I Know Karate and Kung Fu and Lots of Other Foreign Words!
Martial arts have become incredibly popular in the US. Drive through any little strip shopping center in nearly any city and you're likely to see a martial arts studio. There are dozens of styles to choose from. Karate, jujitsu, aikido, kung fu, qi gong, taekwondo, tai chi. How did that happen?
I think it's partly because Americans are so competitive. To many, a martial art is just another sport. You move up the ranks from one belt color to another until finally you're at the top and you're a black belt in karate. It's also good exercise. Many of us don't get nearly enough exercise. But if we can engage in a little friendly martial arts tournament and work out at the same time, we can really get into that.
In the East where all the martial arts came from, it's a bit more than just a sport or a way to exercise. Martial arts are the physical part of an entire spiritual discipline designed to teach us to live as better and happier people. They believe that our bodies must be healthy temples for our spirits. Monks in monasteries learned the martial arts. I don't know of any comparable practice in Catholicism. Do you? There may be, but I have never heard of it.
In karate, and all the martial arts, we bow to our opponent before and after the match. Why is that? Any martial arts student from any decent school can tell you that you are honoring the other person. You honor them for their skill. You honor them as another spiritual being on the planet. You honor them for giving you the honor of the match.
I think practicing karate and other martial arts is really adding something sacred to our American understanding of people. And yes, we get to compete and get a little exercise in, too.
About this writer
Aiko Mettarod moved from Japan with his parents as a child. His father was his first karate teacher. You can read more articles about martial arts at Tsunami Karate
A Samurais Power Is In His Little Finger, Not His Samurai Sword
In the 12th Century the Shogunate was formed. The head of this regime was the Shogun, the supreme ruler. Under him where his regional 'daimyo' or 'dukes'. Under each 'daimyo' served the Japanese samurai. When a samurai stepped out of line, became too unruly or displeased his 'daimyo', the samurai would often have to go through a procedure known as yubizume. This procedure is a very barbaric punishment in which the first joint of the little finger on the sword hand would be amputated.
Samurai Swords ? Choosing a Sword to Buy
It's undeniable that a well placed and mounted samurai sword or samurai sword set looks fantastic and an ads character to any room of the home, but is it worth spending upwards of $650 on such a sword or sword set? This all depends on your reasons for buying a samurai sword.
How to Select Your Martial Arts and Self Defense Equipment
The most common place to buy martial arts or self defense equipment is in the local dojo. Most dojos, training centers, etc., have a small store where you can buy or order the martial arts or self defense equipment you need for your practice.
Choosing a Self Defense / Martial Arts School: A Parents Guide
"Daddy, I want to take Karate!"
British Aikido Board National Nepotism Seminar
For many years The British Aikido Board (BAB) have shown no interest whatsoever in the true history of British Aikido, to be fair to the BAB, they have shown a great deal of interest and support for the false history of British Aikido for which they have now publicly apologised, the apology by the chairman Mr Vincent Sumpter can be viewed on www.geocities.com/britishaikido.
Most people have only been exposed to John Styers work through the book "Cold Steel".
Learning the Modern Dynamics of Judo
You may have the erroneous idea that force is not necessary in judo, especially when you see a sixty-year-old instructor throwing many young- and strong men seemingly without effort. Dynamics, however, denies this illusion. A body begins to move only when an external force works on it, as will be explained later. A human body is a physical entity. Therefore, if you want to break your opponent's posture and make him fall down or hold him down on the mat;, you must apply the proper force to him.
Im Soooo Confused...
I was going to write about the BASICS of "practical unarmed combat". Things like a solid and productive core of strength training, development of real speed and power. Body conditioning and toughening, Stamina. A "never say die" iron will. You know "esoteric" stuff like that.
Are You Frustrated Yet?
I was talking to a parent recently and they told me that their son was not going to compete in wrestling because they were afraid they would get frustrated when he lost. The parent felt the child was far too sensitive to handle the frustration of failure and may get 'burnt out'. My response was, "What will they do when they get frustrated in life?" What happens when that kid has got to suck it up and go forward when it REALLY counts? Being a new parent, my daughter is 2 and I have another on the way, I only want the best for my child. What parent doesn't? It's obvious this parent I mentioned loves their child, but that's not the issue. The issue is what's best for everyone involved. What this child is being taught is to quit when things get tough. In an effort to protect the child, the parent winds up doing a disservice to the child. The result is undermining the ultimate goal- the training of the child.
Have No Misconceptions
I just received an Email from a woman who has a child (3 year old) and about to have another. Considering my wife is in a similar situation, this question couldn't be more relevant. This idea can be expanded to those of us getting older, injured or of smaller stature. Keep in mind, a little common sense goes a long way.
Martial Arts and The Zone
On the occasions you delivered the perfect strike; blocked without the need to think or performed a near flawless kata, did it feel difficult? Or did you get the sense it happened by itself? The 'zone' is a place where athletes describe this sort of experience. Studies suggest its a state of 'effortless merging of action and awareness'. So what stops us from getting there? Factors such as stress or attempts to try harder can interfere. Often our efforts to train harder result in unnecessary muscular responses that prevent us reaching the effortless state of the zone.
Just as an aside. For those who would "box" us in to specific "category".........
"Will this work so that I can use it instinctively in vital combat against an opponent who is determined to prevent me from doing so, and who is striving to eliminate me by fair means or foul". ~ Rex Applegate
So You Think You Train Hard
"Tokio Hirano (1922-1993) 8th DanThe Man Who Revolutionized Judo"By Jim Chen, M.D . and Theodore Chen
Elements of Unarmed Combat
Custom build your own personal "system":
The Shocking Truth About Stun Guns
If you are outside the world of law enforcement, chances are you haven't had much "hands on" work with stun guns. Stun guns are as popular today as they have ever been and with the newer smaller packages like cell phone/stun guns, their popularity continues to grow. But before you deploy a stun gun, there are a few misconceptions you may not know about.
The Thumb Jab
I'm sure a lot of you remember the scene in the movie "The Presidio" were Sean Connery's character decimates the jackass in the bar with nothing more than his thumb!
Tai-Chi for the Masses--and Others
Kuang Ping was the T'ai-chi set favored by Yang Lu-Chan, the man who brought forward the "Yang" style in the mid-1800's, now so popular throughout the world. Kuang Ping is what the man trained with himself. The popular "Yang" set was/is something for the masses--not for the aficinado, the athlete, the martial artist.
Shigeru Kimura Sensei 9th Dan Tani-Ha Shitoryu Shukokai had a punch that was like getting hit with a cannonball.
The Fallacy and the Myth
It's always amusing when "know it alls" dismiss certain methods out of hand as being useless or "unworkable". One "victim" of this line of thinking is the "cross arm" or "X" block (for lack of a better term).
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