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User2020
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2020 5:51 am    Post subject: Does kata delivery give muscle memory in kumite? Reply with quote

Say someone does soft Okinawan Karate Katas, and then switch to Shotokan for a long time and then does kumite. Will the change in kata mechanics be reflected in how they perform moves in kumite or are these completely separate majesterias?
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sensei8
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2020 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Muscle memory, in general?? Yes. Muscle memory in Kumite?? No.

Two different mindsets. In Kata, no one's really trying to kill you. In Kumite, someone is trying to kill you. Both have flows and timing and reactions and this and that, but Kata has you winning all of the time, whereas Kumite doesn't have you win all of the time.

Kata is a tool. Kumite is a tool. They each address different priorities, and have to be treated accordingly, and respectfully.

Imho.



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RW
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2020 5:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Does kata delivery give muscle memory in kumite? Reply with quote

User2020 wrote:
Say someone does soft Okinawan Karate Katas, and then switch to Shotokan for a long time and then does kumite. Will the change in kata mechanics be reflected in how they perform moves in kumite or are these completely separate majesterias?


I don't think so. Picture a typical kata: Zenkutsu dachi, gedan barai uke, half moon step forward, still zenkutsu dachi, left hand hikite, right hand chudan tsuki. Maybe at some point you are in kiba (or shiko) dachi, doing a yodan tsuki, followed by neko ashi dachi shuto uke.

Now picture your typical kumite. No half moon steps, no zenkutsu dachi, no neko ashi dachi, no kiba dachi, no hikite, you're not going to do a classic age uke during sparring... you get the idea.

The moves you pull in a kata are different enough to translate into kumite muscle memory.

Now, if you're doing shotokan sparring and then take up kyokushin on the side and spar, it may end changing your shotokan sparring (or the other way around), for example.
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bushido_man96
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2020 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any muscle memory you have will likely take a little bit of time and some focused effort to change, depending on how long you've been doing something a certain way.

I also agree with what the others have said, in that the way you do forms and the way you perform kumite rarely match up. For example, you don't use much hikite in sparring, unless you are allowed to grab limbs, but you see it with nearly every hand technique in kata. If you get to start adding some of these aspects to sparring, then you will get to train that muscle memory better.
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Wado Heretic
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The aphorism: You fight how you train comes to mind.

More specifically, however, you will move in the manner you have conditioned and practised to move under stress through stress-inducing training.

Very few people do kata in a manner that is stress-inducing. Either they will not practice it with sufficient intensity to do it is a credible aerobic routine, and there is an element of diminishing returns for kata and their effectiveness as exercise. Otherwise, their Kiso Kumite (Kata based sparring) is insufficient to induce actual stress: it is done in an overtly rehearsed and safe manner.

As such. when you enter the stressful situation of Jiyu Kumite, your Kata training will have no bearing: because you have not conditioned and practised the movement through stress-inducing training. You will instead resort to what you can do under stress.

Furthermore, as appealed to by others, modern Jiyu Kumite is rarely Kata based and might be better considered a Kick-Boxing training exercise than a self-defence exercise. The Kata are descended from pragmatic self-defence and thus a disconnect emerges. Without the stress training, you will unlikely be able to pull off sophisticated applications, and when the rules do not allow you cannot practice them anyway.

With that said, kata does teach body mechanics and they are habit creating. If you practice them enough, you will develop habits through them which will appear during Jiyu Kumite. Under stress, you will fall back on habit. How you perform your techniques that emerge in Jiyu Kumite will be affected by how you rehearse them, and that includes through kata practice: thus your strikes and deflections. Maybe your posture and how you stand will also be affected. In that sense, if you go from one kata tradition you practised for a long time, and then went to another school where there are different nuances and practised there for a long time: you could expect to see some subtle changes.

Now, if you do kata based sparring, and stress-based training with your kata, then how you perform kata will have a significant impact on your Kumite. Otherwise, under other circumstances, not very much.
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RW
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wado Heretic wrote:
The aphorism: You fight how you train comes to mind.

More specifically, however, you will move in the manner you have conditioned and practised to move under stress through stress-inducing training.

Very few people do kata in a manner that is stress-inducing. Either they will not practice it with sufficient intensity to do it is a credible aerobic routine, and there is an element of diminishing returns for kata and their effectiveness as exercise. Otherwise, their Kiso Kumite (Kata based sparring) is insufficient to induce actual stress: it is done in an overtly rehearsed and safe manner.

As such. when you enter the stressful situation of Jiyu Kumite, your Kata training will have no bearing: because you have not conditioned and practised the movement through stress-inducing training. You will instead resort to what you can do under stress.

Furthermore, as appealed to by others, modern Jiyu Kumite is rarely Kata based and might be better considered a Kick-Boxing training exercise than a self-defence exercise. The Kata are descended from pragmatic self-defence and thus a disconnect emerges. Without the stress training, you will unlikely be able to pull off sophisticated applications, and when the rules do not allow you cannot practice them anyway.

With that said, kata does teach body mechanics and they are habit creating. If you practice them enough, you will develop habits through them which will appear during Jiyu Kumite. Under stress, you will fall back on habit. How you perform your techniques that emerge in Jiyu Kumite will be affected by how you rehearse them, and that includes through kata practice: thus your strikes and deflections. Maybe your posture and how you stand will also be affected. In that sense, if you go from one kata tradition you practised for a long time, and then went to another school where there are different nuances and practised there for a long time: you could expect to see some subtle changes.

Now, if you do kata based sparring, and stress-based training with your kata, then how you perform kata will have a significant impact on your Kumite. Otherwise, under other circumstances, not very much.


solid post!

How do you envision kata based kumite?
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Wado Heretic
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For Jiyu-Kumite or Free-Sparring: Kakedameshi. A form of wrestling not unlike Tai Chi Chuan Tuishou (Pushing Hands) where you start with your limbs connected to your partner and always return to that position. The goal is to protect your centerline while simultaneously attacking your opponent's centerline, attack their base to potentially knock them down, or take control of their limbs. I consider this an excellent way to work on skills and techniques relating to kata because I am increasingly convinced that most kata movements do deal with this extreme close range. It allows you to also work on the limb control and takedowns common to almost all forms of kata application.

Drilling in general: Flow-drills, though, I admittedly favour fewer flow drills which work on positions and where you can add active resistance in. There are a number of shapes that occur and reoccur through kata, so I try to isolate those shapes and drill them.

Semi-Free Sparring with kata-informed restrictions: Have Seme be restricted to shapes from a specific kata, and have Uke be restricted to attacking relevant areas; they can only attack specific targets off of a specific limb for example. This way you introduce the stress of not knowing what specific attack will be coming for Seme, and you have them work on kata shapes under said stress. However, you still keep it relatively safe by keeping it to attacks you are confident those shapes will work against.

I also like to remind people we are rarely attacked in a nice open space, so I like to do what I call wall drills, and the clue is in the name: we start the drill near to a wall so it is restricting our movement. Similarly, we will often be trying to reclaim the initiative after an attacker has gained some degree of control of the situation. Thus, the Uke will initiate a random grip before the Seme is allowed to initiate their defence.

Add stressors to Kata practice itself: When students have some confidence in getting through their first kata I will then test their technique by getting out a striking stick and pad; I force them to have to block and strike strongly by giving them something to block and something strike.

As students progress I will then make the attacks random, so instead of an attack on each block, it could be on any block so they need to do each correctly because it could be any of them. I also start adding attacks to when they move to reinforce that it needs to be done with that sense of speed and evasion.

Some times we forget the arms entirely, and just do the footwork, with kettle-bells in hand, to maximise the work of the legs. I'll still have someone go around with the striking stick, or partner people up, to force that need to move.

Last note: I put myself through all the drills as well so I know what it is like, and can adjust as needed. I also try to stay mindful that what is stressful to me after twenty years of practice and having a fighting career, is very different from someone without those experiences. Thus, the need to cater to how to add stressors to training to each individual. This can be very difficult if you have a large classroom. I rarely teach more than ten people at a time out of choice so I can do this kind of catered training.

Edit: Just so I am not casting aspersions inadvertently. I cannot speak to most people's practice because I have not been and trained with them on their Dojo/Dojang/Kwoon/Gym floor. Thus, when I speak in broad terms, I am speaking to my personal witness. I have trained in Dojo in the Republic of Ireland, in Norway, in Japan, in Okinawa, and the East coast of the U.S.A, and all over the U.K. Few do what I consider kata based training: they do training including kata. Okinawa is about the lone place I have encountered traditional Kata based training. I have encountered the British strain of Practical karate which does but it is a reinvention of the wheel.

I always go back to context-specific training in my thinking: If my Kata is not connected to my Kumite and Kihon in a logical, rational, and scaled manner, why do kata?

Why train different skill sets under the same name, especially when there are kata traditions that suit kick-boxing style Kumite: Ashihara Kaiken, Enshin, Nippon Kempo, and Shorinji Kempo all come to mind. If your kata do not suit what you are doing, but you want to do kata training, find the suitable kata training.
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SLK59
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As others have said, in stressful situations your subconscious mind (aka ‘muscle memory’) will do what it has been trained to do through repetition. That is why in Shotokan Karate of America (SKA) we practice many repetitions in kihon, kata and kumite training (eg. one of the requirements for SKA shodan grading is having practiced the kata Bassai at least 5000 times on one’s own), and stress performing each and every technique as if it is an actual life-or-death defense against one or more attackers.

When learning a new style, your subconscious mind will at first tend to gravitate toward performing kihon, kata and kumite in the way that is most familiar - i.e. has been most often repeated - until you are able to ‘retrain’ your subconscious to perform the newer versions of the techniques. If your training stresses repetitively performing kihon, kata and kumite techniques in a similar way and with a similar mindset, then that is what your subconscious ‘muscle memory’ will learn to do. If your training calls for you to perform kihon, kata and kumite differently and with differing mindsets, then your subconscious mind will learn to do that.

Cheers,
Scott
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