Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Half a Hangetsu

And there you have it folks!

Let me give you some details about the video:

It is shot at the back of my Kyokushin dojo.. which would explain why I'm wearing my Kyokushin Gi, and Blue belt with yellow stripes instead of my Shotokan Black belt.

We had arrived early for my Kyokushin class, and I remembered that I had brought my camera. I asked my sweet husband to catch my Hangetsu for me so that I could place it on my weblog. My hubby doesn't do alot of video capturing so he's still learning about how to keep the filming smooth. It's an artform. This would explain why the camera is moving, and shifting alot as I perform.

It was a VERY windy day. This would explain the sudden insertion of the camera strap flying before the camera just before the video ends... Look for the blue flip!

I didn't know that my husband had already started videotaping as I stood there waiting patiently for him to tell me to start... ha ha ha.. so there is quite a long pause at the beginning showing me just standing there. I'm actually asking him "Is it ready?" and he is saying "I'm already doing it.." Ha ha ha.

The batteries ran out of energy. This would explain why the video stops right after the first kiai.. shucks! I was totally shocked. I had put in brand new batteries last Friday, and I had not used the camera. I assumed that the batteries would still have full energy. Why are they depleted??? A friend of mine told me that you have to remove the batteries from the camera when it is not in use or it willl suck the power regardless of it's on or off. AARGH! That knowledge doesn't come with the user's manual of the camera.. does it?

O.K. Now onto my comments of my kata:

This is the first time that I've seen myself doing this kata, and I'm not too disappointed. I like how my knees are bent properly, and you can see me switching my weight to center as it should be. Sure.. It looks like the stance is a little wider than a more experienced karate-ka, but that is one of the developing aspects of body knowledge. At least my feet are pointing in the right direction. It was pretty hard to slide my feet along the grass keeping contact because the grass was all bumpy, and distracting as compared to a smooth wooden floor. I'm swaying a little as I exchange weight.. ah! That needs correcting.

Hand techniques: Oh oh... my timing needs work. Foot and hand together.. I'm almost there. I'm chambering rather high for Shotokan.. it is supposed to be at belt level, but my Kyokushin "accent" is lifting it up to about mid chest. My target is good.. right smack dab center, and my blocks are not going out past my body line. YAY! I've been working on that for 2 years.

Do you see that little "squish" movement at the end of technique? I believe that I need to strengthen that, and HOLD it more so that it doesn't look so much like a "blip" but more like a concentrated "OMPH". Ha ha ha.

I hope that you enjoyed this. I'm going to attempt to video the whole thing at my shotokan dojo.


John Vesia said...

That's called Seisan kata in Okinawan styles. For some reason, the Japanese founders changed the names of alot of these forms. In Isshinryu, we do the crescent stepping (to disrupt or shift off) that you do , but not the corkscrew punches. I also noticed the Sanchin dachi stance (toes inward). Very nice, Mireille. I wish I could've seen more. I'm looking forward to seeing the whole thing when you get around to it. (When did "blip" and "OMPH" become standard karate terms!?)

lizzie said...

I thought that wasn't the whole kata. You look very good. The kata reminds me of Tensho.

supergroup7 said...

Thanks for the compliment, John.

"Corkscrew" punches.. I LIKE that! That describes what it feels like so wonderfully.

Hangetsu is similar to Sanchin stance, but it should look more s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d out. Hopefully I'm achieving that. It should be like a hybrid of a front stance, and a Sanchin stance.

>"When did "blip" and "OMPH" become standard >karate terms?"

:-) I guess it happened when this poor little student started trying to put the inner experiences, and feelings into words. You should hear my descriptions of other techniques.. ha ha ha..

supergroup7 said...

Thank you Lizzie for the kind words. I'm glad that I look very good because there is always that little inner voice from my inner child that echoes words like " you stupid, you can't do it right no matter how hard you try..." I keep proving those old broken tapes in my head wrong each time I risk trying to do things.

Tensho.. hmmm... I've seen the Seisan kata, and boy does it look similar, but I don't think that I've seen the Tensho kata. I'll have to look it up on the internet.. or maybe at youtube.

[Mat] said...


We want more! we want more!


Good form! I'd like to see the complete form though. Ha, that stance looks unconfortable for the knees. maybe I'm wrong though.

It look pretty similar to Seisan, except from some things I can't get my mind around. I wonder how sai would go in there...

I just learned of a new concept (my ever reading mind at work)(looking it up)Zheng Li.

Zheng Li - opposing forces or tensions. A very familiar concept in internal styles. Basically, you imagine your hands as magnets, pulling each other together and pushing away.

In the slow parts of the kata, thinking of the bunkai helps, because you "see" yourself grappling, throwing, tearing apart, etc.

But once in a while, I'm now trying to incorporate those feelings is slow moves kata. Like sanshin - Yeah, I know, I'm not supposed to learn that yet. But what's a guy to do on summer break? :)

It seems to me that the beginning of that kata is a perfect example of where it could be applied, should you feel like it.

The basic principle is pretty simple : try to imagine a magnet pulling on the members that want to move. In Tai Chi, Yi chuan and Chi gong, is the basic premise of how to "wake up" the Chi. I don't believe in healing persons on the phone, but I do believe in physical sensations I have. And that is Step #1 in that direction.

Try it, or don't. It's all part of experimenting.

Big hugs!

Ps. you do look scary in that kata. I wouldn't even dare approach you for fear of losing a part that's attached to my body.

Colin Wee said...

You sure look like a karate-ka.

frotoe said...

That looked great! I am looking forward to seeing more when you get new batteries (i hate when that happens!!!)

supergroup7 said...

Hi Mat, always leave them wanting "more" :-)

I don't find the stance uncomfortable on my knees. The stance that gives me the most discomfort right now is the cat stance ( Neko Ashi Dachi). That one feels restricted, tense, and uncomfortable... but COOL.. definately COOL. It has MOVIE martial artist pose written all over it.

I don't know how the sai would fit in with Hangetsu.. but you have given me the kernal of an idea to attempt putting the Bo staff to it. ( BLASPHEMY!!!!) Oooo.. I think that it would be fun to try to insert a Bo staff to my Hangetsu kata.

Let me get this straight: The Zheng Li thing is mainly something that you concentrate in your head as you perform the technique. From your description, it reminds me of when I focus on my hikite hand. I look more at the movement of opposing flow rather than at the strike itself.

I look "scary"? Really? I've been told that I look scary when I do kata. I feel really calm all through that kata, totally calm. In fact, a piece of my mind was enjoying the feel of the wind swirling around me, and the grass slipping under my feet, and I was guiltily losing my focus here and there. I try to place myself in a self-defense mindset when I do kata. Yet here I was revelling in the feel of nature instead. I just accepted that nature's temptations were louder than my inner mental "war path" at that moment.

supergroup7 said...

p"You sure look like a karate-ka."

Those words coming from you, Colin, are the highest form of praise! I know that you would not say it unless you meant it.

Does this mean that I will have to face a more severe training experience in Dallas when we get together??

supergroup7 said...

Thank you, Frotoe, I'll get that full kata on here as soon as I can. I'll attempt to do it next Monday at my Shotokan dojo.

[Mat] said...

It's all visualization.
By creating a different reality in your mind, your body (nerves) react to that reality. Instead of seeing someone being attacked, imagine the tension.

And yeah, yo do look scary. Sensei has it sometimes and our renshi has that look too. A cold determination kind of look. It's saying something like:

I don't really enjoy tearing apart people's limb, and I hate the fact that you've forced me into doing this, but since we're here, you'll see that it's a part that I excell at.

It all starts with the eyes. I can tell from the video that you "see" what you're doing to someone. I don't have that quality yet.

It's strange, but seeing kata being performed, you can see different fights. Competition kata is very outwards. I mean that most people do the kata moves perfectly, but sometimes, I wonder where their minds are. To see the mind at work in kata is a whole different thing. When you can "feel" the performer "move" their imaginary opponents, hit, crush, tear, and even kill, it's a much uglier kata, but a much better one in my eye.

After all, that's what it teaches... Regarless of perfect technical aspects and wondering if you are in the same spot you started. It's a fight.

I too feel the same thing. Very restrictive. I think the name is very fitting as it serves to act like a cornered cat. If backed against a wall or something like that, It'd be my position of choice. Because most of the weight is put on the back leg. The front one is available to strike and the back leg is there to spring you forward.
And the arms, torso, chest and back are all tense, as if available to take hits.

Just like a cat would do. I think in karate, it's the most animal like stance I've seen. It's very similar to what you see in kung fu.

Gotta love karate.

Colin Wee said...

"Those words coming from you, Colin, are the highest form of praise! I know that you would not say it unless you meant it."

Glad you appreciate them then.

"Does this mean that I will have to face a more severe training experience in Dallas when we get together??"

Depends how you define severity.


supergroup7 said...

"I don't really enjoy tearing apart people's limb, and I hate the fact that you've forced me into doing this, but since we're here, you'll see that it's a part that I excell at. "

Yes Mat.. that puts what I'm feeling into words quite well... except for the "forced me into doing this" part. I don't feel "forced" to do it, but more that I've chosen this path of action to handle the next moment.

supergroup7 said...

Severity: defined as ending up flat on my back on the floor and seeing at the ceiling tiles more often than staying on my feet.


Ruth said...

Fantastic - and what a brave thing to do - place a video of yourself doing THIS OF ALL katas on the web for us all to see.
Well, you look good and I can't wait to see the full thing. Encore! Encore!

Thanks for going to the trouble of letting us see this.


supergroup7 said...

Hi Ruth!

Thank you for the compliment.

Oh.. I didn't consider it brave at all... I accept my strengths, and weaknesses equally. I know that I'm just a Mom who loves karate.. I do not feel like I have much to offer other than a positive "can do" attitude.

It was my joy to be able to share this piece of myself with you.

lizzie said...

I think that Bensoku Dachi is the most akward stance. It's more restricted than Neko Ashi Dachi because in Bensoku, one cannot kick in that stance. I like Neko Ashi Dachi because it's used for escaping and defending one's self. It saves time too when kicking because most of one's weight is on the back leg.

Mat, my Sensei always tells us to make our kata ugly. For a long time, I didn't know what he meant.