A. Dan. Karate, we never knew.
Karate, we never knew.
(Reading the book by Funakoshi).
"... The one who is engaged must learn carefully and cautiously."
Wang Zong - Yue "Taydzitsyuan ching." сапка нержавейка киев
Now in front of me there is a wonderfully published book by Gichin Funakoshi "Karate - to: my way of life." I`m looking at it and I think that the nature of truth is that, it is not as open but, it is still visible through the thick fog that surrounds it. And despite the fact, in this book here is a chapter entitled "The End of Privacy," and I dare say that the old master mystifies and it's not hard to prove, basing on things written by him.
I remember one of the conversations with Funakoshi`s nephew when he said that Shotokan is divided into hard and soft. Then, while answering the question of why no one has seen the soft Shotokan, it is said that you need to firstly learn the hard.
I remember another conversation with a very serious Japanese master, who (in a small circle)answered the question of why the black belt is awarded to people who are in a real fight are nothing of themselves, he said:
- We (to be understood - Japanese) do not give the belt for the fight, but for tradition!
And I know that today the lesson of combat karate is from 400 to 1,000 U.S. dollars. And that's not all. There are beatings, the price of which is life. If you are not a member of the Japanese family (clan), nobody will educate you on these techniques.
The East tends to have different symbols, even more than we do. Who does not know the symbols of Yin and Yang, who has not seen enough of a flying dragons, and the characters themselves are very much like symbols. There is a death character in the East. This is a Tiger. The Tiger originally was a symbol of Shotokan Karate. Karate is the Tiger. Karate is Death . There is no other way, this "refined art of self-defense" was never appreciated in any other way by those who really know it. That is why during the Funakoshi life there were no competitions - just demonstrations. And what sparring could be there, where the only blow takes the life, breaking through any defense.
"…As you probably know, the karate fight is a matter of life and death, and as soon as you make a serious mistake - you lose. Nothing can be returned back. " In such way Funakoshi writes in his book. And then - more: "So the fact that karate (which gave a man the ability to kill without weapons) was practiced and taught in total secrecy was hardly surprising." "If in a fight you have to strike, you must be absolutely sure that this strike is everything ...»
Do you know such karate? Have you ever seen it? No, the real karate has never been declassified and has never become the property of the public.
But then the question arises, what are we practicing using this name? let`s return to Funakoshi: "... I started another task - simplification. While I was hoping to see Karate included in the program of general physical education, taught in our public schools, I began a review of khat in order to make them as simple as possible. Times change, the world changes, and accordingly, the martial arts should be changed. Karate which is practiced now in high school, is not the same Karate practiced ten years ago, and is very far from the karate I studied in Okinawa - and beyond: - ... It is important that karate as a kind of sport used in physical education, might be quite simple and everybody young and old, men and women, boys and girls can participate... ".
That's how karate turned into a "kind of sport", something for "school", which was not even planned as a strict martial art. That`s how it became a tradition instead of fighting. In addition, there were rumors that after the death of the founder, his son and successor together with the best students, found that even this "school" karate contained dangerous elements, he continued his father's trade and remade what was left to be more harmless! This type of karate got widespread. Similar styles were created based on this tecnique, different in details, but similar in nature. Even serious researchers criticize this type of karate, they require real combat use – something it had never been intended to.
Karate was famed by the galaxy of great masters. But like in any other sphere of activity, the great art is never widespread. And somehow Funakoshi was right, he dreamed of karate to be everywhere, saying that the world is changing .... Now there is no need to protect life in cruel battles, and even against armed opponents. And many would feel like Superman, without making special efforts. So karate began to conquer the world in this adapted form, taking into concideration the current moment.
In 1969 the World Union of Karate Organizations (WUKO) was created, which at that time was the biggest in the number of people particitpating in karate. WUKO sets the rules and introduces one more additional safety measure - a direct blow with your hand, your hip needs to pull back sharply. Thus, a powerful blow, because of the opposition of the force vector is transformed into a spectacular parody.
And now, Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, who was famous for his physical limitations, bravely participated in this "battle" art.
Funakoshi's dream came true! Karate is available to everyone - boys and girls, grandparents, whimps and whiners.
"Saw - went.
Hit - killed. "
So what was Shotokan like, the emblem of which was the Death?
First, it was highly maneuverable, a very lively style. Read in Funakoshi: "... Despite the fact that the group was about seven or eight, I was able to evade all attacks that were directed at me when I heard the voice of the older man:" Who is this guy? Looks like he knows karate "...".
I want to draw your attention to a few details. It takes place in Okinawa. Funakoshi is not a master yet, but a very young man and a diligent student. And already such a good practice! Another interesting fact is that the outside observer determines his behavior as the knowledge of karate. So, this art was represented in the islands at that time as very dynamic and extremely agile.
Secondly, the expected time between workouts blow of enormous power. Reminicing about his teachers, Sensei says: "Now I think of the well-known history when Itosu was attacked by the gang of young hooligans, but soon all the thugs were lying unconscious in the street. An eyewitness, making sure that there is no danger for Itosu, hastened to report the incident to Adzato. Having interrupted his story Adzato said: "All the villains, of course, are lying unconscious, face down aren`t they?" Very surprised, the witness admitted that it was true ... "
When I face a similar strike in our time, I am able to explain what it means. People who miss it, lose consciousness standing still and fall face down, not even attempting to put thier hands in front of them.
Thirdly, karate, being a martial art, like any other art form, had no rigid dogma and strict framework. The next text proves it: "... now do not exist, and never existed strict rules regarding various kata ... they changed not only in time, but from the instructor to the instructor ... "
Taking into concideration that khat is deservedly considered to be the fundamental basis of all karate, these lines show how the vision of the old masters was liberated and unrestricted.
So we have a very maneuverable and agile style, with punches of enormous power, not limited by any frames and rules. If you did, then were you doing something similar? If so - then you are lucky. Since the vast majority do not even imagine fighting against two or three opponents, not to mention the ability to deviate from the seven or eight. A sporty approach dilutes most fighting techniques, as they are the real threat. Who would deliberately allow injuring athletes? And do not think that the picture I have drawn is too sad - it is much more than that.
Nonsense is that a person comes into the unit to learn how to fight and to defend themselves and others if necessary. Further he is pulled into the passion of sports, imposed rules, weight classes, etc. Then he is hit on the head in a fight and believes that he was doing not enough. Thus he does not think about the fact that he was fighting with a drunkard, who does not exercise at all. How fast the sport increases instinct without thought!
"- Please tell me, what do I do?
Do whatever you want."
Lewis Carroll "Alice in Wonderland."
Our summary is quite sad: having a strong desire to practice martial arts, you will not just be able to find the real coach, and if you find - not being able to pay for fighting techniques up to 1000 dollars. But if you are willing to look for, if you use your head, believe me, you have a good chance! After all, most people have come up with the secret techniques. So, getting the slightest hint, you can unravel the mystery. And there are hints in the literature, that is more than enough, and an example of this - the book in question by Funakoshi. The main thing is to be careful and scrupulous seeker.
It has long been observed that all of the literature on martial arts is divided into two sections. The first section, it is also the most significant, is when it is written by those who think they know something, for those who know nothing. The second, more limited section is when it is written by those who know much, for those who know enough. There is very little transitional literature. It's easy to give examples of the first and second section, and it is difficult to think of examples of literature between sections.
Go to the book stand on martial arts, stick to any, in 99% you`ll get to the first literature section.
To the literature of the second section we can attribute primarily books of styles` founders. This unrivaled Mussasi Miyamoto (no matter that he talks about the sword - principals are the same), Masutatsa Oyama's earlier books, one of the best Ueshiba's students Cum Tohei, etc.
To the literature between these two sections, with some exaggeration, we may include what Bruce Lee has written. But at the same time we should take into concideration the specificity of a particular style he created.
But even this is not so important. Drop the stereotypes, turn into an inquisitive researcher and think independently. "Initially, give up following the others" - writes Wang Zong-Yue in "Taydzischoan ching." Only when you discover some truth on your own, only then you will truly understand how much the old masters knew and could do.
To make it easier, let`s try to separate the issues of training. We need to make a start on something. Once, when I was fond of the military memoirs, I noticed many similarities in training fighter and ... fighter pilot. The difference is only in the fact that the first controls his body, and the second controls plane. But the issues they face are the same. These are working over automaticity of basic movements, and the ability to see all the fight as a whole, assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent's tactics and more objectives. Hitler koalition the best pilot, three times Hero of the Soviet Union, Alexander Pokryshkin, during the war has formulated a winning formula: height, speed, maneuver, fire. We slightly altere it to the requirements of melee. I think in this case it will be like following: stand, speed, maneuver, strike. Undoubtedly, these parameters are strongly interrelated. A conventional division will help us to highlight the main constituents of hand-to-hand fighting.
"At first, learn how to draw like the classics, and then draw what you want." Salvador Dali. "Diary of a genius."
So – the stand. An experienced eye will accurately determine the level of training a fighter. If it's a battle, not the sports stand, it must first be convenient and comfortable for you. Of course, the stand must satisfy the requirements. It must protect the most vital organs. Therefore, it must be maximum side fighting stand, not the front one. In a fight there are no rules, and today, thanks to the huge number of fighters on the TV, even a schoolboy knows the consequences of a good kick in the groin. In many fightning durected schools, it is the number one goal, "the golden goal."
The stand must be stady. The center of gravity is as low as possible. But this does not mean that you have to sink. The low center of gravity is formed in constant training and provides the soldier a fundamental principle of the successful conduct of the bout - "middle balance." "The middle balance", in turn, allows you to navigate with minimal inertia, and therefore very fast.
And here we come to the main. You do not have to stand still in a form! This is the greatest mistake! Once the form - then stand. In the form we have to move. And a form must provide you with ability to move in any time in any direction. No, you can stop for the moment, but its main purpose is to provide movement. The form is the concept of being dynamic, not static. That is why karate has the greatest amount of forms, which are considered as the instantaneous positions in the dynamics of the general movement in fight.
You can talk about forms endlessly. I do hope that you will be able to estimate its value during your own studies. For me personally, the form of the undefeated Benny Urkidas nicknamed "The Rocket" is an example. You can evaluate it for yourself in the movie "Diner on wheels."
Speed. It is the factor that Bruce Lee has built his entire style on. And nothing, but the approach that demanded incredible tension eventually led to the death of a talented fighter and actor.
Speed is directly related to the form. The more competent your form - the higher your speed. One should be aware of the fact that the speed – is not an end in itself. Speed for speed, no one needs. Inexperienced fighters in training often pay too much attention to speed. Speed is a derivative of the proper motion. The more correctly you move - the higher your speed. Undoubtedly, speed is the most important factor of battle. In any case it is not impossible to assess. If you lose in speed - you lose a fight. While acknowledging the obvious importance of high speeds, just do not forget that it does not matter how fast you do something, it is important not to be late, and do it on time. Figuratively speaking, do not strike into the place where the enemy will be in a moment. Again: while training, is important to remember that the speed depends on the correct movement and in this case, does not require additional operating time.
Maneuver. Maneuver is a battle tactic. If you are not learning the tactics, you cannot talk about any martial art! You are an athlete and no more! Your task is to take on more and throw further.
Martial arts are tactics! Tactics are the inner sanctum of a real combat school. It was the understanding of tactics that led the young Funakoshi just shy of seven or eight attackers. During the lessons the tactics is in the focus. Your form may not be perfect, you may not have a crazy speed, possess cannon strike - is not so fatal in a combat, as a rough tactical error.
"The fight is won by the movement" - teaches classic. All the combat methods you are accumulating in training, are to serve one purpose - to provide a basic tactical picture of your school. If there are several tactical pictures, that means your school is priceless! Classics teach: "If the principle is not universal, it is not a high art." Methods that do not fit your tactics, present a little value and can be seen as an additional burden, serving enrichment.
It is both - a lot and little talking and writing about the tactics. A lot - if you are somehow well versed in this matter. Few - if this is your terra incognito. The value of tactics in combat schools were assessed around the fourteenth century. Ancient masters wrote:
"Swoops like a whirlwind from the mountains.
Having delivered a blow, immediately retreat.
Then again move your body forward.
Try to push the enemy.
Beat with the hand with a sharp exhalation.
To exhalation you can add cry.
Move rapidly as a Dragon.
To attack and reject
You need visual sight of the Eagle.
Quickly move to the left and right.
The success of the attack depends on evasion.
As real stems from the unreal.
Why climb the mountain cliffs,
If you can slip through the gorge!
Do not fear a violent fight, and remember:
Small can win great ... "
What I can add to this, at that time things like that, so to speak, were written in blood. Indeed, any fight was a struggle to the death. There was no other approach.
If you introspect deep enough to the questions of tactics, only then you will understand what is the art of fighting. And then, one day, after a training match, you will have a feeling that has an artist having written a successful painting, or the composer who has created the sipine-tingling melody. You feel that your struggle was unique, it was fine. It was the masterpiece you have created. Will be better, will be worse, but this was the only one in its splendor.
In modern cinema such a story is often played up, that there is a treatise somewhere which tells about some secret style. If there are secrets in the martial arts, so these are the secrets of battle tactics, secrets maneuver.
Blow. Blow is the final phase of a fight. It is like dotting the "i". The blow should be perfectly practiced and ideally it must immediately deprive your opponent of a chance to react.
Nowadays we have the term "karate of one blow." Note first that if we are talking about combat karate there is no different one. If the fighter managed to get into the position to attack, this battle is over. It is just nobody to continue with.
There is quite a bit of blow techniques. The most common is the push technique. It is mainly used in karate, mostly push "from the hip."
And here begins an anecdote. Mister Karateka! It does not really matter from which starting position your hand begins to move: whether it is pressed against the thigh (for some reason athletes call position of the hand near the waist) or moved from the shoulder. "From the hip" - primarily the indication of blow technique!
I will never forget, as one of the leading "senseis" in the former Soviet Union, who had at that time the third dan, he heard from his charge of "academy" of the English, the so-called karate block ude-uke done "from the hip", so he made all his school to be retrained and perform the movement with the initial position of the hand on his hip. That's for sure, "I heard a bell, but do not know where it is”.
Yes, the initial position in karate is really the hand near the waist to strike. It is really quite convenient, especially in the stage of developments. But "from the hip" is quite another ...
Let's go back to the book of Funakoshi. "Clenched right hand fist pressed to the side, pushed forward, at the same time the right thigh with full force towards the target set ...". And further: "... the stand must be low, hips should unfold quickly and powerfully ...". That's what "from the hip"! This means the consistent and rapid work of a thigh with a blow arm. "He who has ears - let him hear."
And, of course, your accumulated kick should be well integrated into the picture of your battle. You should be able to confidently go to the position for the application of such a strike. You can learn how to break the brick with the side of your hand, but in a real fight the opponent might not wish to allow you to give your "crown" blow.
"What can you do to me,
If I am the Universe. "
The founder of Aikido.
"Martial arts can not exist without meditation." This well-known expression is deep in its essence. I would say more - a good scrimmage battle in itself is a dynamic meditation. After all, where else are such concentration, the absence of all unnecessary thoughts and unwanted emotions required?
The song of thirteen positions says: "Being in stillness, when you are attacked by the opponent, be calm and move in stillness ...". "The movement in stillness" is a dynamic meditation and has a high level of training. Imagine that you eat while driving. Do you move or not? That's when "movement in stillness" you control your body with no internal motions.
Of course, if you devote yourself to martial arts, only meditation training is not enough. To reach the level of Ueshiba, you need long-term static meditation for many years. There are many directions in this field and they are fairly described. I can only say and I always repeat that safety focused meditations do not exist. It is believed that this can not be practiced without the advanced teacher. But if you are not intended to pass the "Way of the Warrior" for the attainment of truth, but just want to touch the great martial arts, meditation at the end and the beginning of training and proper training will be quite enough.
Martial art, as our whole life, is diverse and vast. It is the whole world that obeys its own laws, based on its principles. Having touched this world, come into it, you will stay there forever. And if all of a sudden for some reason you tear off from it, you will experience a real nostalgia. Therefore, God let you get acquainted with the art and never part with it.