exploringkarate

I've been a keen karate student for 16 years, Shukokai and Shotokan, but there still seems to be no shortage of things to learn and explore. I'm hoping this blog will allow me to share my experiences and hear other martial artists thoughts.

Archive for May, 2012

Sensei David

Our club recently awarded our sensei with his 6th Dan. The award was greatly deserved and it was easy to see how well regarded Sensei David is by his students when he was given the award.

Clearly the role the sensei plays within any club is an important one. I think the level of regard a sensei is held in by his students gives a clear indication of how well they have fulfilled this role. I also think the longevity that they hold the role of a sensei shows how relevant they have been to their students and also how they have maintained a commitment to their art.

I would imagine this blog provides a sense of how important Karate is to me and I will always be thankful to Sensei David for creating an environment that allowed a passion for Karate to take root within me, be nurtured and grow to be such a strong element in my life.

I had a few years away from Shukokai but it felt great to come back to the club, almost like coming home in a way. Spending some time studying Shotokan Karate has given me an appreciation of the strengths of the different approaches and allowed me to understand what I really enjoy about studying Shukokai Karate under Sensei David’s tutelage.

I always enjoyed the more physical side of training working with the pads and the focus mitts. Now I feel I’ve learnt more I’m enjoying the freedom to explore different elements of Karate and revisiting kata to understand moe their practical applications.

In a way I think in the same way your understanding of your martial art increases and deepens with time and study so does your appreciation of your sensei and the important part they play in guiding your study.

Karate keywords

I can’t resist picking up books. Generally of all shapes and sizes but with my interest in Karate and Martial Arts I’ve got more than a few about both. At the moment I’m working my way through Iain Abernethy’s Bunkai Jutsu. It’s got a good introductory chapter about the history of Karate and Kata which had some stuff that I hadn’t seen in other Karate books.

A couple of things really struck me.

Firstly the wide range of influences that have played a part in Karate’s development. From Japanese Samurai who came and settled in Okinawa to Chinese Martial Artists who visited the island each bringing and adding their martial arts skills to the melting pot.

Secondly a sense of innovation which has allowed Karate to grow from it’s roots on Okinawa and spread right the way across the globe.

It got me thinking about what words could be descriptive of Karate. One that came to mind was Pragmatic. From what I’ve read it feels like Karate has developed in response to circumstances that arose on the island. When the average Okinawan was barred from carrying weapons to protect themselves they developed the skills required to do so unarmed.

Evolutionary is another. One definition of the word really fits, Evolutionary ‘A gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form.’ Lots of past masters have taken what they’ve learnt and blended in their own learning.

Am I going anywhere with this? I think where I’m going is that Karate can mean different things to different people depending on how they intepret what it has to offer. I’ve chosen a couple of words but on a different day, thinking about different influences I could easily choose very different ones.

The name of this blog continues to really fit how I feel about my Karate studies at the moment. I’m really enjoying exploring different aspects, seeing how they feel and if they feel right working to incorporate them into my Karate training.

What words does Karate evoke in you?