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Old 08-08-2005, 12:25 PM   #1
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido vs. Escrima/Kali

kata and training slowly is very important for imprinting good habits.

That said, you need to eventually speed things up and learn to deal with more resistant technique if you hope to be able to deal witih the multitude of factors that will come out you physically and emotionally if you ever hope to apply things for real.

Both have there place. There is more to training correctly than training slowly, methodically, and repititiously but I guess that depends on your personal goals.

Still not really clear on the higher level thing as you define it. The understanding from my point of view of learning slowly, methodically is that you will learn how to correctly apply principles and theory...slowly and methodically...nothing more. What would that have to do with obtaining a higher level?

What is the end state of this higher level?
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Old 08-08-2005, 12:58 PM   #2
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Re: Aikido vs. Escrima/Kali

I imagine it doesn't really matter. That's how I train.

I guess that's what it all boils down to.
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Old 08-08-2005, 03:23 PM   #3
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Re: Aikido vs. Escrima/Kali

My only problem with kata is they do not develop a response to energy given. If someone manages to resist mid technique you are lost unless you have developed the ability to feel the energy and where it is going to blend with it. I think that is one of the highest goals of aiki.

Dirk, I am not saying I don't uke or that I do not strike, but I just don't feel the need to become any harder than I am. I can do my techniques without being hard pretty easily, I have no reason to reinforce hard when to me that is taking a step away from the goal instead of towards it. My goal is to recieve uke's energy without being effected by it and redirecting it in such a manner that uke does not get hurt, I don't get hurt, and the violence and agression stop.
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Old 08-08-2005, 03:32 PM   #4
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Re: Aikido vs. Escrima/Kali

Dustin , you are right. Katas improve form, and ability but they do not improve reaction time or response to an attack. This is why you cannot rely solely on katas, there has to be interaction with other people in not only a slow moving way but also in a very fast way.
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Old 08-08-2005, 04:02 PM   #5
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Re: Aikido vs. Escrima/Kali

Just thought I'd drop in and say that "kata training" does not necessarily mean "solo forms training" (like that seen in many styles of karate or in some aikido dojo in the form of solo weapons kata) but can also refer to traning in certain choreographed "forms" with a partner. I'd say that pretty much all aikido dojo that I've trained at use kata training as a prevalent method of training.

Here's an article entitled, "Kata Training and Aikido" by Diane Skoss that explains this far better than I would be able to:

http://www.aikiweb.com/training/skoss2.html

-- Jun

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Old 08-08-2005, 08:21 PM   #6
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Re: Aikido vs. Escrima/Kali

I guess i should have said unrehearsed[i] interaction with other people.
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Old 08-08-2005, 08:53 PM   #7
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Re: Aikido vs. Escrima/Kali

I find that Kata practice at the highest level is very intense, very focused and provides something that free-style practice alone can not provide. Done right it goes beyond attack and technique but instills lessons of distancing, timing and movement. When complemented with full resistance randori .... well I've said all this before.

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
Dustin , you are right. Katas improve form, and ability but they do not improve reaction time or response to an attack. This is why you cannot rely solely on katas, there has to be interaction with other people in not only a slow moving way but also in a very fast way.
Generally I agree about relying solely on kata but I do think your understanding of kata training is somewhat limited.

Quote:
Dustin Acuff wrote:
My only problem with kata is they do not develop a response to energy given. If someone manages to resist mid technique you are lost unless you have developed the ability to feel the energy and where it is going to blend with it. I think that is one of the highest goals of aiki.
Well actually the level of resistance is defined but it does exist and hence it does develop a response to energy given. Again, as with Paige, I think your understanding of kata training is somewhat limited.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 08-08-2005, 11:40 PM   #8
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Re: Aikido vs. Escrima/Kali

I know my understanding is quite limited. I am stating my beliefs and understandings at the moment. I also hope to be corrected if I am wrong.
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Old 08-08-2005, 11:55 PM   #9
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Re: Aikido vs. Escrima/Kali

Quote:
Dustin Acuff wrote:
I know my understanding is quite limited. I am stating my beliefs and understandings at the moment. I also hope to be corrected if I am wrong.
Truly I wasn't trying to be condescending or anything like that.

For example in the Shodokan (Tomiki) system you watch a high kyu grade do the tanto randori no kata. At that level he's working on the fluidity of movement, technically correct placement of his appendages and body, some concern with timing and body movement. In fact he is hoping that when his next shinsa comes along he will have an uke who knows what he is doing.

Now you look at the same kata performed by two yon dans or talented san dans. Both roles are performed in an entirely different manner and emphasis. The speed and power can be incredible and all those aspects that the kyu grades have been working on have become internalized. The best take it pretty close to the edge and considering that randori improves kata and kata improves randori it gets to the point where you can barely see the difference between the two.

Hope that helps.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 08-09-2005, 12:29 AM   #10
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Re: Aikido vs. Escrima/Kali

I was in no way offended. I feel that kata have their place and am looking at taking up Iaido if I can find some here in the near future. I just have a bad taste in my mouth for certain training methods due to past experience. And as I said, sensei hates kata because he spent the first half of his life doing them for hours a day.

Maybe I am missing something (probably am) but the skill I am referring to is the ability that sensei displays to seemingly detect energy and where it is going the instant before or during when contact is made. At first we thought it was an issue of anticipating, but after seeing this same ability repeatedly manifest itself while he is blindfoled we think it is more of a touch or "ki sense". Has anyone else seen this in the advanced practitioner?
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Old 08-09-2005, 12:34 AM   #11
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Re: Aikido vs. Escrima/Kali

By the way the animated gif you see beside my name is the fifth technique technique in Tomiki's tanto randori no kata.

I don't know anyone that would have a chance doing tanto randori blindfolded. Maybe kata but not at top speed.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 08-09-2005, 07:27 AM   #12
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Re: Aikido vs. Escrima/Kali

Can't... resist.. must... post: (a post by someone from another MA forum)

The Great Kata Debate

From a combat and/or self-defense point of view, the practice of kata, forms or patterns in TMAs prompts two questions:

(i) Do kata contain valuable information?

(ii) Does practicing kata directly improve your combative/self-defense skills?



A karate perspective
Having studied shotokan karate for 14 years, I must say that, as practiced generally, the techniques in the kata have little combative value. Karate kata applications (bunkai/oyo) that I have seen taught by traditional karate masters have almost exclusively been counters to highly stylised karate-style attacks.

I will try and lay out my thinking as follows:

1. The original applications are unknown

IF (and it is a big if) there truly were applications in mind when the katas were initally constructed they are now unknown to the general community. The honest masters out there will, and do, admit this. There is a great industry (books/videos) of people trying to deconstruct the kata - all coming up with different answers.

2. So, if the originals are unknown, why bother with kata techniques at all?
Applications get assigned to kata techniques in one of two ways. Either someone takes the kata move directly and tries to work out what it might be for, or else someone sees a move demonstrated somewhere and says "hey, that's like the move from XXXX". But why bring the kata into the picture at all? Why try to fit square pegs in round holes? Why limit yourself to attacks and counters that only look like a move from a kata. Katas are unnecessarily limiting.

3. The applications, as generally taught, are nonsense

Most of the applications that I see taught are against highly stylised karate-style attacks, and clearly only work in demonstration mode. For example, the first move in bassai-dai involves a standing with your feet and hands together, then lunging forward with a 'reinfored' inside-block. I see this demonstrated against incoming stepping punches and reverse punches. Other kata applications only work when an opponent follows, say, a right kick with right lunge punch. As Vince Morris says, "but how do you know he was going to do that?".

4. The applications are anyway considered unimportant

The largest international shotokan bodies, the SKI and JKA, both do not require demonstrations of applications for 1st degree black belt. The SKI require demonstration for 4th or 5th dan and above - after you have been training for at least 15-20 years. Surely requiring 20 years of study to usefully use a kata application shows it to be the single most inefficient training methodology imaginable? Modern traditional karate (yes, an oxymoron) places 99% of its emphasis on how good the form of the kata is, not the function. Some organisations take this to ludicrous extremes - a 10 degree variation in foot or hand angle is doing it wrong. Have these people ever been in (or even seen) a real fight? My 99% figure comes from the time spent doing kata vs doing applications, and the emphasis in grading.

5. Practicing with an invisible partner is of little value

Anything and everything works on a cooperative partner. Thus if an application 'works' against a prearranged attack it gives no information on its combative value. The 'Aliveness' concept holds devastating implications for the TMA 'prearranged attack' training philosophy. If only practicing with a cooperative partner with prearranged attacks has dubious value, then practicing with none at all has much less. "But even boxers do shadow boxing" I hear you say. My response would be that you have not boxed and do not understand the purpose of shadow boxing.


Point #5 is the most damaging of all. Even IF the techniques were genuinely of value, simply practicing them as a kata will be very unlikely to help you to apply them in a real situation. I have had experience in or seen the 'new applications' developed by people like Patrick McCarthy, Vince Morris etc and while these are an awful lot better, points #1, #2 and #5 still apply.

In summary

The original applications, IF they existed and IF they were any good, have been lost. What is taught in their place is unrealistic rubbish that only ever works for prearranged attacks. In any case, the applications are practiced far far less than the solo performance of kata. Finally, there is a great weight of modern evidence that seriously undermines the training philosophy underpinning kata.

If you knew you were going to be attacked in the street in 2 weeks time would you practice kata between now and then?

If you had a ring fight (full contact or semi contact) coming up in 2 weeks would you practice kata between now and then?

If you were designing a combative/self-defense system, would you have kata in it?

Kata is somewhat useful in developing attributes which are useful in fighting (balance, coordination, stamina etc) but I submit that there is no evidence to suggest that kata is the optimum program for developing these attributes and I suspect that it is an inefficient method of doing so. In reality, kata prepares you best for doing more kata.

From a combative/self-defense viewpoint, kata has little benefit and enormous opportunity cost (the cost of not doing something more beneficial).

My question
What I said above applies to karate, TKD, JJJ and kung fu (these are what I have trained in, or have trained with people who do them). Do you disagree? Do other arts not fall into the above traps?


Don't tell me kata/forms/patterns are great for self defense/unarmed combat - tell me why and how.
------
best quote imho: " In reality, kata prepares you best for doing more kata."
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Old 08-09-2005, 08:07 AM   #13
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Re: Aikido vs. Escrima/Kali

I'm not a kata man myself, but I think they're supposed to be the first step of a training progression to take the uninitiated first into kata (so they have some tools with which to work) and then into "bunkai" - where they are now expected to start actually taking some ownership of their own training by having to come up with situations that fit parts of their kata. I wouldn't say that this is top level training, but it gets people started. Obviously (to me) they will also do some one-step and later more advanced sparring - where they would _eventually_ be expected to find their kata coming out (or showing up) under the pressure of those drills. I think the combination of that with the bunkai is kind of like the inside-out and outside-in approach to developing better understanding for those movements they find to be of core importance to their art. For some reason, I have the *assumption* (not proof what-so-ever due to no interest in actual research of this idea) that such arts probably were assuming that if someone were to attack you in a real life situation they would have a weapon (or both of you would). I just assumed that such arts were doing an entire training progression to best handle such a situation (in their opinion).

As I see it, this is the only time in history (now that we have such great police forces combined with leisure time) that there can be a good expectation that if you are going to get into a fight the person might not have a weapon. Kata might not fit training for this point in history as well but then again, no martial arts really fits into a point in history where anyone can be heavily armed - or someone can push a button and blow everyone up. So to me, sorry if I'm jumping here, but all of them really should be studied for the sake of being fun, and interesting, and of having a practice.

I am interesterd in the opinion of BJJers about do you think the trapping range skills would give you an advantage while someone is trying to get into clinching range or would it be negligable?

Rob
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Old 08-09-2005, 11:11 AM   #14
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Re: Aikido vs. Escrima/Kali

Quote:
Jorgen Matsi wrote:
Don't tell me kata/forms/patterns are great for self defense/unarmed combat - tell me why and how.
Why bother? You already know they don't work.
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Old 08-09-2005, 12:01 PM   #15
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Re: Aikido vs. Escrima/Kali

Well Jean what would happen if all the sciencists would take the same view? If Kopernik would have gone like... bla bla why bother telling people earth is round, they know it is flat!

Quoting former Leung Ting Wing Tsun head instructor of Estonia: (somehow sadly) Damn... I spent so much time and energy learning all this trapping and now it is so clear that you can just blast through that with most ordinary (wrestling) clinch.
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Old 08-09-2005, 12:59 PM   #16
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Re: Aikido vs. Escrima/Kali

The point Jean is trying to make is that you don't believe in kata so why argue their relevance.

Paraphrasing a few diffrent sources, here is what I have come up with as to the puropse of kata:

1. Instill a clear mindedness during a crisis.
2. Develop the student's ability to use mushin.
3. Help build unity between though and action.
4. Provide a technical and physical foundation.
5. Train large numbers of students rapidly to be battle ready.
6. Discipline.
7. Provide physical conditioning.
8. Something else to perfect and meditate on as is the Japanese way.

No particular order there and only referring to material I have come across on koryu sites. I don't think kata were ever intended to be used against opponents, I think that they were instead used to build skills and mental ability. Subori or randori may not have always been possible for some reason or another. They could also have been used as warm ups or something similar.
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Old 08-09-2005, 01:48 PM   #17
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Re: Aikido vs. Escrima/Kali

Quote:
Dustin Acuff wrote:
you don't believe in kata so why argue their relevance.
Really simple: I want to explain and expose my point of view and I want others to research and understand it and think about it. Also I expect the same from others towards me.

thesis+antithesis=synthesis
synthesis (now thesis)+antithesis=synthesis
and so forth and so on... Hegel's spiral development.
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Old 08-09-2005, 01:56 PM   #18
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Re: Aikido vs. Escrima/Kali

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
Again, as with Paige, I think your understanding of kata training is somewhat limited.

Dont tell me my understanding of katas is limited. You dont know anything about me.This is coming from someone who does about a million kata forms and then APPLIES them to actual competition with other practitioners in shaolin. You may have a different understanding then I , but that doesnt mean mine is "limited"
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Old 08-09-2005, 02:00 PM   #19
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Re: Aikido vs. Escrima/Kali

Quote:
Jorgen Matsi wrote:
Well Jean what would happen if all the sciencists would take the same view? If Kopernik would have gone like... bla bla why bother telling people earth is round, they know it is flat!
Maybe the nuclear bomb wouldn't of been discovered, maybe the Native Americans would still have possession of their land, maybe slavery wouldn't have enjoyed it's popularity for a time.

Here's what I'm coming to realize. I'm thinking that my opinion really doesn't matter outside of my own mind. That the beliefs I have are for a reason and that those who require coercing aren't necessarily the individuals who'll respect my opinions like I do.

Last edited by Adam Alexander : 08-09-2005 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 08-09-2005, 02:26 PM   #20
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Re: Aikido vs. Escrima/Kali

Jean I do not question your right for subjective beliefs... nor do I think one should discuss over these beliefs or subjective realitys if you will...

But we can set specific goals from the objective physical reality point of view and these we can discuss. We can pursue "the truth" which from this goal-specific-objective-physical-reality point of view exists. If we want to of course.

I naturally assumed that you being in favour of kata as a method and advising it to others (Paige) are also willing to deconstruct and explain your view rationally.

I want to find flaws in my point of view. So I can rearrange, rebuild, reform, reconstruct it. If you are not willing to help then... it's your choice.
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Old 08-09-2005, 02:30 PM   #21
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Re: Aikido vs. Escrima/Kali

Jorgen, I think Dustin provided a lot about kata to think about. Any comments on that aspect of his post? - Rob
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Old 08-09-2005, 02:50 PM   #22
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Re: Aikido vs. Escrima/Kali

Quote:
Jorgen Matsi wrote:
I naturally assumed that you being in favour of kata as a method and advising it to others (Paige) are also willing to deconstruct and explain your view rationally.
I"m a changed man I think kata is king. But, I'm not so worried about if others don't.
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Old 08-09-2005, 02:51 PM   #23
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Re: Aikido vs. Escrima/Kali

Okay here it comes:

1. Instill a clear mindedness during a crisis. : it is not clear which crisis Dustin Meant. I understand it like... I mean... I used to make jo-kata in my head while at dentist's. It helped But undoubtedly there are many various methods for the same purpose. None of them has to do with combat effectiveness is my point of view.

2. Develop the student's ability to use mushin.: yes, I think that I understand that. Maybe doing kata helps oneself to learn to switch to "mushin" mode so it can also be "switched" during let's say physical confrontation or any other situation that needs concentration. But again is it kata specific? Does for example shadowboxing have the same purpose? Lifting weights? Meditation? I for example have found that I am able to enter the "no mind" mindset when sparring. So it teaches me to switch AND is highly effective proven training method.

3. Help build unity between thought and action. : what does not?
4. Provide a technical and physical foundation.: Why does this need so many different and specific kata forms? Couldn't one just aquire the most basic form and then drill it against progressive resistance? I advocate "dry" training of technique for about 15 minutes max. Not YEARS like in perfecting a kata.

5. Train large numbers of students rapidly to be battle ready.: What is kata's value from combat point of view was the original main question. This is not an answer.

6. Discipline. Well... how exactly?

7. Provide physical conditioning. There are way more effective ways for conditioning.

8. Something else to perfect and meditate on as is the Japanese way. Legit and undeniable point but has nothing to do with martial arts or self defence or physical capability per se.

Yes I know I have a rather cocky and arrogant style of writing but that's just me and should not affect the fact that I'm trying to be rational underneath. Also I hope that noone automatically thinks I'm a selfish and rigid punk who is not worth discussing with.

Oops Jun, could you move that post too?

Last edited by Jorx : 08-09-2005 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 08-09-2005, 03:03 PM   #24
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Re: Kata Training and Aikido

Here's Jorgen's post copied and pasted until it is moved here:
Okay here it comes:

1. Instill a clear mindedness during a crisis. : it is not clear which crisis Dustin Meant. I understand it like... I mean... I used to make jo-kata in my head while at dentist's. It helped But undoubtedly there are many various methods for the same purpose. None of them has to do with combat effectiveness is my point of view.

2. Develop the student's ability to use mushin.: yes, I think that I understand that. Maybe doing kata helps oneself to learn to switch to "mushin" mode so it can also be "switched" during let's say physical confrontation or any other situation that needs concentration. But again is it kata specific? Does for example shadowboxing have the same purpose? Lifting weights? Meditation? I for example have found that I am able to enter the "no mind" mindset when sparring. So it teaches me to switch AND is highly effective proven training method.

3. Help build unity between thought and action. : what does not?
4. Provide a technical and physical foundation.: Why does this need so many different and specific kata forms? Couldn't one just aquire the most basic form and then drill it against progressive resistance? I advocate "dry" training of technique for about 15 minutes max. Not YEARS like in perfecting a kata.

5. Train large numbers of students rapidly to be battle ready.: What is kata's value from combat point of view was the original main question. This is not an answer.

6. Discipline. Well... how exactly?

7. Provide physical conditioning. There are way more effective ways for conditioning.

8. Something else to perfect and meditate on as is the Japanese way. Legit and undeniable point but has nothing to do with martial arts or self defence or physical capability per se.

Yes I know I have a rather cocky and arrogant style of writing but that's just me and should not affect the fact that I'm trying to be rational underneath. Also I hope that noone automatically thinks I'm a selfish and rigid punk who is not worth discussing with.

Oops Jun, could you move that post too?
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Old 08-09-2005, 03:03 PM   #25
Jorx
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Re: Kata Training and Aikido

Well Jean it's either then you are selfish or on the other hand extremely zen

A longer post about Dustins points about to be moved here by Jun in 3...2...1...
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