concepts


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 […]

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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 […]


How to Bunkai

Bunkai (lit. “take apart, analyze”), in the context of karate, is the practice of breaking down kata and working on developing applications for their movements, but sometimes it can be hard for karateka to figure out how to apply kata movements on their own. This is compounded by the fact that many instructors still only teach basic “block-punch-kick” applications for […]

how-to-bunkai

bubishi book

Book Review – Bubishi: The Classic Manual of Combat

The Bubishi is considered, by many, to be required reading for any karateka. It is a collection of essays, recipes, and diagrams transferred to Okinawa from China–most likely in small sections over time–and it is believed to be related to, or part of, a Chinese war manual called the Wu Bei Zhi, which was written in the 16th and 17th […]


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 […]

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

denwood

Interview with Chris Denwood

Chris Denwood is a karateka, fitness expert, researcher, and the author of “Respecting the Old, Creating the New,” and “Naihanchi (Tekki): The Seed of Shuri Karate Vol. 1.” The latter is easily the most comprehensive book on Naihanchi Shodan fundamentals that I have ever read, and I highly recommend it to anyone who practices Naihanchi kata that can be traced back […]


Motobu Choki and Stopping Attacks with “Blocks”

“One cannot use continuous attacks against true karate. That is because the blocks of true karate make it impossible for the opponent to launch a second attack” The above quote comes from Motobu Choki, as translated by Joe Swift, and is one of many somewhat enigmatic statements from the famed Okinawan fighter about the nature of karate. Some of his […]

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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 […]