How do we teach children authentic Okinawan karate without feeling like we’re selling out?
Many sensei battle with this dilemma, and in an age where the parents are customers and expect certain things for their money, I say follow your heart and let your passion be the guiding force. If you can’t be honest to yourself then how can you be happy in life?
Continue reading “Karate Child’s Play”
It’s been an interesting couple of weeks visiting several schools whilst setting up new karate classes for January. For much of this period Katarina has shadowed me in preparation before starting classes in her own area. In a way this has brought challenges because it’s made me take a step back and explain ‘why’ I do things the way I do. Having to explain logically, the things I do instinctively.
Everything has a reason and a purpose. Continue reading “How to teach children anything”
One of the first stances taught in karate is ‘kiotsuke’, literally stand to ‘attention’, with feet together, spine straight, chest open, shoulders back and head up.
Continue reading “Pay Attention!”
When children have joy they don’t need to be taught “be good to others”, they’ll do it naturally because that is the highest expression of the human condition.
On the recent 3-day karate camp the children learnt so many things, but mostly they learnt about the structure of why we train the way we do. Continue reading “Be Happy.”
Came across this lovely translation of a chapter from an old Xingyiquan book earlier (link below). Mostly written in the first person, the part about ‘night fighting’ particularly interested me because lately our training in Tachimura-ha has focussed on Passai kata, which contains various techniques and strategies for developing ‘night fighting’ skill. Of course really it’s not ‘techniques for fighting in the dark’ but rather heightened ‘response-ability’ that is being improved. Continue reading “Passai Kata: Being Response-able”
Karate is a curious thing. You can do a sequence of movements for years, seeing them so clearly, painting over any gaps with your own ideas to dispel self-doubt in your understanding, and then a teacher reveals them in a different light resulting in a paradigm shift spiralling you upwards.
Continue reading “Reflections on a recent trip to Okinawa”
“To judge the personality of an individual we only teach part of the technique, then they will adjust it to their own Way and reveal the true heart of their karate.”
Continue reading “When Miyagi Chojun met Motobu Choyu”
Very often we hear the phrase “karate begins and ends with courtesy”, which has largely come to mean ‘start and finish’ with a bow’, but I’d like to pass on something my teacher impressed upon me.
“Mokuso is not praying, but giving thanks.”From a post training conversation with Higa Kiyohiko during the summer of 2017
Continue reading “Mokuso, Karate & Gratitude”