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

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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Karate Grappling: Did it really exist?

Cartoon Iain GrapplingThis month’s podcast is called “Karate Grappling: Did it really exist?”. The podcast begins by asking if karate really did include grappling in the past. Was grappling part of old school karate or is “karate grappling”, as many modernists suggest, just a modern invention in response to the popularity of MMA? What about the traditionalists that say grappling is not a part of karate? Do either of these views have a case? We’ll also look at the evidence for grappling within kata. If grappling is in kata, what kind of grappling is it and how should be training in it?

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Karate-Jutsu / Karate-Do

Karate-Jutsu & Karate-Do KanjiIn this podcast we discuss the concepts of “jutsu” and “do” and the related benefits and shortfalls of “karate-justu” (karate for real fighting) and “karate-do” (karate for physical and mental development). In the podcast we examine both approaches and see where they differ and where they have common ground. These two suffixes are becoming more significant these days as the need to differentiate between the many activities that reside under the coverall banner of “karate” increases.

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Itosu’s 10 Precepts - New translation

Itosu's 10 PreceptsIn this podcast we will be examining Anko Itosu’s 10 precepts of karate! In 1908, Itosu – who was the creator of the Pinan (Heian) kata – wrote a letter outlining his views on karate and explaining why he felt karate should be introduced on to the Okinawan school system. It is this letter, and the 10 precepts recorded within it, that is the subject of this month’s podcast.

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