Gary's lone wolf howlin'

General discussions on Wado Ryu karate and associated martial arts.
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oneya
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Gary's lone wolf howlin'

Post by oneya »

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Hi Gary,

I am just venting here having spent a hour growing ever more despairing with the human race while reading the nonsense that is “Wado has no bunkai’ on iain Abernethy’s site of a year or two ago. What is nonsensical about it is these people commenting are not practicing Wado ryu and yet they have an opinion about something they know nothing or very little about.

If we are looking at anything to do with Ohtsuka’s Wado ryu then we need to delve into koryu history and philosophy rather than anything Okinawan. What you say about repetition and variation is true about wado ryu also. It’s the Shu Ha Ri principle of embrace the kata, separate from the kata and diverge from the kata but because it is a total body mind and spirit experience it takes a couple of decades or so to get all the bits of a co-ordinated body polished and honed to harvest the process.

The main difference that sets Wado ryu apart is it is the distilled essence of Ohtsuka meijin’s koryu experience in which Okinawan karate’s ‘Karate ni sente nashi’ has no place and no reference point because it is essentially Koryu in which taking and holding sente is invested in its ‘attack’ philosophy which stems from its history of years of tribal warfare, while Karate is an agrarian culture’s self-defensive practice against the civil violence of the times. Neither of course is the better, they are simply different practice for different eras.

O.K. Yes wado borrowed some aspects of Okinawan karate because his vision was to create a new martial art to provide for a peacetime culture that retained the best ( as he saw it) method of capturing and developing the hearts, minds and spirit of the youth of the day in a changing society. In my opinion: what the old guy didn’t want was a replica of Ueshiba’s Aikido where the attack has little integrity and doubtful efficacy also. So, in my opinion, he borrowed enough of their kata and kihon to create a good solid attack force to test the efficacy of koryu answers. This is the ‘pinch of condiments’ that the Ohtsuka family speak of.

Ohtsuka legacy has a few links to various koryu history along the way –before he got to the Okinawan. Most of these would have to be variations on a koryu theme I guess but he (Ohtsuka) was born into a middle class medical family with samurai history so it was certainly his koryu foundations that underpinned his Wado ryu. Takamura Ha Shindo Yoshin ryu notes 300 plus Kei and Gyo kata which are very much part of the difference that sets wado apart from its Okinawan contemporaries plus also calling it karate is the usual Japanese game of obfuscation. There is also a world of difference between the bunkai and kaisetsu practices but the British wado lite brigade have little idea having already buggered up a visionary’s legacy already.

Another big difference is Ohtsuka predicated his wado ryu of peace and harmonising with the nature of the universe within which the notion of ‘kata’ should be infinite and so he founded Wado ryu on Principles rather than technique so all of his technical changes go very deep.. Take his seiza and his reishiki f’rinstance where most ryu will leave access for sword use in their practice Wado ryu deliberately blocks the access by their right knee down first which would trap a sword. Making the bow in a left hand, right hand sequence normal for a quick draw is also nullified by Wado ryu’s two hands simultaneously practice to demonstrate its peaceful intentions. Small differences unless we are talking the difference between placing one’s life on the line in another level of reality. If what we do is proscribed by principles like Wado ryu’s ‘ Irimi, Inasu, Noru and Nagasu - as in the natural flow of a river around things – or the creativity in flowing water then everything is open ended. Gravity is the same, motion is the same and bunkai doesn’t cover it.

To say there is no bunkai in wado ryu is wrong of course, there is bunkai in wado at a very simple level, once we start to explain an enigma like the opening sequence of Kushanku or Naihanchi embusen or Niseishi's mawashiuke it becomes bunkai. However the research and development necessary to enable us to actually shape the physical commentary is really there to complement the Shu Ha Ri bespoke fitting room for wado ryu practitioners.

Gary mate, I am not advocating your return to debate at the bunkai emporium I am just complimenting you on your tenacity . . . and howllng at the moon here..

Ah that's better..!!

oneya
Reg Kear.
Wado Kokusai San no Ya.

http://www.sannoya.com
wadoka
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Re: Gary's lone wolf howlin'

Post by wadoka »

Ah yes, all the better for a new posting.
blackcat
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Re: Gary's lone wolf howlin'

Post by blackcat »

Hi Reg

Having seen that thread previously I am inclined to agree they are barking up the wrong tree completely. If people want to approach their Wado karate that way my view is they would make far more progress switching to a traditional Okinawan style of karate rather than trying to re-engineer Wado kata, particularly if their understanding of Wado kata has such a weak basis as is the case in the discussion you refer to.

I am less inclined to buy the 'pinch of salt' reference or that there is a so significant a koryu influence on Wadoryu.

In all of these ideas, we have to remember there is a product being sold by individuals making money from martial arts - seminar tickets, books, dvd's etc. Buyer beware is good advice to follow.

Ben
oneya
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Re: Gary's lone wolf howlin'

Post by oneya »

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Ah yes Ben, once the money trail was identified in the early days the splintering began to such a degree that in many cases today their wado just ain’t wado. Just a generic type of shiai karate. I have heard that some Wado organisations have dropped the practice of kihon kumite altogether - beats me..

In earlier discussions with the Black Tiger fella he reckons his mix of Wado and a Kyokushin spin off works very well for him. Well the kids pays their money and takes their faux choice I guess.

Mr Abernethy argues in that discussion that there is no such thing as wado kata which, if we follow that argument, would mean there would be no such thing as Shoto or Shitoryu or Kyokushinkai or Shukokai kata and no rhyme or reason for the Shu Ha Ri philosophy either.

As for the condiment theory Ben, even with my agnostic bent I have to think the basic principles of Wado ryu are pretty closely aligned with the big sword romance that makes up the bulk of Japan’s myth, legend and history and once we clear the physical preliminaries of the first couple of years training and the shiai scene in Wado ryu, then it all turns to a koryu pageant - so my feeling is more inclined to forgive the dashi and bonito flakes reference cause there is no one left to speak for that era now but it makes more sense than not.

Still as long as it does not interfere with what we do eh..!!
Reg Kear.
Wado Kokusai San no Ya.

http://www.sannoya.com
Gary
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Re: Gary's lone wolf howlin'

Post by Gary »

Hi Reg,

Sorry for not responding earlier, I've been on my Jollies and am now back at work - swamped as usual!

Yes, the participation in that thread turned out to be an exercise in futility, however as one of my previous posts on another forum was its reason in the first place, I felt duty bound to get involved.

In the end you have just got to let things be.

Actually, I quite admire Mr Abernethy's work. What grinds my gears though is the fact that he insists on using "Wado Kata" as the vehicle to practice something that isn't very Wado (if that makes sense?).

To each their own I guess.

Gary
Gary Needham
Walton Wado Karate Club

清漣館双水執流英国稽古会
http://seirenkanuk.wordpress.com/
oneya
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Re: Gary's lone wolf howlin'

Post by oneya »

Ah no worries Gary, I've been pottering along this yellow brick road for a while now but still find some of the sights a bit bizarre.

I went googling for a specific date and stumbled across a pothole in the search and found a couple of guys agreeing to defy Japanese domestic logic with some ersatz bubble and squeak panto.

I’ve settled down now cause my guess it will only nurture the mindless.

I hope you enjoyed your jollies.

oneya
Reg Kear.
Wado Kokusai San no Ya.

http://www.sannoya.com
Gary
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Re: Gary's lone wolf howlin'

Post by Gary »

Gary Needham
Walton Wado Karate Club

清漣館双水執流英国稽古会
http://seirenkanuk.wordpress.com/
oneya
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Re: Gary's lone wolf howlin'

Post by oneya »

Good idea Gary, there is always a place for a little ritual bun bu ryo do white stick tapping.

oneya
Reg Kear.
Wado Kokusai San no Ya.

http://www.sannoya.com
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