Posts Tagged shotokan

I have a confession to make, I used to practice Shotokan Katas while I was going to an Ed Parker Chinese Kenpo Karate style martial arts school.

I kow, heresy, I am impure, oh sob and moan.

But, on my behalf, Kenpo was originally Shotokan. Check out the video, and then I’ll tell you about it.

You didn’t know that Ed Parker Kenpo Karate was originally a shotokan based hard style of Karate? But it’s true! If you look at the first book Ed Parker wrote, it is a sequence of techniques that, when put together, make up the forms of Shotokan.

Mind you, it might not have been Shotokan proper, might even have been Isshin ryu, or shito ryu, or something like that, but the point is made. Chinese Kenpo was originally basic Japanese Okianwan Karate.

Why did it change? Because Parker never got his black belt (Oh, I think he did, but not from Thunderbolt Chow). So he taught a bunch of fellows Karate, ran out of stuff to teach, and started teaching a type of made up Kung Fu.

Look, I know a few dunderheads will get upset with this history, but it’s fairly accurate, there are a slightly different versions out there, but it seems to hold up when you do a little basic net research, and especially when you see that first book.

So, when I say I was doing Shotokan Karate (the Heians out of the Best Karate seriess by Nakayama, while I was studying at an Ed Parker Chinese Kenpo Karate style of martial arts school, that isn’t a bad thing. Heck, if it was good enough for Ed. Right? Check out my site, Monster Martial Arts,  lots of books and courses and things, all the way back to the martial arts taught in the sixties.

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The Art of Karate and Three Bottles

Ancient Karate Class!

Ancient Karate Class!

The Art of Karate may be analogized to three bottles.

First, when you learn a classical art, like Shotokan or Goju or Uechi…it is like crawling up the inside of a bottle. The closer you get to the top, the harder the climb, yet the more sky you see.

Second, breaking bottles requires a higher degree of skill and artistry. You must stand an empty bottle and chop at the neck. The angle of the chop and the construction of the glass make a break possible. Make sure you have practiced much before you do this, and be careful not to cut your hands. If you want a good example of this, just check out the first karate kid movie. Though it is just a movie, it does show the art.

Third, digging up a bottle is…an entire article. So simply do a search for the title of this article…’Digging through the Soil of Human Experience…and the Perfect Karate Punch.’ Guaranteed, it is worth it.

Get an absolutely free martial arts book at Monster Martial Arts. It’s at the top left of the home page.

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The Blessings of Ignorance in Karate

I began Karate in 1967. It was a new concept, this oriental fighting thing. We’d seen some terrible chops in the movies, but there was still this thing about massive power going on around.

A few books made their appearance, but they didn’t really say anythign. Even the pics were terrible.

When I finally found a school and started studying, the teacher never spoke. He’d count, or say, ‘Put your foot back further,’ or something like that. But it was real Monkey See Monkey Do.

The blessing, of course, is that nothing was said. The result of this silent teaching was that there were no intellectual distractions, nothing to misguide us.

Interestingly, as time went on, and more people spoke, less was learned. The learning happens in the bones. The learning happens in the sweat and the blood.

Now we are truly cursed. not only do we have everybody telling us what the martial arts are, what they are telling us is allmade up. It is based on their short experience, and their is no real lineage in America. Thus, arts are thrown together, techniques that don’t fit are mish mashed, and the whole thing resembles a Rubik’s Cube.

Not for lack of sincere effort, but because nobody took the time to analyze the myth and come up with the science.

Well, things are getting better. After all, you have tobreak a few eggs to make an omelet. And people will eventually get smart enough to ignore the myth, study the science, and eventually make it back to the myth.

It’ll just take a short time.

Check out Monster Martial Arts. A million words of Martial Science, and a lot more on this concept of science returning us to mythic proportion and the true blessings of the martial arts.

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Shotokan Martial Artist Called A Shotobot!

Calling a Shotokan Martial Artist a Shotobot is sort of mean, but only if the Shotokanoka doesn’t have a sense of humor. Here’s what my internet student was referring to.

“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.

Win #63

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Win #23–Karate as a First Martial Art

I like Karate as a first art because it is solid in the basics. Later, when you have experience, it’s fun to twist the basics, create different types of energy, learn sneaky ways of bashing somebody. But, in the beginning, Karate is the best. Straightforward power that can out kick a donkey, out slam a gorilla, and is just plain fun!

If I had not learned this as my first art, I would not be where am today. The basics, the foundation; a solid point upon which to stand, was essential to me as a martial artist. Few people truly understand what the basics are, let alone how important they are. Karate taught me all of this and I finished the program with confidence that I could apply what I had learned.

It’s true that people don’t understand what basics are. Take a look at the Pan Gai Noon Sanchin form. Goku does it for breathing, Shotokan does it for technique, uechi does it for dynamic tension…and they all are only partially right. Ground the weight, turn on the tan tien, and put the energy in the hands. The other theories are all right, but they miss the boat if they don’t concentrate on these three principles, and just these three principles.

Here’s a vid snip of me teaching Sanchin to my son many years ago. Karate was his first martial art, and it saved his life. Literally. Take a look at the columns at Monster Martial Arts and you’ll come across the tale.

Talk to you later.

Al

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