In Shin Ai Do karate every student on one stage of their progression through grades is given a kata. This kata is specially chosen to suit his or her ability and character. This kata is the main one to study. You need to know other forms within the system but this one you have to specialise in and know it thoroughly. For me it is Tensho kata. I have tried many versions and adaptations in search of knowledge and efficacy of movement.
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From what I understand, by practicing this kata for some 13 years or so now, the upper body remains relaxed while the lower part of the body remains solid, with a good strong sanchin dachi. Just not TOO strong, you always have to remember to be relaxed, because the philosophy is that you will also have to be able to move and change position when required! This was supposed to be a drill by two people. This Kata will teach you the importance of forefinger and thumb positioning when you twist your palm.
Likewise the order of closing the fingers in order to make youe koken solid. There are still lots of inside tech. As what my sensei said, once you master the Tensho kata , you basically master the entire hand tech of nahate.
It is also important that we learn to breathe properly. Breathing can be done properly, it can also be practiced in the wrong way. It is said that many karate masters of a specific style, used to do die at very young ages, in their 50s and it was a mystery why this was happening.
It was later said that some very heavy breathing techniques they used to do, were done in a very intense way, concentrating a lot of blood in the head and this was very stressing for their blood vessels, causing many serious health issues that I am not a doctor to explain in full detail, but you get the general picture.
Therefore, it is essential to study properly the breathing techniques and to KNOW why you do everything you do, step by step, detail by detail in a kata. Tensho kata certainly makes no exception! Sensei Boon Heng Lee , as already cited above, has already given us an explanation.
And at this part, I find it very amusing to mention that while reading several articles online on Tensho kata, I discovered the significance of numbers in kata. Many kata have a number of steps as we have mentioned before and therefore, are named after the number of steps they have.
But reading more, I discovered something very interesting, on what used to be the basis of these numbers, and I would like to share it with you:. This is usually practised by Shorin styles, but some Goju schools have adopted this, seeing this as a missing crane form from Naha Te that follows the Buddhist numerological sequence 3, 6, 18, 36, 54 , or Sanchin , Rokkishu , Sepai , Sanseiru , Gojushiho and Suparipai. Of course, this does not count for all kata for instance Nipaipo — The sixth hand, which as the article also says, is omitted in Tensho kata the extended index finger as a distinct hand … or is it not?
He also said that Hashimoto sensei emphasizes on the importance of the index finger and that it should be considered the extension of your palm, which is an extension of your wrist, which is an extension of your elbow, which is also an extention of your shoulder, which is an extension of your whole body.
What he tried to explain to me and I hope that I have understood it correctly is that your whole arm should act as an extension of your whole body, it should be supported by your whole body. Otherwise, it is not strong and your arm and subsequently your hand would then work independently from your body, without its necessary support.
This is something that I have not seen in many different organizations and I find it to be a very interesting approach. When you go from down to right, your index finger should be the axis around which your hand slowly rotates. This plays a significant role, as he said to me, in keeping your arm as close to your body as possible when rotating. Easy to understand in theory, but in practice, I am sure this needs a lot of application and exercise.
Therefore, I consider quite safe to say that this has also White Crane influences, but please feel to correct me! Just go on YouTube and search these kata names, you will find so many different and interesting videos to watch!
We repeat various movements of the hand like in nature, a bird flapping its wings. Here I would like to mention about the breathing. The Chinese version of six functions of the hands is practiced with very little breathing and the movements are performed quickly, but the Japanese version, the movements are the opposite, deep breathing with slower movements.
It gives the impression of being full of vigour, to amateurs. As I have mentioned earlier, in daily life we are not conscious of breathing.
The correct way of breathing is to first breathe out, then breathe in. In the modern way we are taught to breathe in, then breathe out. In Karate we first breathe out and then in. This is the basic technique:- By using a softened abdomen, start with breathing out, when we practice this, we recognise it by touching the abdomen, in this condition, breathe in slowly large breath through the nose, breathe out slowly large breath through the nose.
By paying attention to these points, practice the breathing, softening the abdomen. It happens when we push the abdomen without breathing.
This creates strong pressure which can cause the veins in the brain to rupture or burst. When we push the abdomen we need to breathe out, this will keep the blood flow to the brain normal. That is just one example of when we can apply this breathing method, for our general good health in daily life and how correct breathing can have a big influence on our well being.
There is a method of breathing 60 times, in the early morning to keep our good health, this will make your body comfortable and you will move easily throughout the day. Even if we are fed well nutritionally, without a good digestion it will mean nothing. Every morning, 60 times of breathing out large breath and breathing in large breath through the nose, helps to keep you healthy.
For example, if you can imagine how you would react if you have a car accident, when your car is struck from behind. You notice in your mirror a car approaching at speed, getting closer and closer, you stop breathing to be ready for the shock of the collision. By stopping breathing we can store power in an instant, and our body can help to resist the impact of the collision. If you do not notice the car approaching you will not be ready for the impact, even at a slow speed you will receive quite a shock to the body.
This means in Budo we concentrate the power by breathing out in a stroke, but in breathing for health, when we breathe in we change this breath to energy and circulate it in the body to store for the flowing energy. Biochemically derived from tryptophan, serotonin is primarily found in the gastrointestinal tract GI tract , blood platelets, and the central nervous system CNS of animals, including humans.
It is popularly thought to be a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness. So, by learning proper breathing techniques and by practicing karate properly, we become happy!
In any case, by closing this article, I would like to mention that there are many articles out there that you can find with a simple search on the web.
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