tai sabaki

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 […]

A spherical diagram of happo no kuzushi


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 […]

Orthodox vs. Southpaw

If you frequent many online martial arts forums, then you will be familiar with the “Orthodox vs. Southpaw” discussion. It usually begins with someone who is relatively new to the martial arts, or someone who has a boxing background. The question can vary, a bit, but it always has the same general theme–trying to figure out what the benefits are […]


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 […]

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


Punching: To Center, or Not to Center?

Centered Punch by Hironishi Motonobu (L), Off-Centered Punch by Funakoshi Gichin (R) When practicing kihon (basics)–which carries over into kata practice–there tend to be two schools of thought on where to aim punches. One says that you should aim to the center, as if your opponent were standing directly in front of you, so that you can work on your […]

Naihanchi Kata Footwork Training Exercises

An enbusen (performance line) diagram for Isshin-Ryu Naihanchi footwork variations When doing kata training, it is not generally accepted to modify any part of the kata, including the footwork. That said, it is not completely unheard of. Oyata Sensei of RyuTe was known to change the footwork of his kata from time to time, to better illustrate the applications. More […]



Kosa-Dachi Bunkai

Kosa-Dachi (Cross Stance) Recently, on some of the martial arts study groups I am a part of, the topic of kosa-dachi (cross stance) has been coming up somewhat frequently. This stance is found in many variations, in several kata. The discussions we have been having have mostly focused on the use of kosa-dachi in Naihanchi, and similar discussions have cropped […]