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Guest Post: Naihanchi and Jigotai Dachi Stance

This Guest Post is by one of the adult yudansha in our dojo (Hikari Dojo), Peerawut "Peter" Kamlang-ek.

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Naihanchi and Jigotai Dachi Stance

I have to say before I start writing that I do not have any Karate credentials and have been training for a very short time.  I try to train every chance I get because I enjoy it.

The Naihanchi stance is a very strong stance.  When I first started training I remember practicing Naihanchi Shodan over and over and over... because that’s all I knew! I continue to practice and explore Naihanchi kata, because I can learn a lot from it and I believe it makes my movements stronger.

Not only that, but when I first practiced only Naihanchi Shodan I built some very good leg muscles and a stronger and more stable lower body, this helps with everything I do in Karate.

I remember when I first did Pinan Shodan I could not really get the first movement to be as powerful. Other than keeping my elbows close to me and many other things, Sensei told me to try executing the first movement with a Jigotai Dachi stance. I felt like the movements were way stronger when I did just that, it significantly improves the power of my movement especially when combined with using koshi.

Recently I have been trying to fix my Naihanchi stance, particular my feet, but I also tried to execute every first movement of the kata I know in the Naihanchi (or Jigotai Dachi) stance. I tried doing the first movements of the Pinan, Wankan, Fukyugata, and even Naihanchi Nidan and Sandan just so I can get a feel for what a stronger movement should feel like. I then remember the feeling and try to apply it to the actual movement.  After I do one movement with Jigotai Dachi or Naihanchi I then would execute the movement as the kata would regularly dictate afterwards, then alternate between the two. It takes some time but I feel a bit more confident with my movements when I train this way.

Another thing that I’ve been doing alot recently is Oi-zuki (chasing punch) across my apartment room. Every time I am on the computer and want to go somewhere across the room I would then do Oi-zuki to my destination point. After I am done I would come back to the computer desk but instead of punching, I would try to do Shuto, Jodan, Chudan, Gedan uke... I think that helps because I practiced executing movements in the Jigotai Dachi stance and can remember the feeling to apply them to the others.

Actually all this isn’t anything new, I remember we would do this many times at our dojo.

Maybe everyone can benefit from trying to do the same! It is nice to do the kata properly and I would never perform it otherwise. Yet, I believe that if I want to improve I cannot be narrow minded, I must try things that Sensei has taught me and think of other things on my own

I heard that Shinzato Sensei once told Sensei that, “If your mind is fixed, your movement will be fixed.” I try to keep that in mind when I am training. Again, this applies to other aspects in life too, no?

Naihanchi and Jigotai stance do help my movements become stronger. Sensei mentioned that if our kata has a Naihanchi flavor then it would be very strong, it’s very true so far.


Peerawut Kamlangek

Embracing LGBT Students

If you just read the Guest Post, you will know that I respect and accept the students in our dojo.  I embrace and celebrate the diversity of our students.

For the record, this also applies to LGBT students.

Our students are part of a family or ohana -- and this applies to all students.

The only type of students I would not like are violent, arrogant, or lazy ones.


Charles C. Goodin

Guest Post: Karate, No Discrimination

This Guest Post is by one of the adult yudansha in our dojo (Hikari Dojo), Peerawut "Peter" Kamlang-ek.

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Karate, No Discrimination

 I learned this from my Sensei, seniors, and the students in our class.

I believe that everyone who wants to practice Karate can practice Karate, and that it is not exclusive to a certain race. I am Thai and I used to live in Thailand for 9 years.  One of the first things that people who are a little bit interested in martial arts would ask me when I mention that I am Thai is if I practice Muay Thai? I say no but I practice Karate

When I grew up in Thailand I heard that I could do a Muay Thai kick because it is in my blood -- well that is far from the truth! I would have to practice in order to do that. I know that such statements might help push someone to believe in themselves, yet I feel that sometimes people are too fixated and use their ethnicity, place of origin, or affiliation with certain places to make them feel like they are exclusive to a certain martial art...sometimes it might make them feel like they are better for that reason. Unfortunately, they might try to push other people away if they are not part of or affiliated with a certain group.

First of all, I don’t believe that anyone will be better in Karate unless they continuously train… plain and simple! I am sure that the statement can be true in every other martial art. Secondly, who’s going to tell me that I can’t practice Karate because I am not Japanese or Okinawan? They probably can try but I respectfully won’t listen. If my Sensei is OK with me practicing Karate at his dojo and I try to improve my character every day, that’s all I really need to continue practicing Karate. I practice Karate because I enjoy it, I believe it is a good thing, I respect my Sensei, and all of the students at our dojo.

In our recent class Sensei mentioned that he feels that he is part Korean also because his daughter-in-law is part Korean and so is his granddaughter. Sensei's second son, who is the head of our dojo, recently married his wife who is also part Okinawan. Sensei also says he feels as if he is part Okinawan. Sensei’s wife is Filipino. He also says he feels part Filipino. Last but not least, he says he feels that he is part Thai because I am one of his students, “don’t mess with Thai people!” he said jokingly... Thank you Sensei.

Does everyone get the idea?

I believe Sensei’s point is that we can all learn to respect each other and can learn from each other as long as we have good intentions and want to practice Karate. All of Sensei’s children practice martial arts and are very good, but he never tried to stop any of us from trying to be very good also and never excluded us from training with him

There shouldn’t be any discrimination in Karate and I am sure we can apply this idea to other things in our lives.

If I ever have the opportunity to teach and say something at the end of a diverse class in the future I want to tell each student, “Hey your girlfriend is Korean, you’re Thai, your mother is Chinese, your kids are part Thai/Chinese, your close friends are Hispanic, Caucasian, African, and Middle Eastern, but we are all Karate students, we work on our character every day, and we try to be good people! So it really doesn’t matter because there is no discrimination in Karate.”


Peerawut Kamlangek

Me and My Sons

My second son, Charles, was recently married.  Here is a photo of me with my three sons, Charles, Chris, and Cael, at the wedding rehearsal (in the garden at the Hale Koa Hotel).  I'm sure that I could take them all... to dinner!

Charles is a CPA (and the head of our dojo).  Chris is an attorney (and practices Kendo).  Cael works for Jade Range in Brea, California (and should resume JuJitsu training soon).

My daughter, Natasja, is not in the photo.  She is about to start her second year in college.


Charles C. Goodin

Karate in the Olympics?

I am sometimes asked if I think that Karate should be an Olympic sport.  This is just my personal opinion -- no.

I love watching the Olympics.  I actually am watching it right now.  I admire the athletes, their coaches, and their dedicated families.  Of course, I cheer for my country, but I think that the Olympic spirit transcends national borders.

But... to me Karate is not a sport.  It is not something where one person can beat or do better than another.  Karate is about self-defense, about an unexpected attack.  It is not a contest.  It is not a performance art.  It is not a political thing.  It is not a business.  It is not about rank, titles, trophies, or even medals.  It is not even about a pat on the back

In the process of training in Karate, the character is developed.  There has to be training, then there can be character development.  Through the mind's control of the body, through sweat and dedicated effort the character is forged.  They don't give medals for that, but maybe they should.

I am still holding out hope that someone will win the Nobel Peace Prize for work in Karate.  That would be something!

I respect that there are people who think that Karate should be in the Olympics.  I just happen to have a different view.

I was speaking to my friend and senior Sensei Pat Nakata. I said something like "it is too bad that when we finally start to understand Karate, we are already getting older and weaker."  He replied that a Karate man's prime is in his 70's.  I agree with that.

But any any age, Karate is based on training.  To some extent, anything other than training is just a distraction -- even my research and museum work.  My Sensei here in Hawaii, Sensei Rodney Shimabukuro, has always told me that my training must keep up with my research.  I must never be just a "book" or "mouth" Karate student.  Training must come first.  Then other things such as research are OK.

Good luck to all the athletes in the Olympics.  Since I am old enough to be the father of most of them, I would also say, "Keep safe."


Charles C. Goodin