Saturday, January 24, 2015


Since things are going to get erased, a reminder: Kajukenbo's 6th Palama kata is, basically, karate's Naihanchi. Now, I haven't been able to find a nice comparison of karate's many Naihanchi variants, certainly nothing similar to Sanchin, but it is known that there are several variants of it.

To my knowledge, none of them have the particular enbusen of KJKB's, which is NOT linear.

Now, Kajukenbo was started post WWII, not the best moment for karate. Martial arts had become set, scripted. Rows of people doing big moves. While Kajukenbo challenged some of this, and has some claim to that "the original MMA/RBSD" meme popular in the States, it was still a child of its times.

Those times went on, and Kajukenbo turned its back on kata, made them superfluous, barely apt for competition, like many other karate systems. Then, the Spanish branch started changing its understanding of the techniques, of teaching, of fluidity... Yet we kept our kata.

Meanwhile, karate realized what it had lost, and started rebuilding its kata, little by little. Interviewing old, retired masters. Looking at their kata with new eyes. People in the West started recycling their half-assed knowledge, brought from people who, while pioneers, had mostly not been properly immersed in the system.

What I want to get is a Naihanchi that reflects what Kajukenbo does. Not what it did, but what we use now. Our emphases, our patterns. They're there, but they aren't. And I see some things clearly, while others are... proving reluctant to embed themselves in an existing kata.

We'll see. Take care.

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