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3-9-09 Leyn Burrows Karate


Be natural

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 stance.

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, circle, etc.

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 that position.

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.

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