Wednesday, October 27, 2010

You Never Know

Well my back has decided to act up again and I am out of karate-commission for the near future. I will see what the orthopedist comes up with later this week. 

On the flipside I am hoping to get an article from a special guest pretty soon, keep your e-feelers out for that.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Thanks for the Support!

Thanks for all the support. We cracked the Top 30 at Martial Arts Listings 'Topsites' this week!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Judging and Performing in Class

One of the class exercises I like is performing kata with your group (students in the same rank range) in front of the class and instructors. You get to put to use some of what you have learned and demonstrate technique appropriate to your level. It also gives you a whole slew of constructive criticism. Our karate-ka give a lot of good feedback. :) I like to think it's because we all strive for perfection in our karate.

One of our instructors articulated something very well that I now realize I have always subconsciously felt. When you judge, or focus on providing constructive criticism for others, you better know your own karate. Detecting technique improvements/deficiencies in performers makes you think about and better understand your own karate deficiencies. Sometimes there is a lot out of whack, other times there only a few comments; but there is always something you can use to improve yourself.

I definitely observed and learned a lot in this class. The hard part is remembering and then incorporating it all.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Arnica for Healing Bruises

One of the major parts of karate that Uechi Kanbun and other karateka-ka of his time studied was gusuri. Gusuri is the Okinawan word for medicine and Uechi's gusuri was derived from the alternative medical system he studied and traded in for 10 years in China.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is one of many categories of AMS, including homeopathy and herbalism. Traditional Medicine has been used in every culture and place from Asia to the Middle East, Europe to the Americas. It is continued in use even after the advent of our current medicine based on science. I tend to use what works for me. For example, if I have a fever, I will use ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help knock it out. But if there was an otherwise harmless plant or extraction that had the same effect, I would use it instead. It's a personal preference.

When it comes to bruises and some muscle pain I have found that ointments/salves with Arnica (Wolf's Bane), which is native to Europe, helps them heal faster that without any treatment. Arnica has been used in Europe for years and is purported to help with other ailments as well. I can't and won't vouch for these. There have been studies conducted on its effectiveness in healing bruises but none scientifically demonstrate that it works any better than a placebo. Yet it works for me.

Arnica comes in different forms and concentrations, I have not tried them all. I tend to stick with products made by Weleda, a well-known Swiss company that is a "...manufacturer of natural cosmetics, nutritional supplements and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs". Disclaimer: my mother's best friend worked at Weleda's major site in Stuttgart so we always got discounted and free samples growing up.

The website I use to buy Arnica creams has many Weleda and other products but you need to know some German - prices are in US Dollars though. See the link below for Paul'sMart Europe. You can also find it on Target and CVS sell other brand arnica products but I don't know anything about the companies or their products. You will find some Weleda products in Whole Foods but the prices they charge amount to highway robbery.

I am not going to recommend arnica but believe it can help heal bruises more quickly than anything else. You can also condition better, and more often. :)

Links used in this article:

Friday, October 8, 2010

Master Uechi Kanei Performing Sanchin

I have never really looked at the digital clips of Uechi Kanei online until recently. When I looked at this clip I thought, this is what I see all the time in our dojo from our Dans and some 1 Kyus. Granted there are some differences, but I would imagine that a lot of them are due to this clip was probably made for slower, demonstration purposes.

My Sensei, Nestor Folta, studied under the direct tutelage of Uechi Kanei for five years in Okinawa. I can see the how he learned from Uechi Kanei. I feel pretty good that we are learning Sanchin the way it’s supposed to be done in Uechi-ryu. Though I still have a long way to go.

Here then is a sample of what you may see in our dojo on any given day.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Karate in Slow Motion

I don't have much information on where this clip came from other than it is a Uechi-ryu dojo and the clip is from a BBC series called "Hai! Karate". See links for the show here and here. It's a really well done video on what you can do with Uechi conditioning. Enjoy.

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