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22

Everything that's physically challenging carries the chance of injury. Deal with it. Running risks joint degeneration. Bicycling can be bad for sexual function and mobility. Hikers get lost and freeze to death. Tennis causes elbow pain. Soccer players blow out their knees. Baseball players risk concussions from wayward pitches to the head. Lifting weights ...


17

Here are bits that we do know: Gichin Funakoshi, born and raised in Okinawa, is the man who opened the first official, public karate dojo, and he did so on the main island of Japan. Prior to that, it was mostly studied at night, in secret. This was due to Japanese occupation - making the carrying of weapons illegal. Like all resourceful people do, they ...


12

First, about children's ranks vs. adult's ranks... Child black-belts are not uncommon in the world of Karate and Taekwondo. But when there are child black-belts, they are generally awarded that rank in the "children's" rankings. This rank is not generally the same as an adult black-belt. At least in most schools. In some schools, there's no distinction ...


11

So for those that don't know, "Dai Sempai" is a kind of rank or recognition that is given to the head student in the class. This is typically the student with the highest rank who has spent the most amount of time at that school than any other student who might have the same rank. They often lead classes through basic exercises and drills and act as an ...


10

This is an interesting question, there isn't really any one right answer. Asking them questions regarding their character is not really appropriate. They should have been training at a particular dojo for some time, and a lot should already be known about their character before they are invited to grade. Therefore asking character oriented questions at the ...


8

There are several things I can think of that might help, depending on exactly what the underlying problems are. Slow Repetition The most fundamental thing I've ever seen improve speed is slow repetition. We say that "speed comes from repetition" in my Hapkido class and when I trained with a rapier we had similar expressions: you had to go slowly before you ...


8

I am a huge fan of proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching. It is what I used to be able to do the splits cold. Ideally you need a partner for it, but most of it can be done by yourself although you will have slower or limited results doing it solo. The premise of the stretch is to relax the target muscles, then force them to tighten and ...


8

I have been in TKD and Martial arts for over 40 years. I have a master rank in TKD. I also have a traumatic brain injury. This happens very seldom but the head gear in any sport does not protect you from concussion as the violent movement of the head causes the injury. I learned a long time ago to move my head away from a punch or kick. This minimizes the ...


8

From the origin of belts and gis themselves: Kano apparently began the custom of having his yudansha wear black obi (belts) in 1886. These obi weren't the belts karateka and judoka wear today -- Kano hadn't invented the judogi (Judo uniform) yet, and his students were still practicing in kimono. They were the wide obi still worn with formal kimono. In ...


7

Just because a karate style may include weapon katas does not mean that the name "karate" is invalidated. You can think of Kobudo as an extension, or sister art(s) to Karate. Okinawan weapon arts are supposed to have been based on farming tools that the practitioners would have had readily available. Additionally, as has been noted elsewhere, Kara in the ...


6

Edited for the differences portion of the question: For the most part, TKD is TKD is TKD. A front kick in WTF looks like a front kick in ITF looks like a front kick in ATA, etc. Differences in execution are relatively minor, even if you go from TKD to a Karate flavor, the techniques are pretty much the same. The differences between TKD and Karate are the ...


6

I think that style is less relevant than Sensei. I don't practice either TKD or karate, but I believe that the most important factor in determining whether you'll take the kind of blows you want to avoid is the instructor (and the senior students). Watch a few classes. In particular watch juniors sparring and look for evidence that they're being observed ...


6

Answer to the altered question Still "Neither". Breaking occurs when the localized strain exceeds the elastic limit of the material. That depends on the geometry of the board, it's supports and the location of the impact and on the peak pressure applied. The geometric dependence is why you want to get a good hit in the center. Answer to the original ...


6

The main thing to understand is that your are in charge of how you train. So if you would like to train light contact, or no contact at all, you should be able to. If your club does not respect that, they are not worthy: Martial Arts nowadays is not as it used to be in terms of need. We need it less for warfare and more for self-defence. As different people ...


6

Visit a couple of dojos that interest you and ask about their injury record. Look for older students; once you cross 50, injuries count more and heal slower. Moreover you're more likely to have other injuries that complicate your practice. Ask about training with injuries, and "opt-out". I can no longer do kneeling work, and when I visit a new dojo I ...


6

Karate Pros More techniques = more options Actually addresses self-defense as a concern. May contain scenarios specifically geared toward self defense situations. Depends on school. Ask. Cons More techniques = less time spent training each technique. Tends to emphasize fitness less than boxing. This varies from school to school. Ask/Observe a ...


5

My Kung Fu teachers regularly address this in sparring classes, because in contests, those kicks are a common tactic to wear down an opponent with a good cover. Most of the time, it's to risky to cover the legs (because it makes you expose more vulnerable spots) or evade the blow, so it's good if you can just take it. We are taught to briefly tighten the ...


5

Here's the main problem: Efficient, deadly moves are not pretty. They're mostly invisible. Pretty, showy, artistic, theatrical moves are not efficient, or deadly. And they're very visible. Now, from there, take an efficient, deadly, invisible move and make it pretty, show, artistic and theatrical. There's your recipe. I'll throw you a bone: The punch ...


5

There are numerous resources for learning various bunkai or kata. I don't know if I would consider any one of them authoritative (instead preferring this sort of classification better left to the teachings of a shihan), but they exist and there is no sense limiting that information. Shihan Te: The Bunkai of Kata by Paul Anderson and Darrell Craig ...


5

I get severe problems with my back and joints. For example, I was training rigorously five to six times a week for about five months while preparing for a grading test. Immediately after, I went on a relaxing holiday, where I spent most of the time in stationary position. A week into my holiday, I got serious problems with my back – as in, I couldn't walk or ...


5

If your preference is full-contact sparring, then Shotokan sucks and Kyokushin rocks, because Shotokan doesn't have full-contact sparring and Kyokushin does.


4

Aikido, judo and karate are all complementary arts: One (karate) focus on strikes, the others on avoidance, control of the opponent, and using body physiognomy to control/throw. Judo works from grapples and Aikido from a distance. As such, they are all good additions to each other. Whatever art you chose to do, remember to "empty your cup" before ...


4

First, as an obligatory comment, you should not be dating the people you are teaching. This is a big thing on multiple levels, if for no other reason than that I have observed on multiple occasions that it prevents effective student-teacher communication. Especially when it comes to the topic of attitude and approach. Coaches need a degree of professional ...


4

My fundamental answer isn't going to change, but I will approach it from another angle. You've identified a problem that many practitioners have to deal with. If they've never been involved in the world of sports, then they may not be used to the amount of focus that is necessary in fighting. It's a mindset centered on "what do I have to do right now?". ...


4

Important disclaimer: Reading this answer, or any answer to this question is no substitute for getting actual training on stage combat from someone who knows what they're doing. Staged combat can be dangerous when performed incorrectly. The elements of getting stage combat looking good are reasonably simple, although actually doing it well is another ...


4

First, we must understand what it means to "create" a style: someone learned martial arts from someone else, perhaps several someones, fought a little in competition or in the street, made some changes to what they were taught, and gave it a name. We're not talking about wholesale development of a military training program, enlisting experts from multiple ...


4

"What does a black belt mean to you?" "What would it mean if you did not receive your black belt today?" "Are you ready to wear a black belt?" "What is the difference between you wearing a white belt and you wearing a black belt?" "Imagine you are in a fist fight - the other person has just started throwing the first strike, and you haven't started ...


4

Specific advice Between karate and Tae Kwon Do, it very much matters what style of karate, and how each school trains. You'll want to avoid a competitive school. Go to the schools nearby and ask them how they spar. If they train knock-down or full-contact sparring, you'll want to go somewhere else. The risk for concussion and brain damage is slight, but ...


4

Disclaimer: I have no medical background. Please consult your Doctor. First and foremost, (and I really can't say this enthusiastically enough) Please consult your Doctor! His/her word will be much more valuable than anything you read here. Second, I suspect that it should probably be OK to start up again, but do so very cautiously. Here are some ...


4

He told all of us who had been promoted to make sure all of the students referred to each other using the correct title... Then you probably feel obliged to make some actual effort to encourage this, and not just ignore it as Steve's suggesting... ;-o. So, my advice focuses on how to do this in the best way possible.... I suppose the students in ...



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