I hope you’re all enjoying a day off from class – and since I have a few free moments, I thought I’d share something about HISKarate’s approach to teaching the art. As you know, we usually train together as a blended group including all ages and ranks. While it’s an exercise regimen for everyone to get a controlled workout, the actual message that everyone receives is not quite the same. What I mean is that while focusing on some basic move or technique that everyone does together, the lesson is normally imparted on several different levels simultaneously. A white belt might be concentrating on the particular oi-zuki drill while I might be describing the underlying ways to increase power/speed for the color belts and describing breathing/snap/thrust coordination tips that are aimed at the advanced students. And yes, we know that a lot of what we say and teach in any given class actually “goes above your heads”, depending upon your rank and experience in Karate-Do. Our intent is for everyone to get some exercise and learn something new and appropriate for his/her level from each combined class.
In the office, we used to say the old phrase, “Throw something at the wall and see what sticks” whenever we were brainstorming on different ideas and alternatives to attack a particular issue. We meant to come up with as many ideas as we could; then gradually winnow these out and hopefully arrive at a best way forward. I understand that the culinary origin of the saying was to throw spaghetti at the wall to see whether it was ready to eat (hint: it wasn’t ready to eat it, it didn’t stick to the wall)😋
Anyways, in that spirit, I’m attaching the link below for your ahem, lesson for this week. I don’t believe that Karate-Do training is limited to purely physical movement. I think that we should also be learning something about the philosophy, culture, and history of the art. Sometime ago, I came across an article written by Ron Rogers, an instructor at the Midori Yama Budokai. This organization out of Alabama consists of instructors teaching a dozen different martial arts such as judo, jiu-jitsu aikido, arnis, karate, and more. The article Rogers wrote contains one of the better summaries of the history of Shotokan that I’ve come across and it is in agreement with what I know. So, if you read through it, you’ll learn about how Shotokan made its way from Japan to the world – and pick up more details about the various off-shoots and early instructors than most Shotokan karateka are aware of. Or you might learn just a thing or two and lose interest after a couple of pages. BTW, it does briefly mention Sensei’s Kanazawa, Asai, and (Kenneth) Funakoshi who are the teachers in your direct lineage. Regardless, my hope is that something new sticks with you.😉