New Yuzenkai Honbu Dojo in China!!!

Today is the day that we uncover to the world the new Honbu Dojo of GIKKU Yuzenkai in Shenyang, China, managed by Saiko-shihan Huanghai.

For all those interested, the addres is: 沈阳市,于洪区,平罗街道.
Finally, after all these years my good friend Huanghai has managed to open a new and modern dojo, where Karate, Taekwondo and MMA classes will be conducted, all along serving as the Headquarters of Yuzenkai for all China.
First class!


Warm up:

Yes, there is always time for a bit of Kendo:

General view:

Colourful dojo:

Front door:

Signs to be hung by the door (International Goju Ryu Yuzenkai China Branch):

New karategis with the Yuzenkai logo embroidered:

I wish the best of lucks with this new endeavor to my good friend Huanghai, without whom I could not have lived as I lived while in China. I am so in debt with him that I will never be able to compensate him for his troubles and his true friendship.

MMA in Shanghai

New poster for my club, with Ramsey "Danger" Dewey as the coach. If you are around, go and join.
Good training and better people!

Jion Bunkai video

Hello pals.

Today I bring you my last project, a video I shot with my friend, karateka, producer, camera-man, director... that did not like the result and wishes to remain anonymous.

It is a one-shot bunkai where I try to show some ideas that can work with this wonderful kata (my tournament kata, by the way).

It did not quite show my ideas in the way I thought it would, but anyway it took many months to produce (people are busy) so I decided to nevertheless make it public.
It has grappling, striking and in-fighting so I guess it is quite varied.

Have fun!

Please, send me criticism that is constructive. I already see many things to improve. I firmly believe the ideas and techniques behind it are useful, but we showed them in a rushed and confusing manner. Sorry for that.

Don't forget to check my other bunkai in this blog:
Uke ideas

We made it to the front page!

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The great wave

Yes, the original one. An yes, I took the picture myself!!
You don't trust me? Ok, here you go:

Oh, you were expecting the GREAT wave of Kanagawa to be a huge piece of art, right? Well, it is huge to be in front of such an immortal piece of human history, and the wave itself looks huge besides the poor fishermen under it.
Besides this (worth the trip!) there were some other great Japanese pieces. Enjoy!

Artists: Great wave of Kanagawa by Hokusai, rest by Hiroshige.

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As I always stress in this blog (I should call it "Psychological Karate") the most important thing (in my opinion) is to be able to react to attacks.  If you do not freeze, then you are half saved.
Look at this guy:

The father, not the kid.
The people behind just had the automatic reaction of "flinching", that is "doing nothing useful", but he had the cold blood to try to protect his kid's face.
Father instinct I hear you say? Maybe, but maybe not. He did what he had to do.He reacted in the most useful way to protect his kid, not himself.

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Yuzenkai China is growing! (10 new Branch Chiefs)

Thanks to the continuous efforts of, now Susheki Shihan, Huanghai to promote Karate in general and GIKKU Yuzenkai in particular in China we received ten applications to be members of this sharing and warm-hearted organization.
Omoto Kancho was pleased with the enthusiasm and martial proficiency shown by all candidates so he gave the OK to them. The growth is exponential, and all thanks to hard work, good communication skills and serious training.
Here you can check the new Yuzenkai China Branch Chiefs:
Thank you my friend.
I wish you great success with your new endeavor. We trust you with the future of Yuzenkai in China!

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PS: He just messaged me with news of Dojos interested from Korea!

Karate Combat: now, this is interesting!!

Now, if you follow this blog you may already know that I do not specially enjoy WKF kumite.
That kind of point sparring is impossible to understand for me. How can you give points for NOT touching your opponent in a Martial Arts competition?!?!
Well, I just discovered "Karate Combat".

Do you know Rafael Aghayev? He is from Azerbaijan and has won (multiple) World and European titles in WKF kumite. Here he is:

I am not a fan but I just found him in my new found love: Karate Combat. For what I have seen, the rules are really really interesting: full contact, throws and takedowns allowed, a bit of ground fighting is all right... I could take part on this very happily!
Watch Rafael going full contact here:

Now, this is some nice competition rules.  It is real. It is alive.  Karateka looking like strong athletes... You get my point?
Compare the same guy under both rule sets.  Can't barely recognize him, can you? Why mainstream Karate is so lame, so boring, so fake?
Under my p…

Back to training! I hope my nose stays unbroken for a while...

Hi everyone.
I decided to give it a go to BJJ last night in order to check how broken my nose still is, but I survived the work out just fine.

Man, I was totally scared the whole time hahaha. Never had a worst time during training in my whole life. Thanks to my mates for going soft and slow on me. I really needed that.
I shall go again in a couple hours...

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My friend Huanghai

From all the people I have encountered in my Martial Arts life I need to make special mention to my good friend Huanghai because he really shaped the way I train and the way I see Martial Arts.
I met him during Kyokushin practice, in Tangshou Dojo, Shenyang. He had been training with Royama Sensei in Kyokushinkan in Japan for a number of years. He also got to brown belt in Aikikai in the mean time. In that picture we are at the Huochetou Academy before class. We are both wearing our Yuzenkai patches, he is helping me since the beginning with the management of the China Branch. I was teaching Karate there and he was teaching Taekwondo.

This is his ad at the door of  Hunnan Wushu club.
Yes, he is a fourth Dan in Taekwondo, that he got in the Kukiwon while he was living in Korea.
He also got a blue belt in BJJ recently and re-tested for his Karate nidan in the Chinese Karate Association last week.

Oh, yeah. He also boxes and referees fights.

Yes, also in K-1 China.
Besides him, famous fi…

Goju Ryu Naihanchi (not really)

As Miyagi Sensei said: Sanchin and Naihanchi are the most important kata in Karate.
Here he is, alongside Funakoshi, Toyama and Kee (Tang Shou Do):

Check my bunkai and let me know what you think:
Naihanchi bunkai

Whole book here

My bad.
That is not Miyagi Chojun but Miyagi Tokumasa, a Shorin Ryu practitioner.
I just got an email from Omoto Kanunori Shihan, my Kancho, informing me. Thank you!

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Find inspiration for your bunkai ANYWHERE

You maybe got stuck trying to figure out how does a particular move works?  Yes, I've been there... Multiple times... Daily, actually...
Maybe you don't have access to a super old Sensei with all the ancient knowledge (not all of us have) but you surely can figure it out if you do some research. Yes, research. Find something, try it, try it under pressure, test it in sparring. If it works, here it is! A bunkai that works.

Because if you can not make it happen when you are stressed (or scared, or hurt) then it's useless. It may be as historically correct as possible but if it does not work for you when you need it then it is just History, not Martial Arts.
There are many resources out there for us to take draw inspiration from: videos, books, Internet, other Arts...
Here is some unusual bunkai exploration by Coach Ramsey Dewey from Shanghai (you can spot me in a couple clips):

Is he right? Well... probably NOT. And with this I don't mean to take any merit or practicabi…

Teaching kids is difficult

I have been training my 10th Dan four years old daughter since she was born, but still having difficulties with her technique.

She is more of a grappler I guess.
Now, imagine teaching a class with 20 of them, different ages, sizes, interests, skills, developments...  Teaching Martial arts to children is a hard job. I used to do it, and it was fun, but not easy if you care about their martial development.

Here, with her and my new Cleto Reyes. A bit tight, but great.

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This Real Madrid-Juventus Hangetsu thing

It wasn't penalty: it was mikazuki geri.

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Prepare to die

I just discovered the fantastic channel of my former MMA Coach in JX Fight Club in Shanghai, Ramsey Dewey.

Fantastic guy, really knowledgeable, great fighter.

I want to introduce his Youtube channel to all you by picking up a philosophical video about how to step into a fight if you are scared. Still applies to self-defense.

Please, subscribe to his channel and enjoy his technique videos too!!

Update (see him fight):

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I've been interviewed

Yes, I got the chance to get interviewed by a Spanish Facebook site about interviewing karateka.
Here it is for your evaluation: INTERVIEW
Sorry it's in Spanish!!!

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They're back!

My silk worms are back to life. They came with us from China to Spain and right now they are having their first meal in Spain. Good news they survived the trip!

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Protect yourself at all times

I guess I didn't because I got a broken nose yesterday morning.

I've been punched on the nose more than once and more than twice and never got anything scarier than one or two months of excruciating pain. Yesterday I got punched ONCE and my nose gave up.
Now I look like this:

My career as a model is over, I guess...
Well, the bad news is that I will need surgery and I will be out of sparring (but not out of training) for a couple of months, plus.
Now, my bloody face after the "incident":

Amazingly it did not swell, it does not hurt. I finished the round and then I went to the locker room to take the picture. Priorities...

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