Sunday, July 27, 2014

2014/07/26 Notes on Heian Yondan, Sandan and Jitte

Muto-sensei, Kon-sensei
  • Basics
  • Sparring
  • Kata

There were few members this time as some of the kids were gone for a school related camp or for other reasons. This is probably why Muto-sensei had us spend extra time with each person during our sparring rotation.  It was actually pretty tough for everyone.  I can handle the work, and it looked as if the kids were working hard to not give in to their fatigue from the longer sparring bouts.  The humidity was high and the sweat was rolling off of me as if I were standing under a shower. Crazy.

Heian Yondan

Uraken - should be done in cross legged stance(?)/ kosa-dachi and while facing forward, because it is a strike, not a block. Many people do this with their body turned to the side like when doing the augmented inside block (右支え中段内受)in Heian Godan (movement 17) in the same location, which is wrong.

Wedge Block? - there is a movement in Heian Yondan and other katas (Wankan)  that simulates someone having grabbed your karate-gi collar and you prying their hands off by grabbing the hand on your left collar with your right hand and the hand on your right collar with your left hand and forcing them out and off of the collars.  Muto-sensei reminded us of the meaning in the block and of how some people, even other instructors, don't understand this and do the movement in a more stylistic way instead of a more practical way.  Basically, he said not to move your hands and arms out to wide.

Hair Grab - Another move, at the end of Heian Yondan, where, after a series of double handed blocks (augmented blocks / morote uke) down in back stance, you switch to front stance and reach out and grab your imaginary adversary's  head and then knee it and turn 180% into a knife block.  Again, here, Muto-sensei reminded ME not to have my hands too far apart because no one has a head that big!

This is movement 25, I think. One old video shows this movement being done directly from the previous  augmented block done in back stance without switching to front stance.  Another shows the man switching to front stance before performing the move.  A description of the kata does not say to move into front stance but to stand on the left leg, which would mean to go directly from the back stance to the move (grabbing the head and pulling it to your left knee. Another description says to switch to front stance and then perform the hair grab to knee strike.  So I guess, you should just do what your sensei says.  However, it makes more sense to me to go directly the the grab and strike rather than take the time to switch stances, grab, pause, and then strike.  It would also make the kata more dynamic and flowing.

DeepMoon's crescent kick in Heian Sandan and our discussion.

I had been thinking for a long time to say something to her about this because in all the videos I've seen and in all the descriptions that I've read about this, they all say to bring your knee up high to your chest before stomping down.  She said that because the purpose of the move is to trap someone's leg, that there was no reason to bring your knee up so high.  I replied that, that may be so, but the descriptions of the kata say otherwise.  As a move to use in sparring, you can practice it without lifting your knee high as a way to trap someone's leg but in the kata, you should probably do it like you are supposed to do it if you want to score high.  I suppose the next time she takes her belt test, if she has to do this kata and still keeps her knees low, she/we will find out if it matters as the jugdes may comment on it.  Or it may not matter and they won't.


I was having a hard time returning to the starting point when doing the Jitte kata.  I was always ending up half a step to the West (left) of the starting point. Why do we have to return to the start anyway? Perhaps because it makes remember it easier?  What I realised was that when doing the age uke towards the end (Movement 21, 22), that I wasn't stepping correctly when turning 180 degrees for the final two jodan age uke (23 - 24).  You start from manji uke, I think, in back stance with your left hand in an upper outside inner block (?? 左拳左側面上段内受) and your right hand in a lower level block (右拳右側面下段受)and then turn North and do a left handed upper level block (age-uke) and then step forward and do a right handed age-uke and then immediately, swing your back leg (left leg) around as you turn 180 degrees to the left (west) and perform another left handed age-uke and then step forward and do a right handed age-uke.  As you pivot 180 to turn around, you keep your right foot planted and bring your left foot over to the East.  So your body moves from West to East one step (or half a stance?).

I tried to make a picture to illustrate this.