How I Train


I talk infrequently about my own personal training on this blog. Instead I’m usually more interested to hear how other people are training or how training was conducted in the past. That said, I thought I would take a few paragraphs to explain what my own training consists of lately. (more…)


Doughjo Boys

Let’s be honest, how many doughjo boys do you see practicing Karatedo? You know what I’m referring to, right? Those Karateka are in good shape? Factor in what you want (age, diet, co-morbidities, etc.) and then ask yourself, “how many of them are fit?” That is, do they have the requisite strength, flexibility, and stamina to perform Karate-do to a satisfactory level? If you’re even a little bit honest with yourself, I’m guessing you answered: (1) you see a lot of doughjo boys in the dojo, and (2) they don’t have an adequate fitness level to perform Karatedo to an acceptable standard.


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Karate, Vancouver, BBC, tonic, calisthenics, Martial Arts Lessons

Long ago…well maybe not that long ago, people used to do a quick session of daily exercise for “medicinal purposes”. This was sometimes referrred to as a “tonic” and was meant to help maintain your health.


Mastering the Basics

Master Karate Basics, Vancouver, BC, Martial Arts Lessons, Kitsilano, Goju

In Karate-do and Kobudo you must strive to master the basics when you train (1). Sure, you may want to leap into doing your most advanced kata or practicing an elaborate two-person set, but this really isn’t where you should be focusing your time….especially if you’re a novice. (more…)


Levels of Studying in Kempo: Shu Ha Ri

Vancouver Karate Kobudo Kitsilano Shu Ha Ri
Shu Ha Ri

These words name the stages of learning to master an art. “Shu” is the reading of the character which means “protecting” or “keeping” as in “keep a promise”. The character for “ha” means “breaking” or “accomplishing”. The character for “ri” signifies “lining up side by side” or “separating”. In English we use the words “follow”, “adapt” and “master”. In any discipline, artistic, academic or physical, the stages of learning follow the same  order. (more…)


Karate: Self-defense for Aging?

Karate, Aging, Older Adult, Vancouver, Kobudo, BC
Higa Minoru of the Kyudokan

Most older Karateka practice for the sheer love of their art and may give little thought to the health benefits it provides. Aging is inevitable, but how we age is just as important as regular practice. Indeed, if Karate is a lifelong pursuit then we have to be in the best of health in order to continue its practice as we get older. (more…)


Sanchin by Otsuka Tadahiko

otsuka tadahiko sanchin goju kensha

I’ve been rereading sections of Otsuka Tadahiko’s “Goju Kensha Karate-do Kyohon” published in 1977. For those of you who may not know, Otsuka’s “Goju Kensha Karate-do Kyohan” is a 13-volume series outlining his training methodology for Goju-ryu. For its time, the series was unparalleled and provided detailed explanations of preparatory exercises, fundamentals, kata and applications. Years later, the series was  reprinted as one book and included an instructional DVD; segments of which you can view here. (more…)