A Strong Punch

I’ve never been a fan of oi-tsuki (追いηͺγ) – the lunge punch so ubiquitous that it is synonymous with Karatedo in the public’s eyes. One of the main reasons for my dislike of this punch is that it is not found in classical Nahate kata. Sure it can be found in Geki-sai I & II, but those are relatively modern creations made along the same lines as Pinan series, but in the classical forms we predominately see gyaku-tsuki (逆ηͺγ) or reverse punch as its commonly referred to. The rather tragic English translation of gyaku-tsuki aside (or oi-tsuki for that matter) the punch takes its name from the “flipped” position of the punching arm and lead leg.

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Kata – Don’t Get too Bogged Down

Kata, Monk, Zen, Boat, Karate, Kobudo, Vancouver, BC. Martial Arts, Lessons,
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Kata is often referred to as the heart of Karate-do and Kobudo. Many teachers will go so far as to say that if there is no kata, then there is no Karate-do or Kobudo.

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Kata & Apprenticeship

Kata Jion
Okinawan karate seems to use an apprentice model of conveying information to its students. Technical proficiency is hammered into the student over several years with very little overt reference to the applications found in kata. (more…)

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Sakugawa no kon

Sakugawa, Kobudo, Karate, Vancouver, Goju-ryu, Kitsilano
Performing Sakugawa no kon (sho) at Yoshimura sensei’s dojo

The other day we held a seniors kobudo training session. We’ve started doing these every now and then to practice subjects that we may not spend enough time on. At this session we focused on the kata Jigen no sai and Sakugawa no kon (sho) bunkai as taught to me by my teacher Minowa Katsuhiko. I’m not 100% sure, but I think that this two-person application set was created by Taira Shinken and Akamine Eisuke.Β  At least that’s what I remember Minowa sensei telling me, but again I could be wrong – I’ll have to check with Yoshimura sensei. It was a great way to start off the day by practicing Kobudo and everyone worked very hard. (more…)

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Breathing in Sanchin

sanchin, breathing, Uechi-ryu, Goju-ryu, Karate, Vancouver, Kitsilano

The other day I was teaching a short seminar on Uechi-ryu Sanchin at Vancouver Mind Body (1). It was a good mix of students from a variety of “styles” including Shotokan, Goju-kai, Shito-ryu, etc., and I had a very enjoyable time teaching the class. During the break a participant asked me why the breathing was done the way it is in the kata. I looked at her and in all honesty replied, “I don’t know”. (more…)

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Kotsukake

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