Thursday, January 30, 2014

Taikiken by Sawai Kenichi

Taikiken by Sawai Kenichi is a book I bought long ago. It is an art developed in Japan from Hsing Yi origins. Literally a Japanese version of the Chinese art. I have always found it very practical in what it shows.

More from my studies in Tai Chi and the Tjimande which I experienced. It is a very interesting read. It’s techniques offer a different view of martial technique.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Kyoda Juhatsu & Tou’on Goju by Mario McKenna

Mario McKenna has just posted a translation of an interesting article on his blog at . I urge you to go there and read it.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Michael Cassidy performing Kusanku Kata

I’ve trained many places, participated in many drills at those times. One evening I was visiting a friend Tom Ross in Taylor, Pa. who trained in Synko Ryu with Siemong Wang Sensei. He was not there that evening and it was decided that everyone would self train in the Community Center gym where classes were held.

I started going through my Isshinryu kata, as I wasn’t learning their system just training along.
First I did Seisan kata then Seiuchin, then I decided I would try somethinm I had only read about, performing one kata many multiple times. I was then training or teaching 6 days a week and was uses to hard sweat workouts. I thought I’d have a go at doing Kusanku kata 20 times.

I began first time no problem. Second, again just the kata. Third time it was beginning to be an effort. Then the fourth, fifth and sixth times. Now it was beginning on becoming more difficult with longer rests between the repetitions required.

On the 7th I was now more tired, and balance was going, Definitely harder to get both down and up. However I kept going. Then the 8th and the 9th, harder, definitely harder. Longer greaks required. Next the 20th, just made it. Now to rest.

Kept going on and made the 11th. Walking became unsteady. Can’t quit.

Barely made it through 12 and finally stopped. No longer any technique execution. Flopping through the form. No sense in doing more and practicing how to do the form wrong.

So I didn’t complete my personal challenge. Learned a great deal though. It was one thing to set a training goal, another thing altogether to reach unrealistic goals. Sure it was a workout, but at the same time it just was a practice in learning your limits. Personally worth while to know how far I can go on. Not a practice for class, a very personal practice.

Have you ever tried to find your limits?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Okinawan Toe Kicks

To pull together several valuable posts on this topic, not to describe it’s use in Isshinryu, per sae, but to understand what other Okinawan systems use.

The use of the kicking foot toe is varied between the various Okinawan systems. From Uechi Ryu with it’s notable Chinese origins, to the more subtle uses in Goju, Matsubayshi and Isshin Ryu’s to name a few. This is an attempt to pull together several comprehensive resources on the topic.
Beginning with Toudi references in Itoman Seijin (Morinobu’s) book Toudi-jutsu no Kenkyu It is interesting in that there is no mention of toe kicks. It does describe kicks but dosen’t talk about the kicking surface for same.

Types of Kicks
Rooster (Crane Standing on One Leg)
The rooster kick takes its shape from a rooster or crane resting on one leg. When you kick with this technique you do not kick up with the leg straight but instead bend at the knee and make contact with the foot or shin. This method of kicking is quick, powerful and stable.
Rising Kick
This method kicks upwards with a slight rising motion.
 Penetrating Kick
In this method of kicking the leg is deeply thrusts outwards.

Itoman does say his description is lacking hundreds of other techniques, so this wasn’t intended to be a complete listing by no means.  The translation was done by Mario McKenna.

Christopher Caille of has written a bit toe toe kicks in his on line magazine.

The Old Okinawan Karate Toe Kick: Part 1- Introduction & Execution

The Old Okinawan Karate Toe Kick: Part 3- More Shorin-Ryu & Intro To Naha-te


Engami Shigeru (Who went from studying Shotokan with Funakoshi Sensei to creating Shotoka) described earlier toe kicking practices from an article on my blog.

Engami Shigeru description of these toe kicks it’s found in his work “The Way of Karate Beyond Technique”.

An example of the Matsubayshi Ryu Front Kick

An example of the front toe thrust found in Hiagonna Morio’s Goju Seisan Kata.

This is not meant to be a complete listing of Okinawan kick potential, however it may be useful in understanding Okinawan technique potentials.