tactile sensitivity

Why Doesn’t Kata Look Like Fighting?

This question comes up, often, with new karateka, disillusioned karateka, and people who practice (or at least closely follow) combat sports, and they have a fair point–kata does not look much like what most people consider “fighting.” Really, it doesn’t even look like what most karateka consider fighting, which is competition-style kumite (sparring). Kata teach you to use strong, rooted […]

nagamine kusanku

Ryan Parker teaching a kakidi drill based on Pinan Godan

Reflections on the First Ryukyu Martial Arts Friendship Gasshuku

This past weekend was our Ryukyu Martial Arts Friendship Gasshuku, which was an event I put together with the intent of getting martial artists together to learn and train in a variety of martial arts from the Ryukyu islands. The idea actually came from the Ryukyu Martial Arts Facebook Groups that were set up by Ryan Parker Sensei. There are […]

Clearing the Way

  As karateka, we often look at being on the receiving end of attacks, but sometimes we can overlook dealing with the defense of our attackers. From a philosophical view, it is easy to understand why this could happen. Most serious karateka are familiar with the concept of “karate ni sente nashi,” or “there is no initiating hand in karate.” […]

Taira Masaji demonstrating Goju-Ryu techniques


Maryna Moroz and Gekisai

At UFC Saskatoon, undefeated Ukrainian prospect, Maryna Moroz, faced off against Canadian veteran, Valerie Letourneau. Although Moroz is not as well known as Letourneau, she was the favorite going into the fight, due to her snappy, aggressive fighting style and her recent upset of Muay Thai phenom, Joanne Calderwood. As it turned out, Letourneau was able to take the tough […]

Practicing Basic Uke-Waza

Kihon-geiko (basic/foundational training) is meant to isolate karate movements so they can be individually focused on during practice. Karateka from nearly any style will be familiar with a variety of methods for this purpose–punches while standing in shiko-dachi (sumo/horse stance), kicks with the hands on the hips, walking across the mat in a stance, etc. Whatever the technique may be, […]

Kihon-geiko in front of the Shuri Castle, led by Gusukuma (Shiroma) Shinpan

wrist grab

Wrist Grabs in Karate Training

  Traditional martial arts are often criticized–and rightly so, in many cases–for training against unrealistic attacks. Most often, the attack that gets the most complaints is the infamous straight lunge-punch in a long front stance that comes from 10 feet away, and wouldn’t hit the defender even if they stood still. A close second to that is the wrist grab, […]

Karate Limb Control

When you are attacked, you don’t really want to deal with an attacker that is throwing a barrage of punches at you–you want to stop their attack as quickly as possible. Limb control is one way of accomplishing this, and is a very important aspect of old Okinawan karate but, like many important aspects of old Okinawan karate, it has […]

ulf karlson strike noah


Is it Worth the Time and Effort? 4

Kiyohide Shinjo Sensei breaking two 1″ boards with a small surface strike Martial artists–usually of the competition-driven variety–often like to point out that certain techniques don’t work, are impractical, or simply too difficult to make work. There are certainly bad techniques out there, that simply do not work in reality, but I will often see perfectly sound techniques being lumped […]