Sunday, September 23, 2007

Hawaii Karate Kenkyukai

On Saturday, 22 September, the Hawaii Karate Kenkyukai (Research Association) held its first meeting. Like any good karate research association worth its salt, it wasn't about committees or reading dusty old history books, it was just training. The instructors present were Senseis Bobby Lowe (Kyokushin), Pat Nakata (Shorin Ryu), Alan Lee (Goju Ryu), Charles Goodin (Kishaba-juku Shorin Ryu), and G. Hisae Ishii-Chang (Shotokan). There were several students from various instructors, although I was the only student of Nakata Sensei present.

As we all had different ways of doing things, we worked on some of the simple basics of punching. Nakata Sensei introduced our methodology of punching and had everyone put the theory to the test by punching some hand pads. Observing everyone's punching styles allowed me to see advantages and disadvantages of each. We also practiced the concept of "creating a one-step" situation where you take advantage of understanding range to pick off an opponent when he has to cross certain range boundaries in order to attack. It was interesting to note that despite the necessity of moving forward into the attack for this to work, some people still had the natural tendency to adjust range backwards before launching their counter strike. Throughout this section and the entire training, there was continued emphasis on natural striking, moving into the opponent, and smooth movement.

We then moved on to some gedan mawashigeri (low roundhouse kicks), which are definitely not my specialty. To add a little realism, attackers and defenders were allowed to move around. While my mawashi geri isn't all that great, as we tend to employ simple, direct kicks in training, I saw the effectiveness of breaking up an attack or defense using the direct walk-in to the opponent. This was the same for the one-step situation creation earlier.

Afterwards, we worked on a little self-defense drills run by the Kyokushin group and some people did some sparring as well. As with the other parts, it was interesting to observe the fighting styles of the participants.

All in all, it was enjoyable and I think everyone benefited from the exposure to the multiple viewpoints offered during the training. I look forward to the next session.

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