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
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