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Kushanku / Kanku-Dai / Kosokun-Dai Pad-Drill

In this video we look at a pad drill for the opening sequence of Kushanku / Kanku-Dai / Kosokun-Dai kata. This pad drill is an accompaniment for a two-person flow drill for the first part of the kata. Both drills are designed to give a quick run through the lessons of the early part of the kata. They are not to be considered a replication of actual violence, nor are they the kata bunkai as applied.

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Pinan / Heian Yodan Bunkai with Andre Pedersen.

This short video shares a nice bit of bunkai for Pinan / Heian Yodan Bunkai by André Pedersen.

The YouTube link is HERE

Contact André:

YouTube: “Playing with Bunkai”

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Fundamental Limb Control

A video filmed a couple of years ago summarising some basic limb control drills. These drills are not representations of actual combat (application drills) but drills aimed at isolating a given aspect of combat (skill drills). In this case, we are isolating the the manipulation of the enemy’s limbs. In combat, this would be done to open up the enemy for strikes and to establish a position of advantage.

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Does Karate Improve Character?

Gichin Funakoshi famously said, “The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory or defeat but in the perfection of character of its participants.” In this video I give my views on whether karate actually achieves this aim. I discuss potential mechanisms for character improvement and the issues around them. I also discuss the potential problems with the assertion that karate improves character; in the dojo, as is relates to self-defence, and in everyday life.

All the best,


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A practical karate combination and 3 ways to drill it

This video covers a practical karate combination and gives three ways to drill it. The combination encapsulates a number of practical karate concepts. These include: Maintaining the advantage; The use of the non-striking hand to locate the target during the chaos of conflict; Utilising predictable response i.e. flowing with the enemy’s response to strikes; Taking away the enemy’s ability of give effective chase; etc.

We drilled the combination in three ways:

1 – With a partner, utilising control, in order to get the right placement and flow.

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Pinan / Heian Shodan and Nidan Variation Drills

This video shows a Pinan / Heian bunkai combination that we recently worked in the dojo. It’s vital to understand that the kata is always showing techniques and drills as an illustration of concept. To realise the full value of kata, we need to look beyond the example given to the principles upon which the example rests. As one part of this, we should also look at how the kata examples can be varied and combined inline with the underlying principles. That’s what we are doing in this video.

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The TRUE role of Hiki-Te

This video addresses the role of the hand on the hip within kata. Historically, tactically and biomechanically, the role should be very clear, but sadly dogma persists around the issue. Bottomline, we should never have an EMPTY hand on the hip and such a motion will do NOTHING to increase power.

The video covers:

1) Why the role of hiki-te is misunderstood.

2) What hiki-te is really for.

3) Why the “power generation” argument is false.

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Seipai Pad Drill and Bunkai Flow Drill (video)

In this video we cover a pad drill for the first half of Seipai kata. This impact drill mirrors a two-person bunkai flow drill; that the video also shows. These drills should not be isolated from the wider training matrix of which they are part. That training matrix also includes drilling individual techniques, alternate combinations, variations in line with underlying principles, and the free-flowing applications in both semi-live and live drills. It is obviously not possible to show the entirety of such a training matrix in one short video.

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Low Blows Pad Drill (video)

This video shows a restricted striking drill. Reality demands that we are able to hit from all positions; good and bad. In the drill we are looking at striking the groin and inner thigh from a folded position where the enemy is putting pressure on the back of the neck. In such a scenario, we have to hit the only targets we have, from the position we are in; neither of which are ideal. This needs to be practised such that it is instinctual. Training from ideal positions all the time (as so many do) can cause catastrophic hesitations ands missed opportunities.

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Sochin Drills (video)

This video looks at some drills for the first half of Sochin kata (Shotokan version). The clip starts by looking at the kata’s illustrations of principle (i.e. example techniques). We then move on to drill the skill of moving past the limbs by applying those principles in a more free-flowing way. It’s important to understand that what is shown at that point is a drill for clearing the enemy’s limbs out of the way of the target. We therefore isolate that skill and extend the time practicing it. This is not meant to be a realistic recreation of combat.

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