The Best Way To Use Your Supporting Foot To Generate Power As You Step

Anyone who has followed BunkaiJutsu for a while will know that I’m a stickler for fine detail.  Or as some people say, the devil in the detail!

When we train our basics we can focus a lot on detail and accuracy.  But in the melee of a real confrontation with the pressure of somebody seriously trying to hurt you, plus the adrenaline kicking in which adversely affects fine motor control of your movement; it’s never going to be that tidy.  So why do we try to be so accurate and precious in our basic movements when we know full well that we’ll never achieve that in real life?

Well lets just say that for the sake of argument that under pressure our technique is 50% efficient.

50% of a really fast, powerful and accurate technique is going to be a lot better than 50% of a weak, sloppy technique!  So it’s really worth working on as arguably any improvement in a technique will only translate to 50% improvement in a real altercation!  As we get more and more advanced, the level of detail required to improve technique becomes finer and finer. Continue reading “The Best Way To Use Your Supporting Foot To Generate Power As You Step” »

The Quest For Karate’s Original Kata – Iain Abernethy

Although this post is primarily referring to Karate, I think a lot of it will also apply to other traditional martial arts that practice kata (forms/patterns) just as much.

Iain Abernethy is a world renowned teacher on the practical application of traditional Karate.  I’ve trained with him several times, found him to be really good at what he does and a really nice approachable guy with no ego at all.  He’s very knowledgable both in terms of practical application, the history of Karate and is a truly inspirational teacher on many levels.

So when Iain talks, people should listen and learn.  Below is a recent video that he made on the Quest For Original Kata.  Iain makes the case that many people often search for the original version of a kata on the assumption that it will contain the most combat effective version of the techniques (being closest to the originating Masters intention).  I will admit to having been a little bit guilty of that myself in the past. Continue reading “The Quest For Karate’s Original Kata – Iain Abernethy” »

The Real Purpose Of Makiwara Training

Gichin Funakoshi on a makiwara

Personally, I like makiwara’s (padded striking post).  And I’m talking about the traditional post type which have a bit of give in them, as opposed to the wall mounted type which generally have no more give than the padding (though they can be good too).  Originally in Okinawa, a traditional “post” type makiwara would have it’s base buried in the ground for stability.  That is not always practical these days as your partner might not like the garden dug over to put a post in and here in the UK the weather isn’t very conducive for training outside much of the time!  I have one bolted to the floor in my loft which is more convenient.
Anyway, some people argue that as a makiwara has so little give in it when you hit it, your striking hand therefore is forced to stop very soon after impact.  So (it is argued) you don’t get the feeling of going through the target as you might when striking a punchbag or focus mitt and therefore you are training yourself to stop short.I respectfully don’t agree as I believe that if you Continue reading “The Real Purpose Of Makiwara Training” »

Interview With Rob Jones, 5th Dan Karate & Founder Of Zenshin Dojo

Rob Jones & wife Kate
Rob Jones with his wife Kate

I first met Rob Jones round abut 2009 (I can’t remember the exact date/year). I’d been out training for number of years due to various domestic reasons and looking to get back into it. With the club that I’d previously been training with closed, I tried a couple of clubs in my area. During that search, I met Rob Jones and his club, Zenshin Dojo.

I didn’t end up training with them permanently as I was looking for a Shotokan club and Zenshin Dojo are Shotokai based. I’ve nothing against any other style of Karate and believe in learning from others; I just wanted to continue with my own primary style which was Shotokan.

However, I found both Rob and his members at Zenshin Dojo to be an extremely friendly group and very good at what they do. We’ve kept in touch over the years, I’ve been included in several of their functions both training seminars and social and I’ve even been invited to give feedback on one his students going for her 3rd Dan.

Continue reading “Interview With Rob Jones, 5th Dan Karate & Founder Of Zenshin Dojo” »

I first met Rob Jones round abut 2009 (I can’t remember the exact date/year). I’d been out training for number of years due to various domestic reasons and looking to get back into it. With the club that I’d previously been training with closed, I tried a couple of clubs in my area. During that search, I met Rob Jones and his club, Zenshin Dojo.

I didn’t end up training with them permanently as I was looking for a Shotokan club and Zenshin Dojo are Shotokai based. I’ve nothing against any other style of Karate and believe in learning from others; I just wanted to continue with my own primary style which was Shotokan.

However, I found both Rob and his members at Zenshin Dojo to be an extremely friendly group and very good at what they do. We’ve kept in touch over the years, I’ve been included in several of their functions both training seminars and social and I’ve even been invited to give feedback on one his students going for her 3rd Dan.

Continue reading “Interview With Rob Jones, 5th Dan Karate & Founder Of Zenshin Dojo” »

A Different Take On Bassai Sho Karate Kata Bunkai

The 2 Bassai katas (patterns/forms), Bassai Dai and Bassai Sho are thought to have been authored be the martial arts genius, Soken Matsumura.  Matsumura was head bodyguard to the King of Okinawa in the mid to late 1800’s.  Bassai is often translated as “storming the fortress”, which is very ironic, as Matsumura being head bodyguard for the King, with most of the official work being conducted in the Shuri Castle, would in fact of been defending the fortress (Shuri Castle) rather than storming it.
Continue reading “A Different Take On Bassai Sho Karate Kata Bunkai” »

Do Traditional Martial Arts Really Work Under Pressure?

This is an old chestnut that keeps going around every now and again; do traditional martial arts really work under pressure in the street?

Many people argue that they don’t, after all, we’ve all heard of a story where a black belt in whatever style ends up getting beaten up by a street fighter.  There are also lots of stories of martial artists, some even quite low grade, who have used their martial arts to successfully defend themselves.  Which story you quote depends on which side of the debate you’re on.

Now when you consider that there are literally millions of people around the world who practice martial arts, just by the law of averages there are bound to be some who are successful in defending themselves and some who are not.  So until somebody can come up with some studies and statistical data (I’m not aware of anybody doing so yet) I think we have to be careful how much we read too much into such stories. Continue reading “Do Traditional Martial Arts Really Work Under Pressure?” »

Tekki/Naihanchi Shodan – Partner To Pad Drill

Brian Bates practising kata
Brian Bates demonstrating Karate kata

I saw this video today and liked it, so I thought I’d share it.

It features Brian Bates, 4th Dan of Zanshin Karate Academy who I’ve had some interaction with via Facebook.  He’s very good at Karate kata practical applications (bunkai) having trained with many of the top kata bunkai experts in the UK and also having a background in Aiki Jujutsu, which gives him considerable extra insights.

This video looks at the Karate kata, Tekki/Naihanchi Shodan.  What’s clever about it, which you don’t often see, is that he demonstrates the applications to the kata movements with a partner, and he also does them with pads so that you practice and hit the target hard at the same time.  So without further ado, here’s Brian’s video: Continue reading “Tekki/Naihanchi Shodan – Partner To Pad Drill” »

Kata Bunkai From Jion Kata

Haven’t done a bunkai video for a while, so here we are taking a look at the opening salutation from Kata Jion (same as Jiin and Jitte),and also quite similar to the salutation or Bassai Dai.

I have to apologise that the battery run out just before the end, but I hope you enjoy it anyway.

What Are The Differences Between Karate and Tang Soo Do

As usual with any such comparisons on the differences between styles, we have to accept that all comments are generalisations as there are many styles of Karate and Tang Soo Do, so it’s impossible to make comparisons which hold true for every single style of Karate and every single style of Tang Soo Do.

Also, I have to say that although I have had influences from many different martial arts I am primarily a Karateka and have not Continue reading “What Are The Differences Between Karate and Tang Soo Do” »