Video

Naihanchi Bunkai and Pad -Drill

This video was filmed at my home dojo and shows bunkai, and a corresponding pad drill, for the opening sequence of Naihanchi (Tekki Shodan). The initial raising of the arms is a “default cover” before we crash in and clinch to prevent further strikes landing. The pushing down of the arms is the neck crank to facilitate quick escape. If that does not work, then we use the side-to-side head turns (which are not in all version of the kata, but are in ours) to limit the enemy’s ability to bite. We then maintain a tactile awareness of the enemy’s head while we clear a path for the elbows.

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Pre-Emptive Striking and Karate ni Sente Nashi

“Karate ni Sente Nashi” (no 1st attack in karate) is undoubtedly one of the most misunderstood phrases in our art. Many take it to be a tactical instruction to always concede the initiative to the enemy by doing nothing until an assault is underway. To illustrate both the ridiculousness and immorality of this position, we can consider a teenage girl who has just been threatened with sexual assault. Are we really saying she is being immoral if she strikes before the assault begins in order to escape? I would hope not!

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Karate Pad Drill: Elbows, Knee and Takedown

This is footage from a recent dojo session where we practised a basic drill using elbows, knees and a takedown. All of the motions within it can be found in kata and it is vitally important that we drill these methods on the pads so powerful impact is developed.

The elbows, knee and takedown can all be found in Pinan Yodan (Heian Yodan); although obviously not in this specific order. To make the kata live and breathe it is important to apply the methods in alternate orders, and to explore variations in keeping with the core combative principles of the kata.

All the best,

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Multiple Assailants: An Inconvenient Truth

WARNING: This video contains footage of real world violence! This includes people getting struck, knocked out, and stabbed. This video should not be viewed by those under 18 or by those who are likely to find such images distressing.

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Kata Based Sparring (video)

In this video I talk about the Kata-Based-Sparring concept. I also share footage of methods from Chinto (Ganakaku), Naihanchi (Tekki Shodan), Jion, etc being applied in live sparring.  

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Nipaipo (dropping ippon ken sequence)

In this video we look at bunkai for the motions surrounding the dropping ippon ken (single knuckle fist) in Nipaipo kata. Nipaipo translates as “28 Steps” and the kata was created by Kenwa Mabuni (1889 – 1952). It is said the kata is a summation of the instruction Mabuni received from Chinese martial artist Go Kenki (1886-1940).

Nipaipo is a very popular competition kata and it is aesthetically pleasing. However, it is important to appreciate that the kata was designed to encapsulate combative methods. Its real beauty is therefore in the application of its methods.

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The Need to Critique Karate (video)

In this video I discuss the need for those that love karate to be prepared to criticise it. As Winston Churchill said, “Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.” We need to critique karate in order to make it the best it can be. In this way we can start to repay the previous generations for the wonderful art they bequeathed us by continuing their work. We also ensure future generations can practise the best version of karate possible.

All the best,

Iain

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Choki Motobu inspired pad drill (video)

This video covers a Choki Motobu (1870–1944) inspired pad drill. All of the methods included in the drill can be found in the two-person drills and writings of this highly pragmatic karate master. Of course, Motobu did not have access to modern focus mitts, but if he had, I think we can be sure he would have fully embraced them. This drill was filmed in my dojo during a regular class on a mobile phone. Please forgive the shaky camera work. I hope you find the drill interesting!

All the best,

Iain

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3K Karate

In this video I define “3K karate” and contrast it with more practical and traditional approaches to karate. Most approaches to karate will include the 3Ks: kihon (basics), kata (forms) and kumite (sparring). What causes the radical difference between “3K karate” and practical karate is the nature of the 3Ks and the way in which they integrate, or don’t integrate.

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The Training Matrix!

A quick video about one of those things that should be obvious, but obviously isn’t :-) All training methods have deliberate flaws that have to be introduced for safety, specificity of training, or efficiently. Only real is real. These deliberate flaws do not render a given method useless, because the flaws will be counteracted by other training methods. It’s the integrated training matrix that ensures training is practical and effective. Isolating a method from the matrix and then critiquing it is entirely vacuous. Such statements are meaningless. It’s the matrix that matters!

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