Thursday, 8 December 2016

My Okinawa trip 2013

This year I went to train in Okinawa -the birthplace of Karate. I was luck to be accepted at the Hombu Dojo of Hanshi Giyu Gibo 9th dan (Shorin Ryu Karate) one of the most famous teacher in the island as he is the senior student of legendary Karate master Shugoro Nakazato.
Hanshi Giyu Gibo and me at the Hombu Dojo
Shobu Kan Hombu Dojo
Great Master Shugoro Nakazato and his senior student Hanshi Giyu Gibo
The famous Shureido (Karate ; Kobudo equipement supplier- Okinawa)
The Shurijo Castle
The Dojo cafe

My Okinawa trip 2013 (2 part)

My right Fist after training
Shisa (シーサー Shīsā?, Okinawan: siisaa,) is a traditional Ryukyuan decoration, often in pairs, a cross between a lion and a dog, from Okinawan mythology. People place pairs of shisa on their rooftops or flanking the gates to their houses. Shisa are wards, believed to protect from some evils. When in pairs, the left shisa traditionally has a closed mouth, the right one an open mouth.[1] The open mouth wards off evil spirits, and the closed mouth keeps good spirits in. You find them at the Shurijo Castle.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

02 trainer by Bas Rutten

I believe it is a great tool to develop human respiratory function ; it is especially suitable for combat sports because it is easy to use and it efficiently improve performance. I can really experience the difference and the development in my breathing capacity.02 trainer is well made and well packaged; it is definitively a good buy!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Practice Kata Correctly (

by Kenwa Mabuni
Over the course of the relatively short history of karate in the West, one of the most debated and discussed aspects of this martial art has been that of kata training. Practitioners have both solicited and put forth opinions on such things as whether or not practicing kata is an effective way to learn to defend oneself, how prominent a role kata practice should play in one's karate training, the number of kata that one should "know," and whether or not the practice of kata is even necessary. One voice that can speak with some authority with regard to this topic is that of Kenwa Mabuni, the founder of the Shito-ryu school of karate and one of four Okinawans typically given credit for introducing karate to the Japanese mainland (Iwao 187-211). Mabuni learned from such legendary figures as Anko Itosu, Kanryo Higashionna, Go Kenki, Seisho Aragaki and Chomo Hanashiro (McCarthy 1-37), and reportedly knew nearly every kata in existence in Okinawa (McCarthy 11; Iwai 207, 210) (1). Not only that, but venerated karate sensei (and Mabuni contemporary) Hiroshi Kinjo told McCarthy that, whenever someone - including the famed Gichin Funakoshi - wanted to learn, to have corrected, or to better understand the applications of, a kata, it was to Mabuni that the person went (McCarthy 25). Clearly, the Shito-ryu founder was an expert (if not the expert) when it came to kata. In addition to his expertise with what some might term the "theoretical" side of karate (i.e., forms practice and analysis), Kenwa Mabuni apparently also had some experience with the more "practical" side of the art: McCarthy states that one of Mabuni's leading students, Ryusho Sakagami, described his teacher as someone who had had his share of street encounters while working as a police officer. McCarthy also goes on to note that Mabuni's son, Kenei, "said that his father often told him how his karate-do had helped him as a street cop" (McCarthy 24) (2). In a similar vein, Noble reports that Kenei wrote: In his younger days many people would challenge my father to 'kake-dameshi' (challenge match or exchange of techniques)... He accepted these challenges... Each contestant would bring a second. There were no special dojo like there are today; we used to train and fight on open ground. There was no street lighting so after dark we used to fight the challenge matches by the light of lanterns. In this dim light the contestants fought, and then after a period the seconds would intervene and stop the fight... Such challenges were often made to my father... (Noble) (3) Thus, Mabuni could hardly be considered a "paper tiger" who excelled only at kata: Given the accounts noted above, the Shito-ryu founder would seem to have also known the nature of "real fighting" and self-defense situations. Clearly, his thoughts on the role of kata in karate training are worthy of examination. The Context of "Practice Kata Correctly": Karate kenkyu Mabuni's short essay being translated here, "Kata wa tadashiku renshu seyo" ("Practice Kata Correctly"), appeared in the book Karate kenkyu ("Karate Research"), which was first published in 1934, and then later republished in 2003. The book is a collection of essays and other writing by a variety of authors. In addition to "Practice Kata Correctly," Mabuni also contributed his two-page "Kumite no kenkyu" (4) ("Research on Kumite") to the publication. Some of the other titles found in Karate kenkyu include: Gichin Funakoshi's "Seikan wo ronjite do-sei itchi ni yobu" ("Discussing the Concept of Calm Observation: Action and Stillness Together") (5), Choki Motobu's "Karate isseki-tan" ("An Evening of Talking About Karate") (6), Kanken Toyama's (7) "Chibana-shi no Kusanku" ("Chibana's Kusanku") and Hoan Kosugi's "Karate-den" ("Karate Stories") (8). Among the other pieces in the book are such varied titles as "The Fist and Virtue," "The Effects of Karate-jutsu on Blood Pressure and Urine," "Zen and Kendo," "Foot and Hip Issues," "A Girl Karate-ka" and "The Current State of the Karate World." In total (and excluding the mention of the opening four pages of photos), the table of contents of the 135-page Karate kenkyu lists 36 essays and other items (9). The editor of Karate kenkyu was a man named Genwa Nakasone. Though perhaps not very familiar to today's practitioners, Nakasone was involved with various karate-related publications in an editing, writing and/or publishing capacity during his lifetime. The 1938 Karate-do taikan, for which he served as editor, was, according to McKenna, "out of all the early works on Karate-do published during the 1930s, one of the most comprehensive and important..." (McKenna 28). Kobo kempo karate-do nyumon, which Nakasone co-authored with Kenwa Mabuni, has been described (again, by McKenna) as, "... one of the most detailed texts on Karate-do ever written" (McKenna 28). On a somewhat different note, McCarthy states that Nakasone is remembered for organizing the so-called "Meeting of the Masters" in 1936 (McCarthy 30) (10). It is interesting to note that, although Karate kenkyu has thus far been referred to here as a "book," it would more accurately be described as the first issue of a journal or a magazine of sorts. In an editor's postscript at the very end of the publication, Nakasone writes: "I am at last able to present the first issue of Karate kenkyu" (11). He then goes on to explain that, "At first, I wanted it to be a monthly publication, but upon looking into this in various ways, I came to see that it is still too soon for that.... For the time being, I'd like to make it a quarterly..." (Nakasone 135) Unfortunately, it would seem that no subsequent issues of Karate kenkyu were ever released, but the original intention to publish such issues regularly provides a more understandable context for the aims spelled out for the publication on one of its first pages: To be a mechanism for comprehensive research for the purpose of the development of our country's karate-do, with all "styles" included To be a mechanism for technical research for those who train in karate-do, and, at the same time, to be a mechanism for their mental / spiritual cultivation To be a mechanism for cordial communication between karate-ka Karate kenkyu shall also carry materials regarding other budo, forms of exercise, etc., that ought to serve as both direct and indirect sources of reference for karate-ka The page then ends with the statement that: Karate-do is the budo which is best at cultivating the new Japanese bushido spirit. (Karate kenkyu 7) (12) We can only wonder what further valuable and informative pieces of writing would have been left to karate historians and modern karate-ka had the plan to publish Karate kenkyu regularly been brought to fruition. Translation of Mabuni's "Practice Karate Correctly" In karate, the most important thing is kata. Into the kata of karate are woven every manner of attack and defense technique. Therefore, kata must be practiced properly, with a good understanding of their bunkai meaning. There may be those who neglect the practice of kata, thinking that it is sufficient to just practice [pre-arranged] kumite (13) that has been created based on their understanding of the kata, but that will never lead to true advancement. The reason why is that the ways of thrusting and blocking - that is to say, the techniques of attack and defense - have innumerable variations. To create kumite containing all of the techniques in each and every one of their variations is impossible. If one sufficiently and regularly practices kata correctly, it will serve as a foundation for performing - when a crucial time comes - any of the innumerable variations. However, even if you practice the kata of karate, if that is all that you do, if your [other] training is lacking, then you will not develop sufficient ability. If you do not [also] utilize various training methods to strengthen and quicken the functioning of your hands and feet, as well as to sufficiently study things like body-shifting and engagement distancing, you will be inadequately prepared when the need arises to call on your skills. If practiced properly, two or three kata will suffice as "your" kata; all of the others can just be studied as sources of additional knowledge. Breadth, no matter how great, means little without depth. In other words, no matter how many kata you know, they will be useless to you if you don't practice them enough. If you sufficiently study two or three kata as your own and strive to perform them correctly, when the need arises, that training will spontaneously take over and will be shown to be surprisingly effective. If your kata training is incorrect, you will develop bad habits which, no matter how much kumite and makiwara practice you do, will lead to unexpected failure when the time comes to utilize your skills. You should be heedful of this point. Correctly practicing kata - having sufficiently comprehended their meaning - is the most important thing for a karate trainee. However, the karate-ka must by no means neglect kumite and makiwara practice, either. Accordingly, if one seriously trains - and studies - with the intent of approximately fifty percent kata and fifty percent other things, one will get satisfactory results.

Kuniba Kai , Shogo Kuniba and the Japan Karate Federation

Shōgō Kuniba (国場 将豪 Kuniba Shōgō) February 5, 1935 - July 14, 1992) was a Japanese teacher of karate.[1][2] His adoptive father (biological uncle) was Kōsei Kokuba, who began training him at five years old. Kuniba was taught by many masters of the day including: Kenwa Mabuni - Shitō-ryū Karate Kōsei Kokuba - Motobu-ha Karate-dō Itoh Asakichi - Judo Ishii Gogetsu - Mugai-ryū Iaido Shōshin Nagamine - Shōrin-ryū Karate Kenko Nakaima - Kobudō Kosha Shojin - Bō and nunchaku Junko Yamaguchi - Tonfa Shioda Gozo - Aikido Ryusei Tomoyori - Kenyu-ryū Karate When he was 24 years old, Shōgō Kuniba became the youngest karate system head (Sōke) in Japan, taking over the style his adoptive father (Kōsei Kokuba) had inherited from Motobu Chōki. He thus became the Sandai Soke of Ryukyu Karate Motobu-ha (Choki Motobu was Shodai Soke; Kosei Kokuba was Nidai Soke). Kuniba was known for integrating the power of karate with the sensitivity of aikido and other traditional martial arts, in a style he called "Motobu-ha Shito-ryu." This style is structured to adopt concepts and techniques from other styles to form a modern system replete with traditional values, but with an open-minded philosophy. Shogo Kuniba was the Shodai Soke of Motobu-ha Shito-ryu Karate-do. It is sometimes referred to as Kuniba-ha Karate-do. A book titled A Primer of Kuniba-ha Karate-do: The Style of Shogo Kuniba was written and published in 1985 by James Herndon; it was republished in 2009. Kuniba applied his knowledge of aikido, jujutsu, judo and other arts to the bunkai of karate kata. This made for very creative variations on techniques, which became his hallmark. He created a new style, Kuniba-ryū Goshindō (aka Goshin Budō Jujutsu), which literally means Kuniba's style of self defense. In Japan, Shōgō Kuniba was treated as a Meijin (brilliant man). When Kuniba died on July 14, 1992, the organizations he had led split over leadership disagreements. Kunio Tatsuno became Sōke of Motobu-Ha Karate-dō and Kaicho of Seishinkai. In the U.S., Kuniba named William H. Price as second Sōke of both Kuniba-ryu Karate-Do and Kuniba-ryū Goshindō on March 16, 1992. Several American karateka under Kuniba followed his named U.S. successor. Chikubu-Kai was created on September 8, 1995, to continue his teachings. However, upon the death of Kunio Tatsuno, Kuniba-Kai was established in Japan by the Kuniba family in 1999. Many Shihan loyal to Kuniba have affiliated with Kuniba-Kai, headed by Kozo Kuniba and Kosuke Kuniba. The style is called Kuniba-ryu Karate-Do in the U.S. and Motobu-Ha Shitō-ryū in Japan. Today, the Seishinkai (the Karate organization originally started by Kosei Kokuba) still exists to promote Shitō-ryū (however, the term "Motobu-Ha" is no longer claimed). A new International Seishinkai Karate-dō Union (ISKU) was formed by Kunio Tatsuno in 1999; in 2007, Sadatomu Harada formed the Seishinkai International Shitoryu Karate-dō Union (SISKU). Neither ISKU nor SISKU claim Motobu-Ha. Kuniba-Kai has exclusive rights to that style per the Japan Karate Federation (JKF). A famous quote, by Shōgō Kuniba, states, "Seven Times Down, Eight Times Up!".

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The importance of Judo for a traditional Karateka!

This year i decided to crosstrain in Judo; the decision was based on learning more about grappling but most importantly to experience what grappling arts such as Judo offered to the best Karate instructors of the past in Okinawa and Japan. if you read the history of Okinawa karate for instance we find out that many great masters practiced Okinawa Tegumi (grappling); masters such as Shoshin Nagamine and Eiichi Miyazato also practiced Judo; Japanese masters such as Masatoshi Nakayama,Keinosuke Enoeda, Takayuki Kubota, the best JKA instructors; Joko Ninomiya and Takashi Azuma all practiced Judo... the reason is that Judo well complement Karate because many throws and locks of Judo (which are similar to Okinawa tegumi) are included in the Karate Katas... Learning Judo helps the karateka to comprehend more the katas e also to develop a good defence for take down and great grip strength.. I got my first red belt this October and even if my shoulders are quite sore i think i will practised Judo from now on.... Oss!!

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Football, Fascism and Fandom: The UltraS of Italian Football (Out November 2010)

Not to be confused with the English football 'hooligan', the UltraS are the hardcore subculture of fans at the two main Rome football clubs - AS Roma and SS Lazio. With neo-fascist sympathies, these groups (the Boys at Roma and the Irriducibili at Lazio) are political and well-organised. Following years of ethnographic work and interviews with the leading figures within the organisations, Alberto Testa and Gary Armstrong have written a fascinating expose and examination of the UltraS. Football, Fascism and Fandom is a unique and terrifying study of a group that has not been examined in depth before now.

Football, Fascism and Fandom: The UltraS of Italian Football (Out November 2010)