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

 

 

Virginia Dojo Karate Training

WhenWill I Know Enough So I Can Quit Karate Taking Classes?

When Will I Learn Enough So I Can Quit Taking Karate Classes?

How Long Do I Have to Study Karate Before I Can Defend Myself?

If I Get a Karate Black Belt Can I Defense Myself?

Why Do You Study Karate for So Long?

………You Must Not Be Very Good If You Have to Keep Taking Classes….

 

The longer you train in Karate the more often you hear these types of questions and comments.

Many think that getting a Black Belt is like obtaining a High School or College Degree and you don’t need to continue studying any longer. Yet Karate’s skill-based knowledge depends upon continual practice in order to maintain and expand the knowledge and skills involved. Anyone who takes a month of training off and returns to the dojo discovers the frustration of attempting to remember kata, kumite and bunkai. Why would you expect that if you were in a self defense situation 3 years down the road you would suddenly remember how to quickly and efficiently respond to an attack?

 

Self Discovery:

As Patrick McCarthy often writes, “Karate is the Pathway between Self Defense and Self Discovery!”  You must keep training in karate to maintain your self defense skills. Yet, surprisingly, the more you train the more you discover about yourself and your karate techniques and applications. Self Discovery is what keeps people training year after year as you suddenly have insights on applications and movements. You eventually discover that your punch is a block is an attack is a throw is just a punch. This alone provides decades of exploration as the more you research the more you find. Your application toolbox quickly expands and you wonder how you will remember all these new applications.

Yet more importantly you begin exploring applications you also discover more about yourself, how you maintain control, how you react in adverse situations. You move from being an ego-based being to an energy-conserving being. Rather than getting upset or stressed about daily thing you just shrug and blow them off. It takes energy to be upset about this and that energy could be used for your karate training. After decades you discover that there will always be others who will criticize you for being you, for your karate, for your hairstyle, etc. and you just don’t care because you are controlling your energy now rather than being buffeted about by social criticism.

 

Roberto

Kiyoshi, 8th Dan, Virginia Dojo

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

Roberto’s karate students insisted he rent a more permanent location for his Self Defense Karate instruction instead of wandering from building to building renting out space in School gymnasiums and Churchs. In 2017 he and his Karate students decided upon an office space in an office condominium complex. His students have built the space into an outstanding training area evoking the sense and feel of a traditional Okinawan Karate Dojo. Many students drop by just to meditate, or for Yoga or Tai Chi classes. Drop by even if just to see and appreciate the dojo space!

Roberto began studying martial arts in 1969.  He studied judo, Shorinkan Shorin Ryu karate, Shotokan Karate, Goju Ryu, and Kung Fu.  He started studying with now Grand Master Seikichi Iha, 10th Dan, Beikoku Shidokan Shorin Ryu in 1979 and continues until now as one of his 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 in self defense karate.  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 in Alexandria at the Virginia Dojo.

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

 

Virginia Dojo

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

Regular Adult Class times: 7 PM Sunday thru Thursday, 9 AM Saturday, noon Tuesday & Thursday. Women Only Class 6 PM Monday & Wednesday. Kids 5:30 PM Tuesday & Thursday