Join Chris on his journey exploring the essence & application of traditional karate
"Chris is one of the most forward thinking martial artists in the world today."
- Paul Enfield Sensei
- Paul Enfield Sensei
I'm very excited to announce that after the long wait and its very successful launch last weekend at The Martial Arts Expo in Coventry, my new book entitled, 'Naihanchi (Tekki) Kata: The Seed of Shuri Karate Vol. 1' is now available to purchase via the online store or my new dedicated website www.naihanchi-kata.com!
This is the first volume of a three part publication that looks at Naihanchi Kata in accordance with five distinct layers of analysis, presenting my own approach to the study of this fascinating form, which along with Sanchin Kata from the Naha-te lineage, represents the very bedrock of traditional karate.
Click HERE for more information, to read a free preview and to order your copy today!
I was teaching a self-defence workshop the other day and the subject came up about the traditional concept of 'sen' (initiative) and how this can apply to modern day combatives.
Karate often suffers a bad name for being outdated and unrealistic. In my view, nothing could be further from the truth and when you look closer at the art's core principles, you will see material that is just as relevant now than it was years ago
It's not about 'what' you train, but about 'how' you train - Therefore, karate can only ever be as realistic as the mind of the person expressing it!
The Japanese style of Wado Ryu for instance emphasises the concept of 'sen' (initiative), as left by the founder, Hironori Ohtsuka, who was a highly distinguished master in both karate and ju-jutsu.
Well I seem to be going video crazy lately!
Here's another video I put together on Hojo Undo. Last week I set up the camera and filmed some of my usual morning conditioning routine. I edited the clips together, added an 'old film' filter and cut in some traditional Japanese music to give it a more authentic feel. I had lots of fun making this and I hope you enjoy it.
Even though this kind of training is considered by many to be 'old-school' and 'out-dated', it is still in my view just as relevant now as it was when it was first developed. Of course, the aim of the training is not to 'body build' or 'weight train', but instead to develop and enhance the specific functional attributes associated with the effective application of traditional karate kata. Therefore, it helps put into place what is an essential piece of the karate jigsaw puzzle!
Well...I did promise all my mailing list members, Facebook fans and Twitter followers a gift for all your kind support and feedback - so here you go :-)
Below is a new video on my YouTube channel that was filmed earlier this week that takes an exclusive look inside my closed dojo during a focussed tutorial on body dynamics in traditional karate for effective close-range striking.
Subjects covered were: transference of bodyweight, dropping the knee, sequential delay, creating internal distance and relaxation for the heavy application of force. All of these principles can be found within the kata and are ingrained in pretty much every style of traditional karate.
Many martial arts use music as a basis for their application of movement and technique. Look at the traditional fights of Muay Thai or the fascinating Brazilian art of Capoera for some fine examples of this.
Music, or more specifically the rhythm and timing associated with it has strong connections with all martial arts, including karate. Whether you twang a string on a guitar, whack a snare drum, blow down the end of a trumpet, hit the keys on a piano or indeed strike the opponent - it's all based on the universal application of rhythm and timing.
All beautiful music is made up of 12 fundamental notes. However it is not the notes themselves that makes each song unique, but the strategic placement of gaps, transitions and varying emphasis. Notes without gaps is simply noise!
Last week I uploaded an article to the site that I'd wrote about makiwara training, which was originally published in Combat Magazine in early 2012...
To supplement this piece, I also added a video to my new YouTube channel that showed a some clips of my personal hand conditioning routine...
In the dojo on Tuesday we had a discussion about performing kata with the correct attitude and the difference in 'faking it' or really 'meaning it'. The consensus was that the attitude with which you perform kata is what makes it uniquely your own and without it, the kata is devoid of any life - it is simply a bunch of movements.
Attitude is a big thing. It can shape what we do, what we become and how others see us.
Whilst searching through YouTube, I came across these two videos of Yuchoku Higa (Kyudokan Dojo), who was a student of Chosin Chibana, performing Matsumura No Passai. I remember practicing this very kata back in March 2012 with Arakaki Sensei - himself a student of Higa...needless to say, the experience was awesome!
What struck me most about these video's is that they've been filmed many years apart and upon watching them, it really struck home how we should all strive for karate to become a complete way of life. These videos have certainly inspired me to carry on exploring karate more deeply and I hope they offer you similar insights.
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.