Practicing classical Japanese karate in a safe and collegial setting.



Kobudo

A Means to an End

When one begins practicing karate one must accept a grim reality: karate techniques are designed to injure people. In the event that techniques are to be used for practical (physical) purposes there is a very likely chance that someone (hopefully the opponent) will get hurt. The pendulum, however, swings both ways. When engaging in an exchange involving karate, practitioners must accept the fact that there is a very real chance that they might also get hurt. Karate is the means and pain is the end.

At some point in their training, most karatek...

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Opening and Closing Ceremonies

One of the most important practices in a traditional Japanese karate dojo is the observance of the opening and closing ceremonies. This very formal ritual serves to bookend practice and contextualize the training. At the Charles Fink Karate Dojo, these ceremonies are performed in seiza (formal seated position) but on some occasions, they are performed in musubi dachi (formal standing position). In either case, the ceremonies are performed with serenity and composure and include a period of mokuso (see this blog entry).

The ceremonies include a series of bows. My o...

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Home of the World Champion!

Every city has at least one dojo that claims to be the “Home of the World Champion”. It’s an impressive claim, but I am not so easily convinced. Mostly because it depends on what they mean by “World”. When I was a green belt (c. 1996), I entered a tournament called the “World Championships of Goju Ryu” and won both the kata and kumite divisions making me a World Champion in two divisions. Not only that, I returned the following year as a blue belt and won silver medal in kata and defended my title in kumite. I have the medals to prove it – they are among the few I have kept over the years. What the story fails to mention is that the tournament was hosted by a small dojo in Sudbury (Ontario, Canada) and that six people participated (three of which were my own dojomates).

My point is that because karate is not regula...

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