The JKA Instructor Qualification System

At JKA headquarters, all instructors are specially trained and licensed to teach. Each of them must train extensively and complete the JKA’s unique specialist instructor training program before receiving certification to fulfill the various functions they are responsible for within the JKA.

The JKA offers three basic kinds of qualifications:

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What is the JKA

A Brief History of the Japan Karate Association

Originally, the martial art Te (“Hand”) developed in Okinawa as a system of self-defense. Due to Okinawa’s frequent contact and exchange with China, it is certain that the Okinawan martial art was influenced by Chinese kempo at some point during its development. However, with only oral tradition and no formal contemporary written records, it is not certain exactly when the art called Kara-Te first emerged in Okinawa. It is believed that it developed roughly 500 years ago, when the dynastic ruler King Shoha unified the region after decades of warfare and issued an edict banning the possession of weapons on the island. According to conventional accounts, a similar law forbidding the possession or use of weapons was re-issued and enforced by the Satsuma clan, who had invaded Okinawa in the early 1600’s and brought it under the rule of the Japanese Shogunate. It is believed that in this environment karate developed as a form of unarmed combat for protecting oneself and one’s country, and it was taught and practiced in secret.

Then came the birth in 1868 of Okinawan karate master Funakoshi Gichin. He dedicated his whole life to promoting the values of the art, and introduced the way of karate-jutsu to Japan, where it spread across the country. In 1949, his followers (including Isao Obata, Masatoshi Nakayama and Hidetaka Nishiyama) had established an association for the research, promotion and education of karate; they called it Nihon Karate Kyokai, or Japan Karate Association. It was the beginning of the JKA.

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An interview with Gerda Geddes

Interview by Ronnie Robinson

Gerda Geddes was the first person who ever studied and taught Tai Chi in the UK, she began training in Shanghai at a time when very few women of any nationality were able to study the art. For nearly 60 years Tai Chi played an integral part in her life and she remained actively interested and open in her heart and mind right to the end. She passed away on Saturday 4th March 2006 at age 89.

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An Interview with Grandmaster William C.C. Chen

Interviewed by Ronnie Robinson

Earlier this year, at Tai Chi Caledonia we were fortunate to have Master William C.C. Chen teaching. Grandmaster Chen has studied Tai Chi Chuan for over 50 years was a close student of Professor Cheng Man-ching and is world-renowned for his achievements in applying Tai Chi Chuan as an effective martial art.

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Using Taiji and Qigong as a Tool for Inner Peace

by Ronnie Robinson

qigongHaving taught taiji and qigong for over 20 years, the last 10 of which have been as a professional instructor, I have worked with a wide range of people from many social backgrounds and, through this time I am slowly coming to believe that, despite our many differences, we all seek the same goal, inner peace, and contentment. This being the case I am becoming acutely aware that often the search takes us further away from ourselves and makes it harder to find this inner contentment.

One of the first things I do when starting work with a new group is to ask them why they have decided to come to the class, in one or two words. Around 80% of the reasons given include the words, relaxation or stress reduction. Of course, if we asked these good people to expand upon their single word responses, we would hear terms like increased energy, better health, less resistance to disease etc. All of us who teach or practice these arts would see these as potential benefits which can be gained from continued practice but, the main problem is in creating a place that allows students to experience the benefits as quickly as they can, so that they are suitably stimulated to devote the necessary time and commitment to the work of achieving their goal of becoming more relaxed, less stressed and ultimately at peace with themselves.

In my early days as a teacher, I would spend a lot of time checking for correct postures, looking out for the usual potential dangers that can result from over-doing things, as well as taking care to impart what information I had in a clear, methodical manner. Getting it right was my God. Show them how to perform the movements, let them make a few mistakes, but slowly work to put things right. I continually spoke to the group, advising them of where their arms should be, told them to relax their shoulders, go a little slower, feel the gentle opening up of the body and so on...

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