Karate

MissionStatement

Your Schools Mission

Mission Statements For the longest time, when I sat in business classes in college, I failed to see the need for mission statements in a business. We would look at companies like Wal-Mart and it seemed like a giant waste…
OpeningYourOwnSchool

Opening Your Own School

A New Series Today is the first of a long series of articles on how to transition from being a student to becoming an instructor of martial arts. One of the biggest obstacles that instructors face as they start out…
Body Guards

Bodyguards Using Karate

Karate is an unarmed form of self defense that is intended to be used to protect yourself against an untrained person trying to cause you harm. Okinawan masters such as Motobu Choki, Mabuni Kenwa, and Gichin Funakoshi all agreed that…
history-e1357030089163

Too Old for Martial Arts

Tribute and an Answer This post is both a tribute to many of the older instructors I have had in martial arts and an answer to one of the most frequently asked questions in martial arts, “Am I too old…
Gojushiho

Gojushiho

 Sequence Coming Soon
Seiunchin

Seiunchin

Sequence Rei Right hand covers left, flip hands over and point toes out in musubi-dachi, yoi Step right foot out to kiba-dachi, morote gedan uke Right Naha-step to 45* kiba-dachi with crossed-hands cover (right on top) Morote gedan seiryuto-uchi over…
How to Choose a Martial Art - Part III

How to Choose a Martial Art – Part III

Finalizing Your Decision If you have been following these posts since the beginning, you would have made a large list of all the possible schools in your area and then whittled it down to a smaller list of 5-20 schools that work for…
How to Choose a Martial Art - Part II

How to Choose a Martial Art – Part II

Get Your List In the last article on this series we discussed how to go about making a list of possible martial arts school in your area. If you have not read the article yet, go back and read it…
Empi-Enpi Sho

Enpi/Empi Sho

Sequence Rei Yoi (cover, open) Step out to hachiji-dachi, left kazure-te-gatana (left vertical fist, right hand wrapping it) Left foot to right into haisoku-dachi, right te-gatana (right oniken) Step out to left in-line zenkutsu-dachi, right oniken-zuki with nagashi-uke cover Shift…
How to Choose a Martial Art - Part I

How to Choose a Martial Art – Part I

Three Part Series This is the first of a three part series on how to go about choosing a martial arts school. The goal of these articles is to help with the overwhelming confusion of getting into the martial arts.…
Age Uke

Age Uke

Translation Commonly translated as a “high block”, Age Uke is made up of two symbols. The first is “age” which translates to “rising” rather than “high” (which would be “jodan”). The second is “uke” which we have discussed before means…
Ude Uke and Geidan Barrai

Ude Uke and Geidan Barrai

Translation This article is on two separate techniques that are taught together in Kihon Kata. The first is ude uke. The translation is of two separate symbols, like many of the other techniques in karate. The first symbol is “ude”, which means…
Kagi Uke

Kagi Uke

Translation Kagi Uke is made up of two symbols. “Kagi”, meaning “hooking” and “Uke” meaning “to receive” or “block”. This is translated as “to hook that which is received” or more commonly “hooking block”. There are a few ways of…
hikite

Hikite

Translation Hikite is broken down into two symbols. Hiki, which means “pull” and Te, which means “hand”. Therefore Hikite can be translated as “the pulling hand”. It describes the hand that is pulled to your hip simultaneously as you punch or strike with the…
Partner Drills

Partner Drills

The Development of Partner Drills Many (although not all) martial arts styles include partner drills in their curriculum, but in some styles of karate the partner drills do not reflect effective karate at all, and this can be detrimental to…
Anaku - A Swallow Pivots on the Beach

Anaku – A Swallow Pivots on the Beach

Chinese Origins Anaku (also known as Ananku) is a kata that has its origins in Xing-Yi (also written Hsing-Yi or Tsing-Yi), a Chinese martial art based on linear movement, and the current versions were influenced by Shuri-te, the name given…
10 Lessons for Intermediate Belts

10 Lessons for Intermediate Belts

One: Respect silence People say a martial art teaches discipline. Well, the root word of discipline is ‘disciple.’ Thus the disciple should quieten the mind, avoid needless chatter in the dojo, and be present. Two: Give Back The training you…
Interpreting the Snapshots of Kata

Interpreting the Snapshots of Kata

From Dance to Practical Application In kata we practice sequences of techniques and choreographed steps and various stances.  In the beginning we do these things because we are supposed to and we trust that they will make us better without…
Funakoshi's Creative Mandate

Funakoshi’s Creative Mandate

Trend in Funakoshi’s Writings In the past few years of my Karate studies I have noticed a certain trend within the text’s of Funakoshi, that is rarely talked about in the Karate community. Creativity, eclecticism, and change. In this article…
Go Kenki (Wú Xiánguì)

Go Kenki (Wú Xiánguì)

Mystery Surrounding the Man For most karate students, the name Wú Xiánguì means absolutely nothing unless you like to read. He is rarely mentioned in books, except in passing, and his name is never discussed in classes, but the man has…
Top Ten Mistakes Every New Student

Top Ten Mistakes Every New Student Makes

Common Mistakes I have been teaching karate for a long time to many students. The ages of my students has ranged anywhere from 6 to 60 and has included almost every demographic you can imagine. Despite this variety of students, there are…
Chinto

6. Chinto

Sequence Rei Yoi Right foot back to shiko-dachi, right kazure te-uke (backs of fists touching) Left soto shuto-uke (right shote supporting left wrist) Trap, flip hands, left tetsui-uchi right hikite Right foot sweeps to the front, spin 180◦ to shiko-dachi…
Passai Dai

5b. Passai Dai

Sequence Rei Yoi (left hand holds right fist in front of solar plexus, push out and down to cover groin) Step forward with left foot to inverted neko-ashi-dachi Jump forward to kosa-dachi, right sasae-chudan-uke Pivot to musubi-dachi to the rear…
Pinan Series

3. Pinan Series

Introduction The Pinan Series is comprised of five katas. They were created by Yasutsune “Anko” Itosu. Sensei Itosu is often referred to as the father of modern karate. This title is shared with Gichin Funakoshi (Okinawan Karate vs Japanese Karate).…
Sandan

Sandan

This article contains the requirements for 3rd Dan testing at the Okinawan Karate-do Institute. Every school has different requirements for testing, this is merely a reference for students of OKI and instructors who are curious what other schools require.
Nidan

Nidan

This article contains the requirements for 2nd Dan testing at the Okinawan Karate-do Institute. Every school has different requirements for testing, this is merely a reference for students of OKI and instructors who are curious what other schools require.
Shodan

Shodan

This article contains the requirements for 1st Dan testing at the Okinawan Karate-do Institute. Every school has different requirements for testing, this is merely a reference for students of OKI and instructors who are curious what other schools require.
1st Kyu

1st Kyu

This article contains the requirements for 1st Kyu testing at the Okinawan Karate-do Institute. Every school has different requirements for testing, this is merely a reference for students of OKI and instructors who are curious what other schools require.
2nd Kyu

2nd Kyu

This article contains the requirements for 2nd Kyu testing at the Okinawan Karate-do Institute. Every school has different requirements for testing, this is merely a reference for students of OKI and instructors who are curious what other schools require.
3rd Kyu

3rd Kyu

This article contains the requirements for 3rd Kyu testing at the Okinawan Karate-do Institute. Every school has different requirements for testing, this is merely a reference for students of OKI and instructors who are curious what other schools require.
4th Kyu

4th Kyu

This article contains the requirements for 4th Kyu testing at the Okinawan Karate-do Institute. Every school has different requirements for testing, this is merely a reference for students of OKI and instructors who are curious what other schools require.
5th Kyu

5th Kyu

This article contains the requirements for 5th Kyu testing at the Okinawan Karate-do Institute. Every school has different requirements for testing, this is merely a reference for students of OKI and instructors who are curious what other schools require.
6th Kyu

6th Kyu

This article contains the requirements for 6th Kyu testing at the Okinawan Karate-do Institute. Every school has different requirements for testing, this is merely a reference for students of OKI and instructors who are curious what other schools require.
7th Kyu

7th Kyu

This article contains the requirements for 7th Kyu testing at the Okinawan Karate-do Institute. Every school has different requirements for testing, this is merely a reference for students of OKI and instructors who are curious what other schools require.
8th Kyu

8th Kyu

This article contains the requirements for 8th Kyu testing at the Okinawan Karate-do Institute. Every school has different requirements for testing, this is merely a reference for students of OKI and instructors who are curious what other schools require.
9th Kyu

9th Kyu

This article contains the requirements for 9th Kyu testing at the Okinawan Karate-do Institute. Every school has different requirements for testing, this is merely a reference for students of OKI and instructors who are curious what other schools require.
Kihon Sandan

1c. Kihon Sandan

Prerequistes Rising Block (Age Uke) To perform a rising block, the blocking hand (same side as the foot that is in front) is brought up the center line of the body in an uppercut motion before finally being “flipped” into…
Kihon Nidan

1b. Kihon Nidan

Prerequistes High Reverse Punch (Judan Gyakuzuki) To perform a high reverse punch is identical to performing a middle reverse punch with the exception of your target area. Your target area is the nose (center of the head) of an imaginary…
Kihon Shodan

1a. Kihon Shodan

Prerequistes Natural Stance (Shizentai Dachi) Natural Stance is done by placing both feet shoulder width apart. The front foot (we shall assume left for this example) is also about shoulder width in front of the rear foot. The front knee…
Passai Sho

5a. Passai Sho

Sequence Rei Yoi (left hand holds right fist in front of solar plexus, push out and down to cover groin) Turn left foot to musubi-dachi Jump forward to kosa-dachi, right sasae-chudan-uke Pivot to left neko-ashi-dachi to the rear, left chudan-uke…
Pinan Godan

3e. Pinan Godan

Sequence Rei Yoi Left-facing left neko-ashi-dachi, left chudan-ude-uke Right seiken-zuki with koshi-zuki Step up to forward-facing haisoku-dachi, left mawashi-zuki Step out to right-facing neko-ashi-dachi, right chudan-ude-uke Left seiken-zuki with koshi-zuki Step up to forward-facing haisoku-dachi, right mawashi-zuki Step forward to…
Pinan Yondan

3d. Pinan Yondan

Sequence Rei Yoi Left neko-ashi-dachi facing left, left chudan-shuto-uke, right jodan-shuto-uke Spin around to face right in right neko-ashi-dachi, repeat morote shuto-uke block Step out to the front into left zenkutsu-dachi, left sasae-gedan-uke Step forward to zenkutsu-dachi, right sasae-chudan-ude-uke Step…
Naihanchi Nidan

2b. Naihanchi Nidan

Prerequisites Single Hand Knife Block (Shuto Uke) Performed in horse stance, the blocking arm goes out almost completely straight with the hand tight and the fingers together and pointed up towards the ceiling. The blocking surface is the ridge along…
Yatsune “Anko" Itosu

Yatsune “Anko” Itosu

Early Life Anko Itosu was born in the Giba sector of Shuri, Okinawa in 1831. His name itself is often a source of confusion. His Okinawan name was Anko (mistakenly thought to be a nickname by some) Shishu. This can…
Sokon "Bushi" Matsumura

Sokon “Bushi” Matsumura

Early Life Sokon Matsumura, also known as Bushi (warrior) Matsumura and Shuri Matsumura, was born into a well-known shizoku family at Yamagawa Village, Shuri, Okinawa in 1809. This date is often disputed, but is based on Shoshin Nagamine’s account of…
Okan/Wankan/Matsukaze

4. Wankan

Tonight’s article is on my favorite kata, Okan. I first learned this kata as a 5th Kyu in Yamashita Shorin-ryu. It is one of the older katas in Shorin-ryu and as such, has very little written record concerning it. It…
Requirements for First Promotion

Requirements for First Promotion

In honor of having two new students down at class today, I wanted to discuss the different things I have seen and heard of for the first promotion at a karate school. This is neither an argument for or against…
Chosin Chibana

Chosin Chibana’s Essay

This essay on Chosin Chibana’s beliefs is, by far, one of the most enlightening articles ever wrote on Karate. To realize that these problems existed when Karate first became international is quite interesting. Ernest Estrada explains that, “This great treasure…
Pinan Sandan

3c. Pinan Sandan

Overview The third kata in the Pinan Series is called Pinan Sandan. It introduces a few foundational concepts in Karate-Do and at times you can see directly how it was developed from Kusanku (a much older kata) and the Naihanchi…
Pinan Nidan

3b. Pinan Nidan

Overview of the Kata Pinan Nidan is a much simpler kata than Pinan Shodan. The basic pattern for it is very similar to Kihon Yondan or Matsubayashi-ryu’s Fukyugata Ichi. There are only two new waza (techniques) that are visible in this…
Pinan Shodan

3a. Pinan Shodan

Prerequistes Cat Leg Stance (Neko Ashi Dachi) The cat leg stance is an advanced stance in Shorin-ryu. While being slightly defensive in nature, it provides the karateka free movement of the front leg and the ability to quickly move towards…
Naihanchi Sandan

2c. Naihanchi Sandan

Prerequisites Long Stance (Zenkutsu Dachi) The front leg is bent and its toes are pointing forward. The back leg shoulder width apart from the left and twice as far behind it. The back leg is almost completely straight (not locked…
Kihon Kata Series

1. Kihon Kata Series

Introduction The Kihon Kata consists of three katas that are done in succession. Rarely will a Shorin-ryu school ask a student to do only one of the three katas individually. Regardless, it is important to understand that they are three katas…
Tadashi Yamashita

Suikendo

Way of the Water Fist There is a separate section about Tadashi Yamashita. Sensei Yamashita was the head of my style when I first began learning Karate-Do. I was fortunate enough to be part of his organization at the time…
Naihanchi Shodan

2a. Naihanchi Shodan

Prequisites Push Block (Osai Uke) To perform the “push” block commonly referred to as “lay”, the karateka turns their palm upward and presses their wrist against the chest. They then “push” the hand straight outward making contact against an opponent’s…
Naihanchi Series

2. Naihanchi Series

Introduction The Naihanchi (Fighting with Stealth) Series is the first of the fundamental katas taught in our system. It should be thought of as a self-contained fighting system, rather than part of the Shorin-ryu fighting system. In classical times, a…
Itosu Ten Precepts

Tode Jukun

Anko Itosu wrote a letter in October 1908 entitled, "Tode Jukun" (Ten Precepts of Karate), to gain the attention of the Japanese Government.
Sakugawa

Satsunuku “Tode” Sakugawa

Sakugawa started to teach the "Chinese hand" way in Okinawa, combining what both his teachers had taught him and structuring a training system.
Chosin Chibana

Chosin Chibana

Chosin Chibana left behind him a life completely devoted to Karate and the almost impossible feat of having trained five disciples to the stage of Kyudan.
Sokon Matsumura

Matsumura’s 1882 Letter

In 1882 Sokon Matsumura sent a makimono to his student that implies a relation between warrior ethics, social science, and Confucian ethics.
Shuguro Nakazato

Shugoro Nakazato

Throughout his career Nakazato has given of his knowledge very willingly. He has demonstrated his technique of Karate all over the world.
Double Eagle Block

Tadashi Yamashita

Known for his explosive open hand techniques, Yamashita combines many progressive fighting tactics with traditional aspects of karatedo.
The Uniform

The Uniform

Official Uniform The official uniform is a traditional white karate uniform called a “kikogi” or just “gi”. The karate gi is based on the Judo gi that was developed the same time as the martial arts belts. The gi is…
The Belt

The Belt

Common myths about Karate belts and a step by step instructional on how to tie your belt.