Saturday, June 12, 2010

The IOGKF 2010 Miyagi Chojun Festival and Goju-Ryu

Last week, there was a big Gasshuku at my old dojo in Spokane. I knew about it for a few months now. However, I didn't go because it would have been too expensive and because of school. I thought it would have been cool because I would have liked to go to back into my roots and meet Higaonna Sensei. I would have loved to go to that class that Chris Charnos taught. I would have loved to roll with him too. Sensei Villa wrote big article about the Gasshuku for the IOGKF newsletter. It was really interesting to read. Some of the videos were intresting to watch too. However, reading and watching really made me glad that I'm in BJJ now. BJJ is so much a different art than Goju-Ryu. Goju-Ryu is all about stances, basics, kata, and bunkai. That's it. There's hardly sparring at all. Even Sensei said that they hardly practice Iri Kumi.

Look at my comments at the end of the video on Youtube. I wasn't really that impressed at first. I thought they were showing the drill to people who participated in the Gasshuku, not the general public. I liked the takedowns and kicks after watching stopping and starting it every second. It's looks weird that they aren't protecting their heads. I know that some fights are like that though, like Smoker Bouts.

When Sensei Higaonna first came to Spokane, he taught the kids class for Sensei Villa. In this video, you can see my Sensei and the dojo that I trained in. I'm very happy that I had an opportunity to train there. Sensei Villa is really nice.

I liked watching the other videos in the newsletter because in one of them, I saw Sensei running across the screen one way and the other. I found another video that shows what a testing looks like. Seeing these poor people still training while being really tired reminded of Sensei Chinen's Gasshuku in Spokane a couple years ago. You need to skip the first part of it though.

I'm not trying to bash Goju-Ryu. I just think that BJJ is more applicable for fighting than Goju-Ryu. One sees it all the time in UFC. You don't see Goju-Ryu. I'd much rather roll than do kata. I think that Goju-Ryu needs to have more full resistant sparring. I thankful that I know how to kick and punch correctly. However, I'm really bad at timing because we never sparred. I don't know what stances are all about. One will not use all of those stances in fighting or real life. They need to teach to kick with the calf instead of the top of the foot. They should get rid of that basic down block because one cannot block kicks with their arms. If the block is only used to catch an incoming leg, teach it that way instead of a block.


ZenHG said...

Okay. A few things here. It is not the art, it is the teacher, and most times the Teacher is just following standards of the organization.
There are many different types of Goju Ryu, of which you have experienced one (Chinen and Higaonna practice the same, with a few technical differences).

Also, most people that Teach Kata do not really know how to Teach Kata - most people think that 'Kata' is just the solo-dance stuff and it is not.
If you do not think that these stances are not used in fighting, then you have not paid close enough attention to UFC or watched very many fight videos. ;)
The stances are there, they are just transitional and should be thought of more as 'footwork' rather than stances, similar to Boxing.
Boxing uses those stances when they transition, and old-style boxing that included grappling also used Shiko Dachi, Hachiji Dachi, ect.
BJJ uses Zenkutsu Dachi in double-leg takedowns when rushing in and the guard is a variation of Shiko-Dachi on the ground, just like the Mount.
When you use your feet to control the hips at a distance the mechanics are the same as Sanchin Dachi.
This is just for starters on the ground, stand-up is much more obvious, even in MMA.
Let's not forget to mention that Bas Rutten is a Kyokushin Black Belt and Kyokushin is a spin-off of Goju Ryu, there is also Lyoto Machida who is a Shotokan Practitioner in addition to BJJ.
There are actually quite a few successful Karateka in UFC and, if you are wondering about the street, just look up a video on youtube about a black man in Vancouver BC who fended off a ractist attack from several assailants using Karate. ;)

If you are still in doubt about Karate then I suggest you need to look up Kris Wilder, check out his work, and maybe visit his Dojo in West Seattle sometime, or even set up a seminar in your area.
The Karate you experienced is very different, their way is very different from what you have experienced.
You have not experienced all there is to know about Goju Ryu, so you can only speak for your experience of IOGKF and your thoughts on street application are theoretical, pay close attention and your mind will see through the fog.

Lizzie said...

I know that there are many types of Goju-Ryu out there. That's the same thing with BJJ. I can only talk about my experience with Goju-Ryu. I always thought that Chinen and Higaonna practiced two different styles because of the differences in the kata, stances, and the way they train in general.

I can see that kata, bunkai, and even stances can lead to the ground work for an actual fight. It's like in BJJ, we take an hour or two to learn techniques. Then, we eventually learn how to put those techniques to use. If there are people who teach Goju-Ryu like that, I'm all for that. I think that active resistance is the most important thing for any type of martial art. I'm just don't like how my style of Goju-Ryu was all set up and static.

Let the stances be fluid instead of static. That's a really good observation where one uses Zenkutsu dachi for a double leg takedown. I guess that you can say that the guard is a form of shiko dachi. However, the guard is way more fluid. I like how you applied sanchin dachi. However, sanchin dachi is with the feet turned in instead of out.

Is there a need to emphasize footwork when standing up? With BJJ, I hardly work on standup. I predominantly use a fighting stance when standing up. You making correlations with the stances when I'm on the ground. There are so many different leg positions when on the ground, I don't think one has to name them. I think one can just apply a certain leg position the the need arrives. They are always changing in response to the opponent. So, why try to name the static ones???

Again, I'm saying that active resistance is the make or break point of any martial art. I didn't get that much of it when the style of Goju-Ryu which I learned. If there is a style of Goju-Ryu that teaches students to pull off kata techniques, takedowns, and even throws when a person is actively resisting them, I'm all for that. I just didn't find out about resistance until after I started training in BJJ.

ZenHG said...

This is the case with most people. Actually Sanchin Dachi is not with the feet turned inward, depending on who you ask.
It doesn't matter, the PRINCIPLE is the same in the motion, in one instance you are standing, in another, you are on your back.

More fluid? Yes, from your perspective, but you have never met my perspective. ;)
It usually hurts A LOT when you first meet it, even through a phone book.
You want to know about full-on application? The window of the old West Seattle Dojo was broken because Ito threw a student through it!
Kris Wilder rattled my spine and nearly knocked me out with Saifa! He also nearly broke my arm with Saifa!
One quick pop, that would have been it.
I almost broke my friend Guy's arm with the same move, seconds after learning it, and it was EASY to apply because the focus was on the PRINCIPLE rather than correct technique.

I have been tossed, turned, smashed, poked, jammed, twisted, and also taught the MECHANICS of doing the same.
Whichever Kata, it doesn't matter, no Kata, that also doesn't matter; Kata refers to MECHANICS, the PRINCIPLE, not some preset pattern that you do in the air!