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Featured Article / Review
Precepts of Okinawan Gojuryu
Precepts of Okinawan Gojuryu

By Chojun Miyagi

... full article
剛柔流 Class Outline
An outline of class

This section will give you a sense of how a normal class in a Gojuryu Karatedo is ran, along with a core curriculum listing: Once opening ritual and beginning lecture are complete the class moves into the realm of learning actual technique. These items are what make Gojuryu one of the most beautiful and dynamic arts around. In learning Gojuryu Karate, we perform activities from one of four categories. These categories are characterized as two major and two minor. Further, there are subdivisions within each of the four categories. We recommend that you keep a weekly record of your training. Doing so is an excellent resource for tracking your goals and accomplishments and will dramatically improve your performance by monitoring routines. Click here for an excellent example.

The two minor categories are called "Kihon" and "Ido". These two categories are the foundation for "Kata," "Kumite", and all technique done in Gojuryu.

Within Karatedo basics, we must learn to stand, to move, block, strike, kick, fall, and later to throw. I must emphasize that considerable time is spent on learning how to block. If we do not know how to block a strike or kick, then we should not learn how to throw a strike or kick. As in all traditional forms of Karate, blocking is the first technique learned. It is logically first for the following reasons: because it is the most un-natural of the three items therefore making it the most difficult and the most rational reason is because you cannot become offensive if you cannot defend yourself. This same theory is found further at every level throughout the system.

Kihon conditions us for Kihon-Ido (basics with movements).

In "Kihon" the first minor category, we practices stationary techniques, utilizing the principle movements of blocking, striking, and kicking. The second minor category of "Ido", is aimed at using extensive footwork, along with blocking, striking, and kicking. In "Ido", the subdivisions, "Kata-Ido" and "Neko-Ashi-Ido", are preparatory programs which function as the transitional exercise between the minor programs and the programs of "Kata" and "Kumite". "Kata-Ido" works on the turning exercises in preparation for Kata. "Neko-Ashi-Ido" works on footwork exercises in preparation for Kumite. The following is an outline version of the base categories:

The two major categories are called "Kata" and "Kumite". Kata is a set of formal patterns, where we envisions that they are going against an opponent. Whereas Kumite is a sparring exercise with an actual opponent. The following outline lists many of the different exercises executed in Gojuryu Dojo.

  • The Class
    Organizing a class is fairly a simple thought when there is an end Goal in mind. Getting to that end Goal is as simple as a straight line only to the most experienced instructors, and mistakes by an instructor should be overshadowed by the quality of instruction and again achieving the final Goal of the class.

    Obviously starting with the proper etiquette of bowing into class and the traditional rituals of opening and closing class, class begins with Jumbi-undo (warm-up, stretching and conditioning exercises), an instructor should move into Kihon (basics). This Kihon not necessarily specific to Gojuryu, but specific to the Goal of the specified class. Basics, providing the rawest form of data for a technique and need not to include footwork or may be footwork only! By combining Kihon movements into a series you have Kihon Ido. The combination of basic steps with blocks, strikes or kicks should generally be presented in sections before being combined. Moving into the next sequence, ?Kata? are the organized patterns devised of techniques (see also ?Preamble to instruction?, ?Kata?, and ?Motion of Body?). The final sequence of class being ?Kumite? will offer the student the opportunity to apply the techniques from Kihon (again back to basics).

    The class-to-class program may depend upon the presence of ranks in the class, age groups, and or general stamina of students attending. Pregnant women and Children programs may be altered from that of the rest of class for obvious reasons.

    Those articles practiced in a general class contain all of the elementary talents required for a beginner through the late stages of Brown Belt. Before being introduced to Kata Sanchin, the student must have an abstract knowledge and understanding of their requirements before hand.

  • Facilities & Equipment
    From Dojo to Dojo, we find that facilities and equipment change. Some of the finest Dojo have wooden floors, of which, is said, to be needed to promote proper footwork, yet some have tile or linoleum floors for ease of maintenance. We have all heard of the boxing champions from Cuba that have only a tire hanging on a rope to train with. And as well have visited huge 3000 square foot facilities that produced the most meager of students.

    Whatever may be the case, the Dojo, a place for practice, usually contains only those specific items needed to support the regular practices and activities of its dojo members. On a normal basis of a Traditional Dojo, students must wear a white Karatedo Gi (sometimes called a Dogi or Kekogi) and around their waist, a Belt - obi. It is the standard ?Uniform? worn when training. Its color of white symbolizes one being non-ominous and our system being pure or unpolluted. Only the un-pure of ?Karatedo practicioners? emblazon the Dogi with unnecessary patches and designs. In traditional Karate, only those with higher rank may differentiate wearing anything other than a clean white Gi with a small patch depicting their school or style on the left lapel over their heart.

    You can call almost any place a Dojo, as long as you respect it. About five to eight square feet is a good comfort zone for each student. Four walls and a floor of some sort are not required! Some of the more common of both spacious and small Dojo utilities do include mirrors, Makiwara (a striking board used to focus striking and kicking and to produce power from the hips into these techniques), a heavy training bag perhaps, wooden wall mounted horizontal poles (as those in a ballet school), weights, writing apparatuses and even libraries! Wooden floors are common and are said to promote Good footwork. As also hardwood floor force students to get their balance from their own center of gravity because truly gripping a wood floor as opposed to a vinyl or tile floor while barefooted is close to impossible. An exceptional student will benefit in his or her development by utilizing a variety of apparatuses.
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    Member Poll
    How does your dojo do Sanchin Kata?

    No turns, just forward and back movement
    No turns, just forward and back movement
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    We do more than one version
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    Started: 08.05.12

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