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Online, Online, and Online

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Covid19 is continuously in the news and every day seems to bring so much change.  All of the stores, restaurants, bars, flights, and workplaces that are either shutting down or reducing services are focused on one aspect of fighting the spread of the contagion – keeping one’s distance from others.  In place of going out for any non-essential activities, the recommendation is to “hunker down” at home and make use of technology to accomplish what normally takes place face-to-face or in crowded spaces. We are encouraged to do online shopping, online food orders, online classrooms, online work, and so on and on. Fortunately, in today’s world, aspects of karate training are now possible via the internet too.  So, since none of us can come to class for the time being, I wanted to say a few words about the value and caveats of learning karate online.  There’s a myriad of “karateducational” videos to choose from on the internet, but which ones are worthy of your time?  Well, you may not be aware of it, but each of you has already developed an “eye for good karate” which can help you to discern good karate from not-so-good karate.  This should prevent [...]

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Chito-ryu

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Okay, today I wanted to mention a karate style that we don’t hear too much about, Chito-ryu.  I first heard of the system around 35 years ago when I was training in the Mililani KAH dojo under Sensei Funakoshi.  A black belt karateka from the eastern part of the U.S. had flown in and wanted to train during his two weeks here, enroute to further training in Japan.  He was a very nice, well-mannered caucasian gentleman in his 30’s and very easy to talk to.  When I asked him what Shotokan school he was from, he had to repeat it a couple of times as I thought I heard Shito-ryu (a well-known style distantly related to Shotokan) and on the second repetition, I realized he’d said Chito-ryu, a system I had not heard of.  The second surprise was that he said his instructor was military veteran who had learned the art while stationed in Japan and was teaching the art to interested guys from the neighborhood in his garage.  Forgive me, but I had some qualms about the quality of his garage training in a system I’d never heard of, kind of like trying sushi from the nearest 7-11🤔.  I [...]

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“Throw Something at the Wall and See What Sticks”

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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 [...]