Womens martial arts Karate Virginia

Doing Karate Kata on Your Own Improves Application Understanding

Doing Karate Kata on Your Own Improves Application Understanding

Here are Ways to Improve Your Kata Performance & Understanding

Doing Karate Kata over and over trying to improve it each time quickly gets boring as performance improvement dramatically falls off.  Here are some general ways to do kata once you understand the basic embusen (form).

Do a Kata at

Regular Speed: Generally, you don’t pick up much new stuff you need to focus on. However, this begins to develop muscle memory.

TAI CHI Speed: Slowly and methodically perform your kata. You discover the transitions you don’t understand and generally skip over because you are doing them fast. You also discover when you are using your shoulders for blocks and punches rather than your hips. Ensure your forward elbow is touching your ribs as your hips move into position with the hands being pulled by the hip movement.  This really helps you with your ukiashidashi (backstance).

Dynamic Tension or Sanchin Speed: Tighten up all your muscles as you attempt to perform your kata, even stepping and transitions. This is exhausting.

Ballet Style: Loose, no muscular tension, just the opposite of the above.

Eyes Closed: Doing kata with your eyes closed immediately allows you to correct your stances when you are leaning too far forward, back or to the side. Remember head over hips! This really helps you with your ukiashidashi (backstance).

Ask Yourself What are the Applications? Some applications are readily obvious. Others require some coaxing. Say the 3 step-punch sequence in Kihon Kata 4 & 5 and many Pinan Kata. The 270 degree turn after the 3rd step-punch seems like a uke (receive an attack or block). Yet actually, it is a throw or arm break.

Regular Speed Again: Let’s finish off this session by doing kata at regular speed again. You should notice better balance, a better understanding of transitions (or know to ask questions about them), and better coordination between the FHH Movement. In case you forgot, that is the movement of the foot, followed by the hip and then the hands.

Good Luck in your Karate Kata Training!

Roberto

Kiyoshi, 8th Dan, Virginia Dojo

==========================

Roberto began studying martial arts in 1969 at Michigan State University.  He studied Judo,  Kung Fu and various styles of Karate.  He started studying with now Grand Master Seikichi Iha, 10th Dan, Beikoku Shidokan Shorin Ryu in 1979 upon returning to MSU from Paraguay for graduate studies. He continues to train with Sensei Iha until now and is one of Iha’s senior students.

   

During Roberto’s long-term overseas assignments stationed as a Foreign Service Officer (Diplomat), he trained US Embassy Security Personnel, US Marines, foreign security operatives, and people just like you.  When stationed in the Washington, DC area he also always built a cadre of dedicated Shidokan Shorin Ryu Karate students.  Now retired from the Foreign Service he concentrates on teaching proven-effective adult-focused self defense karate at the Virginia Dojo in Alexandria VA.

Roberto’s Northern Virginia karate students convinced him to rent a more permanent location for his Karate instruction instead of wandering from building to building renting out space on an hourly basis in School gymnasiums and Churchs. In 2017 he and his students decided upon a unique space in an Alexandria office condominium complex. His students have built the office into an outstanding training space evoking the sense and feel of a traditional Okinawan Karate Dojo. In addition to karate training in Alexandria, many students drop by just to meditate, or for Yoga or Tai Chi classes. Feel Free to drop by even if just to see the dojo space!

Many people call the Virginia Okinawan Karate Dojo the Martial Arts Grad School because Roberto teaches pressure points, joint locks and grappling applications that Sensei Iha taught him during 40+ years of instruction in addition to the obvious percussion techniques of punching, kicking and blocking.

Roberto is a member of the East Coast Beikoku Shidokan Karate Black Belt Promotion Board and the National Black Belt Promotion Board. Among his numerous awards are:

“Best Martial Arts Teacher in Washington, DC” in 2017.

“Best Martial Arts in Washington, DC” 2018

“Best Martial Arts in Alexandria” 2019

“Best of Lessons.com” in 2018 and 2019

In addition to English, Roberto speaks Spanish, Italian, German, and some Guarani, Portuguese and Japanese.

 

Virginia Dojo

6416 Grovedale Dr., #302-B, Alexandria, VA 22310

 

 

 

 

 

Bunkai in dojo

Injuries and Karate Training

Injuries and Karate Training

Eventually, we get injured. Usually, from working in the garden, falling off a chair or ladder at home, falling on the trampoline, twisting an ankle while ice skating, lifting something, etc. Now and then we pull a muscle, or hit the makiwara too hard for too long. Generally, your injury is from outside the dojo.

Many people stay away from the dojo when inured. When actually they have an opportunity to grow in their training by just observing a class.

Sensei Iha says when you are injured come to class even if just to watch. Recent studies show that your brain follows along with a kata or partner drill it knows, and may even help you learn a new kata or drill. Your brain doesn’t differentiate between actually doing exercises you know, versus just watching it performed. When you are able to do some movement join in class and do what you can but don’t force your body to exercise your injured areas.

If you have a virus, flu, cold, coronavirus stay home and recover rather than spreading your germs!

 

Can You Mentally Perform Your Kata?

Whether injured or not, try mentally performing a kata, kumite or bunkai. Start with Kihon Kata 1 and work your way through the katas you know. Can you finish Naihanchi Shodan in your head without having to move your feet and arms? Did you notice an increase in your heartbeat or even beginning to sweat? This is another method to broaden your karate training. Once you do the kata mentally from start to finish you may discover there are transitions that you don’t understand well. You may also notice that you are just throwing your arms while performing a uke (reception/block) rather than using your hips.

Roberto

Kiyoshi, 8th Dan, Virginia Dojo

==========================

Roberto began studying martial arts in 1969 at Michigan State University.  He studied Judo,  Kung Fu and various styles of Karate. He started studying with now Grand Master Seikichi Iha, 10th Dan, Beikoku Shidokan Shorin Ryu in 1979 upon returning to MSU from Paraguay for graduate studies. He continues to train with Sensei Iha until now and is one of Iha’s senior students.

   

During Roberto’s long-term overseas assignments stationed as a Foreign Service Officer (Diplomat), he trained US Embassy Security Personnel, US Marines, foreign security operatives, and people just like you.  When stationed in the Washington, DC area he also always built a cadre of dedicated Shidokan Shorin Ryu Karate students.  Now retired from the Foreign Service he concentrates on teaching proven-effective adult-focused self defense karate at the Virginia Dojo in Alexandria VA.

Roberto’s Northern Virginia karate students convinced him to rent a more permanent location for his Karate instruction instead of wandering from building to building renting out space on an hourly basis in School gymnasiums and Churchs. In 2017 he and his students decided upon a unique space in an Alexandria office condominium complex. His students have built the office into an outstanding training space evoking the sense and feel of a traditional Okinawan Karate Dojo. In addition to karate training in Alexandria, many students drop by just to meditate, or for Yoga or Tai Chi classes. Feel Free to drop by even if just to see the dojo space!

Many people call the Virginia Okinawan Karate Dojo the Martial Arts Grad School because Roberto teaches pressure points, joint locks and grappling applications that Sensei Iha taught him during 40+ years of instruction in addition to the obvious percussion techniques of punching, kicking and blocking.

Roberto is a member of the East Coast Beikoku Shidokan Karate Black Belt Promotion Board and the National Black Belt Promotion Board. Among his numerous awards are:

“Best Martial Arts Teacher in Washington, DC” in 2017.

“Best Martial Arts in Washington, DC” 2018

“Best Martial Arts in Alexandria” 2019

“Best of Lessons.com” in 2018 and 2019

In addition to English, Roberto speaks Spanish, Italian, German, and some Guarani, Portuguese and Japanese.

 

Virginia Dojo

6416 Grovedale Dr., #302-B, Alexandria, VA 22310

 

virginia dojo view

Cold, Flu & Coronavirus Prevention in the Dojo

Cold, Flu & Coronavirus Prevention in the Dojo

While at the Doctor’s office last week, the reception area was packed with people with cold and flu symptoms. I have never seen it so bad.  According to news reports, the Coronavirus will spread. 
 
We all need to take measures to reduce contagion possibilities in the dojo. 
 
To prevent the spread of colds, flu and maybe the Coronavirus I just had the Dojo air ducts and heating/ac system cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized. You should notice cleaner, fresher air with fewer air suspended dust particles.

virginia dojo view
Virginia Karate Dojo

 
Personal Prevention Activities:
– Use the hand sanitizer at the front door upon arrival for class and departure.
– Instead of shaking hands at the end of class we will just bow to each other. 
– Use Lysol swabs to disinfect door handles.  That is the one thing that almost everyone touches.
 
Dojo Activities:
– At the beginning of class let’s vacuum the floor. Both vacuums work.
– At the end of the day let’s quickly mop the floor with Lysol. No need to scrub, just wet mop and rub over two tiles, rinse and dry. This goes very quickly, especially when people take turns.
 
If you can think of anything else we should do let me know.

Roberto

Kiyoshi, 8th Dan, Virginia Dojo

==========================

Roberto began studying martial arts in 1969 at Michigan State University.  He studied Judo,  Kung Fu and various styles of Karate.  He started studying with now Grand Master Seikichi Iha, 10th Dan, Beikoku Shidokan Shorin Ryu in 1979 when he returned to MSU from Paraguay for graduate studies and continues until now as one of Iha’s senior students.

   

During Roberto’s long-term overseas assignments stationed as a Foreign Service Officer (Diplomat), he trained US Embassy Security Personnel, US Marines, foreign security operatives, and people just like you.  When stationed in the Washington, DC area he also always built a cadre of dedicated Shidokan Shorin Ryu Karate students.  Now retired from the Foreign Service he concentrates on teaching proven-effective adult-focused self defense karate at the Virginia Dojo in Alexandria VA.

Roberto’s Northern Virginia karate students convinced him to rent a more permanent location for his Karate instruction instead of wandering from building to building renting out space on an hourly basis in School gymnasiums and Churchs. In 2017 he and his students decided upon a unique space in an Alexandria office condominium complex. His students have built the office into an outstanding training space evoking the sense and feel of a traditional Okinawan Karate Dojo. In addition to karate training in Alexandria, many students drop by just to meditate, or for Yoga or Tai Chi classes. Feel Free to drop by even if just to see the dojo space!

Many people call the Virginia Okinawan Karate Dojo the Martial Arts Grad School because Roberto teaches pressure points, joint locks and grappling applications that Sensei Iha taught him during 40+ years of instruction in addition to the obvious percussion techniques of punching, kicking and blocking.

Roberto is a member of the East Coast Beikoku Shidokan Karate Black Belt Promotion Board and the National Black Belt Promotion Board. Among his numerous awards are:

“Best Martial Arts Teacher in Washington, DC” in 2017.

“Best Martial Arts in Washington, DC” 2018

“Best Martial Arts in Alexandria” 2019

“Best of Lessons.com” in 2018 and 2019

In addition to English, Roberto speaks Spanish, Italian, German, and some Guarani, Portuguese and Japanese.

 

Virginia Dojo

6416 Grovedale Dr., #302-B, Alexandria, VA 22310

Virginia Dojo Pinan Defense

Okinawan Karate Alexandria: Pinan Katas

Okinawan Karate Alexandria: Pinan Karate Katas

Anko Itosu reportedly developed the five Pinan Katas (called Heinan in Shotokan and other Japanese styles) prevalent in Okinawan Shorin Ryu Karate to teach appropriate Karate techniques to school children. Many claim these katas derived from a now lost Channan kata. Yet others think many of the moves were taken from the Kusanku katas.

What does Pinan mean? Pinan has no direct translation in Uchinaguuchi (the Okinawan Language) or Japanese. I have heard and read that Pinan means things like “Divine Wind”, “Fighting Spirit”, “Fighting to the East”, and stuff like that. Many historical Okinawan Martial Artists trained with Chinese in Okinawa and China. Reportedly, Pinan in the Chinese dialect spoken in Fujian Province, the province closest to Okinawa, means “Stay Safe”.

Virginia Dojo Pinan Defense
Pinan Shodan kata Self Defense Karate

There are so many many assumptions around the meaning of the Pinan name, and Itosu didn’t specify what it meant, that the definition “Stay Safe” sounds the most reasonable to me at this time and I will stick with that until someone comes up with something better.

Stay Safe!

Roberto

Kiyoshi, 8th Dan, Virginia Dojo

==========================

Roberto began studying martial arts in 1969 at Michigan State University.  He studied Judo,  Kung Fu and various styles of Karate. He started studying with now Grand Master Seikichi Iha, 10th Dan, Beikoku Shidokan Shorin Ryu in 1979 when he returned to MSU from Paraguay for graduate studies and continues until now as one of Iha’s senior students.

During Roberto’s long-term overseas assignments stationed as a Foreign Service Officer (Diplomat), he trained US Embassy Security Personnel, US Marines, foreign security operatives, and people just like you.  When stationed in the Washington, DC area he also always built a cadre of dedicated Shidokan Shorin Ryu Karate students.  Now retired from the Foreign Service he concentrates on teaching proven-effective adult-focused self defense karate at the Virginia Dojo in Alexandria VA.

Roberto’s Northern Virginia karate students convinced him to rent a more permanent location for his Karate instruction instead of wandering from building to building renting out space on an hourly basis in School gymnasiums and Churchs. In 2017 he and his students decided upon a unique space in an Alexandria office condominium complex. His students have built the office into an outstanding training space evoking the sense and feel of a traditional Okinawan Karate Dojo. In addition to karate training in Alexandria, many students drop by just to meditate, or for Yoga or Tai Chi classes. Drop by even if just to appreciate the dojo!

Many people call the Virginia Okinawan Karate Dojo the Martial Arts Grad School because Roberto teaches pressure points, joint locks and grappling applications that Sensei Iha taught him during 40+ years of instruction in addition to the obvious percussion techniques of punching, kicking and blocking.

Roberto is a member of the East Coast Beikoku Shidokan Karate Black Belt Promotion Board and the National Black Belt Promotion Board. Among his numerous awards are:

“Best Martial Arts Teacher in Washington, DC” in 2017.

“Best Martial Arts in Washington, DC” 2018

“Best Martial Arts in Alexandria” 2019

“Best of Lessons.com” in 2018 and 2019

In addition to English, Roberto speaks Spanish, Italian, German, and some Guarani, Portuguese and Japanese.

 

Virginia Dojo

6416 Grovedale Dr., #302-B, Alexandria, VA 22310