We were continuing with chinto last night. Chinto is one of the classic katas, and is known in Shotokan circles as Gankaku.
Chinto means something like "fighting to the East" and Gankaku means "Crane on a Rock". It is characterised by the one-legged stance in the second half of the form. The kata is very fluid and compact in movement. Other kata have sweeping turns in all directions, but in chinto it is kept very tight - the embusen (floor pattern) is a straight line.
Some people say that chinto is a snake and crane form - and these animal characteristics are certainly apparent.
We were mainly concentrating on the stance work and body positioning for loading the legs to power the body into the techniques and from that perspective it certainly does have a snakelike feel to it - especially the first half of the form.
How about applications? Well, last night we focused on the first few movements, just up to and including the first turn. This set of movements is very good for receiving strikes from the inside, outside, upper and lower areas then deflecting and creating an opening for a counter attack.
We worked a few grip releases and strikes to arm points as well as application of the hammerfist, punch and a couple of throws (not forgetting the knee kick too!) A lot of variety in about four moves!
It makes for an interesting drill, and of course we did that section of the kata in mirror too - so we were able to practice on both sides exploring the entry points and angles (or gates) into the opponent's centre.