Classes are held at
Mill Park Primary School, Blamey Ave, Mill Park 3082.
Monday and Wednesday nights from 7pm to 8.30pm.
A Typical Karate-do Class…
Zen Ki Budo Ryu Karate-do is a blend of Okinawan Shorin-ryu and Goju-ryu Karate-do. There are many styles that blend both these systems since they are both the main styles of Okinawan Karate-do. Shorin-ryu is generally a straightforward and linear system and it’s strength lies in its simplicity, speed and power and has a strong influence from the Chinese Shaolin Martial arts styles.
Goju-ryu is generally a more circular hard and soft system that has a more obvious link and influence to the internal systems of Chinese Martial arts such as White Crane Kung fu, Pa-kua and Tai Chi.
Our Dojo has a clear focus on the study of Kata and the meaning behind its practice. We believe that Kata are the heart and soul of Karate-do study and the aim is to understand all the practical applications of the movements in the Kata.
Kihon (basic training) is also practiced diligently and a focus on practical self defence is a necessary ingredient of the teaching. All students practice basics together and a strong focus is on the study of Ki within the techniques. Juji Kumite, Chi-Kung and some Okinawan weapons are also part of the training in our Dojo.
Karate-do teaching in our school has a strong focus on Zen and the aspect of Ki (also known as Chi).
Start of Class…
- A short session of Zen meditation (only about 1 min) and a formal rei (bow) to each other as a sign of respect.
- Warm up exercises, stretching, abdominal exercises, pushups, focus pad work, stamina training and drills with a partner.
- Kihon : Basic techniques of Karate-do and their applications for self defences.
- Kata: The forms of Karate-do practiced with a strong emphasis on Zen and Ki.
- Bunkai: The applications of these Kata either external or internal.
- Kumite: Sparring with a partner, free or pre-arranged in with controlled light contact.
- Finishing off with warm down exercise, Zen meditation and the formal rei.
Zen Meditation and the formal Rei.
The main aim of Zen Meditation and the formal rei is to prepare us for the study of Karate-do and to focus the mind on the present. The aim is to detach ourselves temporally from our everyday lives and to leave our troubles behind us for a while. We often find that it does in fact clear the mind and leave us in a more relaxed state of mind by the duration of the class. Zen meditation also allows us to be more creative, by slowing down our thoughts and calming the mind even for a while fresh ideas often enter our minds that are often cluttered by everyday life. The Rei reminds us to be respectful to our teachers past and present and to each other and never discriminating because of our differences. We are all there to learn in the true spirit of Karate-do.
Stretching, warming and conditioning the body is very important in order to minimize injuries sustained during training. There are countless amounts of exercises many dating back to Indian Hatha Yoga and many different abdominal exercises. You should spend at least 30 minutes warming up and stretching especially as you get older. Aim to stretch and strengthen every part of your body that will be used for training and this should reduce injury to those areas.
The combinations of exercises can vary from practitioner to practitioner and it is no crime to change and develop routines as you learn more and more about the human body. It is of utmost importance that you listen to your own body. Exercise it in such a way that the training will always be a benefit to you and will allow you to continue your study throughout your life.
Kihon or basic techniques are practiced together as a mixed group and the emphasis varies depending on the level of the student. The beginner and intermediate levels focus more on the physical aspects with an aim to develop their technique and also their mental abilities. The more advanced students have more of a spiritual focus where Zen aspects are the aim and this tends to be quite difficult and is a great challenge in their training.
Like most other Karate-do Dojos we aim to perfect technique and to engage the mind, body and the spirit. The kihon are also studied as a way of self defence where the student and teacher alike aim to understand the practical applications of each basic technique and how to interpret and adapt them to real life situations. Kihon training also aims to develop your speed and power and hence improve your Kata and Jiju Kumite.
Kata and Bunkai.
Kata are pre-arranged combinations of defensive and offensive techniques that are sequenced in certain manner. The Karate-do practitioner will with time memorizes them and hence can be handed down from generation to generation through practice rather than in written form. Kata are said to be the living text books of Karate-do. They contain not only the physical and mental but also the spiritual aspects of the art and are the main reason why Karate-do exists today as a Martial art.
Bunkai are the self-defence applications of the techniques and combinations and if interpreted correctly are very effective and realistic . These techniques must continuously be analyzed and be relevant to the student. The relevance may be either physical, mental or spiritual and it is important to note that Karate-do and the practice of Kata is both an external and internal study.
There are many Kata practiced by many schools, in our school we combine the study of certain Shorin-ryu Kata with certain Goju-ryu Kata. The Shorin-ryu Kata are generally more direct, fast and relatively technically simple. The Goju-ryu Kata are generally mixed with hard and soft techniques with a more obvious focus on Chi extension through breathing techniques.
Zen Ki Budo Ryu Karate-do Kata.
- Tai kyo ku Shodan.
- Pinan Shodan.
- Pinan Nidan.
- Pinan Sandan.
- Pinan Yondan.
- Pinan Godan.
- Passai Dai.
In our school Kata is practiced and interpreted in three main ways;
- As a combination of realistic Bunkai where the Kata is practiced in a stop / start speed.
- As a flowing continuous multiple attack interpretation where there is no stopping between Bunkai. The techniques, bunkai and directions may vary greatly with this method.
- As a Tai Chi form where the emphasis is on internal Chi and Zen training and the focus on breathing technique is at a higher level and where the form is better practiced outdoors.
Kumite is sparring or partner work where the attacks and defences can be pre-arranged or free.
Tai Sebaki Kumite.
Pre-arranged body shifting / dodging Kumite in our school is known as Tai Sebaki Kumite. When Kumite is pre-arranged the defender is well aware of the attack that will be used by the attacking Karate-ka (Student of Karate-do). The Karate-ka will also know (or will be shown by the teacher) which techniques to be used. This allows for a comparatively safe practice where the main aims are to develop good timing, distance evaluation, confidence and body shifting techniques (tai Sebaki).
The aim of this type of Kumite is to teach the Karate-ka to apply all the main basic techniques of Karate-do. Tai Sebaki Kumite is an important aspect of our philosophy. We teach to go around the attacker and using the attacker’s own momentum, strength and anger against them.
Push hands Kumite.
Push hands Kumite is practiced with a partner where one thrusts his palm or fist forward with the intent to push the opponent over. By keeping in constant touch with the attackers wrist and arm the defender re-directs the push so as to evade the attack. At this point the defender then becomes the attacker and the role is reversed temporarily. A common way to practice this is by constantly moving forward with the attack and around for the evasive technique. This is also a good way of teaching the concept of yin and yang where you go soft when your opponent is strong and you go strong when the opponent is soft.
Jiju Kumite is the practice of controlled free sparring with a partner and the aim is to try different techniques and combinations. Learning to read the opponent’s intentions and reactions to different situations when sparring is one of the best skills to be acquired from this practice. This Kumite can be quite difficult to practice since it requires training in the basics of sparring both defensive and offensive. As you attack your opponent you expose many areas of your body and hence become very vulnerable. You therefore need to develop a certain amount of confidence to improve in your ability to move in an accretive way and place your opponent on the defense.
To be good at Jiju Kumite you must regularly practice on the punching bag, floor to ceiling speed ball and practice may rounds of shadow boxing. The best practice however is to spar with as many different people and different levels as possible so that you develop the ability to adapt to different situations.
Sticky hands Jiju Kumite.
Sticky hands Kumite is very close in sparring. The aim is to develop your sense of feel for the opponent’s energy (Ki) and to open him or her up for an attack. It is very flowing and very light contact so light that the opponent should never feel threatened with any injury. There is no protection worn and the Karate-ka are constantly told to be light , flowing , controlled and always aim to open the opponent up for an attack. The focus in this form of sparring is not so much trying out different techniques but to develop a high level of confidence sparring close in.
Warm down exercises.
Warming down exercises and light stretching is an important aspect of a class. It allows you to stretch out muscles and ligaments that may become tight and stiff during the practice of Karate-do.
This will allow your body to recover much more efficiently the next day and it will become more and more important as you get older. Chi Kung exercises are often used for this purpose where the focus on deep breathing are very beneficial in relaxing both the mind and the body. This is then followed by the formal ‘ Rei ‘ similar to the start of the class.
End of class.
After the formal rei at the conclusion of the class the Shihan ( head teacher ) or the Sensei
( teacher) will often aim to explain or interpret an aspect of the art of Karate-do or Budo ( martial arts). This will often be of a philosophical nature and one that in one form or another has been handed down through the teachings of the martial arts. He or she will also inform the students of any news of upcoming events, special classes or any other relevant information.