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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:55 am    Post subject: Re: "Every kata is an entire system" Reply with quote

Wayofaswede wrote:
I often read this mentioned and wonder if that is really true for every kata?

For instance a short "five block" kata in Shito-ryu as Go ho no uke - is that considered to be an entire martial arts system in itself?

Or does this saying refer only to longer katas by more well-known founders, such as the "Pinan series" etc?

Would be great if someone could elaborate and explain this idea - as I find it very fascinating and would like to learn more about the concept and its relation to the katas I train.


Simple answer no, not every Kata is. Those that were created from the existing are not. Rather they are a furthering of the existing principles.

I have said this many times without clarification. The old Kata (Hsing) are in fact complete arts. Wanshu, Seisan, Jutte, Ueseishi, etc. are complete arts and we’re taught as such. They contain all of the applications, techniques and principles or that art.

You must understand that these forms were originally the art itself but as was human nature to search for additional skills and knowledge teachers started to combine arts to create “better” fighting traditions. As such they acquired additional forms and the skills, knowledge and principles contained. The Okinawans were no exception and collected as many as they could.

Kata like Pinan Sandan, Yondan and Godan for an example are not complete arts. Depending on what you believe and what you’re own or others research has led you to believe, Pinan Shodan and Nidan could be or may not be. If you believe Channan was split into two Kata ( either by Matsumura or Itosu, this is an argument/ discussion for another post) then it is the embodiment of a complete art. If you believe Itosu created all five from kusanku’s principles then they are not. I will not argue one way or the other in this post as it’s off topic.

If you’ve spent any time studying (really studying) your Kata you can understand the old masters stating that you could spend a lifetime studying one Kata. It’s because they contain thousands of possibilities and they embody a complete system (art) within them.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14498
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Imagine me taking a puzzle box, then I teach you what to expect the picture to be, then I take the box lid off, and I then dump the puzzle pieces onto the floor, and there a quite a lot of pieces, much more than one expected as one look down upon the scattered and tattered mess at your feet. Now, put the puzzle together, as best as you can. Do you do all of the work, or do we build it together, over time??

No, we do it together, however, you have to do most of the homework so that you can understand all there is to understand concerning building a puzzle because no puzzle's the same. While putting some order in all of these pieces, you discover a many pieces are missing. From time to time, I add the missing pieces, and you reach your AHA moments as to where this missing piece should fit, remembering to not force it, but let it be natural, for every piece has a place and a place for it.

As time has gone by, the picture begins to take form and shape. We're still working together to make all of the pieces fit, and not forced upon. We don't rush it, and we most certainly look it over, time and time again.

Will we both see the same exacting picture, as I described it at the onslaught of the journey?? Maybe, but I doubt it because we're different across the board, and how we reach the end differs, however, we reached the end together with the same results...a puzzle in its own making, which shall never be complete.

This hopefully illustrates that ever Kata is an entire system...the beginning of ones puzzle building journey, but most assuredly, not the end.



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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To further clarify complete art.
If you research old Quan Fa you will see that an art was represented by a singular form. These forms were passed down as a “complete” representation of the art in terms of skills and principles.

As with typical human nature, students would seek other teachers/ arts in search of better understanding or to gain an edge over others.

This is when “arts” began to contain more than one form (Kata). The Okinawans were no exception as the sought out as many teachers and Kata as they could find. Essentially creating a “complete” art. At least in terms of modern understanding.

However there is evidence that one could study a singular Kata and obtain a complete understanding of fighting/ combat skills. I would point to Motobu and Naifanchin.

I too would agree with his statement as I have spent 40 years studying Naifanchin and have gained understanding of “some” of its fighting principles but will probably spend another 40 years without full understanding.
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The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails-but the one who moves on in spite of failure.
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
Imagine me taking a puzzle box, then I teach you what to expect the picture to be, then I take the box lid off, and I then dump the puzzle pieces onto the floor, and there a quite a lot of pieces, much more than one expected as one look down upon the scattered and tattered mess at your feet. Now, put the puzzle together, as best as you can. Do you do all of the work, or do we build it together, over time??

No, we do it together, however, you have to do most of the homework so that you can understand all there is to understand concerning building a puzzle because no puzzle's the same. While putting some order in all of these pieces, you discover a many pieces are missing. From time to time, I add the missing pieces, and you reach your AHA moments as to where this missing piece should fit, remembering to not force it, but let it be natural, for every piece has a place and a place for it.

As time has gone by, the picture begins to take form and shape. We're still working together to make all of the pieces fit, and not forced upon. We don't rush it, and we most certainly look it over, time and time again.

Will we both see the same exacting picture, as I described it at the onslaught of the journey?? Maybe, but I doubt it because we're different across the board, and how we reach the end differs, however, we reached the end together with the same results...a puzzle in its own making, which shall never be complete.

This hopefully illustrates that ever Kata is an entire system...the beginning of ones puzzle building journey, but most assuredly, not the end.





I love the puzzle analogy.
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The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails-but the one who moves on in spite of failure.
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Wayofaswede
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 16 Jan 2017
Posts: 146
Location: Sweden
Styles: Shukokai Shito Ryu, Goju Ryu, Aikido (Aikikai), Judo, Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:21 am    Post subject: Re: "Every kata is an entire system" Reply with quote

MatsuShinshii wrote:


I have said this many times without clarification. The old Kata (Hsing) are in fact complete arts. Wanshu, Seisan, Jutte, Ueseishi, etc. are complete arts and we’re taught as such. They contain all of the applications, techniques and principles or that art.



Thanks for sharing all knowledge on the matter - which katas would be "etc", that is considered to be old Kata? (and therefore complete arts)
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The path so far: 3 kyu Aikido (Aikikai), 4 kyu Karate (Shukokai Shito-ryu), 5 kyu Judo, 9 kyu Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu

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Wayofaswede
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 16 Jan 2017
Posts: 146
Location: Sweden
Styles: Shukokai Shito Ryu, Goju Ryu, Aikido (Aikikai), Judo, Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
Imagine me taking a puzzle box, then I teach you what to expect the picture to be, then I take the box lid off, and I then dump the puzzle pieces onto the floor, and there a quite a lot of pieces, much more than one expected as one look down upon the scattered and tattered mess at your feet. Now, put the puzzle together, as best as you can. Do you do all of the work, or do we build it together, over time??

No, we do it together, however, you have to do most of the homework so that you can understand all there is to understand concerning building a puzzle because no puzzle's the same. While putting some order in all of these pieces, you discover a many pieces are missing. From time to time, I add the missing pieces, and you reach your AHA moments as to where this missing piece should fit, remembering to not force it, but let it be natural, for every piece has a place and a place for it.

As time has gone by, the picture begins to take form and shape. We're still working together to make all of the pieces fit, and not forced upon. We don't rush it, and we most certainly look it over, time and time again.

Will we both see the same exacting picture, as I described it at the onslaught of the journey?? Maybe, but I doubt it because we're different across the board, and how we reach the end differs, however, we reached the end together with the same results...a puzzle in its own making, which shall never be complete.

This hopefully illustrates that ever Kata is an entire system...the beginning of ones puzzle building journey, but most assuredly, not the end.




Beautiful analogy, thank you sensei
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The path so far: 3 kyu Aikido (Aikikai), 4 kyu Karate (Shukokai Shito-ryu), 5 kyu Judo, 9 kyu Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu

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