Monday, October 17, 2011

Hawaii Karate Kenkyukai - October 9, 2011

On October 9th, 2011, the Hawaii Karate Kenkyukai gathered to train together and study the Niseishi, Naihanchi Sandan, Gekisai, Fukyuugata, and Wanchin kata.

At the beginning and the end of the training, we shared a moment of silence for Shihan Bobby Lowe, who passed away on 14 September 2011. Lowe Sensei was a senior member of the Hawaii Karate Kenkyukai and very much a part of the Hawaiian karate community for many years. He was the Dai Sempai for the entire Kyokushin organization and a man who truly loved karate. Lowe Sensei, OSU!

The schools performing Niseishi/Nijushiho were Ryukyu Kobudo, Island Ki, IKL, Kenshukan and Minakami Dojo. Niseishi is a Nahate kata, meaning that it was directly imported from China, being taught and performed in the same manner as it was in China. According to Chibana Sensei, most Nahate kata were generally “numbered”. Niseishi is the Chinese pronunciation of the kata, literally meaning “24”. One of the main  versions of Niseishi practiced today came from Arakaki Seisho, who taught this kata to Shito-ryu founder Mabuni Kenwa. The kata spread further when Shotokan founder Funakoshi Gichin incorporated this kata into his system after sending his students Nakayama Masatoshi and Ohtsuka Hironori to learn it from Mabuni.  Hironori Ohtsuka later founded his own style known today as Wado Ryu Karate.  As such, the different schools performing had interesting variations in pattern and technique, but were fairly similar.

The remaining schools do not practice Niseishi, so they demonstrated different kata. OSKA did the Naihanchi Sandan kata, one of the basic mainstays of Shorin-ryu. It was explained that some believe the Naihanchi Shodan and Nidan kata were created by Tudi Sakugawa and that Naihanchi Sandan was created by Itosu Anko. According to Chibana Sensei, his teacher Itosu Anko actually emphasized that all the Naihanchi kata should never be altered because Tudi Sakugawa, who created the Naihanchi kata fighting system after training in China, was such a skilled master. This suggests that they were all created by Tudi Sakugawa instead. The focus of the Naihanchi kata is strong, powerful basics.

The next group of kata were interrelated, with Kyokushin Karate performing Gekisai Sho, Senbukan performing Gekisai Shodan, and Hikari Dojo performing Fukyugata Ni. It was explained that the Gekisai kata and Fukyugata were originally created in the attempt to have a simple, universal kata that the many different styles of karate on Okinawa could practice and perform together during exhibitions, study sessions, or just in general. Fukyugata Ichi was developed by Nagamine Shoshin of Matsubayashi Ryu and the Gekisai Sho (referred to as Fukyugata Ni by Matsubayashi Ryu) was created by Miyagi Chojun of Goju Ryu. In the end, the goal of having a universal kata shared by all karate styles on Okinawa was not realized.

Rounding off the kata demonstration portion, Wanchin was performed by the Ninchokan Dojo. Wanchin was created by Shimabukuro Zenryo and presented at the grand opening of his Seibukan dojo in 1962. It was explained that the name did not have any special meaning, only that it was chosen because it sounded similar to what a traditional Okinawan kata would be called.

After each kata was demonstrated twice and questions were asked, everyone broke into pairs and practiced techniques from the various kata. Both this section of the training as well as the demonstration of the kata emphasize to me the similar and differing approaches that each style brings to the table. As techniques were explained, some styles moved completely off-line to avoid attacks, others stepped back to change distance, and others still simply rotated the body. Other differing approaches included using blocks to destroy an opponent’s attack or simply to redirect it.

Performing the Kata (in order):
Niseishi - Ryukyu Kobudo - Pat Nakata Sensei, Alan Yokota (representing Fumio Nagaishi Sensei), Roy Rivera, and John Oberle
Nijushiho - Island Ki dojo - Taylour Chang (Round 1) and Hisae Ishii-Chang Sensei (Round 2) with participation in the application practice by Frank Lopes
Niseishi - International Karate League - Stephen Lodge (representing Walter Nishioka Sensei)
Niseishi - Kenshukan Karate Kobudo Association - Shawna Carino (representing James Miyaji Sensei)
Niseishi - Minakami Dojo - Sean Roberts Sensei
Naihanchi Sandan - OSKA - Pat Nakata Sensei, Alan Yokota, Steve Chun, Grant Kawasaki, and John Oberle
Gekisai Sho - Kyokushin Karate - Herbert Ishida Sensei
Gekisai Shodan - Senbukan Dojo - Alan Lee Sensei, Kyle Nakasone Sensei and Ryan Okata
Fukyugata Ni - Hikari Dojo - Charles Goodin Sensei
Wanchin - Ninchokan Dojo - Angel Lemus Sensei and his wife Judy Lemus Sensei

Walter Nishioka Sensei, James Miyaji Sensei, Rodney Shimabukuro Sensei, Robin Sagadraca

After the session was over we shared light refreshments and as always, had a fun time talking story. Food and drink were provided by the following: Grant Kawasaki/Hanapa’a Sushi, Steve Chun/C.Q. Yee Hop Co./Commercial Enterprises, Kyle Nakasone Sensei, and Pat Nakata Sensei.

Technorati Tags:

Friday, August 26, 2011

Mrs. Diane Satoko Nagaishi Memorial Demonstration (Hawaii Karate Kenkyukai) - Guest Post by Pat Nakata Sensei

The following is a guest post by my teacher, Pat Nakata Sensei:

The August 2011 Hawaii Karate Kenkyukai session was an informal, one-year anniversary memorial Karate demonstration to honor Mrs. Diane Satoko Nagaishi. This demonstration was agreed upon with the full support of the Hawaii Karate Kenkyukai. She passed away August 20, 2010 and was the wife of Fumio Nagaishi Sensei. As his wife, she came into contact with many of the great legendary Okinawan teachers, such as Chosin Chibana, Shinei Kyan, and Taira Shinken, to name a few. She was a dynamic and leading force in the formation of the Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinkokai Hawaii. Mrs. Nagaishi loved doing and watching Kata. She loved Kata.

Mrs. Nagaishi practiced the 16 Kata of Chosin Chibana's Okinawa Shorin-ryu Karate curriculum, 9 Kata from the Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinkokai (Shinken Taira), and 8 other open hand Kata, the Itosu Rohai (Shodan), Itosu Wansu (Wanshu), Itosu Seisan, Niseishi, Jutte (Jitte), Jion, Itosu Gojushiho, and Tensho. These 33 Kata formed the program for this demonstration.

The program started out with Mrs. Nagaishi's favorite Kata, Tsuken Sunakake (throwing sand) No Eiku. This Kata uses the oar (kaibo / eku), and was performed by Alan Yokota, Roy Rivera, and John Oberle. Next, the OSKA group, consisting of Alan Yokota, Steve Chun, Grant Kawasaki, and Tom Terayama, performed the Chibana Shorin-ryu Kihon Kata Shodan, Nidan, and Sandan.

In most demonstrations the Pinan Kata is performed by the youth or beginners group. For this demonstration the senior instructors performed the Kata. Pinan Shodan by Charles T. Goodin Sensei, Pinan Nidan by Sean Roberts Sensei, Pinan Sandan by Herbert Ishida Sensei, Pinan Yondan again by Roberts Sensei, and Pinan Godan again with Ishida Sensei. This entire set was dynamic.

The Naihanchi Shodan Kata is the fundamental Kata for Shuri-te, and was powerfully performed Angel Lemus Sensei and Judy Lemus Sensei, though they are Tomari-te stylists.

Alan Yokota, Roy Rivera, and John Oberle performed Rohai (Shodan). This Rohai is the first of 3 Rohai created by Anko Itosu. The classical Rohai is the Tomari Rohai. Following the Rohai was a well coordinated group performance of Bassai Dai (Itosu No Patsai) by the Minakami Dojo, consisting of Randee Chang, Nicole Cardinale, Justin Kaneko, and Adam Hagadone.

Everyone was on the edge of their seats when George Sasano Sensei was called to perform the Jion Kata. Sasano Sensei has been suffering from Tinnitus, which has affected his equilibrium for over a year. His performance was dynamic.

Gavin Hiramatsu showed the International Karate League's hard-hitting Kushanku, which is their rendition of the Itosu Kusanku Dai. Next was Dexter Chun with a quick paced Kishaba Juku Shorin-ryu Naihanchi Nidan Kata.

The Maezato No Tekko was another group Kata with Alan Yokota, Roy Rivera, and John Oberle. This Kata was created by Shinken Taira (Maezato) using the pattern of the Jiin Kata. The Tekko can be made from a brass (iron) knuckle (knuckle duster), stirrups, or horse shoes, but most likely came from China as a knuckle duster. Hisae Ishii-Chang Sensei's Nijushiho was versatile, being both smooth and flowing as well as quick changing.

Angel Lemus Sensei and Judy Lemus did their powerful Matsumura Seisan. Their Matsumura Seisan techniques are very close to the original Itosu Seisan, but the Itosu Seisan of Wado-ryu's Seshan and the Shotokan Hangetsu are more exacting in pattern (embusen). George Sasano Sensei followed with another forceful Kata, the Kusanku Kata Sho (Shotokan Kanku Sho).

Another Kobudo group Kata was the Timbei by Roy Rivera, John Oberle, and Harold Hamada. The Timbei originally was a farmer’s hat with a sharpened instrument or tool, such as a potato digger. It gradually evolved into a short spear (rochin) and shield art. Robert Matsushita's Wanshu (Wado-ryu / Shotokan Empi / Chibana Wansu) was quick moving and quick shifting. This Wanshu was the Itosu Wansu, but the classical Wanshu is the Tomari Wanshu, believed by many to be the oldest Okinawan Kata. Charles C. Goodin Sensei followed with a quick hitting Kishaba Juku Shorin-Ryu Naihanchi Sandan.

Alan Yokota, Steve Chun, and Grant Kawasaki performed the Chibana Shorin-ryu signature Kata Patsai Dai (Matsumura No Patsai). Shawna Carino was quick and hard hitting in her performance of the Itosu Chinto. George Sasano performed a very exacting Jitte (Jutte). Everyone was amazed since even with his health challenges, he looked like he did 30 years ago.

John Oberle's Kojo No Sai was interesting with tempo changes throughout the Kata. Ralph Sakauye did a very versatile Taira No Nunchaku. Hisae Ishii-Chang Sensei's Gojushiho Sho (Itosu No Gojushiho) was rhythmic and dramatic, which reflected intense concentration. Alan Lee Sensei's Senbukan Karate's Shushi No Kun (using a six foot staff) was powerful and smooth and is equivalent to the Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinkokai's Shushi No Kon (kun / bo) Sho. Roy Rivera delivered a very forceful Shushi No Kon Dai.

Herbert Ishida Sensei performed a very dynamic Tensho Kata, his teacher's favorite Kata. Kyle Nakasone Sensei followed with a powerful performance of Hamahiga No Tunfua. Alan Yokota finished the program with a polished and refined Kanegawa No Nichogama (two sickles).

There are many thanks to be said, as the demonstration was the result of combined effort from many individuals. Charles C. Goodin Sensei agreed once more to be the Master of Ceremonies and as always, did a great job. Angel Lemus Sensei (koadigital) designed the beautiful program brochure and Aileen Higa (FedEX) printed the brochures and handouts. Clyde and Carl Kinoshita agreed to capture the entire event on film which Angel Lemus Sensei edited and converted to DVD. Alan Yokota, with the help of John Oberle, sacrificed much of his free time coordinating this event. Alan Lee Sensei graciously hosted the event and provided manapua for the numerous individuals who helped to set up before and tear down afterwards.

Refreshments were provided by Grant Kawasaki (Hanapa'a Sushi / Gokujo Sushi / Hawaiian Grown), Steve Chun (C.Q. Yee Hop and Company, John Oberle (drinks), Gary Nakata (ice), and Tom Terayama (paper goods).

A Big, big thank you goes out to the Hawaii Karate Kenkyukai. And lastly, thank you to everyone for attending.

Technorati Tags:

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Strong Testament to Willpower and Training: Hawaii Karate Kenkyukai - June 12, 2011

This was quite a memorable Kenkyukai training session for me, for many reasons! The June 12, 2011 session once again had us joined by Walter Nishioka Sensei and his International Karate League (IKL). In addition, George Sasano Sensei, head of the Aikenkai Dojo, demonstrated and fully participated in the training despite not being fully recovered from an ongoing equilibrium condition (tinnitus). After this session, both Nishioka Sensei and Sasano Sensei were voted in as full members of the Hawaii Karate Kenkyukai, something which required 100% approval from all current members.

A big treat for me personally was the full participation of my instructor, Pat Nakata Sensei (OSKA), a mere month and a half after he suffered a heart attack due to either ventricular fibrillation or tachycardia followed by 11 days in the ICU. The cause of his heart going out of rhythm remains unknown, only that it was not due to cholesterol or clogged arteries. Some present at the session remarked that it was a miraculous recovery, which is indeed true, but I got to witness his refusal to “take it easy” and persistence in training over the past several weeks. On one of the nights, he told me, “I will not let this heart attack beat me.” It was not long until the rest of us in OSKA were back to pushing ourselves to keep pace with him. I am convinced his karate training before and after his heart attack drove the “miracle” behind his amazing recovery. Sasano Sensei joked that he was forced to perform at this Kenkyukai session since Nakata Sensei’s example took away any excuse he had... it is good to see that they can both joke about it, and better still, what more powerful testament to willpower and dedicated training can you have?

Getting back to the actual session, the two main kata performed and studied were Seienchin/Seiyunchin/Seiunchin and the Patsai/Passai/Bassai kata. Kyokushin Karate, the Minakami Dojo, and the Senbukan Dojo performed the Seiunchin kata, demonstrating similarities and variations in meaning and execution across the different styles.

The OSKA dojo demonstrated the Patsai Dai, or Matsumura Patsai, while the Hikari Dojo demonstrated the Tomari Passai. They were followed by the Island Ki, IKL, and Aikenkai dojos performing the Bassai/Passai Sho, or Passai Gwa. The “gwa” is an Okinawan word for “small”, which is the same meaning as “sho”. This kata was created by Itosu, who only taught the short, minor kata to some of his students. It was largely popularized by Tokuda Anbun and after some modifications, the kata became known in Shito Ryu and Shotokan karate as (Itosu) Passai/Bassai Sho. Note that this is a separate kata from what is considered the “main” Itosu Patsai, which is called Patsai Sho by Shorin Ryu and Passai/Bassai Dai by most other styles and was the focus of the Kenkyukai session before this one. It was interesting to see the Patsai kata performed one after the other, each with their own distinct “feel”.

Rounding off the kata portion of the session, the Ryukyu Kobudo group performed the Kyan Sai no Kata Dai, which is technically not a Ryukyu Kobudo kata and has it’s lineage in Kyan Shinei Sensei. It is also known as the Ufuchiku kata, as it was created by Kanagusuku Sanda “Ufuchiku” Sensei. A signature feature is the triple slashing movements to the head, shoulder, and hip/hand levels.

Performing the Kata (in order):
Seienchin - Kyokushin Karate - Herbert Ishida Sensei (Bobby Lowe Sensei's representative)
Seiyunchin - Minakami Dojo - Sean Roberts Sensei
Seiunchin - Senbukan Dojo - Alan Lee Sensei with Kyle Nakasone Sensei and Ryan Okata
Patsai Dai - OSKA - Pat Nakata Sensei, Alan Yokota, Steve Chun, Grant Kawasaki, and John Oberle
Tomari Passai - Hikari Dojo - Charles Goodin Sensei
Bassai Sho - Island Ki dojo - Hisae Ishii-Chang Sensei
Passai Sho - International Karate League - Stephen Lodge (representing Walter Nishioka Sensei)
Passai Guwa - Ninchokan Dojo - Angel Lemus Sensei and his wife Judy Lemus Sensei
Bassai Sho - Aikenkai Dojo - George Sasano Sensei
Kyan Sai no Kata Dai - Ryukyu Kobudo - Pat Nakata Sensei, Alan Yokota (representing Fumio Nagaishi Sensei), Roy Rivera, and John Oberle

Walter Nishioka Sensei, Rodney Shimabukuro Sensei, Carl Kinoshita, and Tommy Terayama.

After the session was over, our customary light refreshments as we talked story turned into quite the potluck as food and drink was provided by the following: Grant Kawasaki/Hanapaa Sushi, Steve Chun/C.Q. Yee Hop Co./Commercial Enterprises, Alan Lee Sensei, Hisae Ishii-Chang Sensei, Charles Goodin Sensei, Sean Roberts Sensei, Rodney Shimabukuro Sensei, Alan Yokota, and Pat Nakata Sensei.

Technorati Tags:

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hawaii Karate Kenkyukai: April 10, 2011 (Guest Post)

Below is a guest post by my instructor Pat Nakata Sensei on the most recent Kenkyukai training session:

The Hawaii Karate Kenkyukai keeps improving. On the Sunday, April 10, 2011 session, we were joined by James Miyaji Sensei and his Kenshukan Karate Kobudo Association and Walter Nishioka Sensei and his International Karate League (IKL). The Patsai / Passai / Bassai Kata were selected for this session. The OSKA, Kyokushin Karate, Island Ki, Minakami Dojo, Kenshukan, and IKL all performed their version of the Itosu No Patsai (Dai). All six schools were similar, but with distinct and interesting variations. Both the Hikari Dojo and Ninchokan Dojo performed the Tomari Passai and these too had unique and interesting variations. The Ryukyu Kobudo group performed the Kanegawa no Timbei and the Senbukan group performed the Goju-ryu Sanseiru.

Performing the Kata were Herbert Ishida Sensei for Kyokushin Karate (Bobby Lowe Sensei's representative), Alan Lee Sensei with Kyle Nakasone Sensei and Ryan Okata from the Senbukan Dojo, Hisae Ishii-Chang Sensei for her Island Ki dojo, Charles Goodin Sensei with participation from Jerry Tsuda and Dexter Chun of the Hikari Dojo, Angel Lemus Sensei and his wife Judy Lemus Sensei of the Ninchokan Dojo, Sean Roberts Sensei for Minakami Dojo, Ralph Sakauye (representative for James Miyaji Sensei) and Shawna Carino from the Kenshukan Karate Kobudo Association, Stephen Lodge (representing Walter Nishioka Sensei) from the International Karate League, Alan Yokota, Steve Chun, John Oberle, and Pat Nakata with participation from Grant Kawasaki for the OSKA, and Alan Yokota (representing Fumio Nagaishi), Roy Rivera, John Oberle and Pat Nakata from Ryukyu Kobudo.

Observing were James Miyaji Sensei, Walter Nishioka Sensei, George Sasano Sensei, George Drago and Daniel Nakamoto.

Refreshments were provided by Grant Kawasaki / Hanapaa Sushi and Steve Chun / C.Q. Yee Hop Co. / Commercial Enterprises.

Technorati Tags:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Special Kenkyukai Session: Pat Nakata Sensei Teaching Sai Basics

On March 16, 2011, my instructor Pat Nakata Sensei was invited to teach a class on sai basics at the Halawa District Park Gym during Charles Goodin Sensei's karate class. This was a continuation of our “training abroad” due to our dojo being refloored at the time. Just like the takedown session with Angel Lemus Sensei, this was not considered one of our usual Kenkyukai training sessions held once every two months, but it was open to all Hawaii Kenkyukai members.

Nakata Sensei heads the Okinawa Shorin Ryu Karate Association (OSKA) in Hawaii, teaching the Shorin Ryu karate he learned from Chibana Chosin Sensei. He also teaches the Ryukyu Kobudo he learned from Fumio Nagaishi Sensei (Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinkokai Hawaii) and the kobudo he learned from Kyan Shinei Sensei, through Nagaishi Sensei.

The skill and sai familiarity level of all the participants was varied during this session. Along with Goodin Sensei’s students, there was George Drago, Alan Lee Sensei with two of his students, and from our OSKA group there was Alan Yokota, Roy Rivera, Harold Hamada, Grant Kawasaki, and myself. After a brief introduction, Nakata Sensei began running the class through the sai no kihon keiko, or “sai basic practice”. This was part of the curriculum he learned from Kyan Shinei Sensei, who learned the bo and sai from Kina Shosei Sensei. Kina Sensei in turn was a student of Kanagusuku Sanda “Ufuchiku” Sensei.

The basics are composed of various single and double strikes, alternating left and right hands, with and without stepping. Nakata Sensei started off by having everyone follow along for a few sets of techniques, then allowed for a short break, after which everyone followed along for the same techniques again with a few more added in. This pattern continued until before we all knew it, the entire class was fairly familiar with the sai basics, which consists of 20 different sets. The breaks were welcome not only because they enabled everyone to let things “sink in”, but also because that much sai work is a pretty hefty workout, even for those of us that are used to doing them. From what Nakata Sensei says, Kyan Sensei was a big proponent of conditioning and basics, which is exactly what this kind of training offers.

An interesting item to note is that in the Kyan (or Ufuchiku) methodology, when the sai is in the “chamber” position, the fist is held with the palm of the hand perpendicular rather than parallel to the ground like in karate or in Ryukyu Kobudo. In addition, the tsukagashira (head of the handle) of the rear chambered sai points straight towards the tsukagashira of the front sai.

One of the more difficult basics to perform is the kiri uchi, or “cutting strike”. The Kyan sai basics only contained gedan versions of this technique (lower cutting strikes), but since kiri uchi is so prevalent in the actual Kyan sai kata, Nakata Sensei added mae (front) and naname (diagonal) kiri uchi to the basics. The mae no kiri uchi involves starting with the sai in the “reverse” position (blade along the length of the forearm). As the hand moves forward, the yoko (prongs) of the sai are parallel to the ground. Even as the sai is flipped from the reverse position to the forward position, the yoko remain parallel to the ground, causing a cutting arc similar to that of a sword draw. Care must be taken to avoid the bad habit of letting the sai “dangle” downwards during the flip, and timing and wrist usage is vital for power generation.

At the end of the class, Goodin Sensei asked if we could perform a sai kata for everyone, so Nakata Sensei, Alan Yokota, Roy Rivera and I performed the Kyan Sai no Kata Sho and the Kyan Sai no Kata Dai. The Sai no Kata Sho is a fairly long and repetitive kata, which fits in nicely with the idea of basics and conditioning. The Kyan Sai no Kata Dai is also known as the Ufuchiku kata.

From what I saw during and after the class, it was easy to tell that everyone had an enjoyable time training hard and learning something new. We are grateful to Goodin Sensei for allowing us to train at his dojo and Nakata Sensei for sharing his knowledge and experience.

The following schools/individuals were in attendance:

OSKA (Okinawa Shorin Ryu Association Hawaii, Pat Nakata Sensei)
Hawaii Senbukan (Goju Ryu, Alan Lee Sensei)
Hikari Dojo (Okinawa Shorin Ryu Kishaba Juku, Charles Goodin Sensei)
George Drago (Aikenkai Shotokan Karate Association)

Rodney Shimabukuro Sensei

Technorati Tags:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Special Kenkyukai Session: Angel Lemus Sensei Teaching Takedowns

On March 14, 2011, Angel Lemus Sensei was invited to teach a class on takedowns at the Halawa District Park Gym during Charles Goodin Sensei's karate class. This was fortunate timing, as our dojo was being refloored and we found ourselves without our normal training location. While this was not considered one of our usual Kenkyukai training sessions held once every two months, it was a training event that all Hawaii Kenkyukai members were invited to attend.

Angel Lemus Sensei is a member of the Board of Directors for the Okinawa Shorinjiryu Toude Zentokukai, a traditional Okinawan style with roots in the karate of Kyan Chotoku Sensei and Shimabuku Zenryo Sensei. He currently runs the Ninchokan Dojo every Monday and Thursday on Coconut Island and we have enjoyed his participation in the Hawaii Karate Kenkyukai for a couple of years now.

After Goodin Sensei led everyone in a warmup consisting of stretching and several executions of their first two Naihanchi kata, Lemus Sensei began his seminar. The general theme was initiating takedowns after blocking an opponent's attack. As such, Lemus Sensei demonstrated several variations of takedowns (Cael Goodin graciously agreed to be the uke), explaining the techniques, and allowing time for everyone to split up into partners to practice the sequences. Because there were many techniques and my vocabulary in describing them is limited, I will instead list just some of the principles that Lemus Sensei explained:

1. It is always easier to hit the opponent first before attempting to grapple.
This principle seems fairly self-explanatory; either you transition immediately to a grapple after executing a block or strike that does not put the opponent away or you intend from the beginning to use the block or strike as an effective distraction in order to initiate grappling effectively. This means you must be close to your opponent, so you can not back away or try and keep distance as the opponent attacks.

2. Stances must be strong and utilized.
When engaged with the opponent in close range, the legs can be utilized to disrupt the opponent's balance (kicking or applying weight, or both), to stomp on his feet so her cannot escape, or to set up the conditions for a lock. If a stance is floating with no real foundation, it can not perform these functions. Furthermore, during the conduct of the throw itself, one must be conscious of the stance in order to utilize it to deal with the weight of the individual.

3. Never force a technique.
When your attempts to execute a technique fail, don't get too absorbed in trying to make the technique work. Sometimes flowing on to another technique or hitting the opponent again just might do the trick in order to culminate with a takedown.

4. Some useful tips.
When blocking, if you control the opponent's elbow, it makes it harder for him to hit you when you grapple.
Aiming to hit the elbow while blocking can make the block more effective.
During a takedown, if you control the head, it can prevent him from turning out from a technique or attacking you.
Don't be afraid to slam an opponent's head into the ground during a takedown if the situation warrants it.
There is no such thing as "fighting dirty", so use all targets of opportunity.
When practicing takedowns, it is important for the attacker to execute a proper attack with proper range so that the defender can reasonably expect to get hit if nothing is done.

Lemus Sensei concluded with a brief demonstration on various flow drills meant to teach transition from one lock/takedown to another. These incorporated several of the principles that he had discussed.

In addition to Lemus Sensei representing the Ninchokan Dojo and acting as the lead for the training session, the following schools were in attendance with their students:

OSKA (Okinawa Shorin Ryu Karate Association, Pat Nakata Sensei)
Hikari Dojo (Okinawa Shorin Ryu Kishaba Juku, Charles Goodin Sensei)

Also observing:
Aikenkai Shotokan Karate Association (Shotokan Karate, George Sasano Sensei)
Island Ki (Shotokan Karate, G. Hisae Ishii-Chang Sensei)
Rodney Shimabukuro Sensei
George Drago Sensei
Gary Miyashiro
A guest from Japan

We are thankful for Lemus Sensei volunteering to teach this special session. Those of us students in OSKA who were present (Alan Yokota, Steve Chun, Harold Hamada, Grant Kawasaki, Phil Gevas, and myself) were grateful to have a place to train for the evening and it was interesting to see things from a different perspective. I believe my teacher put it best in his statement: "I think it was a good experience for our OSKA students. As you know, we only concentrate on walk-in, Osae, and hitting. Thank you."

Technorati Tags:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hawaii Karate Kenkyukai: February 13, 2011 (Guest Post)

The following description of the most recent Hawaii Karate Kenkyukai training was written by my instructor, Pat Nakata Sensei:

The Hawaii Karate Kenkyukai session for February 13, 2011 covered the Pinan Yondan & Godan of the OSKA (Chibana Shorin-ryu) and the Hikari Dojo (Matsubayashi-ryu), the Pinan Sono Yon & Go of Kyokushin Karate, and the Heian Yondan & Godan by Island Ki (Shotokan) and Minakami Dojo (Shito-ryu). Performing for the OSKA group were Alan Yokota, Steve Chun, John Oberle, and Pat Nakata. The Chibana Shorin-ryu Pinan Yondan and Godan are the oldest. The next oldest form of these Kata were the Shotokan Heian Yondan and Godan, which were performed by Hisae Ishii-Chang Sensei. Sean Roberts Sensei showed the Shito-ryu Heian Yondan and Godan, the third oldest of the variations. Charles Goodin Sensei with Jerry Tsuda and Peter Kamlangek performed the Kishaba Juku version of the Matsubayashi-ryu (fourth oldest) Pinan Yondan and Godan. Herbert Ishida Sensei demonstrated the Kyokushin version, Pinan Sono Yon and Go.

The Ryukyu Kobudo group consisting of Alan Yokota, Roy Rivera, John Oberle, and Pat Nakata performed the Maezato No Tekko and Tekko Nashi (without Tekko). This Tekko Kata was created by Shinken Taira (Maezato) Sensei and the pattern is from the Jiin Kata. There are some theories on the origins of the Tekko. The traditional explanation in Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinkokai is that the weapon originated from the stirrups (abumi), although others state they were made by fusing two horseshoes together (uma no chimagu). Still others say that the spiked Tekko came from China. Whatever the case may be, it is a formidable and universal weapon. Since Goju-ryu Karate does not have Pinan Kata, Alan Lee Sensei and Kyle Nakasone Sensei performed their unique Senbukan Kata Gekisai Sandan and Yondan. These 2 Kata were created by their present head of Senbukan, Katsuya Izumikawa (son of the founder, Kanki Izumikawa). Zentokukai does not have Pinan Kata in their curriculum either, so Angel Lemus Sensei performed the Wanchin Kata that was created by Zenryo Shimabukuro Sensei and also the Tokumine Bo.

In the question and answer session there were many questions with interesting and enlightening explanations. On the pairing-off for the Kata application practice, Herbert Ishida Sensei chose the Hiza-geri for everyone to practice from their Pinan Sono Yon. Angel Lemus Sensei chose a strong block to the biceps for a decisive technique from their Wanchin Kata. Charles Goodin Sensei had everyone practice an arm-bar drag followed with a thrust to the head, which was a follow-up move from the opening move of Pinan Yondan. Alan Lee Sensei chose a draw-in, hooking, drop block from their Gekisai Yondan for everyone to practice with variations of counter attacks. The last application was from Pinan Yondan, which was moving into the opponent, pressing, and a backhand attack.

Refreshments were served after the session. Grant Kawasaki (Times Hanapaa Sushi, Marukai Gokujo Sushi, Hawaii Homegrown) brought a large platter of sushi and Steve Chun (C.Q.Yee Hop Company / Commercial Enterprise) brought roast pork, roast duck, and roast chicken for everyone to enjoy.

Also in attendance were Walter Nishioka Sensei, George Sasano Sensei, Rodney Shimabukuro Sensei, Carl and Clyde Kinoshita, and George Drago. Although Nishioka Sensei and Sasano Sensei were invited to participate, they were only able to observe, because of medical concerns. They commented on the friendship and the camaraderie and were impressed with the closeness of the group.

Technorati Tags: