“You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain.” Miyamolo Musashi
OPEN HAND KATAS
Seisan: From Shorin Ryu. Emphasizes a straight-forward stance, seiken tzuki blocking (straight punch), the mae geri (straight forward), and rapid technique.
Seiunchin: 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° angle. It also stresses reinforced blocks and punches, breath control, and powerful techniques.
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, on a ledge or sideway evasion of an attack. Most movements are performed in a lateral direction.
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.
Chinto: From Shorin Ryu.. It derives its name from Master Chinto. This kata emphasizes pivots and fighting on angles. Chinto is one of the most difficult kata to perform while maintaining good balance.
Kusanku: From Shorin Ryu. It derives its name from Master Kushanku. Designed for fighting under conditions with limited light and teaches evasive techniques.
Sunsu: This is the kata that Master Shimabuku personally developed, and bears his nickname. It is the longest and most difficult kata to perform.
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 preparation for my advanced writing class at Warren County College, I read “Choice: Reaction or Response” from Getting the Best from Yourself and Others by Julie Davis-Colan and Lee J. Colan. Students had read a number of short stories that stressed the evaluation of characters and why some were straight forward and honest and other were devious and deceitful. Each student had to determine if the characters were making good life decisions and what caused each character to react in the way(s) related by the author.
The authors related of the article I read stated – “The power of choice is one of the greatest gifts we are given.” Although we make many choices every day, we seldom make neutral choices. Each choice has a positive or negative consequence for us at some level and “Our attitude toward life is the most important choice we make!”
Just think of the last time you were in deep thought about your plans for the evening. We often do things without thinking or “being in the moment”. We daydream rather than concentrate on what must be done. Students do this in class and adults do it at times while driving – arriving home without being truly aware of the drive. Consider the multitude of much smaller choices we make each day that we don’t really think about: waking up, brushing our teeth, saying “good morning” to a colleague, eating our lunch, or performing a repetitive job duty. Subconscious actions are useful most of the time, but we must also consciously choose our attitude to control our results. Our ability to choose is a gift, but it is also a huge responsibility. No matter what today’s “it’s not my fault” culture encourages, we are all ultimately responsible for our own choices. In fact, we like to write the word responsibility as response–ability. As humans, we have the unique ability to respond.
When we react, we make a purely emotional and subconscious decision. Often, because of how our experiences and prior choices have programmed our subconscious mind, and reactions do not help us achieve the best results.
On the other hand, when we respond to a situation, we make a constructive and conscious decision. That’s why there are emergency response teams, not emergency reaction teams. When we simply react, our emotional instinct is in control, with little thought of the long-range consequences. When we respond, our brain is fully engaged, and self-awareness is high. We have the long-term consequences in mind. We all experience many negative situations and people. Choosing to respond instead of reacting helps positively orchestrate our attitudes — and our lives.
In karate we respond to situations in kata and sparring because of our training and because of the numerous repetitive drills that are performed. Our response to each situation is because of the conditioned response to the outside situation. Approaching each situation with the choice of the proper action creates a positive feeling because we succeeded. Our attitude becomes more confident and positive. This also translates into daily life whether it is in school or work.
Golden Rule Tournament – Warren Hills High School – Sunday, February 18th. Doors open at 9 A.M. and the tournament starts at 11:00 A.M.
King’s Karate Tournament – Merriam Avenue Elementary School, Newton, NJ – Doors open at 8:30 A.M. and the tournament starts at 11:00 A.M.
“Your imagination is more real that then the world you see, because the world you see comes from what you imagine and believe! What you believe and feel to be true is what will be your life.” Rhonda Byrne
“Sometimes the best you can do is just remain silent because no words can explain the battle that’s going on in your heart and mind.” Anonymous
“When we fill our thoughts with the right things, the wrong ones have ho room to enter.” Joyce Maya
“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…” ― Alfred Tennyson
With the coming of the New Year, we have the prime opportunity to renew ourselves and rededicate ourselves to our families, work or school and our training.
One of the strengths of a karate training session is that the process is mental as well as physical, so the whole person benefits from the time spent in the dojo as well as during the disciplined practice at home. We cannot attempt to stay at the same level that we are at today. We must try to improve our abilities at kata, kumite, and self-development.
Another strength of traditional karate training is seen when the student can focus his or her energies on the inner qualities that set our training apart from other forms of exercise. Goal setting is not unique to karate training but is at times different because we cannot look at just the physical benefits of an exercise program. We must take into account that we want to improve ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally. Think about what you want to accomplish during this year and write it on a piece of paper – – – put it away in a safe place (with your monthly dojo newsletters) and look at it every so often to see if progress is being made toward accomplishing the desired goal.
Accept the challenge of setting realistic short and long-term goals. Be prepared to work toward the goal and step-by-step improvements will be made.
THOUGHTS TO IMPROVE TRAINING:
- 99.9% OF THE TIME — FEET MOVE TO THE CORRECT STANCE BEFORE THE HANDS MOVE.
- SEE THE ATTACK BEFORE DOING THE TECHNIQUE.
- THE ELBOW IS BEHIND THE HAND IN PUNCHING TECHNIQUES.
- THE KNEES ARE OVER THE TOES.
AN UPCOMING TOURNAMENT WILL BE AT WARREN HILLS REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL – – FEBRUARY 18TH. MARK YOUR CALENDARS AND PLAN TO ATTEND. IT IS CLOSE AND IT IS A WELL RUN EVENT.
The strength of an individual is found in the creation of his mind. This power can become so great that sometimes when men harbor a great thought, they are to an extent taken captive by it. The idea possesses them and infuses them with its strength. William James said, “If you wish to possess an ability or attribute, act ‘as if’ you already had it.” Let it get hold of you. If you would be courageous, act “as if” you were already courageous. Shakespeare said, “Assume a virtue if you have it not.” So few people succeed because so few can conceive a great end and work toward it without deviating and without tiring.
The best road to success is to think big and act big and to give substance to your greatest thoughts by putting them into action. Our business is to work, to surmount difficulties, to endure hardships, to solve problems, to overcome the inertia of our own life. Keep in your heart a shrine to the ideal and upon this alter let the fires never die. We should immediately discard all of our philosophies of failure. We should throw out the weaknesses of evasion and procrastination. “Fear is with the faithless and faith is with the fearless.”
When we immerse ourselves in positive thinking and constructive attitudes, we saturate ourselves with success and then are possessed by it. Strength and weakness are both “inside jobs.” Poison on the outside may not matter; poison on the inside is disastrous. Exercise makes us strong. We can start with little things that we can handle easily and increase our load at easy intervals and get into the success habit by being willing to pay the price. And this day by day exercise with the philosophy of strength and courage will make us grown strong and capable. Now is the time of our greatest opportunity. Seize it and teach it to obey. Shakespeare said: There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at its flood leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyages of our lives are bound in shallows and in miseries.
LISTENING THE GOLD MEDAL FOR SUCCESS
Why Does Listening Matter?
It is important because – you live by yourself but you cannot do it alone.
God made us incomplete. We need other people.
Understanding others helps us understand our self better.
What gets in the way of effective listening?
Not having a listening heart – with pure intent – karate=s beginner=s mind.
A person must want to listen.
A tendency to listen to our inner voice instead of the person that we are meeting.
Wanting to hear what we want to hear, rather than what the person says.
Several seminars I have attended have involved the art of Listening. In each seminar the presenters, the best being Steve Shapiro and Bob Proctor, state that HEARING is a physical process but LISTENING is wanting to hear. Listening is the second most important thing we do, next to breathing and it is the forerunner to LEARNING. Listening, which will make a difference in our lives and in the world, is: a Skill; a State of Mind; a State of Heart; an Attitude; an Art; and a Path to Enlightenment. At each level of physical, emotional and social development, listening is emotional and it is mental. Listening at a high rate must be practiced. It is a choice, an attitude, where people must decide that they want to hear. When with other people, we have a choice to listen to the other person or the voice inside our head. We listen to feelings with an intuitive factor of being. When doing so, we can sense the excitement, interest, emotion, and pain being transmitted. The quality of our lives is determined by the quality of our relationships. You cannot learn about another person=s beliefs and dreams, if you are talking.
A key to success in school, karate and life finds listening to become a State of heart because it is so much more than just hearing. At the highest level of listening, we use our eyes, our intuition, our emotions, our ears, our mind and our senses. It is an opening of our emotions, where we listen for the intent more than the content of what is said. It is more than the facts. Who is the person? Where is he or she coming from? Listen to and not about the individual – creates the connection between people.
If my State of Heart is the desire to just make money or promote my ego – my chance to reach other people is greatly reduced. If I intend to help other people, the rate of success is increased.
King Solomon said, Give me the gift of a listening heart.
Aristotle said, Wisdom is reward we get for a lifetime of listening when we would rather to have been talking.
Paths to enlightenment – Meditation and Prayer – require listening to the voice inside ourselves.
Relationships need this enlightenment to grow and flourish.
Listening is the polishing stone not the grinding stone in life.
Listening is a process – – people are involved in our lives, physically, emotionally, psychologically – – What do we listen for?
Recognize people for whom & what they are and their beliefs.
We cannot change people – accept them for what they are.
People are interested in themselves.
What is important to you?
How do you want your life to become?
How can I help you?
Ask questions AND listen.
Are they a victim or creator – have they taken responsibility for their lives?
Listen for those to whom You want to Give the Gift From Under the Tree.
When making personal decisions, listen to what your head says; then listen to what your heart says. If they differ, follow your heart! Whenever you listen to your heart, you listen to that part of you that is most interested in your well being.
It’s just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past 10 years or so. It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas. Oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it, overspending, the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma, the gifts given in desperation because you couldn’t think of anything else.
Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way. Our son, Kevin, who was 12 that year was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended, and shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church.
These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in the spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes. As the match began I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler’s ears. It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford. Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn’t acknowledge defeat.
Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, “I wish one of them could have won,” he said. “They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them.” Mike loved kids, all kids, and he knew them, having coached little league football, baseball and lacrosse.
That’s when the idea of his present came. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years.
For each Christmas, I followed the tradition, one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on. The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents.
As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure.
The story doesn’t end there. You see we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning, it was joined by three more. Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad.
The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing around the tree with wide-eyed anticipation watching as their fathers take down the envelope. Mike’s spirit, like the Christmas spirit, will always be with us. Author Unknown
“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” Napoleon Bonaparte
“The best pleasure is the joy of understanding.” Leonardo da Vinci