By Michael Clarke
By Garry Lever
By Barrett & Lever
By Mark Bishop
The Shinken Dojo   真 剣 道 場
Ryusyokai Okinawa Goju Ryu Karate   琉 翔 会 沖 縄 空 手
Ilfracombe - North Devon - England   英 国
Web Sites of Interest
Copyrights are  
strictly reserved
on ALL Writings &
Photographs
contained within this
Web Site.
"Achieving an Understanding"

I have always believed that good Karate is just that, good Karate, and it makes no difference at all if one's Sensei is a well
known name, or if your chosen style is Okinawan or Japanese based. The basis and mind set of the Dojo that you train in
either follows the true ways of the art, or it does not and diverts from them. Karate is always at its best and most pure if it is
practised quietly, whilst having self discipline, deep understanding, and consists of regular practise. So this is the way that I
prefer to keep things with my own training. Without this base it is not really Karate anyway but a distortion of the truth,
regardless of what some try and make us believe.

" The Most important lesson to learn from practising Karate is to behave with manners and etiquette".
Meitoku Yagi Sensei

The past week or so has been a time that my new home Dojo has welcomed some differing Karate Ka, from Sensei with
decades of experience behind them, to new students who are just starting along their way. The one thing that was very
warming and nice to see, is that everyone who I had the pleasure of sharing a space with on the Dojo floor this week had
differences. Shouldn't all good Karate be the same you may ask? No!   There are different ways of doing things, different
ways of going about things, differing levels of ability and understanding, and differing experiences to base ones Karate
training from. All though should stay within a framework or basis that was set out many years ago on the island of Okinawa.

"Karate is about training regularly, but some people forget". Brian Hinchliffe Sensei

The thing that all of these fellow Karate Ka have/had in common, is that regardless of doing some things or training ways
differently, their Karate basis was/is genuine and sincere with deep understanding behind it. There was no falseness, poor
base, or riding off the back of the art, past achievements or others, there was no  lack of training, any ego, or making things
up on their way here either.  To put things in simple terms, these are fellow Karate Ka who;
Don't do things so different,
they just do the same Karate a little differently.
On top of this and most importantly, all were/are sincere and nice people
who practice Karate quietly and for the right reasons.  Karate Ka whom I whole heartedly believe that the likes of Miyagi and
Funakoshi would be quietly proud of. These are Karate Ka who do not make the most noise or who are large in numbers, but
those who are quietly working to keep the art of the peaceful people of Okinawa on going and alive.

Spending time with such people and Karate Ka, both on and off the Dojo floor, is always a pleasure and a honour.


Saturday 28th March 2015

Saturday Evening Kakie Practise
in my Home Dojo
with
Brian Hinchliffe Sensei
I often speak of my early days practising the art of Judo.  I may have even mentioned this past experience before, but none the
less I wish to retell it.  Strange as it may firstly seem to gain an understanding of lessons that are to be found within Karate, I
often refer back to my understanding through years of training in Judo. In realty though good Budo is principle based anyway....

Having practised a particular Judo technique for a year or two, through pure frustration I’d reached a point where I was about to
disregard the technique from my rapture all together. The reason being was that for one I just couldn’t seem to make the
technique work to any effect, and for two I didn’t really have true belief in the effectiveness of the technique at all.  Basically I
wasn’t convinced that if push came to shove it would ever work.  So... There was then only one option, dump it and work on
other things that I felt were more useful and effective. After mentioning this to my father ,he simply replied
“Don’t ever
disregard or knock anything to be found within Judo or Ju Jutsu until you have a deep understanding of them, then
and only then are you qualified enough to make a judgement or statement like that”.
 Then he quite firmly said “It’s you!
Not the Judo or the technique that is poor”.
 I do admit that at the time my inflated ego took a bit of a knocking, and looking
back rightly so.

So you may be wondering what followed? Well put it this way, I can tell you that it was all down to my lack of understanding and
inability to make things work, it was not Judo or the technique that was poor, it was me!!!  A lack of understanding that I seem
to be seeing more often than not these days and it always reminds me of this very saying,
"Karate is not Poor, But many are Poor Karate Ka"

What my father did then was just as any good Sensei would do too. He proceeded to show me over and over again how he
could execute the technique effectively form varying positions and angles, he could also apply and execute it at speed on
varying people, regardless of their size or strength it made no difference and there was just no way that they could escape
once he’d applied it, be the person compliant or not, as in Randori. As I say it just made no difference. So what he did was
gave me something special, quality hands on guidance and tuition on thus over many months on how to do the same,
explaining at times what I was doing wrong, and at times nurturing the right, plus how a subtle change here and there can turn
a technique around from being near on useless to being devastatingly effective.

To achieve a deep understanding and thorough knowledge of anything takes much study and many hours of practise over
many months and years. In Karate just as in Judo, things must be worked on in the Dojo to the point of effect. Quality guidance
or instruction is also a big part of the equation as without it you can be way off track with what you are doing, in many ways
receiving poor guidance or instruction can most certainly be as bad as not training often. Having so much but with little
understanding or a mastering of nothing is not going to get anyone very far is it?

Anyone who has a deep understanding of a subject will easily see through those that don’t. Obviously of course, and as I
mentioned in my last post, people at times do things differently within a chosen field, especially in Karate, but there is a
difference between doing things differently and a poor lack of understanding.  


(Sunday 5th April 2015)
"Good Karate - Differences - Nice People"