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DaveB's picture

After looking over Iains generous offering of Empi kata applications I began browsing YouTube and found this:

This is the first time I have seen solid kata applications from one of the Traditionalist masters of Shotokan. I pparticularly like the application of the forearm smash and knee technique from the middle of the kata. 

Now on a slightly different but related note, the fascinating discussion on the origins of Pinan kata suggested a relationship between Pinan (and by extension to other Shuri-te/tomari-te kata that share movements and strategies) and Chang quan kungfu. So I went looking for an example of Chang quan, 

Is it just me, or can anyone else see a more extravagant and flowing Empi kata in this form?

DaveB's picture

Quan in application:

JWT's picture

Hi Dave

I don't know you very well so I can't work out whether you are being serious or not in your comments regarding Kanazawa's bunkai demonstrations. :)

With regard to the Chang Quan video there are obvious commonalities but that is hardly surprising given the relationship between Okinawan and Chinese MA.  :)

DaveB's picture

Hello John

Regarding Kanazawa, I was being serious but I should have qualified that it's not every application shown in the clip that I like. Also that I hold Shotokan traditionallists to a much lower standard as they start out with a bit of a cultural disadvantage. 

 I genuinely like the thinking with the knee/forearm smash application shown by Kanazawa. I am impressed by the inclusion of throws but I'm not so keen on the kneeling down to block a kick, although that is more because he does nothing with it. 

Funakoshi also suggests that the opening movement of Empi is to block a kick, but also that it is the entry to a throw. Whatever the practicality of a kick defence, the tactical merit of the sudden drop to affect a throw is fairly well documented. 

Personally I am more concerned with the transferable principles revealed by an application than if the form it is presented in is immediately and directly useable in real life. 

As far as Chang quan, it was not surprise that lead me to post the video, nor would I expect surprise from any readers. I'd simply thought that a visual reference might be interesting to discuss. 

As I noted before, I find the form, especially the first half, very reminiscent of Empi kata, both in flow and sequence.  

If it is not purely in my imagination, one might be tempted to see if more forms from the same system can be shown to exhibit visibly recognizable kata patterns. One may also speculate on the factors that lead to the development of relatively simple Okinawan forms from the longer more complex origin forms.

We know karate has Chinese roots but aside from vague links between goju ryu and Fujian white crane not much is said. This is why I for one found the discussion on Channan fascinating. I have spent some time studying kungfu and seen lots of different Chinese systems demonstrated. Seeing something I feel is more than coincidentally reminiscent of karate is very rare.