Please take a look at my bibliography if you do not see a proper reference to a post.

When you begin to feel like you are a tough guy, a warrior, a master of the martial arts or that you have lived a tough life, just take a moment and get some perspective with the following:


I've stopped knives that were coming to disembowel me

I've clawed for my gun while bullets ripped past me

I've dodged as someone tried to put an ax in my skull

I've fought screaming steel and left rubber on the road to avoid death

I've clawed broken glass out of my body after their opening attack failed

I've spit blood and body parts and broke strangle holds before gouging eyes

I've charged into fires, fought through blizzards and run from tornados

I've survived being hunted by gangs, killers and contract killers

The streets were my home, I hunted in the night and was hunted in turn


Please don't brag to me that you're a survivor because someone hit you. And don't tell me how 'tough' you are because of your training. As much as I've been through I know people who have survived much, much worse. - Marc MacYoung

WARNING, CAVEAT AND NOTE

The postings on this blog are my interpretation of readings, studies and experiences therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. The content surrounding the extracts of books, see bibliography on this blog site, are also mine and mine alone therefore errors and omissions are also mine and mine alone and therefore why I highly recommended one read, study, research and fact find the material for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter. See the bibliography for information on the books.


Note: I will endevor to provide a bibliography and italicize any direct quotes from the materials I use for this blog. If there are mistakes, errors, and/or omissions, I take full responsibility for them as they are mine and mine alone. If you find any mistakes, errors, and/or omissions please comment and let me know along with the correct information and/or sources.

Hard Lines [Embusen 演武線]


That line used in martial arts as a guide in kata practice. Embusen is the line or pattern that a kata follows in its performance. It is the tool that teaches proper movement, stance, kamae, how stances and movement apply to the particular tactic/technique applied in any given situation or action. The embusen line is different for each kata. It has a start point and end point. It is a blueprint for kata practice. 

- act, perform, play
- martial, manly, strong, mighty, brave, power of fighting
- a line, wire, a lane, a track, a figure, a level

The embusen is often thought of as a static line that does not move once the kata begins. In the shu stage of the shu-ha-ri that may be true. It is best if something static is provided for beginner/novice practitioners. Even the few who enter the "ha and ri" stages of practice still consider the embusen as a stationery or static line followed religiously - that is just not accurate.

As a practitioner enters into the "ha" and "ri" stages the embusen moves and is considered much like kamae, i.e. not a particular or static stance but something more fluid and transitional. This is true of the embusen line in kata as well.

Take a look at the following graphic of the standard then the 45 degree variations of the embusen for Naihanchi kata of Isshinryu. As you enter the "ha" and "ri" stages of training you have to visualize and implement the fact that once you start something you will invariably have to make adjustments in the heat of battle. This variation practice gets you thinking and working with such variations with kata and with drills derived from kihon and kata. Once you begin thinking and acting on such variations you will find interesting and beneficial results from kata, etc. practices. 

The embusen is also meant to be subjected to the requirements of karate practices through things like the "shu-ha-ri" philosophies, etc. It is that which makes the difference between a physiokinetic practice and the full wholehearted practice we should achieve as would be insinuated by things like the gokui, shu-ha-ri and shin-gi-tai, etc.

Click for larger view.
Think of this practice like drills, i.e. where uke or tori suddenly change the strategies and tactics. Once you begin with one direction be prepared to change it dynamically to achieve your goals and strategies. 

2 comments:

Sue Wharton said...

Interesting that you've written about embusen, I'm in the middle of an art project based on the embusen of the pinan katas! Perhaps I'll post my art work when it's finished.

Charles James said...

Hi, Sue: I would be interested in seeing your art work on the embusen of the pinan kata's.