thinking about wrath of the python seisan kata (13 hands)

An interesting Kata and i think can be easily over analysed. There area  number of repetitions in this form and as a result, to me can be utilised on the left and right effectively. The repetitions can all allow for additional meanings of the movements / sequences. The other point for remembering is that in a sequence every technique is optional.. this is especially true for sequences where repeats are present. The point of a Kata sequence is to present the person doing it with a self protection concept for a situation. Don’t get caught in the idea that because there is a movement there it needs to be used. By the same token don’t think that if its not used it does not offer some meaning, every technique/movement is of use, you just need to decide if its necessary for what you doing at that point.

One of the difficulties in Kata analysis is to decide when and where the sequences start, stop, and the use of what techniques when there are repeat techniques in a sequence. For me I try and look at a kata in a number of ways to help decide the manner in which I break apart the Kata. Unlinke some I dont think the entire Kata is a process from start to finish, but  a number of significant concepts joined together to form a  package of information for better teaching and transport (transport over time and distance).

Ok so whats the process…

Ideally you would know the entire kata pattern from start to finish, but in reality this is not 100% necessary.

You then look at it as a whole movement and see if you can spot the techniques that signify a break in timing/speed/movement this would tend to indicate that something has begun or something has finished.

Then look at the techniques being performed and decide which are disruptive and which are destructive. Destructive techniques will have a higher likely hood of the end of a sequence because of their nature. when you decide which techniques are destructive look at the preceeding techniques to see what disruptive techniques build to the finish point and this is a good indication that you have a workable sequence.

So when you have the connection between the disruptive, destructive and changes in time/speed/movement you have a pretty good chance that what you are looking at is a point of something workable from a conceptual / technical point for the meaning of that part of the Kata. (simple)

So what if you get to a part in the Kata that seems like the end of a sequence but quite possibly does not feel like the opponent is going to be finished? I think you can assume that for the purpose of the intended concept in the Kata then you can add your own finisher, the sequence is ended and move onto the next. However if you look at the following few techniques in the Kata and they follow on with some sense it may well be an option to continue.

As I see it a  Kata is a package of information used to remember how to render a non compliant  opponent incapacitated fast….

So there will be disruptive techniques and finishers destructive… What’s a disruptive technique, and technique or group of techniques that conveys a method of taking the opponents balance, power, speed, focus so that your destructive techniques is more effective. Simply walking up to someone and throwing a punch or kick at them will not be as effective as it is when combined with a good disruptive technique.

Ok enough of the preamble lets get into it.

From the opening salutation we take our preparation and then

1. move right foot forward to a bear stance and at the same time cross hand bringing the elbows high over the head and then lower the arms to finish with the hands at shoulder height and the elbows approx a fist from the side of your body, in my mind there is a slight tension as you finalise this hand movement and lock the fists into place.

2. withdraw the left hand and explode the punch to the area just below the chest, remember to chamber the hip as you withdraw the arm prior to exploding the punch, and then returning to the start position with the hand at shoulder height and the elbow a fist away from the body

This is repeating technique with the right hand then the left, so the punch is done 3 times. left, right, left.

3. left hand opens arm remains where it is the and the palm is facing in, at the same time the right hand opens and the arm remains in the same spot the hand in this case has rotated so the palm is up, the hands now meet in at the centre line and the right hand strikes into the left.

this is the possible finish of the sequence… though to be safe continue on

4. the following movement is somewhat esoteric and differs greatly from the original, from the right hand striking the left cross the hands right over left and raise them a little and then cross over in repetition at neck height and then finish at waist height again right hand striking left at about waist height.

5. this is a repeating sequence, low kick back withdraw both hands to hips and as you step forward double palm heal at waist height as the foot lands then as the back leg slides to a standing position the hands roll from the hips to the shoulders. this repeats another 2 times

6. assume a cat style stance with your right leg forward and as you do you hands goto a guard position with the left more forward and higher than the right.

7. chamber the right leg and a low side kick to 45 degrees

8. as you withdraw the leg from the kick, spin your body toward the left on the spot so you are facing 90 deg to your previous movement.  your hands at this point perform what looks like a mawashi uke… with your left foot forward and your left hand at shoulder height, your right foot back and your right hand lower than the left and in line with the left elbow.

What’s my thinking here for what these actions are. Again my speculation is we are close with opponent and have crossed the bounds and they now have hold of you.

1. the double hand movement here for this point is options and I choose to use a single arm movement instead of a double, this they have a hold of you with the left hand at either the shoulder, neck, lapel (somewhere there), and they are looking to punch you. your arm moves as it does in the Kata with elbow going high (moving inside their arm) then as you lower your arm at their elbow and finishing low,

2. move forward into a strong stance. withdraw the left arm and punch as shown in the Kata, this helps with a disruptive movement helping bring their head forward and getting ready for the next movement.

3. open the hands as shown in the Kata and with the left hand grab their neck palm in and then strike with the right hand to the jaw line as shown in the Kata. I feel this is a disruptive technique becuase of the distance the hand  travels between the previous move and the contact point.

I think if your lucky and they fall over here because of a knockout you’re blessed… but I think the sequence move forward at least 4 more moves yet. Clearly this a complex sequence… Yet when done fast and with intent the message is clear. We are in close and aggressive and capable of getting the job done.

4. this is a clearing sequence in my point, we have just struck at the jaw line of the opponent, the arcing movements are a good representation of clearing the limbs for the next move

5. double palm heal to the hips rolling to the shoulders, this action will cause the opponent to break balance forward then back slightly

The next set of movements can be analysed differently and I’ll add some more variations to this shortly.

6. lock your opponent with the arms as you side kick the leg around the knee of your opponent

7. using the circular mawashi perform and put your opponent into a sleeper hold

Sequence finished and the opponent incapacitated

conceptual comments to come.

more to come…

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