This is my first analysis of this Kata and this series of Kata from Okinawan Goju… so I’m there will be some rough spots and people that dont see where I’m coming from especially because they all seem to follow, a few thought processes here, specifically when it comes to the bunkai…
The main difficulty here I believe, is that the overall development / creation of this Kata was as a part of modern karate being taken into schools and therefore needed to fit a specific mold . So the the principle of the was a package of information for self protection is possibly a little off. I can assume though that the moves still hold true as a conceptual set of movements. This however makes the distinct purpose of the Kata fit the situation as it was intended, more than it was to save your body from a bad place. Having said that I’ll put my spin on it as I go and let the good times roll as they say.
The Kata starts with the preparation and then continues with
1. step forward right foot and rotate left at 90 degrees, at the same time the right hand lifts and moves to a chambered position at the side of the body. the left arm during this time performs what is more classically called and upper block (really don’t like this term seems to miss direct what I see the technique as being, for me its a disruptive strike)
2. withdraw/chamber the left hand/arm to the side of the body and step through with the left leg to a comfortable stance and reverse punch to the head with the right.
3. step back with the right left to a wide/horse stance facing 12 o’clock focus is left, at the same time the left arm in a circular motion sweeps from the chambered position across the front of the body and finishes near the knee
NOTE: this is a repeat sequence Kata and the same moves as listed above are now performed on the opposite side
4. after the repeat to the other side the left left moves to a bear stance at the same time the left arm performs and “mid section blocking” action
5. another repeat on the opposite side right foot and right hand move as per the previous move.
6. left leg mid section front kick stepping forward
7. as the kick is finshed and the foot hits the floor the left elbow is thrust forward
8. followed by a left hand back fist
9. a right hand reverse punch. to the mid section.
This is past where I see the first sequence finishing but lets see how I’m working on this.
1. the opponent is grabbing at your shoulder/neck/lapel and for me the overall movement in the first step is forward though when thinking about the balance of your opponent the movement is backward specifically at the end of the motion when the rotation is complete, combine this with the lifting and dropping of the right hand and you have a move that when grabbed takes the balance of your opponent towards you, and when the dropping movement with the hand is done with a bit of power the head of your opponent is position better for the motions of the left arm which as you remember is moving from a chambered position up and finishes at or near the top of your head. (What you would have been told is an upper block) this left arm action has a number of functions.
Primarily it could be seen as a protective movement to stop a punch directed at your head to be interfered with more or less because its in the way of the approaching punch
For me this movement is a sticking action at the neck jaw of your opponent, and when combined with the altered balance movements of the stance and the right arm this becomes a good disruptive technique to begin the setup of you opponent.
2. the second movement though shown as a punch could also be interpreted as a pushing motion to augment the previous disruptive movement, this could also depend on the distance you have available the amount of time and the need to more offset your opponents balance. If your fortunate enough a good strike at you opponent here could finish them enough, but maybe you need more.
3. for me the stepping back in a wide stance here is a dangerous movement and as i’ve mentioned in the thinking about iron horse post the step is more about changes to your opponents balance so even though the step is done, to me its a bit higher than performed in the Kata. You have moved from a pushing forward motion to now a backward pulling motion taking the balance and focus from your opponent further, at the same time the left arm move over the top of the arm still attached to your body, preparing them for the finishing technique.
As mentioned earlier this Kata has repeats in sequences offering the performer options as to the hand / approach of the techniques used.
4. i’ll step up in this case as its done in the Kata and do the “mid section block action” though for me I’m grabbing the opponents hand we loosened in the previous movement and open their gate
5. front kick to the rib area of your opponent, and with the actioned previous movements this would be quite effective and will allow you to finish your opponent.
Conceptual notes and video to follow.
more to come…