|This is not uraken uchi from Saifa.|
I thought of this story when I recently came across a discussion of a posture in Sanseiru kata. In this particular posture, the kata practitioner is in front stance (zenkutsu-dachi) with the right arm up, elbow jutting forward, and the open left hand in front of the chest. Wait...I think they called it something like chudan-uke/ mae-geri/ hiji-ate. I guess you have to call it something, but the problem is that once you call it something you begin to think of it only in those terms. When you name something, you tend to put things in cubby-holes. Once you name something, you limit the "experiential" identity of the thing. This is particularly true of kata techniques. What I mean is, when you refer to a technique in kata as a hiji-ate (elbow strike), then that's the way you think of it in application or bunkai. What if the name, hiji-ate, is meant merely as a descriptor? In other words, the teacher is using a short hand method of saying, "Do the technique that looks like an elbow attack."
|This is not a kaiko-ken zuki from|
But how would you teach if you didn't have the words to describe what you were doing? That's really a rhetorical question, isn't it? Sometimes I think people in the old days used words to intentionally hide what they were doing or at least the meanings of moves in kata. Give a technique a descriptive name--a poetic name would be even better--and someone not in the know, an outsider, might pick up the kata movements but never guess their meanings, the applications.
|This is not gedan barai from|
|This is not a hiji-ate (elbow strike)|
in Shisochin kata.