Step, Block, Strike
Step, Block, Grab, Strike
Strike, Block, Step
Seiryu blocks are offensive
Horse stance - Elbow, Rican, Shoken
(Grab - Elbow, Grab - Rican, Grab - Shoken)
Amazing, just simly amazing. Jonathan, you
need to be here. I just don't have the questioning mind
that you do. You would get so filled up on this stuff, your
head would explode. I can't get enough. As you may know,
I'm back in Jersey, doing a short contract. As soon as I
found out, I called Leyn Burrows and found out he's working
out three nights per week. I jumped right in last night.
And it was almost overwhelming. I want to remember everything
that went on in his class; and I want to share it with you
guys. It was so good.
You know when you learn something new, how
good you feel? Well I'm feeling really good.
Leyn had a forms (kata) seminar Monday.
I'm going to jump around with this blog. First some new
stuff. You know the Sieryu block; the crane stance/double
arm blocks? That's not a defensive technique. It's an offensive
technique. The knee raise is not a round house kick block
or done for show, it's a knee strike with its accompanying
double arm blocks/grabs. It was first introduced in Seichin
as a double scoop block/crane stance. And then spread out
in Seisan as double arm blocks (high and low) with the crane
But as Leyn's seminar emphasized, the early
kata, Sanchin, Kanshiwa, Kanchu, and Seichin incorporated
the basic Step, Block, and Strike. It's not until we get
to Seisan do we amplify the Step, Block, and Strike with
a Grab. And it becomes Step, Block, GRAB, and Strike.
Leyn's teaching methods include throwing
out random question such as "how do you turn beginning
kata into advanced kata." He sometimes answers his
own questions. But, most times he leads you to answer them
yourself. He started to add techniques to kata, such taking
as the ending of San Seiryu applying it to the ending of
Seichin. And I noticed it, as he obviously wanted me too.
Probably to see if I was paying attention, or more to the
point of leading me to answer the bigger question "how
do you turn beginning kata into advanced kata."
Ending Seichin with the ending of San Seiryu
was pretty dramatic, but it made the point later, especially
when he demo'd the Grab points in Seisan. And then pointed
out how we, as Black Belts, employ the grab in beginning
kata, such as Kanshiwa. Light shines on Marblehead. He suggested
our Senseis, upon teaching us Seisan, gave us permission
to add these advanced moves (the Grab) to the earlier beginning
kata. What a revelation. I almost wanted to cry.
Upon seeing the Leyn demo the Grab points
in Seisan, it opened a whole new meaning of doing portions
on the kata that had become so robotic and empty of thought.
Now there could be a contradiction, in that you may want
techniques to become empty of thought. But only as you may
do them, not after or before. Can you answer the questions
why you do kata, karate, elbow/rican/shoken? There are no
wrong answers unless you don't have any answers.
Can you see the Grab points in the ending
of Seisan? (Horse stance - step), (block), (grab), (elbow
- strike), (grab), (rican - strike), (grab), (shoken - strike).
Beautiful, I can't wait for Wednesday.
Jonathan e-mails: So many questions - but
I need time to think it all through....
Just one for now:
What exactly do you mean by 'grab points'?
And, is the 'stacked hands' position at the end of Kanshiwa
a grab application? (If you have the chance, and think its
OK, would you ask Leyn what the application for that is
- as well as 'closed gate' - and 'one hand up one hand down'?)
Grab point: the point right after you block, and it doesn't
matter the type of block, wah-uke, push - up/down, wrist,
Funny you should mention the stacked hands
position at the end of Kanshiwa. I knew you'd have all the
right questions, you don't even have to be here.
Leyn just happened to demo the stacked hands
position, because he kept going back to Kanshiwa to demo
how it would look in its advanced presentation: opening
with stepping off left, circle block, grab, secan strike
(step, block, grab, strike); ending with slide step forward,
circle block, grab, shoken;then the slide step back, grab
right, pull in, set right shoken fist, grab left, pull in,
set left shoken fist.
Leyn suggested that the stacked shokens
and the closed gate meant protected and healthy.
And he showed that he could attack from
He commented that it was presented to him
by a Chinese coworker that was adept in Kung-Fu and Tai-Chi.
The presentation was with the right hand
fist clenched, arm drawn in toward the chest, meaning protected
and healthy. Drawn out away from the chest, with a straight
arm and the elbow locked, meaning unprotected and unhealthy.
I'll ask him what he thinks the one hand
up one down (Kanchu, Seisan) means.