Sunday, September 30, 2012

Time For A New Challenge

I've been fighting back with my challenges by adopting additional training challenge.

When I was diagnosed with type II diabetes I changed my diet, began a walking regime and took it upon myself to learn the form Tomari No Rohai, not to become a pretend expert but to challenge myself. I've also lost 80 pounds since then.

Then when surviving my cancer surgery and havingto undergo chemotherapy I took it upon myself to study the form Aragaki No Sochin. There were several versions on youtube and I just picked one and went for it, Mostly because I wanted to understand more about that manner of striking.

I didn't become a master of those systems but I gained in the process of learning and am still working at it.

Now I'm fighting Myasthenia Gravis and have so little left. So I need a new challenge.

I'm not putting my Isshinruy aside, but I have decedeed to return to an old friend, the form Tam Tuie.

I first studied the form from Ernest Rothrock in 1981 or 1982 but the  last 20 years let my practice lapse.
So time to saddle up and begin again. I look forward to his comments.

The following is what I'll be attempting.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Itosu’s 10 lesson’s of Toudi

Itosu Anko

I was recently reading Itosu’s 10 lesson’s of Toudi in Mario McKenna’s translation of Nakasone’s “An Overview of Karate-do”. While I am not in Itosu’s lineage as an instructor of the young for nearly 40 years listening to the man who originated teaching the young seem like a good idea. While taking my daily walk and thinking on his words, it strikes me how differently we see Karate instruction today.

For one thing he makes the statement Karate is not to be studied for health reasons, though correct practice will help one’s health. The only reason to train is to develop the courage to protect ones parents and instructor. If attacked karate should only be used to deflect an attack not to inflict punishment.

Obviously Itosu didn’t speak for all instructors, but he did initiate the modern instruction of youth. It does address how different Okinawa was from today’s world. That Okinawa wasn’t truly a dangerous place even though violence can happen anyplace.

He didn’t state Toudi should be simplified, rather one should train vigorously. That art contained entering, deflecting, releasing and seizing in addition to striking. And that it required a lifetime of dedication. His vision saw everyone participating and that it would benefit military preparation. The benefit to health was a byproduct for training.

I do think it suggests the place we should hold our training today.

He explained, Toudi, or karate, held a role in society to develop the individual to protect the family to my way of thinking, Not for promoting health or self defense, Rather the parents, and by extension the family was the goal. A society that doesn’t promote the family is on its way to being lost.

That does not mean everyone should do karate, though that be an admirable idea.n Better to encourage the members to follow their own dreams, where ever they may be.

Rather the karate-ka should be conscious of their role protecting their own. The dojo should not be a place to hide and run away from one’s role. It should encourage and support the member’s family roles.

Protect one parent’s, one’s spouse and one’s children comes first. Balance training with one’s responsibilities. Be mature towards them first and the dojo will become stronger.

And of course the karate-ka will want to protect the instructor, a grand idea.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Old Man's Art

With my recent physical changes I am forced to make some changes in my karate.

As my balance has been affected I must pay greater attention to my stances and everything entailed. That makes kata an even more important training tool. But the stances and loss of balance have a greater implication.

To compensate for lack of speed is becomes more important to have the correct angle of entry to an attack. No longer is straight in the best option.   To compensate for lack of balance my stepping become my kicking (similar to Tam Tuie technique).

My striking power is reduced about in half.

The loss of power and speed mean that I can not rely on my striking as before. That means I have to adapt. What I must do is use multiple striking:

Back in 1980 I was shown a multiple striking drill by Tristan Sutrisno at our first meeting. It struck me how useful that drill was ad the entire concept. I modified it for my youth program to a three count striking drill and I utilized it with Kata Sho of our practice. I considered the concept Black Belt practice but I start beginners with it so by the time they get to Black Belt training they have mastered the practice. Later on I developed an Isshinyu \versions(using the vertical strike) and an nukite/shuto/haito version.

15 years later I saw how it was also Okinawa practice with Oshiro Toshiro using it.

A different variation comes from training with Harrill Sherman. Using the slicing of the returning/chambering hand for striking.

Yet another variation is found I the Jindo Strikes of Ernest Rothrock where blocks become strikes.

In total it is the underling principle which guides me. How one technique turns into an other technique.

My power is less but I can still reach out and touch you. One strike can boeme many and allow me to prevail.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Oldman's Bubishi

It is my distinct pleasure to announce Mark Cook's "Oldman's Bubishi" is available for purchase at  This is a vey unique presentation and I believe you will enjoy it.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Ongoing efforts

This week the youth program began again for the year. It was good to get back on the floor with them and Mike. Look forward to an exciting year with them..

I got dressed for the first time, in more formal clothes, since May to visit The Doctor's and see how large my clothes have become. Quite a change.

This morning I focusd on a few kata to correct them. Seiunchin, Chinto Sanchin and Aragaki No Sochin. Those efforts and a very slow Tokomeni No Kon the Bo kata.

We have to review and correct ourselves as we  chnge. Our efforts continue to reflect our ability/.

Then I went for a mile walk.

Now work at two different book reviews for friends new publications. It is as important to review the good as is to remain silent about the less credible.

Ever working.