Monday, March 12, 2012
The Web We Weave...
Several of the student's that I teach have reached a level of understanding that I can (now) begin to have them work on Taika's exercise for technique motion/application.
Though not pushing them directly into performing this exercise, I am easing them into it (through some familiarization exercises). Though similar to a kata, Taika's exercise is a direct replication of technique motions applied to various (and common) examples of attack methods.
Unlike a (common) kata, the student is familiar with the motions that they are performing (while going through the exercise). They are knowledgeable about the movement's meanings. It isn't a blind exercise of motion that so many commonly practiced kata are (or become).
The development of Taika's exercise came about over years of refining it to it's final form. It is a simple alternation of practiced motions that are applicable for numerous commonly encountered assault motions.
Though the practice of kata is usually hailed as being the “practice method” for techniques, kata are really more akin to being a parts catalog, than an assembly manual. The kata motions illustrate techniques, and only occasionally how they are (or should be) performed.
What they don't always do, is illustrate the situation that the motion would/should or even could be used in. Kata motions usually display a hint of the aggressor and/or the defender for reference purposes only. It's virtually always up to the practitioner to know how to apply those motions.
This exercise guides the student through numerous defenses from frontal assaults, as well as those from the rear. None of the responses are either complicated, nor unfamiliar to the average RyuTe student.
Unlike previously taught/practiced exercises (in our classes), this routine is focused towards being performed with a higher speed (once the basic motion is understood). That doesn't imply that one can be sloppy with it's execution, only that to succeed at accomplishing the applications, they can not be successfully performed at (only) a moderate speed.
This routine was developed over (about) 10-15 years. Taika re-vamped it several times over that period until settling upon it's present form. Personally, I like the premiss of the exercise (the practice of technique motions that can be immediately applicable as practiced).
BTW, The title I chose for this article, has somewhat of a double entendre, Those familiar with the TCM drivel, will leap right on anything that sounds like it's akin to any of their stuff (hence my reasoning, LOL). Taika's exercise is called “Spider-Web” (thus the blog name). The two have absolutely nothing in common with one other, but I've heard that several of those other groups have attempted to make an association (I only wish to dispel it, and/or taunt them about it, LOL).