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Martial Arts Philosophy

The philosophy behind what we do — either the Okinawan/Japanese traditional or the more modern application to Western society, particularly U.S.

Shoto’s 20 Principles: Keep your karate boiling

Shoto’s 20 Principles: Keep your karate boiling

This is the first in an occasional series of short posts on Gichin Funakoshi’s “twenty principles of karate,” a set of concise axioms describing the Master’s philosophy of applying one’s study of karate to one’s everyday life, and vice versa. The 20 principles were first published in 1938, when Funakoshi (“Shoto”) was 70 years old. The English translation I am…

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The legal elements of self-defense: Innocence

The legal elements of self-defense: Innocence

This is the second post in the series on legal aspects of self-defense.  We will cover the five elements of a physical encounter that must be demonstrated to the criminal justice system in order to make a successful claim of “self defense.” I am basing these on the highly informative book “The Law of Self Defense” by Andrew Branca, whose…

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Top 10 reasons for attending karate class faithfully

Top 10 reasons for attending karate class faithfully

We currently have 3 class days per week. One of my goals is to increase that to 4 during 2019. We’re not quite at the point where that would be justified, but we will get there. Here is my “Top 10” list for regular karate class attendance, somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Not in any particular order. You will progress more quickly. When…

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Belt Ranks (Kyu)

Belt Ranks (Kyu)

(This is a guest post by Alan Gochin.) When a new student begins their training, they are continuously being monitored by the Sensei. In today’s karate, a student’s progress is measured by their ability to retain and improve upon the quality of their basic skills and their katas. Once the Sensei feels that the student has become confident with a prescribed…

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Our Dojo Kun

Our Dojo Kun

(Guest post by Alan Gochin) Generally credited to Gichin Funakoshi (but rumored to have been created by Kanga Sakukawa, an 18th-century Okinawan karate proponent), the Shotokan Karate “dojo kun” serves as a set of five guiding principles, recited at the start/end of each training session in most Shotokan organizations. The dojo kun is intended to frame the practice within an ethical…

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