that the kata may come from more ancient roots than our fragmented archives might suggest.

Cheers,

GJ

DaveB
DaveB's picture

The hand position and the stance are different things. If I made a dance routine tomorrow using this posture would that make it a martially viable form?

Leigh Simms
Leigh Simms's picture

A lot has happened since my last post. I have a few more things to add :) 

Zach Zinn wrote:
If the kata contains the same movements and kihon as other kata, can't the movements be interpreted in similar fashion? 

Of course they can, but anyone could put together a few moves from a few kata and do this. I think the problem occurs because the movements weren't put together in a logical combative order, therefore the kata has no reason to exist in the order it does. 

Paul Anderson wrote:
I disagree.  In the same sense Heian/Pinan were created 50 years previous to this, again when Japan and it's islands were rushing towards modernistation and actual fights to the death/maim were rare.  Therefore using the same thinking, all Heian Kata is useless.

Flipping this arguement around, since Kata development stalled in the 20th/21st Century is Karate now a dead martial art?  Surely we should be seeing Kata created by todays masters taking into account situations, confrontations we see common today?

The first question: I disagree, the dvds Iain has produced and other karateka's books show practical applications and progression through the series. If this progression can be found throughout Sochin then, be it by coincedence or not, I would have value as a kata (as a use of recording principles and techniques for fighting).

Second question: I agree that we need to cover the modern additions to combat, but in general combat has not changed that much. The techniques and principles the kata record are just as effective today then in the past. Whilst the way in which we train these techniques and what emphasis we place on difference techniques may differ, the actual information is still relevant.

I think the two main issues here are 

  1. Is Sochin an “historical” kata - My Answer is no. 
  2. If it isn’t then can it still have useful applications. My answer is yes it can but I don’t think it can have anything other than a collection of random techniques that have no link to each other. Even if it can have useful applications so can the “Macerena” or any other type of dance. A kata (to be used for extracting bunkai) should come from a kata that has been through the methodology of recording applications, if it hasn’t then it is just a dance.
Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

 How exactly are something like the Pinans any "deeper" or more logically connected than something like this?

I grant you i'm a Goju guy, so maybe i'm missing something..but as far as I can tell the Pinans are also 'just put together", and other than loose strategic concepts, so are all kata. With a good mind and the right reading you can certainly find a common strategy in the techniques, but i don't see why that isn't also the case with a kata like this.

Unless you read kata as something that has to have a continous series of techniques to work, i'm not sure how exactly the techniques are "random" any more than techniques of other kata. In fact, this argument only makes sense to me if you view kata with sequence as being the most important like, something like Taira sensei's stuff.

In short, why exactly is this kata any more random than any other modern-created kata like Pinan or Gekisai series? What more specific lesson exists in those kata that you believe could not exist here?

Quote:
Of course they can, but anyone could put together a few moves from a few kata and do this. I think the problem occurs because the movements weren't put together in a logical combative order, therefore the kata has no reason to exist in the order it does.

Kata interpretation is a fluid enough thing that I find this to be mostly a subjective finding, you could make the same argument about ANY kata, unless again you believe kata are neccessarily a chronological sequence.

ky0han
ky0han's picture

Hi everyone,

Leigh Simms wrote:
I think the two main issues here are

1. Is Sochin an “historical” kata - My Answer is no.

2. If it isn’t then can it still have useful applications. My answer is yes it can but I don’t think it can have anything other than a collection of random techniques that have no link to each other. Even if it can have useful applications so can the “Macerena” or any other type of dance. A kata (to be used for extracting bunkai) should come from a kata that has been through the methodology of recording applications, if it hasn’t then it is just a dance.

With the first point I disagree. See my above post.

The second point shows why some people have serious problems with that whole bunkai thing. I went through a lot of discussions and one argument always keeps me thinking. When you try to give a gesture in the kata a combative meaning, than you could do the same with the gestures of the "Macarena" dance or even with the gesture of an old lady standing in the mall in front of a rack full of groceries.

It is always pointed out that bunkai (reverse engineering) is a modern thing that didn't exist in the past. Don't get me wrong on this. But in the past the kata were past on from master to the student. The application of the kata was kumite. No need for guessing what the meaning of a gesture could probably be.

So when you see the whole issue under these circumstances it simply doesn't matter if a kata is an ancient one or if it is a new creation. As long as you are guessing what the application could be.

Just a view thoughts on this.

In the end it is only important that it works. cool

Regards Holger

DaveB
DaveB's picture

ky0han wrote:

Hi everyone,

Leigh Simms wrote:
I think the two main issues here are

1. Is Sochin an “historical” kata - My Answer is no.

2. If it isn’t then can it still have useful applications...

With the first point I disagree. See my above post.

The second point shows why some people have serious problems with that whole bunkai thing. I went through a lot of discussions and one argument always keeps me thinking. When you try to give a gesture in the kata a combative meaning, than you could do the same with the gestures of the "Macarena" dance or even with the gesture of an old lady standing in the mall in front of a rack full of groceries.

It is always pointed out that bunkai (reverse engineering) is a modern thing that didn't exist in the past. Don't get me wrong on this. But in the past the kata were past on from master to the student. The application of the kata was kumite. No need for guessing what the meaning of a gesture could probably be.

So when you see the whole issue under these circumstances it simply doesn't matter if a kata is an ancient one or if it is a new creation. As long as you are guessing what the application could be.

Hello,

On the issue of reverse engineering being new, I don't think this is so. There is mixed evidence for the teaching of applications historically. My personal feeling is that there was a degree of application passed direct from student to teacher, but that a lot of "work it out for yourself" as well. Motobu's naihanchi applications are as I understand it his own creations. Funakoshi in one article entreats yudansha to study the kata and create, categorise and train applications themselves. I believe this article predates his university teaching or any modernisation of the Okinawan art.

I am dubious about the story from Kase: if a lost kata is so easily recognised by a collection of karate masters it's loss seems umlikely to me. As does the title "Samurai Sochin". If I could view one of the other versions and found at least some similarity to the Shotokan one I might think twice, but everything else I've read or heard suggests the form was created by Gigo Funakoshi.

Which brings me onto the age of the form. This is really not an issue for me. More I believe that the form is without application because I believe it was created by a post application karateka (Gigo Funakoshi) at a time when application was unimportant. If it had been created by motobu at the same time I would think differently. The applications I came up with bear no resemblance to the ideas and methods reportedly being taught and developed in Shotokan dojo's at that time.

Does this mean we can't put good applications on Sochin? No. Can we learn anything deeper than applications we already know? That's where I have a problem.

ky0han
ky0han's picture

Hi Dave,

DaveB wrote:

If I could view one of the other versions and found at least some similarity to the Shotokan one I might think twice, but everything else I've read or heard suggests the form was created by Gigo Funakoshi.

Can you tell where you read that Sochin was created by Funakoshi Gigo? I think there is no reliable source that says that. Mabuni says that in 1938 there were several forms of Sochin. The list in McKennas translation proofs that. Japanese sources say that there are two Sochin lineages. One Sochin version is from Naha and one from Shuri.

Why should Funakoshi Gigo create a kata like Sochin anyway? Funakoshi Gichin chose his 15 kata and the only additional kata that were created by Funakoshi (and his son) were the Taikyoku, Ten no Kata, Chi no Kata and Jin no Kata. The last three kata are 2 person forms for basic kumite drills.

Verbally transmitted is that Sochin (Hakko) was Funakoshi Gigo's favorite Kata. So maybe thats why he is sometimes credited with the creation of that kata.

Regards Holger

DaveB
DaveB's picture

I honestly can't remember where I read it, I am very bad for hanging onto references.

Perhaps I am confusing his creation of the form with his creation of Fudo dachi, the stance used across Sochin.