basics


Power Generation Methods

Karate is not a single, homogeneous practice, but rather is made up of a wide variety of styles, all of which are eclectic blends of native Okinawan arts, Japanese arts, Chinese arts, Indochinese arts, and more. While the human body only functions in so many ways, there are actually quite a number of approaches to doing most things, including generating […]

Nishiyama (Shotokan) breaking boards

A spherical diagram of happo no kuzushi

Basic Sabaki and Tenshin – An Evasion Primer

Sport karate has long been known for its fast in-and-out approach to fighting, largely because of the way points are assessed–you want to get in and touch your opponent, and get away before they can touch you. Lately, though, the kumite used in the increasingly popular World Karate Federation (WKF) competitions seems to involve the “in” component, but not so […]


Makiwara Exercises for Skills and Variety

The makiwara, or machiwara in Uchinaguchi (lit. “Okinawa mouth,” the native language of Okinawa), is a popularly referenced, albeit often misunderstood, traditional karate training tool. It has fallen out of favor with many karateka, either because they feel it is antiquated and less-useful than modern equipment, or simply because it is uncomfortable, painful, and sometimes boring to work with. As […]

motobu makiwara ipponken

Morote-uke (double receiver/"block")

The Parry-Pass Method – Karate’s Universal Defense

Uke-waza¬†(receiving techniques), as has been discussed before, are much more than just blocks, but they often incorporate defensive methods in their movements. While karate has a wide array of methods for defense, the most universal is probably the “parry-pass” style of blocking. Essentially, this is a method of blocking where one hand parries the attack to the side, and passes […]


Testing for Nidan

On Wednesday, July 20th, 2016, I tested for Nidan, along with another Nidan candidate, two Shodan candidates, and several brown belt candidates. The testing panel consisted of: John Dominguez, MD, Shodan Jim Mitchell, Shodan Richard Poage, Renshi, Godan Michael Newland, Renshi, Rokudan Jeff Allred, Renshi, Rokudan Eddie Bethea, Kyoshi, Hachidan The Shodan candidates had to complete a written exam, which […]

Myself with Eddie Bethea Sensei after the test

Kojo Hideki demonstrating the fudou-gamae (immovable posture) of Kojo-Ryu

Kamae Bunkai – Static Postures or Active Techniques

Most traditional martial artists who practice styles from Japan or Okinawa will be familiar with the word “kamae,” which literally translates to “posture” or “pose,” in the context of martial arts. It is typically used to refer to either specific arrangements of the arms, or of the entire body, as a whole–not to be confused with “tachi,” or “stance,” which […]


Fighting Dirty

Both traditional martial arts and reality-based self defense (RBSD) systems often talk about “fighting dirty” in self defense. By this, they are generally referring to doing things like gouging the eyes, striking the throat or groin, pulling the ears or hair, stomping the knees, etc. All of these are perfectly valid fighting methods, of course, but many people have a […]

green beret vs peruvian sf

Performing Seiyunchin in the desert

The Purpose of Kata

The practice and purpose of kata is something that is often debated, and can be a serious point of contention between martial artists. Many people believe that kata are outdated and useless, and should no longer be practiced. Others believe that kata are exercises for fitness, balance, and coordination, but nothing more. There are also those who believe that kata […]