Technique of the Week (November 28th, 2010)
Recently, in response to a question I relayed to Hanshi from one of my Brown Belt students regarding intermediate movements in Pinan Godan, Hanshi drew my attention to an excerpt in Master Shoshin Nagamine's book, "The Essence of Okinawan Karate-Do." Let us re-read this important excerpt on pages 99-101.
Some highlights from this excerpt are as follows (but re-read it yourself to capture much more than what is summarized below):
"... integration of the intermediate movements was accomplished over the centuries by the great masters of Okinawan karate. These masters spent their lives searching for movements that were both physiologically sound and effective as defensive and offensive techniques..."
"... centuries of work by the masters to arrange the rhythmical execution of the kata and to give it a linear, symmetrical direction resulted in the intermediate movements as we know them today..."
"... When practiced correctly, these movements elicit a person's maximum physical capabilities and are never detrimental to the body's physical development..."
"... intermediate movements serve to readjust breathing..."
"... One of the most important functions of the intermediate movements is that of "positional coincidence"; they cause the final position of the kata to coincide with the initial position. The kata begins at one point and ends at the same point..."
"... zanshin... being absolutely attentive to the next move right after the previous mov e... flowing from move to move..."
"... intermediate movements are fighting postures or ready stances that serve as conjunctive movements..."
"... The rhythmic, symmetrical combination of physically logical and supremely powerful movements with zanshin has made a system that for all intents and purposes is classic, transcending the ages. The system of kata with all its facets is till workable today, and serves to enhance the character and dignity of those who practice it..."
"... Misinterpretation of the significance of the kata results if one replaces the simple and non-spectacular formal exercises with showy free-style sparring..."
In this excerpt, Master Nagamine also describes some of the intermediate movements specific to certain kata, including corresponding photos.
Domo Arigato Gozaimasu
Shorin-Ryu Karate USA