Saturday, 30 May 2015

Chiishi Exercise 3

This exercise is to strengthen the wrists for kake-ukeko-uke and other techniques involving that part of the arm. It will also help to develop a suppleness and fluidity in the blocking motions during the kata Tensho
The chiishi is swung in a figure-of-eight pattern, with the elbow kept down and tucked in as much as possible.  It is not generally recommended to use a heavy chiishi for this in order to avoid damage to the wrist.   

Friday, 15 May 2015

Ethics and Real Skill in Martial Art

This is an interesting talk by Tai Chi Master Chen delivered to European students. Though the cultural background to what he says is clearly rooted in the Chinese situation, it is still highly relevant to the responsibility of teachers everywhere. The bottom line is that, while anyone can go to a dojo to learn martial arts, not everyone should or will end up being taught. 

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Working on Ki

The use of ki (or chi or qi) is fundamental in karate, shao lin kung fu, and most other martial arts. Strength and speed alone will not help you against a stronger and faster opponent, so it it necessary to utilize ki.  Ki is not a concept easily translated into English, though "life force" or "inner energy" are often used. It is centered in the seika tanden or lower abdomen.  From this demonstration by Chinese Tai Chi Master Chen, we can draw at least two conclusions: ki is inherently connected to gravity - it would be much more difficult to perform in space - and thus is rooted in the earth. Moreover, ki utilizes balance, which is why it is so vital to "occupy the center." In Gojuryu, the kata Sanchin is the primary vehicle for working on ki.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Chiishi Exercise 2

This is the standard chiishi training exercise, as used at Gojuryu Karatedo Yoyogi Ryushinkan Dojo. The chiishi is gripped firmly and held in front of the body in a deep shikodachi stance. The arm is not extended fully, but tension is maintained in the pectoral muscles of the arm holding the chiishi. Rising out of shikodachi to full height, the chiishi is alternatively lowered towards the ground, raised above the head, dropped to the inside, lowered diagonally outside, and finally bought up to the armpit and then thrust out to the front as with a punch. For each move, inhalation is performed, followed by a short but full exhalation going into shikodachi

The key points are to keep the posture straight, attain a nice, low shikodachi, align movement with breathing, keep the wrists supple and the movements circular, and always tense for a fraction of a second for the "kime" when the chiishi is held out front each time. For beginners, the moves can be separated into three exercises: up/down, inside/outside and the forward thrust. Or the exercise can be done as one set of five moves, as shown in the video.

Friday, 1 May 2015

"Renshukai" Training Schedule

Members of Gojuryu Karatedo Yoyogi Ryushinkan are continuing to train together as "Renshukai," with supervised sessions both in the day time at Shibuya Sports Center and in the evenings at Shinjuku Sports Center (public martial arts dojo, pictured above). In addition, there are free training sessions at the weekends. However, with the Golden Week holiday season in full swing in Japan, the schedule for next week has been somewhat revised. Please contact for more information, as well as details on other training groups involving members and former members of Ryushinkan .

Shibuya-ku Tournament Results

Members of the Gojuryu Karatedo Yoyogi Ryushinkan Dojo participated in the Shibuya Ward Spring Karate Tournament on April 29 in Hatagaya, Tokyo. Miyasato-san (pictured left) took first place in the Master's division in kata, while Saito-san and Kamano-san also finished in the top three of their respective categories. 

The tournament is open to all dojos in the Shibuya Ward, as well as school and university karate clubs, so there are many styles and kata on display. There were a large number of participants this year, and competition was very tough. Congratulations to them and everyone who took part.