New Wado Kata Bunkai Book

General discussions on Wado Ryu karate and associated martial arts.
claas
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:39 pm

Re: New Wado Kata Bunkai Book

Post by claas »

Hi,
kenshindoryu wrote:And to follow the argument to a logical conclusion, presumably drop the kata altogether and move towards a purely Shindo yoshin ryu koryu art.
Logic is a word that sometimes suffers from inflation. Could you open that thought a little more?

To me it almost looks like "if this approach is questioned, then the relevance of solo kata is questioned". Am I getting it wrong?

As a logician I still see a third possibility, which is that solo kata has something else to offer.
Lasse Candé
Helsinki, Finland
oneya
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Location: Mornington Victoria Australia

Re: New Wado Kata Bunkai Book

Post by oneya »

kenshindoryu wrote:And to follow the argument to a logical conclusion, presumably drop the kata altogether and move towards a purely Shindo yoshin ryu koryu art.
I imagine that Otsuka included the kata in Wadoryu as he saw some value and, as his grandson says, that part of that value was to match the movements to jujitsu technique.
Most, if not all, of the Japanese instructors in the UK have taught bunkai at some point, even if they no longer do so and I well remember those sessions with Mr Suzuki, Mr Shiomitsu and Mr Shinohara in my early years. Perhaps the new grandmaster will bring this practice to the fore once more?

Regards


No Jim, if you're going to be 'logical' what should follow my words here:
" is the reality that the Wado ryu has a smorgasbord of paired kata that demonstrate both torimi and ukemi stratagems at afar greater depth, so why not just practice them.?"


would be to understand that our grading and obi systems highlight the fact that the Wado ryu is an experiential learning process, and like any process where we start at the beginning there are incidental elements that, once understood, often become irrelevant in the secondary, tertiary and higher philosophical learning levels. Bunkai is one such, and any bunkai in the Wado ryu - and there were a few initially - became irrelevant in the light of the subsequent stage of Kaisetsu analysis-that deals with analysis beyond the simple technical understanding.

A westerner studying the Wado ryu would know the word Kata as perhaps a more familiar word than gyo, nevertheless much of the Wado ryu’s paired forms from the 10 Kihon Kumite onwards can be classified as gyo with the use of this kanji 形 which indicates the shape, form and style of something living. Whereas Okinawan kata uses the kanji 型 which indicates the ‘mould, type, or model’ of something inanimate. It is not even a fine distinction but it is one that will elude the unwary and the early breakaway groups that still call themselves Wado Ryu despite having only a handful of pennies from the Wado ryu bank.

Any senior grade or lover of Wado ryu - and you claim to be one - should avoid the foolishness of any fanciful bunkai confection to keep the wado waters clear. We are now 50 years - that’s half a century of clear thinking time - onward from the introduction of Wado ryu into the U.K. and European consciousness and yet still the notion of a Japanese martial art form is often confused with its Okinawan relative when one has its Nihon Koryu and warrior legacy and the other its more fundamental self-defence raison d’etre. It is without any doubt - in my mind - that the former is viewed from the mainland as a vital major artery that thrums vibrantly still in the Japanese psyche while the agrarian weaponry and bare handed tode along with its bunkai are just something that has been annexed, much like Tiffin was.

oneya
Reg Kear.
Wado Kokusai San no Ya.

http://www.sannoya.com
kenshindoryu
Posts: 8
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Re: New Wado Kata Bunkai Book

Post by kenshindoryu »

Thanks Reg

We do, of course, practice Wado's paired kata, like most Wado clubs. They are indeed a huge historical repository of technique and principles. But in all honesty, I see no evidence in any of the major Wado groups that this practice has provided its practitioners with any significant close-in fighting ability.

That is not, I am happy to say, the case with our students who are taught the techniques from our bunkai. You will say that this means it is not Wado and certainly it is not your Wado but it is ours and is meeting the needs of students who start karate with a primary desire to learn how to defend themselves.

Those who stay will also learn at a deeper level and understand the historical link and principles, but, just as there are Wado clubs that concentrate on contest fighting and kata - both of which we strongly believe are superficial - there are Wado clubs that have a heavy bias towards kata bunkai - and I would respectfully point out that the forum is called ALLwado and therefore these views should also be accepted as, as we used to say in Wadokai England, 'not wrong, just different'.

Regards
oneya
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Re: New Wado Kata Bunkai Book

Post by oneya »

Ah, I think you have me wrong here Jim, I don’t object to bunkai even though it is largely irrelevant in the Wado ryu. What I object to is the fanciful home made variety being sold as Wado ryu when Wado ryu have very efficient and ongoing analytical systems in place already.

As for close quarter fighting: Kihon kumite one to ten provides a very accomplished one on one close quarter based combat that is built around Wado principles and covering atemi-waza to nage-waza. Beyond this we have its Sanbon kumite and ohyo kumite and Jiyu kumite in the Suzuki realm plus its 36 Gumite gata and Idori and deeper into a live blade pageant of tanto dori and Tachi Tori.

Most of this harvest from its koryu lineage is enough to carry a person into maturity.

I can honestly see no reason to add to this from specious sources when the addition only succeeds in diminishing the integrity of Wado ryu.

I also have to seriously question your ‘not wrong, just different’ smoke and mirrors casuistry though, especially when you present the visual evidence on you-tube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4fTs4zKlto & here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ybKqIXJSLU

Having said this I don't see any meeting of minds in the near future so any value is draining from this thread. So I may as well just get back out into the sunshine.

Regards

oneya
Reg Kear.
Wado Kokusai San no Ya.

http://www.sannoya.com
Gusei21
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Re: New Wado Kata Bunkai Book

Post by Gusei21 »

As I watched this unfold...and knowing which direction this was going to go.....I have a couple of thoughts.

In this current day and age when we have easier access to good information I don't understand why people feel they need to look elsewhere for good stuff. If you want to travel down that so called jujitsu road you don't have to take up jujitsu from your local jujitsu guy. The real deal has an email address and offers seminars in Europe. Learning some other type of jujitsu seems to be a total waste of time if your goal is to further your knowledge of Wado. If you goal is to just enhance your martial knowledge then by all means go visit your neighborhood martial artist. But if you want to travel further down the path of Wado then you are wasting your time there.

So in the case of this Wado bunkai book I would be delighted to purchase it if some senior student of Takamura ha Shindo Yoshin Ryu who also did Wado decided to publish something along those lines but then again they would not call it 'kata bunkai' but more correctly 'kata ohyo'.

I also don't understand why people want to disparage competition karate. Good competition karate teaches you things you can't learn from 'traditional karate'. Speed, timing, distance. You can't get that from hitting a makiwara not that hitting makiwara is not important. Give me a retired competitor any day over a person who has only trained in so called 'traditional karate and I know I can turn him into a much better Wado practitioner.

Competition is an integral part of Wado. Its part of the spectrum of the overall journey. I feel strongly about this.

And I think that once people get exposed to good Wado they will no longer have the need to chase down the so called 'Wado kata bunkai' because there is no there there. If you want to learn Okinawan kata bunkai then that has a lot of merit. Without bunkai kata is meaningless for Okinawan karate.

But last time I checked we aren't doing Okinawan karate so anyone that tries to tell you that bunkai is important is clueless about Wado.
Yes we can do bunkai. We can do it all day long. But that won't help your understanding of Wado. I will be happy to invent different ways to break bones using the naihanchi kata but that's not the point of our naihanchi kata. Our naihanchi is about body conditioning and developing a certain kind of power. We are pulling and yanking on our insides and building internal connections. Bunkai is missing the point. It might be fun to understand the Okinawan perspective and play with what they do but that's a different thing. But if you are going to play with bunkai then I would be more productive and go study the jujitsu parts of Shindo Yoshin ryu and then go play jazz with that in your kata (ohyo).

So my recommendation to Mr Dart (not that he asked for my opinion) is to go train under Toby Threadgill and see what you can learn. You already have some sort of jujitsu background so it shouldn't be that much of a leap in the beginning. Then once you start to discover the stuff that is happening under the hood I think you will be thrilled by what you see. Then perhaps you might be inclined to revise your book.

A duck is a duck. Its not a horse no matter how much you wish it to be a duck. A horse trots. A duck waddles...(my lame attempt at a joke...waddle - wado?) I suppose if you insist on calling a horse a duck that's ok by me but that has no basis in reality.
Bob Nash
oneya
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Re: New Wado Kata Book

Post by oneya »

While we're talking of Shiai Bob, here a quote that may restore a little harmony to this thread.
The practice of Shiai is the aspect of wado ryu where Ohtsuka Hironori meijin presents its public face on the international stage. In doing so, he demonstrates its case for assuaging the aggressive aspects of competitive human nature within the safe protocols of its sporting purpose. In the half-century or so since its international debut it has proven to be a medium capable of fostering many harmonious individual and group relationships across national and international borders. While this is commendable there is no doubt that International shiai has both its advantages and disadvantages in its inevitable homogenisation and may well be the double edge sword that sees the diminishing of the wado ryu identity as more and more people see the sport karate as its end goal.

A moot point certainly with Shiai and the international stage is the small kernel of doubt that remains of a system that still favours the hero over merit to the point of wonder. Perhaps what the European, Occidental or Asian has not yet come to realise is that letting go of this ‘National-self’ will afford them the greater benefits of becoming far more universally strengthened, much more worldly integrated and enlightened by doing so.

As gaijin we can never be a ‘cherry blossoms’ and the more we dissect the cherry blossom to understand its Oriental beauty the more we destroy its essence. Wado is not just about its technical aspects or concepts or even about the sum of its parts, It is about its wado ryu essence that dwells in the realm of its nature.

Ohtsuka meijin’s unique life tells the story of fulfilled familial obligations before ambition or any personal freedom of choice is considered. His legend and legacy is a rich multiplicity of personal examples. Where the gaijin can benefit is by accepting wado ryu in its Japanese uniqueness and by doing so find enlightenment when embracing his universal vision. The upside of ‘not being the sun’ is to recognise the beauty of uniqueness and the strength and enlightenment we can draw from its warmth and beauty. It is here that we, the subsequent generations of wado ryu, need the greater strength of character intrinsic in humility to simply stand in the crowd and pay homage to draw this benefit..
oneya
Reg Kear.
Wado Kokusai San no Ya.

http://www.sannoya.com
Gusei21
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Re: New Wado Kata Bunkai Book

Post by Gusei21 »

Takagi Sensei is very clear about this with us.
We are encouraged to compete in both kata and kumite.
When we win we cannot show any emotion.
When we lose we cannot show any emotion.
We are doing budo sports.
The purpose of budo sports is to teach you how to overcome yourself.
Nothing more.
Its a training tool that exposes you to a high stress environment and the learning is in how to negotiate that while you remain both physically and emotionally centered.

If we get hit we cannot show pain or anger.
If we hit I suppose we can apologize since it was a mistake. :)

He says that you should not be able to tell who won or lost the match by looking at their faces at the end of the match.
Bob Nash
kenshindoryu
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Re: New Wado Kata Bunkai Book

Post by kenshindoryu »

"Wado is not just about its technical aspects or concepts or even about the sum of its parts, It is about its wado ryu essence that dwells in the realm of its nature."

Nice quote Reg,

Is this from a longer interview or book?
regards
oneya
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Re: New Wado Kata Bunkai Book

Post by oneya »

Hi,

The quote is a little grist from an longer article with aspirations Ken, again though, as I ruminate on it sitting up there alongside Bob’s post, I realise its Wado ryu nature and purpose is the same as Budo sports for a while - perhaps until it brings a little enlightenment as its sport aspect dwindles.

oneya
Reg Kear.
Wado Kokusai San no Ya.

http://www.sannoya.com
Gusei21
Posts: 403
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:43 am

Re: New Wado Kata Bunkai Book

Post by Gusei21 »

Final thought from me on this bunkai thing.

IF.....you follow the bunkai path then I can see a need for many kata.
The more kata the more bunkai, the more bunkai the more knowledge of various techniques.
So by that definition Shito ryu has the most diverse and rich curriculum since they have over 50 kata.

I don't think its an accident that Ohtsuka Sensei made the admonition that 9 kata were enough.
If bunkai was your thing then 9 is NOT enough.
So why did he say 9 was enough? It wasn't because of the need to acquire more bunkai.
My conclusion is that he said 9 was enough because it contained all the necessary body conditioning drills you needed to master Wado.
Ohtsuka Sensei said doing more than 9 was a waste of time.
If Wado kata is ultimately about body conditioning then perhaps doing more is unnecessary and overkill?

Taking this one step further I think that if you truly comprehend the meaning of Wado then 9 is more than enough.
It parallels this statement by Morihei Uyeshiba.

一点の気 (無) から陰陽の2つの気に分かれ, 陰陽の気は交流して万物を産み出すのである。

A spot of Ki (Nothing) is divided into two Kis – positive and negative. The dual Kis interact and give birth to all things in the universe.

– Ueshiba Morihei, Traditional Aikido vol 5 p 36

We are doing Wado - meaning we are doing Wa or as we say in Japanese WASURU. So then what are we WASURUing?
What is the symbol of WA? One famous one is the yin/yang symbol or San Gen (The 3 origins). What are the San Gen? Ten Chi Jin. Heaven Earth Man.

So once again, what are we harmonizing? Ten Chi Jin. What is one of the many symbols for this? The black and white tomoe (spiral) each separated by a line with one tomoe representing Heaven, the other tomoe representing Earth and the line representing Man who must negotiate the two entities (KI).

Cliff Notes version: The two KI (Heaven/Earth) interact by being manipulated by the line-Man in the middle giving birth to all necessary technique.
This is the definition of Wado. So on one level the essence of Wado is the manipulation of the two Ki (Heaven and Earth) to create harmony (give birth to all things in the Universe).

Oh..and its just a metaphor...
Bob Nash
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