(Issue 3: December/January 1997-98)
Part One: Ryushan Dai
For those who are familiar with the Ryushan (Ryusan) kata and attended the U. S. Chito-kai Hombu clinic by Kyoshi Patrick McCarthy on November 29, 1997 and learned the Dai version of Ryushan: I am positive that you were very impressed with the more effective self defense applications the Dai version has over the more basic Sho version. I wish to encourage those advanced students who attended the clinic to:
#1. Continue to practice the kata to the best of your ability.
#2. To not instruct others who did not attend the clinic in the movements of Ryushan Dai, a kata which you have not perfected yet.
Part Two: Natural Movement in Kata to Increase Effectiveness
Karate kata movements and actions should be natural, utilizing the proper expansion and contraction of various parts of the body (shoulders, arms, legs, etc) as the student performs the various techniques of blocking, striking, shifting, punching, kicking, throwing and twisting and attacking the opponents body. Many of the modern kata have been so sanitized that meaningful self defense applications are limited if not totally impossible.
Use of the leg muscles to produce a more effective self defense technique should be considered when practicing specific movements in some kata. Potsai, Kusanku-dai, Chinto, Ryushan-dai, and Arakaki Seisan are a few examples. During the year of 1998, all instructors of all dojo of the United States Chito-kai are to make every effort to assure that all students are familiar with each kata in detail so that the student will be able to demonstrate several self defense variations for each movement of the kata they are familiar with. If you as an instructor are not able to impart such instruction, it is suggested that you make arrangements to attend "Summer Camp 98' in August. Most temporary (2yr) instructor certificates need to be upgraded and this will be done at Summer Camp 98.
Proper utilization of leg muscles depends upon proper stance, foot angle and the ability to smoothly interface the technique into the kata at the proper time and location.
Hip vibration must also be utilized to enhance the power potential of many movements in kata. In movement #27 of Potsai (where the double head block is performed) both hip vibration and hip movement, upward and downward are utilized which makes this simple movement much more effective. This motion becomes a complex action which should pose little or no problems for a properly trained karate-ka. This principle will be taught throughout 1998 at all clinics and camps.
William J. Dometrich, Kyoshi
Founder and Chief Instructor
United States Chito-ryu Karate Federation