You know the back fist from a cross-legged stance in pinan sono go. What's so deadly about it? Not much, OTOH if you were attacking the elbow using the blade of your forearm, you could permanently disable your opponent if you went against the natural range of motion of the joint, or if you attacked the crease of the elbow you'd put your opponent onhis back with a morote seioinage (see the 7ish minute mark).
Have you guys and gals noticed the magical thinking that goes with some kata practice? You Enshin folks are different because you practice the practical bits, but for everyone else expected to repeat the dance, there is a huge leap of faith that all the effort and care devoted to kata will amount to something. Yes, there is also the argument to be made that it's the journey, not the destination that counts, but with traditional kata practice, the journey isn't anything more than spinning the wheels with the parking brake on. Take this Useless defenses against improbable attacks. Might as well be toting a rabbit's foot than practicing this way for all the good it will do.
After a long time studying I think the tough guys get there DESPITE kata practice, not because of it.
I know as a coach if I dried up kata was a useful standby to do until my brain fired up again.
I wonder if that's why it was invented? I can just imagine a tired old master watching an eager young student climbing the long and winding path to his gate, thinking "FFS he's here again. What shall I give him to do tonight?"
Tough guys don't need karate, though it wouldn't be a hindrance. Bad kata practice wastes valuable time however.
I don't think kata was invented to mark time. It is certain that keeping a group of students busy punching the air gives sensei a breather. I think it is also worth considering that there are some technique that should not be taught to children and nutters, so dancing is not a bad choice.
For those inclined, I ask, ""why kiba dachi and the sideways punch?" Maybe this Maybe not, but wouldn't class time be more interesting/more productive practicing this instead of the same ol' same ol'?
An arm bar can be an efficient fight ender. If you know what you're doing, you break the opponent's arm with little difficulty. When Iain Abernathy goes for a head punch after what seems a perfunctory attempt at an arm bar, it seems to me that he's missed the steak and potatoes and went for the after dinner mint. Plus there's the very real risk of busting up your hand on your opponent's skull.
I think Mr. Abernathy comes up with some clever applications, but to me they seem disjointed , party tricks without unifying principles. In contrast to the above, where the opponent's arm just happens to fall into your hands, view the following. Notice how Alvin Guinanao uses the pass/parry to close, arm-bar, clothes-line and take the opponent down. There is no tactical advantage to releasing your opponent, once you've got a hold of him. Note too how the principle of the arm-bar is applied throughout, it's not just the fore-arm on the elbow. If you cannot understand the principles "hidden" in kata, you'll have much trouble remembering the tricks, and even more difficulty in interpreting the movements.
I saw you post that Silat video on the FB page. Good stuff. Again pretty similar to a lot of the concepts we use in Enshin. We just don't do much ground fighting at least submission wise. We take you down hard and then break stuff with our fists or heal depending on how you landed.
It's not about how hard you can hit but how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward!!
"I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered. My life is my own."
Ideally, you want to finish the fight standing up. Before you go to the ground there's the striking, which can end the fight, the standing arm-bars, neck cranks, etc.,and the takedowns themselves. All this stuff can render the assailant out of commission way before you put your knee in his back and crank on his neck. The point I'm trying to illustrate is that kata training can come alive if you practice with a partner and take into consideration what it is your are trying to break-up. An invisible man is a less than ideal training tool. The embusen and the turns, arm waving and stances reveal a lot about the human anatomy, and how the body can be defeated. Traditional kata misses all that and all you get is the ludicrous 4 on 1 imaginary battle featuring improbable attacks and counters that will get you knocked out.