Posts Tagged ‘karate’

Black Belt Grading – Congratulations

Written by bryan. Posted in Grading

Basingstoke Black Belts, Judo, Karate, Kung Fu, Ju Jitsu

On the weekend of 2nd December we held our biggest grading of the year in Basingstoke. We had students from Karate, Ju Jitsu and Judo all grading. Of which Seven of them were being examined for their Black Belt.

The weekend started with the younger children from the Young Legends, aged between 6- 9 going for their first belt. Their grading consisted of a 60 minute class to give a brief reminder of the things they had to demonstrate. They progressed onto the formal grading itself which consisted demonstrating blocks, kicks, strikes, throws and groundwork along with their forms and partnerwork.

We progressed onto those pupils from Young Legends trying for their Orange to Yellow belts. The format was similar albeit with additional techniques required because of their greater experience.

Saturday finished off with a group of Urban Warriors, which our Martial Arts classes for children between 10 – 14 years old.  Members were testing from belts between Orange and  Green and given that they are more mature and physically developed, greater expectations were on their shoulders. In this case the examination itself lasted a full two hours with four examiners assessing the progress and capability of each person attempting their next belt. In this group there were some very polished performances, particularly from Ava and Mia who double graded.

Kickboxing, Karate, Taekwondo classes in Basingstoke

It was a bright and breezy start on Sunday morning for our Judo-ka. Judo for children is divided into Belts called Mons and there are 18 to pass before Black Belt and for the adults, six Kyu grades to pass. There was a wide spectrum of grade being attempted from 1st Mon Red belt all the way through to 1st Kyu Brown belt. We covered a wide of fundamental techniques for the first two coloured belts that everyone practiced and then individual’s grade requirements were practiced and demonstrated to the examiners. The grading finished off this time with Randori for all the participants, congratulations to Ross who passed his 1st Kyu, next step Black Belt.

Next up on the Sunday were the intermediate grades for our Urban Warriors and Adults classes ranging from Red belt to Purple and White. Given the age group of this group, the intensity and expectations were set high from the start. We never give belts away, they are always hard earnt and something to be proud of. This grading was no exception with some incredible focus and determination shown. At this level gradings are a real test of one’s skill and determination with fundamentals across a wide range of punches, kicks, strikes, throws, locks and groundwork all having to be demonstrated to a high level followed by Forms and Kata with Sparring to finish.

Girl kicks high

The final session of the weekend was the most eagerly and nervously awaited, our annual Black Belt grading. Black Belt candidates have the year prior to the grading to prepare for their grading with a ‘little project’ to help them focus and achieve. They study and reflect upon their goals for the year, their strengths and weaknesses, their physical activity, their diet, a personal assignment to research and discuss with peers, a lesson to plan and then deliver to prove their knowledge and ability to pass on their skills and knowledge and finally a review of their progress during the year. The theory side of the grading has to be passed before the candidate is invited to take part in the physical examination. The physical grading itself is 3 hours long and is designed to stretch all the participants. Everyone grading was reminded that at this level they had to pass each section of the grading or they would be asked to leave the mats at the end of that section.

In the grading this year we had members ranging from Brown Belt through to 2nd Dan Black Belt grading. We started with ‘volunteers’ leading us through the Forms syllabus from White Belt forms all the way through to Black Belt. With six examiners marking the grading, everyone had to remain focussed and delivering skilful techniques. They proceeded from there onto demonstrating single fundamental techniques performed which then lead into increasing complicated combinations of techniques. They then demonstrated throws and hold downs, before moving onto Padwork to test the speed and power of their techniques and also their reaction times. Individuals were then called up to demonstrate individual Forms and Kata, with a range wide performed including 16 Gates, Circles, Tai Ki, Enpi, Jion, Seienchin, Bassai Dai, Kosukan Dai, Kanku Sho, Nipaipo, Suparempei, Chatan Yara No Kushanku, Yang Chen Fu and The Dao Form.

The grading concluded with the sparring section which included multiple fights with dojo fighting rules, which included fighting at all ranges including on the ground. Black Belt candidates also had to fight against multiple opponents to test their resolve, courage and ability to fight under significant pressure. Immediately on finishing this, the Black Belt candidates carried on by performing more Kata or Forms and finally finished with Pushing Hands skills at a little over the 3 hours 15 minutes mark. It’s fair to say that everyone was physically and emotionally tired but had a sense of satisfaction for completing the grading.

On the Monday evening our Combat Ju Jitsu group were graded and again their syllabus gets harder as they progress with a requirement to be able to show many different ways of performing a technique against different people to pressure test it.

It was a rare grading weekend that everyone passed their grading and received new belts. We only ever invite people to attempt their next belt if we believe that they are ready to pass, however it is up to them on the day to perform to the best of their ability and to prove that they are ready for their new belt.

Congratulations to everyone who passed their grading over the weekend, especially our newest Black Belts, who can wear their new belts with pride.

 

 

 

 

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Muay Thai and Karate

Written by Jess. Posted in Black Belt Research Project 2013, Uncategorized

Muay Thai

Muay Thai, Thai BoxingWhat is Muay Thai?
It is a form of hard martial arts which is practised in areas like Thailand.  It is the art of fighting without using any weapons.  Muay Thai is thought to be a form of science as it develops discipline, knowledge and respect.

It is referred to as the Art of the Eight Limbs, as it uses: hands, shins, elbows and knees. Practitioners need to be able to use these limbs to execute strikes correctly instead of only using two areas which are usually fists and feet.

You have to practise Muay Thai with proper training because it can be dangerous if you do not know how to protect yourself properly.  This martial art keeps you in good shape and improves blood circulation. If you practise Muay Thai regularly, your flexibility improves which then means that the bones, muscles and the use of the tendons in bending and moving all improve.

Muay Thai requires bravery as practitioners need to accept there is danger and pain which is involved in this sport.  Muay Thai isn’t only used to gain physical appearance or skill, but improves the quality of life. This is due to: moral values and disciplines in life being taught to the practitioner, as well as to be modest, confident, and truthful and to avoid sins.

There are no major variations of Muay Thai, so virtually every style is the same – just minor techniques may differ.

 

 

 

This diagram shows some of the different techniques that Muay Thai incorporates.

 

Karate

What is Karate?

‘Karate is an unarmed combat that uses the hands and feet to give out techniques, and block them.’

  1. ka·ra·te

    /kəˈrätē/

    Noun
    An Asian system of unarmed combat using the hands and feet to deliver and block blows, widely practiced as a sport.

http://www.google.co.uk/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=&oq=what+is+Karate&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4WQIB_enGB532GB532&q=what+is+Karate&gs_l=hp…0l5.0.0.14.61763………..0.5GRKInmHFoM

 

Karate was developed in Asia, as well as in India, China and Japan. Over the years, there have been many variations of Karate, so there are now hardly any people who practise ‘traditional’ Karate. They are many different associations and styles of karate from Shotokan to Wado Ryu to Shitoryu.

Karate is seen to be a way of life instead of a way to fight people. There are 3 areas of karate- Kumite, Kata and Kihon. Every practitioner needs to know every area and be able to effectively put them into practise.

It is one of the most dynamic martial arts, and a practitioner can use their mind and body together thus allowing the power and strength of both to work in perfect harmony. Karate isn’t about physical strength, it is about how mentally strong you are and how with the whole body working, the strength will come through.

The word Karate is the Japanese word for Open Hand. This symbolises that the main weapon is your body, instead of weapons you use, punches, kicks and blocks. Practitioners are aware of the world, and so they can react to any situation.

This diagram shows the different stances that are used in Karate.

 

Differences in the way Muay Thai and Karate are taught

Muay Thai teachers believe in passion and can sometimes lead their students to a fall due to their hard teaching ways.  However, most Karate teachers treat their students with respect and try to help them to develop because Karate isn’t about how hard you can hit or hurt someone.

Muay Thai spends a lot of time on warming up and conditioning. This is because the martial art is mainly about fighting which can lead to injuries if your body is not prepared for the work or pain that can be caused. Karate however does spend time on warming up as obviously, no-one wants any injuries, but, the majority of lesson time will be spent on practising techniques to develop skill.

Muay Thai training is hard and high intensity all of the time. This is because they are preparing themselves for the fighting and the unexpected hits that could come at any time.  On the other hand, Karate training can vary from being high or low intensity as you can work your body or your mind at different levels.

Muay Thai doesn’t have many variations unlike Karate. In Karate, there are many different styles and associations, so the differences between each one will be bigger than the differences between the Muay Thai variations.

 

In my opinion, from what I have researched, Muay Thai appears to be an aggressive martial art due to the focus being on fighting. On the other hand, it does teach you respect yourself, others and the world around you, but in a different way from Karate.

Karate appears to be more about defending yourself, and not starting fights. The focus is spread out between different areas which help practitioners to respect themselves and others. It also doesn’t appear to require brute force or strength to combat an opponent, but skill and mental awareness.

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Philosophy & Martial Arts

Written by Sue. Posted in Black Belt Research Project 2013

Martial Arts Philosophy, Thinking, Dalai Lama, Karate-Do, Philosophy & Martial Arts

Susan Pogmore

SECOND REPORT – MAY 2013

“People like Funakoshi are attributed to writing things like “The 20 Precepts” relating to Martial Arts. What would a modern day equivalent be?”

 

Before I can offer a modern day equivalent I should really explain what the precepts are, as I understand them.
At first glance I thought they were rules or instructions for training in the art of karate. However, the deeper I delve into the history of Funakoshi and Karate; it seems that perhaps these precepts are instructions for the life that is the Way of Karate. Ambiguous, I know, I will try to expand.

“The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants” Gichin Funakoshi

Funakoshi wrote the 20 Precepts as one liners, with no further expansion or explanation. Many people have, along the way, translated and interpreted his words. Some suggest that he wrote them in such a fashion to entice the mind of the ardent karate student. A book was written in 1938 by Genwa Nakasone called Karate-do Taikan, which sought to expand on the precepts and received Funakoshi’s endorsement; so I hope that I am travelling down the right road. However, I have a sneaky suspicion that Funakoshi still meant for us to interpret these concepts ourselves. The act of seeking meaning is a lesson in itself.

 

1)       KARATE BEGINS WITH COURTESY AND ENDS WITH COURTESY

This point refers to respect; it not only covers the reverence for those who hold authority or seniority over us, but also humility towards others and all manner of life on this planet.

2)       THERE IS NO FIRST ATTACK IN KARATE

This is a moral instruction to avoid violence; he is telling us that we should not be the architect of violence.

3)       KARATE IS AN AID TO JUSTICE

We must have moral fortitude to do the right thing.

4)       FIRST CONTROL YOURSELF BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO CONTROL OTHERS

Recognise your own strengths and weaknesses and then, realise the strengths and weaknesses of your opponent. 

5)       SPIRIT FIRST, TECHNIQUE SECOND

Your mindset is more important than anything. You need a fire in your belly, the technique will develop after.

6)       ALWAYS BE READY TO RELEASE YOUR MIND

Thoughts can get in the way of performance. The aim is to be competent without having to think about it – ‘unconscious competence’.

7)       ACCIDENTS ARISE FROM NEGLIGENCE

Straight forward really, carelessness in our actions can lead to disaster.

8)       DO NOT THINK THAT KARATE TRAINING IS ONLY IN THE DOJO

Karate should be part of our lives. We should strive to lead wholesome lives outside of the dojo. There is a Buddhist saying that “any place can be a dojo.” Karate Do is not only the acquisition of certain defensive skills, but also the mastering of the art of being a good and honest member of society.

9)       IT WILL TAKE YOUR ENTIRE LIFE TO LEARN KARATE; THERE IS NO LIMIT

It is a lifetime dedication to the perfection of the human character through unlimited physical, mental and spiritual seeking.

10)   PUT YOUR EVERYDAY LIVING INTO KARATE AND YOU WILL FIND MYO

MYO is described as a wondrous & strange feeling, to have outstanding skill. Through the intensity of our training we develop attributes which help us to deal with life’s obstacles outside the dojo.

11)   KARATE IS LIKE BOILING WATER; IF YOU DO NOT HEAT IT CONSTANTLY, IT WILL COOL DOWN

To remain good at karate, you need to train constantly & consistently. If you stop training you start to lose your skills. “If one does not use it, one will lose it.”

12)   DO NOT THINK TO WIN; THINK ATHER THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LOSE

I have come across two possible interpretations of this precept and both seem to me perfectly sensible. The first is to turn away and run; avoid confrontation. The second is that karateka understands the principles of fair play and excels in the celebration of competition. For those that win, it is a celebration of the tactics and skill that won the match. For those that lose, it was the experience of the loss and the chance to learn from their mistake. So there are no winners and no losers. Both are winners.

13)   VICTORY DEPENDS UPON YOUR ABILITY TO DISTINGUISH VULNERABLE POINTS FROM INVULNERABLE ONES

When the enemy strikes out, seek for weaknesses in your opponent. Every attack has its counter attack.

14)   THE BATTLE IS ACCORDING TO HOW YOU MOVE: GUARDED OR UNGUARDED

Traditional Karate Do uses combat situations called Ken & Tai. Ken is seizing the initiative; Thai is waiting for the enemy’s first strike. Water adapts to reach its goal, so must you.

15)   THINK OF YOUR HANDS AND FEET AS SWORDS

Hands and feet have power, combat is serious. Also consider that your opponent’s hands and feet have power.

16)   WHEN YOU LEAVE HOME, THINK THAT YOU HAVE NUMEROUS OPPONENTS WAITING FOR YOU

This is not advocating paranoia, moreover a healthy awareness and vigilance.

17)   BEGINNERS MUST MASTER LOW STANCE AND POSTURE; NATURAL BODY POSITIONS ARE FOR THE ADVANCED

“Karate has many stances and it also has none” This refers to the fact that stances are effectively the moving of bodyweight. When we first begin to learn Karate it is easier to understand a specific stance, where to place our feet, our posture and therefore our body weight will follow. Once we mastered the low stance we understand how to use our bodyweight and move it to our advantage.

18)   PRACTICING KATA IS ONE THING; ENGAGING IN A REAL FIGHT IS ANOTHER

Kata is precise and exact, developing finite movement and body awareness. In combat we flow and adapt.

19)   DO NOT FORGET CORRECTLY TO APPLY: STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS OF POWER, STRETCHING, CONTRACTION OF THE BODY AND SLOWNESS AND SPEED OF THE TECHNIQUES

Kata is the combative principle frozen, mindful of muscles, speed, size and in tune with our body.

20)   ALWAYS THINK AND DEVISE WAYS TO LIVE THE PRECEPTS EVERY DAY

Be mindful of your training; honest perception of where you are. Reflect on your training.

 

 

A modern day equivalent                                                                                                    

In my research I have looked at Codes of Conduct held by other clubs and organisations for ideas. The Bushido Code, the code of the Samurai Warriors is not a modern code but is inspiring. It holds fast, the seven virtues of RECTITUDE, COURAGE, BENEVOLENCE, RESPECT, HONESTY, HONOUR and LOYALTY.

Another ancient code, the Knight’s Code of Conduct is very similar holding the virtues of LOYALTY, SERVANT-LEADERSHIP, HONESTY, SELF-DISCIPLINE, KINDNESS, HUMILITY, EXCELLENCE, INTEGRITY, PERSERVERANCE and PURITY.

I have even discovered that there exists the moral and ethical code of the Jedi. Although fictitious, another ancient code:

  • Jedi are the guardians of peace in the galaxy.                                                                                                     
  • Jedi use their powers to defend and protect, never to attack others.                                                                      
  • Jedi respect all life, in any form.                                                                                                                                      
  • Jedi serve others rather than ruling over them, for the good of the galaxy.                                                           
  • Jedi seek to improve themselves through knowledge and training.

 

Girl Guides, Self Defence, Martial ArtsAnd the Guide Law:

  • A Guide is honest, reliable and can be trusted.                                                                                                            
  • A Guide is helpful and uses her time and abilities wisely.                                                                                             
  • A Guide faces challenge and learns from her experiences.                                                                                           
  • A Guide is polite and considerate.                                                                                                                                   
  • A Guide respects all living things and takes care of the world around her.

 

 

 

Instructions for Life by the Dalai Lama  (which just so happens to live on the wall in the office at the centre).

1)       Always take account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

2)       When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

3)       Follow the three Rs

  1. RESPECT for self
  2. RESPECT for others
  3. RESPONSIBILITY for all your actions

4)       Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.

5)       Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

6)       Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

7)       When you realise you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

8)       Spend some time alone every day.

9)       Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.

10)   Remember that sometimes silence is the best answer.

11)   Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.

12)   A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

13)   In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situations, don’t bring up the past.

14)   Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.

15)   Be gently with the earth.

16)   Once a year,  go someplace you’ve never been before.

17)   Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

18)   Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

19)   Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

 

Okay, so here is the code that I have had hanging on my wall for the last 15 years. It has been my moral compass and I think it qualifies as a modern day equivalent:

 

21 Suggestions for SUCCESS by H.Jackson Brown, Jr.

 

1)       Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness or misery.

2)       Work at something you enjoy and that’s worthy of your time and talent.

3)       Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

4)       Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.

5)       Be forgiving of yourself and others.

6)       Be generous.

7)       Have a grateful heart.

8)       Persistence, persistence, persistence.

9)       Discipline yourself to save money on even the most modest salary.

10)   Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.

11)   Commit yourself to constant improvement.

12)   Commit yourself to quality.

13)   Understand that happiness is not based on possessions, power or prestige, but on relationships with people you love and respect.

14)   Be loyal.

15)   Be honest.

16)   Be a self-starter.

17)   Be decisive even if it means you’ll sometimes be wrong.

18)   Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life.

19)   Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.

20)   Take good care of those you love.

21)   Don’t do anything that wouldn’t make your Mum proud.

 

As I said at the beginning of this paper, this report is based on my personal interpretation of Funakoshi’s 20 Precepts. I believe they will hold many different meanings for others, but that is the very essence of Philosophy. I do not believe that the precepts are intended to be a rule book of what to do and not to do when studying karate. I see them as a much wider set of directions on how to live a good and honourable life. I offer the following 3 passages as ‘evidence’ to my conclusions.

 

Master Gichin Funakoshi, My Way of Life

“Each year in the month of April, a great number of students enrol in karate classes of the universities’ physical education departments – most of them, fortunately, with the dual purpose of building up their spiritual as well as their physical strength. Nonetheless, there are always some whose only desire is to learn karate so as to make use of it in fight. Those almost inevitably drop out of the course before half a year has passed, for it is quite impossible for any young person who objective is so foolish to continue very long in karate. Only those with a higher ideal will find karate interesting enough to persevere in the rigors it entails. Those who do will find that the harder they train, the more fascinating the art becomes.”

 

Vincent A. Cruz, The 20 Precepts of Gichin Funakoshi

“Karate Do is not only an instrument to attain physical abilities, but it is also an instrument to find the mastery in the art of being a good human being,”

 

In the book Moving Zen: Karate as a way of gentleness, the author C.W. Nicols travelled to Japan in 1962 to learn karate and judo. At the Yotsuya dojo, at the end of a lesson, the karateka would chant an oath with strength and sincerity:

“Dojo kun!”                                                                           (morals of the dojo)

“Hitotsu! Jinkaku kansei ni tstutomuru koto!”             (One! To strive for the perfection of character!)

“Hitotsu! Makoto no michi o mamoru koto!”                  (One! To defend the paths of truth!)

“Hitotsu! Doryoku no seishin o yasinau koto!”               (One! To foster the spirit of effort!)

“Hitotsu! Reigi o omonzuru koto!”                                      (One! To honour the principles of etiquette!)

“Hitotsu! Kekki no yu o imashimuru koto!”                    (One! To guard against impetuous courage!)

 

 

6th May 2013

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Martial Arts Standards Agency British Judo British Council for Chinese Martial Arts – National Governing Body The World Union of Karate Federations Shi Kon Martial Arts British Council for Chinese Martial Arts – National Governing Body

Contact Us

Telephone (01256) 364104.

Email: info@basingstokekarate.com.

Shin Gi Tai Martial Arts Academy,
The Annex @ ITT Industries,
Jays Close,
Basingstoke,
RG22 4BA