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 Post subject: Seisan - Jump To It
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:59 pm 
The creation of the five bridge kata which were added to the original Sanchin, Seisan and Sanseiryu is well documented in books and websites. I really expect that degree of validation throughout the style!

The implementation of the Kumite and Bunkai is less known.

And it's one of those held close matters about the changes to Seisan and Sanseiryu. I've seen on one of the Summer Camp videos Jimmy Maloney from Canada perform his Sanseiryu. It's a version of the Kata that's not widely performed, the same for Toyama Sensei's Old Style.

But what about Seisan? Where and when did the addition of the sword come into play? Isn't the jump a Sai technique? Who in their right mind would confront an assailant with a sword? Wasn't the sword and the pipe or club added in the early 1950's for drama? I am told they were features added by Uechi Kanei Sensei in his efforts to gain greater acceptance of Uechi Ryu by the Japanese.

Are there sources for these modifications? Was the kata changed or only the Bunkai? I certainly don't object to changes over time but I sure would like to know the drum beat that's thumping on the jump :wink:


Last edited by Guest on Sat Jul 16, 2005 3:01 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Seisan - Jump To It
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 6:30 pm 
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John Giacoletti wrote:
Who in their right mind would confront an assailant with a sword?


Likely there were times when someone might not have had a choice but take on someone with a sword, say when cornered or a loved one is threatened, however jumping back to give them a chance to reset and take another good swing at you does not seem the best way to do it.

I have seen similar moves in sai kata, so maybe that is an explanation. I like Bill's interpretation that someone is doing a low circular sweep (iron broom) and you jump out of the way of the sweep and then come down on them before they recover.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 6:53 pm 
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Frankly to me the jumpback seems overkill for use defending against a single technique, like a sword strike or even the iron broom (the hand movements don't relate to defending against an iron broom sweep). You do a lot of different motions with arms and legs during the jumpback. It really seems that you are responding to several simultaneous attacks...maybe a low attack from the front, high bo strike from your front-right, and low bo strike from your front-left...assuming your arms are conditioned enough and your technique skilled enough for you to withstand and dissapate the force of bo strikes. In that case then the elbow, backfist, and shoken might represent counterattacks to multiple opponents.

Envision three people attacking from the front, you deal with the three attacks and then quickly jump into the middle of them and try to take them out quickly.

I haven't played around with this on the floor, so I simply throw it out as something to think about at this point.

But such scenarios seem to work in the movies. :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 7:04 pm 
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There's also a grappling bunkai to the Seisan "jump." In Richmond now I have my advanced students do half a dozen "alternate" bunkai to key techniques in the Seisan Bunkai. And frankly I like mine better than the vanilla version. It almost makes you wonder if maybe the Oki's were hiding some of the secret sauce. :wink:

FYI, I don't think the original Seisan "jump" was a jump. But no matter... I practice various versions of that move from crane forms to weapon forms. It's all good. It's a common body movement used often in martial arts.

- Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 7:25 pm 
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Bill Glasheen wrote:
I practice various versions of that move from crane forms to weapon forms. It's all good. It's a common body movement used often in martial arts.

- Bill


So common that I found a figurine of a karate-ka in the jump-back position. If I think about it I'll take a picture and send to you Bill.

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 Post subject: I'm not so sure...
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 7:52 pm 
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I'm not so sure that the jump back and the block are for multiple assailents. In order to get to the heart of this issue we need some input from someone who is a weapons expert, and I don't just mean a modern expert, but someone schooled what it was like to fight with swords historically. I could easily see someone with a sword going for the leg and transitioning smoothly and quickly to an overhead technique. There are several chinks in ancient Japanese armor (and European armor for that matter), all near the joints.

Just some thoughts....

I recently bought a book on Bo kata defense and the authors spends a lot of time interpreting various bo kata in the context of pre-gunpowder combat. I find myself going "AHA!" almost every page. The other interesting thing the author does is talk about how and why you would learn to take on a guy with a sword/bo/mace/etc. when you are unarmed. Broken weapons, broken arms, and losing your weapon are common in the heat of a long battle. Why take on a guy with a sword unarmed? Because you are surrounded with other bad guys and good guys all fighing with weapons. Sooner or later you are going to need to re-arm yourself or you will die very quickly.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 7:58 pm 
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Ever watched cranes fight?

...sweep in low, when the other crane attacks, sweep out high, then drop and sweep in back low knocking the other crane off balance with a flurry of attacks.

it is the only low/high/low sequence. Others are high->low or low>high or low->low.

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 Post subject: Re: I'm not so sure...
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 8:06 pm 
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chewy wrote:
There are several chinks in ancient Japanese armor (and European armor for that matter), all near the joints.


Think Chinese armor and sword techniques though. Seisan originally came from China so for any interpretation of original intent we should consider what Chinese martial artists were encountering around 1900.

I'm not sure much armor was still in use in China by that time. We would need to be looking at Taiqiquan/Shaolin sword techniques rather than those of the Samurai to consider how it might be a defense against a swordsperson.

Assuming of course that our Seisan wasn't modified too much after it left China. There is always the possibility that it was modified for countering Okinawan/Japanese techniques along the way.

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Last edited by Glenn on Fri Jul 15, 2005 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 8:11 pm 
We've got these really big Sandhill cranes in our neighborhood that are always going at it. I've been trying forever to catch them on video going at it like what Dana is talking about but have never been able too. it is just amazing to see which one gets the biggest air because thats the one that comes down on top of the other. Great fights!

As to the Seisan Jump, I used to do a bankai really well that you shoot in and trap the opponents arm by hooking it around the shoulder with the "salute". You then jump behind him, turning him as you go, and using the "Gedan Barai", smash his head into your knee. It works well once you get the timing down and looks really cool. Alot better then the "stick jump". I would have done it on video but it was "forbidden".

Another cool technique is a simple "body slam". But you need a strong back to do it. You rush in, just like the kata and hook the inner leg/crotch with your "salute" and use the gedan barai to pull the upper body down (grab the head or shoulder or anything up top). If you got the back for it, then you lift straight up with your back. I can get a 200lb male up on my shoulder. Use the jump, not to jump, but to drop the uke either over your knee (atomic knee drop) or just drive him head first into the floor.

Screw that sword thing... do something cool!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 8:13 pm 
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Just to add to Glenn's thoughts...

A crane form I learned from a Chinese has a "Seisan" jump in it. Only it's jumping back into a crouched posture - down on one knee rather than up on one leg.

No two of these postures I have learned are exactly alike. And yet when you consider the context, the manifestation makes perfect sense.

The essence of the posture has many elements, and enough study of martial arts will show you that there's nothing magic about any one mix of the parts. And enough creative bunkai will teach you that's there's nothing magic about the intra-body timing of the movement. The more variants you learn, the more you appreciate the essence of the human movement involved.

- Bill


Last edited by Bill Glasheen on Fri Jul 15, 2005 8:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 8:13 pm 
Oh yeah, as to the first bankai, once you've smashed the head into the knee, you can then follow through with a variation of the elbow strike by doing an Irimi Nagi or Judo throw. Your already in a good position for it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 8:28 pm 
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Quote:
Who in their right mind would confront an assailant with a sword?
A MS-13 guy comes out of a doorway that you are passing swinging a machete?

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Last edited by MikeK on Fri Jul 15, 2005 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 8:48 pm 
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Shorin Ryu Seisan apparently has a jumpback in it too. According to legend, Chotoku Kyan (1870-1945) did that Seisan jump backwards from a barge up onto a bridge during his prime.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 2:34 am 
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Quote:
Shorin Ryu Seisan apparently has a jumpback in it too. According to legend, Chotoku Kyan (1870-1945) did that Seisan jump backwards from a barge up onto a bridge during his prime.


Would have made a heck of a professional basketball player. :lol:

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 Post subject: Whoa .....
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 2:57 am 
Morphed beyond recognition, guys... and girl :)

I can't say that I have seen Cranes fight or even mate. The pickings of frogs and minnows is too rich here in Florida for there to be combat over food supply. But I have seen them lift off vertically when a grand ole bull gator gets inquisitive :wink: Gators are mean ... slashing with the tail, crushing with the jaws.

Was there initially a jump in Seisan and Seisan Bunkai?

Glasheen Sensei thinks not:

Quote:
FYI, I don't think the original Seisan "jump" was a jump



If not, when and who made the alteration? How, when did the sword and the club in the Bunkai come into play?

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