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Kime: Trademarks of Shotokan karate

The readers will agree that perfect kime is what we dream of when we do the oi zuki or gyaku zuki. Bang boom! Look at Enoeda sensei’s tsuki; Yes, this is Shotokan.

Indeed, the powerful punches and kicks are trademarks of Shotokan karate.   When you look at Shitoryu kata, their performances look smooth and fluid but their techniques look “weak.” The Gojuryu kata have a lot of neko ashi dachi and sanchin dachi, and although their arm movements are circular, these movements, just like their stances, look short and do not have enough kime. (Note: I want to emphasize that I am in no way trying to bash any styles at all.  I am simply comparing the general impressions of shotokan and other styles.)  If the impressions above coincide with yours, then you want to ask, “OK, so what?”  Hold your breath, here is a shocking statement:  Kime (more precisely, encouraging it) is probably the most harmful action for most Shotokan practitioners while training, particularly for beginners.

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A Brief History of Kata

If you are interested in the effective and realistic use of the combative methods recorded within kata, it is important that you have some understanding of their history. Without an understanding of this history, you will be unable to appreciate kata in the correct context. You will, therefore, have little chance of unlocking the methods they contain. Kata has always been an integral part of karate practice. To understand the history and development of kata, it is vital to look at the history and development of karate as a whole.

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Keinosuke Enoeda

1935 - 2003

enoeda_01Keinosuke Enoeda was born in Kyushu, an island in the South of Japan, on July 4th 1935. A strong and natural athlete, he initially took up baseball, kendo, and judo, as did many of his contemporaries - these being the popular sports in Japan at that time. He proved particularly adept at Judo, and by the age of 16 he had reached 2nd Dan. However, as is often the way, fate guided him to a demonstration by two top Karate exponents from the famous Takashoku University. The two Karateka, Senseis Irea and Okazaki, so impressed him, that there and then, he decided to channel his energy into Karate.

He enrolled at Takashoku University, joined the Karate section, and within two years was the proud holder of Shodan. Another two years found him Club Captain.

One his teachers was the great Master and founder of modern Shotokan Karate, Funakoshi Gichin, whose instruction and advice is still a source of inspiration to him to this day.

He graduated with a degree in economics before joining the JKA instructors class which he attended for three years, during which time his main instructor was Sensei Nakayama. He also trained with many of the top Sensei of other schools and styles of Karate. It was this quality of instruction, combined with a fiercesome determination, which moulded Sensei Enoeda into one of Japan's finest ever competitors and instructors.

After achieving his aim of becoming JKA Champion, Sensei began to receive invitations to instruct in various countries - Indonesia, South Africa, Hawaii - and eventually joined his friend, Hirokazu Kanazawa, to instruct in England.

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Kicking Ass: Letitia Carr Interview

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Letitia Carr of Wellington, competing for New Zealand at the 2009 Karate World Games on the back of her wins at the 2008 Oceania Karate Championships becomes New Zealand’s most successful Karate Athlete narrowly losing to Slovakia 6-4 in a thrilling final that until the last 25 seconds she was leading 4-1. Silver in the open kumite event is New Zealand’s first medal at a senior WKF tournament in more than 35 years of trying and we are sure it is just the beginning, at 19 years of age she will be a force to reckon with on the world stage.

PA: Thank you for the opportunity to interview you Letitia. What got you interested in the martial arts and how old were you when you started training?

Letitia Carr: I wanted to learn self-defence, I started when I was 11 years old.

PA: Which style do you study?

Letitia Carr: I started off doing Shotokan karate, but now train Goju-Ryu karate.

PA: How long have you been training?

Letitia Carr: 8 Years (had 1 year off)

PA: How often do you train and what does your training consist of?

Letitia Carr: Average training a week consists of about 7 sessions per week. During the lead up period to major competition there can be up to 9-10 training sessions per week. Training sessions consist of karate, plyometrics, power/strength, agility and fitness training.

PA: Do you supplement your training at the gym or other exercise such as yoga or pilates etc?

Letitia Carr: Yes, plyometrics, power/strength, agility and fitness are all trained in the gym.

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Training recommendations to avoid weakening of bones

Approximately ten million Americans have osteoporosis, and another 34 million have low bone mass, (osteopenia). A disease without symptoms, osteoporosis affects about 20 percent of men and 80 percent of women. While the bones gradually become weaker, they are more likely to break in a minor fall or, if left untreated, even from something as simple as a sneeze. The most frequent fracture sites are hip, wrist and spine, although any bone in your body could be affected.

A diagnosis of osteopenia or osteoporosis could be scary, leading most people to stop exercisse due to fear it will cause fractures. The truth is that those with low bone mass should make a point to exercise regularly.

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