Saturday, 31 December 2011
Monday, 10 October 2011
Friday, 23 September 2011
"Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Japanese belief system Shinto."
Mentioned in the discussion:
Keyhole tombs, Japan (Kofun)
Saturday, 10 September 2011
Photograph, courtesy of Constanze Schweda
I had a conversation with Harry Cook, a martial artist of certain renown about the way karate was instructed. He maintains that regimented training in karate along with grading and exams may have been institutionalised by the Japanese following contact with European armies in the 19th Century. He backed this up with references which I'm afraid I don't have, but he mentioned the more relaxed earlier training styles of the Okinawans: often un-uniformed and in 'backyard' lessons. Worth more thought and references I guess...
Sunday, 28 August 2011
Sunday, 21 August 2011
Wednesday, 18 May 2011
After a week or so I can now take stock of the grading and think about what went well and what didn't and how the preparation helped...or not?
My main concern leading up to the day wasmemory recall of the techniques. I've grained long enough to know them to a fair standard (some better than others, granted) so this didn't trouble me so much. I did however *still* get muddled up with the Japanese names and find that there is lag between being asked for a technique and my brain processing it and outputting it as action. So what to do? Well as MattKlein commented, just swot up on techniques and have someone call waza at random. Over and over again. And over some more. This worked quite well and in the grading I was confident that I could manage.
The second issue was not knowing who I would gradewith. As shorinji kempo is based on pair work this can have an effect on performance. Naturally techniques should be able to applied to anyone but in a grading it comforts you to know who your partner is. As it happens when I met mine and we had a chance to go through embu I felt a lot easier. He knew his stuff and was fluid in movement. No problem.
In fact during feedback Mizuno sensei made this very point about grazings. To him a grading is useful as it pressure tests technique. Yes they make allowances for the fact that sometimes we don't have a chance to practice with a partner beforehand but in real self defence you have to make the technique work. And this is grading: making it work under pressure. It's no good asking an adversary on the street to stop and start again "cos I wasn't prepared".
Lastly it's worth mentioning sweat. I know it's notpleasant but on a hot spring day in a packed dojo it becomes an issue when you're trying to apply wrist locks. The answer? Think creatively. Go with the flow of the technique and focus on the outcome (immobilising an opponent, trapping an opponent or maybe throwing). It was trickier but a valuable lesson.
Monday, 16 May 2011
Monday, 2 May 2011
Thursday, 21 April 2011
Monday, 4 April 2011
I found this snippet recently and found it interesting, as I thought that one was a different way of saying the other!
Kamsahamnida = formal, used when you are talking to anyone who is older or more educated or in a higher social statues than you. A bow would also be appropriate while saying it.
Komapsumnida = less formal, used when you are talking to your peers
Wednesday, 30 March 2011
Sunday, 27 March 2011
Thursday, 3 March 2011
Monday, 28 February 2011
Thursday, 10 February 2011
Monday, 24 January 2011
I wanted to outline my approach to my impending dan grade exam. The way I'm looking at it I need to follow two broad aspects of training which then break down into more categories.
The main aspects for focusing my preparation are:
Seems a bit noddy doesn't it but I then break this down further:
* Physical fitness: am I fit enough in key areas of stamina, aerobic capacity and strength.
* Technique fitness: I define this as being fit enough to execute the techniques themselves well enough without flaking out.
I think these two are subtly different. I want to work on general fitness by running (especially fartlek to exploit explosive energy) and light weights / stretching for general toning. Technique fitness will be the ability to execute techniques over and over again and I will be practicing this in this manner.
Of course doing so also helps me remember my techniques which brings me on to the next section of 'Mind':
* memorize techniques (repetitive training)
* train on memory recall
* examine in great detail techniques I haven't done for a while: which stance is it? which pin is used?
* Breathe! More meditation and deep breathing to help my blood oxygenate and yoga for relaxation and flexibility.
Shorinji kempo is very different from Tang Soo Do in that rather than learn mostly kata the emphasis is on learning lots of paired techniques which means (for me) in depth learning and memorizing of details....
Thursday, 20 January 2011
Here's a decent article outlining treatment, management and rehab.
Hey! Take care out there!....
Thursday, 6 January 2011
It was good to be back but curious to see how such a little time away from a consistent training regime led to a feeling of being a little out of sorts. Moves didn't feel quite so crisp and my muscle 'memory' seemed to be rusty.
I'd better get in shape and back on track as this year is mostly preparation for shorinji kempo black belt. This means getting fit and knowing my stuff as thoroughly as possible. Going into a grading well prepared helps me relax and really show good technique.
So these are my aims for the first half of the year and these will help shape my martial arts activities.
Anyone else sorted their goals for the year?