Goju Karate-Jutsu Classes for Adults in Chertsey, Surrey.

Remember…

“What someone hears, they forget; what someone sees, they remember; what someone does, they learn”

Surrey Karate Academy offer adult Goju Ryu Karate-Jutsu classes with a focus on practical and effective techniques. With small classes we are able to tailor tuition to the individuals needs. We operate an ‘open door’ policy and anyone is welcome to come and train with us regardless of experience or background, whether on a regular or ad-hoc basis.

Please contact Fernando Mahamud, Mark Woollard or Brad Candy for further details to arrange a session.

Surrey Karate Academy is a member of to the Karate Jutsu Gakkai (KJG), associated to the European Goju Karate Federation (EGKF) and the British Martial Art and Boxing Association (BMABA). Our KJG chief instructor is Shihan Ben Craft (6th Dan).

SKA instructors train and study in a variety of associations and often attends seminars with shihan Leo Lipinski 8th Dan Seiwakai, 7th Dan JKF Goju Kai and President of Goju Kai Europel, and with 8th Dan Seiwakai President Hanshi Seiichi Fujiwara in UK and Japan.

We also study Koryu Uchinadi (KU) with Hanshi McCarthy’s, at any given opportunity, and with a number of superb shidoin KU instructors in the South of England.

We have a keen interest in studying Sensei Taira Masaji’s technology and look forward to growing our understanding of the Kenkyukai karate and applications after attending a 3 day seminar on the 7th, 8th and 9th of October 2016.

Train and study Goju Karate-Jutsu  with us at Riverbourne on Mondays and Thursdays, between 8:15pm and 9:50pm

Call now 07844409642 or email info@surreykarateacademy.co.uk for further information.

 

Watch “THE BEST NAIHANCHIN/TEKKI SHODAN KATA BUNKAI FLOW DRILL” on YouTube

Excellent work Naihanchi shodan drill by sensei Samir Berardo of the Miudokan dojo (www.muidokan.com), featured in global karate blooger Jesse Enkamp’s YouTube channel.

The video is an excellent taster of the rich functionality that Naihanchi offers and the explanations offered by Samir are very solid, well structured and executed with a very pedagogic approach.

This is a drill I’m determined to learn!

Session Review

Having 90% of us in attendance this evening for our usual Monday’s SKA session afforded the opportunity of an extremely rich and dynamic karate class to unfold.

The bi weekly class sizes do vary in number and each time there is a different quality of engagement and dynamic with its own distinctive flavour.

We were unable to get into the small studio this evening for a 7.30pm start so we had to wait for our 8.15pm slot in the large mirrored dojo after a Yoga class.

I was pleased that Jean – Claud Ruwady’s Yoga class students were starting to exit by 8.17pm.

Fernando took us through a brief though intense and varied warm up session from 8.20pm start.

By 8.25pm we were listening to those karatekas (who were unable to attend last week Thursday) give their individual reflections and feed back on our recent KJG2 Seminar in Chelmsford, whilst we simultaneously did our own unique body stretches.

By 8.30pm Fernando was able to split the class in two, with very different components.

Brad led haishu shodan kihon ido with Mark, Damo and Brendon, whilst Matt and Keith led myself and Nick respectively through the first four basic kata uke shodan blocks.

Fernando superbly interjected across all the karateka engagements teasing out highlights to polish and adjust our form in the various executions. At the same time Fernando was also addressing and supporting the coaching techniques of those karateka apparent when delivering the form structure content.

Matt was able to really drill down on the depth and feeling of the kata uke shodan blocks with me as there was plenty of time within an hour to unpick so much detail, which also allowed Matt to listen very carefully to my responses and then make specific tailor made progression steps for me.

Matt reminded me that he had mentioned before the specific power of the uke to feel and visualise each and every time the power of the tori punch. Matt also acknowledged that there will inevitably come a spontaneous and magical moment in my transition of kata performance delivery to display the most intense depth of feeling in kata uke shodan. He then reiterated how your whole body moves forward to control your tori partner after the simultaneous block.

Fernando mentioned the conscious mind set slipping into the unconscious mind set during this transition process, pointing out that these first four basic kata uke kihon blocks had an infinite number of layers to dissect and comprehend.

Fernando also pointed out how paramount it was to practice the kata uke shodan kihon at ten miles per hour and really understand what the function is at every detail during the movement and transition of same.

It is of course important to get the pattern embedded in your muscle memory with the first motion of a block which is always delivered from the leading leg and the punch from the reverse leg, and hence which is then alternated on both right and left legs.

The next stage is opposite with the block from the reverse leg and punch delivered from the forward leg, then alternate right and left legs stepping back and forth.

I was in my own karate world with Matt for the best part of an hour, which was absolutely fantastic Matt. I said to Fernando and Matt, if only I could do it all over again for another hour and go to the bowels of the karate kihon earth.

Alas, it was now 9.30pm and Fernando had asked Mark, an hour prior, to keep a strict clock watch time in order to include the last twenty minutes for Mark’s delivery and coaching on sensei Paul Enfield’s connector drills, as agreed last week Thursday.

It was great for me to then be paired up with Brad (and then Brendon) for this connector drill work. Eight of us evenly paired up with Mark coach facilitating here the pedantic attention to detail and seemless transitions of the touch connector flow drills. Kinesthetic sensory acuity is paramount in such exercise.

It does take a while to get these connector drills under the skin and feel comfortable in your unconscious mind, allowing your wrist touch action to come to the fore without a hand grab.

When we moved on (in the last few minutes of the class duration) to the final part of the third stage of the connector drill work, I found myself briefly paired up with Damo.

We were practicing the final push to the shoulder whilst pulling your partner’s arm wrist to off set their balance, and then sliding your right arm under and over to roll round the upper elbow arm of your opponent and push them to the floor with your body weight.

Damo mentioned to me that it felt different for him on the three separate executions I delivered upon him. This he thought was a good and pleasing thing as it brought out slightly different but very effective control techniques on my part.

My inner thoughts of the richness and depth of tonight’s SKA class were voiced by Keith and Matt, and acknowledged by all others present.

Thank you Fernando, Mark, Brad, Damo, Matt, Brendon, Keith, and Nick for a wonderful SKA Monday class session.

Have a good Tuesday at work fellow karatekas!

By Andy Lovegrove

Yudansha and Mudansha grading at KJG2

Three candidates passed with flying colours their respective grading at our second annual Karate Jutsu Gakkai Gasshuku.

Andy has been training for over 4 years and his commitment, discipline and determination has been second to none. Pound for pound, he has been the karateka that has progressed the most in his personal journey. His 2nd level mudansha (blue belt) is more than deserved.

Andy has attended a large number of karate seminars and classes including a seiwakai annual seminar, Iain Abernethy and Andy Kidd workshop, various JJ classes at our sister dojo and friends in Staines, etc.

Brendon joined as a 1st level mudansha (brown belt) from his previous goju training in South Africa. Brendon joined SKA over two ago and without ego, has incorporated much of our KJG technology and built on top of his foundations. This has been a tough and demanding training regime at times, resulting on Brendon developing his own karate following KJG fundamentals and core principles and finding a platform to draw it out from within. Brendon’s self-belief and confidence has grown exponentially over the last 6 months and his transformation to becoming a Yudansha is well deserved.

Brad has been training continuosly for 8 years. My first and most loyal student and friend, Brad was instrumental to the birth of SKA: first as a single student for the most part of 18 months, he has attended a large number of karate seminars and classes at the OKA, Seiwakai Sunday classes, Seiwakai annual seminars, Koryu Uchinadi gasshuku, Iain Abernethy + Andy Kidd joint workshop, various JJ classes at our sister dojo and friends in Staines and many more. Brad’s commitment to Karate and martial arts is just superb.

Brad’s, Brendon’s and Andy’s grading was of the highest standards and I’m just so proud of being part of their journey and witnessed the growth in their karate journey and individual growth.

Ossu!

A Glance into Hanshi McCarthy’s insight of Karate

The following extract is the response Hashi McCarthy sent to a fellow martial artist who emailed him.

I have highlighted fragments of the text which I found of special interest or, for whatever reason, have resonated in my ears. I have also deleted anything that makes reference to any specific person or association to focus on the educational material encapsulated in this wonderful email.

I’ve left the very last paragraph of the original email to highlight his wonderful open-door policy by which Hanshi lives karate (and his life).

The lecture you are about to read is master class and this is reproduced with Hanshi McCarthy’s permission.

Enjoy!

“Greetings from Brisbane, Australia where I hope that my reply finds you well and getting ready to enjoy the Christmas season. It’s always nice to meet a new friend and enjoy some camaraderie with likeminded people on the pathway of the fighting arts.

Of course, you couldn’t be more correct in saying that Karate is a system of fighting built upon an incomplete study of Chinese Quanfa … and arguably that which originates in Yongchun. Having been involved with Karate for so many years [I assume Shotokan] I am confident you have must experienced all that which is lacking in the modern Japanese interpretation of the art, and its competitive element, too.

Abstract

In 1985, and after 21 years of studying Karate in my home country of Canada [fyi, I first started in 1964 and later also took up Lam Saiwing-lineaged Hung Gar Kung Fu in 1970 along with Pencak Silat], I walked away disappointed from the modern tradition of Karate, its rule-bound, shallow competitive practices and narrow-minded politics. At that time, I had decided to travel to the source of its origins to discover and better understand the original art. As such, I migrated to Japan and lived there for more than a decade. While living there, however, I discovered that the Japanese art of Karate was based upon an older art developed in Okinawa during its old Ryukyu Kingdom Period. Therefore, I made several trips to Okinawa in an effort to discover the original art. The lengthy study was very interesting and I learned much from the many senior instructors from a wide variety of different styles. Surprisingly, however, and during that mid-1980’s study I also discovered that, “Karate” was actually a hybrid discipline based upon incomplete elements of various foreign fighting practices introduced to the tiny island culture over a long period of time by different people [often identified as, “pioneers”] in a haphazardly [unorganised/unsystematised] manner. As you could imagine, with such an inquisitive personality like mine, I couldn’t let it rest just there and had to continue to pursue the journey.

My first trip to China was during the late 1980’s and over the subsequent years I continued to ventured to many places like Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Shaolin, Guangzhou, Fuzhou, Quanzhou, Changle, Putian and Yongchun etc., for cross-training and related historical studies with many of the leading authorities of the most well-known Chinese fighting arts. During my studies [between North & South, Internal & External, Hard & Soft, etc.] I discovered that the older southern-based Chinese fighting arts [such as Monk Fist, SPM, Crane & Haka boxing, etc.] were actually original sources from which various elements found there way into Okinawan culture. Of course, my early fascination with the studying and translating the Bubishi [武備志/Wubeizhi], and the history of Fang Chiniang, lead me to Yongchun and the Pan family twenty-six years ago in 1990. Since that time, I have long been an admirer of Yongchun Boxing and its wonderful, albeit too often misunderstood, heritage and legacy. However, because of my own interests, varied background with the fighting arts, obligations and ultimate goals [and knowledge of Chinese/Japanese customs, culture & politics], I never joined Grandmaster Pan’s group, or ever requested becoming “an official member.” To this day, however, I remain a staunch supporter of Yongchun Beihequan, the Wen Gong Ci and everything they represent.

Koryu Uchinadi

Koryu Uchinadi [aka KU] is a modern practice I established about twenty-five years ago. It is based largely my personal study and interpretation of the four principal foreign fighting practices once used during Okinawa’s old Ryukyu Kingdom Period. It is a functional coherent and completely systematised method of self-defense based upon the HAPV-theory and corresponding 2-person drill practices.

HAPV-Theory

The acronym, “HAPV” stands for the, HABITUAL ACTS of PHYSICAL VIOLENCE. It is the systematized contextual premise, from which non-lethal empty-handed [one-against-one] self-defense practices can be applied to, in a domestic environment [in contrast to the rule-bound sporting arena, multiple/gang-related violent scenarios and or the “battlefield, etc.] See more here http://www.koryu-uchinadi.org/KU_HAPV.pdf

Pedagogical Abstract

Individual HAPV are identified, described in detail and studied [so that the learner comes to understand its mechanics, the principles that make it work, why it’s dangerous and how it can be effectively negotiated] before being recreated in Futari-geiko/二人稽古 [i.e. 2-person drills ~ see here tinyurl.com/zymx2f3].

In 2-person drills, the attacker recreates the HAPV, with passive resistance [i.e. learning speed] while the defender rehearses its corresponding defensive theme. The exercise is continued on until the learner gains familiarity with the practice. This is to say that the learner can now progress to the next level after feeling comfortably proficient: If only in the reenactment process.

In stage number two, the attacker is required to gradually-to-exponentially increase the intensity of the attack until such time that each engagement is virtually equal to the brutality of a real scenario and any/all glitches in defender’s ability to effectively use the defensive template are resolved.

In level number three line-drills [i.e. working back and forth with various other partners; e.g. big, small, young, old, male, female, fast, hard, compliant and non-compliant, etc.] are continually used in subsequent training in order to take the learner outside their normal comfort zone.

This is the stage of practice where much discovery is unveiled about, “Murphy’s Law” [Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong], the brutality of physical violence, and the constant variables that surround function and competency. As the learner arrives at a functional understanding the training experience is culminated mnemonically; i.e. saving the defensive theme [for the exampled HAPV] into a solo reenactment practice or ritualized template [Kata/型].

Kata

By linking together such ritualized templates into choreographed solo- routines, clearly something greater than the sum total of their individual parts becomes evident … in this light, it is my belief that, “Kata was never meant to teach anything but rather, culminate the lessons already imparted [in 2-person drills].” When the contextual premise is NOT present, or is misunderstood, and/or not supported by functional scenario-based 2-person drills [i.e. the “lost formula”] that Kata becomes something different from what it was originally meant to be.

When learned indiscriminately, this profound time capsule is reduced to little more than a misunderstood cultural recreation. How many times have you learned Kata but remained completely in the dark with regards to its original defensive application? In this regard, I liken Kata to learning a song in a foreign language; an exciting melody to the ears, but without understanding the words in which it is sung its meaning forever remains a mystery. In 1905, French Philosopher, Henri Poincare, wrote: “Science is built upon facts much in the same way that a house is constructed of stone, however, the indiscriminate collection of facts is no more a science than a pile of stones is a house.”

The four individual, and original, sources from which KU comes are:

Tegumi [手組] was originally a form of grappling dating back to the time of Tametomo [11th century Japan]. The discipline is believed to have been originally derived from Chinese Wrestling [Jiao Li/角力 from which comes Shuai Jiao/摔角 — new name est. 1928] and evolved into a unique form of wrestling before finally became a rule-bound sport called Ryukyu/Okinawan Sumo.

Torite [Chin Na/Qinna/擒拿in Mandarin Chinese] is the Chinese Shaolin-based method of seizing and restraining an opponent. Once vigorously embraced by law enforcement officials, security agencies and correctional officers during Okinawa’s old Ryukyu Kingdom Period, the solo re-enactment of this practice can be found in Kata.

Kata [Hsing/Xing 型/形 in Mandarin Chinese], in spite of its vigorous local cultivation during Okinawa’s old Ryukyu Kingdom Period [see my Kumemura theory], are solo fighting routines which trace their origins back to [Fujian] Chinese quanfa [拳法]; e.g. Yongchun Crane Boxing, Monk Fist and Southern Praying Mantis styles, etc. Used as forms of human movement, and unique ways of personal training, they were popularized by the Chinese as ways of promoting physical fitness, mental conditioning and holistic well-being.

Ti’gwa [手小] was Okinawa’s plebeian form of percussive impact—–aka “Te,” “Ti,” “Di” [手 meaning hand/s] or Okinawa-te and Uchinadi. It was an art that depended principally upon the use of clenched fists to strike an opponent [in contrast to the open hand method preferred by Chinese arts, according to both Kyan Chotoku & Miyagi Chojun] although the head, feet, shins, elbows and knees were also favoured.

The Template-based Teachings of Koryu Uchinadi

#1. Uchi/Uke-waza:
Giving & receiving percussive impact/blunt force trauma [29 techniques]

#2. Tegumi, Kotekitai, Kakie, Ude-Tanren & Muchimi-di
Negotiating the clinch & its variables: [36 techniques]

#3. Kansetsu/Tuite-waza
Joint manipulation, cavity seizing & limb entanglement: [72 techniques]

#4. Shime-waza
Chokes/strangles-air/blood deprivation: [36 techniques]

#5. Nage-waza
Balance displacement: [55 techniques]

#6. Ne-waza
Submission-based ground fighting: [72 techniques]

#7. Gyaku-waza
Escapes & counters: [36 techniques]

I continue to oversee our worldwide movement largely because my elders taught me to appreciate the undeniable pedigree of our pioneers from which comes a deep and strongly rooted tradition that is principally about three key factors; evolution, functionality and preservation. Kata conditions the body, cultivates the mind & nurture the spirit.

Finally, I am always interested in pursuing a meaningful relationship with any/all likeminded people and happily leave my door open for you my friend to enter at your convenience.

In the spirit of friendship,”

Matt Bennett passed KJG Shodan test

Matt Bennett (1st Dan KJG)

Matt Bennett (1st Dan KJG)

It is with pleasure to share that Matt Bennett has passed his KJG shodan grading after 2 days of training and testing.

At KJG we truly grade over a continuous evaluation that last months not a few hours. In line with all karate jutsu traditions, once level of competency has been shown and achieved the new status is recognised, without further ceremony. A test doesn’t make you a black belt, training does. Each grading is unique and each student undertakes their own grading test, unique to their karate journeys, in order to demonstrate the required level of competency. This is a more comprehensive, tough and fair way to assess a student’s karate.

We look at the best way to assess standards and that is not by following a prescriptive approach.

Matt joined us a a black belt from his previous organisation, less than a year ago, where he trained for many years. Matt was very well schooled and showed very solid basics and understanding of karate when he first joined us. Throughout the year there has been a profound transition in his karate, and the way he has adapted to the karate-jutsu practised at SKA/KJG is remarkable.

Matt’s key strengths are a very solid and strong physic, a sound understanding of bio-mechanical principles to both, execute and coach peers; a creative mind to embrace change and fast learning agility.

On a personal note, Matt has been and still is extremely humble on his approach to karate. A gentle giant who has met the ‘hulk within‘ and is now allowing to take out for a ride every now and then.

Matt is an asset to SKA and the wider KJG organisation and I look forward to many years studying and training karate together.

Ossu!!!

The Awakeness

I’ve always had an affinity to the abstract and the intangible and my learning process has been by capturing concepts, whatever the subject in question, and putting it into practice for reinforcement, experience and functionality.

When teaching karate I often get questions as to how did I punch ‘that punch’. How much I moved back when I pivoted my leg back in ‘that drill’, how close I got towards uke when performing a specific technique, etc.

The student often focuses on the specifics and this blurs the vision of the abstract concept. It makes sense you start looking at the specifics first since we learn through our senses, what we see and feel in general. However, I always seek to bring another layer to the students’ learning process; an ‘awakeness‘ if I may, to bring clarity to the concept. The concept of the punch, the kick, tai sabaki, centre of gravity, bio-mechanics, breathing, timing, distance and so on…

To explain concepts I’ve always relied on metaphors and, interestingly, I’ve recently learned that this is the language the unconscious mind understand as well as understanding that all learning is unconscious! You might train consciously, read a book with focus and concious attention to what you are reading, actively listening and concious of doing so; but actual learning process inside your mind and cells is an unconscious process.

When you understand the abstract concept then you understand it for the infinite number of specific possibilities. Newton didn’t need to test the Law of Gravity on every single object in the world. He worked it out as a process of internalisation. Newton decipher the Law of Gravity from a conceptual abstraction by observing and analysing the specifics.

This intellectual understanding of the concept, combined with the tangible absorption of the feelings you get from karate refocuses your attention. You no longer seek for answers of how ‘that’ punch works, how close you must be to the opponent in ‘that’ drill, how and when to kick in ‘that’ occasion and so on…, for all these specifics are infinite and subject to external (and unpredictable) environmental conditions.

When Karate makes conceptual sense from within then it does for all its infinite possibilities you might encounter. When you learn to focus on the concept, something pretty special happens: you become your own teacher. Furthermore, when the concept is not clear or well understood, all the infinite specifics won’t sustain over time. .

This might be true in karate as much as with life itself.

The Martial Arts Including Boxing

A Taoist Priest

A Taoist Priest, by Bruce Lee

The martial arts are based upon understanding, hard work and a total comprehension of skills. Power training and the us of force are easy, but total comprehension of all of the skills of martial arts is very difficult to achieve.

To understand you must study all of natural movement in all living things. Naturally, you can understand the martial arts of others. You can study the timing and the weaknesses. Just knowing these two elements will give you the capacity to knock him down rather easily.

Tao of Jeet Kune Do

Bruce Lee

Karate Jutsu Gakkai

Karate Jutsu Gakkai

Karate Jutsu Gakkai

Karate Jutsu Gakkai translates as Academy of Karate Methodology.

SKA is an active karate academy affiliated to Tasaki’s Seiwakai organisation, chaired by Fujiwara Sensei and, outside Japan, by Shihan Leo Lipinski.

SKA prides itself to be an inquisitive and forward thinking academy. We explore karate holistically: we look back and outside the ‘karate box’ in order to work out our way forward.

This adjustment in the direction of our small, but very focused academy is not new, but the result of a long journey. A process of karate evolution and growth, guided by Shihan Ben Craft whose words define the path clear: “a true scholar studies his chosen subject from all and every angle”.

On reflection an important conclusion we have reached is that Goju is a concept way deeper than that of a style. “Ho wa Gōjū wa Donto su (Everything in the university is breathing hard and soft)” says the Bubishi, Miyagi’s source of inspiration when naming his naha-te style.

When you try to adapt the Art to a specif style, you begin to constrain yourself. The style should be ergonomic to the man, not the man to the style, for each karateka is unique. When it comes to expressing the Art, each and everyone of us will do so in our own way.

As Bruce Lee beautifully captured in his timeless ‘Tao of Jet Kune Do’: “Having totality means being capable of following “what is,” because “what is” is constantly moving and constantly changing. If one is anchored to a particular view, one will not be able to follow the swift movement of “what is.”

At SKA, we look at fundamentals of Fujian White Crane kung-fu, elements of Wing Chun and, lately, Wushu. We study the comprehensive research conducted by Hanshi McCarthy as we think that overlooking these heritages is an academic crime. Thus, we embrace and train Koryu Uchinadi.

We pride ourselves to be loyal to our roots in Seiwakai, but also to grow wings to study, learn, move and evolve. Just like every living species: not adapting means dying and it is, precisely, in constant change, relentless exploration; and inner and outer growth that we find our comfort zone.

We conduct an in-depth exploration of the Art, with focus on its functionality. Just like the Japanese sword, Karate-Jutsu is a terrible and efficient weapon combining a beauty of form with an elegance of function.

Fernando Mahamud Angulo