Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A full Hangetsu

Now.. for your viewing pleasure, or hopefully enjoyment, I present to you my awkward attempt at the kata Hangetsu:



I'm going to comment on it first.. because that is what I like doing.. heh heh:

Now you see me in my Shotokan dojo with my black belt on.

I found out that even if you place brand new batteries in that camera.. there is only so much video time that it can capture. I had to speed up my kata movements to be able to complete the whole kata within the time alloted. Sheesh... I like those opening movements to be more slow, and pronounced... But you saw that in the other thread I have on this blog called "Half a Hangetsu". So now you see my kata done more quickly.. It has a slightly different feel to it. Not as much as a building thunderstorm anymore.. but that's o.k. I still have that feeling in my mind.

Look for my black belt coming totally undone at the first front kick, down block, reverse punch, high block combination. Tee hee hee.. I'm glad that it didn't come floating down to my feet there, and trip me. I didn't notice the belt loosen as I was performing the kata. It wasn't until it was all done, that I looked down and saw no more knot.

I'm going to be the first to admit that I am not sure whether the stance on that second last movement of a low punch is supposed to be in Hangetsu, or front stance. It looks like I'm struggling for a front stance in the kata.

Oh man.. I pulled in my legs as much as I thought that I could on that Neko Ashi dachi (Cat stance) at the final movement.. but it looks like I could drive a truck through the opening there. MUCH work to be done, I see.

27 comments:

Becky said...

Cool video. One of these days I need to film myself doing seisan kata, which is our version of the same kata. It is the same, but different.

frotoe said...

Looked great!!! Awesome control.

supergroup7 said...

I'd really like to see that Becky... It's amazing how much you can see the personality, and inner person when you watch someone perform, or create something. Looking forwards to your kata.

supergroup7 said...

Thank you so much, frotoe!

I've been following your preparation for black belt on your weblog.. my goodness! Standing ovation from up here in Canada.. can you hear the clapping? Keep up the good work.

[Mat] said...

"It's amazing how much you can see the personality, and inner person when you watch someone perform, or create something."

Indeed.

Little comment here. Nothing negative, please don't take it as such.

It doesn't look like the same kata. from the other video. Or rather, it doesn't look like the same karateka. something was in the first that's not in this one.

In the first one, I felt a combat happening. In this one, I see something else. I can't put my finger on it, but it's something else. The form looks good, though. Change of focus maybe? Dunno.

But that's just me! I would probably be a bad judge in a tournament. The ones I picked as being best always end up 3rd or fourth.

ha! that made me look back at my own Seisan, what a poor performance. I plan to film myself again. The added stress brings out flaws in our kata.

Thanks for posting it though. I always enjoy watching kata being performed :)

Also, I believe it's front stance from watching lots of other hangetsu video. Zenkutsu. Long and low. Not hagetsu stance. But I'm no shotokan expert!

didn't notice the obi! Until I read your comment.

[Mat] said...

Also, because I can't help talking all the time...

For the cat stance, from my understanding, it's a stance that allows for quick blocking and attacking, and for leaping out of the way of an attack. As well as leaping with an attack.

Put some grraaahhhuuahhhhhhhaaaaaa in it. :) It always help me. I can't explain it with words. It's the best I can do. The cat stance is probably my best one these days as I'm struggling with the seisan stance.

Grraaahuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
low growling sound while doing it. I don't sing songs, I make sounds. :) I may be a bit crazy too :-)

but seriously, I feel like it helps. Just don't let your leg go beyond your arms. grrraaaaaaahuuuuaaa... That " I'm protecting what I've got here - don't come close, don't come close " helps.

Just my way of doing it for now.

hummmm... also, while I'm thinking of it. It's one of the karate stance that almost didn't change while compared to some gongfu styles. Since we're really praticing the "chinese hand" not empty hand, lots can be learned from where they put focus on their stance. In those that didn't change anyways.

But again, that's my appreciation.

Big hugs and cheers again on the form.

supergroup7 said...

Mat, I embrace correction. I thank you for offering me a different set of eyes, and perspective on what I'm attempting to do. Therefore, I will not take any of your remarks negatively.

"Or rather, it doesn't look like the same karateka. something was in the first that's not in this one."

You are totally correct on your viewpoint here. This full Hangetsu is not as centered as it could be, or was before. This time I was constantly focused on "will I make the time limit of the camera?" than on the actual fight sequence of the kata. I could feel the disconnectedness within me, and yet, I realized that not every kata can be your best.. and that you have to continue doing your kata even when it doesn't "feel" right.

Isn't it funny how you can have good form, and yet miss that special something that gives the form life?

Yes, please film yourself doing Seisan, and share it with us .. but wait a couple of months to see the progression in your performance, and understanding of the kata.

The obi stayed up though.. ha ha ha... limp and floppy but it stayed up.

supergroup7 said...

I will definately add the " grrraaaaaaahuuuuaaa..." to my cat stance.. I'll even add a feeling of "MINE, Back off!" to it.. ha ha ha!

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll keep it in mind. I'll need to look at cat stance more closely to "get" the feel of it. It's such an awkward moment for me right now.. and boy does it show in my kata!

But I feel pretty solid in my Hangetsu stance.. :-) feelings can be deceptive.. but it's a good start.

Ruth said...

Re:

Also, I believe it's front stance from watching lots of other hangetsu video. Zenkutsu. Long and low.

Yes - it is zenkutsu - long and low, but I'm sure you've checked that by now.

(Isn't Mat great, by the way!)

I've never filmed myself doing karate before. It's a "must do" - you seem to have learned a lot through watching yourself.

I thought it looked great.

[Mat] said...

"Isn't it funny how you can have good form, and yet miss that special something that gives the form life?"

Your form is very nice. No talk there. No argument from my part. And yes, it's very subtle. But you can tell the mindset of the person performing it. You can see from body language what's going on it the mind. The first one, you looked scary. Really. That feeling is not in the second one. :)

I still have to understand who judges rank kata. The ones that seemed more alive for me, uglier, nastier, whatever-ier, didn't win. With time, I guess I'll come to understand. ::Wonders::

I still wonder about the bunkai of that kata. I'll get reading!

supergroup7 said...

A positive response to everything you just said, Ruth.

Yes, Mat is great. He is wonderful! I feel really blessed to have found someone like him to interact with on the internet. What an encouragement he is to us struggling martial artists!

Yes, it's a long low front stance ( Gonna work on that)

Yes, videotaping yourself is a really wonderful training tool. When you can see what you have done, you gain a more "outside" viewpoint of what you are doing. It may feel like you are targeting the proper height, or bending your knees, but when you see yourself on video you can see the reality of what is happening. It's also really nice to see the progression of your skills. Be warned, you may get as many sticks and stones thrown at you as you get support, and praise if you place your video on the internet. Not everyone is as wonderful, helpful, knowledgable, and kind as they should be.

supergroup7 said...

Yes Mat, I had more of "me" in the first kata.. so I guess that I'm pretty scary then.. ha ha.

Judging a kata during tournament is really more objective than qualitative. Each judge looks for something that they find important. One judge might really center on stance, I mean what does it matter if the person sent a perfect kick or punch if they are so wobbly on their stance that they'd fall over doing the technique. Another judge might not worry so much about stance (although he/she keeps it in mind) but looks more at the target of the strike. Thinking "Does this person KNOW what they are doing?"

So do not be surprised if the people that you choose as "better" during a tournament do not match the results. You are forming the judge within you, and what you value in a performance.

[Mat] said...

Thank you for your kind words.

I'm struggling myself so... I get it.

:)

[Mat] said...

Another question, after watching.

When in hangetsu, should your feet be parallel or perpendicular?

At the beginning, they're parallel, but after your 180 spin - which is awesome, btw- they become perpendicular. Is that supposed to be?

In the bunkai, is there an ushiro-geri before the 180?

Also, another question. (I love watching kata, did I tell you?) I'm wondering, if after the cat stance when you advance do you have to step on the side of your foot? I couldn't see clearly on the video - so I'm unsure. And in Seisan, we have to. Trying to spot differences-similarities..

Woah, and after the soto uke, you advance in the attack.. Is that a mixed throw/block?

Damn, I need some shotokan classes ;)

supergroup7 said...

>"When in hangetsu, should your feet be parallel or >perpendicular?

>At the beginning, they're parallel, but after your >180 spin - which is awesome, btw- they become >perpendicular. Is that supposed to be? "

The Hangetsu stance has your feet parallel- It's like a front stance with the inward twisting action of Sanchin which pulls the front foot into the same direction as the back foot.

Yes.. at the beginning of this kata all of the stances are Hangetsu ( weight 60 percent front, 40 percent back) feet parallel, but after the 180 turn the stance instantly changes to a backstance, and your weight goes 80 percent on the back leg with the feet perpendicular. The fact that you SAW this change means that I have achieved what I should be doing.

>"In the bunkai, is there an ushiro-geri before the >180?

I'm going to be totally honest here... I haven't got a clue. I haven't been introduced to any of the bunkai of this kata. You and I are gonna have to search this information out on that wild wilderness of the internet.

>"if after the cat stance when you advance do you >have to step on the side of your foot?"

I bring my lead foot ( left one that is up on the ball) into center beside my support foot and then step out to the left. Is that what you mean?

By the way.. I LOVE watching kata too.

>"after the soto uke, you advance in the attack.. Is >that a mixed throw/block"

Um... I'm having a terminology moment here! Where do you see a Soto ( outside ) block? I don't remember any of that in this kata: There are plenty of inside ( Uchi) ukes, and a couple of Jodan ( head) blocks... and a couple of more fancy named blocks... but I don't remember a Soto block there..

MrX said...

"Oh man.. I pulled in my legs as much as I thought that I could on that Neko Ashi dachi (Cat stance) at the final movement.. but it looks like I could drive a truck through the opening there. MUCH work to be done, I see."

"It's one of the karate stance that almost didn't change while compared to some gongfu styles."

Since I don't know Shotokan, I could be wrong but in Sendo Kung-Fu, the cat stance is really used as a temporary state between to positions. If I want to back up to clear myself away from a punch and then thrust into my adversary, I will use a cat stance. So my weight will probably be 80% back, 20% front.

In Kung-Fu, the cat stance should be done so that front heel can touch the center of your back foot when you put your heel down (like a T-stance). But I recently discovered that in Kenpo, the cat stance has to be shoulder width. How must it be done in Shotokan?

Great kata by the way. I'm still very new to the kata thing (my old style was mostly punch techniques) but I thing your very hard on yourself. If it were real "bad guys" there, you would've kicked ass! I agree with Mat that it's how you feel during the Kata that is important.

Just a question here (since I don't know this Kata, I will try to explain this the best way I can). When you cross your arms in front of you, open them up, cross, open down, is it suppose to go over your eyes and, if so, why?

wujimon said...

Great props for putting up a video of yourself. I'm not too familiar with karate, but are the front toes supposed to face that way? To me, it appears as if the action is happening in front of you, yet your front toes are pointing diagonally inward. This would almost seem to reduce the amount of power that can be generated.

supergroup7 said...

Hi Wujimon, welcome to my blog, and thanks for the kind words.

Yes.. the toes are supposed to face inwards like that.. it's an inward tension stance called Hangetsu (Half Moon) that is namely the whole basis of the kata.

It is similar to a Sanchin stance.. if you have experience with that one.. but stretched out a little.

You are correct that the power feels different when you are applying it in Hangetsu stance, and this is where the breathing aspect becomes central. This kata demands core tension to make the techniques strong. The center, or Hara, becomes extremely important as you perform this kata.

supergroup7 said...

" When you cross your arms in front of you, open them up, cross, open down, is it suppose to go over your eyes and, if so, why? "

Yes... you cross up there in front of your face. ( At least, so far I haven't seen it done any differently..)

Why? Um... Good question.. Um.... Why indeed.. Well... it looks cool.. that's for sure.. *nervous laugh* Let's see if I can come up with a good guess:

You are coming up through your center line to get into your attackers center and your arms effectively cover your main vital points on the way up and down.

Are these arm movements remnants of the Chinese Kung Fu actions which are intended to break our opponent's Chi lines, and weaken them?

Everytime I do those specific movements I can't help but visualize a movie scene where a the hero grabs the arms of two attackers one coming from the right side, one from the left, and he flips them upside down by grabbing their wrists simultaneously, and rotating their arms around. Do you know what I mean?

Now.. I don't want people quoting me here as "Hey! This is the bunkai for that move.." because like I said before.. I'm just giving my best guess... many times my best guesses have had my Sensei's look at me with very funny looks.

lizzie said...

Thanks for sharing with us Supergroup, too bad it doesn't have audio.

I have filmed myself before and it helped. I should do it again because that has been a couple months.

By watching you doing Hangetsu, I noticed that it's completly different from Goju-Ryu Seisan.

supergroup7 said...

Yes.. I wish that my camera picked up sound too, Lizzie. There is something missing when you can't "hear" the kata, isn't there?

But.. a picture is worth a thousand words.. so I guess a video would be worth 100 thousand words.. ha ha ha

lizzie said...

I looked at your kata again. In the first video you seemed much more focused and deliberate. In this video, you were flowy in the beginning.

I don't know if I like this kata. It's so short. However, I haven't done it before.

Do you do Sanchin breathing during the kata?

supergroup7 said...

"Do you do Sanchin breathing during the kata?"

It's not the same as Ibuki breathing: This is where you make a deep noise as you breath out.

The breathing of Hangetsu is a controlled breathing. You do take a quick breath in, and then as you send the block/ strike you slowly release about 80 percent of your air in a very slow, controlled manner.

lizzie said...

I wish it had audio because I wanted to hear your kiai.

supergroup7 said...

Ha ha ha... Well.. Lizzie.. I've been told that I have a loud kiai. I wouldn't know for myself, I just enjoy doing my art.

CV said...

Hi, happy so find this blog. Hangetsu is one of my favourite katas. One day when I test for nidan I will perform it.
Chadie
sodergren.com/dojo/

supergroup7 said...

Welcome Chadie..

Hangetsu is a nice challenging kata. It would be great to work upon for a Nidan Test.

Thanks for your comment.