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Breathing…

The following is an essay by Roberto Delicata of Wolfson College Taido Club at Wolfson College, Linton Road, Oxford, UK written on the 7th of December, 2002.

Aspects of Breathing in the Martial Arts

The role of breathing in the martial arts is complex, and extends far beyond the physical act of oxygenating the blood. In this essay I will explore some of the aspects of breathing as they apply to the martial arts, both as a combative discipline and as a promoter of health and longevity. The wealth of breathing techniques championed by martial arts instructors is almost as diverse as the styles that these instructors practise. As a karate student well conditioned to exhaling strongly whilst punching, I was duly reprimanded for doing so in a Shaolin kung-fu class. Why are you breathing loudly?”, I was asked.  If you breath loudly, your opponent will know that you are about to attack!”. Whilst I cannot fault the logic in this, the justification for audible breathing is equally as convincing. I use this to highlight the fact that there is rarely a single right way to do anything in martial arts. For much of this essay I favour the discussion of principle over technique, since the principles of martial arts are, in general, more uniform than the way they are implemented within particular styles. Where I do descend into discussion on technique, it should be borne in mind that a method is being talked about, and not the method.

Breathing techniques

At a very basic level, karate students are taught that breathing plays an important role in the correct execution of technique. Inhalation should take place through the nose and exhalation through the mouth. Inhalation is usually performed in the transition between stances or positions and exhalation

proceeds whilst the technique is performed. If a sequence of techniques occur in quick succession, the exhalation is usually spread over the number of techniques involved. One master, Kenko Nakaima, professed that breathing (during kata training) should be natural, exhaling with a sharp hiss when striking. He went on to add that, in combat, the breathing should be undetectable. Yoshio Itokazu of Goju-ryu also believed in this principle. The apparent contradiction between the techniques that are trained, and those that are applied in combat mirrors the difference between karate-breathing and kung-fu-breathing mentioned above. Eiichi Miyazoto, also of Goju-ryu, discussed breathing technique at greater length: Inhale slowly through the nose using the lower abdominal muscles, and in the same way gently ease the air out through the mouth with a guttural hiss. This sound is coincidental to the breathing and should not be made on purpose.  Shoshin Nagamine taught that a
defensive technique should be executed with inhalation, whereas an offensive technique should be executed with exhalation. These views are all joined by a common thread: they teach the what but not the why.  The rudiments of correct breathing are oft stated but rarely explained. In all of the examples above, the teachers advocate that exhalation should accompany an offensive technique. Why is this? One fundamental reason is that if you are hit in the chest while your lungs contain air, you are likely to become winded. Emptying your lungs avoids this danger. It is also said that the purpose of kihon (basic training) is to unify the mind and body with the breath. This is most clearly seen in kiai, of which I will have more to say later. In some way then, karate is underpinned with the belief that exhalation whilst performing a technique binds the intent of mind and body: a strong, powerful exhalation promotes the execution of a strong and powerful technique. Many of the Okinawan styles advocate breathing from the abdomen rather than from the chest, not just while training but all of the time. The Japanese phrase, bu no chikara, is used to describe the hidden strength that is thought to result from this. It is believed that such abdominal breathing engages the tanden – the centre of the body’s intrinsic energy, or ki. The tanden is located just below the navel and is important in internal martial arts such as tai-chi, and in styles of karate that teach kyusho-waza (techniques performed to the body’s vital points). The Koju-ryu employs muscle breathing exercises that help to harden the body internally and allow the body to take a blow on any surface without damage. In Taido, there are four methods of breathing that relate to the four scenarios experienced by a person being attacked. Each breathing technique is made up of two components: inhalation and exhalation. Both the inhalation and exhalation can be performed at two speeds, quickly or slowly. The four methods are therefore as follows:

Method Inhalation Exhalation

1. Fast Fast

2. Fast Slow

3. Slow Fast

4. Slow Slow

A fast inhalation is carried out when a possible threat becomes apparent – the taidoka inhales quickly in preparation to move. A slow inhalation is conducted when there is no apparent threat, but the taidoka still needs to maintain a state of awareness and readiness (zanshin).  A fast exhalation indicates that a perceived threat is real and marks the transition into a defendable
position such as kamae. Conversely, a slow exhalation marks a continued state of readiness, even though there is no immediate threat.
It should come as no surprise that fast breath is used to match a fast action, and a slow breath is used to match a slow action. This can be experienced by trying to perform your favourite technique at full speed and power, whilst breathing slowly. Deliberate and controlled breathing also promotes a state of readiness and calmness – If you can control the breath, you can control the mind (think about the difficulty of acting rationally when the body is struggling for breath). Similarly, if you can control the mind you can control the body (think about the conict between mind and body that arises when you are in the middle of a gruelling run) . Moreover these breath-mind and mind-body relationships are transitive: If you can control the breath, you can control the body. The ability to control the body is a core principle in martial arts.

Kiai

The breath can be used to mirror the body’s intent. A strong, powerful exhalation promotes a strong and powerful technique. In addition, the use of abdominal breathing can reinforce the body’s resolve and the ability to strike. The natural extrapolation of these principles results in the performance of kiai. The physical act of kiai involves tightening the muscles of the body (including the diaphragm) on impact, and exhaling forcibly to produce a shout. Kiai literally means `spirit convergence’ and is a state of being which is meant to express a harmony between the body and the mind. In his
autobiography, Funakoshi recounts a tail of the karate master Matsumura, who once defeated an enemy using only his kiai. The physical shout of the kiai can be used to scare the opponent, something that Musashi states as being of great importance: The difference between a half-hearted scream intended to scare the enemy off and a resolute shout is the difference between bragging
and making a commitment to attack.  It is also said that the act of kiai causes the throat to harden – in defence against a strike to the front of the neck. Although the use of vocal kiai is championed by the majority of martial arts, it is by no means universal. Kaneshima, of Tozan-ryu, believed that the kiai shout is not necessary for karate training, and is in fact, a \waste of time”. Indeed, some schools teach that the use of kiai marks a weak point in the martial artist’s attack, since it causes the body to become tense. Many higher graded sensei refrain from performing an audible kiai, preferring to give an `introspective’ kiai on impact; strong but subdued. It is an unfortunate side-effect of competition karate that more value is ascribed to the physical shout than to the internal aspects of kiai.

Mushin

The principle of mushin, or no-mindedness is important to zen martial arts such as karate. When fighting in a state of mushin, the body reacts to stimuli without the intervention of the mind; thoughts do not cloud the body’s intent and the body acts freely. The principle of mushin may appear too esoteric for some, but it is, in fact, completely natural. While you are reading this, you are not thinking about reading it, you are merely reading it. As soon as you think about reading, it
becomes much more dicult to read – the mechanics of intentional reading inhibit your ability to read. It is the same with martial arts – when confronted by an enemy (and all the attendant fears), the intervention of mind can only be a hindrance -inserting `thought’ where your best guide is instinct.  Mushin is sometimes experienced during the practice of meditative sitting, or zazen. People sitting for the first time often find the sitting uncomfortable and the mind remains extremely active. The process of breathing deliberately, and in particular the counting of the breaths, helps to focus the mind on a single activity. This is often called one-pointed attention. The same principle applies in martial arts – intentional breathing can be used to focus the mind. Once the mind is focused on a single thing it can make the transition from one-pointed attention to no-pointed attention – the state of mushin. If this explanation seems unclear, it is because no-mindness is not something that can be easily described, but can only be experienced.

Conclusion

In this essay, I have touched on a few aspects of breathing in the martial arts. A closed mind can never learn; only an open mind can be free. The pursuit of freedom; freedom from fear, prejudice, conict and a multitude of other restrictions to which we are necessarily bound, is a lofty goal for any martial artist to aim for. As with life itself, a martial art has nothing to do with the goal, and everything to do with the journey. Breathing, a vital action that is for the most part performed entirely unconsciously, helps us along this path by allowing us to control the body and the mind. The application of techniques such as kiai can fuse the body’s power, intention and resolve,
into a single point. Breathing can also help to promote the calm, lucid and free state of mind that can lead to mushin. In this way, the act of intentional breathing helps to draw together many disparate threads in the practice of martial arts.

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Categories: Drop in the Bucket

Time and Attainment

July 29, 2008 1 comment

An interesting point to ponder – Shorin Ryu Sensei, R. Dauphin, writes on time and attainment…

How Do You Spend Your Time?

With the right amount of time all things are attainable. Initially most karateka feel clumsy, awkward and self-conscious. What can change this predicament is properly invested time. With twenty years of dedicated well-balanced time, the beginner can transform themselves into a karate master. The hardest part of karate mastery is investing the right amount of time in the proper place. The greatest danger lies in spending time foolishly because eventually time runs out.

Most beginner karateka have a hard time even lining up straight let alone executing a proper technique. Five years of properly invested time will change this. In five years, the beginner can go from being awkward and clumsy to being able to perform hundreds of intricate techniques. Eventually, these techniques are not only executed physically, but a certain amount of mind and spirit become present. The initial investment of five years will give most karateka ten basics, sixteen kata, a fairly advanced level of sparring and a rudimentary understanding of history and philosophy.

If the aforementioned can be achieved in five years, then what would happen if the karateka doubled the time they invested? With ten years of balanced time, the karateka should know the above on a much deeper level. A knowledge of Bunkai, history, and philosophy should be strongly rooted. Techniques should no longer be mindful repetitions but should slowly become part of the karateka. Investing ten years time should forge a strong spirit which reveals itself in everything the karateka does.

Let’s double the invested time again. Twenty years of properly invested time can produce a student who has a broad knowledge of the entire Shorin Ryu system. With twenty years of invested time, a karateka should be able to perform their karate with a very advanced level of body, mind and spirit. A person who trains for twenty years can call karate theirs because with that amount of time karate should become part of them. In executing techniques, thought should no longer be necessary. Twenty years of training should fuse the body, mind and spirit into one entity which shows itself in the sensei tries to teach you to spend time in these endeavours not only physically but mentally and spiritually. How many times during class does the sensei call for more spirit and how many times have push ups been done to remind the karateka to spend their time properly?

The karateka must balance their time correctly. To properly progress, all areas of karate must be trained. For example, if a karateka spends all of their time training their physical side how can they make any significant mental or spiritual gains? All areas of the being must be trained and progress together or the balance of body, mind and spirit will be thrown into disarray.

The key to spending time wisely and making balanced progress is honesty. Every karateka has problem areas, the solution to this is to spend more time in training the areas you do not excel in. Training your problem areas will bring them into balance with the rest of your karate. How often does the karateka who is weak in kata but strong in kumite spend time training kata? Their kata is probably trained very little because they want to train what they are good at. The danger here is that the more progress a karateka makes in just one area, the more out of balance and weaker their karate becomes. Eventually, the karateka who trains on only one level will find themselves inferior to the karateka who has achieved a balance of body, mind and spirit. Honesty is the solution to this problem, identify problem areas and then spend the time necessary (sometimes years) to bring them into balance.

The error in not managing time properly, is that time will run out. If a person is lucky, they will spend ninety to one hundred years on this planet. It is tragic to waste any amount of this time, wasting your time is like throwing your life away. As Sensei Legacy always says, “Lost time can never be regained.” This does not mean a karateka can never relax or have fun, it just means that time should be managed according to the goals they have. If a person works hard and commits to everything they do then when they die they will have lived a full life.

With five, ten or twenty years of training, a great deal can be accomplished. Balanced training in all areas of karate will very likely produce a karateka with a deep understanding of not only the body but the mind and spirit as well. Time, honesty, dedication and intestinal fortitude are a must to achieve these goals. Without the aforementioned qualities, in twenty years nothing can be achieved except the wasting of a large amount of time. In karate, there are no one week wonders; if you hear someone say, “I could never be as good in karate as the sensei,” tell them to make the same statement after they have trained for twenty years.

The next time you fail a grading or do not perform as you feel you should, ask yourself;
How am I investing my time?

By R. Dauphin, Nidan

Categories: Drop in the Bucket

Stance…Stance…Stance.

Stances are not simply an exercise in balance and strength. They are also a vital part of the fighting applications of kata .  Stances are used in combat to ensure correct distribution of bodyweight and the correct position of the karateka’s centre of gravity. This is essential if techniques are to be effective, using the entire body, not just the striking limb, in order to obtain maximum power and speed.  It is not the stance itself that generates power, but the movement of the body into the stance (stance transition) that ensures the correct projection of the karateka’s bodyweight; using body rotation and propulsion dynamics. Stances are not intended to be static postures, but points of reference of the delivery of a technique.  Stances are also used to limit the opponent’s movement and to control their position.

All stances within katas are used in all of these ways.

The way in which one stands, obviously influences the actions that can be immediately taken. A very broad-based stance with a low centre of gravity is extremely stable and good for launching powerful punches and blocks. On the other hand, a narrow-based stance with a high centre of gravity is suited to quick movements.

Stance can engage for an instant during the apex of a technique.  Even elements of energy rooting learned from stance training can occur during technique.

Stances used in Wa-Ki-Ryu can be found in: 

https://senseimitch.wordpress.com/2008/05/01/lost-in-terminology/

well…lemme just paste them in here…

Kake Dachi – Crossed stance (used in kata)

Kiba dachi – Horse-riding/energy stance

Kokutsu dachi – Back-stance

Kumite dachi – Fighting stance

Neko ashi dachi – Cat stance

Sanchin dachi – Hour-Glass stance

Teiji dachi – T stance

Yoi dachi – Ready stance

Zen-kutsu dachi – Forward-stance

Categories: Drop in the Bucket

Remembering Master Hitoshi Shiozaki – February 22nd, 1956 – August 29th, 2006…

July 22, 2008 9 comments

Master Hitoshi Shiozaki was a 6th dan black-belt of Yoshukai Karate in Japan and 2nd dan in Jujitsu. He was also the General Manager of the Osaka head office in Japan.  Shihan won the All Japan Full-Contact Karate Open Tournament 4 times from 1981 to 1985.  He had been practicing karate for 30 years and teaching for 20.

I remember the first time I saw Master Shiozaki…and it wasn’t at a tournament.  I was just finishing my 3rd or 4th class in True Vision Karate at the old dojo when I saw this man ride up on an old blue bicycle.  He had the thickest orange tinted glasses I had ever seen which made his eyes look two times too big…He saw my training partner, Jay also a new white-belt at the time, and I exiting the the dojo and immediately got off his bike to bow to us both…he let out the strongest “OSU!” I had heard at the time and I was quite unsure what to do except to smile a little and say, “hello”.  He then bowed into the dojo to talk to Sensei Chris and no doubt watch the advanced class.  It wasn’t until much later that I realized just who this man was when he showed up with a Brown belt in Yoshukai for my Sensei!  Imagine my surprise when I saw this Master talking to the class as I walked-in…I didn’t even bow back to him that day when he got off his bike to bow to me!  *groan* 

After seeing Shihan demonstrate Yoshukai @ Senei Jared/Grayson’s Shodan grading, I asked Sensei Chris for permission to cross train in Yoshukai.  I was very privilaged to be allowed to do this at green -belt but I soon learned that cross-training is harder than it looks! I was too sore and from the Yoshukai to keep up with my core style’s pace, and soon after decided to just focus on Wa-Ki-Ryu. I would occasionally drop in to Shihan’s dojo so his students could use me as “fresh meat” for kick training. 🙂  I remember being so eager to not insult Shihan in any way when training in his dojo that I was quite uptight the first time…then, of course, I was quite blown away by how easy it was to be around the Master.  He would always give you your say in a conversation and, if you had any questions for Shihan, you usually got good answers that  you could think about afterwards.  Shihan would never take any dojo dues from me…he would just say to me, “You Mitchi, just train, no money…it’s OK!” He knew I had my core style and was just looking to share energy – I guess as far as Shihan was concerned, that was good enough.

Shihan would always invite our dojo to his student promotions and demonstrations. We were always made welcome – whether we went there to train, or to simply watch in amazement.  I’ll never forget the sparring/training sessions I had with Shihan and his dojo…those few sessions impacted my core style in such a way that they will forever be a part of my training.  

Categories: The Knowledge Pool

June 25th, 2008 Grading…

June 26, 2008 2 comments

Congrats to Tamara, Stuart, Tim and Avery!

Wicked-Awesome job with last nite’s Grading!  There was a great turnout of students which is very important for all involved…And it was a real treat to come back from vacation to such a fun promotion!

Kata Practice shone through with every technique especially in your basics. 

It was nice to see Tam’s Shotokan training still popping out here and there – Tamara…I’m sure your Shotokan Sensei would be proud of you re-ranking to 2nd Kyu in another Dojo…we sure are!

With most of Stu’s training time spent teaching the young-one’s, it was certainly impressive to witness his stamina and power during the grading…very good balance Stuart, all the Sensei’s noticed this and are honoured to have you training with the kids!

I have to mention Tim’s power and lack of hesitation during his self-defence…I didn’t realize it at the time but my arms are good-n-sore today from those break-outs Tim!  Way to take me down! 😉

I honestly saw Avery looking right through her Spirit-Warrior at times…I loved it!  Now just carry that level of Kime through to your next grading…right?…Avery?…Aaaaavery…yoo-hoo!?  🙂

 

We’ll see you all next class!

OSU!

 

Categories: Drop in the Bucket

Lost in Terminology…

To keep True Vision Karate within the traditional nature of Karate-Do, we incorporate Japanese terminology and Dojo etiquette.  I have put together a few terms and etiquette that are used frequently and should be understood by yellow belt and above….Of course there are some terms and etiquette that are just good to know…so I threw them in for good measure!

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Keoskite (Skie) – Attention

Rei – Bow

Hajime – Begin

Mawate – Turn around

Shomen Ni – Turn to the Head of Dojo

Yame – Stop (immediately)

Tome – Return to original location

Yoi – Return to ready stance

Mokuso – Close Eyes – Prepare for meditation

Seiza – Formal seated position (kneeling)

Agura – Informal seated position (feet in front)

 

NUMBERING SYSTEM

1 ichi             11 ju-ichi

2 ni                12 ju-ni

3 san             13 ju-san

4 shi              14 ju-shi

5 go              15 ju-go

6 roku           16  ju-roku

7 shichi         17  ju-shichi

8 hachi          18 ju-hachi

9 ku               19 ju-ku

10 ju              20 ni-ju

 

*Note: The pronunciation of numbers when counting in the Dojo differs from the modern Japanese pronunciation of each number.  Dojo counting is more guttural with shortened, single-syllabic versions of each number. For example…Ichi is pronounced “Itch” – shichi pronounced “chitch” or even “hitch”! The best thing to do is to listen and learn from senior ranks when counting.

 

GREETINGS AND RESPONSES (Manners)

Onegaishimasu – Please teach me. (may be used upon entering the dojo)

Gokorosan  – Thank you for doing what was expected.

Domo arigato gozaimashita -Thank you very much. (can be said upon exiting the dojo)

*When thanking the teacher, refrain from using a shorter version of this phrase.

Osu (Oosss!) – Let’s train hard and persevere! (can be said upon entering/exiting the dojo)

Hai – Yes

Iie (ee yea) – No

Ohiyo gozai-imasu – Good morning.

Omede to – Congratulations.

Konnichi wa – Good day.

Kon bon wa – Good evening.

Sumimasen – Excuse me.

Wakarimasu Ka – Do you understand?

Wakarimasen – I do not understand.

Wakarimasu – I understand.

 

METHODS OF TRAINING

Ippon kumite – One-step sparring

Jiyu kumite – Freestyle sparring

Kansetsu Waza – Theory and practice of joint techniques

Kata – Formal exercises (Form)

Kihon waza – Basic techniques

Kobudo – Weapons training or “Way of Stopping War”

Kumite – Sparring (Formal, Light to Contact)

Nage Waza – Theory and practice of throwing/take-down techniques

Randore – Slow fighting

Ukemi Waza -Theory and practice of falling

 

TACHI WAZA (Theory and practice of standing)

Kake Dachi – Crossed stance (used in kata)

Kiba dachi – Horse-riding/energy stance

Kokutsu dachi – Back-stance

Kumite dachi – Fighting stance

Neko ashi dachi – Cat stance

Sanchin dachi – Hour-Glass stance

Teiji dachi – T stance

Yoi dachi – Ready stance

Zen-kutsu dachi – Forward-stance

 

UKE WAZA (Theory and practice of defense)

Age uke – Rising block

Gedan barai – Downward parry

Uchi uke – Middle-area block (inside of forearm or inwards to the centre of body)

Soto uke – Middle-area block (outside of forearm or outwards from the body)

Shuto uke – Knifehand block

Osae uke – Pressing block

Morote uke – Augmented block

Juji uke – X-block

 

TSUKI WAZA (Theory and practice of punching)

Seiken – Fist

Hon tsuki – Frontal punch

Gyaku tsuki – Reverse punch

Oi tsuki – Lunge punch

Nidan tsuki – Double punch

Gedan tsuki – Punch to lower target

Chudan tsuki – Punch to middle target

Jodan tsuki – Punch to upper target

 

GERI WAZA (Theory and practice of kicking)

Ashi – Foot

Kekomi – Thrusting kick

Keage – Snapping kick

Mae geri – Front kick

Yoko geri – Side kick

Mawashi geri – Roundhouse kick

Mikazuki geri – Crescent kick

Ushiro geri – Back kick

Tobi geri – Jumping kick

Kin geri – Groin kick

Mae Keage – Training Kick

 

UCHI WAZA (Theory and practice of striking)

Shuto uchi – Knifehand strike

Hiiji uchi or empi uchi – Elbow strike

Hiza uchi – Knee strike

Nukite uchi – Spearhead strike

Tettsui uchi – Hammerfist strike

Uraken uchi – Backfist strike

 

CONCEPTS, PRINCIPLES AND MISCELLANEOUS

Budo – Way of martial arts

Bunkai – Applications of kata techniques

Bushido – Way of the samurai (bushi)

Chudan – Middle target (solar plexus)

Dojo – School (place of the Way)

Gi – Uniform

Gomen Kudasai – Forgive me/I am sorry

Hata – Dojo flag

Irimi – To enter into an attack

Isshin – One heart or mind

Jodan – High target (philtrum)

Kakate – Run

Kakato – Heel

Karate – Empty Hand

Ki – Spirit, energy, life force

Kiai – Spirit-unifying shout (spirit-wind)

Kime – Focus of power

Kohai – A student junior to oneself

Koshi – Ball of foot

Kote – Wrist

Kuzushi – Balance, body alignment

Kyosen – The solar plexus

Kyusho – Vital points

Mudansha – One’s without dan (coloured belts)

Morote – Double

Obi – Belt (centre of body)

Miai – Distancing

Mushin – No heart or mind

Musubi – Harmony

Rei – bow (show respect)

Sempai – Senior student

Sensei -Teacher

Taitaikyo – Dojo etiquette

Tanden or hara – Center of the body

Tai sabaki – To evade and counterattack

Tenkan – To turn and dissipate an attack

Tore – One who executes a technique

Uke – One who receives a technique

Yudansha – Holder’s of dan rank (black belts)

Zanshin – Reflecting heart or mind

Categories: The Knowledge Pool

Tradition and Honor….

Without getting into the early origins of Karate…the Japanese art of Karate-do, “way of the empty hand” eventually developed into a hidden form of family defence. Those who taught it were quite selective about who they passed the art on to. Traditional values of respect, effort, patience, honesty, and discipline were considered the basic criteria for student selection with focus on building the body, mind and spirit. By the middle of the 20thcentury, this art had spread throughout America, bringing the benefits of karate-do training to our modern Western world, where it was popular despite sometimes being at odds with cultural norms of materialism, convenience, and tendencies to favor style over substance.

Nowadays, in most countries, karate is no longer required for day-to-day survival in a physical sense. In fact, it might be said that our karate training is used for a different sort of survival through improved health, focusing the mind, and strengthening the spirit. Traditional karate continued with a  focus on creating a healthy individual who is a strong member of family, community, and society.  Though Karate will change with the times by design, to keep it strong certain attributes and etiquette must be kept prominant in our training: 

Acceptance:    When someone is instructing you, you have the obligation to listen intently and just reply Hai…(In our dojo we say “Osu!” for just about everything, so feel free to use this as well!) This means you understand. (Or wakarimasen – I don’t understand…) Don’t offer excuses, or that’s not the way someone else teaches it etc. If you wish to question in further detail, do so after class.
 
   
Attitude:     Attitude is the key. Go in with open mind and absorb all that is good!
    
Concentration:    Keep your mind on what you are doing. We all make mistakes, but lets not make them because were not paying attention. 
   
Consistency:    Consistency should be your number one objective. Consistency will beat out talent every time. Be regular with your training schedule and your efforts will pay off in the long run.
   
Courage:    Remember that you do not have to train physically to learn. Just watching a class when you are not feeling 100% can be very beneficial. You will also be counted for full attendance just for showing-up!
   
Dojo:   The Dojo is your other home. It is a safe place you share with fellow students.. Treat it with the same respect you treat your own home.
   
Dojo Rules:    The rules of the Dojo are not just guidelines for the dojo. They can also teach you a valuable code to live by. Learn their meaning and try to live by them.
   
Gi:  Gis should be washed regularly and have only a few wrinkles (for your own benefit as well as others).
   
Instructor (Sensei):   The instructors job is to push the student to the maximum of his/her abilities. It is the students job to monitor their own health levels. It is never the goal to injure someone.
   
Intent:   Or no intent. If you punch someone in the nose, or break a rib, it doesn’t help to say, “I didn’t intend to do that, sorry.” No intent, was really a lack of attention. Stay focused!
   
Loyalty:  Your dojo and it’s affiliates can be considered your extended family. Loyalty to your family is as important as it gets. Treat your instructors as you would elder members of your family and the rest like your brothers and sisters.
   
Mokuso:   Meditate by clearing the mind of all outside thoughts in preparation for full concentration.
   
Obi:   The Obi (Belt) should always be treated with respect. While the color of the belt is not so important, the effort to gain the belt should be remembered and cherished!
   
Patience:   Have patience not only with others, but also with yourself. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes, so learn from it, and go on!
   
Pay back:   Not pay and go. As we progress in the martial arts, we gain the responsibility to give back that which we have learned!
   
Rank:   Does not confer privilege or power. It imposes responsibility!
   
Rei:   Bowing to show respect for the art, the dojo, the instructor, each other and for oneself. 

*When arriving late, (and after you are warm-25 to 30 push-ups and sit-ups usually do it!), kneel respectfully near the door. You are essentially uninvited until summoned to come in by the instructor!
   
Rudeness:    Pointing,  walking in front, wearing jewelry, talking/making noise when the instructor is speaking & yawning are all considered rude!
   
Seisan:   Usually a bow is given after being dismissed by Sensei to show respectful appreciation for the class and the instruction given.
   
Sempai:   It is the responsibility of the Sempai to lead. The responsibility of the Kohai, (Beginner and intermediate ranks), to appreciate the experience and knowledge being passed on! Dojo manners and traditions if not taught, cannot blame the Kohai for not observing. It is the responsibility of Sempai to be an example and educate!
      
Training
:  Training at the Dojo is a gift we give to ourselves and should be considered a precious time to savor. Most times we might be mentally tired, but not physically spent. Push yourself. Deliver the body. Getting to the dojo is most times the hardest part of training. Once you miss, it is easier to miss the next time!
   
 – Original Body & Text accredited to Senpai Jackie Long of Genbu-Kai –

Categories: The Knowledge Pool