Wednesday, July 12, 2006

White Belt Appreciation Form

This is the very first kata. It's kind of a "pre-kata". None the less, it is hard to learn and hard to do right. The details matter.

The appreciation form forms the basis for Short One and Long One and Three Count Basics and many other advanced drills. When you test for your black belt, the first exercise is....the appreciation form.

Leader - Position
Team - position punching out forward and low with both hands into the "position" stance which has the legs together

Leader - Focus
Team - Focus - Putting right fist in front of you into left open hand with elbow out.

Leader - Horse Stance

Horse Stance (legs wide apart, knees bent) with both hands in fists pulled back into chamber. You stay with your legs in horse stance for the whole exercise.
Horse Stance. Arms in Chamber. 

One - Right inward block, leaving left hand in chamber
Two - Left inward block, pulling right hand back into chamber

Three - Right outward block, pulling left hand in chamber
Four - Left outward block, pulling right hand in chamber

Five - Right upward block, pulling left hand in chamber
Six - Left upward block, pulling right hand in chamber

Seven - Right downward block, pulling left hand in chamber
Eight - Left downward block, pulling right hand in chamber

Focus - Hands back into starting position with elbows out, arms horizontal, and the right fist into the left hand. Be sure to keep the horse stance low. Try not to grimace.

Position - Back to position with legs at shoulder width and two hands punching out & down.

Remember, fast punches, sharp high chambers, low horse stances, totally still between movements, and keep those shoulders square!
This detail is important. Unlike when you sparing, in horse stance, you keep your shoulders squared up at all times!

Congratulations, You are on your way.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Kata chuck form one

Stand with the chucks in each hand, held closed, slightly behind your butt.
(note - a nunchuck or chuck or nunchaku is a pair of 10" wood dowls connected by strings or chains)

Taisho says : "Chamber Chucks"

The kohai: drop a handle of each of the chucks, spin them backwards outside the arms up to the shoulders, then spin once forward outside the arms and catch them under your arms.

kata, kata
chuck form one, chuck form one, bow

Step forward with right leg into hard bow and spin only the right chuck:
- forward, outside arm, inside arm, outside arm, against the inside of thigh
- backwards, outside of arm and over shoulder
- forwards, outside of arm and finish under the arm pit

repeat with left leg forward into hard bow left and using left chuck

step to the left into left hard bow, facing left. With the right chuck:
- spin across the body against your the left side
- double spin from the left across your body striking the right side
- backwards, single spin onto shoulder
- forwards, spin outside of arm and finish under the arm pit

right forward kick into hard bow right with a wide stance and with both chucks:
- backwards, spin outside of arms and up to shoulders
- forwards, outside of arms and between legs
- backwards, outside of arms and over shoulders
- forwards, outside of arms and under arm pits

move right leg pivoting 180 on left so you turn from left to right finishing in hard bow right and strike:
- left chuck to right side
- spin once and to left side
- spin outside of arm and up to shoulder
- spin outside of arms and down under arm

front kick with left leg step forward finishing in wide horse stance and with both chucks:
- spin outside of arms and to shoulders
- spin outside of arms and to inside legs
- spin outside of arms and to shoulders
- spin outside of arms and under arms

step forward to the left (facing north with left leg) and bring right leg up to legs are together
- strike with right chuck to left side
- strike right side
- strike up t shoulder
- spin once outside of arms and into arm pit

Repeat with left chuck

Then both chucks:
- spin outside of arms, inside of arms, outside of arms and up to shoulders
- step right into horsestance spinning outside of arms and inside to legs
- step back to legs together spinning outside of arms and up to shoulder
- step into left horsestance spinning outside of arms and down into legs
- step back into legs together spinning up outside of arms to shoulder
- spin outside of arm and under arms
- bow grabbing both chuck handles into hands, lift right leg up, put it down so that your legs are shoulder width apart

Here's a full speed performance of kamaset..

Click "Play" to watch the video

Ten Count Kicking

The 10 Count kicking exercise is a showcase for those with great kicking skills. For the rest of us, it was a personal challenge which allowed us to focus on developing better technique. In my case, the slow extension side kick was one of my two major sources of anxiety (the other was the spinning hook kicks). After much work, I finally got so I could get thru it with a little pride.

X block facing forward to the left at a 45 degree angle (north west) with hands crossed over the head. Look right.

Karate chop with right to the right (north east), dropping left hand into chamber, side kick to the right (same direction as karate chop), tia, drop both hands so they kinda slap your thigh, and twist your feet so that your body is facing forward to the right, and you are looking forward to the left.

Karate chop with left to the left, (north west), dropping right hand into chamber, side kick to the left...

Total sequence
Side kicks - to right, then left
Round House - to right, then left
Hook back, then round house- to right, then left
slow tension side kick - to right, then left
side, round, round going from low to high - to right, then left

End with positon, bow, slap sides,


Kata Bookset

Bookset might be my favorite kata. It's dramatic, doesn't require great kicks or dexterity and has alot of interesting moves and details. There are four videos here: one of an elegant third degree black belt...check out how amazing she is....then, there's an instructional performance by Mr Vince where he talks you through the steps slowly and explaining the details, then  one of me as a green belt (please note, that was a long time ago, I'm better now but people keep asking why there aren't any videos of me so I put that one up), ....And a final one in which Kathy performs. There's also a photo of a good horse stance.
Jennifer M making it look elegant and easy!

Taisho -Kata
When you bow, you also bend the knees slightly.

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

Mr. Vince explaining each and every move!

the end of the bow, the two hands are pulled back to the right side with the right handle in chamber and the left hand resting on it. The hands are in the catstance position (but the legs are together slightly bent at the knees.

Look left, karate chop to the left, tia
Pull left hand back to your side putting the hand in a claw-like posture (kewsal? quesqu? - I'm looking for info on the name and significance of this hand position) and then with slow tension push it forward saying "ehhhhh" as you go.

Then, punch forward with right pulling left back into chamber, tia, look right, karate chop right, tia, then putting the hand into claw, pull it back to your side and push it forward saying "ehhhhh" as you go.

punch forward left, pulling right into chamber
punch forward right, pulling left into chamber
right backfist forward, aheasa

Pull your hands into chamber.
Work your feet from together to at least shoulder length apart by doing a toe,heal, toe

double hands down and cross (X block down - crossing hands in front of groin with hands like karate chops) - tia
Xblock up - tia
bring hands down to chest level keeping them close to the body, then double chop spreading arms wide - tia
with slow tension pull then in, then forward, pull right hand down into chamber.

Heres three punches forward as follows:
look forward up, punch forward and up with right
look forward, punch forward with left,
look forward down, punch down with right, aheasa

Here's two odd slow tension hand movements forward with steps and punches as follows:
look forward, step forward with left leg into horsestance pull right hand back to chamber, put left hand into kewsal claw position placing it on the right side of your neck, swing your left hand forward to where its way in front of you, pull it back to chamber punching with your right, shifting into hard bow forward (back leg straight, front leg bent)

then, put your left hand in knife hand position reaching under your right arm pit. Step forward with the right foot with the right foot pointed out to the right while bringing your left knife hand forward and pulling your right into chamber. Step forward with left into horse stance, then shift to hardbow while punching again with the right and pulling left back into chamber.

step back with the right left foot into a sideways-facing horsestanc e while striking forward with the right elbow (hitting it onto your open left hand)

step up to feet together while still facing left with the body but looking forward and chopping forward with with the right.

side kick forward, left punch forward falling into left knee down, right knee up.

Step back into horsestance with the right foot back with a left downward block - tia
Then punch right.

Repeat other way: Step back into horsestance with the left foot back with a right downward block - tia
then punch left

catstance but with legs together and right hand ontop of left in chamber
rolling back fist to the right with the right
punch with left hand to right pulling left into chamber

small adjustment step back with the left foot as you chop forward with the left shifting to a hardbow right

punch forward right (hardbow to the left)
punch forward left (hardbow to the right)
kick with the left leg finishing in a dramatic hard bow to the left with the right punch forward. pause.

push off your bent left leg for a big circle set to the right

hand in fist, bow, double punch forward into position stepping leg into shoulder width apart.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Rear choke hold

Grab - A person grabs your neck with both hands from behind


- Clasp your hands in front of you around waiste height
- Raise both arms leading with the right elbow so that it is higher than the hands around your neck
- With your left foot, step forward towards the right (preparing to face your attacker)

- Continue to rotate to the right and when your attackants arms are under your arm (actually arm pit), hit down with your right elbow which breaks their grip - tia
- Pull your right elbow back up towards the left (this reverses your rotation) hitting the attacker in the jaw - tia
- Step back with your right foot, backfisting their face with your right hand as you settle into a ready stance. tia

Kama Set

This is the first kata with kamas (the sticks with blades). The kamas are fun since they are flashy and easy to handle (unlike those bloody chucks that keep swerving into tender parts of me at strange angles with surprising momentum).

A distinguishing feature of the kata is that it requires a pair of spinning back hook kicks which is a challenge for many brown belts.

OK. Just one more interesting point before we start. All of our weapons are the ones that peasants trained on during a period when they were forbidden to have weapons. So they trained with common farm implements. The kamas are basically scyths or harvesting instruments.

Below are some kama set demos. A newly done one (11/2009) by Mr Mike Sweeny where he performs it slowly. The second one is Jennifer performing at normal speed. The one lowest on the page is an old testing demo. The Kama Set is from Taekwondo as is kama set two. Want more info on how our system blends different martial arts traditions?

Mr Sweeny works from dawn to dusk and sometimes, his voice gets hoarse. Osu Mr. Mike.

This second one is of Jennifer which I found on YouTube, I think it posted by Christine Fingado who is one impressive kohai.

Kamaset Slow Instructional Video by Mr. Vince

Kamaset Full Speed Video by Mr. Vince

KamaSet Write-up

"Kata""Kama set"
Bow "Osu"

Hard bow left - Right hand punchHard bow right- Left hand punch

Circle set

Horse stance left- Both hands in mantis position right hand about shoulder level left hand parallel.
Cross stance- Right hand throat strike, left hand guard
Back leg front kick
Left hand v-cut, right hand v-cut, stomp and lower stance.

Horse stance right- Both hands in mantis position left hand about shoulder level right hand parallel.
Cross stance- Left hand throat strike, right hand guard
Back leg front kick
Right hand v-cut, left hand v-cut, stomp and lower stance.

Horse stance foreward- Both hands in mantis position right hand about shoulder level left hand parallel.
Right hand throat strike, left hand in guard
Back leg front kick, skip front kick, double back stirike (cross stance)

Horse stance back- Right hand in guard, left hand horizontal stab
Right hand throat strike
Back leg front kick, cross step, flying side kick
Plant horse stance, matis position.

Hands come across face to foreward horse stance
Mantis position, slide up round house, spink hook kick
Right hand guard, left hand horizontal stab
Spin hook, drop side kick
Spin up right, sezah one, left hand throat strike right hand guard

Circle set
Hard bow left
"USA!" v-cut foreward with right
Soft bow right
"USA!" v-cut foreward with left (added 2009)
"Black Belt Champions!"
left hand stab, right hand guard
Boot check "Asah!" Double back strike (relax stance)

Circle set,



KamaSet Summarized Writeup

With your kamas pointed down at your side...
kata - kata
kama set - kama set


facing forward - punch left, punch right, circle set, position
turn left - right cut in, right front kick, left cut in/out, right cut/in out with stamp
facing right (do 180) do the same - left cut in, left front kick, right cut in/out, left cut in/out
face forward - right front kick, right skipping front kick finishing on right leg bent, left crossed behind
face backward (do 180) - side kick, two steps, (flying) side kick finishing in horse
face forward (do 180) - left forward side kick, spin clockwise 360 +180 to do a right spinning hook kick forward, finishing on ground, facing back, kicking up
finish by turning another 180

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.

Kempo Kata Long One

Taisho - Kempo Kata
Others - Kempo Kata, showing right fist (assume we always start by looking North or forward)
Taisho - Long One
Others - Long One, covering right fist with left hand, turning it forward and down, bowing

This kata is much like short one but after each block there is a punch and then a second block. There are no pauses until the end. This kata was updated in 2007 primarily by the addition of the head turn after each pair of blocks.

1 step left into horsestance and arms in chamber

2 step backward with left foot into horsestance with inward block with the right hand, then punch with the left switching to a hard bow. Then back to horse stance with a second inward block with the right hand.

3 Repeat 2 with the right step back and left inward, right punch, left inward block

Hard Bow Stance
Notice the straight back leg, the rear heel is down.
Note that the Body is vertical, not leaning forward

4 look left, outward, punch, outward

5 outward, punch, outward,

6 look over your left shoulder, turn, up, punch, upward block

7 upward block, punch, upward block

8 look right, right downward block, punch, block

9 downward block, punch,

10 turn, face front saying aheasa going into deep horse stance stand up, raise fist, cover fist, step right to shoulder length apart and punch forward into position, aheasa