Saturday 26 February 2011

Form & Application Together: MARTIAL ARTS KARATE

One thing I advocate is 'teaching form and application together' from total beginners right through to the most advanced karateka. In these photos I'm conducting a private lesson with Alex, one of the students of the Christchurch IJKA Shotokan Karate Club (introducing him to Heian-nidan kata). Just to clarify, what I mean by `application' is pragmatic partner drills and impact
training (maintaining form and hitting things with full-power and correct distancing) as opposed to merely learning 'air karate'.
Teaching exact `traditional form' and application takes longer, but is inseparable if karate is to be effective. Some believe that form should be learned first, however, if form and application are learned together, form is better appreciated and fully optimized. My ethos is to teach self-defense to my students from the very first day they walk into the dojo, so this is "THE ONLY WAY".

If one takes longer to perfect the form due to this, it simply means they need to practice more! Kihon, kata and kumite are one, not separate, however at most clubs, this is not reflected in actual training. This was one aspect of practice Shuseki-Shihan Tetsuhiko Asai (10th Dan) stressed for his private `bujutsu' society, the I.J.K.A, and is an aspect I will continue to stress. FORM & APPLICATION TOGETHER IS LITERALLY `THE FOUNDATION OF MARTIAL ARTS KARATE'.
This article is dedicated to Alex, who returned to his home-country this week (after the devastating earthquake & numerous aftershocks here in Christchurch). We wish you the very best Alex and hope that you continue to practice Karate-Do. OSU!
© André Bertel, New Zealand 2011.

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