I found my way to the Korean Karate Federation again on Saturday as they asked me to come in from 2pm – 6pm. They asked me to to teach kihon (basics) but kihon for what I asked? Kihon for their competition kata was the answer. I think there is a major flaw in karate as we see it today. There is a quote somehwere that to have strong karate, you need strong kihon, but I think the kihon that is being practised by 95% of karate clubs out there is useless. There is no need to march up and down the floor practising upward block, reverse punch for example. How is that going to help your karate? How will it help the performance of your kata? If you are wanting to practise competition kata (which I have no problem with, as long as the practioner understands it is for show and has little resemblance to original karate kata), then you are better off practising sections of the kata you are competing with. Makes sense right? Well that was what I was trying to portray to the KKF coach, but I don’t think he quite understood. Anyway, we got on with competition kata practise and I have to say they are pretty good. But again, the thing that stood out for me was how slow they were in moving. I went over again Taikyoku Shodan, and explained that in competition kata is essential that the foot and hand land at the same time. That worked, and after a while there kata looked sharper, which was nice.
We spent an hour on kata, and then had a quick break. During the break they were asking what style of karate I teach. Normally I just answer ‘Koshinkan’ and explain that it means ‘old and new school’, and that is usually the end of the questions. However this time I answered that there is no style of karate, karate is karate, and went through what PE Karate was, and how most schools today practise a watered down version of ‘te’, and most simply don’t know it. And if they do know it, they are satisified with it. That sparked a bit of debate between the ‘styles’ of karate, but it ended well and we moved on.
Next up I went through some tegumi drills I had learnt from Patrick McCarthy, and drills I had created myself. The drills are continuous close in strikes and defense. Most looked uncomfortable about being in so close, as a lot of karate clubs are used to defending and attacking at a longer range ie kumite. We then moved onto some pretty basic joint locks, and most picked them up quickly as they had done some Hapkido (Korean Ju Jitsu). We then combined the tegumi drills with the joint locks and I had a bit of fun throwing people around and seeing the look of fear in their eyes as a 110kg bloke using his weight to his advantage!
Anyway the day ended there and we all had a great time. The KKF President asked me if I would be willing to move to Busan to teach karate, but I declined. I lived in Seoul for 2 years, and that was enough for me. Plus, I have my own school and a few business’ I would like to run in Brisbane!
I am still waiting for some photos to come through, and as soon as I do I will upload them!
Not long now until I am back in the sunny state of Brisbane teaching karate!
Stay tuned for more posts!