Saturday, September 25, 2010

St. Louis Seminar Materials -2

The Simplified Physical Components of Karate Techniques:

Maintaining body alignment perpendicular to the floor allows for the best body control while stationary or moving. This alignment is also necessary to create the greatest floor pressure during Kime.

Stance is our connection to the floor. It provides us with stability and mobility so we can create and transfer momentum while resisting opposing forces.

Body Dynamics
We create momentum with one (or more) of these skeletal movements:
  • Vibration
  • Rotation
  • Body Shifting (center of gravity movement)
  • Pendulum

Body Unity
By not allowing our body to fragment and dissipate energy (momentum) in different directions, we can direct and concentrate our efforts towards the most powerful result.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Training Subjects:

Heian Shodan

Choku-zuki in Shizen-tai (vibration, body snap)



Have fun tomorrow (Sunday)! Sorry I won't be able to teach, but I'm sure Jon will let you sweat a lot. Work on fine technical details when you practice with me, then repeat them on your own and with Jon until they become your "new habit". Sensei Nishiyama used to tell us that we need to train AT LEAST 3 times a week, and our dojo is finally offering that recommended minimum. I and Jon are spending a lot of time and effort in providing you with a good program, and we expect you to keep training hard and to get better!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

St. Louis Seminar Materials -1

We received some written information at the seminar in St. Louis and I'd like to share with you some. They don't have any author's name, so I hope it's OK to copy/paste here.

(My comments are in Italic)

Karate Top Ten
  1. Present no kyo; mental, emotional or physical.
  2. Be prepared. The correct posture, breathing and intention are necessary.
  3. Move from your center, make no pre-movements or extra movements.
  4. Make no back motion; don't wind up or swing your limbs. (Very similar to #3.)
  5. The strongest course of action is also the fastest course of action. (I don't exactly know what this means. Perhaps if you flip "fastest" and "strongest" it makes more sense.)
  6. When the hips turn, the foot turns. (? I don't think so. It refers to Mawashi-geri maybe? But even then, I'd want to switch "hips" and "foot".)
  7. Be reluctant to ever lose the floor.
  8. Straightening the standing leg is not part of any kick. (Any "basic" kick, I may add.)
  9. Kiai is necessary.
  10. Hard training builds self-confidence, self-confidence leads to stable emotions.

...So I don't completely agree with what's presented here, and I don't think this is the absolute top 10 list. But it sure gives us some ideas to think about...!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hmm, the fact that many of you stayed for extra 30 minutes after the class tells me that the class was not hard enough... I guess more push-ups and lunges next time! :-)

Thank you for giving me a chance to train a little! Guys, you can come at me harder. I think Eiko kicked me once and Ariana scratched me a little, but I didn't really get hit. I hear those Europeans and South Americans fight rough, and I have to get ready to face them! I did like today that I could face a variety of opponents: taller ones, shorter ones, big ones, fast ones, lefty, etc., constantly one after another. We'll do it again, but it will be only 10 minutes or so since it's going to be after the evening classes.

Today's Subjects:

Warm up
Intention, No arm (focus on stance), Floor/Center/Technique

Kizami-zuki against a pad
Gyaku-zuki against a pad
Kizami Mae-geri
Kizami Mawashi-geri
Kizami-zuki ~ Gyaku-zuki
Kizami-zuki ~ Kizami Mae-geri
Gyaku-zuki ~ Mawashi-geri

Any combination attack
Same as above, focusing on initiation (push/pull/shake the opponent to create "Kyo")

Lunge Gyaku-zuki in place

Good job, and see you Thursday!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

So I had a great training last weekend. I arrived at St. Louis Friday night at 6pm, hoping to get a good night sleep on a comfy hotel bed before the next morning training, but the guy who picked me up took me straight to a dojo for the first team training... It lasted only for an hour, but seriously, I don't think I've ever sweated that much in one hour before!

Saturday and Sunday, Senseis Fusaro and (Toru) Shimoji gave me numerous tips on my Kata. Wow, you can only dream about getting that much personal attention from such great instructors. I learned soooo much and I only have 2 months before the World to work on those points! Can I train instead of teach, please??

We also worked on Kumite, and that "tune-in ~ induce opponent's attack" drill we did tonight was a modified version of one of the drills we did in the team training. Let's continue working on it in the coming classes.

I ran out of time tonight (as usual...!), but I also want to include 1-2 conditioning exercises that I did in the seminar such as push-ups, lunges, etc. in our classes. I don't want to do those just for you to sweat, but I'll have you do what I think compliments karate training. Let's start with 100 push-ups this Sunday!... Nah, I don't think I can do it.

Tonight's subjects:

Warm up

Stances & shifting
Kizami-zuki ~ Gyaku-zuki

Simultaneous Gyaku-zuki ("tune-in")
Try to catch half-beat early
Induce opponent's attack with less physical action

See you all Sunday! It's going to be my last Sunday class for now, so don't miss it!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Welcome David! I hope what we practice makes sense to you and that you can learn something!

Class Subjects:

Oi-zuki (step in)
Age-uke (step back)
Kizami-zuki ~ Gyaku-zuki (in place)
Mae-geri (step in)
Isometric resistance training for the above techniques

Shift around (on your own)
Shift around (partner pulling/pushing on your belt)
Yori-ashi (fwd, bwd)
Yori-ashi Kizami-zuki
Yori-ashi Gyaku-zuki

Single attack against a stable target
Single attack against opponent's half attack

Heian Shodan (cool down)

I'm leaving for St. Louis in 1 hour for a national team training. I won't be back until Sunday night, so Jon will be leading the class this Sunday morning, bright and early at 10AM (or by 10:30 if you're desperate for that 30 minutes of sleep in the morning!). I'll see you all Thursday!

By the way, an article about my karate experience and about Sensei Nishiyama made it to a Japanese karate magazine! The magazine is called "Gekkan (monthly) Karate-do" and it's pretty much the only (and most historical) traditional karate magazine published in Japan. My article is on the October issue which is at the newsstand right now!... in Japan. :-) I will bring a copy to the next training. Our dojo group picture is there on a page!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Welcome new student, Ariana! We hope you'll enjoy training with us. Don't worry, the floor won't be as slippery, and the room will have A/C on...!

A few yellow belts missed the class today (and/or on Thursday). We've already completed Heian Sandan in its entirety, so if you've missed it, it's your responsibility to learn it on your own! Check the youtube clips I posted earlier. We will be covering it in more details with some application ideas, but try to at least learn the sequence in general by the next class.

Class Subjects:

Heian Shodan or Heian Sandan

Kizami-zuki ~ Gyaku-zuki
Kizami Mae-geri ~ Mae-geri
Kizami Mawashi-geri ~ Mawashi-geri

Shift around
Kizami-zuki (Yori-asi)
Gyaku-zuki (Yori-ashi)
Kizami-zuki ~ Gyaku-zuki (Yori-ashi)

Amashi-waza (avoid a punch by sliding back ) against Kizami-zuki
Amashi-waza ~ Gyaku-zuki
Amashi-waza or Uke-waza (blocking) ~ Gyaku-zuki

See you all Thursday!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Class Subjects:

Warm up / Cool down
Heian Sandan (first 10 moves)
Heian Shodan

Gedan-barai ~ Gyaku-zuki
Uchi-uke ~ Gyaku-zuki
Uchi-uke + Gedan-barai ~ Switch arms (squeeze the elbows together in between!)

Shift around
Shift around + block

Uke-waza (Jo-dan target or Chu-dan target) with "body/forearm snap"!
Uke-waza ~ Counter punch against Jo-dan punch (continuous attacks in line)

Recommended Heian Sandan videos are posted below. See you Sunday!

Heian Sandan Video

3 clips for the 3rd Heian!

This is the video I used to watch when I was a color belt:

Guess who this is...?

Application is not always effective in the beginner level Kata, but just some ideas: