MARCH 2014

 Isshin Ryu Kata Information

 Kata are sequentially designed, pre-determined defense, attack, and counterattack forms used against multiple opponents.  In addition to giving students practice in “street” techniques, kata develops speed, breath control, balance, calm mind, rhythm, motion, and coordination.  Until this century, kata was the only and ideal method of karate training.   Students learn kata in the following order:

I.                     Seisan
From Shorin Ryu.  It derives its name from Master Seshan.  Emphasizes a straightforward stance, seiken tzuki blocking, the mae geri, and rapid techniques.

II.                   Seiuchin
From Goju Ryu.  Emphasizes a strong, low stance in which the heels are shoulder-width apart and the feet are pointed out on a 45-degree angle.  It also stresses reinforced blocks and punches, breath control, and powerful techniques.

III.                  Naihanchin
From Shorin Ryu.  It is known for its “Toe-inward” stance (uchi hachiji  dachi).  Designed for fighting with one’s back against a wall or on a ledge.   Most Movements are performed in a lateral direction.

IV.                Wansu
From Shorin Ryu.  It is referred to as the “dumping form” because of the throw it contains.  The technical term for this throw is kata garuma.

V.                  Chinto
From Shorin Ryu.  This kata emphasizes pivots and fighting on angles.   Chinto is one of the most difficult kata to perform while maintaining good balance.

VI.                Kusanku
From Shorin Ryu.  It derives its name from Master Kushanku.  Designed for fighting under conditions with limited-light, and teaches evasive techniques.

VII.               Sunsu
This is the kata that Master Shimabuku personally developed, and bears his nickname.  It is the longest and most difficult kata to perform.

VIII.         Sanchin
From Goju Ryu.  It emphasizes strong technique and breath control.  The names means “three battles”, and refers to the control of mind, body, and breath during the performance of the kata.

      In karate, instructors speak of manners, of proper behavior or, etiquette.  Obviously, good manners are displayed, especially in the dojo.  Is it because we are told to do so or because it is a part of the rules?  Is there something within us that wants order, which is an intrinsic need for proper behavior?  We possess an internal sense that needs proper behavior, and thus there should be no need to impose it from the outside.

      In our study karate we find that, if we are to progress along the right path.  We must combine the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual aspects our lives.  It takes the unity of the love of family if we are to understand the value of love and if we are to be able to love others and ourselves. We should continually strive to improve mentally through education and meditation so we will be able to adapt to the rigors of daily life, at home, on the job and in our changing society. The pursuit of a physically fit body has been the desire of “man” since the beginning or recorded time. It was found that the more fit a person was,  the better able he or she was to think, act and adjust to the demands of the world.  Lastly,  to cope in today’s world there is  the need for spiritual guidance.  Unexplainable things happen to us or within our lives.  The larger scheme of life often has no explanation but needs to be accepted as the will of a higher being.  The growth in life and karate are ultimately the same.  The end of the path or way, the “do” in karate-do is never reached, as we never reach our ultimate potential in life if we strive to improve ourselves. 

      A step-by-step process of development is used in karate, if one is to attain skill in the physical aspects, the movement of power expressed in the Karate forms.  The foundation called basics is simple repetitious practice of blocks, punches, kicks or strikes.  This foundation is built upon by the combination of two or more basic movements.  These combinations are further elaborated upon when they become formalized in Kata. Too often, as a student progresses in the perfection of technique, he or she becomes bored with the basics and wants to move past form to study advanced kata, sparring or weapons, forgetting the essence of practice.  Nevertheless, if we are truly to study the ART then we must adopt the attitude of always being a beginner, of being able to do the basics anew each time.  It is difficult, not because it takes effort but rather because it does not.  What is difficult is the urge to do more, to accomplish more just for the sake of accomplishment.  We need to understand the boredom, OUR restlessness, found in the need to BE COMPLETE.

      Do not become a victim of yourself. Forget the thief waiting in the alley, what about the thief in your mind?   Walk away from the 97% crowd. Do not use their excuses. Take charge of your own life.  It is not what happens that determines the major part of your future. What happens, happens to us all. It is what you do about what happens that counts.  This one you must take like it comes.  Take personal responsibility for yourself. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. You do not have control of many things in life, but you do have charge of whether you read, develop higher-level skills, and ACCEPT NEW CHALLENGES.

      Study your present situation thoroughly.  Go over in your imagination the various courses of action possible to you.  Visualize the consequences that can follow from each course.  Pick out the course of action, which give you the most promise and begin.

      Many successful people use this skill of mental visualization.  They mentally run through important events before they happen.  Picture yourself in your mind’s eye as having already achieved your goal.  See yourself doing the things you will be doing when you have reached your goal.  Put your subconscious to work toward making your mental pictures come true.  Go over your day in your imagination before you begin it.  You can begin acting successfully at any moment.

      See the things you want as already yours.  Think of them as already in your possession.  You can live your dreams when you believe in yourself.

DOUG KING’S TOURNAMENT – Sunday, March 16, 2014 – Newton High School – see Mr. Hughes for more information.

 From February 20 – 22 I was in Hamburg, NY at the Defensive Arts Dojo with Sensei Downs and his students.  Numerous training sessions were conducted that were well received and friendships were renewed and created.  Thanks to Sensei Downs and his students for an enjoyable time.

Posted in Dojo Newsletter.