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Les Bubka
Les Bubka's picture
Tensho Kata Bunkai

Hi all 

As I have been reading this forum for long time, just now I have decided to start taking active part, below you can find my view on Tensho Kata.

In our school we teach a version introduced by Mas Oyama. Although over time it is bit different few movements were changed to fit with the analysis of hands on interpretation.  We are using this magnificent kata for various reasons ranging from health, strength through self-defence, meditation and relaxation training. 

Focusing on the self-defence aspects we have three levels of understanding the Tensho:

  • Kuzushi, Nage (off balancing and throwing)
  • Tuite (joint manipulation)
  • Atemi, Kyusho (strikes in to the vital points)

Beginners are introduced to the flow of unbalancing and takedowns with use of the stances and hands movement with use of Tai Sabaki (body movement). In this way students learn effective way of using their body and directions of the techniques.

Intermediate form focuses on the joint and muscle mechanics and how to take advantage of body responses to pain signals. All the movement are transformed to joint locks with use of the stances, body and arms.

The advanced version exploits weak points of the body, putting pressure or strikes to the nervous system, muscle system and other tissues of the body. Neurological responses to the pain.

All this makes Tensho kata very effective weapon in karate, which is often not recognised and used only as a “breathing “Kata.

This video is a representation of the principle shown on Mawashi uke.

Thank you for reading 

Kind regards 

Les Bubka

Marc
Marc's picture

Very nice Les, thanks for sharing your ideas here.

Tensho is not a kata I practice, but your applications are certainly transferrable.

All the best

Marc  

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Thanks for sharing! I agree that relegating Tensho to the role of a “breathing kata” is doing it a great disservice. Your videos show how the methods of the kata can be employed combatively. The kata can also be employed as a “sticking hands” drill as shown below.

All the best,

Iain

NOTE: This video looks at how Tensho (“turning palms”) can be used as a basic two-person sticking hands / muchimi drill. This is not combative bunkai, but instead a simple drill to practise sticking to the enemy’s limbs in order to feel what is happening, redirect the emery’s attempts to strike, and to open the enemy up for your own strikes.

The idea is that both participants maintain contact at all times (for the forward movements in the kata) before disengaging (the retreating parts of the kata). In the clip we show the first step forward where your partner’s right arm is controlled. It is possible to disengage here (as shown), but it is also possible to continue forward to practice the left side (second step) and then controlling both arms at once (final forward step).

It is vital to understand that the drill is a means to an end and it must not become an end in itself. In reality, extended periods of contact like this will not occur. You would simply control and redirect the enemy’s limb before immediately exploiting the opportunity created and exploding with decisive strikes. Contact is maintained for what would be an artificially long time in the drill because that is the skill that the drill aims to promote.

Les Bubka
Les Bubka's picture

Thank you Marc and Iain,

I use Tensho as breathing and meditation kata a lot, I have a group of students (age 48-92) who do katas as a form of relaxation,

Tensho fits there perfectly, we named our classes as Taiso :) 

Kind regards 

Les

Marc
Marc's picture

"TAISO" - Can we steal that labelling?

I like it because it seems to match the purpose perfectly. "Taiso" sounds a bit like "Tai-Chi" which is the household name for "moving gently through a form in this mystical asian way". So it has a nice appeal. Also "Taisou" (体操) means "physical exercise, calisthenics" which is exactly what the participants are doing (in an age appropriate way).

By the way, Itosu in his 10 precepts used the term "Taiiku" (体育), meaning "physical education", when he talks about how karate helps develop a strong body. Also sounds like a nice label to use.

And a fun fact: "Tai-Chi" (太極) is pronounced "Taikyoku" in Japanese which means "mighty big" or "universal" or "the principle that embodies all potential things, inc. time and space". It's the characters used for our karate kata "Taikyoku Shodan". So we could teach that kata as a physical exercise and rightfully call it "Tai-Chi level one". wink

Take care

Marc  

Les Bubka
Les Bubka's picture

Hi Marc

I took name Taiso from Japanese exercises radio show, it means body conditioning.

As name is not trademarked everyone can use it, on other hand our Taiso program is copyrighted, currently working on logos to be trademarked.

More about Taiso you can find in my article.(if this should be posted in Articles, please delete)

http://wp.me/p4DDnu-dG

Kind regards

Les

Marc
Marc's picture

Hi Les, your Taiso programm sounds like a good and thorough concept.

Wish you all the best for the courses for the "not so young" and for your re-opened school in general.

Take care

Marc  

karate10
karate10's picture

In my dojo, we do Tensho kata Oyama's way since I'm a Kyokushin karateka, but can be applied as a form of atemi, locks, control posture,e.t.c...I mean, theres so much bunkai detail that you can benefit in Tensho kata...Sweet video of Taiso which I will look into very carefully indeed.

Merry Christmas.....Gerald.

Les Bubka
Les Bubka's picture

Thank you

Marc  and Karate10

School is back and running now, accually after rethink and deciding on core value it took off, now we have three dojo's and working with elderly and have a group for students with mental health problems.

At the moment I have Been asked to work with council on program to make Taiso more popular around Guildford, we will see what new year will bring.

Kind regards

Les

Les Bubka
Les Bubka's picture

Hi all

As I was going through my videos library I have found this, as I work with muscular problems and I am using a lot of massaging and acupressure, it is natural to transfer it and try in martial arts. I have been testing Tensho application to irritate nerves and muscle fibers on people, and on some it works on others not. These techniques are not my primarily choice, but as a knowledge expansion I find them useful. After trying this on many people conclusion is that people with high muscle tension and knotted muscles are more receptive, hope you will enjoy my very short clip.

Kind regards 

Les