Another great seminar was had by all who attended this. Instruction was given by Sensei Phil Snewin, 5th Dan in Kamishin Ryu Karate. The day, 4 hours long, covered one of Kamishin Ryu's advanced kata, called Seienchin. Sensei Snewin taught the Kata and the related Bunkai in Ippon and Randori format. All enjoyed the course which was physically and mentally exhausting by the end of the day.
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From time to time I shall put some of our students essays on as posts, for people to read and comment on. Others can be found under training on the Navigation bar. These are essays that have to be written before taking certain grades. It is designed to expand the students knowledge of the martial arts as they have to do some research on the subject, aid in their education and give them further interest in their studies.
Below is the first one published as a Post. It has been written by B. Challans for her 1st Kyu Grade in Junior Anshin Ryu Karate. Hope you enjoy it? If you want to leave her some encouraging comments then please do.
History of Wado-Ryu in England by Beckie Challans
After viewing a Wado-Ryu demonstration at a London Kendo club, a British student asked the Japanese Karate Federation to send an instructor to the UK to start a school in England. Mr Tanabe was sent in 1964 as an official instructor, where he founded the All Britain Karate Association. This was the first Wado-Ryu organisation to be established in Europe. Shortly after his arrival, Mr Tatsuo Suzuki moved over to London to teach Wado.
In May 1965, Mr Suzuki was joined by another Japanese instructor; Mr T. Kono, who, at the arrival of Mr Masafumi Shiomitsu, moved over to the Netherlands to spread the knowledge of Wado-Ryu farther through Europe. Due to a quickly growing demand for training in the UK, over the next few years more instructors transferred: in 1966, Mr T. Takamizawa and Mr Hayawaka came to England from Japan; in 1968 Mr K. Sakagami arrived in the UK; in 1969 Mr S. Suzuki moved over to Ireland, and Mr Kobayashi and Mr Maeda also arrived in Britain. With some of these original instructors returning to Japan, they were replaced by other British and Japanese instructors, and the numbers were then quickly added to by students of Wado, helping the style spread even farther across the UK.
Up until 1970, the All Britain Karate Association was the main setup in the UK, but Mr Tatso Suzuki decided to leave the organisation and set up his own; The United Kingdom Karate-Do Federation. After a short while, most of the Japanese instructors joined this organisation. Mr T. Takamizawa also set up his own association. Mr Masafumi moved first to France, then Madagascar to teach, but later returned to the UK to join the re-named United Kingdom Karate-Do Wado-Kai in 1976.
This new organisation took over to become the primary one in the UK, until 1989, when Mr Masafumi expressed dislike towards the direction the style and its teaching had taken under the United Kingdom Karate-Do Wado-Kai organisation and therefore he chose to leave the association to form his own, the Wado-Ryu Karate-Do Academy. Mr K. Sakagami, Mr T. Takamizawa and the majority of the now Dan graded British students. However, after a short while, Mr K. Sakagami decided to leave the Wado-Ryu Karate-Do Academy and to set up his own organisation, the Wado-Ryu Aiwakai Karate Federation. With this organisation also set up, the UK now had three major Japanese headed Wado-Ryu organisations:
The United Kingdom Karate-Do Wado-Kai, with Mr Tatso Suzuki who was an eighth Dan at its head. This association is also linked to the Wado-Ryu International Karate Federation, and Mr Tatso Suzuki is also head sensei for this organisation.
The Wado-Ryu Karate-Do Academy’s head was Mr Masafumi Shimoitsu, also an eighth Dan. His academy was affiliated to the Wado-Ryu Karate-Do Federation, and the chief instructor for this organisation is Mr H. Ohtsuka II, the Grand Master of Wado-Ryu Karate-Do. Mr H. Ohtsuka is a ninth Dan.
The Wado-Ryu Aiwakai Karate Federation is led by Mr K. Sakagami, a seventh Dan. This association is connected to the Japan Karate Federation Wado-Kai, headquarters, in Japan.
As with any other study the serious student will want to expand their knowledge of the subject and this can be done by reading the vast array of books which are out there. However, as with most things the reader will need to sort out the "Wheat from the Chaff". So occasionally I get asked what books would I recommend.
Below I have given a small list of the reading material that I have covered. They are by very good authors and cover the History and philosophies the arts of Karate-Do and Kobudo.
- Karate-do: My Way of Life, by Gichin Funakoshi
Pub: Kodansha America, ISBN-10: 0870114638
This is Sensei Funakoshi's autobiography. It tells his story from his early life with his own teachers to the time of evolving the art. It links the time when Te was shrouded in secrecy to the present day where it is now studied through out the world. He recalls his own teachers and of his efforts to define and spread knowledge about karate without compromising its spirit.
- Budo Masters: Paths to a Far Mountain, by Michael Clarke
Pub: PAUL H CROMPTON LTD; illustrated edition edition (12 Aug 2010), ISBN-10: 187425026X
This title features questions and answers on martial arts from the masters themselves: How did these men train? Has the training changed over the years? Are Western people able to endure this kind of training? The book should provide insights to students and teachers alike.
- The Karate Dojo: Traditions and Tales of a Martial Art, by Peter Urban
Pub: Tuttle, ISBN: 0-8048-1703-0
This book examines the aspects of self-defense, sport and philosophy from the tales, legends and traditions of the art. It is a small and fun book to read.
- Zen Kobudo: Mysteries of Okinawa Weaponry and Te, by Mark Bishop,
Pub: Tuttle, ISBN-10: 0804820279
Kobudo, the famous armed Okinawan fighting art that utilizes common farming implements in combat, and Te, the ancient Okinawan art of armed and unarmed combat, are two of the world's most widely practiced yet least-understood martial arts. This book studies the individual Kobudo and Te systems as they are practiced in Okinawa today and discusses their various histories and the lives of the masters who have most influenced them. Spiritualism in the Okinawan arts is also covered in detail, as the author masterfully describes the mix of Zen and native beliefs that are vital to these arts, yet a component that has been all but ignored by previous researchers. In addition, this is the first work to discuss anthropological theories on Okinawa and the development of fighting arts there from the Stone Age. This complete and wide-ranging study of Okinawan weaponry, history, and training is the ultimate guide to these important fighting arts.
- Okinawan Karate: Teachers' Styles and Secret Techniques, by Mark Bishop,
Pub: A & C Black Publishers Ltd, ISBN-10: 0713656662S
Okinawan karate is the historical grandparent of karate styles practiced throughout the world today. This book looks at the development of each Okinawan style and describes the techniques which comprise the various methods of self defense. These are divided into the "Shorin" group, the kobudo and ti styles, and styles based on Chinese boxing systems. Black and white photographs and lineage charts highlight famous families and teachers who have played key roles in promulgating karate for several hundred years. Also included are breathing and relaxation exercises, and glossaries of katas and of Japanese, Okinawan and Chinese words used in the text. Mark Bishop holds a 6th Dan in Okaniwan te, a 4th Dan in Shorin-ryu karate and kobudo, a 3rd Dan in Goju-ryu, and black belt gradings in judo and aikido.
This is a revised edition which includes historical tables and vital striking point charts, as well as information on the past and 20th century karate, kobudo and ti (or te) scene in Okinawa. The author presents important elements of the fighting arts as a whole, along with health-orientated training and the secrets of developing intrinsic energy (ki) circulation. From their roots in China, the historical development of each karate and kobudo system can be traced, via the teachers who formulated them, into the many fragmented styles practiced today throughout the world, from Shotokan to Goju-ryu -Okinawa's greatest cultural export.
Shotokan's Secret: The Hidden Truths Behind Karate's Fighting Origins: The Hidden Truth Behind Karate's Fighting Origins, by Bruce Clayton
Pub: Black Belt Communications (1 April 2005)
This is the first book to dissect the lore and reveal the origins and purpose of the art of shotokan. It describes how karate was invented by the world's only unarmed bodyguards to protect the world's only unarmed king against Americans. In 1853, before the American Civil War, the king of Okinawa was caught in a confrontation between the shogun's implacable samurai and an invading force of U.S. Marines. Trapped between katana and bayonets, the king's unarmed guards faced impossible odds and narrowly avoided a costly bloodbath.
Ancient Okinawan Martial Arts: Vol 1, by Patrick McCarthy
Pub: Tuttle Publishing (22 Sep 1999)
Featuring original writings by the founders of some of the world's most popular karate styles, this volume includes untranslated texts by Miyagi Chojun, Mabina Kenwa, Motobu Choki – each of them founders of their own schools of karate.
Ancient Okinawan Martial Arts: Vol 2, by Patrick McCarthy
Pub: Tuttle Publishing (May 1999)
Featuring original writings by the founders of some of the world's most popular karate styles, this volume includes McCarthy's "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: The Mabuni Kenwa Story", the "Dai Nippon Butokukai" and "Karatedo: Development, Essence, Aims".
The Bible of Karate: The Bubishi, by Patrick McCarthy
Pub: Tuttle Publishing
Treasured for centuries by karate's masters, The Bubishi was a secret text passed from master to student in China and later in Okinawa. Dealing with philosophy, strategy and medicine as they relate to the martial arts, it has been studied and taught from by all of karate's legendary masters. This English translation includes numerous explanations and notes to ease comprehension. The author also includes research on Okinawan and Chinese history as well as the fighting and healing traditions that developed in those countries, making it useful for researchers and practitioners alike.
If you have enjoyed reading any of these books or have your own to recommend then please leave a reply as it will help us all to expand our knowledge of these fascinating subject of Karate and Kobudo.
The small band of Karate-ka that formed Kazoku Karate back in 1992 came from the split of Sentenashi Karate Kosai. We were the majority of the Darlington group from this association that was headed by Sensei Keith Bell. When he left to follow other interests the groups around the north East began to split and go their own way. However, this post is to give you some history of Sensei Chris, Stuart and myself before this split.
Back in 1985 we decided to join a Karate group in Darlington, and found the Darlington group of Sentenashi, run by various Sensei, such as Dave Oliver, and Keith Bell. We used to train at first twice a week, but that went to 4 times a week when I enrolled on an MSc Degree course in Newcastle. Sensei Chris and Stuart trained twice at Darlington and we all trained twice at the Newton Aycliffe group run by Sensei Gary Howlet and, Dave Cowans. Once I'd finished my 3 year course we all went to 4 times a week. However, what was interesting was during the many tournaments we had, because Sensei Chris and Stuart represented Darlington, while I represented the Newton Aycliffe group. Sentenashi used to have a league going whereby all their groups used to competed against each other, groups from Darlington, Newton Aycliffe, Barnard Castle, Sedgefield, Hurworth and Catterick Garrison. In addition to this was their year open tournament whereby all would compete in Kumite and Kata.
Below I have added just some of the photos taken during this time during the Annual Tournament held at Sedgefield. Also a few from the Annual awards Dinner. Their quality is not very good because it was before the digital age of camera's. These photos were scanned in.
On Saturday 31st March 2012 will be our 20 years Anniversary.
It was back on Tuesday 31st 1992 that we became an official Karate School, named Kazoku Karate, associated ourselves to United Kingdom All Styles Karate Organisation (UKASKO), head by Sensei Roy Stanhope. Since this date a lot has happened and our school has evolved over the years. As a result of this I shall write a potted history of our evolution into the school we are today, under the banner of Kodokan Martial Arts. With this write up I shall add photo's to make some events and past students. If you have been a member, or still are then you may recognise some of these events and students.
Full story is on our Members Pages.
Any how to all our existing Martial Artists a big cheer goes out from us for this milestone!
MKKI-UK Group Seminar March 2012
Within this page are photos from the March Seminar event. Instruction covered Bo and Sai.
Bo: Hojo undo Dai Ichi and associated Bunkai. Kata Shushi No Kun and associated Bunkai
Sai: Hojo Undo and associated Bunkai and Nicho Sai Kata.
Photos of the day are given in the gallery below:
Please vote for your favourite type of Karate training in the poll below. You can have up to 3 choices. Once completed you can see who scores the most by clicking on the Graph Icon at the bottom of the poll page after it has been submitted.
On the last Monday of every month I hold a class in Iaido. It is free for all our Kodokan Martial Arts members who are 13 yrs and over. However, you will need either an iaito or a bokken to train. I have only a couple of spare bokken so I can lend these out, but it will be on a first come first serve basis.
This class is only for interest in sword work and is not for promotion or grading in the system. If students want to grade then I would recommend them to join a Iaido group.
I have just finished Part 1 of an Article about flexibility. This was requested by me from one of our members, so I hope they find it useful? It can be found in the Members' Area under "Heath Matters".
A snippet is:
"This is an important aspect of Karate and other Martial Arts. Indeed, it is in fact a sign of good health and should be apart of any training regime. However, it is important to note that it should go hand-in-hand with strength and cardiovascular fitness. For example, for a karate student to be able to kick correctly and perhaps to the head, they will need the flexibility as well as the core strength to achieve this.
It involves various types of flexibility, which falls into two categories:
- Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to perform dynamic movements of the muscles to bring the limb through its full range of movements.
- Static Flexibility
This can be further sub-divided into two groups:
- Static-Active Flexibility
The ability to perform and maintain an extended position. For example, lifting the leg and keeping it high without any external support.
- Static-Passive Flexibility
The ability to perform and maintain an extended position using only your weight, the support of your limb, or some other apparatus such as a chair. An example of this is being able to do the splits, where the floor is supporting your limbs.
- Static-Active Flexibility
To read more you need to be a members so that you can log on. In part 2, I will further explain about the warm-ups, exercise order and when to stretch so keep posted!
Junbi undo translates into “Preliminary Exercise”. It’s the exercises that refer to those that should be carried out at the start of a lesson in order to warm up the body. In my opinion they should be at least 20 to 30 minutes long to prepare the practitioners body for the type of martial arts that lies ahead. For Karate they should contain the following elements:
- Joint Manipulations
- Body Warm Up
These exercises involve gently manipulating the body’s joints starting from the head and working down to the feet. The movements could start by rotating the head, shoulders, flexing the elbows, wrists and fingers. This carries on by working your way down through the spine, hips, knees, ankles and toes.
Body Warm Up
This part of Junbi Undo is to warm the large muscles in the students body to prevent possibly injuries from stretching and ballistic movements that is seen within the martial art. Therefore, these exercises are aerobic in nature, however, they are not done to tire out and fatigue the student at this stage. They should be carried out just to get the heart pumping and blood circulation to warm up the practitioner’s body for the lesson ahead. Typical exercises are running on the spot, bouncing, jumping jacks, burpee, jumping and lifting knees into the chest. A range of these are done so as not to be mundane during this period of warm ups.
Once the body has been warmed up and prepared then stretching can commence. This is the final stage of Junbi Undo which prepares the body for the range and type of movements that is going to occur in the lesson. They should involve all muscle groups in the body, going through a range of stretching motions (too many to describe here) and holding them for a least 20 seconds. They can be carried out either with a partner or own your own. There are also many types, such as:
- PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation)
This term translates to “Supplementary Exercise”. Although sometimes seen as basic techniques in the martial art, however, it normally refers to the training equipment which the Okinawans developed to condition and strengthen the body. The appearance of this equipment looks primitive and basic, being made from wood, stone and metal. Nevertheless, it is extremely good at developing strength, speed and posture that is required in Karate and Kobudo. The equipment is:
- Chiishi – concrete weights on a wooden pole.
- Ishi Sashi – hand held weights, like padlocks, made of stone or metal.
- Makiage Kigu – weight hanging on a rope from a wooden handle.
- Nigiri Game – ceramic jars filled with stones or sand to impart different weights.
- Tan – wooden bar with stone or metal weights at each end, looking like barbells.
- Jari Bako – bowl filled with sand or smooth stones.
- Tetsu Geta – metal or wooden clogs warn like sandals.
- Kongoken – metal oval bar that can be filled to vary the weight.
- Tou – a bundle of bamboo tied together either at both ends or in the middle.
- Makiwara – post or board with one end covered with hemp rope while the over is secured to the ground.
- Nagai Chiishi – this is similar to the Chiishi but the concrete weight is on the end of a Bo. (courtesy of Sanguinetti Sensei: Bushikan)
It is panned that a in depth article will be written about Hojo Undo and will be made available to our members via the Members’ Pages – so keep a watchful eye out!