The ACSKC Blog

  • 39,000,000 Minutes or More…

    The odds are pretty low, thankfully, that you’ll ever have to physically defend yourself against an attacker.

    “Karate-jutsu” - the physical elements of the art related to practical self-defense - will help you survive those few short, intense minutes of fighting if you should ever need to defend yourself against an attacker.

    Karate- will prepare you for the other 39,000,000 minutes of your life...

  • Being Fast…

    There are a lot of ways to think about speed in karate - here's my view.

    The first element of "being fast" is "how quickly you respond to stimuli" whatever that might be - seeing an opening and beginning your attack, or recognizing your opponent's attack and initiating your defense.

    The second element is "how quickly you complete your action once you begin it" - how long, start to finish, does your punch or block take, along with your accompanying body movement?

  • Practicing and Improving Kata

    There are endless approaches to practicing kata, all of which provide specific benefits and different insights. Here's an approach that everyone can use regardless of their rank or experience. Keep in mind this isn't the right way to practice kata - it is one way to practice kata.

    Every kata contains an interwoven set of conditions to study and control - stance, posture, position, the path of movements between positions, breathing, muscle control (tension and relaxation), speed, power, and so on. Mastery means that, over time, you become able to control as many of these variables as possible simultaneously and naturally, without conscious thought about the individual variables themselves, so that instead you can focus exclusively on visualizing the various possible applications while performing.

  • Five Thoughts for Better Bunkai
    There’s a natural curiosity among karate practitioners to understand what we practice at the deepest levels. With kata, that understanding often turns to breaking down the pieces and parts of our forms to see just how many different ways a given series of movements can be adapted to an actual self-defense situation. That process of analysis is what we typically call bunkai. The term bunkai is composed of two kanji: bun (分) and kai (解). Bun, as heard by a native speaker of Japanese, would have various meanings ranging from nouns like “part” or “segment” or “relation” all the way to an adjective meaning “detached.” Kai on the other hand is more straightforward - it means “solution” as in “solution to a puzzle.” So the term bunkai can literally be translated to “a solution to the question of how things relate to one another.” Notice I said “a" solution - not “THE" solution.
  • The Possibility of Mastery: Why ‘Getting Good’ at Something Matters
    This past week I had the opportunity to attend a wonderful presentation by E.B. Lewis, an award-winning painter and illustrator of children’s books.  Mr. Lewis spoke to children and parents about his journey to becoming a world-famous artist, and shared that his own passion for art was, in part, from the early realization that he was good at it. In that moment, I thought back to my own childhood and what it meant to be good at something for the first time. As a kid, I was on the shorter side and pretty skinny – not exactly built for an […]

The ultimate aim of karate-dō lies not in victory nor defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants.

Funakoshi Gichin, Founder of Shotokan Karate