STUDENT & PARENT GUIDELINES

It is our belief that children and adults need structure in their lives and a strong support system of family, friends and mentors to encourage and enable them.

Our goal is to help define this structure in a way that provides our younger students with well-defined guidelines, equipping them morally, emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually for the everyday challenges of growing up.

Having structure allows the child to focus on improving themselves within acceptable guidelines, reaping the rewards of good behavior and understanding the consequences of inappropriate conduct. Structure provides a foundation for growth allowing children to become strong, self-disciplined, self-confident and self-reliant as they become young adults. We have been very successful in helping children become responsible young adults, and this is only achieved with your help and support.

We ask you to support our teaching when it comes to consistency. Only when an individual fully applies himself or herself to a particular pursuit, can he or she reap all the benefits and rewards it offers.

1. We ask our students to be consistent with training, often two days a week is best because it gives the student time to practice in the dojo and on his or her own. Inconsistent attendance sometimes causes a child to feel embarrassed when he or she cannot remember the skills that are being learned. Many children will want to give up rather than be embarrassed in any way.
2. When a child says “I don’t want to do this anymore”, we do not simply say “okay.” We believe we are not helping the child by doing this. We will quickly try to get to the root of the problem. Sometimes, the only issue is a lack of confidence, which can easily be overcome. We ask the parent to help support us in this way as well.
3. We realize that karate is not a quick fix. If we do not see immediate improvement, we do not give up. We are patient. It is the reinforcement of the all the positive character traits over time as well as the child’s gradual physical and emotional development that builds him or her into leaders as young adults.
4. We do not criticize a child or compare them to others in the school. Growth in the Martial Arts comes at different times and at a different pace for each individual. Isshin-ryu becomes a way of life.
5. We ask that parents inform us of changes in their children, positive or negative, as they occur so that we can respond accordingly. We try hard never to be in conflict with any of your family values or teachings.

We take our role as instructors, mentors and an extended family support group very seriously. Let us know how we are doing and please give us suggestions on how to improve our service to you and your child.

UNDERSTANDING KARATE STRIKES


A Brief Study of the Kinesthetics of Karate – Understanding Movements of Karate Strikes
DISCOVER – Vol 21 No. 5 – May 2000
THE PHYSICS OF KARATE – Michael Felt, et al

A person’s body is the sum of all its parts. When the parts work together properly, then the whole becomes greater than the parts. A simple example is the difference in power found when punching with one arm only, or doing the same punch, and having it start at the hip, with a strong stance and also retracting the opposite arm.

A properly delivered punch reaches its maximum velocity when the arm is about 80 percent extended. A student is taught to focus the punch using imagination so that it terminates approximately two inches inside the opponent’s body, rather than on the surface. A peak velocity of 10 to 14 meters per second will produce more than 3,000 newtons. The karate student focuses his blow in a small area. Thus a large amount of momentum is exerted through a small area. The effect of the strike is intensified because the time of focus is extremely short, especially at higher levels of capability. The closer one is to the target the more force that one may create. This applies where the arm or leg reaches the target just before the peak of its travel arc. Once beyond that peak, the limb starts to lose power as potential energy starts to turn into kinetic energy. To deliver the maximum power, one must make contact before the slowdown begins. The concept of slowdown occurs after the punch reaches its optimum distance about 20 percent before full extension.

Michael Felt in his article states bone can withstand 40 times more force than concrete, a bone less than an inch in diameter can withstand a force of more than 25,000 newtons. (A Newton is about the weight of an apple.) Hands and feet can withstand even more than that, because their skin, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage absorb a great deal of impact. As a result, a well-kicked foot can absorb about 2,000 times as much force as concrete before breaking. f = m x a – – – (force = mass x acceleration)

Success of a strike also depends on more subtle forces. Because of the numerous factors in delivering an effective punch or kick, the more perfect the technique is, the more power that will be developed and delivered to the target. A punch or kick uses many parts of the body. Each demands that a stable stance is crucial. The better one’s balance the more power that will be developed. The use of the proper technique to strike the proper point of the opponent is also necessary. Generally, the larger the target, the smaller the weapon used.

SPEED + FORM = POWER

Thought of the Week #68

We lift ourselves by our thought. If you want to enlarge your life, you must first enlarge your thought of it and of yourself. Hold the ideal of yourself as you long to be, always everywhere.
Author: Orison Swett Marden

Thought of the Week #67

Defeat is a state of mind. No one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as reality. To me, defeat in anything is merely temporary, and its punishment is but an urge for me to greater effort to achieve my goal. Defeat simply tells me that something is wrong in my doing; it is a path leading to success and truth.
Author: Bruce Lee

ANT PHILOSOPHY – Jim Rohn


Over the years I’ve been teaching children about a simple but powerful concept – the ant philosophy. I think everybody should study ants. They have an amazing four- part philosophy, and here is the first part: ants never quit. That’s a good philosophy. If they’re headed somewhere and you try to stop them; they’ll look for another way. They’ll climb over, they’ll climb under, they’ll climb around. They keep looking for another way. What a neat philosophy, to never quit looking for a way to get where you’re supposed to go.

Second, ants think winter all summer. That’s an important perspective. You can’t be so naive as to think summer will last forever. So ants are gathering in their winter food in the middle of summer.

An ancient story says, “Don’t build your house on the sand in the summer.” Why do we need that advice? Because it is important to be realistic. In the summer, you’ve got to think storm. You’ve got to think rocks as you enjoy the sand and sun. Think ahead.

The third part of the ant philosophy is that ants think summer all winter. That is so important. During the winter, ants remind themselves, “This won’t last long; we’ll soon be out of here.” And the first warm day, the ants are out. If it turns cold again, they’ll dive back down, but then they come out the first warm day. They can’t wait to get out.

And here’s the last part of the ant philosophy. How much will an ant gather during the summer to prepare for the winter? All that he possibly can. What an incredible philosophy, the “all-that-you-possibly-can” philosophy.

Wow, what a great seminar to attend – the ant seminar. Never give up, look ahead, stay positive and do all you can.

This philosophy works wonderfully with our karate training, studies in school and what must be done once we are in the work-a-day world.

1. Never quit – Traditional Isshin-ryu Karate is a life-long journey. We never learn everything that there is to know. We realize that there are four levels of study and mastery requires commitment to study the art, diligent training and the desire to investigate the depth of knowledge found in the basics, kata, weapons and kumite aspects of the art.
MEMORIZE AND BEGIN TO LEARN THE PROPER TECHNIQUES.
PRACTICE DAILY TO BEGIN TO MAKE OUR TECHNIQUES SMOOTH, STRONG AND FOCUSED.
WORK TO UNDERSTAND THE MEANING BEHIND EACH INDIVIDUAL MOVEMENT AND UNDERSTAND ITS PROPER USE AND PURPOSE.
STRIVE TO BECOME ONE WITH EACH TECHNIUQE, COMBINING THE PROPER SEQUENCES IN KATA, UNDERSTANDING HOW THIS STUDY UNITES OUR BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT – SO INDIVIDUAL AND COMBINED MOVES BECOME SECOND NATURE AND OUR REACTIONS BECOME IMMEDIATE, IF NEEDED.

2. Perspective – In our training we know there are soft and hard techniques. Soft techniques are not weak techniques. With these we use another person’s strength against the individual when confronted by a stronger opponent. We meet force with force only when it is necessary. We train today because we must be prepared before our efforts are needed to protect ourselves, or our families or friends.

3. Think summer – Use the warmth of the sun’s energy to inspire positive action. Know that the struggles of winter make us stronger when our bodies need energy and action. Focus on the good times knowing each season has good and bad qualities. Positive thought is the best way to develop the attitude and the type of personality with which other people like to associate. As positive thought becomes the guiding force in one’s life, success will become a normal part of life. Set backs will become a challenge to grow and advance one’s abilities.

4. Do all you can (inspired effort) – This is what traditional martial arts strives to impart to each student. Karate is an individual, thought oriented, mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual pursuit. It is intended to be a life-long endeavor applying the four stages mentioned in number one above. Though one stirves to make each move and combination of moves second nature; rushing to try to achieve perfection only slows the process. One must be open to learn using the concept of “mushin” (the empty mind where one does not challenge or resist what is taught) and “the beginner’s mind” (the mind that is always seeking to learn, without changing form or kata, to advance one’s skill and understanding.

Thought of the Week #63

My father used to say to me, “Whenever you get into a jam, whenever you get into a crisis or an emergency…become the calmest person in the room and you’ll be able to figure your way out of it.”

Author: Rudolph Giuliani