YIN AND YANG IN KARATE-DO

The Yin-Yang symbol is ubiquitous – from coffee mugs and tattoos, to t-shirts and key rings.  Although its teardrop-shaped halves are generally interpreted as”good and evil”, “negative and positive”, “male and female”, or “dark and light”, among martial artists, its value runs deeper. While most commonly associated with Chinese systems, it also has a profound and abiding connection to Okinawan,...

The Empty Cup Runneth Over

Mushin 無心, an essential element of martial expression, is defined as an empty or unfettered mind, liberated from thought, preconception or emotion. In a state of mushin, the eyes focus, breathing and heart-rate slow, and we shift into a calm, perfect alertness that facilitates reflexive reaction, i.e. in response to an attack. Beyond this level...

The Senpai-Kohai Relationship

The budo dojo (place of learning martial arts) is a microcosm of Japanese historical and social traditions including the senpai-kohai system. Most westerners try to equate this in the terms of the master-protégé or master-apprentice relationship. This is incorrect. Although there is no precise English translation, senpai (先輩) means an upper-classmate, senior practitioner, or...

Karate, a more flexible approach

Do I need to stretch? Yeh, it’s kind of important. That’s why NKS classes include a warm-up and comprehensive flexibility exercises to protect your joints while stretching and strengthening tissue. Regular practice can improve range of motion – otherwise, muscles can shorten, become tight and make you more prone to injury. OK – now...

Want to increase endurance? Do more Karate.

Karate training combines a mix of low intensity exercises (stationery basics, breath relevant kata, partner block and counter scenarios) and high intensity work (timed pad drills, full speed kata, sparring, etc.) for an all-around fitness regiment. This kind of exercise training adapts to the cellular structure of muscles fibers (slow-twitch, fast-twitch) which enables you...

Maximizing Your Karate R-O-I*

Congratulations!  You’ve finished the introductory program, completed the paperwork and received a new crisp white gi. You’re a full-fledged karateka. Welcome to the path/way of the empty hand. Btw, it’s not really “empty”, but vast, infinite, large enough to fill the sky. So let’s focus on a few things that will help maximize your...