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Katharii
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Enpi/Wanshu [Video bunkai]

Hi guys, there’s been a few videos posted up recently showing bunkai ideas. I thought I’d contribute by sharing my ideas for the kata Enpi. The following videos go through the whole kata - hopefully you’ll have the patience to sit through them all! ;]

So why Enpi?

Truth be told, I had an idea for age zuki and I ran with it. For those who are unfamiliar with the technique, you swing your outstretched arm in a circular motion upwards with a closed fist, palm side down much like a regular seiken. The target is supposedly the bottom of the jaw, like an uppercut. I’ve never been satisfied with this explanation for age zuki, so I started to think about other possibilities for what it could be. The idea I stumbled upon was the key to unlocking the entire kata.


Kata history and variations

While I am most familiar with the Shotokan version, hence I refer to it here as Enpi, the Wado Ryu version, known as Wanshu is so similar that the two forms clearly have the same origin. Basically I’m saying that the bunkai should be valid for both ‘versions’. I’m not, however, familiar with the version found in Shito Ryu and other styles. There seem to be some similarities in the movements (and so shared bunkai), but I did not look into this area in any detail.


Although there is no rule saying modern bunkai must conform to the historical applications (and they may be lost forever anyway), studying the history of a kata is a great place to begin research. I'll not waste space here by reposting historical information which can be found via a quick google search, but this extract from Wikipedia is particularly tantalising:


"One translation of the word "Wanshu" is "dumping form," "dragon boy dumping form" (in Shuri-ry?), and "Strong Arm Form" for the dramatic grab-and-throw technique seen in most versions."


If this is indeed true, then we should expect to see techniques like this emerge from the kata.


The cornerstone technique

I think I was quite lucky in that I stumbled upon (what I believe to be) a cornerstone technique and from here this grew and grew until the whole kata was mapped out. By cornerstone technique I mean a position or hold you apply to an opponent that you keep returning to and launching other techniques from, based on what the opponent does and how they react. This position should not allow the opponent an opportunity to launch an attack or even respond intelligently. Anyone who has seen Iain’s Beyond Bunkai DVD will understand what I mean by this. I was already a huge fan of Iain’s work, but that DVD truly revolutionised the way I train karate and assess bunkai.


The strategy

We all know that preemptively striking the opponent in the head is the way to go. If you have been unsuccessful in incapacitating the opponent (and cannot escape) then the techniques found in Enpi can be applied as a follow up. To me Enpi is a collection of support techniques, not primary ones. The second line of defence, as it were. The cornerstone technique, in this case, is simply seizing the opponent’s wrist and jerking their arm straight with a gedan barai. Again, those familiar with Iain’s work will recognise this from the first move of Pinan Nidan/Heian Shodan. It is assumed that after the preemptive strike, the opponent has thrown their arms up to protect their head, a response that is deeply ingrained in humans and so predictable. From this position, the wrist can easily be seized and the techniques applied. For ease of training and viewing, we have represented this in the videos via a clash of forearms (which could theoretically also be the start point), but there are of course many other ways of arriving at this position.


Assessment of the bunkai

As mentioned, Enpi is a selection of what I feel are support techniques. At least, thats what I ended up with. I had no agenda or box that I wanted the bunkai to fit in, and so they grew organically according to what the movements were, not what I wanted them to be. Despite this ‘led by the kata’ approach, I still arrived at what I feel is a system not a collection of separate techniques, which, in my opinion, lends weight to their plausibility.


The solo form

Here is the kata as I know it. There is nothing special about this performance, it merely matches the way it is performed in Shotokan. If you are familiar with the kata, feel free to skip these videos.

 

Once again, this time at a slower speed.

 

The bunkai


- Bunkai 1 Oyo - Yoi
Seize wrist and use elbow to apply inverted arm bar (koshi uke).

And a closeup video of this bunkai.

- Bunkai 2 Oyo - Otoshi gedan barai
Seize wrist and use dropping gedan barai to attack the inverted elbow joint, pull opponent in using koshi uke, pull hair or crank neck and arm using gedan barai, punch jaw and/or forearm choke using kagi zuki.

 

- Bunkai 2 Henka - Otoshi gedan barai
Inside arm drag takedown using dropping gedan barai, arm bar of choice

[I did not film a video of this bunkai sorry!]

- Bunkai 3 Oyo - Age zuki
Seize wrist and gedan barai to destabilize opponent and straighten arm, age zuki to attack the elbow joint, seize the neck, hiza geri to the ribs, groin or thigh of opponent, gyaku zuki gedan to begin turn (with foot ideally on the outside), ushiro gedan barai to flip opponent onto the ground, pass seized wrist to other hand and gedan barai to strike the opponent's head if they try to stand.

- Bunkai 3 Henka - Age zuki
Seize wrist and gedan barai to destabilize opponent and straighten arm, age zuki to attack the elbow joint, claw to the face, hiza geri to the ribs, groin or thigh of opponent, gyaku zuki gedan to begin turn (with the option to stamp the opponent's foot and pin it), ushiro gedan barai to attack the elbow joint and groin, pass seized wrist to other hand and gedan barai to strike the opponent's head if they stumble forward.

- Bunkai 4 Oyo - Haishu uchi
Seize wrist, mawashi empi to opponent's head and seize hand, slide, mawashi empi and otoshi uke, haishu uchi to head and/or fumikomi to knee to drop opponent, grind head into opponent's head, kote gaeshi, empi to head and/or hiza geri to ribs, drive head downwards, double choku zuki to the back of the head.

- Bunkai 4 Henka - Otoshi empi
Seize wrist and use elbow to apply inverted arm bar (koshi uke), otoshi empi to elbow and/or fumikomi to knee to drop opponent, empi to head and/or hiza geri to ribs, drive head downwards, double choku zuki to the head
.

- Bunkai 5 Oyo - Shuto uchi sequence
Seize wrist and gedan barai to destabilize opponent and straighten arm, age zuki to attack the elbow joint, step shuto uchi to attempt takedown, switch step and pass seized wrist to other hand, shuto uchi to neck, seize elbow and gyaku zuki to head, shuto uchi to takedown.

- Bunkai 6 Oyo - Gyaku age teisho
Seize wrist and gedan barai to destabilize opponent and straighten arm, age teisho to attack the elbow.

- Bunkai 7 Oyo - Age teisho
Seize wrist and gedan barai to destabilize opponent and straighten arm, entangle leg using step and age teisho to attack the elbow.

- Bunkai 8 Oyo - Yama uke
Seize wrist and gedan barai to destabilize opponent and straighten arm, age teisho to attack the elbow, slide in and gedan barai to the groin (arm below seized opponent’s), yama uke between opponent's legs and over far shoulder, lift opponent and drop onto head.

- Bunkai 8 Henka - Yama uke
Seize wrist and gedan barai to destabilize opponent and straighten arm, age teisho to attack the elbow, slide in and gedan barai to the groin (arm below seized opponent’s), yama uke to duck under seized arm and grip through opponent's legs, kata guruma to throw the opponent.

- Bunkai 9 Oyo - Shuto uke
Seize wrist and gedan barai to destabilize opponent and straighten arm, age teisho to attack the elbow, slide in and gedan barai to the groin, seize opponent’s arm with two hands, spin into shuto uke to apply shoulder and wrist attack, step back shuto uke (swapping hands) to apply shoulder and wrist attack.

The full collection of bunkai can be found in this playlist: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEFECCC5D755942C2&feature=plcp


I am hugely interested in thoughts and feedback for this bunkai. Please be as honest as possible, as thats the only way I’ll learn! ;]


Side note; you may have noticed there are a significant number of attacks to the opponent's elbow to be found within this kata. Perhaps Funakoshi had a sense of humour when he renamed it 'Enpi/Empi'... (I'm joking of course! ;])


Special thanks to Rick Kay-Bowden for letting me throw him about in the videos and Stewart Squire for all his advice and assistance in testing and refining the ideas.


Iain: I hope it was ok to put up this pretty massive post and video collection. I wanted to email first but am aware you get more than enough emails already! Perhaps you could embed the videos so that they’re easier to view?

Stevenson
Stevenson's picture

This is fantastic! Just what I have been looking for. Do you have something similar for Bassai Dai? that's a kata that also intrigues and which I know a handful of oyo but nothing that feels cohesive in the way you have made Empi. This is what I meant in the thread I started about finding some unique strategy that 'ulocks' a kata.

I did have one thought though: On the haishu uchi sequence, the 45 degree left leg raise always felt to me like a sweep. In you bunkai video at 1:41 I felt like a possibility instead of the stamp, would be to sweep his left foot with yours from insde to out. It would probably have the same effect. Have you tried that? Did you feel that the stamping was the strongest most reliable application as opposed to ashai barai?

I can't thankyou enough for these videos. They are excellent.

ky0han
ky0han's picture

Hi Katharii,

Katharii wrote:
I am hugely interested in thoughts and feedback for this bunkai. Please be as honest as possible, as thats the only way I’ll learn!

Ok here I go smiley.

First of all, I really like your ideas especially for the first sequences of the Kata. It takes a lot of courage to go public and ask for criticism. I take my hat off to you.

But...

..you should look at other scenarios for the attacker too. When you see Kata as a complete Fighting System. You are far away from complete. You now have nine ways of dealing with the opponent when your arms are clashed.

You should also try to look at fallback solutions in case something is not working out the way you intended it. Try some sequences as not end to end connected but as options (that or that or this insted of this and this and this) depending on how the opponent is responding to your actions. You can also look for advanced methods at the end were the simple things should be found at the beginning. Or you look for certain stages of an altercation. e.g. incoming limbs at the beginning (try to grab, try to punch), dealing with reference points that have been set on you (like grabs), dealing with locks, throws and takedowns, grappling situations (like you did with the clashing of the arms or different kind of gips (neck, arms, hands)) and so on.

You are on a very  good way. I really enjoyed watching. Keep rolling.

Regards Holger

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Katharii wrote:
Iain: I hope it was ok to put up this pretty massive post and video collection. I wanted to email first but am aware you get more than enough emails already! Perhaps you could embed the videos so that they’re easier to view?

All done! Thanks for adding this. I think it’s a great way to share information and I think it adds lots of value to the site. Cheers!

All the best,

Iain

Mr P
Mr P's picture

Really excellent thought provoking stuff. just what I have been hoping for. Thanks for sharing.

Alan

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

katharii wrote:
I am hugely interested in thoughts and feedback for this bunkai. Please be as honest as possible, as thats the only way I’ll learn! ;]

ky0han wrote:
..you should look at other scenarios for the attacker too. When you see Kata as a complete Fighting System. You are far away from complete. You now have nine ways of dealing with the opponent when your arms are clashed.

In a fight it is mainly the arms that will hurt you and it will mainly be the arms that will prevent you from hurting the enemy. Strikes with the knees, the head, bites, gouges, locks, throws, etc all generally need to make use of the arms to be effective. If you can control the enemy’s arms they will struggle to hurt you as you will maintain a massive advantage. It also means you can open up the enemy to your strikes as they will not be able to cover effective due to the arms being controlled. Being able to throw, lock etc also requires control on the enemy’s limbs so the required grips can be acquired.

When I teach our set bunkai drills we often being with a static arm that is then controlled so the following technique can be effectively executed. I’m not for one second saying the kata is all ways of getting past static arms though; it’s just a convenient place to start from while people learn the basics of the method. So to start with it is “just an arm”. When the student has grasped that (and it does not take long), the “arm” can become a flinch, a push, an attempted strike, the knocking away of an eye-gouge, a proactive control, just about anything really. All that matters is that you get control of the arm from wherever you happen to be and then manipulate it to open up the kata method.

I worry that consistently teaching a bunkai drill as a “defence against x” reduces many possibilities for application to be applied to only one; and it also makes the whole thing far too reactive to engender the required mindset (proactive and positive) and to be workable in the fast and frantic mess of conflict.

I’d therefore suggest that the material as it is is fine, but when communing and teaching that material it is important to explain that the arm clash is the first way to drill the method in practise, but in actuality it simply represents controlling the limbs from wherever you are. You'd then encourage the student’s to also practice gaining that control within many different scenarios and in live practise. Which is exactly what you did :-)

katharii wrote:
For ease of training and viewing, we have represented this in the videos via a clash of forearms (which could theoretically also be the start point), but there are of course many other ways of arriving at this position.

Great stuff! I feel it is in that way that the kata become complete in that in most motions can be applied from many different positions.

Thanks once again for sharing these videos :-)

All the best,

Iain

Katharii
Katharii's picture

Thanks for the comments guys, they're very encouraging. :]

Stevenson:

I'm really pleased you found these useful! If my work helps yours in even just one way, then its been worth it. I have a few fragmented ideas for Bassai Dai, but nothing thats worth pulling together just yet. I'd point you towards Iain's excellent DVD for that kata.

Your idea for ashi barai instead of a stamp is a great one - I think thats totally valid. That variation had indeed occurred to us during training. Another variation would be a solid knee strike to the inner thigh, blasting the opponent's leg away to achieve a similar result to the sweep. I think the best thing to do would be to train all the variations and find the one that works best for you. Remember also that it can vary greatly depending on the size and shape of the opponent. On reflection, these attacks to the inside of the leg may indeed be superior to the stamp. Its just one of those things that occur to you after filming! ;]

ky0han:

Thanks for the constructive criticism, its important to eat humble pie and take on board all points of view!

I perhaps need to claify what I mean by 'system'. I'm certainly not suggesting you could train just Enpi and it would meet all your needs - as you point out, you need answers to the various attacks you could recieve. As I mentioned, I think the techniques found within Enpi could be used as a follow up when the pre-emptive strike fails and you are forced to continue attacking. Enpi is a support kata I feel. What I mean by 'system' is really just that its a simple strategy. The simpler the better in my opinion. If you absolutely have to use physical violence, do so pre-emptively. If the opponent is still 'in the fight', attack again if you cannot escape. Run away as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

While I take on board your comments about recieving attacks (and I agree, as complete martial artists we need to train for that), I'm actually trying to orchestrate a situation where the opponent doesn't even get a look in. Its not a 'receive and counter' type strategy (thats massively dangerous in my opinion), but a one sided tsunami of violence which you are in control of.

As the old masters knew, to have a complete fighting system, you only really need one or a handful of kata. Obviously this massively depends on what those kata are. For example, because Enpi is a support kata (that is to say, it contains secondary techniques in my opinion), I would never train it in isolation. Tekki/Naihanshi plus Enpi would make a small but formidable system. Or perhaps Kanku Dai/Kusanku, Tekki/Naihanshi plus Enpi/Wanshu. Don't forget that there are always fundamental things we train that aren't, strictly speaking, kata. Like hojo undo for example.

In the videos we do start from a clash of forearms thats true. But as mentioned, the intention there was to have somewhere to start, not that that is always the start. I leave it up to the viewers to work the techniques from other potential starting points. Even with a hundred videos I couldn't cover everything! ;]

Iain:

Thanks for embedding the videos, I realise there are quite a lot! I'd be particularly interested in your thoughts on this bunkai if you have the time to view them!

Kyoshi
Kyoshi's picture

Great stuff - great interpretation.

What i really love is the way you presented this - well done and good job with all the small videos with following comments - you inspired me to maybe do the same with my Naihanchi projekt.

IAIN - AN IDEA ?

to make a section perheps, where "complete forms" could be posted like this - with video and explanations? i know this is for bunkai etc - but this setup here is perfekt, i would ofcourse add my for naihanchi and more would definately follow?!

Thanks for sharing!

JWT
JWT's picture

Hi katharii

Thanks for sharing these.  It is obvious that you have spent time thinking about the Kata and playing with the possibilities inherent in the form.  I am impressed by your work.

What to add in addition to the valid comments above?

Firstly I think you need to focus on multiplicity in the bunkai a bit more.  I personally don't regard this as a second tier Kata.  For a start it contains Gedan Barai, Shuto Uke, Zuki and extended arms.  Obviously I'm a bit biased here as I think that most people would handle the majority of stand up encounters with Taikyoku Shodan and all the different techniques it encompasses.  Even so, I don't think you are making enough of those techniques and their possible applications in pre fight , mid fight and end fight scenarios.  Have you considered the enpi/empi pun as a play on the core attacking weapon f this system as opposed to the target?  That is how I utilized this form.

I'd like to see a little more of a focus on redundancies from each bunkai.  I can see from the videos that you are aware of some, but I wonder if you've considered how a failure in one application of something other than the start movement could be an alternative setup for a much later part of the Kata as well.  As an example of applying the same move in a different context, here's a video clip from 2008 (taken from my video syllabus) of me working a movement from the Kata:

I liked your use of hizageri to the chest, but I'd suggest exploring how it could work with the leg as a target.  

Have you considered how adrenaline tolerant the bunkai are?  Which ones work under pressure and which ones don't?

John Titchen

Katharii
Katharii's picture

Thanks once again guys, great feedback and lots of food for thought. If I've helped or inspired anyone at all then its been completely worth it. I feel like any way that we can contribute and move the art forward, however minor, is completely worth it. It would have been very easy to be secretive about the bunkai, but that benefits no one really does it? By sharing we all get better together. :]

Iain: Thanks again for the embedding and the feedback! You managed to reply as I was writing my previous post which is why I asked for comments you'd already given!

Many thanks,

Phil

Stevenson
Stevenson's picture

Quote:
IAIN - AN IDEA ?

to make a section perheps, where "complete forms" could be posted like this - with video and explanations? i know this is for bunkai etc - but this setup here is perfekt, i would ofcourse add my for naihanchi and more would definately follow?!

Seconded - that's a brilliant idea as a rsource.

Katharii - I completely agree with your approach. I agree that choosing and fully understanding a small selection of kata is a great way to build a fighting system that suits you. In particular, the thing that concerns me is to understand a core strategy with a kata so that after you learnt it and internalized it, you only need to think of the core prinicple to unlock the kata. The Goju katas usually have some kind of decritpive title - such as saifa - tear and smash, which make unravelling the bunkai easier, but the shotokan katas which interest  me seem a little more hidden. I really like Empi, but didn't feel I really 'got it' until I saw your interpretations. Very inspirational. I can't wait to get in there and start exploring them.

Some of the criticisms I feel are coming from a predecided perspective. If Empi means something to someone and that someone had devised a system around it, I can understand that it might create some disgareement. I can see that Empi could be a primary source for applications, but the issue remains what over-arching strategy you are following with respect to the kata. At least here, you have shown me a way in. Great stuff.

clouviere
clouviere's picture

Although I agree and understand Ky0han's criticism, I really liked how you took the entire Kata and treated from a single point.  You obviously can take it a apply it to multiple points of stimuli, doing it like that I feel really highlights the various principles.  As an example, which is one of the layers of kata in mind, it is nice to see it presented like this.

Once again shows the depth that kata can go and can be taken.

Chris

Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel's picture

Thanks for posting these Katharii.  Starting from a similar position to provide the context is a great way of using the Kata as a training aid to isolate a skill or set of skills. This is similar to the theme based approach I use when Bunkai training. I use the Kata as a template, coupled with an underlying theme (varies), it provides the input for combative drills. This way, the Kata is driving ways of training many facets to combat.

ky0han
ky0han's picture

Hi Katharii,

Katharii wrote:
In the videos we do start from a clash of forearms thats true. But as mentioned, the intention there was to have somewhere to start, not that that is always the start.
.

Sorry I somehow missed that point completely. 

Katharii wrote:
I perhaps need to claify what I mean by 'system'. I'm certainly not suggesting you could train just Enpi and it would meet all your needs - as you point out, you need answers to the various attacks you could recieve. As I mentioned, I think the techniques found within Enpi could be used as a follow up when the pre-emptive strike fails and you are forced to continue attacking. Enpi is a support kata I feel. What I mean by 'system' is really just that its a simple strategy. The simpler the better in my opinion. If you absolutely have to use physical violence, do so pre-emptively. If the opponent is still 'in the fight', attack again if you cannot escape. Run away as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

Makes sense to me.

As I said, well done and thanks for sharing.

Regards Holger

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

Great stuff and thanks for sharing.

 I could nitpick little stuff that I don't like personally- but honestly I thought your method for variations was pretty sound - well done!

DaveB
DaveB's picture

A truly excellent piece of work. It's certainly very different from my own ideas but I can see how applicable the theory is to each of the various potential entries.  

That said I have three questions. Firstly what do you do if your arm straightening gedan barrai doesn't work? Secondly, how would you describe the principles embodied in your bunkai? And lastly, a potential consideration if you do intend to look at/expand Empi as a stand-alone system, how would you apply the lessons of the form to get to your foundation position of wrist contact especially at the close proximity you show in your vids (so looking at footwork, entry combinations/tactics, defences against being grabbed and grappling etc)? The idea being to find ways to control those aspects of the fight as well so that you are fit and unharmed at the point of unleashing your "tsunami of violence".

Thanks very much for sharing, as I said it is great work and I hope you keep going?

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Kyoshi wrote:
IAIN - AN IDEA ?

to make a section perhaps, where "complete forms" could be posted like this - with video and explanations? I know this is for bunkai etc - but this setup here is perfect, I would of course add my for naihanchi and more would definitely follow?!

Stevenson wrote:
Seconded - that's a brilliant idea as a rsource.

There have been a few people share video via the site recently and that’s obviously something I’m keen to encourage as I think everyone gets a lot out of it. This is the first time a complete breakdown of a kata has been shared though and it may look a bit odd to have a “full kata video bunkai section” with only 2 or 3 entries in it. It may also discourage those who simply want to show their thoughts on part of a kata (as most have done to date) as it could look like “full kata or nothing”. A video section could be a possibility down the road though.

I think the bunkai section of the site is the right place for these types of posts at the moment, but if we continue to get more and more video posts then a video section (along the lines of the articles section) would seem to be a good idea and I could move existing posts into that section easily enough. Thanks for the suggestion!

All the best,

Iain

Tau
Tau's picture

Sorry it's taken so long to actually watch all of these. I'm not familiar with the kata, but your bunkai is brilliant. I love your use of Yama Tsuki which I've always found to be a bit bizarre, although my juniors love it, if only for the name! Despite being primarily a Jujitsu practitioner I've never seen the relationship between Yama Tsuki and Kata Guruma before. It does show how we all see different things.

shoshinkanuk
shoshinkanuk's picture

I really like your work, good efforts and conclusions.

Some good advice being given. From my perspective much of what you are doing is Bunkai, and a fair bit away from actual application - but then those things are supposed to be seperated - be good to see some live/semi live application drills etc.

Katharii
Katharii's picture

JWT wrote:
Have you considered how adrenaline tolerant the bunkai are?  Which ones work under pressure and which ones don't?
 

shoshinkanuk wrote:
From my perspective much of what you are doing is Bunkai, and a fair bit away from actual application - but then those things are supposed to be seperated - be good to see some live/semi live application drills etc. 
 

The videos are, of course, structured for clarity of transmitting the information as opposed to proving the 'validity' of the bunkai. I would encourage any and all to try out these techniques and see if they work for you. If they do, superb, consider them a gift. If they don't, chuck them in the bin. We did drill them in a semi-live way as we developed the bunkai, but they have never been tested in a 'real' fight. I hope that never happens. ;]

DaveB wrote:
Firstly what do you do if your arm straightening gedan barrai doesn't work?

At the risk of sounding dismissive, I would do 'something else'. But I know you want more info than that so here goes. ;]

If the gedan barai doesn't work, but I still have hold of the wrist, blast him with punches or palm heels to the head. Or seize the opponent's head/neck in a half clinch with one hand then fire in elbows (think of this as swapping to naihanchi kata if you like to think in those terms).

If you want examples from Enpi itself, then you could attempt bunkai 1 oyo to force their arm straight with a spinning action. You could try bunkai 4 oyo and whip your elbow round to begin the sequence. You could try bunkai 5 oyo, crashing in with a takedown. Or bunkai 8 oyo, smashing the groin with a gedan barai and seeing whats available from there. Or bunkai 9 oyo, spinning into the arm distruction.

DaveB wrote:
Secondly, how would you describe the principles embodied in your bunkai?
 

I think they are the same as the principles used in self protection in general. Attack first, attack hard, keep attacking until you can run away. I'm sure all katas have the same basic principle. I would be worried by any kata that has the primary strategy of 'wait until you are attacked'. If you mean technique specific principles, then perhaps, 'heres a load of things you can do from wrist control', but I would dislike this categorisation because it limits people into thinking the bunkai can only be applied from this position.

DaveB wrote:
And lastly, a potential consideration if you do intend to look at/expand Empi as a stand-alone system, how would you apply the lessons of the form to get to your foundation position of wrist contact especially at the close proximity you show in your vids (so looking at footwork, entry combinations/tactics, defences against being grabbed and grappling etc)? The idea being to find ways to control those aspects of the fight as well so that you are fit and unharmed at the point of unleashing your "tsunami of violence".

Again, I don't see Enpi as a standalone system so would be unlikely to push in this direction. There will always be some things that are essential to training that are not found within kata.

shoshinkanuk wrote:
My advice is to listen to John Tichen and Iain in relation to drilling Bunkai and related, on the shuto one I think you make 3/4 actions with the attacker just standing there, I get it from a teaching perspective but its easy to lose focus when working like this.
 

I agree and I hate to see bunkai with the partner standing motionless just 'playing along'. If it has happened in the videos it is, as you say, deliberate from a teaching perspective. Some of the positions are impossible to perform effectively while maintaining partner safety, and safety is always your most important consideration when training.

I strongly feel that every technique you perform should have the ability to end the fight instantly so you can escape, or if not, it damn well better be setting up that finisher. The sequences you see should be applied with the intent (and belief) that each individual move is going to finish the fight. So in reality they are unlikely to ever be that long. In a sense you have a lot of redundancy built in because you've pre-trained the sequence, even though you'll probably never see it all. It helps prevent the brain freeze you get when flooded with adrenaline, as you will be incapable of intellegent thought. As I say in one of the videos, "If this doesn't work do this. If that doesn't work do this. If that doesn't work do this etc."

Thanks again to everyone for all the great discussion and complements! I really appreciate them! :]

Wastelander
Wastelander's picture

Thank you very much for sharing these videos!  I always find a lot of value in seeing how other people train and develop their applications for various kata. I know a version of this kata--if you saw it you would be able to recognize it, but there are still a lot of differences--so it is especially interesting to see what you have come up with.  When I learned the kata originally I was actually told that the name Enpi WAS a play on words, but I was told that it was referring to the dropping elbow strike that is a major feature of the kata. I definitely like your idea that it is a kata focused on the destruction of the elbow, because it is something I would not have looked at in that way, myself.

Th0mas
Th0mas's picture

I have always struggled with coming up with a common theme for the application principles for Enpi and yet you have done it!  and in some style...!

It seems to me that you manged to exposed one of the core principles of the kata: the strategy of control and domination through damaging the limbs which are preventing you from striking more vulnerable areas. The opening sequence of the kata has an initial attempt at control with an arm lock (...showing some alternatives) and then the rest of the kata deals with what you do if that doesn't work... 

I think your KISS principle is sound - the arm control/hypertension conerstone application fits really nicely, flows through the kata in a sensible and meaningful way and leaves an endless number of opportunities to nitpick individual techniques without changing the underlying principles.

What an excellent submission, top respect for putting it out there and thank you for sharing. 

DaveB
DaveB's picture
One more thought: an excellent format with which to train this application set is chi-sau, as used in southern Chinese arts like wing chun. You (or anyone wishing to train these apps) might want to start with the Goju Kakie format before advancing to free flowing chi sau in order to develop your skill in applying them to unscripted situations and resisting opponents.
Katharii
Katharii's picture

Apologies for posting in such an old topic, but I made a flow chart to accompany the applications found in Wanshu/Empi. You can find it here:

https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1VGrg-EfjfFH9euh7J_l_OnXL9zu4e4MBhhHYn5_oH-E/edit?usp=sharing