I have been studying and Training in Martial Arts since I was 15 years old.
I am now 60 years old and still have the same wonder and awe for the martial arts as I did at 15.
I have had ,had the privilege to study under Nikya Yamashita, Greer Golden and trained with Okazaki, sensei when he has held training camps here.
I am honored to have been asked to share my thoughts on here and Shotokan On line.
For many years I have watched, not Shotokan Karate Schools but Karate schools in general pour out blackbelts after blackbelts like it was a factory. We all know the type I mean. They seem forget the things we were taught way back in “ The Day “. Or in my opinion are more focused on the monetary gains. I understand that we have to pay the bills and make a living , but do we have to sacrifice the high standards that Shotokan demands.
The five basic things I teach in my beginners class, are what we build on to make the ordinary student, the extra ordinary teacher. Not all Blackbelts are good teachers, though they may be wonderful blackbelts in so far as they are great technicians but have difficulty trying to pass on the knowledge.
Stances – This is the foremost important thing to learn. One of my instructors put this way.“ Your Stance is like the foundation of a building, if the building has a week and poor foundation it will fall. If you as a student have a week and poor stance , you will fall. “ pretty straight forward.
Blocking – Shotokan is known for its HARD blocks. Blocks that can become strong enough to break someone’s arm , fingers or toes.
Strikes – Striking is approached with the thought of technique and penetration. Practice makes technique , Technique makes speed and speed makes power. These three areas allow us to teach the first five basic techniques.
Overhead Rising blocks
Inside out chest blocks
Outside in chest blocks
Front snap kicks.
With these fundamental techniques the karateka can develop and grow.
In upcoming articles I will get deeper into the exact procedure of each and the development Of chi.
I just wanted to put in my opinion as to what I feel is important for each student to learn.
Thank you for asking for my opinion and hope to add to this in the very near future.
“Karate Begins And Ends With Respect ” Master Anko Itosu