Category Archives: Articles

The Problem Today with Bunkai

So the arguments and discussions continue on the web about “bunkai”. Is it any surprise that no consensus has been reached? We have a misinterpreted word with bad translations and a general misunderstanding about its purpose and suddenly everyone has … Continue reading

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The Imbalance of Traditional Kihon Training

At the risk of sounding a little controversial, I have a gripe about the way we karate instructors and students practice our kihon (basics).  Let me set the scene… The class lines up and everyone bows in.  A warm up … Continue reading

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Enter form, exit form

There is a saying in Japanese martial arts that translates as “Enter form, exit form”. When you first see these words they don’t really make much sense as there is no context in which to place them. However the meaning … Continue reading

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Five Common Mistakes That New Karate Instructors Make

Becoming an instructor in a martial arts school is often a really exciting time because in many ways you feel like you have made it. In order to teach others you must have already mastered the basic content and now … Continue reading

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The Blocking Myth

I have always been fascinated by languages, so much so that I majored in German and minored in Japanese for my Bachelor’s Degree. During my studies, I had to learn translation and was given passages in the foreign language that … Continue reading

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Harmonizing with your Opponent

The process of learning kumite (sparring or partner work) in Shotokan karate can be a long and arduous path. Usually a practitioner begins by learning the introductory kihon of our style such as punches, blocks and kicks and then basic … Continue reading

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The Benefits of Failure

To use the words “benefit” and “failure” in the same sentence probably qualifies as an oxymoron. Like any good lesson in life, however, the things that we are afraid of the most often give us the best insights. I have … Continue reading

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What’s the difference between a Martial Art and a Sport?

This article focuses on an issue that is often written about in martial arts circles and will no doubt continue to be debated for years to come. It is the basic question about whether karate is a martial art or … Continue reading

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The Trip of a Lifetime

I was born and raised in England for 22 years, lived in Germany for 1 year, Japan for 3 years and now the United States for over 10 years. I have traveled throughout Europe and also South-East Asia. As you … Continue reading

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Why is Basic Training (Kihon) so Important?

“Do I have to practice this again? I know how to do it already. Why can’t I learn the next punch and the next kata? Do I still have to do the things that WHITE BELTS do?!?” Have you ever … Continue reading

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