The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Four Strengths of Shotokan Karate


Sometimes a dojo may close, the sensei may move. You may move; things happen.

One way to be resilient against these types of things is to train in a martial art that is both widely and consistently practiced. For example, Judo, BJJ, or Shotokan Karate.

Below is an excerpt from a post at JapaneseWeapons.org. The full post may be read here. Enjoy.

#1. It’s global. Like, scary “World Domination”-type global

Visit basically any country in the world, no matter how tiny or weird, and the chances are of epic proportions that you will find a local Shotokan dojo around the corner. The style of Shotokan is most likely the ultimate style for a backpacker, hippie or secret agent (and other people who travel a lot) since you can practise it almost anywhere on the planet.

And the greatest part of it all? It looks very much alike. Everywhere.

Meaning, there isn’t too much discrepancy between Shotokan schools in general (details there are plenty of, though!). Japanese terms, stances, basic techniques, basic kata and sparring is pretty easy to tag along with everywhere. And all of this thanks to a bunch of Japanese youngsters who were sent like missionaries around the world during the last decades to spread the word of Shotokan!

A Shotokan style reverse punch is a Shotokan style reverse punch no matter where in the world you go.

And that’s awesome.

#2: “Biiiig movement make stroooong samurai!” [imagine a Japanese voice]

It can’t be denied that the movements of Shotokan are exaggerated.

Deep stances? Make that extra deep, with some deep-sauce on top! High kicks? Make that super high, with some. Long punches, big steps, deep stances, high kicks and loud yells is what Shotokan is all about.

If you want to become good at Shotokan, you can never, never, cheat. Ever.

Which is exactly why people who have done any of the other three most popular Japanese styles (Goju-ryu, Wado-ryu or Shito-ryu) have a really hard time adapting to Shotokan because they are so used to small and narrow movements!

On the flip side, a Shotokan stylist will have an easier time adapting to other styles, as it is just a matter of shrinking the techniques a bit (well, it’s about much more than that actually, but you gotta start somewhere). Easy peasy, compared to expanding everything.

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