Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Kyokushin Karate Hard or Soft?
This is Kancho Shokei Matsui performing the Sushiho kata of Kyokushin.
You can see the blend of hard/soft movements within the kata in his performance.
Kyokushin is Kyokushin.. It is hard to describe, it's not Shotokan, it's not Goju, it's Kyokushin.
I have noticed that the kata belt requirements as you rise up in belts seem to focus on building up one's ability to perform the Kanku kata.
We start with basic kata such as:
Kihon Sono Ichi, Ni, San
Shiho Tsuki Ichi, Ni, San
Taikyoku Sono Ichi, Ni, San
Taikyoku Sono Ichi, Ni, San Ura
Taikyoku Sono Ichi, Ni, San Tate
Pinan Sono Ichi, Ni, San, Shi, Go
Sokugi Taikyoku Sono Ichi, Ni, San, Yon
Juji Kata 45 degree, 90 degree
All of these kata help build up skills, turns, balance, body control, strength, and ability so that we can handle the more demanding kata:
Sanchin No Kata
Tsuki No kata
Gekisai Dai, Gekisai Sho
But I can see all of them pointing towards learning the Kanku Kata. Each of the above kata contain parts, and pieces of the Kanku Kata. One of the main symbols of Kyokushin Karate is the Kanku sign:
That symbol derives from the opening move of the Kanku Kata seen below:
It does not appear that a Kyokushin Karate student becomes introduced to the softer kata of Sushiho, Seisan, etc until higher up in belt rank. The concepts contained in these kata are taught always, but the actual learning, and performance of these kata seems to be held until a student has achieved some experience under their belts.
( This is only my impression of what might be happening. Oh by the way, I was wrong when I told you how many kata that I've learned, I know 34 Kyokushin kata.)
It is true that to know one kata well is far better than to know 100 of them badly. However, I believe that the list of kata above are stepping stones towards learning one kata ( Kanku) very, very, very well. If I can learn the lessons that each of these other kata show me on their own, I can incorporate them into my efforts to learn the Main kata when I face it's challenges.