Karate Thoughts Blog


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1700+ Posts... and Counting

EDC Knife

I am a very peaceful and non-threatening person -- and I carry a knife just about all the time.  My EDC (everyday carry) knife of choice, at this time, is a black Heckler & Koch Ally, partially serrated folding knife with a glass break.

I like it because it is light, fits in my pocket well, and has a clip that holds it nicely in place.

I like partially serrated knives just in case I need to cut a seat belt.  There recently has a tour helicopter crash in Pearl Harbor.  One of the passengers was trapped.  A rescuer had to cut the passenger's seat belt, and mentioned that he was lucky to have had a serrated knife.  Sadly, the passenger subsequently died.

I am mentioning about my EDC knife, because if I carry a knife, just imagine how many other people also do so.  I carry a knife for safety in the event of an emergency, not self defense.  But I am sure that there are people who carry a knife for malicious reasons.  My knife is securely clipped in my pocket.  Others may have a knife that is more readily available.

In the past, I learned that you always should assume that an attacker is armed.  More and more, I believe this to be good advice.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

OPG

I wrote a little about the Okinawa Karate-Do Kaikan.  Since then, I have formally become a "Technical Adviser" to the museum/archive aspect of the project.

Communicating with different people about the Kaikan, I often heard the term "OPG".  I had to admit that I did not know what it referred to.

OPG means "Okinawa Prefectural Government".

How about that!

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

Hawaii Karate Kenkyukai -- Seisan

This is just a note to mention that I have resumed training with the Hawaii Karate Kenkyukai.  It is very good to be back with my friends.  We had a training last Saturday (at Nakata Sensei's Campbell Avenue dojo, now under Yokota Sensei), and as usual, I learned a lot.

The subject for the training was the Seisan kata.  Since my "style" does not practice Seisan, I tried my best to learn the kata by watching Sensei Angel Lemus' fine video on Youtube, and I also visited his dojo and learned the basics of the kata from his wife, Sensei Judy Lemus.

I had asked permission to perform the kata during the Kenkyukai training with Lemus Sensei's group.  Of course, I messed it up both times!

The kata has a pretty simple format, and I can do it (poorly) alone.  But when I did the kata with Angel and Judy, I tended to mess up the footwork and throw in extra movements when I got confused.

I have no illusions that anyone can learn an excellent kata, such as Seisan, quickly.  Mostly I wanted to begin to learn the kata because I know that it was central to the teaching of Chotoku Kyan.  My "style" comes from Kyan Sensei (and Motobu Sensei), so I wondered about this important kata that we do not perform.

Also, now that I am 58, I find that learning something completely different is good from my mind.  Kata involves issues of timing, spatial placement, body alignment, footwork, weight distribution, applications, and so many different things.  A good kata is always a lifelong challenge.

I will write more about Seisan later.


Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

Destroying the Attacker

I have written about this some, and will write about it more.

But in a nutshell, I do not believe that Karate is completely defensive.  It is defensive in the sense that a Karate student should not be the attacker.  A Karate student should avoid violence and certainly should never start a fight.

However, and this is an important however, my experience with some very skilled Karate people is that once the attacker initiates the attack, whatever form that may take, the Karate person will avoid to the extent possible, but lacking a way to avoid the situation, will switch into "destroy" mode.  In short, the Karate person will take steps to destroy the attacker.  The Karate person will not simply respond to the attack and block each punch, strike or kick.  Simply blocking is usually doomed to failure.  If you let me stand in front of you and attack you, and you just block (with no counterattack), I will eventually hit you.  You would do the same to me.

But if you hit me and I drop you to the ground, then you will have a much harder time trying to hit me again.  Depending on what I do, you might not be able to do anything at all.  Destroying the attacker ends the attack.

We tend to think about Karate as a totally defensive and passive art.  I agree that it is, right up until the point that it isn't.  Then, as a last resort, it can be intensely destructive.

The first part of Karate is learning and practicing defensive techniques.  The second part is learning and practicing to destroy the attacker.  Some people I have met are or were really skilled at the second.  If you attacked them, they would not fight with you -- they would destroy you.  It would be like grabbing a sharp knife by the cutting edge.

That is something I have been thinking about lately.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

No Patch... No Symbol

Recently, I visited a friend's dojo to learn the basic outline of a kata.  I actually wore a gi and belt that night.  Usually, I have been wearing a gi bottom and white t-shirt only.  But it tends to get cold at night, so I wore a gi top.

A student noticed that I did not have a patch.  I tried to explain, albiet briefly, that I do not want to be mentally attached to a patch or symbol, or anything that identifies or limits my conception of the Karate I practice.  That may sound "metaphysic" or overly intellectual or something, but it is true, at least for me.  Once I start to identify with a patch or symbol or words, or anything concrete, then my Karate is in a box.  It is hard to think outside of the box if I put myself on the box!

Shinzato Sensei told me once that it is difficult to move freely if your mind is fixed.  In organized Karate, we tend to have many ways of developing fixed minds.

So I wear no patch and have no writing on my gi.  It is just a little thing.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin