Author Archives: shinkyu

Tournament sparring tactics

Stay calm! Think ‘who am I fighting- what is their style, their strength, and weaknesses. What is the best strategy for fighting this person?’ Think ‘Is what I am doing working?’ if not what’s the new plan. When fighting someone much taller. Understand they will be hard to counter-attack as their reach means they can […]

Top 10 sparring skills

1. Dynamic attacking footwork The simplest and easiest way for an opponent to defend is to outrange you by shuffling back and making your techniques fall short. In order to beat this, you have to develop explosive footwork that allows you to take big lunges or big steps to catch retreating opponents. 2. Counter attacking […]

Four elemental sparring styles

There can be broadly categorised four styles of karate kumite styles. In the tradition of eastern philosophy, they are named after the four elements Wind, Fire, Water and Stone. Whilst these are stereotypes and not every karate-ka will fit the mould of just one, they do help us understand how we can play to our […]

Shinkyu’s 3 levels of sparring

Sparring in martial arts is limited by two major factors – safety and sporting rules. Having rules for safety makes perfect sense, most martial artists need to go to work or school the next day without having to carry injuries and be black and blue. However, the more rules there are for sporting reasons, the […]

How to apply your iron on milestones

Becoming a higher grade

There is a certain mysticism about becoming a black belt and even achieving a brown belt is a serious accomplishment. What is it that is so special about this achievement? Well, the answer is simple: it is not about their physical prowess although that is impressive. It is about the person they became in order […]

Karate Terminology

Basic Strikes Chudan tsuki Stomach level punch Jodan tsuki Head level punch Yoko uraken Side Backfist Strike Mawashi empi Round Elbow Strike     Basic Blocks Jodan age uke Rising head level block Haiwan uke Forearm block Soto uke Outside hooking block Gedan barai Downward block Kake uke Hooking block Oshikomu uke Pushing block Shuto […]

Traditional karate is actually modern What karate students should get from this video. I love watching this video, as most karate-ka do.  We love it because we recognise the moves that are familiar to us from traditional kata and we feel all the hours of kata training are validate because all that kata training was not wasted because in […]

Dirty Kata

To explain what dirty kata is, let us explain how kata is usually clean.  As kata is the art form/performance side of karate there is a strong emphasis on precision, balance, control, poise, dramatic timing and expression. This performance aspect of kata has been further characterised by the tournament/competition kata which prizes it. As a result, […]

Bunkai and Oyo

Bunkai Bunkai literally means “analysis” or “disassembly” in Japanese but in the context of karate, it refers to the self-defence applications or intent behind a technique or sequence in a kata, which is often not obvious. To understand and unravel the mysteries of Bunkai you must understand a little of its history. A lot of […]