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6-6-07 Leyn Burrows Karate

A lot of talk last night, I’m talking lots of explanation and karate philosophy. We began the workout by doing secondary combinations across the floor. Leyn called out four combinations, from a left Sanchin:

sliding left back fist,
stepping right Secan,
left front kick,
right front kick

stepping right hook ridge hand
stepping left hook ridge hand
right roundhouse kick
left roundhouse kick

right low crescent (roundhouse) kick
right high roundhouse kick
left low crescent kick
left high roundhouse kick
stepping right Secan
stepping left Secan

right horse stance, Elbow, Rican, Shoken
left horse stance, Elbow, Rican Shoken

Leyn used a single count for each combination. There were a couple of others that have gotten jumbled together in my recall; just a warm up.

Prior to Sanchin, Leyn reiterated some of the points he made last week for Bruce, especially “getting your legs under you.” Emphasizing the tuck under position, we did a few Sanchin Kata. And then the discussion took over the workout.

We talked about intent, with Leyn demonstrating his meaning by having me defend a right punch from him to my chest. He discussed the standard circle block defense that a Brown Belt, Shodan and even a Sandan might employ. He showed that after being blocked his body position hadn’t changed and he could still deliver another strike. Leyn suggested that developing the intent thought process, while being attacked, you understand what you have to do, where you have to be (in what position), and how you have to end the confrontation. So, with him defending a right punch, thrown by me, he showed his intent by check blocking my right punch with his left hand, dropping his right hand into a circle block position, and sliding close to my right side while completing his circle block high up on my arm, past my elbow. This defense caused my body to be turned away, opening my right side and back to his counter. This was his intent and it was developed during the attack, not prior to.

We discussed returning to Sanchin after an offensive or defensive maneuver; using Secondary Exercises and excerpts from Kata as examples. The Straight Punch and Elbow Strike Secondary Exercises and Horse Stance Elbow, Rican, Shoken and Left Block, Sliding Shoken Kata excerpts were used extensively.

Here’s where my Martial Arts growth took a sizeable leap. Bruce demonstrated the Elbow Strike Secondary exercise, leaving his elbow striking arm at his side after completing the first series of strikes. And with his elbow striking arm at his side, he began the next series of strikes. He did this to show how it’s not to be done. Bruce then showed us how he developed a training aid to force the karateka to return to Sanchin. Bruce added an elbow strike at the end of the traditional series of strikes and then deliberately brought his arm back to Sanchin. The added elbow strike was the kind found in Kata such as Kanshiwa, Kanchu, and Seichin, across and in front of the body. This is where my closed mind objected. Even though I’ve been tight lipped in front of these higher ranked Black Belts, I had to voice my opinion about bastardizing the style. Without being offended, both Bruce and Leyn attempted to open my mind.

First Bruce: he said there are two ways to look at the developed Uechi techniques. The first, is someone, way back, knew everything and through the years all Martial artists were trying to learn what he knew. And then he gave me the Einstein/Newton example, and because of that I am ready to apologize to Ed Labrecque and others that I’ve attempted to keep from developing unique applications for Uechi techniques that they have learned and wanted to share with me. Bruce said when Einstein was asked about his prowess, he said something like I’m just standing on the shoulders of those who came before me. I looked at his Elbow Strike Secondary training aid a lot differently after that.

Leyn added that by combining Uechi techniques to other Uechi techniques you develop the advanced form of that technique. For example: the Slide Step, Spear Hand, Double Shoken, Step Off found in Seichin could be done by Stepping In (right step, more aggressive), Spear Hand, Double Shoken, Left Pivot. Or, Slide Step, Spear Hand, Double Shoken, Stepping Back (left step), Left Pivot (more stable). I still wanted to hold on to my traditional step off with my left foot security blanket. But the stability difference was to overwhelming to ignore. I used to cringe when I would see lesser and higher ranked students pivot left or step off right. Could they know more than me? It appears so.

They presented a few more examples and lessons on this subject.

Can I overcome sixteen years of holding the tuck under position in contempt; or not stopping in Sanchin during the Wauki Block? We shall see.

Oh yeah, we did Kata up through Seisan; and ended with a Sanchin.

One other observation, while changing, Bruce suggested that he and Leyn ought to prepare for 7th Dan while they are getting me ready for Godan. Leyn told Bruce that he was already a Nanadan (Master's title: Kyoshi). Let that be a lesson for you: always know your sensei’s rank.

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