Tradition and Pedagogy within Karate

Discussion in 'Karate' started by GaryWado, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    they will have the "protect oneself" instinct. someone with enough training will have the instinct and ingrained habit of protecting himself in a specific way, while thinking about what to do.

    which is why those who care, train their asses off so that, hopefully, doesn't happen.

    funnily enough, my personal experience has been exactly the contrary, i've been known to react to being startled by pulling uke waza right out of the blue, both with my hands and with my legs, especially when around other karateka, which has led to some interesting and funny scenarios, like when i was in a bus terminal with couple others after a seminar in december, and one of the guys suddenly spins and pulls off a move i think from gojushiho right next to me, and i instinctively lifted a leg to check (a habit i got after having it done to me at a competition, now i can't stop doing it) and did a soto uke, much to the amusement of the others. or the time i sneaked up on and startled the sensei i'm training with and a couple dojo mates before class with a very loud OSS! (fun times, fun times :p), and fully expecting revenge i ended up doing a full force kosa uke right into nothingness when i saw the sensei bend down to tie his shoelaces. again much to the amusement of the others.

    i think it has to do with a couple of the drills we used to do when i trained in paraguay, one of which(which, now that i think about it, is the only one i remember ¬_¬) involved standing in shiko dachi, back against a wall, and having a dojo mate stand in front and throw punches for one to block, at increasingly shorter intervals and faster speeds. we did that pretty often, and you had to learn the ins and outs of the uke waza to do it, since natural instinct just didn't cut it there. good for learning to use double uke waza too, since with them you ingrain the reflex to always be ready to expect an attack from the opposite side to where your focusing.
    Last edited: May 12, 2009
  2. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    Irrelevant. You can reduce the need for a flinch response by training to pick up stimuli, but when you are genuinely startled, in the instances where you need your training the most, you won't pull a trained response until after your body has saved you (or not) with a flinch.

    Again, you can reduce the likelihood of flinching (which to an extent is silly since it works), but you will never erase it completely.

    Scenario and context is all. Even not in the dojo, being around people you associate with Karate will put you in a Karate frame of mind. So as far as the brain is concerned, it is little different to dojo training, with the same rules and codes. Hence - a surprise attack by one of your pals is no different in real terms to a surprise technique in the dojo. An attack with a Karate technique makes it even more likely to get an ingrained Karate response. So, on some level you are expecting an attack - even if you are not aware of it. So with an element of expectation, combined with being in a pseudo training environment, the attack coming from a friend and in a manner that you have trained against and at a speed that is non threatening (added to the fact that you don't expect a friend to hurt you so the defensive impetus is smaller) - you are likely to do a trained response and not a flinch. A fast attack against you by someone you didn't know in the same company (which would not have had the same assurances), especially a non Karate type attack at close range, would most likely have a flinch response (and in fact the same attack would probably have had a flinch response).

    A good drill, one that heightens your senses and increases your comfort zone. But natural instinct always wins under pressure.
  3. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

  4. GaryWado

    GaryWado Tired

    Accepting that it may well be me being naff, actually, I think in its Kihon form it "does" work against a partner. It does what it was designed for, and that is to engender correct form, distance, timing and awareness etc. etc.. Kihon is kata after all.

    Application wise, I think it also has its place in the "Kaisetsu" (physical commentary/explanation) of the techniques found within Wado kata . Without this you can’t progress onto Kihon Kumite, contained within which, as I say, are examples of the “practical” application of Wado I believe Ohtsuka intended.

    I agree totally as it’s the nub of it perhaps as very few karate systems appear to be “end to end” in with their pedagogy.

    I don’t think he kept them separate, in fact I think I have written before about how it is pretty well believed today that Ohtsuka saw the introduction of Okinawan karate into mainland Japan; and his involvement in the propagation of same, as a very good vehicle for him to cultivate his own brand of jujutsu not only on a socio-political level but also at a syllabus level.

    I think he would have been more than capable of integrating the two (and arguably he did, and did it very well).
    As far as whether he had the time to do it well, he continued to develop his karate even prior to the inception of the first official Wado-kai in 1934 up to his death in 1982.

    For best part of 50 years he polished his Wado, and so I think he had the time ;).

    I think you are more on the money with c, not necessarily with the PE stuff (although Ohtsuka was a kind of humanist of the time, so the "self improvement" inference plays a part) but certainly with the encouraging of students to look deeper into the form in order to develop their own answers (with the correct guidance of a good instructor) is key to the system's success.

    I do, I just chose a different path to discover the answers within, rather than looking outside.

    Same result I suppose.... Maybe?

    Last edited: May 12, 2009
  5. GaryWado

    GaryWado Tired


    My two pence worth, the flinch response is key, as is your engrained movement with it.

    I also think that my training, would not only allow me to instinctively react, but would give me an edge in terms of reading an opponent.

    (yep I know, it's the ones you can't see)

    That aside, I firmly believe that you can train yourself to recognise your opponent’s; body shape, size = distance evaluate capability +/-, all within about 2 seconds or less.

    Of course, situation and environment also play a key role, and are more John’s area of professional expertise (I can only draw from my personal experience).

  6. fred123

    fred123 Valued Member

    cound'nt agree more.

    all the opening movements of kata are a exellent way to train flinch response.
    therefore we can train technique,body mechanics awareness etc into the flinch response.
    so we are acually training our natural response.
    has helped me out of a spot of bother more than once.

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