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swdw's picture
The same?

Some kata have moves that many people complain are redundant. "same move in different directions".

I like to use the techniques in four directions you see in Shisochin or Saneru as an example, where one opinion is they are in there because of the 4 major directions of the compass.

Keeping what I think about this to myself, what do you think about this question?

ky0han's picture


my suggestion to that question is, that it might be an indicator for the use of the techniques or a combination in terms of that they will work at all 4 angles if that makes sense.

So it might work with the opponent in front of you, it will work when you get behind the opponent.. It will probably work when you are at a 90° angle to the opponent, whether left or right doesn't matter.

That is what I am guessing.

Interesting question. What about the repetition of 3 or 4 techniques in the same direction, like in Pinan Kata or Suparimpei ?

Regards Holger

Jon Sloan
Jon Sloan's picture

Well, three techniques in one direction - possible ideas

Three age ukes (heian shodan - shotokan version) - 'block' (as in attack hard) two hook punches then strike up and under jaw and turn into tai otoshi (the gedan barai turn). Just one possible reason for this sequence of course.

Three chudan oi tsukis (heian shodan again) - if you want to break a neck as opposed to just crank it, then one medium crank one way, then another back the opposite direction then the break back in in the original direction. Fits well with this movement - same as gojushiho-dai (or sho depending on the organisation you're in!), the triple nukite combo works well for this, especially after the previous movements.

All are just possible uses of these sequences of course and can be interpreted many diferent ways.

ky0han's picture

Hi Jon,

that'll work for me. But there are other theories of why some techniques occur three times.

For example. You practise it two times left and one time right because most people are right handed and thus you are most likely using the southpaw technique. Personally I don't like that explanation very much since you can easily pracise a kata mirror inverted.

So I would be interested in other theories.

Regards Holger

swdw's picture

Ok, my 2 cents. I can see a couple of reasons. One reason is to practice both sides of the body. The other is that the moves are NOT all the same. In some kata, they could have made the turns all identical, but they didn't. Why not? Because you need to know different ways to change directions depending on the situation, which also implies you should be looking at variations in the oyo for those moves, as they actually exist and the different oyo work better based on the way the turn is made. Sanseru and Shisochin could have been made with 4 90 degree turns, but they weren't. In Shisochin, there is slightly different foot movement in the turns too. In the Heian Shodan, the first of the jodan uk'es is done after a down block following a turn. The last is done preceding a turn. If you understand that turns can also have oyo, it gives you a different application for the first and last jodan ukes, which can separate them from the two in between (4 total, one after the gedan uke, and 3 stepping forward).

Th0mas's picture

Or as Iain has suggested, It may also be due to transition and flow between techniques.

Three techniques is the minimum number to ensure you practice both left and right side transitions. e.g. 3 Age uke (or Oi tsuki)  techniques in a row allows you to practice the application which is derived from the transition from left age uke to right age uki and then right to left.

Tom Runge