Showing posts from April, 2017

Nijushiho (an impromptu bunkai exploration)

This was actually a much requested topic from my countless followers, so I finally gave in and started the project.
As my elders told me, Nijushiho is a Naha(te) kata that somehow made it into the Shotokan system, but probably it was when Funakoshi Sensei sent his best students to train under Mabuni Sensei to expand the scope of his Karate. In Shito Ryu it is called Niseishi and if you compare both versions you will see that Nijushiho has been "shotokanized", as many others.
Well, exploring a Naha kata that is present in the Shotokan system but not in the Goju Ryu system presents some challenges and we expected some wonderful outcomes.
So, here it is:
My bunkai (updated link)

Now, my own criticism:
My opponent is a girl who is half my size, half my age and half my rank, so all the techniques work flawlessly on her because I was overpowering her, she was not resisting and because of a language barrier she did not know what was coming next. Your bunkai techniques should work r…

Some Kumite

Yesterday I went to see my good friend Chen Sensei and after a grueling hour of Sanchin we did some bunkai and also some kumite.
Showing off my newly acquired video editing skills: Jiu Kumite (upgraded link) Here I have some light kumite with (the other) Chen Sensei (they are not related).  Karate Box Dojo is Shotokan based so we just messed around a bit under Shotokan "rules". The video came out wonderfully!
Then I challenged Chen Sensei (the owner) to a Kyokushin match: First time (upgraded link) Yes, his first time under this "rules" so he seems a bit confused at the beginning but he fought back in no time.
Then it was me who was challenged by one of their students! First time (upgraded link)
Second time (upgraded link) That was really fun! I hope we both learnt something from the experience!

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My seal

Following advice from my beloved ones I have purchased a stone seal to stamp the certificates I give to my students.
Here is it:

So from this day all my certificates, kyu and dan, will be wet stamped with this seal to prevent forgeries.
Here is an example:

Did I just promote myself to Tenth Dan? Oh, well... I will need a frame!

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Escaping a RNC: Kanku bunkai

Yes, today I practiced some Rear Naked Choke escapes and thought to post them here.

Just in case you don't know, the RNC is the most successful technique in MMA, with the highest chance of ending a fight. And it is so easy to do... that you better be ready to survive it, right? Because you could be tangled up in one in a street fight too.
First, the first one: Escape 1
What? You didn't like it? I learnt it from a 11th Dan Master!!
Never mind...
Let's try option 2: Escape 2
The sequence is: cover your neckbump your behind forwardroll to one siderotate to the other side and put the inside shoulder on the floorstiff-arm the legjump over and finish him! Easy!

So, how does this relate to Kanku kata? Well, option 2 can be done while standing:
bring your hands uplower your bodyrotate to the sidestrike! Can you find it?

Well, just before the nidan tobi geri.
Yes, I know!! A bit of a stretch! But now I am getting fun of the inverse process: instead of finding a meaning of a se…

Coaching no-gi BJJ

Here, guys, you can see me demonstrating some moves that you should know. Not what I would call self-defense but if you are in a combat sports environment you could actually use these in sparring/rolling.
Kimura from guard
Spinning guard pass
Well, I lied: I was just posing for my coach's video hehe.  Why me? Easy choice: only two guys showed up that day... and because I have a gift for spinning around. I knew all those Ura Pinan in Kyokushin could not be for nothing!
Why not for self-defense? First one: what are you gonna do when (if) you can get the Kimura right? Break the arm? Make him tap? Second one: if the guy is on the ground you will be crazy if you follow him down. 

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Kyusho / Vital points

Did you hear about them? Do you know some of them? Are they key to your practice?
There are different people who treat the vital points differently. An excerpt of my book will explain my view on them: what they are and how to use a few of them.  You still can purchase it for the original price of zero.
But let's say that they are spots on your body that will hurt like hell if "manipulated". They are nerve knots and other anatomical structures that are easy to access and create a lot of pain.
Dim mak, delayed death, five steps death and light touch knockout are subjects we are not going to discuss here because I am not sure if I believe in that, but getting compliance from an attacker using pain is a good thing to get good at.
Chapter 7

Not, finally I got to record myself sparring, not only rolling. It was a light flowing sparring with my team mate and he got (accidentally) a limp leg when I put my knee on his shin:

If you really want to see some of my non-orthodox Karate…

Bunkai on a movie?!?!?!

I just found this clip on Youtube featuring Michel Jay White winning a MMA fight using his kata bunkai:
This was quite a finding!

I like his movies. He always carries himself with pride and his Karate values shine at all times. And yes, he has some cool moves. Yes, movies, but you think you could beat him?

Okinawan Karate: the original MMA

Look at these guys:

Karate MMA

They explain it so well!!!

Non-contact Karate

Now, what is your reason for making your Karate "non-contact"?

Oh, yes, I know all tournaments around you are non-contact, but that doesn't mean you need to keep contact out of your training. If you don't get hit on a regular basis you will not know how you react under stress, fear and pain, and stress, fear and pain is what you will feel if attacked on the street.
This people seem to survive without big injuries, so a couple of punches won't kill you: Parkour fail compilation

About food and nutrition

Because they are the same thing, aren't they?

Well, almost.
Let me start by saying that I am an expert Psychologist, but not an expert nutritionist. Ok, just a graduated Psychologist with a ton of experience in dealing with human nature (did that make any sense?).
So, what should you do to improve your athletic performance? Yes, athletic. You are not practicing a sport, right? You are practicing a Martial Art, right? Right, but your body still needs to be treated like an athletic machine: feed it right and it will improve, feed it wrong and it will degrade.
Now, some common sense: -Fried foods, fats, salt, sugar, bread, candy, coke, alcohol, snacks and so on will make you fat and will provide few nutrients.. -Fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, water, eggs, milk and so on will provide more nutrients, more energy and will help you loose weight and live longer.
But we all knew that, right?
There is no need for nutrition advices, we all know the truth.
We will not talk about supplements t…

Sanchin 三戦

Today I want to talk about Sanchin, that kata where you keep your whole body under full tension and you breath like a T-Rex. 

Sanchin is a signature kata of Goju Ryu, although is present in other systems. It does not look like any other kata, as breathing and tension seems to be the only important consideration.
Here you can see Omoto Kancho performing Sanchin:  Omoto Kancho Sanchin
Well, it is my understanding of Sanchin (Sanchin meaning "three battles", but I will not enter in philosophical discussion at this moment) that one of the benefits of it (and the one that benefits me the more) is that really helps to connect breathing with technique. Using the hara for launching the punches and neurologically linking striking with exhalation.
Yes, many other benefits if you ask people who practice it and many health dangers if you ask people who don't.
Oh, what are those other benefits? Improved muscle tone, stronger tendons and ligaments, massaging the organs, body more resi…

Kick-boxing drill

Oh, do I do Kick-boxing?

Well, there is a free class on my place that I join about once in a month, when I have time. Always good workout.

Yesterday we did an interesting exercise: Noodleing
Well, the point is to slip and avoid to be hit while you keep your head still over your center of gravity, that needed a few corrections. I am afraid to say that my video is after the corrections, but... have faith in me my friends! I will get it right, eventually. 
Funny how it differs from common Karate kumite and kata, where you are supposed to keep your head and spine erect and straight.  Didn't the Okinawans know about head movement?
I suppose they do...

Japanese vs Okinawan Karate: enter Goju Ryu

After my long experience in Goju Ryu (exactly 4 days) I became aware of a fascinating fact: I never trained punches or kicks in Goju Ryu. Not in Japan, not in Okinawa.
Surprising, because my previous experience in Karate (Shotokan and Kyokushin) was focused, 95%, in punching and kicking as hard as you can. 
In this intensive Goju Ryu crash course (the 4 days were in the same week) I trained throws, locks, weapons, vital points, small joint manipulation, breathing, attacking the eyes, breaking necks and other ways of incapacitating an attacker and leaving him (or her) maimed on the ground.
How is this divergence of training objectives so big? After all, they were all Okinawans those who took Karate to mainland Japan...

Please, excuse my generalizations. I am talking only about my reduced experience. Yours may be different. Please, let me know in the comments!!


I just (re)learnt this interesting kata in my afternoon home session.
It has been 5 solid years since the last time I did it... what makes sense since I am reducing the number of kata I am working on, but I do not want to completely forget all the old kata that took me so much effort to learn, so from time to time I try to remember one of those. Last month was Nijushiho, today was Ji'in. I attempted Hangetsu yesterday but we better forget it ever happened.
Just in case you want to know my opinion about these kata: -Hangetsu is, allegedly, Funakoshi's take on Seisan. And I still want to learn Seisan, a more traditional kata.  -Nijushiho is one of, at least, two Naha kata that made it into the Shotokan curriculum (three, if we include Hangetsu/Seisan). -Ji'in is Jion, but somebody forgot the correct order and we ended up with two really similar kata that show almost exactly the same.
Well, I checked Ji'in in this video: Ji'in Kanazawa
This collection of videos is gre…