Chinto / Gankaku Kata: Application & History

iain-on-a-rockIn the first podcast of 2009 we will be discussing my views on the history and applications of Chinto / Gankaku kata. This includes a discussion on the kata’s history and the key aspects of its application. The history of the kata has not been definitively established, but it is widely thought that Sokon “Bushi” Matsumura created this kata following a period of instruction from a shipwrecked Chinese martial artist by the name of Chinto. This podcast recounts the story of the kata’s creation and examines the impact this has on how we should view the kata, and how we should apply it.

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James Figg and the Evolution of Boxing

James FiggThis month we will be covering the history and evolution of modern boxing. In particular we will be focusing on the life and times of James Figg (1695 – 1734); who is regarded as the father of modern boxing. As we will see, the boxing that Figg practised and taught was quite different from the boxing of today. Old style boxing included punching, kicking, grappling, throwing, weapons, etc. Indeed, the evolution of boxing has a great deal in common with the evolution of karate. Both arts were originally brutal and holistic, but became more and more specialised as time passed. These parallels are also explored in the podcast.

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Kushanku Kata: History & Application

Funakoshi performing Kushanku

Kushanku kata (also known as ‘Kanku-Dai’ and ‘Kosokun’) is one of the most popular forms in modern karate. It is a physically demanding and visually impressive form (when performed correctly) and it has a great deal to offer the practically minded karateka. In this podcast we will look at the history of the kata and examine some of the key concepts relating to its application.

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Power and Impact

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Power and Impact

Iain hitting pads held by Peter LakinWould you believe it’s been a full two years since our first podcast! Thanks to everyone for your continued support of them! This month we are discussing the basics of power generation and the use of impact equipment. Being able to strike hard is without a doubt the most important skill needed for the combative side of self-protection. Karate is an art based on the “one blow, one kill” concept and hence power generation, and the use of impact equipment, should be central to what we do. It would be fair to say, however, that this is generally not the case. This podcast covers some of the reasons why much of modern karate has lost its way with regards to power and impact; as well as covering what we need to do to put things right.

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Canadian Radio Interview

Kata in front of Decew Falls, Canada.As many of you will know, I recently taught a series of seminars in various parts of Canada. Without exception all the seminars were great fun and I’m very grateful to all who attended for their warmth, their enthusiasm and their ability to digest the information we covered. I had a blast! Whist I was in Canada, James Freeman (organiser of the events) and I were interviewed on a morning radio sports show. This month’s podcast includes that interview in full!

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25 Minute Solo Workout

25 Min Solo Workout StillsThis month’s podcast is a little different! Instead of giving you some information, we’re going to give you something to do. This podcast provides a 25 minute workout which includes shadow fighting, traditional basics, conditioning exercises, aerobic drills, anaerobic drills, punching combinations, slow kata, normal kata, and more! The idea is that you download the podcast to your MP3 player, mobile phone (cell phone for our friends on the other side of the Atlantic), laptop or burn it to a disk. You then listen to the podcast and do as instructed. It’s an ideal “bit of everything” workout for those days where you don’t have enough time to train as you would like. It also requires no equipment and very little space; making it possible to use the podcast in your home or a hotel room.

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Beginning Bunkai

Iain performing KushankuIn this podcast we are looking at Beginning Bunkai! One of the most frequent requests I get via email is for advice on how to get started with the study of bunkai (kata application). So I thought it was about time we did a podcast on that topic! The podcast covers finding regular instruction, setting up training groups, making the most of seminars, dealing with any negative reactions from your instructors and peers, studying the works of the past masters, what your study should include, developing your own unique approach to bunkai, etc. If you are one of those people who is keen to make practical bunkai part of what they do, but you are not sure how to get stared, then this podcast should help.

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