Archive for category Korean Karate
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.
Back in 1967, when I was studying Kenpo Karate, I used to drive my instructors crazy. I kept coming in with books and doing forms out of them. Specifically, from the Best Karate Series by Nakayma, I found first Heian Two Karate Kata, then Heian Five, and I was in heaven.
I loved the power of those stances, I loved the feeling in the air when I did those whole body movements.
And, of particular interest to me was the art of the jump. I figured out how to swing the leg and rock the body into a launch. I figured out how to pull those legs high up under me, and then land low. The idea was to jump over a low sword swing, and then land under a high sword swing.
These are things that you don’t learn in MMA. I have nothing against MMA, I just don’t study it because it is sport instead of art.
The intent of sport is to beat another person, the intent of art is refine the self (achieve perfection).
I don’t mean to speak ill of other physical disciplines, because there is something to be learned from all, and darn, there is a part of me that just loves a good competition. But when it comes to my personal evolution, I prefer the art, and to this day, near forty-five years later, I still practice the Karate Kata known as Heian Five, or as it was called in the traditional martial arts school I later went to…Pinan Two. Check out my site for Evolution of an Art, it has three complete classical martial arts, dozens of forms, hundreds of techniques, and all sorts of things that will aid you evolution as a martial artist.
The mat was dirty and ripped. Sometimes it seemed like there was more duc tape than mat.
The front window was broken, again, a testament to duc tape.
There was a hole in the roof in the dressing area. The toilet was tilted 15 degrees, there was no place to hang your…what?
Does it sound like I am complaining?
I am remembering, and that as hard as I can.
There was magic there, you see.
The Hells Angels, and other bikers, came to study the Kang Duk Won for one simple reason…it worked and it was the best.
There was a wide variety of student, glass blowers to grave diggers to pilots to college students to…me.
There weren’t many schools back then, but people came from all over the bay area to study with an extremely soft spoken man. A man who could poke his finger into a board and leave a hole.
Of course, it’s gone now.
Replaced by a dress shop or something like that.
The bar across the street doesn’t see karate students come in to soften their bruises with liquid…just yuppie types whining in their beer. Not real men.
There are no longer twenty Harleys lined up in front of the school, and the air is no longer split by the thunderous kiai of a score of sweating, battered, energized maniacs.
Now it is peaceful, and that is a shame.
Political correctness? Ha! I laugh.
The truth is not political correctness, that is just a method for cowing people into voting politely.
The truth is sweat and bruises and blood. It is being young and not saying no. It is staying out too late and enjoying life with your friends.
Ahh, it has all been said before, but that’s okay.
There is a purpose to life, you see.
There is a spirit to be forged and that is in every man.
The Kang Duk Won is gone…but it will come again.
That is inevitable.
That is the magic.
Check out Learn Karate Online if you want some of that magic in your own life.
I’m speaking of the Crossed Knife Hands raised to protect the head.
When you do this move you circle the hands clockwise, then left horizontal backfist, then punch. Youa re obviously slap and swinging the attacking hand (holding a club or knife or whatever) in a circle, and backfisting the guy in the center of the chest.
Well, it’s understandable. Ain’tnothing wrong with it, but…there’s something else there.
Take a look at the vid snip, then let me explain…
The fact of the matter is that the technique makes more sense if you circle the hands clockwise into an armbar or elbow roll. Much better.
So why do it the other way? Because there is a hip twist and whole body movement potential, which, if done correctly, can crack the chestplate of an armored samurai.
It takes power, it takes technique, but it is possible.
But people don’t really get the hip connection,
or learn how to power up the hands so they really explode all the way from the tan tien. That’s the difference, you know. Real karate out of the McDojo mess that many people learn.
It ain’t the tournament that’s important, man. It’s the power. Classical Karate Power that results in whole body energy surging down the limbs to the fists…and you can crack armor.
You can download Pinan Five, with all the techniques and the original power, all for only ten bucks. Go to the menu at the top of the page and check out Kang Duk Won. It’s the best deal since Christmas!
Or, if you’re interested in the video snippet, pop on over to Monster Martial Arts and check out Temple Karate.
“Thanks for the words yesterday. I enjoy your news letters. Last night at practice, we had matrix training. I love it. It allows you to think of Karate in a logical manner, rather than this rigid stuff other systems teach. My friend is a Shotokan artist or rather ‘Shotobot’ as I like to think of it. We have sparred in the past and every time, I find holes in her defense and offense. Last night we practiced pretty hard, which is what I need after dealing with a bunch of Seniors who would rather be elsewhere. Matrixing really does apply to almost anything in life. Now if only I could teach myself a foreign language in one week!”
He wasn’t really being mean, you see, he was just observing a temporary condition that students of the martial arts, especially a Shotokan Martial Artist, would go through.
Don’t want to be a Shotobot? Want to evolve as a Shotokan Martial Artist? Mouse on over to Monster Martial Arts.
The fact of the matter is that the truth is simple, and the concepts of the arts ae simple, and a simple art is what makes everything simple.
It is also the best art for explaining Matrixing concepts. Here is a win.
“My first martial art was Jujitsu, then I went on to Filipino Kali, and the last twelve or so years I’ve been studying Tai Chi and Qigong. You really made me reflect on a lot of what I have learned, and I think that some of it makes more sense now.”
Of course, this doesn’t mean you need all sorts of experience, it’s just that the more knowledge you have, the more knowledge Matrixing will put in order, and it’s like getting a complete spring cleaning on your martial arts, and even your mind.
But newbies will get the benefit to. They just don’t always understand how far reaching Matrixing is.
You can find out about Matrix Karate at Monster Martial Arts. Pick up a free ebook while you’re there. Win #60