Category Archives: Uncategorized

Think Outside the Box

Think Outside the Box (This article originally appeared in the October 2006 issue of Shoto-Mag.) Over the past several years, many Shotokan enthusiasts have discovered the joy of analyzing kata application possibilities. For me, this journey began in 1984, as I experimented with non-standard applications by myself between classes at the dojo. At the time, […]

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Gedan-barai Habits

Gedan-barai Habits   (This article originally appeared in the April 2006 issue of ShotoMag.) One of the first techniques we learned, gedan-barai (literally “lower-level sweep” but commonly known as “down-block”) is something we have all done many times. It is a very useful technique and its prevalence in Shotokan kata suggest that the masters of […]

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Cheetahs and Gazelles

Cheetahs and Gazelles   The cheetah is known as the fastest animal on land, able to sprint at 96 kph / 60 mph. The gazelle is a common target for the cheetah. Gazelles have horns that are of limited defensive use against a cheetah attacking from the rear or side. The gazelle is agile but […]

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Chickens

Chickens   As many readers are already aware, there is an interesting website devoted to Shotokan called “24fightingchickens”.  This article has nothing to do with that… Chicken Head What I refer to as “chicken head” is the tendency for the head’s forward movement to precede the rest of the body when stepping or shifting forward. […]

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Lining Up and Bowing In

Lining Up and Bowing In   The procedure of lining up and bowing in or out at the beginning or end of a training session may have seemed completely foreign to some of us when we first saw or experienced it. While its practice is usually understood, or at least accepted, by almost all karateka, […]

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Embusen

Embusen – The Demonstration Line(s)   An embu (sometimes written enbu) is a “demonstration”. Sen means “line(s)”. Embusen, therefore, refers to the line(s) that is(are) followed during a demonstration of movements, such as in kata. When we perform kata in a test or tournament, as well as during regular class training, most of us invariably […]

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Contraction/Expansion

Contraction/Expansion First of all, let me point out that muscles do not “expand” so much as they “lengthen” and “contract” is slightly misleading as well. What is often meant by contraction/expansion in Karate, however, is not so much an explanation of what the muscles do, as a relational description of the movements of various parts […]

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Kokutsu-dachi – Back Stance

Kokutsu-dachi – Back Stance   Kokutsu-dachi is one of the basic Shotokan stances. For information about zenkutsu-dachi/front-stance and kiba-dachi/side-stance, please see other articles. General Stance Configuration Kokutsu-dachi should be approximately the same length as zenkutsu-dachi, but with no significant width. The forward foot should be pointing straight ahead (towards the opponent) with the rear foot […]

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Mostly For Parents

Sensei Keeling is known for his holistic teaching approach and sharing non-Karate tips in classes. Here is a short list of things he has spoken about multiple times in classes that parents may want to keep in mind and discuss with them further. Some are philosophical and most are intended to make people think. “You […]

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