Unsu (雲手), literally “cloud hands”, is the most advanced kata found in the Shotokan,
Shito-Ryu and IsshinShorinji Ryu karate styles.
Bunkai (分解?), literally meaning “analysis” or “disassembly”, is a term used in Japanese martial arts referring to the application of fighting techniques extracted from the moves of a “form” (kata). As seen in the video above Bunkai is usually performed with a partner or a group which execute predefined attacks, and the student performing the kata responds with defenses, counterattacks, or other actions, based on a part of the kata.
Produced Jeff Langlois
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We’re always looking for creative ways people are catching Tricking on film and we were excited to see the latest video from the Swiss Tricks crew. Not only did they hit up some crazy spots in switzerland last summer they shot the entire sampler in 400 frames per second. So seeing the kicks, tricks and combos in slow motion made our top video list this week.
We caught up with Swiss Tricks Member Micha Hurni to find out a little more about how he got started Tricking and the back story on their crew.
Hi I’m Micha Hurni, I’m 33 years old and live in Berne, Switzerland.
Hyper: When did you start tricking?
Micha: I started tricking back in 1997 after seeing a Performance on TV of the “good old” West Coast Action Team in Paris. Yes, it seems like a long time ago, I might be a tricking dinosaur. Ha!
Hyper: Do you have a Traditional Martial Arts Background?
Micha: Yes, my Martial Arts background is Taekwondo which I trained from 1991 to 2006.
Now my style is Mashed up with some capoeira, breakdance, Wushu, and Freestyle.
Hyper: Tell us about your Crew “SwissTricks”
Micha: Swisstricks is a martial arts acrobatics show team from Berne, Switzerland, consisting of martial artists, as well as freestyle artists. The team combines various martial arts and break dance styles elements with acrobatics. We combine all of these elements and wrap them up in an explosive performance show and and add in a hint of humor. Since the about 2003, we have been doing shows around Switzerland and abroad.
We all share the passion of Tricking, and enjoy all the moments we can travel and perform together. We’re really like a small family!
Hyper: That’s awesome glad to hear you are all passionate about what you do. So you probably had fun shooting this video while getting to travel this summer?
Micha: Yea, this Video was mainly Shot during a 7 Days Trip with two friends through Switzerland in August.
It’s the first part of 3 Tricking-Movie Projects we planned to do during these days.
Hyper: What type of Camera did you use for it?
Micha: We shot it with the a Sony FS700 and shot it 400 frames per second.
Hyper: Anything final words?
Micha: Enjoy the video, we really tried to capture the beauty and variety of this country, and tricking of course. Don’t try this at home! Come to Switzerland instead! Oh, and try to ignore the facial expressions in the video. Ha!
Yasutsune “Ankoh” Itosu (1830-1915) was born in Shuri. Itosu was a low-rank Okinawan samurai who was small in stature and an introvert as a child.
Master Itosu began his training in Tode (precursor to modern day Karate) under the direction of the famous Sokon Matsumura. He also studied Tomari-Te under Kosaku Matsumura.
Itosu was the first to teach karate in the Okinawan Dai Ichi Junior high school in 1901 and is credited for creating the Pinan (peaceful mind) kata (also known as Heian). After learning the formal kata exercise, Kusanku, he created the Pinan kata as segmented learning steps for students because he felt that the longer and more complex kata were too difficult for younger students. Besides the five Pinan kata, Itosu is also credited for taking the large Naihanchi kata (Tekki in Japanese Karate) and breaking them down into three parts, all of which are still being practiced to this day – they are Naihanchi Shodan, Naihanchi Nidan and Naihanchi Sandan.
In 1908, Itosu wrote a letter called the “Ten Precepts of Karate” (also known as Tode Jukun). The purpose of this was to draw the attention of the Prefectural Educational Department to encourage the introduction of Karate to all Okinawan schools, including those on the Japanese mainland. The letter reads (paraphrased):
“Karate did not develop from Buddhism or Confucianism. In the past the Shorin-ryu school and the Shorei-ryu school were brought to Okinawa from China. Both of these schools have strong points, which I will now mention before there are too many changes:
1. Karate practice should be used as a means of self-defense and in order to protect one’s parents and loved ones. It should be used to improve your health and should not be used for your own selfish interests or to deliberately hurt someone.
2. The purpose of Karate is to train the human body to become as hard as rock and as strong as iron (steel). To effectively develop the hands and feet to be used as spears or arrows, and to develop a strong spirit and brave heart through continuous practice. If Karate were introduced at the elementary school level, the children would be well prepared for the military in the future. Both the First Duke of Wellington and Napoleon discussed the concept of “tomorrow’s victory can come from today’s playgrounds”.
3. Karate is not learned over a brief period of time. To understand Karate more fully, one should practice seriously everyday for at least three or four years.
4. In Karate the hands and feet should be trained on the ‘makiwara’ by striking it about one or two hundred times. This can be achieved by dropping or relaxing (without tension) the shoulders. Open your lungs (inhale deeply) without raising the shoulders, take hold of your strength (hold your breath briefly), grip the ground with your feet and sink your intrinsic energy (Ki, Chi, Internal Life Force) to your lower abdomen (Tanden).
5. Karate should be practiced with the proper stances executed by keeping the back straight, lowering the shoulders, allowing the strength to develop in the legs, positioning the feet firmly on the ground and delivering the Ki through the tanden, while keeping the upper and lower parts connected throughout the movement.
6. Karate techniques should be practiced repeatedly over and over a great number of times. The correct explanation (Bunkai) of the techniques should be learned and then properly applied to the given circumstances.
7. Karate practitioners should decide whether the emphasis is on purely physical fitness training or only the practical use of the body.
8. Karate should be practiced with great intensity and the concept of always being prepared to defend your self, as if on the field of battle.
9. Karate should be practiced correctly and to develop the proper strength of technique. Do not over exert your self or over do it.
10. Those who have previously mastered Karate have lived to an old age. This was achieved because Karate helps in the development of muscles and bones, helps the digestive organs, and improves the circulation of blood. Therefore, Karate should be introduced into the physical education classes and practiced from the elementary school level onwards.”
Itosu’s style of Karate would later be coined as Shorin-Ryu – a name used to pay hommage to its Chinese roots and the Shaolin Temple (the kanji for “Shorin” translates to “Shaolin”). During Itosu’s time, he was the primary instructor to many famous karateka who would eventually create their own styles and spread the art to what we know of it today. Some of his famous students include Gichin Funakoshi (founder of Shotokan), Kenwa Mabuni (founder of Shito-Ryu), Chosin Chibana (founder of Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu), Chotoku Kyan (founder of Shobayashi Shorin-Ryu) and Choki Motobu (famous fighter from the ‘golden era’ of Karate).
Prior to 2006, there was no photo of Master Itosu and only hand-drawn facsimiles were produced. The picture shown is the ONLY legitimate photo of Itosu available. The photo was made available by Master Kinjo Hiroshi, whose instructor, Chomo Hanashiro was a direct student under Itosu.
Although Itosu did not create Karate himself, he is credited for the widespread development of the current art that many practice today. The format and renditions of many popular kata practiced today such as Kusanku, Chinto, Gojushiho and Bassai all adhere to the original teachings of Itosu. For his contribution to the time-honored tradition that millions of people practice globally, we show our sincerest gratitude, respect and appreciation.
A Mini Essay on Martin Luther King Jr. By Jordan Ehrlich, Director of Hyper Films Division
I think about him pretty much every day. Yes, seriously.
I think about the man he was and I think about the man he continually strived to be. A man greater than most, yet still deeply flawed. I think of him as a beacon, illuminating the best in us… always reminding us of the depths of our own human self-potential and to live with what he called ‘the urgency of now.’
MLK Jr. would often point to Gandhi as this illuminating beacon in his own life. Yet, as far as I can tell, it wasn’t just because of Gandhi’s staunch advocacy of non-violence and passive resistance, but rather the sheer fact that Gandhi lived every single day with the strength and force of his ideals creating the world he envisioned by literally being that change. These ideals weren’t something he just talked or wrote about. Gandhi lived it with little care towards money or fear of death. Qualities certainly apparent in MLK Jr.’s actions.
However, as I look back on these noble qualities, I can’t help but think that this still isn’t the take away. That this still isn’t the main lesson for us in our modern day lives.
It is something more subtle and perhaps more useful. It is the fact that beyond all their amazing accomplishments, their unparallel intellect and vast education they didn’t pretend to know everything with over zealous confidence. Instead, they were constantly opening themselves to new ideas and trying to understand other people and the universe around them. The quickest example of this is to just read the title of Gandhi’s autobiography, “The Story of My Experiments with Truth” or the influence of Buddhist and Jewish scholars on MLK Jr.’s thoughts and actions.
And while both leaders surly got upset or frustrated along the way, it was rare to see or hear about any deep anger or contempt they held. A quality that not only made their personal lives that much richer, but a quality that I believe helped them be that much more successful in achieving their goals.
So, today I don’t look back at MLK Jr. or Gandhi as historical figures, but as real people like you and I, constantly learning… making human mistakes big and small. The only difference? They didn’t separate themselves from their ideals. Their Job was to live by those ideals. The means and the ends were nearly always the same.
And while I don’t dare compare myself to these men… I certainly strive in their general direction. I have dedicated my life to learning, helping, teaching, enjoying and just doing what I can to better the world around me. Not because I should or because it’s the “right” thing to do, but because I believe it is in my best interest. And perhaps more simply, because there is nothing I would rather do or could probably stand to do.
Towards this end, I have certainly fallen… over and over again… but hopefully I, and we all can and will rise up one more time creating the reality we want by the sheer force of our will powered by the conviction that we want the best of all worlds here, for ourselves and for others.
“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”-MLK Jr.
Finally, I would be remiss to leave out a quick mention of his very last endeavor. Beyond working tirelessly to end racial injustice, the war in Vietnam among a wide range of human rights issues…, the day before he was shot he gave one of the greatest speeches in history while fighting for Workers Rights in Memphis…
“That’s the question before you tonight. Not, ‘If I stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to all of the hours that I usually spend in my office every day and every week as a pastor?’ The question is not, ‘If I stop to help this man in need, what will happen to me?’ ‘If I do not stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to them?’ That’s the question.” –MLK Jr.
North American Sport Karate Assocation
First NASKA Triple Crown Event of 2013
“6A” World Tour
Ontario Convention Center
2000 E. Convention Center Way
Ontario, California 91764
To preview 3.1 Phillip Lim‘s 2013 spring/summer fashion line, the designer created a short film, “Trickers.” The film, created by Jacob Sutton, features Hyper Athlete Micah Karns & Drednt’s Jason Mello in a killer display of their Martial Arts Tricking combos. You don’t normally see intense athletics paired with high fashion but in this case it turned out great!
Grandmaster Chojun Miyagi was born on April 25,1888. He began his Karate training in Shuri-te and at the age of 14 was introduced to Kanryo Higaonna with whom he began his study of Naha-te. Like his teacher before him, because of his great natural talent and fierce determination, he progressed very rapidly. The training was severe beyond belief at times, but his work ethic and enthusiasm was unmatched by any of the other students. He studied with his teacher for 14 years before his teacher’s death in 1915. In 1915, he journeyed to Fuzhou, China, the city where his teacher had studied martial arts. On his return to Okinawa, Miyagi began to teach the martial arts out of his home in Naha and at the Okinawan Master’s Training College.
Chojun Miyagi worked hard to spread Karate throughout Okinawa and mainland Japan. He traveled frequently to mainland Japan where he was invited to teach at Kyoto University, Kansai University and Ritsumei Kan University. In 1933, Goju-Ryu Karate was the first Okinawan martial art to be registered at the Dai Nippon Butoku-Kai, the center for all martial arts in Japan. This was a milestone for Karate, as it meant it was recognized on a level with the highly respected martial arts of Japan.
The philosophy that permeates Goju-Ryu Karate-do could be seen in its most practical way by simply observing the life of Chojun Miyagi. Indeed, Chojun Miyagi’s life was a perfect expression of the spirit and philosophy of Goju-Ryu Karate- do. After the extreme devastation of the second World War, Okinawa was left in the grip of terrible poverty. Housing and food were scarce. On occasions, when Chojun Miyagi was offered food or clothing, he always refused and noted that what little he already possessed was sufficient for his needs.
Chojun Miyagi would never compromise himself. Whatever hardships he encountered in his life, his heart (mind & spirit) would never change. He always stressed that especially in the martial arts, one must always be humble. The stronger one becomes, the more that person should express their gentler side. This is the meaning of “Go” and “Ju” (Hard/Soft).
Chojun Miyagi was a strict teacher of the martial arts but he showed great affection and love for his students. He always considered the well being of his students, not only in their training, but also in their everyday lives. Miyagi always tried to guide them along the correct path. The legacy of Chojun Miyagi is much more than just technique. He has left us with a philosophy, which is profound in its simplicity; a philosophy to help us achieve truth and virtue in our lives.
Jhoon Rhee is a Southern Korean master of Taekwondo and is widely recognized as the “Father of American Taekwondo”. He is solely credited for bringing Taekwondo to America back in the 1950s. He bears a 10th Degree Black Belt in the Korean art.
Master Rhee was born in Korea on January 7, 1932 during the period of the Japanese occupation. Without his father’s knowledge, Rhee started training at the age of 13 under the tutelage of Master Nam Tae Hi in the style of Chung Do Kwan. During the 1960′s, he became friends with martial arts superstar Bruce Lee and established a friendship which benfitted both of them as martial artists.
Master Rhee is based out of Washington, D.C. but his Jhoon Rhee Institute of Taekwondo has locations globally. For many Taekwondo practitioners in the United States, Jhoon Rhee serves as the main root to the lineage tree and it is through his contribution that the the Art is widely recognized. ’Martial ballet’ is a martial art form Master Rhee created by synchronizing martial arts movements to music. Not only are his forms integrated into his Taekwondo curriculum, they also set the standard for Musical Forms competition in the Sport Martial Arts arena.
Master Rhee has many famous students including World Boxing Champion, Muhammad Ali and over 300 U.S. Senators and House Representatives also hold ranks directly under Master Rhee. His contribution was recognized by President George Bush in 1992 when he was selected to be the 721st “Daily Point of Light”. It’s also important to note that National Teacher Appreciation Day was created by him and signed by President Reagan in 1986.
As part of Hyper’s core values of respecting tradition and embracing innovation for 2013 we are starting a new section of our Blog. Respect Tradition will feature posts of the legends of Martial Arts.
Kanga “Tode” Sakukawa (1733 – 1815) was a master born in the Shuri region on the island of Okinawa. To most karate historians, he is the single most famous figure in the development of karate. He began his martial arts training under the tutelage of Peichin Takahara and at the age of 17, continued his studies in Chinese Quanfa with Kusanku, a Chinese military attache stationed in Okinawa. Sakugawa received the nickname “Tode” as he is credited for being the first teacher to use the term “tode” or ‘Chinese hand’.
From Sakugawa, classical karate-ka inherited the kata Kusanku, named after his teacher. The kata itself is one of karate’s most complex forms which contains all of the basic movements of Karate (in Shotokan, the kata is known as Kanku Dai). It is also from Sakugawa where kobudo inherited the Sakugawa bo form and globally, where karate sensei (teachers) adopted the dojo method and practices of etiquette.