Saturday, 6 March 2010

Techniques and principles

Shorinji Kempo ended up being a thoughtful, but tiring and (for my wrists) painful lesson. It was interesting as sensei TO took us through a series of fundamental techniques but executing them in a slightly different manner. Sometimes this can lead to confusion as the new ideas might clash somewhat with the official technique. This time it seemed different though and I felt we were exploring the core principles in each technique rather than walking through the movements step by step. For example gyaku gote (the mother technique) can be executed against most people by following a series of steps: take preparation stance, feel for the off balance, take up wrist, release, press down on back of hand and turn. That's pretty much how a beginner might learn it. Last lesson sensei TO emphasised more the result which was needed: attacker needs to be dispatched to the floor in this direction. It was much more instructive than this but we certainly had food for thought and were less concerned about the 'mechanics' and more about the feeling which is also an important aspect in learning martial arts techniques.

Gyaku gote-the mother technique.

Okuri gote-the tough nut to crack...

Both killers on the wrists.


Prof. Guilherme Fauque said...

I love Shorinji Kempo, but really... my wrists hurts... lol

Come to know my blog about Shorinji Kempo and martial arts in general.

Ikigai said...

Great post - I'm actually a big 'feeling' guy. A lot of times when I teach I will show a few specifics, but then open up the time for students to try different angles, and to fail.

The more trial and error, the more people will begin to understand why something works instead of just the basic step-by-numbers of a given technique.


Littlefair said...

I agree Matt, but....
When starting with Shorinji Kempo techniques I found it really useful to learn the moves by 'numbers' as it seemed so impenetrable to me! I just needed for someone to say: "foot here, arm there, twist, turn".

It's only now after nearly 4 years that I can feel confident enough to start 'feeling'. Of course I was feeling long ago but only in a constructed and formulaic way. I suppose different people learn in different ways.

In essence though you're right in that in order for the technique to ultimately work it needs this core 'feeling' in the practitioner. I think this is often left out of a lot of syllabi which means the art form suffers as a consequence.

Keep on rockin'.