Lots of people know Sensei Richard Poage through Waza Wednesday. This is the last episode we were able to film before he had a seizure and was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Information on the GoFundMe page to raise money for his medical costs is included in the video. Many thanks to Iain Abernethy for making the video, and supporting us through this!
I read this translation article from Andreas Quast. It was written by senior Uechi-ryū practitioner Tōbaru Keichō. It gives a quite good overview about the topic of enbusen.
I came across some old books on unarmed combat techniques for servicemen that I thought were quite interesting in some places. What struck me was that quite a few of the illustrations and photos of various techniques showed positions that looked very similar to those in Kata. This got me wondering if practical kata application was being incorporated in US army unarmed combat training (which I suspect may not have been the case) or is it that with the same problem, same goal and human physiology being the pretty much same for everybody, the same practical answers become apparent.
I noticed that on the Wikipedia page for "Karate" there's a line that states: "Bunkai is a useful tool to understand a kata". A rather seemingly inocuous line yet it leads me to a deeper question which has probably been discussed here before: (1) What came first - Kata or Bunkai?
This flow drill utilizes applications from a number of katas including Kanku Dai, Heian Yondan, Heian Godan, Chinte and Gankaku. The uke is semi-compliant in that he covers up from attacks but does not attempt any attacks on his own. The drill teaches a means to flow into 'backup plans' when attacks fail. Not explained in the video is the throw at the end which comes from Kanku Dai. I've borrowed many of the applications shown in this video from Iain's work.
This week's Waza Wednesday takes a look at the uppercut motions from Passai, but it isn't so much about showing people a new technique--I would guess that most people have learned it, even if they practice super basic, "3K style" applications. The point of this is really to illustrate how a technique can be applied much more broadly than against a single attack by looking at the concepts behind it.
Here is our latest video just uploaded to you tube. The drill was taught during a recent seminar I was asked to teach for my friends at Atherstone Karate Club. The drill encompasses some associated pairwork for the Pinan Shodan Kata in one flow drill. This clip was filmed as a refresher for those that attended on the day. One the day we delved deeper into subjects such as the angles taken and the reason behind trapping / clearing limbs to facilitate strikes.