Training Harder, Fist Photos and the New Dojo 2

The more reading that I do about martial arts, and traditional karate in particular, the more I want to train. That is not to say that I haven’t wanted to train more, already, but the feeling is certainly stronger.  I find myself practicing and exercising outside of the dojo even more often, and when I am at the dojo I try to work harder every time. I have found a bit of an issue with this, however. My mind is not one that is prone to successful multitasking, and so the harder I work the less I am able to “see” in my training.

Motobu Choki, Kata Application

I have always been told to envision my enemies when practicing kata and kihon, and I find that I can easily do this while practicing kihon, but when I move into kata I can only do so when performing it slowly. When I add power and speed to my kata my brain is so concerned with the physical aspects of my techniques that I am not able to “see” any opponents in front of me. This is a severe impediment to my training, as the muscle memory of kata is nearly useless without the intent and application being envisioned with its practice. It is at times like these that I almost wish I had not learned so many kata (33, at last count) so that I could learn a few much more in depth. In order to overcome this obstacle, I know that I will have to dedicate much more time to specifically incrementally increasing the intensity of my kata while maintaining valid visualizations.

Funakoshi Gichin, Shuri-Ken

During my studies I have come across hundreds of old photos of karate drills, forms and techniques. I find myself strangely drawn to the photos of fists–the strength and toughness of the karate masters of old depicted in the photos is plainly evident in the still shots of their hands.  In the spirit of that, I took some photos of fist techniques I have learned during my training, and I tried to somewhat emulate the look of the antique photos I find myself drawn to. I did not have a black background to use, and my fists are obviously much weaker, the skin much thinner and fairer, but I feel as though I can one day look back at these photos and see where I came from.

Snake Fist or Two-Finger Spear Hand

Leopard Fist

One-Finger Spear Hand

Crane Head and Beak

Basic Fist
Dragon Fist, Demon Fist or One-Knuckle Fist

Phoenix Eye Fist or One-Knuckle Fist

Shuri-Fist or Ryukyu Fist

Palm Heel or Tiger Fist
Sword Hand or Spear Hand

Vertical Fist

Crane Wing

My dojo has been renting space at Chaparral Christian Church in Scottsdale, AZ for about 2 years now. We have enjoyed our time there and have had a good relationship with them, but we have reached a point where we have outgrown the space and desire the ability to make a space our own. My Sensei and his girlfriend signed a lease this past Monday for a 4,600 square foot space in the Scottsdale Airpark. We are thrilled at this turn events and all of the possibilities it brings! We plan to start classes at the new dojo on October 1st.

The New Dojo Floorplan

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About Noah

I began training in karate (Shuri-Ryu) in the Summer of 2006. Subsequently, I started training in judo, kobudo, and iaijutsu within the next 6 months. During my training there, I earned the rank of Sankyu (3rd Degree Brown Belt) in Shuri-Ryu, Gokyu (Green Belt) in judo, a certification in the use of the bo, and passed proficiency tests for the four tachigata of Shinkage-Ryu iaijutsu. I moved to Arizona in the Summer of 2008, and continued training and researching karate at home. I continued regular training in judo at a local club until 2010, when I was able to start training in Shorin-Ryu with Sensei Richard Poage. I have been training with him ever since, and currently hold the rank of Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) in Shorin-Ryu under him. In addition, I began studying KishimotoDi under Sensei Ulf Karlsson in 2014.

2 thoughts on “Training Harder, Fist Photos and the New Dojo

    • Noah

      The fist doesn’t necessarily dictate how you strike with it, in this case. It can be used however your style punches, but when I punch with it I turn it over to an angle between vertical and horizontal (generally called a 3/4 punch). It can also be used as a hammerfist or backfist (not by me, though–it hurts my index finger doing that) or simply used any time you are making a fist during kata as a stylistic preference.

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