Shotokan Karate (Beach Ave Dojo)

Practice traditional karate- emphasizing realistic fighting techniques, discipline and polishing one's character. We now have our own dojo! Come visit and practice -
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Operating as usual

[07/02/21]   Thoughts from Henry Wilkerson

I studied under Caylor Adkins for at least twenty years. From him I heard, "Ki means to align the self with the center of the universe." He explained, "Ki is a cause-and-effect preemptive reaction [go no sen]. In Ki, you pull when pushed, and push when pulled. It is the adaptation of Ki to successfully contend with any force that confronts you." But the art of rendering the opponent powerless, as described by Mr. Adkins, is essentially different from the Ki. You will have to discover this thru your own practice.
I also visited Master Egami’s home in Japan and was fortunate to see his practice of this with my own eyes. I did not understand what or how he did this and I looked many different ways to try and find it for myself. I think I scratched the surface of this and I am still looking.
Henry Wilkerson -beginner

Practicing Karate

No matter how much you are taught, you will quickly forget anything that you learned. But something that you learned. But something that you acquired on your own and struggled to understand on your own will stick with you; you will never forget it, in other words, teaching is nothing more than offering the student hints. The student must understand by himself. This is particularly true in Karate, which must be acquired through a kind of inner sensation.

Don't assume you can learn anything just by asking a lot of questions, don’t assume you can get anyone to teach you anything. Everyone's body is different. You can't say for sure that the same method that worked for someone else will work for you.

Don't assume you can learn anything just by asking a lot of questions, don’t assume you can get anyone to teach you anything. Everyone's body is different. You can't say for sure that the same method that worked for someone else will work for you.

As you study, you naturally become aware of what works for you. If you don't do it on your own, no good will come of it. You must train using the method that works best for you. What can be taught is the foundation, or what you might call the framework. You must think for yourself to flush it out and make it something you can actually use. You can't fight if all you have is just the skeleton. That's why doing only what you've been taught won't work. You have to make it yourself to give it substance. No matter how much someone may try to teach you, if you haven't learned it yourself, you can't do it well.

I have here compiled some precautions one should be aware. You're willing to practice with anyone [referring to sparring]. That's your good point. For a lot of people that's actually rather difficult. Since you encounter so many different people, you must study well and be ready for anything. You mustn't practice with the attitude that you're just practicing. Think in terms of real combat. Give it a lot of thought, study how you might respond to this or that attack. You'll never get good if you just repeat the same things over and over again. A person with the desire for self-development gradually improves through experience.

By accumulating experience in this way, little by little, you become proficient. When I was young, I would often critically examine my moves. "I should have done this, or should have done that... I might think to myself. You're good because you do it.

A person who can keep from tensing up in actual combat is a person with aptitude. It's too easy to start using power, so keep your body loose and relaxed during practice. The shortcut to improvement is to execute your movements accurately and without power. But it seems that people have a tendency to stiffen up.

What are you talking about?! I can do it because I don't strain or use unnecessary force. If one uses power, one can't do it.

If you tense your body, all you end up with is tension! You can't progress beyond it. If you move without power, you'll come to understand a lot and improve. People think that it's not martial arts if they don't use a lot of force, but this thinking must completely change. My practice is something that can be attained only after putting in lots and lots of training.

You're the only one who feels any kind of force when you tense up; it has no influence whatsoever on the other person.

Do not become obsessed with form. Do not just go through the motions of a form. When you follow a form, it may look good, but it's dead.

The worst thing is to execute karate as a form. You render it completely useless for real fighting. Variation is important.

Everyone practices body movement as a form, but since I started training, I've been practicing with an eye to actual combat.

I went through a lot of trial and error because it wouldn't do to have karate that was useless in a real fight. No matter how fast and repeatedly an opponent punched, I was able to dodge the punches by slipping their punches and kicks.

Some martial arts regularly hold tournaments. When the contestant strikes a blow, it doesn't look as impressive if the shoulders are relaxed, so he ends up putting power into his shoulders. The need for showmanship distracts martial arts schools that hold these exhibition matches. That's where their energy goes — into pleasing and impressing the crowds. Therefore, accolades from others are not the goal; if you seek that, you won't truly progress. What other people think doesn't matter.

Because you can't defeat an opponent, you try using power yourself, trying this and that. If you continue to do so, you won't be able to stop tensing up and you won't ever become good.

You think that because you practice karate for a long time you should be able to advance quickly. It doesn't work that way. Because it takes time, you must practice not to use power. As you practice, you'll be able to do it.

You must've been really shocked last time when your technique didn't work. But you’ve got to overcome that. The path to excellence is not flat; it has peaks and valleys. It's a difficult road. It's not so easy. You've got to use your head to consider how you might respond if your partner refuses to give up, refuses to pull any punches. Was your posture straight? Were your arms tense? You've got to ask yourself questions to figure out why your technique didn't work. Use your head. Consider how you might respond if your opponent really resists, and press on.

You're in the safe zone as long as you're moving about lightly and freely. As soon as you stiffen your body or brace yourself, you've put yourself in a offensive posture. And offence can always be broken! They say that offence is the best defense. Seize the initiative to get your opponent to attack first, giving you an opening for a counter-attack [sen-no-sen. Actual combat is very fast. No one really fights sluggishly like you do. At any rate, your body is important. You must train and temper your body so that it can move freely.

Practice Karate with beginners [or the sake of research. Work with people who aren't good at this in order to experiment with different angles and ways of using force. It won't do you any good to attack them as hard as you can just because you can. By practicing with people weaker than you, you get to experiment a lot and become skillful, while they learn how to do it. In this way you help each other to develop.

You cannot do anything because it "comes naturally." Effort is necessary; it's not innate. You must stop, consider each and every aspect of what you're doing, and then through hard work you will become able to do it little by little. It's the same with enlightenment—it's not as if you suddenly become enlightened by doing nothing. It requires a long accumulation of hard work.

When you're told to let go of force, you should do as you're told— you should take it to mean that you are to drop your shoulders and put a little power into your hips. You fail because you apply logic and conclude that totally letting go of all strength from your body is impossible because then you won't be able to move. You should take things more intuitively, as you would with literature.

Why do so many people want to put on airs? In the realm of things that people can achieve, there isn't such a huge range of difference in abilities. It only stands to reason that someone who works at something for a long time will become better than other people who have not. So, it's foolish to think that you have something to brag about.

It's no good if you don't stop to consider what you'd do in a real battle, and only approach it as something you practice in the dojo to learn the form. If you do that, you'll never become strong. I've come this far because I've always consecrated myself to the battle. I've always told my students to hold me as hard as they can. If I told them not to give it their best, my own progress would have stopped. Essentially, my reason for teaching here is so that I can improve. That's why I can go farther and farther. By trying so much, I gain strength and my body adapts. I doubt that many places allow the students to contend so seriously as they do here.

04/27/2021

A Lost Karate Punch (That WORKS)

04/06/2021

"The first level is to create a correct position and to exert pressure on the ground. This reaction is 'absorbed' in Hara, and from there it is released through the techniques." - Taiji Kase
Photo credit by Živko Tasevski

12/11/2020

"I can say that I fear nothing, not even death! And this I don't say in a big-headed or conceited way. My meaning is that I always try my best in everything I do, so I will be satisfied when I do die.
I think the reason that people fear death is because they want to do and accomplish so many other things that are still undone...they always want to do more.
Also, I truly believe that life continues after physical death, all life continues... life is a circle!" - Hirokazu Kanazawa

- Lucas Barboza

11/10/2020

Shotokan Path

Shigeru Egami Sensei once said: - "The great ideal of Gichin Funakoshi who came to be recognized as the 'Father of Modern Karate-Dō' was to be able to advance from Jutsu (Technique) to Dō (Path) And with that, the distinction between these two aspects must be clearly assimilated ...

"Karate-jutsu" can be understood as being nothing more than a technique aimed at homicide, and this emphatically does not define the purpose of "Karate-Dō". He who seeks the true path of Karate must seek not only to coexist with his opponent, but also to achieve unity with him.

In Karate-Dō, there are no questions about homicide, and no emphasis is placed on victory. When practicing Karate-Dō, the important thing is to seek to be one with your partner, move together and progress collectively! "

- Lucas Barboza

11/04/2020

Kase-Ha Shotokan-Ryu Borovo

"I think Ki is a form of energy and that energy is not physical, in the strict sense of the term. We, humans, are living beings and to live, we must be in full force. In particular, the energy we have in the centre of the body can be used to move. To move, to live in our body, even if we don't know exactly how it happens. Some people have the ability to combine muscle strength with energy stored in the centre of the body. When that fusion happens, a truly incredible force is released. Also, through training, this energy continuously grows and undergoes a qualitative transformation. A slightly inappropriate example may be when an electric current is transformed into a very high voltage discharge under certain conditions. Speaking of Ki, people have their Ki, this is the natural basis that everyone has, but when, for example, muscle strength, breathing strength, and mental concentration strength blend harmoniously, another force comes and goes. In karate, I believe that these three elements are harmoniously connected, the basis of the energy needed for training. We also know that Ki exists scattered in the atmosphere, i.e. outside our body and that in the past the Samurai have found a way to open a channel of communication with this energy source. In short, they managed to unite the Ki of the universe and the Earth, and that process took place in the body of the Samurai, in which immense energy was expressed, I would dare to say almost "terrible". These are not my opinions, but they are transmitted throughout history. In short, the principle is heaven (Ten), earth (Chi), and man (Yin) together. It was an idea that Budo was trying to achieve, and the highest level was to combine this principle by expressing it in technique." - "Passing on the legacy of Yosh*taka Funakoshi", Interview with Master T. Kase made by Luciano Puricelli (published in Italian language)

10/16/2020

Kase-Ha Shotokan-Ryu Borovo

Sensei Taiji Kase on the differences in exercise when he started with karate and today.
"In those days there was no Sports Karate and the only competition was with yourself. Like climbing a great mountain you had to train very hard in a totally committed way in order to gain endurance. The greatest difference is that with Sports karate the emphasis is now on fighting only to win the competition, but in our case, it was a fight to the death and a matter of winning in order to survive.

By fighting in this way we not only won on the battlefield but we also found out more about ourselves, like Solomon. We practiced to learn what we were doing wrong and not just to make points by using some winning technique. Through our minds and spiritual approach, we can create and develop." - excerpt from an interview conducted by SKCE Chairman, Gerry Grey in1984, Crystal Palace, London.

10/15/2020

Kase-Ha Shotokan-Ryu Borovo

"The competition does not have a very high significance from a martial arts perspective and the same judgment has to be made on the practice methods that are applied in these arts. It is not my intention to say that we should not compete but instead fight to the death. Such kind of thing cannot be allowed in modern society. Therefore those people who want to know the strictness of real martial arts should already pause at this point and take a new look at things (in martial arts when confronting the opponent) and be strict against oneself. ”Being strict against oneself” in martial arts is to be able to, at any time, defeat and destroy the opponent that confronts you and not doing it. It is to make sure not to destroy the opponent but to greatly spare the opponent's life." - excerpt from the text "Aikido is a Language" By Shoji Nishio sensei (Photo: Nishio Shoji sensei)

09/24/2020

Jesse Enkamp

10 differences between Karate in Okinawa & Japan 🇯🇵🥋

[06/17/20]   The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate
Niju Kun (松濤館二十訓)
By Master Gichin Funakoshi
The Shōtōkan niju kun were published in a book in 1938 The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate as:

1. Karate-do begins and ends with bowing.

Hitotsu, karate-do wa rei ni hajimari rei ni owaru koto o wasuru na

2. There is no first strike in karate.

Hitotsu, karate ni sente nashi

3. Karate stands on the side of justice.

Hitotsu, karate wa, gi no tasuke

4. First know yourself, then know others.

Hitotsu, mazu onore o shire, shikash*te ta o shire

5. Mentality over technique.

Hitotsu, gijitsu yori shinjitsu

6. The heart must be set free.

Hitotsu, kokoro wa hanatan koto o yosu

7. Calamity springs from carelessness.

Hitotsu, wazawai wa ketai ni seizu

8. Karate goes beyond the dojo.

Hitotsu, dojo nomino karate to omou na

9. Karate is a lifelong pursuit.

Hitotsu, karate-do no shugyo wa isssho de aru

10. Apply the way of karate to all things. Therein lies its beauty.

Hitotsu, ara yuru mono o karateka seyo; sokoni myomi ari

11. Karate is like boiling water; without heat, it returns to its tepid state.

Hitotsu, karate Wa Yu No Gotoku Taezu Netsu O Atae Zareba Motono Mizuni Kaeru

12. Do not think of winning. Think, rather, of not losing.

Hitotsu, katsu kangae wa motsuna; makenu kangae wa hitsuyo

13. Make adjustments according to your opponent.

Hitotsu, tekki ni yotte tenka seyo

14. The outcome of a battle depends on how one handles emptiness and fullness (weakness and strength).

Hitotsu, tattakai wa kyo-jitsu no soju ikan ni ari

15. Think of hands and feet as swords.

Hitotsu, hi to no te-ashi wa ken to omoe

16. When you step beyond your own gate, you face a million enemies.

Hitotsu, danshi mon o izureba hyakuman no teki ari

17. Formal stances are for beginners; later, one stands naturally.

Hitotsu, kamae wa shoshinsha ni atowa shizentai

18. Perform prescribed sets of techniques exactly; actual combat is another matter.

Hitotsu, kata wa tadashiku, jisen wa betsumono

19. Do not forget the employment of withdrawal of power, the extension or contraction of the body, the swift or leisurely application of technique.

Hitotsu, chikara no kyojaku tai no shinshuku waza no kankyu

20. Be constantly mindful, diligent, and resourceful, in your pursuit of the Way.

Hitotsu, tsune ni shinen ku fu seyo

05/25/2020

Shotokan Karate finding your inner strength

05/21/2020

Inoue Noriaki Sensei - Shin'ei Taido - Swariwaza & Tachiwaza

Hainoamanjery ahitana an'i Maître Inoue NORIAKI (1902-1994), zanakanabavin'i O Sensei Morihei UESHIBA. www.aikido-madagascar.org

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