Saturday, 26 October 2013

Karate's Punch Line...

Higa Minoru sensei of the Kyudokan Shorin-ryu dojo, Tsuboya, 2011
The first offensive technique taught in most schools of karate is the punch, and many schools spend year after year teaching how to do it correctly...but I've often wondered why?

I think some karateka have a tendency to over engineer their techniques, as if a good one is like finding the holy grail, buried treasure, or the final resting place of Jimmy Hoffa: but I don't train that way. I see the type of karate I practise as being defined by certain parameters, so I'm not at liberty to "take the best from each style" as some like to imagine they do, I'm obliged instead to work with, and within, the ideas put together by Miyagi Chojun sensei.

Am I free to make karate my own, sure I am; but doing that is not the same thing as making my own karate! I have benefited greatly from the efforts of previous generations, I've been steadily engaged in my own training for many years, and I'm also providing opportunities for others who will follow. If in fact karate is an evolving art held together by a set of core principles, then we all share the same obligation to preserve those ideas.

Give your karate any name you like, but without sound combative principles and mindful training, what you're left with is Tae-Bo!