Friday, August 14, 2015

Multifunctional-Compound Movements

Like many karate kata, each movement in Seisan can have multiple applications. Many movements can be translated into strikes, blocks, unbalancing movements, limb entanglement, limb clearing, joint locks, chokes and throws/ take downs. Almost every movement contains these qualities. Some movements emphasis striking, others locking and others unbalancing and throwing, but they still have all the parts. Because of these aspects all of these actions can more or less be performed at the same time.

Take the first repeated opening sequence in the kata. In most styles this is some sort of outside middle "block" followed my a middle thrust of some sort. In the version I practice one explodes forward in sumo stance. If one is within the fighting distance of Seisan, which is about the distance from your chest to your elbow for maximum effectiveness one has the opportunity to strike the opponent about four times before the thrust. Twice with the "prepatory movement of the block" generally one fist at head height one fist at belly height and one fist is pulled back while the other snaps upward. The prepatory movement intercepts and sweeps out of the way any incoming straight attack, striking the limbs, if the technique is unobstructed this becomes an uppercut to the neck with a simultaneous punch to the solar plexus, which is followed by a back fist as the lower hand snaps upward. At the same time the leg is exploding forward into the sumo stance and strikes at the person's feet, ankle, shin and knee. The strikes to the head and legs should work to unbalance the opponent and the following thrust can be a punch/ push that can send the opponent toppling over.

The beauty of these types of movements is that if one aspect fails or is unsuccessful the entire movement doesn't fail because there are other aspects of the movement that can still succeed. One also doesn't have to think about the movement to accomplish this. If the distancing is correct and the proper body mechanics are used than one need only deploy the movement without regard for what the other person is doing.

 These types of movements allow the kata practitioner to respond in a non diagnostic way to sudden violence, while maximizing the chances that a technique will land.

Happy training.