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 Practical Karate

If…

I had a bit of a Karate blog hop last week and found The Warrior’s Spirit blog. In one of the posts the author poses the question ‘If you were able to speak to yourself when you first began the martial arts, what would you tell yourself?’ as a discussion starter.

I had a quick think and then posted this comment ‘I’d tell myself to think of the kata as the key to Karate and to really explore the possibilities even the simplest kata contains.’. I’ve reflected more about the question since.

On one hand I’m still happy with my initial comment as it really feels like my eyes have been opened to the value of kata in recent years and restudying kata has really energised my karate study.

On the other hand I’m not sure I would want to shortcut what I’ve learnt or deny myself any of the experiences I’ve had over the last 15 or so years. I’ve met and learnt much from some fantastic people who have been very generous in sharing what they’ve learnt. And I’ve greatly enjoyed training. It feels good to pull on my gi and train.

At every stage I’ve valued what I’ve learnt as I’ve worked hard to build the knowledge and understanding to enable me to interpret different ideas. Recently it’s definitely felt like different ideas about kata and practical applications that felt hard to really get a handle on when I first came across them are starting to connect and make sense. But I think part of that connection is made easier because the foundations have been laid through the training I’ve had.

It feels like my journey to my current destination may not have been the most direct or the quickest but I’m not sure I’d want it any other way :-).

Christmas is just around the corner here so if that’s a holiday you celebrate then I wish you a Happy Christmas and please accept my best wishes for the New Year. I hope 2012 has been a good year and 2013 sees you in good health, with a peaceful mind, brings new learning and wearing a very contented smile.

I’ve enjoyed writing this blog, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it, thanks for sparing your valuable time to do so and if you’ve posted a comment then many thanks for pausing a moment to share your thoughts and have a chat.

 

Looking back at 2011

I returned back to my original Shukokai karate club in the autumn of 2010 after a number of years as a member of a Shotokan club. So I really enjoyed spending 2011 getting back into training, remembering the little differences in kata, working on combinations etc.

I also started looking at some different resources on the web and looking at what was happening karate wise on social media like Twitter. I found some footage of Shigeru Kimura which fired me up to really find out what the Shukokai style was all about. I also came across Iain Abernethy and his emphasis on studying kata in a more practical and integrated way

I attended a great pair of seminars Iain taught and it really made sense and he showed there was a structured way to get more out of kata, something I’d been looking to do but had been struggling to really know how to. I’ve been reflecting on all of this over Christmas and New Year and planned what I want to study more in 2012, I’m looking forward to using this blog to share where that takes me and hopefully get some comments that might help me along the way.