Saturday, September 15, 2012

September 9 - 15, 2012

We've been working on Uke-waza (blocking technique).  We'll continue with it for another week or so, mixing up some variations (sweeping blocks, hooking blocks, etc.).

Some of you are excited (perhaps a little too much) about the tournament in November.  Good that you have a goal that motivates you to train hard.  Winning a tournament only means that you happened to be better than your opponent that day, that time, in that specific situation.  You can win simply by luck (as I have proven many times! :-p).  What's important is that you train hard for it, and that you do your best in it.  I hope you're enjoying the process.

For me personally, only 3 more weeks until the World Championships.  Do you know what that means?  Yes, only 3 more weeks and a few days until I can drink again...! :-)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

August 27 - September 8, 2012

It's been 2 weeks since the test, and most of you newly promoted students already learned the new Kata.  Great!  Keep working on it until all the details become natural to you and that you don't have to think about each step.  At the same time, don't forget your previous Kata, as you have to be able to demonstrate all of them when you test for a black belt in the future...

We've been working on Uke-waza (blocking technique) for the past week or two.  A block in Japanese is "Uke", which actually means "to receive", however, as I keep telling you, you can't passively wait and receive the incoming attack.  You have to reach out and stop before the technique accumulates force, only then you can actually block that attack.  Body snap together with forearm or wrist snap is crucial for a successful blocking technique, and we'll keep working on that as well.

Back by popular demand (a.k.a. Menefee and Chris' request), we're soon hosting a Kyu-level tournament!  Sunday, November the 4th.  Hoping to invite many from other dojos as well.

Book of the Month: Hidden Karate
My emphasis when teaching a Kata is to teach you to move properly, with precise stance with proper posture to execute correct body dynamics for a technique.  There are many other schools that emphasize applications of Kata techniques, but I never learned Kata that way, and I feel it's more important and interesting (personally) to develop proper body mechanics.  However my idea may be one dimensional and I would encourage you to investigate on different aspects of Karate/Kata on your own.

This book focuses on how to look at Kata as a set of practical fighting/self-defense techniques.  Though I would disagree with some ideas, in general it is very well-thought and presented in details.  It only covers Heian 1-5 & Tekki 1, but you may easily apply the same ideas when looking at other Kata as well.  Skip the fist 1/3 of the book (unless you're really into it) and take a look at the photographed demonstrations of each Kata.