The 2015 I.W.K.A. Championships are now a memory. Because of the help of family, students, parents and friends, it was a success. If you were a part of the event, or helped to get some of the many details done and could not attend – THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP. A list of the top place winners is on the bulletin board in the dojo.
In previous monthly newsletters, I have written about the importance of kata in the development of one’s karate skills. Other necessary elements to developing and understanding Isshin-ryu Karate are conditioning, self defense, mental and emotional discipline, breaking and sparring, to name a few. Each person must develop SEQUENCE – one move blending into another, POWER CONTROL, SPEED & RHYTHM, DIRECTION OF MOVEMENT, EYE INTENSITY, SPIRIT, ATTITUDE, POSTURE, and BALANCE. Thinking about these elements of our Art, each person must put forth more than just a modest effort if one is going to improve. “Going through the motions” is not going to create the ability to develop strength, better physical conditioning or mental toughness. Whether doing kihon (basics), kata (forms), kumises (sparring) or kobudo (weapons) – 100% of each move must be done with maximum strength, focus of thought and speed. As Hanshi Duessel said many times – “Speed + Form = Power”. If one element is missing there is no POWER. To succeed in any endeavor, 100% must be dedicated to the issue at hand (IN SCHOOL, IN THE DOJO, AT WORK AND . . .).
THE 58th ANNIVERSARY DON NAGLE’S AOKA TOURNAMENT IS SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19h. MARIST HIGH SCHOOL, BAYONNE. SEE ME TO REGISTER BEFORE 9/12/15 AND SAVE $$$$.
REMEMBER OUR KARATE CAMP – SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12th – STARTING AT 9 AM (ADULTS) – 10:30 (CHILDREN) TO 3:30 PM AT OUR HOME. REGISTRATION FROMS WILL BE AT THE DOJO. PLEASE REGISTER BY WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9th.
In this month’s news- letter, I will share some insights about sparring . . . some mine and some borrowed. Point sparing is a mental discipline. Here are some insights to learn to be a smart fighter.
There are many suggestions one may find in books or on videos about strategy. These same strategies can be found in kata, when you come to understand them you will be better at both. You should have a strategy when sparring, this will allow you to be flexible (by changing strategy), and to do this you must first understand what you are doing.
- Body language is an important point in fighting. Read your adversary and make openings.
- By taking away your adversary’s balance, you have greater opportunities for victory. Awareness and perception are strong weapons.
- A superior strategist uses multilevel attacks to his advantage, rather than single kicks or punches.
- Low counters are the rule for high attacks. Use high counters for low attacks. 5. Strategy is important in handling a skillful kicker. Do not limit yourself to only sweeping his balance. Try to anticipate his intention, intercept the kick and scoop the leg.
- Be quick to take advantage of an adversary who becomes emotional, overexcited, or confused by always evaluating his mental condition. 7. Never reveal your true intentions . . . 8. While a low posture may reduce mobility and hamper his kicking skills, be careful as it enhances hand power. Try to get inside an opponent’s high posture. 9. There is a degree of danger to oneself, and in particular to the genitals when kicking high. Be careful not to lean too far forward or too far backward and protect yourself at all times.
Believe that you have a chance to beat anyone, if you line up with someone bigger, stronger, faster, or better, believe you have the mental edge, and you will last until he makes a mistake; when he does, you will cash in. If he under estimates you, you win. If he gets sloppy or fancy, you’ll win. If he makes a mistake you’ll steal his confidence. If he stays disciplined and he does defeat you, have pride and know you gave him nothing, he earned the victory. Go shake hands and tell him well done. As soon as possible, start working on next time.
Know the rules, and stay inside them, but, make it plain to your opponent that you are not going to stand for continuous or blatant violations. If you want to be good and help the others in your dojo to be good then you need, to work with those who are better than you, take you lumps, and learn to give the same. Then work with those not as good to bring them to your level. Don’t be afraid to help someone that you suspect may become better then you. Stay within the rules, avoid areas likely to easily cause injury. At the same time don’t get so caught up with winning that you cannot work with others in the dojo that are not as good as you without proving how good you are.
Generally, this is a mutual thing between training partners and adversaries. In the dojo with lesser or softer opponents if you over control it can just be a part of the learning and teaching process and it is better than harming the unprepared. However, to get better you need someone with whom you can mutually agree, that we are GOING HARD.
What balance or ratio should there be for offense versus defense? Block and counter – try not to just block. Nothing is free.
A few final thoughts . . . As we are training our basics, we are building skills needed for kata and sparring. As we are training our kata, we are using skills needed for better sparring abilities, concentration, eye focus, balance, timing and development of techniques. Each area of our daily training helps to improve the total picture we call Isshin-ryu Karate. Short change one aspect and the picture is not complete.