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Guest Post: 100% Application

This Guest Post is by my friend and senior, Sensei Pat Nakata. Nakata Sensei is the head of the Okinawa Shorin-Ryu Karate Association in Hawaii. He was a student of Chosin (Choshin) Chibana in Shorin-Ryu, and also studied Ryukyu Kobudo under Sensei Fumio Nagaishi. When he was a young man, he studied Wado-Ryu Karate under Sensei Walter Nishioka.

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In a discussion this evening, I heard a quote saying, "Judo is 100% application". What a profound statement? I have never heard of Judo or for that matter any other Martial Art described in that manner.

As I expanded my thinking, this "100% application" also applies appropriately, to many other endeavors, such as football, soccer, boxing, other Martial Arts, etc. This brings me to Kata. The real or old school Karate Kata is 100% application, where their is no guard or ready position (kamaenashi), except for the beginning and ending positions, but even these guard or ready positions can be argued as application. There is meaning for each move in the Kata, even in the transition movements. In fact, application in most instances requires action (movement). This being said, then each movement (action) in the Kata is an application (100% application).

We come to the point that there is a need to study the application itself. Is it effective? Does the application translate into the desired results? There is a need to disregard aesthetics, like "it looks better" or "it looks nicer". There is no need for efficiency, if it is not effective or attaining the desired results.

I was watching a Karate match with a Karate teacher, when one of the combatants, a Kyokushin Karate student landed a roundhouse kick flush on the opponents jaw, knocking-out the opponent. I said, "Wow, what a beautiful kick". The Karate teacher looked at me and responded, "What? That was an ugly kick (meaning that it wasn't a "classical" or picture book kick)". I answered, "It was beautiful, because it worked (beautifully)".

I think we need to assure that our practice to not only be 100% application, but also 100% effective.

Pat Nakata