Archive for category karate bunkai
A lot of people try, and a lot of people fail. To be precise, out of a thousand people that start the journey to a Karate Black Belt, only 1 or 2 will make it. Check out the video, and then I’ll tell you how to be sure that you make it!
So, how do you make sure you are going to make it?
First, pick a good school. Not a make money trophies in the windows school, but a long time hole in the wall that has a record of good, solid martial arts, and the students to prove it.
Second, dedicate yourself. Put a picture of Bruce Lee (or some other martial artist that you admire) on your front door, and bow to it every time you go out. Make it a reminder that you will make every single class. And, if ever you feel like not heading out to the dojo, pick yourself up by the scruff of the neck, and GO!
Now, that is really all there is to it. Dedicated school, dedicated student, and the martial arts will seep into your soul like chicken soup into the belly of an invalid.
Of course, there are a few more things you can do.
One, read everything you can, and not just on Karate. Read about every martial art, think about how they will fit together. Bring the techniques to your school and ask others about them. You will get an education far beyond your wildest dreams. It’s creative thought, man, and that is what an art is about.
Two, haunt the internet. Don’t buy the bushwah, don’t get involved in the internet hype, just learn how to tell when a fellow is serious, and when he is just an internet marketer trying to grab your bucks. The more you look at, the more educated you become, the easier this will be. Once you know the difference, examine what other legitimate artists are doing. Learn their moves, see how you can use those moves in your own art.
Finally, work out, work out, work out. Be at school early, and stay late. Help beginners, and you will find the advanced students will help you. That’s just the way the universe works in a real karate school.
Now, if you do what I have told you here, you will make it. The only thing you have to understand is that rewards go to the sincere, the dedicated, the honest and hard working. All others quit and go to the movies and think about how great it would be to be a karate black belt. They will wonder about what you know. Now go for it, and may all the skill on earth be yours. Go to Learn Karate Online if you want some free lessons to get you started!
I’m speaking as a martial arts teacher here, but I trust you will be able to use my data concerning the hardest thing to overcome in Karate training, or any martial arts training.
I’ve had people come in my school and tell me what I was supposed to teach them. They would lay out their curriculum, and then disappear.
And, if you think this is an oddity, consider the old Japanese zen parable (made famous by Bruce Lee), you can’t put more tea in a cup that is full…you must empty your cup.
One guy came into my school and all he wanted to do was find a temple on the mountain and kneel at the feet of the master and learn all the really secret things. It was obvious that he had been reading too many comic books; he just wasn’t connected to reality. Heck, if I had told him to do a horse stance for five minutes he would have cried and wailed like a baby.
The main thing these days is the youtube martial artist. This is a guy who has poured over youtube, looked at all the martial arts, done what he saw on the screen. He actually isn’t toobad, except that he has no idea what he is doing. The snippets on youtube, no matter how extensive, are not instruction, they are advertising clips designed to lure the unwary and easily excitable.
What? You thought you were going to find the secret of the universe on the internet? that you could just google ‘Secrets of the Universe’ and they would just flash onto the scree…instant enlightenment and all the martial arts downloaded into your brain like Neo?
Empty your cup, grasshopper, then learn how to sweat. The best things in life are not necessarily free…they have to be earned with sweat and bruises and a humble attitude.
Pickup a Free Martial Arts Book ar Learn Karate Online. In Karate training, or with any martial arts, it’s best to start at the beginning and dedicate yourself.
Okay, I do a lot of cross training in the martial arts. When I was doing Karate I did some weights, some running, basics calisthenics type of stuff.
When I did Kung Fu I did running and swimming and yoga type stuff.
And, as I went through arts, I was always looking from some new game to play, some way to wake up my muscles and find better ways to control them.
Baseball, loved baseball. Ping pong, billiards, skating, even pogo sticking and stilting.
Simply anything and everything was fair game. Wake the body up, have fun, relate it to martial arts.
But martial arts was the mainstay, this because the martial arts exercises every single muscle in the body.
And, there is a point to it all. Survival.
Now, I have to tell you I feel sorry for people who do exercises, but not martial arts. They play for a while, then they get old. I always come across old people who talk about how they loved to dance, but no longer do it. Or they loved to hike, but they no longer do it.
Do you see it? There is not only the whole body approach, but the purpose, and the desire to survive right through your old age.
Anyway, I know this is meandering, but if you aren’t doing the martial arts, start doing them. Find an art, any art, that appeals to your desire to live and love and play games and…survive. That’s what Martial Arts Cross Training is all about. Pick up a free book at Learn Karate Online. Best way to start.
Tekki Kata, also known as Haihanchi, is one of the best forms in all the martial arts. Many people refer to it as The Iron Horse. As this name indicates, it is a horse stance form, and the karateka moves from side to side while performing it.
The power generated by this Okinawan Karate form is absolutely awesome. The deep stance works the legs, and the tan tien starts to pump up, and one feels the chi power course through the frame almost from the get go. It is usually taught around black belt level in systems such as Kyokushinkai.
When I first learned Naihanchi I would practice while facing a partner and having ‘kata races.’ We would mirror each other, and go back and forth, building our speed and perfecting our moves. Eventually, we would find a harmony of motion that one will not see in many martial art patterns.
When I asked my instructor about it, he said it was designed for fighting in rice paddies. The footwork enabled one to grip the ground no matter how muddy. The sideways motion paralleled the earthwork in the rice paddies, where other foot patterns would result in loss of footing.
As my studies continued I came across the concept that the form was designed for riding a horse. Even if a warrior lost his weapons while riding a horse, he could keep fighting while gripping the horse with the leg strength built up by the form. I found this a fascinating notion, but it didn’t ring quite true.
In time, I happened across the book ‘Shotokan’s Secrets,’ written by Dr. Bruce Clayton. The good doctor claimed that the kata were actually designed for actual fighting in the Imperial throne room of old Okinawa. This theory at first seemed odd, but the more I thought about it the more sense it made.
Imagine the scene: invading troops attempt to capture the king of Okinawa, and the front row troops use the movements from the Pinan forms (Heian katas) to create confusion. Meanwhile, the advanced bodyguards move sideways across the back of the room while the king is hustled through a rear door and to safety. This theory not only made sense when analyzing the specific movements, but in the historical and psychological sense, too.
What the truth is will be debated as long as Karate is taught. Of course, it doesn’t matter as long as that fabulous form generates good, old fashioned ‘chi power’ by the bushel. Call it Naihanchi, Tekki, or just the Iron Horse, this is one Karate Kata that is good for the ages.
On of my favorite kata was Kima Chodan. It has several other names, Tekki, the Iron Horse, and so on. It was also the favorite of Giochin Funakoshi, he spent ten years playing with it.
The reason it is so great is that it is a power form. Getting low in the horse, stepping back and forth, just powers up the tan tien like nobody’s business.
One of my favorite things was to face a partner and mirror the form. We would race, find harmony, critique each other endlessly. A mirror that actually talked…how cool was that, eh?
For those who would like to go extreme, it’s fun to put a heavy weight vest and go crazy, or to hold dumbells and go crazy.
After a while the power jacks up, you start feeling like nobody in the world could stop you, and man, ain’t life a hoot!
Anyway, here’s my version of it. I learned it forty years ago, and I haven’t tweaked it much, so it’s a pretty pure version. Comes not through the Japanese lineage, but direct to the Okinawa Masters who taught Gichin Funakoshi. If you want to learn more about the old Karate forms surrounding Kima Chodan, or Tekki or the Iron Horse or whatever you call it, check out Temple Karate at Monster Martial Arts.
I just wrote a post for one of my other blogs about energy. The post is at…
I was sort of loose in that post, so let me nail it down for your progress.
Oh, check out the video first, then I’ll tell you.
Karate is one of the best places to start energy manifestation (chi power and all that), because it starts with a simple explosion. Once you can explode, however, you need to figure out what to do with the energy that you have exploded.
Shaolin might turn and roll it, Pa Kua might spiral it, Tai Chi will suspend it, and so on. Every system has specific things they do with energy. Even the same systems will emphasize different progressions of this thing called Chi power.
That said, it can take too long to develop chi without Karate. And it can take too long to develop chi power even in Karate unless you have proper matrixing. Matrixing is logical and will enhance all progress and speed of progress.
The most important thing,however, is to change courses when you learn how to explode. You must ‘go backwards,’ learn how to empty yourself, and try different manipulations of the body if you want to find different manifestations of energy.
A Karate student who just keeps doing the same old same old will tend to stagnate. You know a lot of people drop out of Karate after getting their black belt in that hard art? They know, intuitively, that karate, once so wild and wooley and invigorating, has become a stop point. They know that they must seek elsewhere to continue their upward progress.
Anyway, that all said, stop by LearnKarateOnline (dot)net if you want to start your journey in that basic and yet most advanced art, or if you want to revitalize the things that you learned long ago, but which you need to pick up again in order to progress onward.
not all systems explode
Karate makes power. Karate is power.
You do those forms and you feel the power start to take hold, you feel your body energize and get stronger and stronger. Finally, you have the power! You can explode with instant energy that is unstoppable. What now?
Well, what now is that you need to take a second step. The second step is not more power.
What? You don’t like that answer? But you’ve already got enough power…what do you need more for?
Let me ask you a question, if you had to fight ten guys, would you fight ten times as hard?
You’d fight one tenth as hard for each guy.
So you don’t get more energy and violence and move faster and faster…that just wastes you. What you do do is learn to be efficient, to create the effct of more energy with less effort and less motion.
So when you get your black belt, start to look around. See if other arts will compliment this concept. Look at yourself, see if you can hit softer…and yet create greater effect. There are methods, you know. It is possible…you just have to break out of the method you’ve been trained in and…reverse your path.
you read that right.
Once you hit black belt…you have to train in the opposite direction, get softer and softer, until people can hardly even see you.
I used to train with some of the toughest guys in the world, outlaw bikers. But they all bowed quickly and stood silent in the presence of the most polite man in the world. What he knew in gentleness was far greater than all their massive muscle.
Well, think about it, and while you’re thinking about Karate power, head over to Learn Karate Online. If you have always wanted karate but never went for it, this is your chance. If you started, and, for whatever reason, dropped out, this is your chance.