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Nimrod Nir
Nimrod Nir's picture
Seienchin Shoulder Wheel Throw?

Just watched this Toraguchi Tuesday video (name inspired by Waza Wednesday? if so, well done, Noah :)

It shows the middle part of Seienchin (or Seiyunchin in Goju Ryu) as being a Kata Guruma, or Shoulder Wheel throw.

For reference, here is the Kata (very close to the way I practice it. the relevant motions are at 1:28-1:34):


And here is the Toraguchi take on it: 


What do you think about this Bunkai? An interesting idea, I must admit, but are you convinced? Does the motions of the Kata really look like a Kata Guruma to you?

For comparison, Iain shows a Kata Guruma Bunkai in Enpi (Shotokan version of Wanshu). Here it is:


Another example is Iain's take on the last move in Kosokun Dai (Kushanku/Kanku Dai), which shows a Kata Guruma variation:


Iain's examples are more convincing in my opinion, as they follow the motions of the Kata more accurately.

If you are not convinced that these motions in Seienchin actually depicts a Kata Guruma, than what is your take on them? 

I do like Iain's take on these motions, being an arm lift + head push/control combination, which can also follow from the previous part of the Kata as well as be a set-up for the next part of the Kata (2:21-2:28 in this video):


Threw around some ideas I found, but interested in getting other views as well.

Wastelander's picture

I actually think he may have copied Master Ken a little bit--he has "Tiger Tuesday," and toraguchi means "tiger mouth" :P. He's a good guy, though, and we're actually looking at doing some collaborative videos, as well, soon. As for this particular application, there are many different ways to interpret kata, and I do see this as valid from the perspective of kata giving implicit instructions as opposed to explicit instructions, in some cases. The posture they are looking at in that video shows up in Wansu, as well, where it is then followed by a movement like the ones that Iain shows as being kata-guruma, which is a long-standing application for that sequence, traditionally. I can easily someone looking at that posture in Seiyunchin interpreting it to mean "step back and grab for kata-guruma this way, or on the other side" without showing the completion of the throw. If you're looking only at the explicitly shown movements of the kata, then no, I don't find it fitting, but it's all up to the interpreter, really.

Personally, as a tall guy with bad knees, I despise kata-guruma, and I don't use it, so although I recognize it as a possible application, it's not one I train--I much prefer alternatives, like what I went over in this Waza Wednesday:


With that in mind, my application for that movement in Seiyunchin would not be kata-guruma. Of course, you still have to decide how you are going to interpret the kata. Do the movements being repeated on each side go together, or do they just show both options before moving onto the next technique? Is the posture shown the completed position, or the starting position? Should the hands open/close at any point during the application, given that the kata keeps them open? Is the stance stepping straight back relevant, or just resetting? Etc.

Nimrod Nir
Nimrod Nir's picture

Nice idea Noah, Thanks.