Karate: The Big Three

It's the big three in karate and most martial arts, and I get to do all three in a month!

1. First, Grading

First is Kihon - which I probably find the hardest, I'm stiff and nervous and my 'warm up' with one of the senpai has left me a little out of breath. Soon I remember what I'm doing though and start to relax a bit.

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The way of the roll, this holds special signifcates to me mainly due to the fact that my main system that I train in is an aikido based system and the first year of my leasons I wasnt allowed to do a single throw. I was used as an uke, or punching bag in english for the more senior students training and the teachers prime demostratee (if thats a word).

But because of this type of training I learnt the techniques by name, the differnce between a good throw and a bad one and later on where to counter safely, sooner then those of the same grade. Now I try to focus most of my classes on how to attack well, keep yourself safe through out movement so that if an attack fails and you are thrown you can still be better off......well kind of.

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Humiliation is not Self-Improvement

By Rob Redmond - February 28, 2009 / http://www.24fightingchickens.com

Being humiliated does not improve you as a person. The experience of humiliation is negative, and while it may serve to provide motivation, it is motivation through fear. Champions do not become champions because they are afraid of being humiliated. They become champions because they have native ability, they practice in an unreasonably obsessive fashion that provides them with feedback, and they believe that they are entitled to win. World champions are not born through humiliation, so why would you seek out humiliation as an experience or believe that it helps you improve?

The belief that humiliation is a positive experience is a rationalization. A rationalization is any attempt by a person to justify a choice by creating an illogical excuse to continue.

Examples of rationalizations are rampant:

  • The Dojo Kun does no harm, so let’s use it.
  • I probably couldn’t find a job elsewhere, so I’ll just stay here and suffer.
  • No one else would love me, so I will not leave my abuser.
  • I don’t trust government, the government doesn’t like heroine, so heroin must be good for you.

Rationalization is a powerful human function that we all engage in regularly. It is a combination of denial, the willful refusal to acknowledge obvious and observable facts and evidence, and justification. Just because something does no harm does not mean that it is productive to use. You don’t know what would happen if you searched for new employment. Assuming others will never love you is no reason to remain in a relationship where there is no love and you are in danger. The government is never justification for anything other than ensuring accurate reporting of taxes.

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Self defence principals

I have been doing a lot of reading these last few weeks on martial arts principals from a few sources. It's been really good but now I'm a bit lost on what to blog.

So after much humming and harring this blog is on the main principals of self defence. Note that these are principals, not techniques, if you want techniques that demonstrate the principals look at the stuff your class does first and if you don't see them ask your teacher, I am more then happy to answer any questions or confusions as well.

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First Tournament

I'm sore all over....well, sore in one foot and a little in the nose really. I entered my first karate tournament in the weekend, and (unsurprisingly) lost. Highlights included:

  • Having my nose broken (just the cartilage, not the bone) by the New Zealand Karate team captain.
  • Knocking down an opponent so hard when he 'came round' his first words were "what happened?" (he was only out for about two seconds - so I'm not so much of a bully as all that!)
  • Losing a fight due to penalties
  • Having two fights stopped early due to excessive bleeding (on my part - and these were fights I was definitely losing anyway)

I scored only a few 'real' points but I was pretty happy all up for a first attempt.

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