Thursday, July 06, 2006

Kempo Kata Short One

The Kenpo Kata Short One uses the same sequence of blocks as the White Belt Appreciation Form (inward, outward, upward, downward).

Instead of staying still, you take crescent steps between the horse stances. Below is a video of Kathy on Short One, and a few notes on what to focus on. Enjoy learning it.



You will practice Short One  over and over. And over. It's likely you will perform Short One at every belt tests along the way including  the one for your black belt. And your second degree.

Hint: There's a big difference between doing it, and doing it well!  So, frame it in (ie learn the basic steps) and then start focusing on the details. Try to adopt the mentality that you've started a long and satisfying journey of understanding and mastering the art. The trip can last a lifetime. How energetic are your movements? How crisp is your push pull? How perfect is your balance?  How dramatic your presentation? How pure is  your focus?  Enjoy it.  I do. I've been working it now for 8 years and I'm pleased with my progress and the challenges ahead.

Taisho (the leader) says: Position,
Team echoes back: Position -

Taisho - Kempo Kata
Others - Kempo Kata, showing right fist by rotating it up in front of the chest (like it's a weapon)
Taisho - Short Two
Others - Short Two, covering right fist with left open hand (as if we were covering the weapon), turning it forward and down, bowing

Step right (still facing forward or north) into horse stance with hands in chamber.

This kata will basically be your four basic blocks, each done twice, in the same sequence as the white belt appreciation form while moving your horsestance around. One way of thinking of it is you are going to:

- block two punching attacks from the north with inward blocks, then you turn your head and see the attack from your left and yell, kiaa

- block two punching attacks from the west (left) with outward blocks, then you turn your head and see the attack from over your left shoulder and yell, kiaa
- block two attacks from the east (behind you) with upwards blocks, then you turn your head and see the attack from the right and yell, kiaa

- block two kicking attacks from the south (your right) with your downwards blocks, then you turn your head and see the finish, kiaa
- return to start position and bow out.

OK - back to the details of the form - From the horse stance with your arms in chamber, step back with left foot staying in horsestance while doing an inward block with the right hand. (as if you were blocking a punch) Tia .

(same on other side) Step back with right foot staying in horsestance while doing an inward block with the left hand and putting your left hand into chamber. Tia

Look over your left shoulder (to see the new attacker) kiaa

Turn to your left by stepping with your rear right foot and pivoting on your forward left foot and doing an outward block with the left hand. Step back with your left foot doing an inward block with your right.

Look backwards over your left shoulder (to see the attacker). Move your right back foot in adjustment step so that you are now facing the other way and do an upward left block. Step back and do an upwards right block. Look right.
Turn right by moving your back left leg while doing a right downwards block with the right. Step back and do a left downwards block.

Look behind you over your right shoulder and return to the starting direction while pulling your hands back into chamber with aieeesa. Finish by standing up by bringing in your left leg, showing the kenpo salute (left hand over right fist) and then go to position by stepping to the right (double punch forward and low). T set while stepping back to the right so legs are together. Bow and done.

Notes of what to focus on:
  1. Maintain great horse stances.
  2. Do not raise and lower your level through the kata. Keep your head at the same height as you move around.
  3. Make sure you hit each stance and stay in it for a second before moving on to the next. Even when the pace is very fast, it's important to freeze for a moment in each position.
  4. After each pair of blocks, be sure to turn your head towards the new direction as if you are looking and seeing a new attacker. The idea behind the kata is that you are defending yourself from attacks from each direction. This is why you look in the direction, as if to see a new attacker, before you turn to defend yourself.
  5. Each and every block should be very intense, a showcase.
Kenpo vs Kempo - What's the difference? Best I can tell nothing. Both are transliterations from Chinese. Remember that the capital city of China has been translated as various times as Peking, Beijing, and Peping into English because we do not have the same sounds (phonemes) in English as they have in Chinese. So we pick the closest sounds in English to correspond to the Chinese. Apparently, the sound in Chinese is something close to an n or m sound.

1 comment:

JohnE said...

This kata is generally to get your orange belt.