On my most recent visit to Okinawa in March 2014, I was very privileged to have had the opportunity to spend some time with Katsuhiko Shinzato Sensei, both privately and with members in class at his home dojo in Yonabaru.
In short, I can say that the teachings he shared with me over the course of what was only a couple of weeks, have made a lasting impression on my karate, plus the kindness shown by Sensei and his students has made a equally lasting impression on my character, for which I am truly grateful.
I first had the pleasure of meeting Shinzato Sensei back in April 2010, when I gave an intriguing seminar for karate-ka from around the world at the Budokan in Naha. As soon as I witnessed him move, I knew straight away that he had something very special to share.
The footage of Shinzato Sensei on YouTube is amazing but believe me, to witness this man in real life is something else entirely! Many people do not understand what he is trying to impart, but I can't help but feel that through what now must be over half a century of comprehensive and exacting research, he has unlocked something very old in karate and his sophisticated methods of movement breathes a unique sense of vigour back into the art.
Check out the following video of Shinzato Sensei's approach to Naihanchi Kata...
The third video this week features more recent footage from the dojo on the subject of entangled arm locks from Naihanchi Kata and progressing on to how they may be abandoned if things aren't going to plan.
Although joint attacks should be considered only as a support strategy for self-defence (the primary strategy being of course percussive impact), in my opinion, they should nevertheless still be studied as part of a holistic combative methodology.
Here's another new video - wow...that's two in one day!
This one shows some footage in the dojo from a few weeks ago when we were exploring some fundamental push hand patterns and limb control sequences inspired by Naihanchi Kata. Skill development using close-range tactile reference is important for traditional karate practitioners, since the movements of kata were originally designed to cope with these distances for effective self-defence. Therefore, pretty much any kata sequence may be applied from connections obtained from such drills.
Hi Everyone - here's a new video just uploaded to my YouTube channel!
The video features some footage taken in the dojo earlier this week, when we were exploring a sequence from Pinan (Heian) Godan Kata, as inspired by a couple of my students. This particular application features a couple of elbow joint attacks and a take down before a choke using the stance and the characteristic lower cross block as an attack to the opponents fingers.
Chris Denwood has been studying martial arts since childhood and specialises in the practical application of karate's traditional principles for civilian self-defence, personal development, life integration and discovery.