Tag Archives: karate

Addressing self defence in martial arts training

Martial arts training can comprise aspects of self defence, but unless the art has been specifically devised for that purpose recently, it isn’t the same thing.

I find your lack of bunkai disturbing

It’s not that you don’t do it. I’m sure that if you are a form practitioner interested in bringing a functional purpose beyond postural exercise to your forms then you do. It’s just that some people seem to pay no more than lip service to actual analysis when arriving at their applications.

Six between-class shortcuts to excellence

Is this all too obvious? Then ask yourself honestly, how many of these do you really adhere to?

Why your kata should not look like your applications

In all of my books and videos there are deliberate differences between my kata and my paired application (oyo) that has resulted from my analysis (bunkai).

“Practicing a kata is one thing, engaging in a real fight is another.”

Gichin Funakoshi, Twenty Precepts

kicking in self defence

To kick or not to kick, that is the question.

When it comes to applying martial arts techniques in self defence, context and training methods determine the results. We get good at what we train for.

Kata is ice. Be like water my friend.

Kata, for most of us, is fixed. It is a set construct that we learn and rehearse. It does not vary very much. Over time different instructors have figuratively taken the same block of ice and carved away at some of the edges, added on smaller blocks, broken it down into lots of blocks and reassembled it in a different way, or taken chipped off elements from lots of different blocks to form a new block for others to replicate.

As a state of matter, ice is limited. It is strong, incredibly strong, but not adaptable. It can be cut to fit shapes, but then is limited to those shapes. It is limited to predictable fixed scenarios.

Don’t share our secrets!

Don’t share our secrets! I’ve come across this refrain in the Traditional Karate Community a number of times. It usually crops up when a person posts a video online where they demonstrate a drill they’ve been taught or a new thing they’ve worked out. Sooner or later somebody pops up and berates them for sharing […]

Malta Pinan Flow System Seminars

Sensei John delivered a remarkable seminar, leaving us with a deeper understanding of the 5 Shotokan Heian Kata. His knowledge on the subject is staggering, spanning some 25 years of training. His teaching method was structured and pleasant and kept all of us involved and interested throughout. It was a fantastic experience for all who took part.

Big Steps and Little ‘Uns

Have you ever walked down the street holding the hand of a small child, or noticed in passing another adult doing the same? If the adult is not fully focused on the child, but on getting to their destination, they will tend to automatically adopt their normal stride. Alongside them, making many more shorter steps […]

The Giants are Pygmies

Karateka across the world owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the Okinawan and Japanese instructors who, in the first half of the Twentieth Century, laid the foundations for a little known minority martial art to become one of the most practised in the world today.