Sunday, August 9, 2015

I practice Seisan

I only practice one kata. It's a Kyan style Seisan, which I learned while training at a Seidokan dojo on the coast almost ten years ago, but I've only seriously started to study it two years ago. I could go into why I only practice one kata, but it's too complicated and boring.

Sometimes I feel like I should have picked a kata like Naihanchi or Sanchin, but Seisan seemed like it would be easier at the time. Even though it's sometimes considered the universal kata because most styles of karate have a version of Seisan there is very little content out there to explain the movements or it's principles. There are many theories about Naihanchi and Sanchin, but very little about Seisan.

While it was the first kata learned in Seidokan much like Naihanchi is learned early on in Shorinkan, it seems to be thought of both as a basic kata and an advanced kata. I can't really comment on this one way or another because the movements for one kata are usually as much of a mystery to another.

What I have learned about Seisan is that it's a group of multifunctional movements, which can be used to break down an opponent swiftly and mercilessly. Movements for grinding someone up or locking them up and both at the same time. I believe this can be said for most kata it's just a different means.

Seisan means 13, which seems rather strange. Some people think this means the number of techniques or the steps. While there are five sets of repeated movements and 8 sets of none repeated movements this can be debated because I believe some of the movements are just different expressions of the same principles. The number is lucky in Chinese culture and the Okinawans did admire the Chinese.

It doesn't really matter what it means. I mostly just think of it as mine.