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Today I ran across a very useful clip in which the Goju Ryu and Uechi Ryu versions of the Seisan kata are performed side by side, sequence by sequence:

The Seisan kata has become a major preoccupation of my practice in the last two years. It exists in practically every major school of Okinawan and Japanese karate, and may well be among the oldest of the extant kata. When I learned the Goju version, I didn’t see much resemblance to the Hangetsu form that I was familiar with; but after working through some application scenarios the commonalities began to stand out like beacons. This led me to learn the Uechi version of the kata for further comparison. I find that the Goju and Uechi versions complement each other extremely well, and the Hangetsu version seems to reflect a composite of the Naha versions. Harry Cook describes the dominant theme of the kata as “take no prisoners,” and I have to agree: circular deflections, mangling of windpipes, uppercuts, aggressive throws and stomping of knees and ankles can be mapped all over the place. If you are familiar with one version, give the others a look and see where they lead you.

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"Try to see yourself as you truly are and try to adopt what is meritorious in the work of others. As a karateka you will of course often watch others practice. When you do and you see strong points in the performance of others, try to incorporate them into your own technique. At the same time, if the trainee you are watching seems to be doing less than his best ask yourself whether you too may not be failing to practice with diligence. Each of us has good qualities and bad; the wise man seeks to emulate the good he perceives in others and avoid the bad."
Funakoshi Gichin

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