From conventional Kumite to free Kumite:
Here is the second part of the report of the internship with Johnny Gence Sensei which took place in my club, at the Langres Dojo the 07 / 04 / 2013.
I asked Johnny to do an internship geared towards the fight, and he built the program as follows:
In the morning : Kata - Bunkai. You will tell me: "What is the relationship with the fight? And yet, believe me, we fought well. I invite you to read the report and watch the video of the bunkai.
And for those who would still have a doubt about the relationship with the fight, here is what Johnny would answer them:
"For the bunkai, I mostly worked on things that require that the movement is done properly in terms of placement and structure for it to work, in short work its strength to put the other to the trouble. Moreover, I imposed a rhythm story to put them in the movement. (See Johnny on Kwoon Info)
But let's move on to the afternoon and kumite:
I will not dwell on this children's course except to say that once again the little ones were delighted to work with Sensei Johnny Gence who knows how to put themselves at their level and their level to explain them principles sometimes complicated.
I focused, for the group of young people, more on the sports side but working on the timing, the reaction time etc. then applicable to any type of confrontation. (See Johnny on Kwoon Info)
Johnny's pedagogy is well known, but in front of children I promise you it's really something. They literally drink his words and above all he knows how to make them understand and feel what karate.
Toward 15h30 we resumed the internship with adults to work the Kumite. We feasted!
From conventional Kumite to free Kumite:
Johnny followed to the letter the path announced in the title starting with kumite the most conventional (Gohon Kumite) to take us along the exercises to the free Kumite or at least, as he says himself: « ... in total uncertainty zone.«
So we started (Wow, I'm going to literature!) By the most conventional kumite, the Gohon Kumite.
The Gohon Kumite is a conventional assault on 5 steps and 5 identical attacks. It's like we're doingIppon Kumite but reproduces 5 once and with a counterattack only on the last attack.
But it's true, if we practice the Gohon Kumite in a strictly conventional way where everyone knows the attack, the level, the rhythm ... this work quickly becomes repetitive and boring. But it is a necessary evil.
To make the work more attractive, Johnny will withdraw as and when conventions.
Remove conventions or add unknowns:
For exampleTori changes pace at his convenience, so Uke does not work repetitively anymore but has to wait for Tori to start. The forbidding side of the Gohon Kumite is already much less present and Uke must remain vigilant (Zanshin) throughout the work.
Then Johnny will add a new uncertainty by allowing Uke to counter-attack whenever he wants and Tori will have to block this counterattack. For Tori it gets a lot complicated because instead of doing his 5 attacks in a repetitive way by not thinking almost and with a certain serenity, he will have to remain attentive and be responsive because he does not know when she Uke counter attack.
This work improves Zanshin (alertness) and responsiveness by disrupting Tori's state of mind. Indeed, in the classic Gohon Kumite, Tori only focuses on his attack a bit as if he was doing Kihon. There he must both make his attack perfectly, but must remain vigilant against his opponent who can fight back at any time.
We went then to Kumite Sambon. It is a conventional kumite close to Gohon kumite but on 3 not instead of 5. So in the same way, with Sambon Kumite we can withdraw conventions, or add unknowns in order to work Zanshin and reactivity.
By means of modifications, Johnny made us Kumite Sambon very particular :
Firstly, Tori makes three different attacks (ex: Oizuki Jodan, Oizuki chudan, Maegeri chudan) so even though Uke knows Tori's attacks in advance, he has to think between each technique, it's a lot less repetitive. Then Johnny adds handicaps to Uke. For example by forcing him to block only with the left hand.
In fact Johnny showed us only examples, but we can go on almost infinitely.
The principle is quite simple : we start from conventional work and as we master, we remove conventions, or we add unknowns or handicaps to get closer to the total uncertainty zone, Free Kumite.
We will then work on a single step (Ippon Kumite), always with this same principle of subtracting this or that convention in order to increase as and when uncertainties for both Uke, but also for Tori.
An interesting job was for example for Uke not to block or counter, but only to make only one displacement. Back, on the side, in rotation ... it does not matter, what counts is that there is only one movement, ie one foot that moves. This work seems quite simple, but Johnny will explain in the video that we should not anticipate too much because otherwise we can be trapped by the attack. You really have to try to move according to the technique of Tori.
After this exercise, Johnny chained on an absorption work : Uke takes a step back by absorbing the technique and then immediately. We talk about absorption because Uke does not move back a lot, but on the contrary, you have to keep your body forward. It's more a change of guard. The front leg passes on the back, but do not come crashing backwards in Kokutsubut rather stay ahead in Zenkustu for the counter. When the leg is backed up, there is a change of guard, the body fades and "absorbs" Tori's attack, it's a little as if the body was wrapping around the attack to chain immediately against as soon as the back foot touches the ground.
We did this exercise while working at 5 : One of us was in the center, then turned to an opponent. It triggers the attack, you had to absorb then hit, then change your opponent and so on. It was really interesting to do.
Johnny made us a demonstration (I put on the video), it's fun. What impressed me about Johnny's work is that it feels like he's idling, there's no rush, everything is fluid ...
We finished with a fairly simple but very interesting work to work Zanshin and responsiveness : You stand face to face on guard, Tori must do Gyaku Zuki and Uke must counter it, also in Gyaku Zuki, before Tori touches him. That's what we call Sen-no-sen or attack in the attack. This work will improve timing, responsiveness, speed of execution and Zanshin. Johnny advises to do this a few minutes early in class to really get into the bath ... and in the skin of a Karateka.
What to remember from this internship is that the Conventional kumite is a base on which we can rely to make a work more and more close to the Free Kumite. It suffices for that to modify the conventions in order to take Uke and Tori to areas increasingly close to total uncertainty.
I have prepared a video of the course. You will find all the phases I just described and the demonstrations of Johnny.
That's it, on the 3 hours, I tried to sort out the most interesting passages, I hope you enjoyed.
Leave me a comment below, thank you!
See you soon,
"How to succeed your grade passes"