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Kyoshi
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Naihanchi Bunkai Mini Series (full bunkai with instructions)

Hi All, i thought i would share this with you - i know we had Naihanchi up many times before - but this time i made recorded 40min+ of instructional tape i wanted to share with you.

This is the 1st part:

ky0han
ky0han's picture

Hi Nikolaj,

I find your approach really interesting especially the flow drills.

Thanks for sharing. I am looking forward to the next parts.

So keep em coming. smiley

Regards Holger

Kyoshi
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@ky0han

Thank you Holger!

Btw. did we meet, what is your last name?

Sincerely Nikolaj F. Skarbye

ky0han
ky0han's picture

Hi Nikolaj,

I am from Germany, living in Dresden. My last name is Nietzold and as far as I remember we didn't get to meet yet.

Regards Holger

Kyoshi
Kyoshi's picture

I don't know how far the distance is, but i am in Hamburg teaching these flow drills the 11./12. of May:

All info on this video:

You are very welcome, could be cool too meet :-)

shoshinkanuk
shoshinkanuk's picture

Nikolaj,

You do post some interesting material but I need to express a concern on application,

In your section 1- defend against knee strike you would likely clash heads at speed as your body is face on, i.e no body change happened.

The back hand strike IMO to open section 2 would not be effective in reality IMO to the target, therefore the opponent would still remain active and simply move or indeed hit you.

Just my view based on what your showing, which IMO has some good elements and some not so good.

Kyoshi
Kyoshi's picture

@Shoshinkanuk - first of all, thank you for taking your time to watch my video and comment!

I see your concern regarding the first section, though i have been doing this at high speed and haven't clashed heads. So maybe not? 

The back hand strike to open, is really effective if you know where to strike - on the right side of the body is the liver and the left side is the gallbladder - both of this, if struck hard enough will cause you to lose your breath. For the type of motion in the drill, the "strike" is supposed to merely shock or confuse the guy, so if he bends over - thats a bonus, if not - the return of the hand will cover his arm - we are off angle here so if he choose to strike again, we just change to the outside.

shoshinkanuk
shoshinkanuk's picture

ok your the Kyoshi!

Black Tiger
Black Tiger's picture

Nice Video, a different interpritation of one of my favourite Kata.

Its good to see some of the senior Kata looked at as the Pinan/Heian Kata tend to be dragged out to get as much as possible, thus neglecting Senior Kata.

Especially when there's quite a few styles that don't Practice them.

Thanks

Kyoshi
Kyoshi's picture

@Shoshinkanuk - actually my "nickname" stems from when i was 16, and wanted to write "Kyusho" i mispelled and Kyoshi got stuck... if you don't know the story it might seem i have a bit of a Ego problem - those who have met me, can tell you i don't :-)

I just wanted to explain my concept and i read and thought about your commentary.

@Black Tiger - thank you for your comment. I will probably either go into Chinto, Passai or Rohai as my next Kata - haven't decided on the project yet.

Mark B
Mark B's picture

Hi all,

Personally I couldn't care less what somone calls themselves on this forum, or what their personality is.

I congratulate anyone who feels inclined to share their ideas through visual means. My problem with most of the stuff that has been shared on here is their seems to have a naive element, eg. guy grabs lapel, I do this, then this technique, then this. The problem starts with the grab- never in my experience have I been grabbed or seen someone grabbed by someone in a passive, static manner, the grabbers arms locked out at full length whilst the karateka does their stuff. If a drill starts wrong it continues in that way. Some may say ''the application is done like this as a basic learning tool''. In my opinion even done slowly or in a most controlled fashion it still needs to be workable under more vigorous  conditions.

The grab is obviously one example, but the problem seems to cover the full range.

Anyway, back to the subject in hand.

I don't personally go for drilling Bunkai Oyho in this fashion. Yes, I do isolate small techniques ie. Mawashi Uke etc. I approach any Kata by assessing what, in my opinion is the core lesson. For Naihanchi (and most of the kata I work with) it is take the inside and endeavour to control the head, to deliver short range impact. I create short problem solving drills to deal with predictable response to aggressive head control and short range ballistics. We drill these applications in isolation, then in scenario, then in a random fashion. I also drill as many techniques, drills and combos against pads to keep the applications honest.

Obviously Nikolaj has his methods that work for him and respect to him, I prefer a different approach which works for me but I say if it works for you and helps you to achieve your goals then go for it.

All the best

Mark

Kyoshi
Kyoshi's picture

Hi Mark - thanks for you dropping by!

Have you any experience with Patrick McCarthys HAPV theory, of causing a predicted response with a certain action?

There are so many differnet ways of working, this is just my personal which i wanted to share and debate - i allways get new ideas from either good or bad responses to the stuff i post - that is why i post. TO LEARN. :-)

I drill the complete kata as an exercise, but i take the individual sequences of the kata and drill them aswell - as the complete kata drilled is more like a choreagraphed 2-person dance, though it feels really nice to perform, its not realistic, but serves more as a "2-person-template" to remember the individual techniques from the caused responses due to for instance a HAPV.

Thanks for your comments - i will post part 2 in this thread later this evening or tomorrow :-)

Kyoshi
Kyoshi's picture

Naihanchi Bunkai Part 2 - for those interested.

Wastelander
Wastelander's picture

You have an interesting approach, and I thank you very much for sharing! Much of what you do is quite different from the way I would do things, but that's what sharing is for.

I don't have too much of an issue with the knee defense, although I would aim for the middle cutaneous nerves of the thigh, just a bit higher than you were hitting. I've been able to numb people's legs a few times in sparring with a punch to those nerves when they knee or chamber a kick, and if it works with 7oz gloves it should work with a bare palm. I think as long as you tuck your chin down you should come out alright if you do end up clashing heads, even if it doesn't feel great. I can't say I would stop my response after blocking the knee strike, though--even if I deaden the leg, they could still continue to attack, so I would want to do something after the block to make sure they couldn't continue to be a threat.

I will say that the haishu-uchi to the floating ribs is a bit of a sticking point for me, though--I've only ever seen one version of Naihanchi that does that movement so low, while all the rest do it at head/neck/shoulder level, so it just seems like odd placement. I have also been struck in the liver and spleen pretty hard in sparring, so I know what it takes to be debilitated by those shots, and knowing how much force I can generate with a backhand slaps I don't think I could hit hard enough with them to those targets to do any good unless my attacker had no core strength or had some sort of pre-existing condition. Punches, palm strikes, elbows, knees, or kicks--sure!--but not backhand slaps.

Kyoshi
Kyoshi's picture

Hey Wastelander, thanks for your comment - interesting with the middle cutaneous nerve - i will definately have to experience with that. 

The Haishu-uchi i performed is from the Shotokan version i originally learned, so maybe its a bit higher - or lower? This is a creative interpretation working with the frame of the kata - as i see it, the the open hand "haishu-uchi" is average - shoulder height maybe, but your also down in a lower stance than an upstanding enemy - meaning that (for my point of view) although it is our shoulder height, the move is doner under the opponent arm height, due to his normal stance? 

Choshin Chibana Performing Naihanchi Shodan.

Thanks all for comments - i love to have feedback and commentaries - food for thought laugh

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Kyoshi wrote:
Hi All, i thought i would share this with you - i know we had Naihanchi up many times before - but this time i made recorded 40min+ of instructional tape i wanted to share with you.

Hi Nikolaj,

Thanks so much for sharing this. I found it a really interesting watch and I think it will make a great contribution to the site. Please keep the episodes coming! I do like this recent spate of video sharing as it provides much food for thought.

shoshinkanuk wrote:
In your section 1- defend against knee strike you would likely clash heads at speed as your body is face on, i.e no body change happened.

There was backward shift which may move you out of the arc of the head, but one thought that did occur is the rise of the hands could be used too? At the start of the kata (in most versions – Shotokan being a notable exception), the hands move up before going down. While the downward motion is used to press on the knee, the upward motion could be used to cover an attempted head butt / potential clash of heads. The complete motion could then provide cover from the head or knee in an either / or fashion? Just a thought.

Kyoshi wrote:
if you don't know the story it might seem i have a bit of a Ego problem - those who have met me, can tell you i don't :-)

I’ve met you a few times and can confirm that you have no ego problem :-) I found you to be very open minded and creative too. I can understand how the name could be misconstrued, but as someone who has met you and talked with you at length, I can confirm that you are very down to earth.

All the best,

Iain

Kyoshi
Kyoshi's picture

Iain Abernethy wrote:
I’ve met you a few times and can confirm that you have no ego problem :-) I found you to be very open minded and creative too. I can understand how the name could be misconstrued, but as someone who has met you and talked with you at length, I can confirm that you are very down to earth.

Thanks! Really appreciated!

Hi Iain, thanks for dropping by! laugh Yes there are so many ideas that can be shared, and we can all improve or gain new ideas from eachother! INSPIRE!

I can see exactly how the opening move in Naihanchi could start with a block from a headbutt then follow on with the knee to the groin! Perfect, definately adding that :-) - and yes the backward shift is exactly to cover ground and  gain distance - well spotted!

Naihanchi Bunkai Part 3:
 

Enjoy!
shoshinkanuk
shoshinkanuk's picture

Good Evening Nikolaj,

Kudo's to you for puttin your creative Bunkai up via video.

Whats your thoughts on the Naihanchi Embusen (floor pattern)?

You seem to apply the whole kata pretty straight on direct, which IMO does have some good utility, but Naihanchi is fixed side to side in footwork within the kata- what do you make of this aspect please?

Kyoshi
Kyoshi's picture

I think you don't have to put to much into the directions on the floor pattern. I think the floor pattern were made due to practical reasons. You only take 3 steps in the entire kata - I think maybe and as i used in this creative interpretation - the "steps" seperate the different sections, so there are 5 "slices" of Kata/bunkai - meaning that everyime we take a step we move on to a different part of the kata/bunkai.

Overview:

1. part         2. part         3. part         4. part         5. part

Depth           Jodan       Chudan      Gedan          Width

                      (                 Height                    )

In this way the kata defend the entire movement spectrum, Width, Depth and 3 levels of Height.

I hope that makes sense?

Best regards

shoshinkanuk
shoshinkanuk's picture

Ok I see where your coming from, I have found the embusen is critical to unlocking the kata Bunkai personally, and also critical in terms of Oyo - granted like I said your body position has utility I just feel it is not what the kata is teaching.

Why different embusen, for different kata? Why is Naihanchi just side to side movement, these are critically important elements IMO.

I would urge to to look at this aspect, perhaps with Tom Sensei etc.

Kyoshi
Kyoshi's picture

the Katas where not formulated by the same person, they are concepts from persons split over centuries and contries and fighting styles - they might not all have had the exact same idea regarding the purpuse when deciphering the katas a few hundred years later.

So you can't put a given set of rules and put all katas in one box, saying the Embusen is important for all of them - or that Mabunis quote regarding interpreting the direction of the kata to facing the opponent.

My opinion.

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

shoshinkanuk wrote:
I have found the embusen is critical to unlocking the kata Bunkai personally, and also critical in terms of Oyo - granted like I said your body position has utility I just feel it is not what the kata is teaching.

Kyoshi wrote:
the Katas where not formulated by the same person, they are concepts from persons split over centuries and contries and fighting styles - they might not all have had the exact same idea regarding the purpuse when deciphering the katas a few hundred years later.

So you can't put a given set of rules and put all katas in one box, saying the Embusen is important for all of them - or that Mabunis quote regarding interpreting the direction of the kata to facing the opponent.

There is Motobu’s remark which would support the idea that he regarded the “side to side” embusen as being important:

“Twisting to the left or right from the Naihanchi stance will give you the stance used in a real confrontation. Twisting ones way of thinking about Naihanchi left and right, the various meanings in each movement of the kata will also become clear.”

That said, there are plenty of motions to the front within the form which would suggest those motions are to be applied from the front i.e. you are looking forward so the only logical assumption is that you are looking at the enemy who is in front of you. The sideways motions would suggest you have turned sideways or have shifted to the enemy’s side. This would be in line with Mabuni’s general comment on embusen and the Motobu’s remark above.

The bottom line though is that we are all reconstructing kata applications based on what we know about the following:

1 – The nature of the kata itself

2 – What the past masters told us about the nature of kata

3 – What we know about the nature of civilian violence

There is therefore not going to be a single “right” way. It’s up to the individual teacher and student to decide what makes most sense to them. To be able to do that from an educated position it is important that people are exposed to a variety of views and hence they can decide what makes most sense to them. That’s why I really like the fact that so many members are happy to freely share their own thinking. It makes the website infinitely more valuable that it would be if it only put forth a single view point. While the embusen is not playing a key part, I nevertheless like what Nikolaj has shared here and I hope that others will follow his lead and share their own take on what they feel this kata has to teach us.

All the best,

Iain

JWT
JWT's picture

I really like the way you are not just getting some good applications out of the Kata, but are combining them with some training that allows students to develop their timing and reaction skills.

I had some concerns with the initial pat down move reference the openness of the head to a headbutt, but as Iain pointed out the initial high 'salutation' could be adjusted as a headbutt defence (though I wouldn't want a head butt to hit the ack of my hands!).  I think you have to give yourself a certian amount of freedom: I'm reminded of a comment of Funakoshi reference kakewake Uke in his description of Jion that the move can be open or closed hand with the hands facing inwards or outwards depending upon preference.

I'm not massively concerned with the embusen of the kata, and I have one friend (Brent Balfanz) that I did a seminar with in Chicago who adopted a different Chinese form of cross step over (rather like Drunken Kung Fu as I recall) which resulted in 90 degree turns with each stepover.  That said, the more I coach people in close quarter situations, the more I find that side shifting is a great tactic regardless of whether your back is up against a wall or not.

best wishes

John Titchen

Kyoshi
Kyoshi's picture

@Iain - i am just wondering, about the nature and origin of Naihanchi - and Motobu and Mabuni was both from the 20century - whereas there are some indications that the kata itself is atleast 100 years older or more. So would Motobu and Mabunis interpretation and understanding of the kata not be the same (or less?) than ours - afterall they did not have the same accesability for informations cross countries and influencers?

Also i think you can not put specifik rules up for kata in general. For instance Rohai and Naihanchi, completely differs, their nature and where they come from completely different (probably, unknown though) - so to say that Creator of Kata A - had this idea - formulated Kata A --> Embusen is a sign of direction of your opponent

Creator of Kata B - had this idea - formulated Kata B --> Embusen means something else.

Then now or 50 or 100 years ago, we can only theories that the two completely different and independent of eachother Masters, had the same groundrules when formulating their kata - when infact they did not? We can't know for sure - and thats just my point :-)

@JWT - yeah, i thought of just turning the hands, not that big a deal - also when i drill it, you can see i someimte use the clinch position, so either you can control the head and push it down, or if your in tight, and opponent is throwing a knee , you can take it from there. :-)

Here you go, Part 4:

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Kyoshi wrote:
@Iain - i am just wondering, about the nature and origin of Naihanchi - and Motobu and Mabuni was both from the 20century - whereas there are some indications that the kata itself is atleast 100 years older or more. So would Motobu and Mabunis interpretation and understanding of the kata not be the same (or less?) than ours – after all they did not have the same accessibility for informations cross countries and influencers?

Also i think you can not put specific rules up for kata in general. For instance Rohai and Naihanchi, completely differs, their nature and where they come from completely different (probably, unknown though) - so to say that Creator of Kata A - had this idea - formulated Kata A --> Embusen is a sign of direction of your opponent

Creator of Kata B - had this idea - formulated Kata B --> Embusen means something else.

Then now or 50 or 100 years ago, we can only theories that the two completely different and independent of each other Masters, had the same ground rules when formulating their kata - when in fact they did not? We can't know for sure - and thats just my point :-)

You’re right that kata was not deigned by committee so different people may have used different methodologies when constructing their forms. As you say, they were created in different parts of the world, by different people, at different points in history. I’m personally still inclined to regard the embusen as being key though for the following reasons:

1 – The information we do have from the likes of Motobu and Mabuni is clear that they regarded the embusen as key; so there is historical precedent for this view being held in prior generations.

2 – More importantly, it makes pragmatic sense to me. We know that tactically positioning ourselves to increase our possibilities while reducing the enemy’s options is a key part of conflict. We would therefore expect to see this key element manifest in kata. Seeing as kata is a solo activity there is only one way to record the enemy’s relative position and that is relative to the one performing the kata i.e. via the embusen. The only way I can make it clear – because I’m the only thing there is in solo kata – that I should be sideways onto the enemy is by moving sideways from my previous position. So although the kata were not deigned by committee with hard and fast rules, I see this as being the only way to record something of key importance and hence one would expect to see the embusen being key in all independently created kata.

3 – Whenever I adopt this view when analysing kata it always yields good results. The angles do seem to consistently represent the angle taken in relation to the enemy.

It is fair to say we can’t look back in time and say with certainly what was in the mind of a given kata’s creator. However, for me that idea that the embusen is key fits with the historical data we do have, the nature of kata and conflict, and it consistently yields results. So that’s the methodology I have chosen to adopt. However, I completely agree that it is possible to think otherwise in a logical way that will also yield workable results.

All the best,

Iain

Kyoshi
Kyoshi's picture

I really like your 2nd argument - very valid. I HAVE to agree with you :-)

It is not as if i do not pay any attention to the embusen of all the kata i practice, i do use it with the angles - but i just decided to "skip" that way of interpreting it for this specifik kata. 

Thanks for interacting all of you!

Kyoshi
Kyoshi's picture

Part 5 is online: