Friday, January 24, 2020

New Potcast on Sidebar, Victor Moore

Please note there is a new podcast on the sidebar, "Chop Talk," by Nate England.  Sensei England is an instructor at the Kosho School of Karate, where Shuri Ryu Karate, Judo, Jodo, Iaido, and Kobudo are taught.

There are a few episodes with Sensei England interviewing a man named Victor Moore.  For those who do not know, Sensei Moore is the only man to have successfully blocked a punch from Bruce Lee during a live demonstration.  There is much dispute over this, as a biographer who wrote some time after Mr. Lee's passing tried to promote the idea that Moore had not blocked Lee's punches.  There is plenty of video on YouTube if you care to see for yourself.

What is most important to our style is that Sensei Moore is from Cincinnati, right across Ohio River from Covington, Kentucky.  Sensei Moore knew and trained with Hanshi Dometrich, and later, O'Sensei Chitose.  It is worth a listen not only to hear those stories, but to hear about the racial discrimination that went on in the world between black and white, and in the martial arts world between Asian and non-Asian.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Muk Yan Jong, or Mu Ren Zhuang (木人樁)

This is the wooden dummy that is present in so many Kung Fu movies.  I have always wanted to try this ever since I saw Bruce Lee use one in Enter the Dragon.  OK, I admit to being a big Bruce Lee fan.  When I was about 10, I had a poster of him from the same movie, holding nunchaku in a ready stance, hanging on the wall of my bedroom.  It was included in the story about him in Dynamite magazine.

I know nothing about the person making the presentation here, but his instruction makes sense - especially the part about keeping your shoulders down!  This post is really just for fun, but there is some good information here:

We use makiwara in our dojo as a means of developing strength and stability in the hands, wrists, arms - really, in the whole body.  If you want to know more about the makiwara, including plans to build your own, you can use this link.  Some of the pictures of the old masters using the makiwara are not that great - one even shows a hyperextended elbow!  The information is solid, however.  If you are really adventurous, here are plans for building your own Muk Jong

Finally, while we are having fun and reminiscing about Bruce Lee, here is a collection of scenes from the Ip Man movies.  In case you did not know, Ip Man was Bruce Lee's teacher.  Enjoy.

Ryusan, again

☺...for certain individuals who may or may not be demonstrating this kata as part of a formal group!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Motivation, Training, and Success

The following was sent in by Kohai Tim, who holds a Dan rank in the Isshinryu style of Karate.  Isshinryu is a traditional style, just as Chito Ryu, so the ideas presented here are absolutely compatable and transferable:

Isshinryu Training and Motivation to Succeed, By John E. Hughes

People have built-in feelings and perceptions regarding Karate training, exercise, and the ability to learn.  Most Americans are brought up to want to succeed quickly.  Karate is an art that is taught using a number of methods.  Some dojos test the student at regular intervals, fees are paid and the student is promoted.  In other dojos, the student signs up for a period of time and at the end of the contract, the student is granted the promotion.  Also, there are training methods where the student trains and when the level of proficiency is attained, the student is promoted.  THE TRADITIONAL ART DOES NOT GURANTEE PROMOTIONS [emphasis mine].  It does promise to help the individual improve physically, mentally, and emotionally; if the student trains properly.

Training methods are learned at the hands of a qualified Sensei, whose attitude, encouragement, and teaching methods help the student to identify the skills, abilities, and values needed to learn.  Motivation is the heart of learning and is dependent upon the purpose for learning.  The nature and extent of the desire to learn will influence the degree of motivation.  The degree of student motivation will determine the extent of personal involvement and help to create the persistence to overcome difficulties and frustrations. 

Motivation and learning are experienced intrinsically and extrinsically.  Extrinsic motivation comes from outside the individual.  The incentive may be to gain prestige, approval, or promotions.  Intrinsic motivation is derived inside the individual due to the enjoyment of the art for its own sake. The individual derives enjoyment, relaxation, physical benefits, challenges, and an expression of “Self” from the study of the art.  Intrinsic motivation does not depend upon what rank a person is but upon the values and abilities that the individual achieves.

To learn, a person must be patient.  To learn, a person must know that there is something to be learned; knowledge to be gained.  The person must add enthusiasm and the will to learn.  Karate is a progressive art.  One starts training with the basics and then proceeds through kata.  The ultimate goal is for the student to gain an understanding of how one’s body, mind, and spirit may be strengthened.  To this end, direction and guidance are added by the Sensei, while motivation and dedication are added by the student.  With continuing effort and desire, the student will be guided to understand what is required to become a “true” Karate student, who is a credit to the art.

I would like to add here that just as successful training requires intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, one's training should never be limited to what happens inside the dojo.  External learning must also take place, including solo practice (this is where kata are particularly useful) and non-physical study, i.e., reading and watching videos.  If you are a reader of this blog, you probably realize this already.  To be successful in your Karate training, regular dojo attendance must take place.   For a deeper, more meaningful, and more internalized experience DO NOT LIMIT YOURSELF to the two or three hours you may spend at the dojo each week.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Karate can kill

This is something interesting that makes the point of "original intent" in karate:  It was meant to be a deadly and violent form of unarmed self-defense against an untrained and villainous opponent or opponents, not a sport or a form of physical fitness.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

More Knife Hand

This is not the Chito Ryu version, but certain elements are the same.  Again, from Iain Abernethy:

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Hen Shu Ho

These are a little fast for easy viewing, but here are Chito Ryu Hen Shu Ho 1-10:

Here are all of the Hen Shu Ho. It is interesting to note that virtually all techniques demonstrated here end with a takedown.