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Chidokan Karate-Do https://chidokan.com Traditional Karate with practical application Sat, 03 Jun 2017 11:53:39 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://chidokan.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/cropped-chidokanbadge-32x32.jpg Chidokan Karate-Do https://chidokan.com 32 32 105042877 Shotokan kata bunkai – AFTK Sydney Seminar https://chidokan.com/2017/06/03/shotokan-kata-bunkai-aftk-sydney-seminar/ https://chidokan.com/2017/06/03/shotokan-kata-bunkai-aftk-sydney-seminar/#respond Sat, 03 Jun 2017 11:53:39 +0000 http://chidokan.com/?p=1536 The Sydney Australian Federation of Traditional Karate seminar held in Lane Cove Bowling Club had a great turn out on a rare sunny March day.…

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The Sydney Australian Federation of Traditional Karate seminar held in Lane Cove Bowling Club had a great turn out on a rare sunny March day. The seminar had attendees from Queensland from Bubishi Martial Arts, Chidokan and Chidokai representatives and Northern Lakes Martial Arts from the Central Coast. There were also some visitors from outside the AFTK. The theme for this year’s seminar was Shotokan kata bunkai. Shotokan is a well know style of karate, renowned for being hard and fast.

The first morning session was held by Soshi Ed Hudson from Chidokai. The session went through the bunkai for Tekki Nidan. Tekki, also known as Naihanchi, is an old kata and used to be the first kata that is taught to a student in Okinawa. The kata is done in kiba dachi or horse stance which has created numerous stories on why. A famous story is that the kata was used to fight on the terraces of rice paddies. During the session, Soshi Hudson talked about the history of the Tekki kata and the reasons why that it may be done in horse riding stance. It is a training kata to develop the legs as well as fighting principles.

Chidokai is a Shotokan based style which has introduced entry points into the katas. Numerous concepts were introduced to attendees at the seminar. One concept was the targeting of vital points to take advantage of the natural human reaction and to finish off an attack quickly. Another concept that the attendees practiced was to unbalance and move around the attacker.

The afternoon session was run by Sensei Jeff McCauley from Northern Lakes Martial Arts based on the Central Coast. The afternoon session also looked at the practical application of Shotokan katas and took samples out of the Heian katas. The Heian (also known as Pinan) katas was created by Anko Itosu. There are five Heian katas that are taught to the kyu grades in most karate styles.

Sensei McCauley opened the session with break falling exercises and a technique to recover if you have fallen over. Some of the concepts taught by Sensei McCauley included using the flinch response as a defence against an attack (opening move of Heian Nidan), using throws as a finishing move (final move of Heian Sandan) and locks to control an opponent (gedan berai). The attendees had a lot of fun throwing each other around and also manage to sneak in an armbar or two on their partners.

A trait of the bunkai demonstrated by Sensei McCauley and Soshi Hudson was the use of gripping techniques, sticky hands and throws as part of the application of the katas. This is a whole world away from the Shotokan bunkai that other Shotokan associations adhere to and what most people would see. They are not flashy moves. They are simple, brutal and effective. The purpose is not to wow the crowds but for protection as a last resort.

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Practical Karate in Australia – Iain Abernethy Seminar https://chidokan.com/2017/06/03/practical-karate-iain-abernethy-seminar/ https://chidokan.com/2017/06/03/practical-karate-iain-abernethy-seminar/#respond Sat, 03 Jun 2017 11:30:53 +0000 http://chidokan.com/?p=1526   The flight down to Melbourne from Sydney is always early and never easy. This was well worth it. The trip was to attend the…

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The flight down to Melbourne from Sydney is always early and never easy. This was well worth it. The trip was to attend the Iain Abernethy three day seminar in Melbourne. There is a growing movement towards practical karate in Australia. This was the opportunity to meet and train with one of its exponents.

The seminar was organized and hosted by Craig Stuart from Shindo Karate. It was a massive turn out on all three days. Karate practitioners came from all parts of Australia; Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, ACT and Australia. The atmosphere was casual but focused. Iain was easy going and approachable. His stories and humour kept everyone engaged. It was a lot of fun.

Day one was on kata bunkai and drills to develop these applications on becoming instinctive. A lot of concepts and kata principles were explained and practiced. The principle of proprioception was introduced early and practiced throughout the three days. This is the principle sensing the relative position of your limbs without having to look and able to use this to target your attacker. Other concepts introduced were the angles in karate, sticky hands and how to break down and work out the application of the kata moves. Drills were introduced to embed these principles and concepts and to learn good habits for self defence; always back away with hands up and look around for other attackers.

The first day was an eye opener. We were exposed to concepts and principles that were not taught in a Shotokan based style.  As a club, Chidokan has started the journey to explore the practical karate for a number of years. This is a divergence from its roots in classical Shotokan karate. The club has remained true to its kihon and kata but has moved to a more practical application of the kata.

 

Bunkai practice

Bunkai practice

Second day was in Bacchus Marsh, on the outskirts of Melbourne. We thought the first day was pretty good. The second day was awesome. The first half was exploring Funakoshi’s throws. With a judo background, Abernethy showed the grace and speedy footwork that is associated with a judoka. Funakoshi gave the throws exotic names but are quite brutal in its simplicity and execution. This session also shows the depth of knowledge and the amount of research and analysis that Abernethy undertakes. No longer is a karateka just a person who practices the martial art of karate but also a scholar, with depth and insight into its history and development.

The second half of Day two was going through a series of focus pad drills to develop the skills. We learnt basic combination and also how to use focus pads to develop accuracy and power whilst executing kata techniques. A key insight in this session was that each training drill has a flaw for safety. Each drill must complement other drills so that the safety flaw does not get embedded into our techniques. For Chidokan, the second day of the seminar was great in introducing new drills to help take the club members through to develop their karate and how to structure drills that build upon each other.

First half of the third day went through the bunkai for Kankudai, specifically a flow drill for the first half of Kankudai. Flow drills are used to be time efficient and effective to practice bunkai for a kata. We thoroughly got stuck into each other with this drill as we have been immersing ourselves in Kankudai for about 18 months. The second half of day three was an introduction to kata based sparring. With a focus on self defence , the kata based sparring drills introduced the karateka to being in and learning how to move and fight in a clinch. This is a new experience for most karateka as everyone would have learnt sports sparring and assumed that is how real self defence situation occurred. We then went through a great session on one step sparring ala’ Rory Miller. A segment before lunch was a group exercise to simulate 400 years of karate history in 20 minutes. It was a fun activity which showed how easy for kata to change over the years.

All in all, it was an awesome three days. We met lots of great people and created some new friendships. Most of all we learnt a great deal on a subject we love that would benefit the Chidokan club. Practical karate in Australia has developed significantly. There is a movement within the karate community towards a more practical application of kata. This does not mean that sports karate and classical karate is waning or has no place. Karate can be considered as a broad church that can include many different practices.

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Kata Showdown https://chidokan.com/2015/12/24/kata-showdown/ https://chidokan.com/2015/12/24/kata-showdown/#respond Thu, 24 Dec 2015 03:46:16 +0000 http://chidokai.com.au/?p=940 We had a busy month of cross training with other Dojos including, PDK, Kurrajong and a Kata Showdown with GKR. A visiting instructor and a…

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We had a busy month of cross training with other Dojos including, PDK, Kurrajong and a Kata Showdown with GKR.

A visiting instructor and a Kata Showdown

Juan Perez is a Nidan with GKR and has a dojo in Northbirgde. Terry knows Juan well and invited him to come and train with us.

Before class, Juan and I discussed which Kata were common to both Chidokan and GKR. Bassai-Dai, Kanku-Dai, Empi and Hungetsu were part of both styles, whereas Saifa, Sepai, Kururnfa and Sochin are part of GKR but not in our syllabus. We have the Heian Kata, plus Gion, Jitte and Gankuku which GKR don’t generally train in.

I split the session into two with the first focussing on our Kihon to get things warmed up. We ripped through a number of Kihon exercises, all of which Juan picked up very quickly.

Juan Perez and the Kata Showdown v- December 2015

Juan Perez’s visit – December 2015

The second half was a sort of Kata showdown. We eased into Kata with the TaeKyoko Kata adding a basic GKR Kata into the mix. We then moved onto the Heian Kata, which Juan wasn’t familiar with but followed along really well. We then mixed things up with a rotation of GKR and Chidokan Kata. Juan gave us a demonstration of a Sepai and Kurunfa while we did Jitte and Hangetsu.

We completed the session with Empi, Kanku-Dai and Bassai Dai. (Let’s face it, no Kata session would be complete without Bassai Dai.). While there were some differences between the GKR and Chidokan versions of the Kata, we managed to keep in close unison for most of each Kata. That’s what I love the most about Karate; It doesn’t matter what style you do, there’s always some common ground to be found.

A visit from Juan Perez

A visit from Juan Perez

After class, Juan (through fogged up glasses) extended an invitation for us to train with him at his Dojo in Northbridge in the new year.

We will definitely be there!

Kurrajong

It was our turn to visit the Kurrajong dojo this month and the focus of the session was also Kata.

Tekki Shodan - Kurrajong, December 2015

Tekki Shodan – Kurrajong, December 2015

My aim was to take students through as many of our Kata as possible, starting at the TaeKyoko Kata and working up through the Heian to the higher Kata. We spent a little more time on Yondan though as this has been the topic of our recent lessons. It was a very hot day, which made things more challenging, however the 2 1/2 hours flew past and before we knew it, the lesson was over.

Kurrajong - December 2015

Back: Dawn, Terry, Ian & David
Front: Lucy, Ben, Emma, Finn and Linda

Thanks to Anita and David for the BBQ afterwards and it was great to chat with all the kids and the parents as well. See you in Sydney in February.

Cross training with the PDK Martial Arts School

Like most clubs, we are connected to a number of Karate-Ka on facebook and twitter, one of whom is Ricky Rigor of PDK Martial Arts School. Unlike the pre-internet era, a facebook friend isn’t necessarily someone you’ve met. I’ve follwed Ricky for a while and always been interested in findng out more about his Dojos. So I did a bit of digging and discovered Ricky was a student of Sensei Yossi Litvin and now has a number of Dojos sprinkled around north west Sydney. Terry, James and I have all trained under Sensei Yossi over the years. It’s a small world!

I got in contact with Ricky and he invited me over to train with him and his students at North Ryde. Ricky and his students made me feel very welcome and part of the club. We had a great session of Kihon and Kumite training where I learnt some new and interesting Kihon.

After class, Ricky and I chewed the fat about Karate in general including the past as well as the future. We both agreed in the value of cross training, whether that be in other sports or simply another Karate Dojo. We laid the plans for a joint training session early in the new year to get all our students together to share ideas and generally have a great time.

Thanks again to Ricky for inviting me to train with him and I hope we can train again more frequently in the future.

Ninja-bread men

Ninjabread man

Ninjabread man

To close out the year, a few of us met up at Yok Thai in Neutral Bay for an end of year feed and a huge chat about everything Karate.  We were also each given a gift from Dawn of home made Ninja-bread men.

Thanks Dawn!

 

 

 

It’s been a great year of training and learning and I am incredibly proud and inspired by the growth of all my students.

Here’s to an equally great 2016!

 

 

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The art of body shifting plus a little Aikido https://chidokan.com/2015/12/02/the-art-of-body-shifting-plus-a-little-aikido/ https://chidokan.com/2015/12/02/the-art-of-body-shifting-plus-a-little-aikido/#respond Tue, 01 Dec 2015 22:24:52 +0000 http://chidokai.com.au/?p=926 Tai Sabaki The focus of this month was Tai-Sabaki so we devoted the majority of the time working on the art of body shifting plus a little…

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Tai Sabaki

The focus of this month was Tai-Sabaki so we devoted the majority of the time working on the art of body shifting plus a little Aikido. We spent a lot of time focusing on Yoko-Geri and Mae-Geri as these are a crucial part of two of the Tai-Sabaki Kihon.  Strong, sharp, controlled kicks are essential not for the performance of the Kihon but to ensure an effective application.  It’s amazing how much a session of kicking takes out of you!

The first move of any of the Tai-Sabaki exercises is the fundamental defensive component. The preceding kicks are used to either debilitate your attacker or to place them in a more ‘accommodating’ position. Therefore, the kicks from Tai-Sabaki Ni and San must work without fail for the Bunkai to be effective.

And the well known secret to awesome kicks…. practice, practice, practice.

We took a trip to the Aikido Dojo

After Bruce Robertson’s visit to our Dojo he extended an invitation for us to visit his Aikido Dojo.  Dawn and I took the trip to Rozelle one Monday night and we were given a warm welcome by everyone and joined in the class for the warm up.

Bruce’s students were put through their paces while we watched.  We were treated to an excellent display of a huge range of techniques including throws, joint locks, pins, etc.  Bruce called out a name of a technique, defence or attack in Japanese and his students took it from there.  He also talked us through what was happening and why.

Our visit to the Aikido Dojo in October 2015

Our visit to the Aikido Dojo in October 2015

It was truly impressive how effortless Bruce’s students made their techniques look despite the strength or speed of the attacker
We were also given demonstrations of a Jo Kata and some knife attacks.

I took the mat with Michael and we played around with a few random attacks.  It was incredibly to experience the way an Aikido expert took control of my balance and, in some cases, my mind.

Ian and Michael with an Aikido/Karate freestyle session

Ian and Michael with an Aikido/Karate freestyle session

I’m grateful to Bruce and his students for inviting us to train with them and for making us feel very welcome.

Our visit to the Aikido Dojo in October 2015

Our visit to the Aikido Dojo

The Kurrajong crew visited

David Hennessey and his students came and trained with us in North Sydney again.

Tai-Sabaki-Ni

Tai-Sabaki-Ni

We spent the first half of the class on Tai-Sabaki smashing out a few dozen repetitions of the Kihon before taking a look at the Bunkai.  A room full of kids and adults gives the Bunkai greater depth. With such a great range of sizes and strengths everyone gets a very broad experience.

Heian Nidan applications

Heian Nidan applications

Riz, David and I took it in turns to work on the various applications of Kanku-Dai that we have been exploring.  Each of the applications we have worked on are starting to become more fluid.  A lot of them appear to focus on the neck of the opponent, either striking or twisting it.  Some of them are just plain brutal!

The second half of the session was devoted to Kata.  We began at the start with the TaeKyoko Kata and worked out way up with a series of slow, then fast repetitions.  To cap off the day we finished with Tekki Shodan.

A good Karate session always finishes far too soon, and today was one of those.  A great time was had by all and we plan to make it a regular thing.

20151031_Kurrajong (10)

We packed up and headed to the park for some well deserved afternoon tea.

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AFTK National Seminar 2015 https://chidokan.com/2015/10/04/aftk-national-seminar-2015/ https://chidokan.com/2015/10/04/aftk-national-seminar-2015/#respond Sun, 04 Oct 2015 04:12:49 +0000 http://chidokai.com.au/?p=888 AFTK National Seminar 2015 This month we made the trip to Ashgrove in Queensland for the the AFTK National Seminar 2015.  This is the first…

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AFTK National Seminar 2015

This month we made the trip to Ashgrove in Queensland for the the AFTK National Seminar 2015.  This is the first seminar held by the AFTK (Australian Federation of Traditional Karate) in a few years and it was great to see so many attendees.

Attendees of the AFTK National Seminar 2015

Attendees of the AFTK National Seminar 2015

The full day event was attended by 40 Karate-Ka from numerous clubs, with men and women from as young as 10 and as old as 40++ coming from as far North as Mt Isa and as far South as Sydney. We estimated that the group had over 400 years of collective experience in Karate!

The day commenced with a Tai Chi warm up from Glen Smith from Bubishi Martial Arts, followed by his walking cane seminar.

Jerry and Denis learning the basics of working with a cane or umbrella at the AFTK National Seminar

Jerry and Denis learning the basics of working with a cane or umbrella at the AFTK National Seminar

Starting with the basics as well as some partner work, Glen took us through the use of a cane or hook umbrella as a self defense tool and closed the session by teaching us his cane Kata. Check out the video of the Kata.

Glen Smith leading us through his cane Kata at the AFTK National Seminar

Glen Smith leading us through his cane Kata at the AFTK National Seminar

In the next section I took the group through an application for a few of the moves from Heian Sandan. Our focus was on the three Kibadachi moves reutnring to the start and we examined them in the context of close range combat. See this post for a preview.

To get things started we ran through a few rotations of the Kata before partnering up and working through the Bunkai for the signature move from the Kata. Firstly we examined the headlock from as grab-punch entry and followed that through to the take down. We then took the 180 degree turn from the Kata (after Nukite) and used that as a way to maneauver out of the headlock. This places the agressor back in control so we took things one step further and worked on breaking out of the half nelson and defeating the agressor.

Straight after that session we held the Dan gradings before breaking for lunch.

Bob & Cheyne McMahon at the 2015 AFTK National Seminar

Bob & Cheyne McMahon at the 2015 AFTK National Seminar

Bob McMahon from the Australian Karate Academy took the next session, presenting a lecture on the history and development of traditional karate. This was followed by a more physical session of Kata dissection as well as a look at the Superman punch.

Before closing for the day 3 Karate-Ka were awarded their Dan grades. Congratulations go to Kahlia Smith for her Sandan, Cathy Dickson for her Yondan and also Glen Smith for his Yondan.

The day seemed to be over far too soon and before we knew it was time to head home. I can’t wait for the next one.

In our Dojo

In preparation for my slot at the AFTK seminar, we spent a few sessions this month on the Bunkai for Heian Sandan. We drilled each move, trying it out on as many partners as possible. Working with everyone in the class helped identify the weaknesses in the early incarnation of the Bunkai and made sure we had something good to show on the day.

We also spend the majority of the month working on Tai-Sabaki.  Quick and direct body movement is essential in all martial arts and this Kihon is great for working on improving quick feet and fast turns.

We managed to cover off Tai-Sabaki Ichi, Ni and San, spending some of the classes using the principles in a self defence situation.

Next Month

Plans are coming together for a busy October.  We have been invited to Sensei Bruce Robertson’s dojo one Monday evening and we will make sure we get there before the end of this month.

We will also be having a visit from David and his students from Kurrajong near the end of October.

Train hard and see you at the Dojo.

 

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Self-defence with the use of the cane https://chidokan.com/2015/09/26/self-defence-with-the-use-of-the-cane/ https://chidokan.com/2015/09/26/self-defence-with-the-use-of-the-cane/#comments Fri, 25 Sep 2015 19:44:36 +0000 http://chidokai.com.au/?p=885 At the AFTK National Seminar last weekend Soke Glen Smith took us through self-defence with the use of the cane, walking stick or umbrella. His session focused on the…

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At the AFTK National Seminar last weekend Soke Glen Smith took us through self-defence with the use of the cane, walking stick or umbrella. His session focused on the practical and effective self-defence techniques these everyday items have to offer.

Below is a video Kai Kihon as performed by Glen and some of his students at the AFTK National Seminar 2015.

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Our first trip to Kurrajong https://chidokan.com/2015/09/05/our-first-trip-to-kurrajong/ https://chidokan.com/2015/09/05/our-first-trip-to-kurrajong/#respond Sat, 05 Sep 2015 05:42:15 +0000 http://chidokai.com.au/?p=864 The Kurrajong trip David Hennesey is a Karate-Ka from the early 2000’s and was the last Shodan under Kyoshi Sensei Clutterbuck. David has moved around in the…

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The Kurrajong trip

David Hennesey is a Karate-Ka from the early 2000’s and was the last Shodan under Kyoshi Sensei Clutterbuck. David has moved around in the past 10 years or so which has made it challenging to train with him.

But as with any true Karate-Ka, he’s kept the fire burning and now trains with his children along with some other kids in his garage. They came to visit our dojo in May (check it out here) and we promised that we would return the favour by coming out to Kurrajong to train with them.

And that’s exactly what we did on 22nd August.  A group of us, kids included, drove north west for our first trip to Kurrajong for a day of training and catching up.  We arrived there after lunch and met all of the Kurrajong Karate-Ka; Dave, Emma, Linda, Finn and Ben.

Kata at Kurrajong, August 2015

Kata at Kurrajong, August 2015

Then we got straight down to training.

The focus of the session was the first three Heian Kata and to get things moving we started with basics and a bit of bag work.  Then we moved on to Kihon, taking the key moves out of each Kata and practising them in the various Kihon exercises.

Once that was starting to look smooth, we went back to the Kata and rattled off a few rounds before pairing up for Bunkai.

Linda and Santina working on Heian Bunkai at Kurrajong, August 2015

Linda and Santina working on Heian Bunkai at Kurrajong, August 2015

Heian Sandan Bunkai at Kurrajong, August 2015

Heian Sandan Bunkai at Kurrajong, August 2015

Ian and David demonstrating some Heian Sandan Bunkai at Kurrajong, August 2015

Ian and David demonstrating some Heian Sandan Bunkai at Kurrajong, August 2015.

This was when the challenge became immediately apparent.  The height difference between the kids and the adults was large and it made me wonder how we could pair everyone up.  It was great to see all the kids putting in a great effort to try and make the Bunkai work on someone almost twice their height.

To close things off we bashed out all of the Taikyoko Kata and the first four Heian, finally finishing on Tekki Shodan.

It was unbelievable how fast the time went.

Refuelling

Linda, Finn, Emma, Lucy, Amber and Ben refuelling with cake at Kurrajong, August 2015

Linda, Finn, Emma, Lucy, Amber and Ben refuelling with cake at Kurrajong, August 2015

After the training session, we headed up to David’s house, which is nestled in the hills of Kurrajong Heights, for a BBQ. There was an abundance of food to fill the empty tanks. There also appeared to be too much cake, however with 10 kids it was all gone in a flash.

The kids ran riot on their sugar rush for a few hours while we discussed the ‘good old days’ of Karate and what we hope to expect for the coming years.  Everyone agree it was great time both at the training session and the BBQ.

It’s always good to train with other Karate-Ka no matter what their style. I think it’s particularly special to train with Karate-Ka that are part of the same ‘family’ because there’s an unspoken recognition between the students. All the Kata, Kihon and etiquette are identical and the training has that special feeling about it.

We all agreed we’ll have to make this a regular event both in Kurrajong and in Sydney and plans are afoot for a Sydney visit very soon. I’d like to extend a big thank you to David for organising the training venue and to Anita for having us and for putting on a great BBQ. It was fantastic to meet you all again (or for the first time) and we look forward to training with you all again very soon.

A bit more colour in the Dojo

Congratulations goes to Bruce for his promotion to 9th Kyu.  Before starting at Chidokan, Bruce didn’t have any martial arts experience so naturally he wondered how he’d go learning something from scratch.

Bruce has worked hard these past 6 months and had truly embraced the spirit of Karate-Do. His progression has been solid and steady and he always seems to be improving each lesson. He has developed a great foundation of technique and focus which will improve further over time.

Well done Bruce! Keep up the great work.

 

 

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Kids night at the Dojo https://chidokan.com/2015/08/02/kids-night-at-the-dojo/ https://chidokan.com/2015/08/02/kids-night-at-the-dojo/#comments Sun, 02 Aug 2015 02:06:21 +0000 http://chidokai.com.au/?p=855 Kids night at the Dojo The Winter school holidays happened this month so we invited the kids along to join our classes.  Bruce’s kids, Luke and…

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Kids night at the Dojo

The Winter school holidays happened this month so we invited the kids along to join our classes.  Bruce’s kids, Luke and Amber came to training the same night Sam and Lucy (my two) were there.

Kids night at the Dojo

Winter school holiday activity in the Dojo

Luke has been training for many years so it was a walk in the park for him.  The others weren’t so familiar but gave it a good go.

Kihon was a bit confusing for them so we did plenty of line Kata as well as a bit of Bunkai. We did a simple bunkai for Gedan Barrai with a grab-punch entry point and everyone did a great job although the kids Bunkai descended into a rumble pretty quickly!

Kata

The focus of July was Heian Nidan and Heian Sandan.  Both of these Kata are a significant step up from Heian Shodan and take some time to get right.  In addition to the wider range of stances, like Kiba-Dachi, there are more complex and tricky transitions between moves.  These transitions are hard to get right as they require great balance coupled with excellent timing and a strong stance.

The only sure-fire way to learn them is practice, practice, practice. So that’s what we did.  Each of the turns and transitions were drilled in isolation. Focus was paid to the position of the feet before and after the turns as well as the stability of the resulting stances.  We also performed the mirror image of each move for both balance and context.

Higher grades also worked on Heian Nidan Sho. We drilled each move in Kihon and then reinforced the technique with solid Bunkai before moving on the the next one.  All in all, this month has seen great progress by all students in their Kata.

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Amazing techniques of Aikido https://chidokan.com/2015/06/30/amazing-techniques-of-aikido/ https://chidokan.com/2015/06/30/amazing-techniques-of-aikido/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 13:09:15 +0000 http://chidokai.com.au/?p=833   This month we were fortunate enough to get a visit from our good friend Elna but this time she didn’t come alone.  Her Sensei, Bruce Robertson came…

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This month we were fortunate enough to get a visit from our good friend Elna but this time she didn’t come alone.  Her Sensei, Bruce Robertson came with her so that they could demonstrate some of the amazing techniques of Aikido.

Sensei Robertson is a true Martial Artists with over 50 years training and decades of practical experience in the use of Aikido.  It was an honour to have him in our Dojo and share with us some of his art.

Are you sure you want to do that Riz?

Are you sure you want to do that Riz?

Riz was picked as the Uke and got to experience the side of the attacker for the whole session.  Sensei Robertson demonstrated a dazzling array of take downs, holds, chokes, arm locks and throws.  Most amazingly was how effortless he made it all look.

But rather than me recount the story, I asked Riz to give us his view.  Just so we are clear, Riz is the “other” guy in the photo.  The one that looks like a rag doll.

From Riz’s point of view

“Sensei Bruce seemed like a harmless elderly gentleman. And he is harmless unless you’re a mugger trying to get his wallet…

Sensei Robertson deals with a lapel grab from Riz

Sensei Robertson deals with a lapel grab from Riz

Through the fog of pain, there were a few take outs from me being the ‘Uke’ for his demonstration.

The first take out was the precise movements of his hands, body and the synchronicity of his body. His fingers hit the pressure points first go every single painful time! And his body moved at the right time and direction. When he said that he moved my legs by moving my shoulder and that moves my spine and that moved my hips, it was true. Its all conceptual until he is using you to demonstrate it.

Sensei Robertson having a chat with Riz

Sensei Robertson having a chat with Riz

Application to my karate: Repetition training of a technique to get the placement, technique and body co-ordination right. This may include solo training and definitely in partner training.

The second take out was his fluidity and relaxed movements, especially when he did the short range punch into my chest. He was relaxed, with no tension and his movement was fast and fluid. Even the point of impact was powerful with no Kime.

Application to my karate: Relaxed technique with no tension, follow through and gain a deeper understanding of proper body mechanics.

The third take out was his discussion on feet and energy coming from the hara. The demonstration using the Jo against our hara when he was pushing me around was amazing. I felt the power when he pushed against me…. and I couldn’t push back.

Application to my karate: Focus on feet placement and direction as the foundation of my stance. Try to work out the principles Sensei Bruce is imparting about direction of the hara on the defensive stance.

On a scale of 1 to 10, that looks like a 12

On a scale of 1 to 10, that looks like a 12

The fourth take out was the closeness of him when he was applying the holds and locks. There was no gap between the body and the pressure on the joints did not let up. That is why when he placed the lock on my shoulder, his inhale breath put the pressure on the shoulder and his exhale breath decreased the pressure.

Application to my karate: Bunkai for grappling moves focus on reducing the gap between my body and the opponent’s.

I’m sure there were others but that’s all I could identify through the pain that I was feeling. It was a fantastic opportunity for a first hand demonstration of Aikido. I’ll look forward to another visit from Sensei Bruce but someone else can be the Uke.”

 

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Horse stance and chariots https://chidokan.com/2015/06/01/horse-stance-and-chariots/ https://chidokan.com/2015/06/01/horse-stance-and-chariots/#respond Mon, 01 Jun 2015 01:15:05 +0000 http://chidokai.com.au/?p=824 Horse stance and chariots The foundation of great technique is great stance.  A stable, strong and balanced stance coupled with lightning fast footwork and  accurate…

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Horse stance and chariots

The foundation of great technique is great stance.  A stable, strong and balanced stance coupled with lightning fast footwork and  accurate foot placement is a must for all Karate-Ka.  Well, it should be the goal at least.  Because a creating a great stance is no easy feet, ahem, I mean feat.

Above all, the three secrets of Karate hold here: practice, practice and practice. So that’s what we did this month.  Starting off the month with refining Zenkutso-Dachi we worked our way through Kokutso-Dachi by the middle of the month.

The rest of the month was devoted to Kiba-Dachi as well as putting some zing into our transitions.  In addition to the line Kata and Kihon we also spent some time on Heian Sandan. A great Kata to practice Kiba-Dachi.

One of my favourite Dachi exercises is the chariot.  Students pair up and one of them wraps their belt around the waist of the other. With both facing the same direction and in the same stance, the front student is the chariot and the back one is the rider. The aim is for the front student to form a strong, technically correct stance while the ‘rider’ applies resistance. Gradually build up the resistance to test the strength of the chariot’s stance.

Our 2nd Anniversary

To celebrate our 2nd anniversary I treated the class to an old school training session.  The ones we talk about from the late 70’s and early 80’s: a gruelling, relentless, vomit inducing hour of lung bursting pain.

God it was fun!  Lots of Kihon, bag work and full on Kata.

Santina, Dusan, Terry and Bruce were the only brave enough to turn up (sorry Dawn) and the really gave it their all.  After training we headed out for a drink and dinner at Yok Thai.  A good time was had by all with great food, good wine and some stories from the past.

 

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