Posts

Showing posts from February, 2017

On Judo

Image
I am going to start a series of articles about the different trainings I had during different times of my life, living in different countries and training with/under different people. Everything here are my personal observations, that can be right or wrong, and mainly generalizations. If I need to be corrected, please use the comments or drop me an email.


I started my journey through Martial Arts because my parents signed me up to the Judo classes at my school. It was so long time ago that I do not even remember wearing a white belt. The first white belt I remember (and I had some more) was when I started Karate during my University years.


Classes in the Lope de Vega school were conducted by Sensei Tomás Pastor, my first Sensei and the responsible for the love I today still have for Japanese Martial Arts. He was severe but kind. He had other dojos in my hometown, but all ended out of business. I remember going to his "Yawara Yoseikan" dojo for extra training.


I must say tha…

My book is now available online, for free

Image
Yes folks, the book that gives name to this blog has became available for you all.


Is is a 430 pages book, so no, no more print outs. Let's save the planet, people.
Please, check it out here:

NEW LINK

Of course, comments are welcome.
And donations too. All the money will go for funding my new project, the free dojo for children.

Update:
You can also request a pdf copy by email if you have trouble with your Google.





On Shotokan

Image
I am going to start a series of articles about the different trainings I had during different times of my life, living in different countries and training with/under different people. Everything here are my personal observations, that can be right or wrong, and mainly generalizations. If I need to be corrected, please use the comments or drop me an email.

Today is Shotokan's turn, the brainchild of Funakoshi Sensei.


Shotokan training is kihon centric, and by this I mean that is heavily focused on doing the techniques in a perfect manner. Every millimeter of your body will be checked and adjusted for maximum efficiency. Entire training sessions will be spent on just a few techniques or kata. Kumite will be practiced but not really often, and bunkai will be, at best, marginally explained (John Burke Sensei being a happy exception).
Even if the training can be boring and repetitive it has a great effect of providing the karateka with a great body awareness and control. A Shotokan ka…

On Kyokushin

Image
I am going to start a series of articles about the different trainings I had during different times of my life, living in different countries and training with/under different people. Everything here are my personal observations, that can be right or wrong, and mainly generalizations. If I need to be corrected, please use the comments or drop me an email.


Kyokushinkai Karate is the brainchild of Sosai Mas Oyama. It is a hard, tough, painful and extremely demanding way of doing Karate. It has a nice collection of kata coming from Goju Ryu and from Shorin Ryu that Sosai learnt from Yamaguchi and Funakoshi Senseis mainly, but its core is in kumite (sparring).
(Me in the Tokyo Gymnasium with the first absolute World Kyokushin Kata Champion)
Kyokushin kumite is a continuous experience where you and your friend hit each other as hard as possible during the duration of the match, with no stops other than for penalties or falls and wearing as little padding as possible. Duration of the rounds …

Stamps

Image
Hi guys!
I got myself some vintage stamps, just from Japan:

Ryukyu theme. Cool, uh?


Kata: what for?

Image
I always find funny how people fight about kata. Is it good or is it useless?
Arguments always break from people who are obsessed with kata (karateka mainly) and people who don't practice Japanese martial arts (combat sports people). Ones will talk about skills, technique, coordination and stamina, while the others will tell you that there are more efficient ways of achieving those (there are) and that you are blinded by "tradition".
What I often see is that people are so far away on what fighting is that will never get to agree on anything. I wish someone who is a devoted karateka and is currently training MMA could talk about this... Oh, that is me!!
Let's start by explaining what (Karate) kata is:
Long time ago, in some spacetime coordinates known as ancient Okinawa, the people there (peasants or aristocrats, depending on who you ask to) developed ways of fighting. Then, how to teach others? How to transmit the knowledge into the future generations? Let's not…

My Youtube channel

Image
Hello everyone!
We are celebrating that, finally, I started using Youtube as a tool. I put together all the videos I have, even if they are few, old and not really illustrating. All kata, but I should have some sparring/fighting/kumite/randori videos somewhere...
https://www.youtube.com/user/josepcla
My plans are to add more videos regularly, if I can find help for shooting new ones. Be patient my friend!



Edit:
I am adding new videos with more sparring and ideas. Keep posted!





A rainbow of choices

Image
Let's talk about something really trivial now:
What colour should the embroidery of my belt be?
First, let's start with the most common one: golden brown (金茶, in Japanese):


This is a belt that was gifted to me so the content of the embroidery is kind of unusual but the picture will show the colour I am talking about. Beautiful and classic, right?
So, what other colours are acceptable? By far, the two next more common colours are red and white:

(red one is mine too)
All the other colours have really few adepts but I have seen a blue one, a green one and a pink one: (it is pinker in person)
You also can choose a metallic gold or silver threat:

Considering getting a silver one soon... if not pink!
And you can choose to get kanji and/or katakana (or hiragana) embroidered, but also common letters:



Or you can just go crazy and get a multicolour multifont belt, like this one:


Cool, uh?
And what about rank stripes? I have been part of dojos where stripes where banned, then part of dojo…

While you rest, I train

Image
(and I also take selfies)
Oh, yes, I went to workout at lunch time. I managed to complete my program for arms and shoulders and do some hanging guy striking.
(did I mention something yesterday about injury recovery?)
I spent one hour and it was worth the effort. I felt great afterwards!! (I'm lying: I felt destroyed). I had a date for Goju Ryu in the afternoon that was canceled so I could get some deserved rest. I rested while observing a Shotokan class in my friend's place.
How does your place look like when you are the only one there? Mine:  And now, as a bonus, a show off of my artistic skills:

Injuries? Blessings!!

Image
Yup, that is my hand. It doesn't look like a big fracture but it kept me with a cast for three months and even today (four years later) hurts if I use the hand too much. How did it happen? I punched a Russian guy on the hips.  Did it hurt? Not at that time, although the hand felt like jelly. But I still managed to complete four more rounds of Kyokushin kumite. Oh you thought I went street fighting in Vladivostok...
So, what about the title of this post? After that crappy punch I was left with a weak hand for too long time, but I didn't stop training. It made me a BETTER karateka and a better fighter. 
How?
Well, I had to mind a lot where I punched, and how. I had to mind a lot the timing and placement of my punches, and had to make sure that every punch had a purpose.
It even forced me to use other kind of hand strikes other than punches, what has expanded my arsenal considerably.
Sorry for this ugly picture of my foot.
Yes, the little toe is broken. It is the first time for …

My new buddy

Image
Went to workout and found this guy hanging...
Best training tool since the makiwara! You can punch, kick and use all the other cool ways of hitting people (elbows, head, knees, shuto, haito and so on) in a way that resembles a human body. The arms are on the front so you can drill some blocking/parrying + punching combos.  I even used some kata to see if I could get some inspiration, and yes!
It also works well for uchikomi training and for getting your double leg takedowns up to date.
See the other guy on the ground? Yeah, I use him too but mainly for practicing kata guruma and tomoe nage. No one wants to help me with those...

Follow me

Image
There is some software problem that makes the "Follow me" button hidden, I can not find it! Just got to this address and insert your email:

Follow me
https://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=KarateJosepClaramonte
Sorry for the inconvenience!!