Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Beginning Bunkai

In 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.

Continue Reading

Karate Grappling: Did it really exist?

This 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?

Continue Reading

Karate-Jutsu / Karate-Do

In 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.

Continue Reading

Itosu’s 10 Precepts - New translation

In 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.

Continue Reading

The Meaning of Pinan

This latest podcast calls into question the accepted translation of “Pinan” as “Peaceful Mind”. I’m currently preparing a book on the combative application of the Pinan (Heian) series and, as a result of some of the new research for that book, I’m now convinced that the karate world has got the translation wrong and that this alternative translation has ramifications for how we should view those forms. You can see the characters used for writing “Pinan” (Heian) as part of this blog entry and their meaning will be explained in the podcast.

Continue Reading

The Most Important Part of Practical Karate

This month’s podcast is entitled “The most important part of practical karate training” and, as its name suggests, it covers the most important part of karate training! The podcast is just over 17 minutes long and should be of interest to all those who believe karate training should address the needs of self-protection. Please see the foot of this blog entry to download the podcast or listen to it on-line.


I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support of these podcasts and for enthusiastically spreading the word. I’m delighted with the feedback we are getting and that so many people are listening to them. Thank you very much!


Continue Reading

Kata: Why Bother?

Welcome to the latest Iain podcast! This month’s podcast is called “Kata: Why Bother?” and it discusses the nature and value of kata from a practical viewpoint. It also asks if there is a place of kata in modern training or if it is increasingly becoming an archaic waste of training time?

The podcast is around 18 minutes long and is based on an article I wrote a number of years ago. The podcast also looks why kata were created in the first place and suggests how we need to approach kata if it is to have value as a record of combative techniques and as a training method.

I hope that you enjoy the podcast and as always any feedback will be gratefully received (

Continue Reading

Bag Workout!

This month’s podcast and video lesson have been combined to provide a guided workout on the bag! I figured it was time we did something practical in addition to all the theory we have been discussing. 

What you first need to do is watch the video clip below. It will briefly explain and demonstrate all the various drills included in the workout. You then should download the podcast (right click on “download”) and burn it to a CD or put it on your MP3 player. 

If you listen to the podcast whilst working out on the bag it will guide you through the drills and tell you when to stop and start. The whole workout lasts around 20 minutes and can be put at the start or end of your training sessions. Done correctly, the workout will develop aerobic and anaerobic fitness, explosiveness, muscular endurance, technique, power and the correct combative mindset. 

The workout is structured as follows: 

Hands only (1 min – moderate pace)

Continue Reading

The Pinan / Heian Series

 Hi All,

Please find below the latest podcast! You can listen to this podcast online using this blog’s built in player, or you can download it to listen to later.

In this latest podcast I cover the combative application of the Pinan / Heian series of kata. These kata are sadly often considered to be little more than a form of physical exercise for children or beginners. However, it is my view that the Pinan / Heian series do in fact represent a coherent, complete and highly effective civilian combat system. Some of the reasons for why I hold that view are covered in this podcast.

Continue Reading

The Benefits of Strength Training

Hi All, 

Please find below the latest Podcast! We’ve had a lot of feedback from the podcasts and plenty of you have been writing to let me know what subjects you’d like me to cover. One topic that kept coming up was weight training for the martial artist. As you may know, I am also a qualified weight training coach and a keen weight lifter.

In this podcast, I discuss some of the fundamentals you need to be aware of if you are to make weight training an effective supplement to your martial arts training. This podcast also covers how I personally train with the weights and the methods I’ve found the most effective. I hope that you enjoy this podcast and find it useful. As always, all feedback will be gratefully received. 

All the best,


Continue Reading