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6-13-07 Leyn Burrows Karate
 

Make it yours. Kanei Uechi told them at a seminar, although this style of karate is named after the Uechi family, they were to make it theirs. There wasn’t a lot of philosophizing last night, but it was still exciting. To start, we did each kata twice, once with a count and once without. Then we moved right into a 3 person Seisan Bunkai; yes, 3 person. This is where Leyn began to show how you make the karate your own.

Oh yeah, in between the kata and bunkai we did a 3 person semi-Chinese (we only hit each arm once instead of three times, both arms/each person) arm pounding conditioning exercise.

The Bunkai wasn’t like a multi-person Kanshiwa Bunkai, as it maintained its formal 2-person sequence. With Bruce on one side of Leyn and me on the other; Leyn would stop at the appropriate place in the Bunkai and face the person whose turn it was to provide the Bunkai’s attack. Leyn pulled out each defensive technique and provided multiple alternatives. For example, right off the bat, instead of the standard palm/heel strike on the chest grab with the crescent ridge hands to the ears, Leyn used the back of his wrists to block down and then immediately applied a double spear hand to the throat; or, the Closed Gate technique blocking down on the chest grab and immediately if not sooner a double fist to the chin; or, a double shuto to the chest grab’s wrists followed by a finger strike to the eyes.

Moving on, as he faced my direction, where the bicycle bushkins are used to block straight punches, Leyn used an inside wrist block on the first secan followed by a hook punch to the head off of the same hand, following through with an elbow strike to the jaw.

I can’t remember what was done on the crane stance, pull down, knee strike. But the three step bear hug defense was all about feel. Neither Bruce nor Leyn let themselves get hugged. Leyn showed a couple of variations to the groin strike, the first being a full shuto right to the groin. The second was grabbing one of the bear hug arms, dropping into a horse stance and pulling the attacker over on a take down.

Leyn showed the double shoken pull in and toss move emphasizing the tucked under Sanchin stance.

The Sword attack/defense was done with a wooden Samurai sword. I suggested that Bruce make his attack from a right Sanchin as he was too close to Leyn attacking off of his left foot. Bruce suggested that it would be a stupid Samurai who used this attacked, and proceeded to thrust the sword at Leyn. Who, in turn, blocked and grabbed the sword with his right arm and hand, pinching the top and side of the sword with his fingers and thumb and locking his arm into Sanchin. Bruce suggested that he would just draw the sword back. But Leyn countered by following the sword to Bruce. They both agreed that the defender would receive some damage.

There were alternatives given for the hammer strike, the front kick, the knee strike and the spear hands. But the exciting part was when Bruce introduced the old left Sanchin sliding punch right front kick take down defense. He said they used to do it (his dojo still does) after the knee strike and before the circle block spear hand techniques. It was something that filled in for the three Sanchin thrusts after the knee strike. I can see why it was eliminated. If you don’t have a rubber mat floor, then there could be a lot of injuries from that take down.

As usual I objected to all the modifications, suggesting that performing the standard curriculum techniques over and over allowed you to perfect them. This wasn’t met with jeers and name calling, as you may have expected. It was handled with lots of analogies; this one from Bruce: you play the piano, but only the scale. You play the scale perfectly, never making a mistake, but you never experience Beethoven or Mozart or Ellington or Basie.

We ended talking about Jim Maloney. They had lots of stories.

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