A re-breakable epiphany

My instructor recently spent six weeks visiting family and friends in his homeland, so it was my responsibilty to instruct the childrens class while he was away.

Teaching kids can be quite testing, especially keeping everyone interested and challenged at the same time! On top of that you are dealing with a variety of ages and experience. One thing I had noticed over the last few years and especially the last few weeks is that it is difficult to inspire the correct attitude when punching and kicking in kihon or kata regardless of the amount of explanation and emphasis on correct technique - punching and kicking air just is not reality. At this point you might say that is why we practise partner work which is fine for aiming and control, however, unless you drill 100% full-contact it is still not 'real'. Many old-timers will be thinking to themselves at this point that is the reason why we have makiwara (Makiwara - How to Build and Use) - and indeed they would be correct for those who practise diligently and probably daily, but is also not the reality for most kids/adults training in this modern world where they might come twice a week for an hour or so.

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Copyright

© Shane Clapson

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The four ways Parkour has changed me for the better

 

After a crazy weekend at the movement Jam in Auckland, I am painstakingly putting together the very first ever episode of my hitch hiking documentary. Three days of running, leaping, vaulting and flipping around Auckland (ok ok I was behind the camera mostly) with guys from all over the country has been a great way to get to know not just the style but the people who practise it. Anyone can get a wikipidia definition of a style but only by meeting the people can you truly get a sense of what it is about (because the people who practise make the style).

 

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Pakour! With training tips and challenges

As week four comes to a close I find myself trying to work out how to retain and improve the knowledge I have gained. Asking each instructor I was given four separate movements to focus on. In the hope that this weekend at the big parkour gathering in Auckland I will be able to keep up with everyone else.

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Kaizen

 

Kaizen is a Japanese word which has no corresponding meaning in English. Basically it means constant never ending improvement. Often people initially are sceptical about my teachings but they do not appreciate that in my seminars I often get people practicing techniques and methods that would normally be considered advanced in many styles. After just a couple of hours with me to see the measurable confidence and ability is a living testament to both my ability as a teacher and the methods that I practice.

 

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Kime: Trademarks of Shotokan karate

The readers will agree that perfect kime is what we dream of when we do the oi zuki or gyaku zuki. Bang boom! Look at Enoeda sensei’s tsuki; Yes, this is Shotokan.

Indeed, the powerful punches and kicks are trademarks of Shotokan karate.   When you look at Shitoryu kata, their performances look smooth and fluid but their techniques look “weak.” The Gojuryu kata have a lot of neko ashi dachi and sanchin dachi, and although their arm movements are circular, these movements, just like their stances, look short and do not have enough kime. (Note: I want to emphasize that I am in no way trying to bash any styles at all.  I am simply comparing the general impressions of shotokan and other styles.)  If the impressions above coincide with yours, then you want to ask, “OK, so what?”  Hold your breath, here is a shocking statement:  Kime (more precisely, encouraging it) is probably the most harmful action for most Shotokan practitioners while training, particularly for beginners.

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