Page 1

FALL 2013

Martial Arts Grandmasters International 速

1


“A durable, efficient weapon for classical training.”

TM

Three sections for easy storage and transport plus a free storage bag with over the shoulder strap.

—Oso Tayari Casell

4 in 1 Weapon

SAVE $40 NOW!

Made of hard polypropylene. Both ends have safety plugs. Great for tournaments, Bunkai, even hiking!

r ’s e d ReOaNUS eaders nt. K O B er u

o t ara disc d al K pecial site an e i c Offi e a s web nt th a iv e rece o to th e you w ing.” G icat pric ind “OK

Retail $79.99 Sale: $49.99 OK Readers:

Can carry legally on a plane.

Converts from a 6 foot Bo to a Jo Staff to Escrima Sticks. Also Special attachments are available.

Just $39.99 (first 100 only). Sold with an unconditional 30 day, money back guarantee. “I was surprised that it has an excellent weight and flexibility similar to weighted rattan and white wax wood poles. It would be hard to tell the difference with your eyes closed. Circling and whipping maneuvers are a pleasure to practice. When broken down the Zen Staff can be converted into sections allowing practice with short weapons. The solid construction withstands the most rigorous strikes with no apparent damage.” — Pedro Cepero Yee, Sifu

ORDER NOW! 347-871-7380

2

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013 www.zen-staff.com/okm

“The Zen Staff is a training tool of the future. It is strong, reliable, and works very well against the wooden bokken. I find it easy to handle and the weight is nice and very easy to carry around from class to class. It is a must for every teacher and student of martial arts. If you are a weapons practitioner then you’re in heaven with the Zen Staff.” ­­ —Hanshi Teddy Wilson 9th Dan, Kaizen Aikijutsu

CHECK US OUT ON FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zen-Staff/148687688482243 Copyright©2013 by Dr. Andrew Linick: The Copyologist®/Creative Dir. Keith D. Yates / All Worldwide rights Reserved.


Re vealed at Last!

THE Secrets of Ancient Kyusho & Bunkai Learn Pressure Point moves to Wipe-Out (or Control) Attackers and The Hidden Meanings Within KATA with Master Mark Kline.

VER POPULYA

R

Principles of Kata Interpretation

BEST SELLER

!

Kyusho Body Reactions Series Front & Rear Attacks, Takedowns,

How to Interpret the Language of Kata. Learn the Secrets of the Masters and Why Kata Has Survived for Thousands of Years! Save $60 Vol 1 - 3 DVDs - $99 (Reg $159) Save $60 Vol 2 - 3 DVDs - $99 (Reg $159) Save $159 - Both only $159.

All Chokes Using Pressure Points (Kyusho) PLUS How to Defend Against Someone Trying to Use These Techniques Against You!

Previou Sold Ouisly t!

Learn the Secrets the Masters would not teach unless you were their direct student!

Kyusho for the Street Series

Save $49 Each High Quality DVD $50 (Reg $99) Save $246! Order All 4 for just $150 Customers Worldwide Rave!

“I would highly recommend these DVDs to any martial artist who is lookingto take their journey to a higher level of wisdom and understanding. I truly believe that by studying and applying your work will make any practitioner enter a new and larger world of creation and expression in his or her art.” —Mark Sclafani, NYC “Master Kline has changed my approach to the martial arts and perhaps...a lot more! You are an exceptional teacher in every sense.” —Renato Ravenda, Treviso, Italy “These videos will help our students attack the points with more speed and accuracy. Your down to earth teaching style makes it so easy to learn.” —Bob Withey, NSW Australia

15 Simple Pressure Point (Kyusho) Techniques that could Save Your Life. Winning Defenses Against Boxers & How to Use Their Techniques Against Them Save $49 Each DVD $50 (Reg $99) Save $119! Both only $79

$30.00 BONUS OFFER!!

Free with Orders over $99 25 Action-Packed Lessons ~ Effective Jujitsu Historical Collector’s Book Enhanced & Updated with Pressure Points used in each Technique

(Written in 1905)

90 Day Money Back Satisfaction Guarantee on all High-Quality DVDs!

Call Now! 732.742.1777 ext.711 or Order Online at www.LearnPressurePoints.com All DVDs are + S&H (calculated automatically at checkout). 2-DAY-Priority RUSH-USA add $25 ® Law Enforcement, Military, Gov’ts & Dealers inquire for quantity discounts! Martial Arts Grandmasters International Copyright©2013 by Dr. Andrew Linick, The Copyologist®/Creative Dir. Keith D. Yates

3

All Worldwide Rights Reserved!


ASIAN TRADITIONS ISSUE

10 I GM Chuck Merriman: “Last Man Standing”

One of the very few first pioneers of traditional martial arts who is still active and influencing the lives of students.

16 I Not Your Typical Karate Class

pg 10

Training in a Japanese monastery is not the same as practicing karate anywhere else says Master Tony Tempesta.

20 I Tai Chi Park

Sifu Bob Klein says a farm in New Jersey is an atypical setting for this annual Tai Chi retreat.

22 I Training in the HomeLand

Jerry Figgiani, Kyohi returns once again to the Homeland of Okinawan Matsubayahi Shorin Ryu.

28 I Favorite Fighting Techniques from the Masters TM

Shihan Don Issak shows a defense against a straight punch .

pg 16

30 I James Mather’s Karate Life

TM

Who writes the History of the Martial Arts? Be careful what you believe.

34 I The Voice of Tradition

TM

WRITERS WANTED: We want well-written articles on topics of interest to a traditional karate audience. Stories on respected historical figures in the martial arts, advanced how-to articles (not “how to do a front kick”), and articles on educational philosophies or technical aspects, are all welcome. We reserve the right to edit articles to fit and, of course, we will only accept articles that we believe will be of interest to our audience. For writer’s guidelines, send your email address and writing experience/bio to: Editor@OfficialKarateMag.com 4

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013

Hanshi Dan Tosh recounts training in Asia.

38 I Kung Fu Korner Sifu Karen Schlachter says when all else fails, TM

do Kata!


CONTENTS

FALL 2013

42 I Eisuke Akamine Sensei Akamine Eisuke Sensei, Chairman of The Ryu Kyu

Kobudo Preservation and Promotion Association was an inspiration to Katherine Loukopoulos.

45 I Nutritional Self Defense Dr. Craig Rubenstein gives you nine ways to energize TM

14

your body and life.

52 I Kata As A Mnemonic Device

22

Master Mark Kline on the “whys” of Kata.

56 I Attract Media to Your Website with an Online 24/7 Pressroom

Dr. Andrew Linick, The Marketing Copyologist®

60 I MAGI® Benefits Expanding

52 Be sure to “Like” us at

16

Why you should be a member of MAGI®.

www.Facebook.com/OfficialKarateMag

OK R B eade Look ONUS r’s bu for th

rs is of fre t to take gold sta e to re bies av advanta rader ailab ge s l Offic of this is e only ial Ka sue rate. of

Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®

5


Fall 2013

THE VOICE OF THE MARTIAL ARTS SINCE 1968

www.OfficialKarateMag.com

Official Karate Magazine™ the “official” publication of Martial Arts Grandmasters International® is a 21st Century version of the original Official Karate that was published 1969–1995 by Al Weiss and Charlton Publications. We publish quarterly in digital format with a printed “annual” issue. We seek to secure permission for photographs but if you see a photo that is yours please let us know so we can give you attribution. MAGI® is a dynamic association of traditional and modern martial arts practitioners. Since 1994, we have strived to fulfill our mission to recognize and register students, black belts, and grandmasters of various martial arts styles organizations, Asian and Western self-defense systems, and fighting arts. Editor and Publisher: Andrew S. Linick, Ph.D. Managing Editor /Creative Director: Keith D. Yates Editorial Consultant: David Weiss Contributors: Joe Corley, Des Chaskelson, Troy Dorsey, Emil Farkas, Ted Gambordella, Craig Heimbichner, John Lober, James Mather, Dr. Craig Rubenstein, Karen Schlachter, Dr. Dan Tosh, Don Wilson, Ryan Young. MAGI® Member Benefits Membership in MAGI® will afford you the opportunity to have an affiliation with the first-generation pioneers who sit on our Board of Advisors. Of course you can share in their wisdom in the pages of Official Karate magazine (a subscription is included in your membership) but you can also take advantage of a direct dialogue with these Grandmasters through our websites and Facebook pages. You can proudly display the impressive MAGI® membership certificates, colorful uniform patches, and even attention-getting trademark protected four color window decals that proclaim you are an “affiliated” professional MAGI® school. (It’s considered the ‘BBB’ in the MA industry) You will receive big discounts on high-quality Asian weapons, books, videos & DVD’s, e-books, t-shirts, equipment bags, and even professional custom framing for MAGI™ certificates and for your own school certificates. We are adding new features and benefits all the time so click on and “LIKE” us at www. facebook.com/joinMAGI.You can also go to www.joinmagi.org.

6

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013

Sound Off! Thank you Linick sensei for reviving a magazine that, for so many years, educated and entertained so many martial artists. Kudos to you, GM Yates and your staff for the great work.” —drmetlhed What a great issue! I always enjoy reading your materials and columns! Thank you Hanshi Linick for sharing! I look forward to our paths meeting again someday! - Respectfully bowing. —Robyn Rush-James, Kyoshi Official Karate magazine, brain child of Al Weiss, was the first “Karate” magazine covering only Karate activities. The magazine, along with the fantastic promotional abilities of the “one and only” Aaron Banks were singularly responsible for shining the spotlight on East Coast Karate and the very talented fighters and Kata competitors of the early competitive arenas there. I think all of us who benefited from that alliance owe a debt of gratitude to both of them. I know I do! Linick Sensei, Thanks for reviving such a piece of important Karate history. Please consider doing an in depth article on the evolution of East Coast Karate and the ones who made it happen. Thanks. —Chuck Merriman, Hanshi Editor’s Note: See the article on Hanshi Merriman in this issue. I grew up on Official Karate magazines and they helped my martial arts “education” tremendously. —Mike Bogdanski, Sensei


EDITORIAL

by Allie Alberigo, Shihan

Gimme Rather Than Giri

T

he other day I wrote a post for my Face Book page on the topic of Giri. It got great response even from some senior masters instructors. One who I admire tremendously is Anshu Stephen Hayes. I give him credit for starting my Ninja journey many years ago. Anshu Hayes said, “Society is more of a Gimme rather than Giri Society.” I am quoting him on that and loving it. Of course I asked his permission to use it while writing this article that stemmed from the topic. I also have to quote another amazing martial art master, Pete Ticali, who has always treated me with respect and kindness. In his post— which is a great explanation of the word Giri, Master Ticali wrote, “With Rank comes Privilege, and some might understand with privilege comes responsibility. With responsibility comes Duty; and Duty evolves to a deep Obligation, which lays the foundation for the culmination of Giri.... One might note that I have changed from English to Japanese. I do so because I know no English word to properly translate the word “Giri” and do it justice. In simple layman’s terms, I would explain Giri as the debt you gladly accept; even with the knowledge that you will pay this debt till your last day, and on that day you will know you haven’t scratched the surface of “paying enough.” Giri is what one might owe their parents, their grandparents, their

country and those that they honor as their Sensei. As a footnote, I firmly believe that as Sensei, part of our Giri is to teach those thousands (if necessary) to find the few with whom our Giri can be entrusted (passed on) to. I believe that those who follow the way, can understand.” There are many that will not even began to scratch the surface of comprehension. Master Ticali spells out for us the truth of martial arts— the way it should be taught and practiced. Unfortunately to many, these lessons are nothing but empty words, things that go in one ear and out the other. As one parent of a student once said to me, “you talk about stuff too much.” There was an ancient time, when someone made a verbal commitment and that word was admissible in the court of law. Now days even a written contract is often not adhered to and people look at that as just a something they agreed but then changed their mind about. Even in court judges say things like “well you can’t hold them to something if they don’t want to do it.” I have found in my last two decades of teaching and running a school that statistically not even one percent of the people I deal with can comprehend the word Giri. I think we may want to call it convenience “Giri!” The reason I say this is most students, parents continued on next page

I know of no English word to properly translate “Giri” and do it justice.

Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®

7


and people you deal with are loyal only when it best suits them. They look at the martial arts as more of a commodity. Something purchased or something due to them because they are paying tuition or a monthly fee. I want to shake them into the realization that lessons are not the same without an understanding of dedication, loyalty and honor. I have argued with martial artists, coaches, and Martial Art Industry heads, that by taken this lesson out, they are not even practicing martial arts at all. They are only practicing the physical movements and without these traditions, the martial arts are nothing more than just fighting techniques. But with the mental, spiritual and lessons of old, the martial arts are truly limitless. In our society is it possible for us to learn giri or is it only going to be “Gimme?” Here are a few things that I recommend to begin pointing students in the direction of this philosophy. 1) Realize that the martial arts are a magical gift to enhance your life. They are simply not a purchase—something you buy. The tuition you pay your teacher just scratches the surface of the value of the lessons you receive. Good teachers are hard to find, but the same goes for good students. A student nowadays, is normally not willing to dedicate their time, their loyalty and their actions to the betterment of themselves and their schools. We fall back to the “Gimme” rather than Giri.” So appreciate your school, your teacher and most importantly appreciate the lessons you have learned because they will change your life forever. 2) Trust, don’t question. If you are training with a qualified sensei they will no doubt push you to places far out of your comfort zone. They will look at you with a set of eyes, 8

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013

that you could not possibly see. I, as an instructor, have seen potential in students they never knew they had. To them, this vision was not even possible. In fact, I tell this to parents of students all the time when they say their child is bored or wants to quit. I urge them to have an imagination and ask them to see into the future when their child self esteem will soar due to the lessons they learned. Try to imagine what you child will be able to accomplish if they achieve their black belt. 3) Servitude rather than attitude. As a student I would travel to Japan and clean my sensei’s school. I always wondered why so many students had come before me and not offered to do so. I wanted to do it for him, not for reward, not to show loyalty and dedication or show him I was something special. I did it because, in my heart, I wanted to do it. I loved my Sensei and his lessons and all he stood for. I never asked for anything in return, never expected a single thing. In fact, when he offered gifts in return, I simply said, “No Sensei, I did this because I wanted to, and this is the right thing to do.” As students of the martial arts we should always give back, paint, clean, promote, help teach all for our school and teacher. Remember the quote, “ask not what you country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” That mindset is lost. The very fiber of doing what is right for many is being lost and we live in a WIIFM - what is in it for me society. We need as martial artists realize we are warriors and a warrior protects and serves. Allie Alberigo is a father, martial artist, author, public speaker and business coach to some of the most successful martial arts entrepreneurs in the world.. He has been living the martial arts for over 46 years teaching full time in his schools. He currently runs L.I. Ninjutsu Centers two locations in East and West Islip www.lininja.com and is also the owner Taking it to the next level www.takingittothenextlevel.com. Allie can be reached at 1-888LiNinja or 631-321-5432 or you can email him at shihan@lininja.com


www.abkusa.com/okm Martial Arts Grandmasters International 速

9


Profile of a Pioneer™

GM chuck mer Last Man Standing

H

Chuck Merriman with Gogen Yamaguchi, the “Cat”

10

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013

ere’s your trivia question for today. What living American martial artist provided security for President Kennedy, Che Guevara, Marshal Tito and the Pope? If you guessed from the photos that it was Chuck Merriman, you win. Call him for a prize. Yes, he is still alive and yes, he is still active in karate. He was eighty this year. He is planning a trip to Okinawa in November for a couple of anniversaries associated with the Jundokan and still shows up at the dojo on Friday nights. Try to keep up. There were a handful of Americans around and practicing karate pre 1960, most of them gone. Bob Trias told the world that he studied Shurite while stationed in the Solomon Islands towards the end of the Second World War from a Chinese man named Hsing who had learned it from Choki Motobu. Whatever the case, he was teaching judo and karate in Phoenix before 1950. But Trias passed away in 1989. Dan Ivan started in 1948 while with the occupation forces in Japan. William Dometrich was around back then. As were Peter Urban and Aaron Banks. But all are dust, Aaron Banks just the other day at 85. Lee Gray could almost qualify. He started in 1960 while with the Marines but was fighting in Vietnam when Kennedy was president. By the way, he is still strong as a horse and teaching in Amarillo, Texas, in case you are curious. There are a few others around, but scarce as desert rain and, as you know, becoming more so. Chuck Merriman could be referred to as part of the “second wave” of American Martial artists. He started in 1960 and, after a stint at judo, ended up studying Goju Ryu from Peter Urban. It was Japanese Goju back in the day, lead by Gogen Yamaguchi, the infamous “Cat”, whose nickname seems to emanate from some nether world, since, according to Sensei Merriman, even Yamaguchi didn’t know where it came from. Urban went on to break away from Yamaguchi after a trip to Japan that convinced him that Americans were better at karate than Japanese. He tied in with Richard Kim’s butokukai, combined it all with some


By Robert Hunt, Sensei

rriman Mas Oyama Kyokushin karate and renamed it “USA Goju”. Chuck left that group and moved on to other things. After years spent wrapped up in one corner of American karate or another, Sensei Merriman eventually evolved to Okinawan Goju, first with Morio Higaonna and then with Eiichi Miyazato and the Jundokan, which he now calls home and, I am going to guess, will for the rest of his days. I sat down with Sensei Merriman one bright morning outside a Starbucks in Scottsdale, Arizona, close to his home. The cerulean sky was clear as blue crystal and a breeze cooled the spring morning. His eyes were animated, damp with memories, and he had no trouble recalling the details of 53 years of practice. Over coffee and biscotti he told me this story. “I started out in Judo for about 6 months with a guy named Norbert Bellinger. He had brought real tatami mats from Japan and we had a nice, small dojo at a YMCA. One night I showed up for class and everyone was standing around waiting for him to arrive. He never did. He just disappeared and I never saw him again. But, by that time I was hooked. I went down to New York and found a place on 34th street run by the Judo Twins, two twin brothers about six foot seven with no necks. The only way you could tell them apart was that one was nice and the other a jerk. They offered judo lessons on one floor and karate on another. They said I could stay there and sleep in the dojo if I wanted. I was in. I went home and told my wife that I had some good news and some bad news. The good news was that I had found a judo

continued

contined on next page Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®

11


school. The bad was that she would have to go back to Harrisburg for awhile and live with her family. She agreed and went home. I went back to New York. She was a good woman, too good for me.” If you have never been a karate fanatic, that tale might seem odd. If you have been drawn in to the art at one time or another, however, it makes flawless sense. Mr. Merriman was caught up in the never-never-land of karate, the land that time left untouched, just like the rest of us. It was exotic, secret and inhabited by mysterious and wonderful characters. Just the kind of place a Peter Pan like him, you and me could call home. That sort of intensity of desire seems to have driven his life. Learn karate. Be part of it, whatever it takes. It doesn’t always matter if you are practicing or not. What matters is to be in the middle of the action, in the maelstrom of karate, wherever that is. “My first teacher was Christy DeBaise. I found out on a trip to Japan that his real name wasn’t Christy, it was Paul. I don’t know where “Christy” came from, he said it was a long story. Isn’t it always? He taught Shi-To Ryu. I didn’t know ShiTo ryu from bananas. It was all karate to me. We have remained friends all these years and still talk on the phone occasionally. We did 2 hours of judo then 2 hours of karate every night. On Saturdays I caught the Staten Island Ferry out to his home to learn some more. There was no bridge back then. I would call before I got on the ferry and tell him I was coming with donuts for breakfast and I stayed all day. I was probably a pain in the neck, but I didn’t care, I wanted to learn karate. Christy eventually quit teaching. I needed some place to practice so he recommended me to Sensei Urban.” As I watched Sensei Merriman talk about his early years, it became clear that he had great respect for these men. Some people talk down about Peter Urban, but Merriman didn’t. He always referred to him as “Sensei”, never just “Urban” or “Peter”. He admitted 12

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013

Fighting Bill Wallace in a ‘70’s competition.

the man was eccentric, but a great teacher and they remained friends until Mr. Urban’s death a few years ago. In this world of ever changing allegiances, people often talk negatively of past associations. Someone who is steeped in karate tradition and karate understanding, like Merriman, however, does not. We are what we are from the sum total of our experiences, not just the ones we want people to remember. He probably owes more of his understanding that karate is just plain hard work to Sensei Urban than anyone else. Those early years lay a foundation for whatever comes after, and if the foundation is solid and filled with intense practice, what you build on top of it will stand. If the foundation is karate baloney, everything learned after that is just mayonnaise. “Christy sent me to Sensei Urban. There was a three month waiting list at the Chinatown dojo, but Christy got me in. I lined up with the white belts for a couple of months until I got the feel of things, then one night I stepped up to the black belt line. Sensei stopped the class with a dramatic gesture and told everyone to sit down. Christy had told me that I would have to prove myself and that I had to hurt the first fighter or they would make mince meat out of me. So I did. The first guy was Harry Rozenstein and I gave him all I had. I got through it and nothing was ever said. I stayed with the black belts after that.” Peter Urban had studied with Yamaguchi Gogen in the early fifties in Japan, and possibly Mas Oyama before that. He opened one of the first dojos in the United States and taught most anyone who claimed Goju as an art in the early days. Merriman spoke fondly of him. How they used to have to line up at 6:00 PM sharp and wait until


Still influencing young minds and bodies.

Urban came in. If you weren’t lined up at 6:00 you didn’t take part in class. One guy came in late, got back-kicked into the wall for his trouble and was thrown out of the dojo. In those days there were only a few dojos and the teachers all knew each other. If you were kicked out of Peter Urban’s, you were not welcome in Don Naegle’s. “Sensei Urban went to Japan in 1996 to see Yamaguchi. When he got back, he called a half dozen of us together at the dojo around a low table. It was me, a cop named Al Gotay, and a couple other guys. Sensei Urban sat ceremoniously at one side of the table and slowly pulled a meat cleaver out of somewhere. Everyone jumped. No one knew what was going to happen next. Al Gotay’s hand instinctively flashed around for the gun tucked in his belt. Sensei Urban lifted the cleaver high in the air then, with a dramatic gesture, sank it into the middle of the table with a thud. ‘I cut the ties with Japan,’ he proclaimed loudly.” Like many karate seekers of the era, young Chuck Merriman was always looking for the source - the truth of it all, the essence. At first, like most of us, he thought it was Japan. No one new

Okinawa from Timbuktu and all the dominant post war teachers were Japanese, like Yamaguchi. Did he ever find the “truth”? Does anyone? You dig deeper and deeper and, in the end you are still relying on a teacher’s interpretation of someone else’s ideas. After Higaonna died in 1915, Miyagi went to China to find his legendary teacher, Lu Lu Ko. Miyagi never found him and spent the rest of his life molding Goju Ryu out of what he learned as a young man from Higaonna. Chuck Merriman was no different. He simply wanted to learn. He and a few others brought a Japanese named Yamamoto over to run the organization after Peter Urban left, but Merriman’s search has been lifelong. “Yamamato was tough but it was all sparring. Kata was like a warm up for sparring. No one even talked about bunkai.” Sensei Merriman went on, that cool Arizona morning, recounting a litany of people with whom he had dealt over the years. You could substitute the list for a who’s who of American karate pioneers and leaders. Teams to Spain, teams to the Pan Am games, AAU competition. He was in the stands at Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®

13


People often refer to Bunkai as application, but bunkai is more like analysis than application. You analyze and you try to understand.

14

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013

the celebrated LA tournament where Dominique Valera, the infamous French fighter, upon losing, laid into judges with punches and kicks. Valera was about to flip over to full contact karate and had never won this international championship. When he squandered this final chance, he went berserk and was hauled away in cuffs. Later he entered full contact but drifted into oblivion. Have you ever heard of him? Glory is fleeting. Life is long. Merriman talked about those years, the politics, the international teams, but kept slipping back to his early years with Peter Urban. We all look back on those introductory years with nostalgic ambivalence. They were tough years, we beat ourselves to death training every day, but they molded us into solid karate citizens and turned out a guy like Chuck Merriman who is as determined today as in the days with Peter Urban. “ We did a lot of fighting from cat stance and without cups or mouthpieces. Sensei preached that because no one wore a cup on the street, we should learn to defend the groin without one. And groin kicks were a common attack in that dojo in those days. There were no women in class. Then one day a woman showed up. She was a truck driver and looked like one. He was just as tough on her as anyone else, maybe more, but she took it and stayed with it.” Sometime around 1990 Sensei Merriman met Morio Higaonna at Ozawa’s tournament in its early days in Las Vegas. He had heard of Higaonna, considered him an authentic source of Goju and thought he was part of the Jundokan, a fact he found out later to be untrue. Higaonna had been part of it, but had broken off. Chuck sat down beside the man and began to talk about karate. He finally got around to asking Higaonna if he could study Okinawan Goju. Higaonna was gracious and immediately accepted him. But politics soon intervened and that relationship ended. Higaonna was not the problem, someone else was running the organization and apparently didn’t play well with other kids. In 1995, after leaving Higaonna, Chuck ran into a man named Yasuda in Canada. Yasuda


Sensei turned out to be the oldest man in the Jundokan in Okinawa, the dojo that Miyazato founded immediately after Miyagi’s death. They formed a friendship that has lasted ever since. Yasuda invited Chuck to go to Okinawa, which he immediately accepted, stayed three weeks and was surprised to receive a 7th degree black belt on the last night. Yasuda apparently saw something there. They don’t give those things away to just anyone. They eventually got him to 9th. Chuck Merriman finally found the home for which he had been searching for 40 years. He visits Okinawa a couple times a year. He is older than most in the organization, in fact the only one older is Yasuda, himself. Chuck is happy at the Jundokan. He has found what he has been looking for all his life - the fount of Goju Ryu. He understands that karate is only one person’s interpretation of what a teacher taught and that the only way to really learn Goju would be with Miyagi. But Miyagi died in 1953, and Miyagi, himself, was trying to craft a style out of what he learned from Higaonna. As Merriman says, it’s a work in progress. We study from teachers and endeavor to get our arms around it all by organizing it and categorizing it. We try to find some way to absorb it all. But do we? Maybe. It’s there in front of us, but do we see it or ignore it? As Paul Simon said, a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest. Chuck listens and tries to hear it all. He believes that Eiichi Mizato was probably as good a source as any for Goju knowledge and probably better than most, since he was so close to Miyagi during his life. Whatever the case, Chuck is content to spend his final days studying Goju Ryu at the Jundokan. “On Sundays we get together to analyze kata. One person performs a kata and gives his interpretation of the moves. The rest of us comment and ask ‘what if?’ People often refer to Bunkai as application, but bunkai is more like analysis than application. You analyze and you try to understand. The beauty is that it is always changing and evolving. We learn some-

thing new every time. Kata movements are little more than dance, anyway. At our old dojo in New York, Broadway dancers used to come down to learn karate. To them kata was just like dance and they knew how to learn dance routines - put this foot here and that one there. They could learn it in no time. They could learn all the kata there is to learn in a couple of months. But you know dancing isn’t karate. It’s useless unless you can make it work.” Sensei Merriman doesn’t call himself “Grand Master, or Great Grand Master or Shihan” or any of the rest. He doesn’t expect sycophants to grovel around him. In fact, he handles the seniorjunior ceremonies of karate almost uncomfortably. He seems to know who he is and where he has ended up. He has lived the entire history of American karate, from its birth with WWII soldiers like Peter Urban coming home, through rebirth after rebirth, Olympic aspirations, full contact winners and losers, Wuko to WKF, rules and changes to rules and more changes, endless parades of fame seeking politicians and real karate all the way down to the modern search for authenticity. He stopped by the dojo the other day and watched the kids perform kata. After it was over and at my urging, he offered his opinion. It was straight forward, unadorned and very kind always positive and instructive. The kids and the black belt adults were innately aware of the depth of understanding that exists in an 80 year old black belt who has been practicing karate all his life and literally “has seen it all”. I have known of Chuck Merriman throughout my adult life. Most of the others that evening hardly knew him at all, but it didn’t matter. They felt an immediate bond and asked if he could come back. At home in the Jundokan he is comfortable. Yasuda Sensei is his only senior in age. Sensei Merriman will stick around and maybe eventually find out what it’s all about, maybe open his eyes and see it all. Whenever old Yasuda dies, and karate becomes the property of youth, Sensei Chuck Merriman, as far as the pioneers of our art are concerned, may just find himself the last man standing. Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®

15


Not your typical karate class

T

he slow moving train was taking me from Southern Italy, where I had just visited my parents, to Milano. One of the teenagers in my compartment gave me a curious stare, looking at my framed, tubular backpack, and asked me:”Dove vai”? I looked back at the group of teenagers and told them that I was heading to Japan. They all laughed at my answer, and I remained silent for the rest of the train ride to Milano. I guess it was perhaps hard for me as well to digest the reality that I was actually going to spend three months in Japan, as an invited guest in a monastery. I had met Yoshiaki Iijima in 1977 in Israel, where he and I were roommates for several months in a kibbutz in Upper Galilee. He returned to Japan to become a Buddhist monk, and I went on to America two years later. In September of 1981, Yoshiaki, who by then was called “Tengai”, picked me up at Narita Airport, and together we headed back to Gohyakurakan, the Temple of 500 disciples of Buddha, in the village of OgiCho. This would be my home for the next few months. Tengai-San had previously explained to me that I would be expected to complete some chores, and that I would be a Takuhatsu monk during my stay.

16

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013

“No problem”, I said, not knowing the real extent of my words. As soon as I got there, my Che Guevara looks, complete with black beret, scruffy beard and wavy hair, instantaneously disappeared, and I quickly became the new face of Mr.Clean, with a shiny shaved head, new clothes, and a big appetite for knowledge. I was a 23 year-old with a brown belt in Karate from Belgium, and a brown belt in Tae Kwon Do from Mr. Keith D. Yates, in Dallas, Texas. I spent the first few days getting used to the early wake up call, and getting accustomed to cleaning the wooden floors of the temple, on my hands and knees. I asked Tengai-San if he could take me to a Karate dojo, and so we visited a Shorinji Kempo school in the city of Odawara. The practitioners of that style, with their amazing throwing and flying techniques, made me soon realize that I would be completely out of my league among them, and therefore I decided that I would only watch, and not embarrass myself. Tengai-San could clearly read the disappointment on my face. “Don’t worry”, he said, “I have a few old friends”. I was not aware that, every couple of weeks, about half a dozen older monks from other villages would come to Gohyakurakan, and spend the evening chatting, laughing, and


by Tony Tempesta

just havon, uning a good eventful. old time. The chores, They were such as cutall in their ting wood, 60s and 70s. sweepMy friend ing leaves explained around the to me that small cemthey all had etery overhad previous looking the experience in temple, or martial arts, cleaning and whether it dusting the was in Kara500 heads of One can not compare a te, Judo, Aikido, or some Buddha in the temple, structured, traditional other discipline. where one is said to “Mae-geri”, Antofind its own image in Karate class to sitting San, one of the monks one of the statues, were shouted at me! I kicked, around on a tatami not the hardest part of and kicked, and again, my stay. Getting up with a bunch of sake and again. The old man before 5 am to ring the would, effortlessly, and large bell, the gong, drinking monks who gracefully, redirect my and then have zazen leg with one hand, simmeditation in a shiverfeed you morsels ply moving his hips, ing cold was a differof their infinite while still holding his cup ent challenge! I often of sake in the other hand. wondered later if the knowledge. The other monks would chores and sometimes applaud, laugh hard, and drink more harsh conditions could be likened to a sake. That evening was spent entirely on 1st brown belt being readied for Shodan. mae-geri and mawashi-geri, and probaI think that I preferred the 70s kumite bly on how to fend off an opponent with without pads over the daily zazen in one hand, while drinking with the other! windy, cold temperatures in the temple. It was only years later that I came to re“Samui, sode wa arimasen ka?” I was alize how essential the delicate shifting often asked……And indeed, I answered, of the hips was, and how crucial it was it was cold! to the actual fighting. I always looked forward to the group The daily life at the monastery went of monks coming over every fortnight. continued on next page Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®

17


continued from previous page Was it for my thirst for knowledge, or my thirst for sake? Probably both! “Gyakuzuki”, Anton-San, one of the monks pointed at me. And as quickly as I would reverse punch I would end up on the tatami, victim of a technique which, I later learned, was called kote nage. Just as they had shown me with the kicks, now the old, bold men toyed with my hand attacks, without ever hurting me. I had learned in Karate in Belgium how to fight hard, and linear, and I did not know of any other way until I met my sake drinking friends. The evenings spent among them were not the typical Karate classes, to say the least! I often laugh about those times, and ask myself if I were part of a “Twilight zone” episode or part of a sketch with Belushi in “Saturday night live”! It all seemed so surreal and comical at times. With each visit of the monks I would be privileged to a few new techniques. In my teenage years, I was introduced to the leg sweeping and reverse sweeping techniques by Yoshinao Nanbu during a week long seminar in the mid 70’s. One of the monks had altered those drills/techniques into something more fun, simpler, showing them as a graceful dance with a partner. To this day, the drill remains a favorite tool of mine, for both teaching, and fighting. The lessons learned are still fresh in my mind and in my body, even after more than three decades. I am still learning how to shift my body, how to use less motion, how to be less direct, and am still learning 18

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013

how to use the still functional parts of my aging body! As teachers, we often send off the ikkyu students to learn from other Sensei, or we send them to tournaments before their Shodan test. They need that physical and mental fortitude before the next big step. In other schools, as in Renbudo, they go and fight at the Proctor Hombu for one year. Perhaps this is what the old monks wished for me then, in their own ways, but I was too oblivious to it. One can not compare a structured, traditional Karate class or seminar to sitting around on a tatami with a bunch of sake drinking monks who feed you morsels of their infinite knowledge. I was very fortunate to have lived among them for a brief period of time, and I was blessed with their kindness, their brotherly love, and with their tremendous humility. Soon after Christmas of 1981, with a heavy heart and a lighter backpack, I left the Ogi-Cho village, and I headed to Thailand, and then Nepal and India. That journey would turn out to be another type of challenge, another way to forge the spirit in one’s life, or in martial arts.

Master Tony Tempesta has trained in the martial arts all over Asia and the world. He currently holds a seventh dan in Renbudo Karate-Do.


E D N E G M M DIN O REC REA

D

“One of the most comprehensive texts EVER on the American approach to the martial arts.” —Skipper Mullins, World Champion With Forewords by Jhoon Rhee and Chuck Norris. Retail $14.95 / OK readers save $5.75 Now just $9.20

SPECIAL OFFER for OK readers!

Do the martial arts contradict the teachings of Christianity? Written by the Chairman of the Gospel Martial Arts Union. Retail $5.95 Save a buck! Now just $5

A best-selling book written just for kids. A young mouse decides to take martial arts lessons but learns much more than he thought. Retail $5.95 Save a buck! Now just

$5

Still available.

One of the Best-Selling books on Tae Kwon Do ever! Covers the original “Chang Hon” patterns, plus Japanese kata Basai and Tekki (Chulgi). Retail $25.95 / OK readers save $6.00 for a limited time. Now just $19.95.

A L L AVA I L A B L E AT W W W. A K AT O . O R G

Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®

19


tai chi park

by Sifu Bob Klein

Y

ou are greeted by well manicured fields leading to trails through the woods. Past red hanging lanterns, potted flowers, silhouettes of Master Jou, Tsung Hwa in Tai-chi postures and dragons twisting in and out of the earth, you find practice areas. One is at the edge of a cliff leading to the river, another hidden in a bamboo grove and still another sprouts multi-colored Bagua posts. This is the “Tai-chi Park”, a 23 acre wooded area devoted to Tai-chi practice and to the memory of Master Jou and located in Wantage, N. J. It is the successor to the world’s largest yearly gathering of Tai-chi teachers in the world, the “Tai-chi Farm” which began in 1984 in nearby Warwick, N. Y. Taichi Master Jou, Tsung Hwa purchased this 103 acre piece of land to use as a Tai-chi gathering place and an ongoing school. I was at the first Tai-chi Farm gathering, dedicated to the birthday of Tai-chi’s legendary founder, Chan, San Feng. About 35 people showed up and we were amazed at how many Tai-chi teachers there were in one place. Before Master Jou was killed in a car accident in 1998, the yearly gathering attracted over 1,200 teachers and their students. From 1984 on, I and about 15 other teachers, provided advanced training to other teachers and all teachers shared whatever they knew with each other. There were five workshop periods per day over the two day weekend and a choice of four or five workshops for each time slot. You could just wander from one class to another if you wished, just take in the beautiful wooded scenery or play with the geese and goats. After Master Jou died, one of his students, Bruce LaCarrubba, offered his 23 acre property to continue the event and received the blessings of Master Jou’s family. Now it takes place on the weekend nearest to Master Jou’s birthday, July 13th. Bruce considers himself to be the “caretaker”, and continues to provide classes of Master Jou’s Tai-chi and philosophy. The festival’s workshop subjects range from

20

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013

Energy through the eyes exercise. Tai-chi for self defense, to basic principles of efficient movement, to Qigong to strengthen specific parts of the body, to learning new Tai-chi forms, to Taoist philosophy, to principles of healing, to push hands and on and on. All who are interested in what Tai-chi has to offer are welcome to the festival. One of the event’s guiding principles has always been, “Leave your ego at the door” and so this event has become like a family reunion, with students and teachers alike sharing with each other. The price is very modest and food is included. One of the event’s highlights is demonstrations by the teachers. You see the incredible variety of Tai-chi forms, the slow ones as well as the faster, martial oriented forms, including weapons. But the emphasis of the Tai-chi Park is on Tai-chi for health and efficient use of the body. We all want to be healthy and live long lives but also to bring the intricate understanding of efficient movement, neutralizing the opponent’s force and generation of power into our martial arts, whatever our style may be. The Tai-chi Park not only provides great new ideas for our practice every year and helps unite the Tai-chi community, but also refreshes our souls to energize us for a new year of teaching.


Giving Back To Those Who Serve Ways to Give Our New Home — The Camp Patriot Disabled Veteran’s Retreat Ranch: Your support will

About Camp Patriot:

Established in 2006, Camp Patriot is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that has transformed the lives of hundreds of wounded and disabled veterans.

allow us to purchase our new ranch facility. Our new home will offer veterans a one-of-a-kind experience away from the distractions of everyday life, including a host of programs and unique challenges for disabled veterans of all generations. Disabled veterans will have the opportunity to create new relationships and gain new skills in a wide range of outdoor activities.

Become a Friend of Camp Patriot:

Options

Monthly Donation $5 $10 $20 $30 $50

veterans to learn new ways of thinking in order to overcome their wounds on their way to accomplishing amazing goals. These challenges represent a crucible of change that proves to each participant that they can overcome any obstacle.

There is no cost for disabled veteran guests of Camp Friend Patriot. It is only by the financial support of our Leader generous donors that Camp Patriot is able to provide Warrior these brave men and women the love and thanks General they deserve. Your monthly Friends of Camp Patriot Patriot donation helps us cover the cost of travel, food, lodging and activities. The Friends of Camp Patriot is a simple automatic on-line monthly donation program.

www.camppatriot.org www.camppatriot.org

Special volunteer opportunities will be available for Friends of Camp Patriot participants. Please visit us at www.camppatriot.org

Challenge, Change and Lead: Our programs challenge disabled

P

C “Giving Back To Those Who Have Given”

TM

Scan to learn more about Camp Patriot and it’s programs.

Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®

21


Traveling to the Home

T

he world of Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu had changed tremendously since 2009. That’s what Sensei Jerry Figgiani realized after travelling to Okinawa in July of 2013. Since his last visit the passing of two Okinawan Karate legends Kensei Taba Sensei and Soke Takayoshi Nagamine had left a tremendous void making a difference not only on his own journey to Okinawa but more importantly in the world of Shorin Ryu Karate. In addition, to the loss Jerry Figgiani, Kyoshi, training at an ancient temple in Okinawa, Sensei Figgiani’s own sensei, site. Sensei Joseph Carbonara had passed away— one of the last pioneers in the United States. Keeping this in mind, Sensei Figgiani’s goal was to keep the legacy of these great men alive in the hearts of Matubayashi Shorin Ryu practitioners. Grandmaster Shoshin Nagamine, the founder of Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu, handpicked Ansei Ueshiro, Chotoku Omine, and James Wax to introduce karate to the United States. In fact, Wax was Nagamine Sensei’s first Western black belt. Carbonara Sensei and his contemporaries began their study of Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu in the early 1960s training under the above-mentioned men. Later on, Carbonara Sensei would study not only with the Grandmaster but with his son Takayoshi Nagamine who had later arrived in the States. Carbonara was appointed a world delegate for the Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu Federation in 1991 and was active not only in teaching but in his own personal training before falling ill to pancreatic cancer. Before his passing, Carbonara Sensei stressed to Sensei Figgiani the importance of reviving and strengthening the New York area’s relationship to Okinawa. On his previous trip in 2009, Sensei Figgiani was able to visit the Honbu Dojo to see Soke Nagamine. He was accompanied by Okinawan master Kensei Taba. Taba Sensei was greeted with great respect and humility by Soke Takayoshi Nagamine who was ten years junior in age to Taba Sensei—his father’s long-time student and one-time president of the World Matsubayashi Ryu

22

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013


by Brad Wells

e Land of Karate-Do Federation. It was Sensei Figgiani’s understanding that, although both men lived in Naha City, it had been ten years since they last spoke. Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu might well be seen as a microcosm of the political divisions in karate world-wide, where rifts among members of even the greatest traditions within the martial arts are common. Yet, as Sensei Figgiani looked on the scene of the two men exchanging proprieties and courtesies, he was struck by how the Okinawan emphasis on politeness and respect transcended individual differences and made the reunion possible. Regrettably, within two years, both men would be gone. Eighteen years earlier, in 1991, Sensei Figgiani accompanied his own instructors, Sensei Joseph Carbonara and Sensei Terry Maccarrone, as they made the trip to Okinawa to celebrate Grandmaster Nagamine’s 85th birthday. Along with the pageantry of the Grandmaster’s birthday, there was also the announcement that, as expected, Takayoshi Nagamine would be given the title Soke (hereditary heir) of the Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu system. One of the uncanny things about Sensei Figgiani is his ability to have a relationship with different instructors and not be held back by political differences. An example of this: Although an original student of Sensei Maccarrone, it was Sensei Maccarrone who encouraged Sensei Figgiani to train with Sensei Carbonara. Sensei Figgiani feels lucky because he has benefitted from the influences of Omine’s teaching through Carbonara and Ueshiro’s teachings through Maccarrone. With the appointment of Soke, it was the beginning of the changing of the guard. Within a few years, the ailing

Tamaki Sensei and Tokashika Sensei

grandmaster and his senior student, 9th dan Nakamura Seigi, would ask Kensei Taba to assume the Presidency of the World Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu Federation. Taba Sensei held that position until Nagamine’s death in 1997. Well respected, Taba Sensei had also studied with karate legends Hohan Soken, and Chosin Chibana. But it was in Master Nagamine’s dojo that he learned the Karate he would spend a half century practicing, training with him for the rest of the Master’s life. Sensei Figgiani was able to go to Okinawa in 2009 at the request of Soke Takayoshi Nagamine, who then headed the World

continued next page

Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®

23


Modern Naha

Matsubayashi Karate Association. The trip coincided with the world championships in Okinawa. Yet, another example of Sensei Figgiani’s ability to have relationships with different instructors was demonstrated by the fact that Soke Nagamine requested Sensei Figgiani’s visit, however, it was Taba Sensei who hosted him. Sensei Figgiani had previously met Taba Sensei in Dayton, Ohio two years earlier when Taba Sensei was there to teach a seminar coordinated by Sensei Tony Partlow. Sensei Figgiani states, “When I was first introduced to Taba Sensei, I felt an immediate connection although there was a language barrier. I felt he sensed my sincerity in my commitment to Okinawan Karate. He made my students and I feel like a part of his martial arts family.” Figgiani travelled to Ohio at the request of Sensei Maccarrone to represent Matsubayashi-ryu practitioners in New York and to show appreciation and support for Taba Sensei as a senior member of the greater Matsubayashi family. Maccarrone Sensei, who began his study of Shorin Ryu in 1963 with Sensei Ansei Ueshiro, was aware of his instructor’s strong relationship with Sensei Taba. Maccarone Sensei stressed the importance of maintaining those relation24

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013

ships, keeping open the doors of communication, and when possible, training with the Okinawan practitioners. The Shorin Ryu Karatedo International group went to Okinawa in 2009 with the same spirit of friendship and cooperation. Master Taba showed his appreciation by opening the doors of his dojo and his own home. He played the role of host, tour guide, and most importantly, instructor. Figgiani commented on how tremendously welcoming and gracious Taba Sensei was. He regarded the master as a true gentleman, extremely inclusive, and representing the best of Okinawa. As Shorin Ryu Karatedo members exited the airport this last July, they were privileged to be met by Sensei Sadahiro Makino. The group would attend memorial ceremonies at the Taba family home honoring the one-year anniversary of Taba Sensei’s passing. Each family member of Taba Sensei’s family greeted and welcomed the returning visitors as well as the first timers. They showed great appreciation for their guests. They talked about how proud they were of Taba Sensei not only because of his commitment to Karate but to his family. Even though the timing of the trip was planned to coincide with the cer-


emony, the visitors found it difficult to believe that the gracious man had passed. One of the female participants of the group and eighteen year practitioner, Sandan Kathy Hanley says, “I was extremely nervous during my first visit to Okinawa. I didn’t know what to expect or how I would be treated as a woman training in the martial arts. What I found was that there was no barrier that is sometimes encountered when training in the United States. Taba Sensei and his students were always generous and helpful with instruction.” Four years later, in 2013, as Shorin Ryu Karatedo members arrived at the Naha Airport, they were greeted by Sensei Sadahiro Makino. The group was taken to their hotel to rest up for the following day’s itinerary. The first day started off with a 2 ½ training session in the tropical heat. For the remainder of their stay, they would be training in the Tokashiki Shorin Ryu Dojo—overseen by the senior member of the group and longtime Shoshin Nagamine student Sensei Takeshi Tamaki. Afternoons and evenings were filled with great food, sightseeing, and the occasional additional training session. Sensei Figgiani had the

opportunity to teach in the Tokashiki Dojo. He felt it was an honor for him to stand in front of the future generation of Shorin Ryu practitioners. It was easy to connect with the students because the language was karate-do. The newcomers to Okinawa were, as Sensei Figgiani had always been, fascinated by the warm and welcoming, laid-back manner of their instructors. Yet, there was no lack of intensity in the training. Additionally, they were struck by their Okinawan hosts’ repeated emphasis of the need to make “karate your own.” Understanding principles to feel comfortable within one’s own body types, strength and limitations were reinforced. Seventy year old Eddie Chin, 5th dan an original student of Omine Sensei, says, “We were surrounded by black belts giving us instruction almost oneon-one. I would need another lifetime to come close to what they achieved.” Newly awarded Shodan, 76 year old Lou DiBlasi says, “Before my arrival, I had no idea what to expect. After training in an Okinawan dojo, I realized that Karate permeates the entire Okinawa culture.” The group was also able to interact and socialize with other

Declaration with Makino Sensei Tokashiki Sensei and Tamaki Sensei Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®

25


martial artists throughout the world. They met practitioners from Sweden, Portugal, Germany, Spain, and even ran into other martial artists from the United States. An international gathering and friendship meeting place was a newly established business called the Dojo Bar which Sensei Figgiani highly recommends to students traveling to Okinawa. The Dojo Bar which opened in 2011 by Matsubayashi practitioner James Pankiewicz was a great social place with good food and a lively atmo-

26

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013

sphere in a karate-theme setting. Sensei Figgiani stresses that anyone who trains in Okinawan Karate should make it a point to train there at least once in their lifetime. Students are immersed in the history and culture of some of the great leaders who have paved the way for generations to come. It was definitely an inspiring trip for the senior members of the organization as well as first timers. On the last evening of the trip, Sensei Figginai was asked to attend a special meeting. That evening, he was honored to be asked if he would form an official affiliation between the members of the International Shogen Ryu Karatedo Kyokai and Shorin Ryu Karatedo International. Sensei Figgiani was very pleased to accept the invitation. A certificate was prepared to document the newly formed affiliation. The document itself is unique and special, particularly given the divisiveness of contemporary martial arts. But it is actually an expression of strong bonds that have gone back over half a century between New York and Naha. It documents the intention of both organizations to continue to promote Okinawa and its uniqueness without any political discrimination, a fitting embodiment of Nagamine Sensei’s appreciation for the “integral relationship between karate and Okinawan culture” and his lifetime commitment of spreading the Okinawan art worldwide. Sensei Figgiani felt the trip was a huge success, not only by having his organization honored, but by the establishment of the official affiliation enabling an open-door policy in Okinawa to all who would like to join him. If you would like to contact Sensei Figgiani he can be reached by going to his web site www.srkdi.com.


www.srkdi.com Martial Arts Grandmasters International 速

27


Favorite fighting techniques from the

Masters

TM

Shihan Don Issak’s favorite fighting techniques.

1

2

3

4

5

6

Go to www.officialkaratemag.com to see more Favorite Fighting Techniques from the MastersTM. Shihan Don Issak began his training at the age of 12 in Peoria, IL with Hanchi Phillip Koeppel in 1972. Mr. Isaak graduated from High School in 1978 and went to work full time at the Koeppel Karate schools. He traveled extensively throughout the Midwest competing at various tournaments over his competitive career. He taught for Hanchi Koeppel in both Springfield, IL, and Champaign-Urbana. He joined the United States Air Force in 1981 and was stationed at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma City, OK, where he studied Seikichi Toguchi Shorei Kan Goju-Ryu with Tom Haggerty. During this time he met Mike Dillard, owner of Century Martial Arts supply and in 1985, Mr. Issak opened the Atlanta location for Century. Issak has been nationally ranked in forms, fighting and weapons. In 1989 he was the #1 forms and #1 Light Heavyweight fighting champion (NASKA) in the Southeast region. He holds mulitple dan ranks including a 7th Dan in Okinawan Karate, 6th dan in Shuri-Ryu karate, and 3rd dan in Shinto Yoshin Ryu Ju-Jitsu. Shihan Issak is in the Living Legends Hall of Fame and was awarded “Master of the Year” in 2011 by the AAMA. He owns the Ancient Arts Family Karate Academy in Cary, North Carolina. He has also produced six instructional videos on the Shuri system. See his website at www. aaafamilykarate.com.

“Tongue in Cheek” — Defense Against a Right Hand Punch or Grab (Grandmaster Andy Horne is playing the role of attacker) 1. Opponent executes a right hand punch or grab and Mr. Isaak steps off center and executes a left hand brush block. 2. As opponent carries forward Isaak extends his right elbow upward as a secondary block. Note that the block must be above attackers elbow to defend against possible counter. 3. Isaak rotates clockwise simultaneously “smearing” attackers face with his right hand. 4. Isaak continues to rotate clockwise placing opponent in a right arm bar. 5. Then he executes a left doward block reversing the opponent and opening him... 6. ...to a reverse right elbow strike to chin (mandible). 28

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013


Congratulations to the 2013 South Carolina Black Belt Hall of Fame Inductees

Photo by Duke Tirschel

Directors

Keith Vitali President

Sam Chapman 2014 Vice President

Mike Genova 2014 President

Bobby Tucker Director

New 2013 Inductees

Marty Knight

Tony Young

Tony Thomas

John Orck

Michael Goldman Bruce Brutschy

Jerry Rhome

Joey Shiflett

Nicki Lee

Joe Beckham

Dewey Earwood Virgil Kimmey

For more information check out SCblackbelthalloffame.com SCblackbelthalloffame.com Martial Arts Grandmasters International 速

29


jim mather’s Karate life ™

Jim Mather, Hanshi

Who Writes the History of the Martial Arts? Do the victors write much of the history of our arts or the losers? They say history is written by the victors. And in the old days, that was generally true. Whoever controlled things, decided what the official story would be. But in recent times (especially since the advent of the free press, multi-channel TV, the internet, Wikipedia, etc.), it has often been written by anyone, including people who may know little about a given subject, who have an agenda that slants their telling, whose egos float astronomically higher than their IQs and knowledge, and so on. This has been especially true in the martial arts, where history was often based more on legend, mythology, and writer bias than fact. I think Bruce Haines’ Karate’s History and Traditions was the first book I read in which the writer actually did an academic investigation into things. It was flawed but not for lack of trying. Until recently, most martial arts history was passed down via word of mouth. Philosopher Karl Popper called this “subjective knowledge,” knowledge that often changes with each retelling or personal slant and would disappear with the death of the last person to hear it. “Objective Knowledge” is knowledge put into some form of hard copy (books, magazines, video files, pdf, etc.) that enables it to be “Googled” and accessed by students or researchers possibly forever. This can be a good or a bad thing. There are a few qualities a person must possess it they are to undertake certain tasks. If they want to be a security guard, they can’t be

blind. If they want to become a piano tuner, they can’t be deaf. And it they want to write a history, they can’t be less than honest and truthful to a fault. Several years ago, I was asked for assistance from a writer who was putting together a book on the history of karate in America. I supplied him with a fair amount of info he didn’t have and some rare photos. He asked me about a local instructor with whom I had some problems. A woman had enrolled her son in his school but quickly left, referring to them as “hokey.” She signed up with us and after a few months, she wrote me a note saying “Karate at CKA (my dojo) was the best thing she ever did for her son.” I asked if it would be okay if I used her quote in an ad. She was happy to recommend us. So I ran an ad that featured her quote and placed her name under it. It was a great ad that brought us many students. Soon our competitor ran the same exact ad, with her quote and name in it. She was livid. I sent a letter to the guy, explaining the situation. I figured he would do the right thing and stop running it. I was wrong. He said he had been given the ad by a management company, who said I had given them permission to use it. It was trademarked and I never gave them permission. In fact, I had told them they couldn’t use it. The book author got very defensive of the local guy. He thought he was the greatest martial artist in the world and I was obviously a jerk for not seeing that. So when his book came out, in which he listed the credentials and accomplishments of most American martial arts instructors,

Magazine and newspaper articles are full of errors, misquotes and outright lies.

30

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013


the only comment associated with my name was “martial arts administrator.” What’s the big deal? Well, if a future writer (maybe next week, month, year, ten years, or a hundred years) researched this era for an article or book, my name and role could be deemed inconsequential, or diminished, based upon what had been written about me – either rightly or wrongly. While I was a graduate student at Stanford, we were taught how to evaluate all sorts of written material—books, dissertations, newspapers, research results, etc. The university expected us to one day publish our own books and articles and to perform and publish our own research. So we had to know how to do these properly and present valid conclusions. Many, if not most, research projects are flawed to some degree. Sometimes the experiment was structured or setup improperly. Sometimes there were flaws in their math. And 1948. Young Jonathan Lusk’s life was persometimes their conclusions weren’t valid. fect. His father a Nobel Prize winning Harvard For example, someone found that children professor; his mother the beautiful only child who could walk balance beams were better of Boston socialites. Jonathan’s life is turned readers than those who were poor at it. From upside down when he finds himself in Japan, that, they concluded that you could improve living with his grandfather, former American reading scores by teaching students to walk a beam. So schools all across the country ran Ambassador and a judge on the Tokyo War out and bought balance beams. Reading scores Crimes Tribunals. American opulence and comdidn’t change. They had erroneously assumed fort is abruptly replaced by subtle Japanese that since those who could walk balance beams elegance and traditional austerity. The boy is were better readers that walking beams made thrust into a life among strangers and forced to people better readers. No such relationship navigate his way through a new country, foreign existed. Non-research material—magazine customs, unfamiliar language, and ultimately and newspaper articles, non-academic books, political intrigue that will threaten his life. etc. —are always suspect as literally anyone could write one of these. When checking such “I enjoyed this very much. It was engrossing publications, we knew to be very careful about from page one, leading me into a world I haven’t using their data, quotes, or results in any seriseen before. I’m a huge fan of Kurosawa, ous study. Shogun and Last Samurai among other works I once read a book entitled Mind Over on Japan so I was quite surprised that you Matter. The author gave accounts of sevcould find new stops on a well-traveled OK Re eral instances in which people‘s minds ader’ journey.” —Mike Cheda, Former head s had been verified to have overcome of development, Disney & HBO Order J im M matter. One such proof was a martial new n ather’s artist who supposedly beat a world www.A ovel at mazon .com. champion arm wrestler using only his

continued next page Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®

31


History continued thumb or one finger (I forget which). It had, according to the author, been verified by Black Belt Magazine. I tracked down the article where the individual himself claimed he had beaten the world champion arm wrestler, not some independent and objective observer. It might have been true but was, like “hearsay” evidence in court, not useful in any serious study. Magazine and newspaper articles are full of errors, misquotes, and outright lies. Some of these are intentional but most are not. The writer is honestly trying to do a good job but lacks the skill or sufficient knowledge of the subject to do it justice. I tell people that if you don’t want to be misquoted, don’t let anyone do an article on you. If you do, it’s pretty much a given. I’ve had many articles done on me and never had one that didn’t have something – a quote or explanation – that didn’t make me cringe a bit. The writer will hear what they want to hear, mishear what you said, etc. A local journalist did an article on me several years ago. She quoted me as saying that the nunchaku was developed to beat the husk off of corn. I don’t remember seeing a lot of corn when I was in Okinawa as it was a new world product. I had never said anything about corn. I had said it was used to beat the husk off of rice. But I took some kidding about it for a while nonetheless. In a 1987 Karate-Kung Fu Illustrated Magazine article about me and my thoughts on the subject of ikken hissatsu, the so-called one strike kill, the author wrote, “The Japanese call it the one-punch kill. It’s a blow that brings all fighting elements together with perfect timing to immobilize your opponent with one sudden burst of power.” Close enough. “The one-punch kill is tough to teach, since many students believe they can do it naturally without any thought put into the correct powerproducing dynamics.” Have no idea where she got that. 32

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013

“Some instructors won’t even bother to teach the one-punch kill to women, because they think women don’t have enough power to punch. Then when a female student learns it incorrectly, she proves them right. However, women can actually learn the technique faster than many men because they have no pre-conceived notions about how it’s done.” This was a mixture of things I had told her, but about a different topic. Female students often learn how to punch correctly faster than their new male counterparts as they have no bad-habits to unlearn so they improve from day one. It had nothing to do with ikken hissatsu. “If the one-punch kill is more difficult than meets the eye, who can teach it correctly? In Japan instructors of the one-punch kill are commonplace. However, in North America, they’re rare. But Jim Mather, who owns and runs the California Karate Academy in San Jose, California, is an American who has put a lot of thought into the dynamics of punching.” What??? It was true I had given it a lot of thought but so had many others in this hemisphere. Anyway, just a bit more food for thought to bear in mind when you read a history or article on the martial arts – or someone proposes to write an article on you.

This column is taken from Jim Mather’s Karate Life Blog. Mr. Mather (seen at right with Sensei Mimoto at the Goodwill Collegate Competition) is a well known traditional karate master and historian. His blog traces his over 55 years in the arts including friendships with many icons and celebrities. His new novel is titled Arrow Catcher. He is also on theBoard of the Karate Masters Hall of Fame® You can contact him at mather@ckakarate.com


Ever tried to place an order in a resturant without a menu? Now you can put professional, menu-like sales displays in your school.

“I’ve seen a lot in 50 years in the business. This program has actually helped school owners increase their revenues and profits. I’ve studied America's Best model and even incorporated it into my own teaching. I’m happy to endorse this business model as one that will enhance your career.” J. Pat Burleson America's First National Champion

VEN ! O R P ULTS RES

Here's what America's BestTM brings to your school or business. • Customized Lobby Displays • Life Skills/Leadership ProgramsTM • Knock-Out Work-OutTM • Achievement ProgramTM • Motivational Team Concept • Day-to-Day Business Operations Manual www.americasbestmab.com www.americansbestmab.com

“I’m pleased to be able to endorse America’s Best Martial Arts Business and their curriculum models. Grandmaster Burleson and Master Hudson are working hard to produce top-quality black belts and enhance the quality of life for all who teach as their profession.” Jhoon Rhee Father of Taekwondo in America

YOU D TO CH ON'T HAV E A CURR NGE YOU R ICUL UM.

Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®

33


Hanshi Dan Tosh

the

voice of tradition

TM

Training in Asia

F

or those who spent time training in the birthplace of their arts, such as Okinawa, Korea, Japan, China, Thailand and the Philippines as well as Hawaii, or Samoa for Lua or Lima Lama, it was somewhat different than any other training in the other countries for those styles. For the lack of a better term, you could call it first-hand training, while others learn secondhand, thirdhand or beyond. When training in Asia, most of the older established training halls were hesitant or suspicious about sharing the knowledge that they believed to be a sacred honor passed down from generation to generation. Those who trained before put their beloved secrets in the hands of only the most trusted and loyal students. As time went by more and more interest was stirring for the almost magical movements that seemed to make the average, or even less than average, man into a superhuman. In Okinawa, when I trained after studying for about 12 years in Shorin-ryu, I found that the instruction was a bit different. As you first walked into a dojo in Okinawa back in the 1950s to the late 1970s, you were greeted kindly but with some reservation. We can’t forget that the world was at war just a few years earlier and we had bombed Japan. So they weren’t exactly warm and fuzzy with us yet. When an American would go into a dojo to train, they would be happy to accept

him or her and then begin to punish them through very physically tough training. This training was much more intense than the training required by the locals. They would beat up the Americans almost to the breaking point. They would sometimes hit so hard the student would end up being knocked out of the dojo and onto the dirt outside. After the sensei finally found a place in his heart for the student who never quit, he or she would be accepted as a true student and was able to achieve much knowledge to pass on to the world. So some of those who made their black belt and went out in the world to teach and thought that they should beat their students. There were reports of serious injuries and even accidental deaths over the years. Many instructors bragged about how they are tough they were then proceeded to knock their students into walls and beat them to a pulp. This was simply because they didn’t understand what was really happening in the beginning of their own training. The truly gifted and intelligent students became revered and loved by their students and the world in general. They were able to have the right mixture of discipline and kindness to develop the student from infancy to maturity in the style they were entrusted with. They followed the old ways and methods of development without the harsh (get to know

The world was at war only a few years earlier and we had bombed Japan.

34

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013


them) attitude. When I was training with Miyagi Sensei in Hawaii, the training was very tough, yet he was kind to me. He was the father I never had or knew. I could see the kindness in his eyes even through the strict and specific requirements given me to achieve. One day my teacher made me stand in a horse stance for seven hours on the beach in Wahiawa, looking at the ocean under the shade of a tree. He would come and kick the back of my legs every so often to see if I’d fall. In that moment I hated him, yet now I love what he allowed me to achieve. My teacher would hit the back of your hand if you did not rotate your fist with the seikan punch. This was what he was remembered for most. He was very fast or at least seemed very fast and it may have been due to a complete lack of wasted movement. Years later I was teaching a seminar at Sensei Rocky Ryan’s dojo in Shingle Springs California with Sensei Sid Campbell and Rocky’s first teacher was there. He came up to me and said “I trained with your teacher in Hawaii.” So I asked “how was that?” He said “I couldn’t train for long because he kept hitting the back of my hands and it was painstaking.” I knew, of course, he really did train with my teacher. In 1991 I went back to Okinawa to compete in Grandmaster Morio Higahonna’s Goju-ryu tournament and to train with some of the old grandmasters. I took my students to see Grandmaster Eizo Shimabukuru in Kin. It took a while to find his dojo and we paid a taxi to drive us there from Naha. As the taxi driver pulled up to the front of his home/dojo he honked the horn two or three times. I jumped out of the taxi and ran to the bottom of his stairs, bowed my head and said, “O Sensei,”as he was running down the

stairs to deal with this rude action by the taxi driver. He welcomed us to his home and then confirmed that my kata was very similar to his kata. We exchanged cards and on his card one side is about karate and the other is about his chicken farm/contractor’s business. When we first went to the tournament building for the morning training with Grandmaster Katsuya Miahira and Grandmaster Shinpo Matayoshi, we found ourselves early and had to wait outside for the doors to open. As we were sitting on the small wall outside the building a somewhat overweight Okinawan gentleman walked up and many of the other showed respect by bowing. I told my students that he must be an important ranking instructor and they agreed. Finally Miahira Sensei walked up and went inside and the doors were soon opened for everyone else. We went into the bathroom to change and when we emerged with our black gis on, we found that we were the only ones with black gis. I was, in fact, the only one there with

I jumped out of the taxi and ran to the bottom of his stairs, bowed my head and said, “O Sensei.”

continued on next page Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®

35


a red and white panel belt on. We opened the very large double doors and started to walk inside where there were hundreds of black belts. A black belt ran over to me and said “sir, the highest rank stands in the front to the far right facing Sensei Miahira and since you are the highest rank you must stand there. As I walked over to take my place, the somewhat overweight gentleman we’d seen earlier had to give up the spot and he wasn’t happy. When Grandmaster Miahira indicated that he knew my teacher, the guy was even less happy. So I stuck my thumbs in my obi and said in as southern an accent as I could, “How ya’ doing?” H e did not smile! We had an opportunity to train with GM Miahira and GM Matayoshi and it was a great experience that we will all never forget. Matayoshi Sensei came out in the hall for a break while I was stretching and even though he spoke little or no English we communicated and became friends with a hug at departure. That was a great time and I was able to see old friends as well as make new ones. My friend, Pat McCarthy, was selling his new book, the Bubishi in the hallway and this was the first time I’d seen him since about 1981. Training in the old ways from the sources is and was an honor and those of us privileged to do so are truly blessed no matter what roadblocks life throws our way! We need to thank all of those who pioneered the way for the future generations of traditional practitioners! This provides a path to follow and a strong root to develop non-traditional styles as well! Dan Tosh (at right with Sensei Miyahira) is on the Board of Advisors of Martial Arts Grandmasters International® as well as the Karate Masters Hall of Fame®. He has been training in Shorin-ryu karate-do since 1958. You can contact him at www.shorin-ryu.biz. 36

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013


Martial Arts Grandmasters International 速

37


KUNG FU KORNER TM

Sifu Karen Schlachter

When All Else Fails, Do Kata!

B

ack in the mid 1960’s I had the honor and priviledge to train with Takahiko Ishikawa Sensei in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was a legend in the Judo world back then and a real live 8th Dan! An 8th degree black belt was a rare treasure in the world back then and almost never heard of in the United States! I had been training in a local judo dojo and helping teach the children’s class like we all did back then. One day we had two new teachers come to our school. They had both trained in Japan very recently and they soon set about changing our programs to meet the approval of the Kodakan standards. Their names were USAF SGTDarrell Meeks (Shodan) and TSGT Steven L. Martin (Nidan). They were “by the book” Senseis and we learned the classic Japanese methods of Kodakan Judo training. One day they came to me and said that I had to go through the ranking system of the Yudanshakais in America and I also had to learn the Woman’s Kata called Ju No Kata in order to test for adult brown belt levels. I had never heard of a kata just for women and had no idea where to learn it. All my fellow students were male and so were my teachers. That’s when I was told that I would have to find a way to get to Ishikawa Judo Academy on Broad Street in downtown Philly. At the time I was just 14 years old and totally unfamiliar with anything beyond the city stores

where I would meet my grandmother once a month. I never went into the city by myself so it was going to be interesting. I think about it now and wonder if my parent’s had any idea what I was doing every Saturday morning! It certainly was not the safest excursion but it never occured to me not to do it. I carried the heavy gi bag six blocks from the bus station to the school. It took me four months to get the courage to get in that rickety elevator and go to the 4th floor! Small town kids like me never had the street saavy of the city kids! But eventually I was a veteran at traveling up to that wonder world and finding my way back in time for dinner every weekend. I say all of that to make the point that a man of Ishikawa’s stature was worth the time and effort and, yes, danger of traveling up there alone for classes. His dojo was also his home. He had a huge office and sat at a big oak teacher’s desk and there were chair set up in front of his desk and a huge plastic GO board hung like an old movie screen on the wall next to his bedroom door. I remember standing in the hallway, wide eyed and out of breath from climbing 4 flights of stairs, looking at this 64 year old gentleman sitting at his desk talking to several men, all smoking and laughing at something I couldn’t understand. I felt like I was home and yet in heaven. The mat area was

They had trained in Japan and were, “by the book” sensei.

38

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013


huge and there were at least 20 black belts warming up on the floor. Eventually, after paying the $2.00 class fee I found my way from the dressing room to the mat. I knew my life would change from that moment on because the energy in the room was different and everyone was anticipating the next 3 hours of training. Ishikawa Sensei bowed onto the mat and the air grew quiet. The next few hours I silently thanked my teachers for the years of hard training I had endured because I needed every ounce of knowledge and endurance to make it through the class. At one point Sensei practiced with everyone in the class and the give and take of true randori was a beautiful sight to see. I could go on and on about seeing grown men cry and laugh at the same time when after throwing Ishikawa Sensei several times he would nod and get up and start making a tsk tsk tsk sound and leading them around the mat. They knew that it was time for them to get tossed around like a feather and there really wasn’t anything they could do about it! Ishikawa Sensei was a true Master. He was the essence of Judo. It was his life and his passion. He had an incredible story of hard work and coming out of obscurity to win the most important judo competion in Japan. He was a military man and also an international ambassador for Judo. He was here at the request of the United States government. He was always humble and respectful to all of us. He would randori with the children and let them throw him around the mat with the same focus as he had for the teens and the adults. He treated us all the same. That impressed me as did the great love his students had for him. I was there every Saturday for 5 years and I learned more from just being there in his presence than I

can ever tell you about. He often said to me, “Karen, you love this I can tell, don’t quit it. When you can’t come to class you must still practice and you must always spend time thinking. That will make you strong and not get sick” I used to practice at my home dojo 4 nights a week and do foot and lifting drills when there were no partners available. But the thinking was meditation. I was 14, 15 , 16, 17 and meditation was the last thing on my mind. Now I understand what he meant but back then it wasn’t for me! When I was leaving the area to attend college he took me aside and tried to talk to me about taking judo with me out in the world. He said to always remember the EGO was the highest form of violence in the Martial Arts. I have never forgotten that. I think he meant for me to remember that in my college work and professional work, too. How many times have his words proven to be true? Its all about the idea of the judo creed “Maximum Efficiency - Minimum Effort “ “Mutual Welfare and Benefit” The give and take and helping your partner advance in his training, not letting ego on the mat. GM Jigoro Kano truly believed that if everyone practiced the true art of Judo we would soon evolve beyond the need to wage war or steal or carry grudges. He believed we could have world peace through Judo training. I could see his point. It was a time of great turmoil in the country and none of the outside world would ever find its way onto the mat. The years that I trained with Ishikawa Sensei, Martin Sensei and Meeks Sensei were the times that formed my personality, my sense of humor and my work ethic. I know that it was the influence of the Asian traditions

It is all about the Judo creed, “Maximum Efficiency, Minimum Effort.”

continued on next page Martial Arts Grandmasters International TM

39


Qigong Teacher Training Course Sifu Karen Schlachter of the An De Institute of Peaceful Virtues announces a 220 hour course in Qigong and Taiji/Qigong Medford New Jersey. October 11, 2013 For more information visit the website www.theandeinstitute.com or email theandeinstitute@gmail.com. Sifu Karen Schlachter can See her article be reached at 609-560-8300 on page 46. This course is open to Yoga Teachers and Martial Art Instructors to expand their practice and enhance their classes. It is also open to anyone interested in becoming teachers and have limited experience. Students will receive teacher certification and will be ready to offer classes and CEUs as well as adding the beautiful movements and healing forms in their classes. Classes will cover • Healing • Medical Qigong • Meditation • Taiji/Qigong healing sets • Ancient methods of stress reduction and rejuevenation techniques. Courses will be open to out of town students through weekend immersions Local students will have weekly classes. 40

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013

brought here by these great teachers that made the classes as structured and formal back then. It’s training that has slowly disappeared due to time constraints, lack of interest in the old ways and the need to attract enough students to keep the rent paid and the lights on. Times have changed but there are still a few traditional dojos and kwans out there. Sensei Martin was also my Shorin Ryu teacher during that time. It was his devotion to passing on what he had learned in Okinawa that burned a love of traditional forms into my heart. As I have said before the military men brought the martial arts back to the United States after World War II and other tours of duty overseas. Most of them had a limited tour and tried to learn as much as they could before they came home. I haven’t met many of these instructors who went back to their teachers in Okinawa or Japan for further training. They had to learn from each other or an occasional visit from their teachers in order to refine their techniques. Then along came that old devil rank. Rank became the sought after necessity. Things got crazy after that. Now there are Masters on every corner and more and more Grand Masters popping up on the scene every year. I wonder what the teachers in Okinawa would say about that! How about the term I heard recently - Great Grand Master - I don’t even want to think about that! Sensei Martin did go back and continued to expand his training with his Okinawan teachers and then went on to train in Taiwan in the Chinese Martial Arts. He teaches that Kata is soul of Martial Arts. I spent many hours digesting that statement (or as Ishikawa Sensei said “thinking about it”) I have come to realize the wisdom in that precious teaching. Think about the times when you have found yourself outside in the yard at


night trying to make sense of something at home or work and the kata begins to whisper in your spirit. You find yourself starting to move through a basic form and then the advanced form leads you into an intense energy filled pattern. That midnight kata begins to detox the stuck energy and the pain- shame - blame - and anger begins to dissipate with the deep breathing and techniques. Then the silence of standing meditation brings peace, answers and resolve into your mind and your soul is cleansed. The healing is in motion. The “Thinking” and the practice have done their work again. This is what Ishikawa Sensei was trying to tell me. This is what my teachers through the years have stressed time and time again. Its the inner work that makes you an adult with an open mind, healthy body and happy heart. My Qigong teacher, Sifu Ken Cohen often talks about a 114 year old Tai Chi Chuan teacher in China who was asked what he thought kept him so healthy and vibrant. He smiled and said “a happy heart!” The interviewer was shocked and said “I thought you would say it was Tai Chi Chuan that made you so live so well for so long!” The dear old man laughed and shook his head at the young man and said “ Tai Chi Chuan practice gave me my happy heart!” It could be said about the practice of any Martial Art that is done with the intention of healthy living and personal practice. Its not supposed to be all about fighting and rank and how many boards you can break. Its for our health and for our peace of mind. Its about the happy heart! Sifu Karen Schlachter has studied many arts including Kodokan Judo, Okinawan Shorin Ryu, Aikido, Sun Moon Fist Chinese Boxing and Yang Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong. She teaches Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong for Tranquil Seas Retreats, and is the Master Instructor at The Sun Moon Tao Institute. She is a Master Instructor in Karuna and Usui Reiki and An De Divine Healing. You can contact her at Sunmoontao11@gmail.com

It's Here!

The 2013, completely revised and updated edition of the most sought- after reference on the martial arts...

The Martial Arts Encyclopedia.

by John Cocoran & Emil Farkas

Available NOW!! For more info call or email. 310-275-2661 BHKarate@aol.com

Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®

41


Eisuke Akamine S ensei by Katherine Loukopoulos

Gichin Funakoshi (1868–1958) Moden Yabiku (1878–1941): Yamani Ryu; founder of The Ryukyu Kobujutsu Kenkyu Kai. He learned from Yamani Nusume who was a direct disciple of Sanda Chinen. Kenwa Mabuni (1889–1952) Shinken Taira (1897–1970) Eisuke Akamine (1925–1999) Mainland Japan • 1922 - Shinken Taira traveled to Tokyo and became a karate student of Gichin Funakoshi • 1929 – While learning from Funakoshi, he also became a Ryukyu Kobujutsu student of Moden Yabiku. • 1933 - Shinken Taira established a branch dojo of Gichin Funakoshi’s Shotokan in the Gunma Prefecture. While teaching there, he also became a weapons student of Kenwa Mabuni. Okinawa • 1942 - Shinken Taira returned home to Okinawa and remained there until the end of the Pacific War. Although the Okinawan people were devastated and impoverished as a direct result of the war, their tenacity for survival and their positive outlook for the future saw them through the hard years ahead. • 1955 - Shinken Taira established The Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinko Kai for the preservation and promotion of Ryukyu Kobujutsu and worked diligently for its development until his death. • 1970 - Eisuke Akamine became the second president of The Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinko Kai until his death. Eisuke Akamine Akamine Sensei practiced and instructed 42

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013

Kobudo well before his meeting with Shinken Taira. He learned from Seichiro Higa, Yonesuke Higa, Yohei Akamine, and Jinsaburo Higa all who were disciples of the famous Sanda Chinen. In 1959 Shinken Taira went to Tomigusuku Village in order to learn Yamani Ryu from Akamine’s teachers. That is how the two great men met. Akamine Sensei was so impressed with Shinken Taira’s ability that he became his student. Personal Experience It was Friday night, January 15th, 1999. A message on my answering machine urgently instructed me to go to the funeral parlor located near the Akamine Hombu Dojo, Tomishiro Town, on the next day, 1400 hours sharp. Akamine Eisuke Sensei, Chairman of The Ryu Kyu Kobudo Preservation and Promotion Association, had passed away at the age seventy-four. Although sensei was seriously ill, students came to show their kata and obtained corrections from their frail sensei. He never turned students away. Okinawans practiced with zeal in order to preserve the techniques which were passed down to them. The austere, and the old ways prevailed. While superstar American martial artists travelled the open tournament circuit and displayed unique performances, their Okinawan counterparts studied exceptionally hard in order to replicate their teachers’ techniques. I learned to train and to observe in silence. I paid attention to details and I listened. Most of the training was tailored to the student’s body. Although there were dantai (synchronized) classes, the individual attention received is what made the difference for a stellar performance. Students went to their


dojo and trained enjoyed some Japanese tea and parted with many corrections. by themselves. Uehara Ko Sensei and I often visited Teachers and Akamine Sensei for training. As the years Sempai offered progressed Akamine sensei started to lose suggestions weight, and students came to realize that and correcSensei was seriously ill. His son, Akamine tions which Hiroshi Sensei, along with the rest of the famthe students ily and senior students decided that a new practiced at least 1000 times. dojo could invigorate his father. Quickly the old dojo was torn down and a brand new dojo There were no emerged in its place. objections, no A modern three-story building was arguments, no erected. The dojo occupied the entire second discontented floor. Visiting students lived on the third body language, floor. Akamine sensei and his immediate and no excuses given for poorly family occupied the ground floor. Although everyone praised the new building and esexecuted techpecially the dojo, for me, it was not the same. niques; there The old wooden dojo just like the old castles were countless was magic! The new dojo did not smell the hours of silent practice in front same… but maybe it was just all in my head… In August of 1997, The World Karate of the mirrors. Kobudo Championships sponsored by the When Kancho Uehara Ko (Goju Ryu Okinawa Prefectural government and hosted Karate Do and student of Akamine Sensei’s in the newly built Onoyama Budokan took Kobudo) felt that I was ready, he phoned place. Prior to the tournament there were two Akamine Sensei and made arrangements for full days of seminars given by the masters of both of us to visit him. all karate and Kobudo styles. The dojo was very old. Wooden students’ nametags hung in lines in accordance continued next page with their ranks. The dojo’s windowpanes were wooden, the shudders were wooden, the floor bounced and creaked and there were huge cracks in between the floor beams. The ceiling was not particularly high and the training area was very small. There were no changing rooms and no lavatories. A little yard with green shrubs surrounded the dojo. Akamine sensei was a soft-spoken man. I performed kata, and Uehara Ko Sensei together with Akamine Sensei ob- After winning the 1997 World Karate & Kobudo Tournament in the Bo Kata Category, we gathered at served and discussed the plusses the dojo (new dojo) to celebrate the event and to give thanks to Sensei for his teachings... The current and minuses of my performance. president of the The Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinko Kai, Hiroshi Akamine, is standing second row first from At the end of the training we the right. Standing back row, I am third from left. Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®

43


The Ryu Kyu Kobudo seminar attracted many students, and although in a wheelchair, Akamine Sensei observed the full two days of training in it is entirety. Although Akamine Sensei’s health continued to decline, we kept up our visits. On January 14th, 1999, the curtain fell for this 74 year old teacher. During the years I’ve known Akamine Sensei I never heard him raise his voice; he was always soft spoken, and he was always kind. On January 16th the funeral service was held, and it was attended by hundreds of people. Besides relatives, there were hundreds of people who over the years trained with him and those who had worked with him. The Hombu Dojo students ushered guests and directed traffic in and out the Funeral Parlor parking area. In front of Sensei’s picture we lit some incents and silently paid our last respects. Near the exit, we bowed towards the section reserved for family members and close friends. One student asked me: “What shall we do?” I could not think of a right answer. Surely, he knew more kata, and had studied much longer than me. What could I say? I replied: “Gambarimasho*.” 44

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013

*Gambarimasho – To do our very best. To continue to fight and to do one’s best. On January 6th, 1986, I came to Okinawa for a one-year study that rolled into fourteen years. Nakamura Seigi Sensei, second to Master Nagamine Shoshin, took charge of my training, provided solutions to overcome the many challenges, and even arranged for my recreation. Recreation meant Karate and Kobudo Kata demonstrations at businesses and weddings celebrations, cultural street fairs, and private visits to other teachers’ homes and dojos. It was Nakamura Seigi Sensei who personally introduced me to Jundokan Goju Ryu Master Miyazato Eiichi, and to Goju Ryu and Ryu Kyu Kobudo Kancho Uehara Ko Sensei. Subsequently, Uehara Ko Sensei personally took me and introduced me to Akamine Eisuke Sensei. Postscript Hiroshi Akamine, son of Eisuke Akamine, follows his father’s footsteps and is the Third President of Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinko Kai.


Nutritional self defense GOT FATIGUE?

™ Dr. Craig Rubenstein

9 Ways to Energize Your Body & Life

D

o you wake up tired and dragging after a night’s sleep? Are your workouts energizing and invigorating or do you feels wiped out afterwards? Do you have a drop in energy in the middle of the afternoon and need a cup of coffee, a 5 hour energy or some other energy drink? Are you overweight? Do you suffer from allergies, asthma, chronic infections, abnormal fatigue, colitis, gastritis, or any other chronic “itis,” hypoglycemia or even depression?. . . The list is endless and adrenal gland dysfunction could be the cause. Take this adrenal dysfunction test and see how you score: 1. Tired when you wake up or “need a cup of coffee” 10pts 2. Tired instead of energized by a hard workout 7pts 3. Slow recovery after exercise 5pts 4. General weakness or fatigue throughout the day (without caffeine or other stimulants) 8pts 5. Chronic injuries of joints, tendons or ligaments 6pts 6. Low back pain 5pts 7. Lightheaded when getting up quickly 10pts 8. Have an energy drop in the middle of the afternoon 10pts 9. Have allergies 7pts 10. Crave salty foods 5pts 11. Muscles fatigue quickly 4pts 12. Sensitive to bright light 7pts 13. Frequently getting colds 5pts 14. Have low blood sugar 8pts 15. Depressed 4pts 16. Anxious 4pts 17. Have an “itis” such as colitis, gastritis, arthritis…. 8pts 18. Have or recently had an ulcer 8pts 19. Any chronic inflammation 8pts 20. Low libido 9pts 21. Men….Low “T” or prostate problems 7pts 22. Women… PMS, Perimenopausal or Menopausal symptoms 10pts 23. Thyroid issues 4pts 24. Diabetes 10pts 25. Overweight 7pts Total _______ Score Interpretation Level of Adrenal Dysfunction 21-25 Mild 25-35 Moderate Over 35 Severe

continued on next page

Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®

45


What is adrenal dysfunction? In order to understand this all too common condition, we must first examine the nature and function of the adrenal glands. We are all familiar with adrenaline, also called epinephrine, one of the many incredible adrenal gland chemicals produced in the inner portion or medulla of the adrenal glands. Another amazing substance, made by the outer portion or cortex of the adrenal glands, which has been all over the news lately, is cortisol. As you have probably heard from the media, too much cortisol can make you fat. Of-course like most things your body makes there is a positive function also. Cortisol, like its drug version cortisone, can be very useful to decrease inflammation and suppress the immune system when necessary. Too much…. or too little is a problem. You probably know that Testosterone (made from the adrenal steroid DHEA) is an anabolic steroid (generally thought of as a building up steroid) and therefore frequently used as a performance enhancing drug. On the other hand, cortisol, is a catabolic steroid (generally a breaking down steroid). To achieve balance or homeostasis of these and other opposing forces in the body it is necessary to have properly functioning adrenal glands.

The adrenal glands are located directly above the kidneys, and are composed of two parts, the cortex and the medulla. Your adrenal glands, create compounds that help to control your levels of sodium, potassium, 46

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013

blood sugar, triglycerides, and sex hormones, as well as levels of inflammatory and antiinflammatory hormones. The adrenals can increase your heart rate and blood pressure, and slow your digestion. All these processes are necessary for us to maintain normal bodily functions and to fight or flee from a sabertoothed tiger or a gun wielding lunatic. As you can see, the adrenal glands play a vital role in the functioning of our bodies. When they are not working up to par, any or all of the above functions may be impaired, leading to a wide range of chronic or acute conditions. What “stresses” the adrenals and cause them to malfunction? Well, you’ve probably guessed one major cause.... good old mentalemotional stress. For some people, this is a major component, while for others; different forms of stress are more influential. These may include: physical stress from working long hours, lack of sleep, sleep apnea, hard physical labor, chronic pain, and postural strain; chemical stress from improper diets, medications, food additives, artificial sweeteners, and environmental toxins in our air and water; or even thermal stress from overheating or over chilling caused by the repeated transition from very hot areas to very cold areas. The body’s reaction to stress was first described by Hans Selye early in this century. Selye, the author of the book The Stress of Life, discovered a triad that was always present after intense, prolonged levels of various stressors. The triad included hypertrophy (enlargement) of the adrenal cortex, atrophy (shrinking) of the thymus gland (an integral part of your immune system), the spleen, lymph nodes, and all other lymphatic structures, and the formation of ulcerations in the stomach and small intestine. Of course, depending on the amount of stress you are exposed to, you may not develop all the above conditions, but many functions of your body can be affected.


People inherit their glandular patterns the same way they acquire their looks. Those who are fortunate, inherit very strong adrenals, which may withstand considerable abuse without major problems. The less fortunate, inherit weaker adrenals, which rapidly become dysfunctional when faced with physical, chemical, mental, and emotional stresses. Some of the common signs of adrenal fatigue seen upon examination are: Tenderness at the junction of the lower rib and the muscle that runs parallel to the spine. Inability of the pupil of the eye to maintain constriction when a bright light is directed into it for over five seconds.

tests). Fortunately, some high-tech laboratory testing is now available to measure the state of the adrenals. One such test measures the levels of cortisol at four different times during the day along with your DHEA (a hormone precursor) levels. The measurements are taken from saliva samples, which allow for home collection without any blood testing being necessary. This test is a highly reliable indicator of your adrenal health. Adding applied kinesiology to the examination of adrenal dysfunction is an easy way to correlate and monitor progress through the use of manual muscle testing. When used in the treatment of a patient with adrenal dysfunction, applied kinesiology continued on next page

A systolic blood pressure (the first number in the blood pressure ratio) that does not rise at least four points when moving from a seated or lying position to a standing position, which may be accompanied by lightheadedness/dizziness upon standing up “too” rapidly. Weakness of certain leg and foot muscles that relate to the same Chinese meridian the adrenal glands relate to. Sacroilliac (pelvic/low back) joint disturbances due to the commonly associated weaknesses of the sartorious and gracilis muscles, which are leg muscles that attach to the pelvis. Are there lab tests that can measure for adrenal dysfunction? Standard laboratory tests that are used to measure adrenal function are designed to check for disease states of the adrenal glands, such as; Addison’s disease (a general failure of the adrenal glands) or Cushing’s syndrome (characterized by a very high cortisol level, rather than for adrenal dysfunction, which has been considered a subclinical disorder (difficult to detect in standard laboratory Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®

47


allows for hands on methods such as reflex techniques and acupressure, cranial sacral therapies, spinal manipulation, and nutritional supplementation to be done with greater ease and less guesswork. http://www.icakusa. com/introduction-to-ak/ In regard to nutritional supplementation, there are numerous vitamins, herbs and other supplements that can and should be used to support your adrenal glands while the stressors affecting your health are eliminated or treated. The following are a number of popular adrenal related supplements: 1. Rhodiola is used in traditional medicine in Eastern and Northern European, Asian and Greek cultures to enhance physical and mental performance, stimulate the nervous system, and fight depression. It was used by the Vikings to enhance their strength and stamina. Although studies in humans are limited, supplementation with rhodiola has been shown to improve physical endurance, mental performance, and reduced stress-induced fatigue in humans. Preliminary data also suggest that it may be effective for anxiety, and mild to moderate depression. Other data suggests Rhodiola may also have neuroprotective and anticancer effects. http://www.mskcc.org/ cancer-care/herb/rhodiola 2. Cordyceps was treasured in the Emperor’s palace in ancient China, it was used to strengthen the body after exhaustion, to strengthen the immune system and treat impotence. Folk healers use Cordyceps to treat ailments including cancer, asthma, TB, diabetes, cough and cold, erectile dysfunction, hepatitis, etc. Many studies, some in test tubes (in vitro) and some used in animals and humans (in vivo) support its having various biological functions and medicinal properties. Its effects have been seen on kidney and liver function. 48

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013

Cordyceps has also shown immune effects. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/ PMC3121254/ 3. Ashwagandha: Also called Indian Ginseng or Withania somnifera has been used for over 4,000 years in traditional Indian or Ayurvedic medicine and in African tribal medicine. Ashwagandha was used to treat inflammations like arthritis, stimulate the immune system and to combat stress. In animal studies ashwagandha increases stamina during swimming endurance tests and prevents negative adrenal gland changes involving ascorbic acid (vitamin-C) and cortisol levels. It has also demonstrated significant protection against stress induced stomach ulcers, to have anti-cancer and antianxiety properties, as well as having cognition promoting effects with utility in children and the elderly for memory. Neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and Alzeimer’s diseases have shown positive changes with ashwagandha. It also improves energy levels and the health of the energy producing part of all your cells (mitochondria), and has also been reported to have anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic effects and has even been found useful in cases of Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pmc/articles/PMC3252722/ 4. Eleutherococcus senticosus (eleuthero) is also called Siberian Ginseng. Its use dates back 2,000 years, according to Chinese medicine records. It was originally used by people in the Siberian Taiga region to increase performance and quality of life and to decrease infections. In more modern times, eleuthero has been extensively used to increase stamina and endurance in Soviet Olympic athletes and after the massive radiation accident in Chernobyl, many Russian and Ukrainian citizens were given eleuthero to potentially neutralize the effects of the radiation. Eleuthero has shown improvements in physi-


cal performance according to preliminary, although controversial Russian research. More recent studies have shown eleuthero’s immune enhancing properties. http://www. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2963645 5. Schisandra or Shizandra has been described in a classical treatise on Chinese herbal medicine, as a high-grade herbal drug especially as a tonic for the kidney which is considered in Chinese medicine as the organ where all your energy is stored. In addition, other textbooks on Traditional Chinese Medicine note that schisandra is very valuable for physical exhaustion. More recently, Schisandra gained recognition as an adaptogen in the official medicine of the USSR in the early 1960s, as a result of numerous studies performed by Russian scientists. Animal studies have shown that Schizandra increases physical working capacity and protects against many forms of stress from radiation to strenuous workloads. Schisandra effects the nervous, hormonal, immune, respiratory, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal systems, and has effects on blood sugar levels. In healthy subjects, Schizandra increases endurance and accuracy of movement, mental performance and working capacity, and effects levels of nitric oxide and cortisol. Many studies have reported Schizandra’s effects in nerve pain and psychiatric conditions such as neurosis, depression, schizophrenia and alcoholism. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pubmed/18515024 6. Relora® is a proprietary blend of two herbs commonly used in Asia, Magnolia officinalis and Phellodendron amurense. Small studies on this novel combination have been shown to promote positive mood and moderate occasional stress, as well as helping to lessen stress-related sugary snack cravings. In the most recent study, results suggested that Magnolia and Phellodendron helped to maintain healthy levels of the adrenal steroids cortisol and DHEA.

7. Bacopa has been used for numerous conditions and has some supporting scientific studies in both animals and humans for use in improving memory, treating anxiety, stress and depression. Bacopa has also been shown to effect cortisol related compounds in the blood. http://www.greenpharmacy.info/article. asp?issn=0973-8258;year=2010;volume=4;issue =1;spage=1;epage=9;aulast=Gohil Vitamin C Now that we covered the herbal approach, let’s talk about vitamin C. Vitamin C is crucial for adrenal gland function. Your body’s highest levels of vitamin C are found in the adrenal glands and brain tissues. Unfortunately, the urinary excretion of vitamin C is increased during stress, thus leaving you short on this critical nutrient that helps fuel your adrenal glands. The best way to determine how much Vitamin C you need is to do what has been called a Vitamin C Flush, Calibration or Cleanse. There have been numerous protocols to determine your vitamin C need. The one described here has stood the test of time. You must use a buffered form of ascorbic acid. This is also called mineral ascorbates. It is the minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium etc…. that buffers the acid of ascorbic acid and allows the determination to be accurately made without the acidity of the ascorbic acid negatively impacting the test. To perform the test you should start in the morning by taking approximately 1,000 milligrams (mg’s) of buffered ascorbic acid every half hour as a powder or capsule (no tablets) with about four ounces of water. You should take this amount at this rate until having a loose bowel movement. If after a whole day of this you have not had a loose bowel movement then you should start again the next day with double the dose. Once you determine the amount of buffered ascorbic acid that caused continued on next page Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®

49


you to have a loose bowel movement you can figure out your daily dose. The daily dose is approximately seventy five percent of the amount that caused your bowel to flush. As an example, if you needed to take sixteen grams or 16,000 mg’s of buffered ascorbic acid to cause a loose bowel movement then your daily dose should be 12,000 mg’s or twelve grams divided throughout the day over 3 to 6 doses. Typically, over time this dose will start to cause you to have loose bowel movements, at that point decrease your daily consumption of buffered ascorbic acid to a level that does not cause the loose bowels. This is a normal scenario. If you find yourself under more stress or are feeling run down or that you are “getting sick” it is suggested that you redo the original test as you will now need a much higher dose. Phytonutrients From Food Another area of supplementation that can aid the whole body is phytonutrient supplementation via fruits and vegetables. The addition of a whole food phytonutrient blend containing multiple bioflavonoids and polyphenols (potent antioxidants), helps create a well rounded approach to adrenal support. Particularly for reducing inflammation (one of the adrenal glands functions) the polyphenol, ellagic acid, found in berries and pomegranates is specific for reducing numerous inflammatory substances in your body thereby decreasing physical and physiological stress and reducing the strain on the adrenals. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/ pii/S0955286305000197 The high concentration of bioflavonoids (the pigments that create the color in fruits and vegetables) also take a load off the adrenals by reducing allergic reactions (another function of the adrenal glands) by preventing histamines from being released by certain over activated immune cells. http:// www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17384531.

50

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013

Most phytonutrient blends by their nature, also contain a dose of natural vitamin C which we now know is critical for adrenal gland function. In my practice, I have found that powdered products based mostly on the red colored fruits such as: strawberries, cherries, red raspberries, acerola, pomegranates, cranberries and others appear to work best as adrenal gland support. All forms of holistic healthcare help to restore and maintain the proper function of the adrenal glands. Treatments which help the body function as a whole, ranging from acupuncture and chiropractic or nutritional supplementation and dietary changes to homeopathy or biofeedback, from yoga and meditation to Qigong and psychotherapy (to name a few) dramatically decrease numerous stressors that lead to adrenal dysfunction. In our daily lives, we must do our best to reduce the chemical, structural, and emotional stressors that we face. Many of us need help in determining and dealing with the sources of these stressors, and this is where applied kinesiology and other forms of holistic healthcare can be of great service. Once the sources of physical, chemical, and emotional stress are diagnosed and reduced, the strain on your adrenal glands will diminish allowing them to recuperate and perform their vital range of functions in your body at more optimal levels. Dr. Craig Rubenstein was a team Chiropractor to the US Freestyle Ski Team in 1990. He is also a certified clinical nutritionist and a Fellow and Diplomate of the International Academy of Clinical Acupuncture. He operates his Park Avenue practice in NY and a satellite office in Suffolk County, Long Island. You can contact him at www.drrubenstein.com or at 631-696-2039.


MARTIAL MARKETPLACE™

Nominate Someone Deserving

for the Official Karate

Golden Shuto Award This special award honors contributions made by individual martial artists in areas such as fighting champions, teaching, mentors, etc. Only a few selections are recognized each year. Submit your nominations at www.officialkarate mag.com/golden-shuto-award/

Show them you’rE “official!” You’ll love the new “Official Karate” t-shirts, sweatshirts and polo shirts. T-shirts start at just $17.99 (plus shipping).

The “Ultra Cool-N-Dry Performance Polo" shown. $39.99

Go to

<http://magi. qbstores.com/c/ logo/sgid/88600.html> Powered by Queensboro.

OK R BOeNader’s US Thes e pric

15% es refl e d the r iscount o ct a if you etail ff go th prices r o u g mag webs h the OK ite.

SPECIAL OFFER for OK readers!

www.MartialArtsGreetingCards.com/2for1

Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®

51


Kata as a Mnemoni A mnemonic device (pronounced ni-mon-ik) is a mind memory and/or learning aid. Commonly, mnemonics are verbal—such as a very short poem or a special word used to help a person remember something—but may be visual, kinesthetic or auditory. Mnemonics rely on associations between easy-to-remember constructs which can be related back to the data that is to be remembered. This is based on the principle that the human mind much more easily remembers spatial, personal, surprising, sexual, humorous or other meaningful information than arbitrary sequences. The word mnemonic is derived from the Ancient Greek word μνημονικός mnēmonikós (“of memory”) and is related to Mnemosyne (“remembrance”), the name of the goddess of memory in Greek mythology. Both of these words refer back to μνῆμα mnḗma (“remembrance”). Mnemonics in antiquity were most often considered in the context of what is today known as the Art of Memory.

Opponent executes a single lapel grab with his right hand. Master Kline Strikes down on the grabbing arm with his right hand to Lung 5. This point will cause the knees to bend and the hips to turn slightly towards the opposite hand. Set Position for “Down Block.” 52

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013

W

hen the non initiated looks at Kata, they see collection of moves that either bores them to death, or holds their attention in a mesmerizing way. Many long time practioners of Kata train in this all encompassing exercise (health and selfdefense) their entire lives without ever realizing the deeper aspects hidden in plain site.

Master Kline follows up with a hook punch to a point located behind the jaw and below the ear (Triple Warmer 17). Set Position for “DownBlock.”


nic Device

by Master Mark Kline

On the surface Kata is a collection of techniques that the masters from bygone eras put together to preserve their teachings. The Kata were not put together because the moves looked “cool,” but rather, they knew the “Kata Code.” Kata is like any language. Once one knows the basic elements of understanding the language (understanding is always much easier than speaking), the deeper aspects start to reveal themselves. This is not an easy process…unless you understand the Kata Code. There are certain principles of Kata that one must understand in order to “unlock” this code. They are: Hand Postures, Turns, Stances, Indication of Hands, Multiple Strikes, Psychology behind Kata (Mind / Body connection).

I can assure you regardless of your rank…the complexity behind these words goes much deeper than they appear. First we will start with Hand Postures. The blocking movements found in all styles of martial arts have 2 definitive parts. The set position and the “block.” For this particular part of the Kata Code, we will be discussing the “set” or “chamber” position for Gedan Barrai or Down Block. It is necessary to bring the hands into a set position, regardless of the movement (to throw a ball, the arm must first move backwards). In this movement both hands end up on either side of the center line with one hand being above the other. Traditionally this setup or chamber movement is thought of as just that…

Fig D - Master Kline uses the turn to apply extra torque and throw the opponent down.

Master Kline follows up the Punch with a hair grab located by Gallbladder 8, 9, 10 on the opposite side of the head behind the ear. Set Position for “Down Block.”

CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®

53


to get ready for the Down Block. Each movement (Set postion and Down Block position) is complete with offense AND defense. The set position IS your defense indicating EXACTLY what and how you are doing to your opponent to set up your next movement (See fig A, B, C, D, E), which is your offensive technique. In this case, Down Block, a Head Throw which can be used simply to take someone down or to break the neck. Using Pressure Points (Kyusho) of the body makes this task much easier to take down a bigger opponent. There is still something to be said for having good technique. Pressure Points can only enhance this and must never be used in place of good technique. Understanding this crucial part is a great lead in to our next part of the Kata Code.

1 + 1 = 3! In keeping with the previous scenario is quite simple to take someone down by manipulating the head. Lets look at the first Kata in many styles…a simple H or I pattern Kata that generally starts with a Turn 90˚ to the left. By controlling the head and quickly turning towards your left, you have the opponent in a very dangerous position (look at the photos once again) thus compounding the technique making it that more deadly! This is where the 1 + 1 = 3 occurs. There is enough strain on the cervical vertebrae in the first example. Grabbing the points on the head (GB 8, 8, 10) WILL release the muscles of the neck making your opponent extremely vulnerable. Adding the turn to the equation increases the likelihood of injury to your opponent. This is how this Second Principle of the Kata Code can enhance any technique…by adding torque. These examples are why Kata was invented in the first place. When there is no opponent to practice with, Kata helps to reinforce the teachings and principles behind the techniques. When you are able to train with an opponent, the principles behind the movements have been “installed” on your “hard drive.” Solo Kata practice and engaging in the breakdown of the movements of Kata (Bunkai) helps to fuse these principles into your psyche. The same McDonalds jingle gets people hungry due to the imagery coupled with the music and words, Kata is of the same ilk. Master Mark Kline is a renown expert of kata application and gives seminars all around the globe. Go to his website for information on his outstanding instructional videos. www.LearnPressurePoints.com

The Takedown is complete and Master Kline is now in “Down Block” Position.

54

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013


THIS IS BEFORE.

THIS IS AFTER!

“I started speaking with Hanshi Linick about advertising in Official Karate Magazine. He sent me the specs for the ad, pricing, etc. We spoke about different concepts for the ad and I put something together for a full page ad. I am going to stick to my day job! After a few rounds of back and forth advice, Hanshi took over the ad and TOTALLY transformed it into a work of art! He added a money back guarantee (which I never thought of ) much better headlines, an ext. 711 after my phone number and told me to set up a special URL to track all sales to each source and taught me to always put the savings in front of each price. Both Hanshi Linick and GM Yates were excellent at getting my message right. I love the awesome new layout and design, too. I look forward to seeing this ad published and working on future ads with their direction. With awe and gratitude!“ ­—GM Mark Klien

For Ads That Sell Call the OK Mag Creative Team at 631.924.3888 • or email linickgroup@gmail.com Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®

55


Direct Response PR Strategy™

Attract Media to Your Website Add An Interactive 24/7 Pressroom on Your Website and Receive $1,000s of Dollars of FREE Publicity for Your Brand, School, Product, Service, Oranization or Idea! By Andrew S. Linick, Ph.D. A Pressroom is a section of your website set aside for media-related or media-oriented information that helps flesh out your school’s, company’s, association’s identity. It can consist of information for the press, compiled media mentions, and links to press coverage.             If you have achieved press coverage, collecting references to it in one place impresses potential customers, investors, and subsequent visitors, journalists, bloggers, freelance writers and editors who represent other media outlets.               Remember that most people perceive the press as an independent voice. Media coverage implies endorsement of the businesses/orgs covered and makes the media coverage count as more compelling than the company’s/associations own words in its marketing or pubic relations copy. Even so, the contents of your self-generated press releases often tell a story about what you’re up to and these releases have value when featured and archived at your site in an interactive pressroom.               Because most media reports, whether written or spoken, are covered by copyright, you need permission from the copyright holder—newspaper, website, or author—to

56

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013

post the whole article or news clip at your site. In most cases, links to the articles are perfectly acceptable, as is providing the headline, source, date, the first few sentences, and a link back to the original version. Check with your attorney, of course, about how to handle a specific situation.             Also, there are sites that can help keep you on the right side of the law, when you are uncertain about whether or not something is protected by copyright, or when you need guidance on how to ask permission to quote from or reuse material. Here are a few:   The Copyright Website             www.benedict.com/ MIT’s Copyright FAQs             www.web.mit.edu/csis/copyright/ faq.html U.S. Copyright Office FAQ             www.loc.gov/copyright/faq.html   Here are eight creative and productive ways to use your 24/7 pressroom.   1.  List school/company experts at your site and invite the media to call on them for commentary, background and story ideas. List under each expert the topics they are most qualified to talk about.


with an Online 24/7 Pressroom 2.  Post story ideas about your school/company/association/non-profit entity and all newsworthy events tying into local community activities.   3.  Provide a school/company history, fact sheet, frequently asked questions, and anything that’s available in your printed/ e-media kit.   4.  Offer high-resolution digital photos of yourself, other key teachers/staff, executives, and your products/services/charitable functions you attended.   5.  Post white papers, research, newsworthy data and articles, and let the media know which ones are available for reprint in their own publications.   6.  Invite media visitors to let you e-mail them when you have new content at your site that might interest them (create an action form to capture media names/station/ source) and ask a few questions to provide key info in a timely manner.   7.  Archive CEO/guest speakers/expert’s speeches, seminars, webinars, demos, shows, interviews and industry statistics at your site.   8.  Create a form to make it possible for media visitors to request that you send a press kit via snail-mail. Some reporters/editors/ columnists still prefer to get material the old-fashioned way.

What to add, ask yourself and ACT on. • Is complete contact information available to visitors to your site? Visitors should be able to find this on any part of your site, not just the home page. • People visiting your site want to know about your company/association or personal background. This information should be presented in an engaging and reader-friendly style.   • Be sure to add a list of key clients/experts/ members/BOD of association. It should not be overly long.   •  Add an online portfolio of sample press releases and where they have appeared to bolster your credibility.   •  In your pressroom, a special area for visiting reporters/editors and journalists that meets their special needs. Pixels of each digital advertorial should be clear. By having set columns (one, two or three controlled media features) for print and broadcast in your 24/7 newsroom, you/ your school/product/org can get picked up by bloggers, journalists and media experts looking to interview health, wellness, fitness/martial arts experts. Plus, when they have a need to fill space on a tight deadline, the editors can take want they want from your 24/7 pressroom and use it without having to ask you for permission.

continued on next page Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®

57


You or your PR Agency/Publicist (blitz4pr@ gmail.com, our in-house pr agency for the martial arts industry) can send out several versions of a pr release about your great stories/dojo/event/seminar/HOF/tournament news and get huge pickup inviting the press to take a look and use what ever they want for their viewers, listeners and readers since you are open 24/7. Top 10 Savvy Additions With the essentials in place, consider these helpful additional sources. Vivid Attention-Getting Photographs You see the stories every day: A feature story with a photo, a graph, or an illustration to support the written piece. Newspapers and online outlets occasionally request images for their stories and said that access to photos was important. Keep a bank of high-resolution photos of staff, events, logos and other relevant images, and you could help journalists illustrate your story even better. Bonus tips: • To further help journalists—and your desired messaging—post suggested captions for each picture. • Make sure there is an easy and intuitive way to search or preview available photos Compelling Video and Audio Files A major factor in broadcast coverage is whether your story lends itself to TV or radio formats. No visuals or audio potential, no story. Provide links to video or audio footage, such as TV broadcast stories, recorded speeches and conferences, PSAs or ads, and b-roll (a reel of visuals TV outlets can use for background footage). • List each file’s format type (e.g., wmv, mov), size (e.g., “2MB”) and download time so reporters know what to anticipate. 58

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013

Thought pieces Journalists don’t just want facts and figures. They need to know what different perspectives exist. Link to your op-eds, articles, statements or speeches Research If your organization conducts or commissions original research, archive them in an accessible format, with a one-line description of the content, and, ideally, a separate download for the executive summary. Blogs Web logs or “blogs” are increasingly sources for reporters looking for news tips and trends. If you have one, promote it. Or link to other like-minded issue blogs. Events A calendar of your events—as well as those of your allies—shows momentum on an issue, and it may encourage media to attend. But most journalists will be too busy and will instead look for updates online. After events, post summaries, speeches or compelling photos. When possible, provide a search module of events by geography, date and type of event. Newsletters Feature a teaser for your latest newsletter on your homepage, and provide a link to archived newsletters or action alerts. Newsletter pages should include a sign-up option for visitors— including journalists. Friendly URLs Link to your allies’ Web sites and ask them to do the same. This will help you gain exposure and improve search engine results. Add Real Testimonials There is something about a quote that always


gets attention. Impress visitors with testimonials from association members, teachers, students, clients, peer groups or elected officials. And include case studies about your successes.

Andrew S. LinickLinick shares the secrets!

Accolades, Awards and Honors Toot your horn if you, your school, organization or staff has been recognized for their positive contributions or milestones. Remember: An engaging press release with an interesting ‘hook’ or angle is an excellent way to gain exposure for your product or service, school, org. and can lead to media interviews with appearances on television and radio stations, and in newspapers or magazines. The objective of your release is to capture the attention of your audience, whether this is your hometown, state, province, country or international market, and educate them about your product or service. We cannot stress enough the importance of a well-written press release. We constantly come across inaccurate, poorly written or unedited press releases that simply will not be read. They become a waste of time to journalists who are already bogged down with information overload. And some releases are just not publishable. So, always write a strong, well-written press release and edit before submitting it.

Andrew S. Linick, Hanshi, The Copyologist® When you need free publicity in traditional and social media to establish your credibility, enhance your reputation, position yourself as an expert, sell more products/services and promote a favorite cause or issue without hiring an expensive Madison Ave PR firm, you call the Direct Response Public Relations™ (DRPR™) Experts at Blitz Media. Want to double traffic to your website? Get sellout crowds to attend your events? Generate huge attendance at your schools, courses, seminars, webinars, camps and hall of fames? We are direct response publicity experts specializing in the martial arts industry and we work with hundreds of small to medium size business owners, MA/MMA schools/teachers, nonprofit executives, authors, speakers, experts, corporate PR pros, publicists and Internet marketers who need online visibility, branding, print and broadcast publicity. Whether you need to launch an ebook/ book, movie, promote an event, write a targeted SEO press release, start your own LinkedIn group or want us to build you a measurable response 24/7 DRPR™ Pressroom -- Blitz Media can help. Contact: Blitz4pr@gmail.com • 631.924.3888 • 631.775.6075

Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®

59


WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING…

Worth it at twice the price!

S

ince 1994 Martial Arts Grandmasters International® (MAGI®) has strived to fulfill their mission to recognize and register students, instructors, and grandmasters of various martial arts styles and associations. They are recognized as a legitimate governing authority by several other international organizations. MAGI® is also the sanctioning body for the prestigious Karate Masters Hall of Fame®. But what does this mean to you?

Membership in MAGI® will afford you the opportunity to have an affiliation with many of the firstgeneration pioneers. Members can take advantage of a direct dialogue with the grandmasters through the MAGI® website and facebook page. But it isn’t all long distance. You can join seminars and clinics with some of the best instructors in the world. You can proudly display the impressive MAGI® membership certificates, colorful uniform patches, and even window decals that proclaim you are an “accredited” MAGI® school. You’ll receive discounts on high-quality Asian weapons, books and videos, ebooks, t-shirts, equipment bags, and even professional custom framing for MAGI® certificates and for your own school certificates. We have arrangements with industry printers meaning you will receive wholesale prices on your brochures and flyers as well as embroidered patches. And, of course, a subscription to the new Official Karate magazine is included (we’ll mail the printed, “Annual” issue directly to you—the other three of the quarterly issues are available online). We are adding new features and benefits all the time. Our Board of Advisors are not only martial arts experts but also leaders in the business world. They can help you promote and grow your school through professional marketing techniques and even the latest in social media. And, of course, because we sanction the Karate Masters Hall of Fame®, MAGI® members 60

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013

are eligible for induction into what is perhaps the first and most prestigious Hall for traditional Karate Masters in the world. And did we mention that with our unique “rebate” program you will receive back a portion of the membership fees from all of your student and instructor members? In fact, with as few as two instructors and 20 students you’ll totally cover the cost of your school or organizational affiliation with MAGI®. With additional students or instructors you will actually MAKE money from your affiliation with us. This is on top of all the other benefits and discounts you receive. By the way, we won’t tell you how to teach, what to teach, or how to run your school. We’re only here to help you do better in all these areas by providing resources (via ebooks, videos and even personal seminars). Your affiliation with us will help you network with a much larger martial arts community than you ever could on your own.


Over 200,000 martial artists have taken this course to learn traditional Nunchaku!

A free subscription to the new Official Karate Magazine is a part of your membership, which includes the printed “Annual” issue mailed directly to you! Membership is open to all serious martial artists with a desire to learn and grow in both the arts and in life. But simply stating such and sending in membership dues is not enough. The world, even the martial arts world, is full of people who would misrepresent their qualifications for financial (or other) gain. So we have set up an application process that requires verification of martial experience and skill as well as character references. We are committed to being an organization you’ll be proud to be affiliated with. So what are you waiting for? Contact us for more information now. www.facebook.com/JoinMAGI

From custom membership certificates to sharp looking apparel to dojo certifications, the MAGI ® benefits package offers one of the best deals around for martial arts practitioners.

Teach Your Students Closely Guarded Okinawan Nunchaku Secrets While You Save $20

Using Deadly Nunchaku Fighting Sticks This home study course can enable your students to drastically improve their swings, catches and striking techniques or you OWE NOTHING! Renowned Grandmaster Andrew Linick has skillfully developed an easy-to-master training system that enables you or any beginner to quickly become proficient in the use of Okinawa’s nunchaku fighting sticks! LEARN FAST • LEARN FOREVER Clearly depicted techniques teach you ancient methods (some as old as 1400 years) of mastering direct swings, strikes, cathces, pinches, chokes, and other long-held Kobujutsu (weapon fighting art) secrets. You’ll learn “flick of the wrist moves” after your first lesson and by lesson #4 you’ll be able to surprise, overpower and even knockout a drug-crazed assailant or intruder. In less than a day you’ll know all the basics plus the five deadliest nunchaku striking techniques necessary to render devastating harm to anyone who is unfortunate enough to threaten you with physical harm!

90 Day $20 Off Free Trial

n Best Buy: Save $20–Deluxe Personally Autographed Collector’s Set (course, nunchakus, poster, I.D. card, patch, and certificate). All for just $69.95 postage paid (retails for $90). n Course only–$35 (includes a list of weapons suppliers and instructions on making your own nunchakus). To order just email HanshiLinick@gmail.com Risk-Free 90 Day Satisfaction Guarantee With new confidence, command the 5 deadiest ways to protect yourself or simply mail back the products in sellable condition within 90 days for a full, 100% refund. ® Martial Arts Grandmasters International

61


OFFICIAL KARATETM MAGAZINE

MAGITM Building 7 Putter Lane, P. O. Box 102 Middle Island, NY 11953-0102

MARTIAL ARTS GRANDMASTERS INTERNATIONAL ® Since 1994, Perserving Traditional Martial Arts and Rank Certification Worldwide®

Go to www.joinmagi.com “Like” us on Facebook www.facebook.com/joinmagi

62

OFFICIALKARATEMAG.COM Fall 2013

karate masters hall of fame® Since 1972, Honoring the Masters, Pioneers, and Legends of Traditional Karate-Do ®

www.karatemasters halloffame.com “Like” us on Facebook www.facebook.com/ groups/Karate MastersHOF

OFFICIAL KARATE MAGAZINE Fall 2013 Issue  

The new Action-Packed 2013 Fall Issue is here! Enjoy the wisdom, knowledge, skills and Favorite Fighting Techniques of the Masters in our s...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you