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sensei8
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Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Journyman74 wrote:
Very interesting... I know this is an old thread but I’d like to chime in...

Regarding how technique is performed, this Karateka from another forum said it best…

“SKA was one of the first styles of Karate brought to the US and turned into an official organization. It’s not expensive to practice as it is a non profit organization.The Founder, Tsutomu Ohshima was one of Funakoshi’s students and received a 5th degree blackbelt under Funakoshi, the highest degree given at the time, so that is the highest degree a person can get in SKA. It is a traditional form of Shotokan, emphasizing real life technique of self defense, (eye gouging, low kicks to the groin and knees, foot stomping, aiming for the throat, ect. Techniques are kept simple. Distance and timing are a main point of focus. It’s not very sporty and can gravitate to more mental and physical conditioning depending on the dojo.

Different aspects are emphasized depending on dojo and instructor. But basically the premise of the technique is less is more, and speed produces power, and speed is achieved through relaxation. Maximum power is ultimately produced by speed, alignment, and proper distribution of body weight. Stances are wide. Punches usually end at the pinnacle of a movement, basically when your front foot hits the floor. This is one difference when I look at katas and basics from JKA- that there tends to be a kind of wind-up resulting in a delayed punch. For instance, if you are stepping with a reverse punch, in JKA the foot lands and then the punch and rotation of the hips follows. In SKA the rotation of the hips tends to happen as you take the step, so a maximum combination of speed, hip rotation, and alignment with body weight happens at the point of impact, and at the point of impact the fist is tightened, lightly tensed “extended”- the only point where “muscle” is used. There is always an emphasis of no power in the shoulders.”

 

 

Now in response to the previous commenters to how front punch (Oi Zuki) is executed the way SKA teaches

Funakoshi in his own book says “the hips spring forward to a full frontal position in a half-facing posture” (Funakoshi, Gichin. Karate-Do Kyohan. New York: Kodansha USA,1973.Print)

It can also be observed that in all publications of his books, photos of Funakoshi himself when he was in his younger days is in a Half-facing posture as well as you can clearly see both shoulders in an angled position with punching arm extended. So, it is not “squared” as per his instruction, that most likely is a concept taught by the JKA. But I have to say even having trained JKA myself initially, we were not taught to have squared upper body posture in front punch so Im not sure where that is coming from. 

 

SKA teaches to importance of “connection” as why you don’t usually see them hopping up and down during kumite (its not against the rules, just not encouraged).  Sabaki and “shifting” is taught but nothing that would make you vunerable to counters or attacks because of being in the hands of gravity. Hands are also kept up with chin lower as opposed to the traditional sport method…Here is a good example…

This clip is of a tourney a few years back of a JKA stylist from Japan vs a SKA fighter. The man from Japan is affiliated with Oshimas organization through university but due to sport fighting being implemented in Japanese university Karate syllabus, it looks almost identical to WKF style Kumite that he resembles     
Good match with both very talented men to say the least.
 
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wmDAPNUtfgU

Special training is basically "gasshuku" (Japanese translation) and is practiced in martial arts. Various martial arts groups practice this

For me personally, in my years of Shotokan, SKA is the finest Shoto group ive had the pleasure to pratice with. Oshima was definitly on another level from what Ive observed compared to Funakoshis other students. Always thankful for his instruction and kindness

Welcome to KF, Journyman74; glad that you're here!!

Solid OP!!



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Spartacus Maximus
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everything in martial arts depends on the teacher and the method. No matter what martial art or governing body, there will be significant differences. Even within the exact same style and/or organization, there are those who are better than their peers at conveying skills and getting other people to understand them.
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SLK59
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Joined: 05 Nov 2020
Posts: 94
Location: USA
Styles: Shotokan Karate

PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Journyman74 wrote:
Very interesting... I know this is an old thread but I’d like to chime in...

Regarding how technique is performed, this Karateka from another forum said it best…

“SKA was one of the first styles of Karate brought to the US and turned into an official organization. It’s not expensive to practice as it is a non profit organization.The Founder, Tsutomu Ohshima was one of Funakoshi’s students and received a 5th degree blackbelt under Funakoshi, the highest degree given at the time, so that is the highest degree a person can get in SKA. It is a traditional form of Shotokan, emphasizing real life technique of self defense, (eye gouging, low kicks to the groin and knees, foot stomping, aiming for the throat, ect. Techniques are kept simple. Distance and timing are a main point of focus. It’s not very sporty and can gravitate to more mental and physical conditioning depending on the dojo.

Different aspects are emphasized depending on dojo and instructor. But basically the premise of the technique is less is more, and speed produces power, and speed is achieved through relaxation. Maximum power is ultimately produced by speed, alignment, and proper distribution of body weight. Stances are wide. Punches usually end at the pinnacle of a movement, basically when your front foot hits the floor. This is one difference when I look at katas and basics from JKA- that there tends to be a kind of wind-up resulting in a delayed punch. For instance, if you are stepping with a reverse punch, in JKA the foot lands and then the punch and rotation of the hips follows. In SKA the rotation of the hips tends to happen as you take the step, so a maximum combination of speed, hip rotation, and alignment with body weight happens at the point of impact, and at the point of impact the fist is tightened, lightly tensed “extended”- the only point where “muscle” is used. There is always an emphasis of no power in the shoulders.”

Now in response to the previous commenters regarding how SKA front punch (Oi Zuki) is taught and executed..

Funakoshi in his own book says “the hips spring forward to a full frontal position in a half-facing posture” (Funakoshi, Gichin. Karate-Do Kyohan. New York: Kodansha USA,1973.Print)

It can also be observed that in all publications of his books, photos of Funakoshi himself when he was in his younger days is in a Half-facing posture as well as you can clearly see both shoulders in an angled position with punching arm extended. Main point being it is not “squared” as per his instruction, that is likely a concept taught by the JKA and its off-shoots. I have to say, even having trained JKA myself initially, we were not taught to have squared upper body posture in front punch so Im not sure where that is coming from. 

SKA teaches and emphasizes the importance of “CONNECTION”- which is why you don’t usually see them hopping up and down during kumite (its not against the rules, just not encouraged).  Sabaki and “shifting” is taught but nothing that would make you vunerable to counters or attacks as as result of being in the mercy of gravity. Hands are also kept up with chin lower as opposed to the traditional sport method…Here is a good example…

This clip is of a tourney a few years back of a JKA stylist from Japan(left) vs a SKA fighter(right). The man from Japan (left) is also affiliated with Oshimas organization through university but due to sport Karate being implemented in Japanese university Karate syllabus, it looks almost identical to WKF style Kumite that his style resembles..   
Good fight between both, very talented men to say the least.
 
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wmDAPNUtfgU

Special training is basically "gasshuku" (Japanese translation) and is practiced in martial arts. Various martial arts groups practice this

For me personally, in my years of Shotokan, SKA is the finest Shoto group ive had the pleasure to pratice with. Oshima was definitly on another level from what Ive observed compared to Funakoshis other students. Always thankful for his instruction and kindness


I am resurrecting this old thread to add a few points to Journeyman74’s excellent post. Having now trained in both JKA (while Nakayama was still alive) and SKA dojos, the differences in front stance (zenkutsu-dachi) and reverse punch (gyaku-zuki) are indeed quite noticable. When I trained in the JKA, the relatively wide stance and squared shoulders had a lot to do with the fact that power for the reverse punch was generated through strong hip rotation. In SKA, gyaku-zuki is taught as a thrusting technique (like thrusting a spear), not a rotational technique. Hence the narrower stance, putting all of the body in line with the direction of the thrusting punch.

As Journeyman74 mentioned, SKA emphasizes relaxation, speed and economy of movement, while the JKA tends to stress explosive power. Other notable differences include things as basic as how a fist is made, how to achieve best focus (kime), timing of kata, etc. There is also a much stronger emphasis on tournaments and competitions in the JKA.

As to which style is ‘better...’ well, that all comes down to the one that best fits your own personal needs and preferences. And as Spartacus Maximus indicated, your relationship with the dojo and the CI is at least as important as your choice of style.

Cheers,
Scott
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bushido_man96
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
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Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
When I trained in the JKA, the relatively wide stance and squared shoulders had a lot to do with the fact that power for the reverse punch was generated through strong hip rotation. In SKA, gyaku-zuki is taught as a thrusting technique (like thrusting a spear), not a rotational technique.


I'm curious about these differences. If the SKA likes to do this technique as a "thrusting" technique, but without rotating the hips, where does the power come from? Only arm strength?
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SLK59
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Joined: 05 Nov 2020
Posts: 94
Location: USA
Styles: Shotokan Karate

PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
I'm curious about these differences. If the SKA likes to do this technique as a "thrusting" technique, but without rotating the hips, where does the power come from? Only arm strength?


There is a small amount of hip rotation involved, as described by Journeyman74 above. However the primary source of power comes from directing with the eyes and exhaling while dropping the hips and concentrating one’s weight down into the legs - especially the back leg - and simultaneously shifting the hips slightly forward and using kime to create force from both sides of the body that is projected through the relaxed punching arm and the fist, and ultimately through the opponent. Mind, Breathing, Body.

In this video clip, SKA founder Tsutomu Ohshima demonstrates gyaku-zuki for a group of black belts during a year-end training session held at his Santa Barbara dojo in 2007:

https://kc.ska.org/members/technique/kihon/gyaku-zuki/

Cheers,
Scott
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bushido_man96
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a very interesting video. Thank you for sharing that.
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SLK59
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2020 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am glad that you found it to be of interest.

Cheers,
Scott
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BeefcaketheBarber
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Styles: Shorin Ryu, kickboxing

PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Id like to leave this here as it is interesting that in the beginning of the clip, Naka sensei of the JKA acknowledges and verbalizes in his own words “we should do the tsuki like a staff WITHOUT ROTATING the shoulders”. That part stood out to me. The emphasis of achieving power through Rotation has been the flagship of this Shotokan style untill now.. I do commend Naka sensei for being open minded and exploring new styles and their methodologies.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OGRYjpP2fqA


Last edited by BeefcaketheBarber on Thu Dec 24, 2020 7:58 pm; edited 2 times in total
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SLK59
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your post, and welcome to KF, BeefcaketheBarber!
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bushido_man96
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing the video. I don't have so much of an issue with trying to eliminate shoulder movement, but I don't like the idea of trying to take away the hip rotation to generate the power. I'm a big believer in the power coming from the ground, up through the legs and hips. It seems to me that more force can be generated through hip rotation than through the hip thrusting. In the video, he is still using his hips for power, which I like. His shoulders still move, but not near as much as seen previously. I like what he is teaching here.
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