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Dojo Kun - Be Faithful

Dojo Kun - literal translation means "training hall rules". There are five main rules that serve as guiding principles for all who train in the dojo. Although they are usually listed in a set order, no one rule is more important than any other. To emphasise this all five are prefixed with hitotsu and end with koto, which together mean "one point".

One Point! Be Faithful

Hitotsu! Makato no michi o mamoru koto.

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The Obstacle is The Path - Zen Proverb

As humans, we often look for that which is easy and, consequently, not challenging. We create life hacks, take short cuts, and shorten things that need to be left alone. This is what distinguishes a martial artist from a non-practitioner of the arts and a success story from a beaten down soldier. If you set out to only accomplish things without putting in the work, you'll never get to the accomplishment and more importantly, you won't experience it on the way. You won't even know why you may want to accomplish the things you set out to do.

 Below is a list of the Shotokan kata and their meanings:

Shotokan Kata

Heian Shodan – (peaceful mind, first level)Heian Nidan – (peaceful mind, second level)Heian Sandan – (peaceful mind, third level)Heian Yondan – (peaceful mind, fourth level)Heian Godan – (peaceful mind, fifth level)

Gichin Funakoshi, founder of Shotokan karate, emphasized that every practitioner must seek perfection of character. In order to accomplish this, it is essential to obtain a clear focused mind in pursuit of a mental and physical state harnessed for perfection. When learning and practicing karate, particularly as it involves both physical and mental tasks, one must first start with the mindset of discipline. In karate, attending to the work of the mind is a discipline that can be practiced both in and out of the dojo.

When training, it is crucial for the practitioner to reset the mind, essentially clearing it from any past or future thoughts. As with many great endeavors, one must set personal goals to accomplish in training. Being mindful of these goals is crucial as not adhering to them is like riding a bicycle in tiny circles to get to your destination. When away from the dojo, the practitioner can also apply the mindful practice of karate to one’s personal challenges of everyday life. Therefore, mental training should occur seamlessly with the physical demands of karate as it permeates all areas of a practitioner’s life.

Miyamoto Musashi (宮本 武蔵?, c. 1584 – June 13, 1645), also known as Shinmen Takezō, Miyamoto Bennosuke or, by his Buddhist name, Niten Dōraku,[1] was a Japanese swordsman and rōnin. Musashi, as he was often simply known, became renowned through stories of his excellent swordsmanship in numerous duels, even from a very young age. He was the founder of the Hyōhō Niten Ichi-ryū or Niten-ryū style of swordsmanship and the author of The Book of Five Rings (五輪の書 Go Rin No Sho?), a book on strategy, tactics, and philosophy that is still studied today.

Some simple exercises to get the ultimate six-pack!

It pays to look on the lighter side of life...

Having returned from an intense training course in Israel I am once again looking to provide the opportunity for Aucklanders to train in the Israeli combative system of Krav Maga. It is now the New Year and a time to make the resolution in creating a happier, healthier; more toned self by investing in you and taking up Krav Maga.

During my time in Israel I have revised and updated my skills by training exclusively for two weeks with the director of my system. It has been a privilege that was worth the huge cost and effort in travelling from New Zealand to Israel. Not only have I come out of this experience a better and more experienced instructor but I have gained a unique insight into the history and culture of the land and people from which my fighting system originates.