Sunday, March 10, 2013

What makes us different...

Shinzato Katsuhiko Sensei, the head of Kishaba Juku, is always improving the way we train our karate technique. His Teacher, Kishaba Chokei Sensei, was the same way. This is one of the things that distinguishes the Kishaba Juku approach to karate training from some other styles or methods.

Many styles are very keen to carry on the traditions of their forbears without ever questioning that the way might need to improve or evolve. This is what "traditional" martial arts seem to be all about. You do it the way Sensei does it, he does it the way his sensei did it, and so on. Kata never change. Stances and techniques don't evolve. The style becomes static.

In Kishaba Juku, we look at karate as an evolving process. It's also a very individual way of training. Because of this, when you watch us do kata together, you will notice we don't all have the same timing and the moves may look different. In some dojo this would be a point for correction, but in ours it is just standard practice.

We do not have a big class, either. In fact, right now our class is very small. We could actually use a few new students, but I digress. Anyway, this makes the training very personal. It gives people the opportunity to learn based on their body type, personal needs, etc. If the class was big, I would probably have to change the way I teach. It would be more important for everyone to look the same.

The general training pattern does not change, however.  As beginners, students learn gross motor movements, techniques and patterns.  Intermediate students learn to coordinate the movements with the technique, become more connected, and make power and speed in their kata performance.  Advanced students put it all together and develop a flow that works for them.

Because Shinzato Sensei is constantly evolving the art, there is always more for us to learn. We are on a journey together.  There is no specific end, just training.

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