Karate Master Parking a Car!

Sensei Posted in Fun Stuff
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I know I’ve posted a few of these but they are funny! More serious posts coming soon 🙂

Chuck Norris…the Legend!

Sensei Posted in Entertainment,Tags: ,
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I have seen the web site this video clip refers to and thought it was really funny, but to see Chuck Norris read from it was amazingly funny and entertaining!

Using Yoga to Improve Martial Arts Skills

Sensei Posted in Styles, Technique, Training notes
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Note: This article was written by director_mitch A.K.A. the Window Manager and is cross-posted on his site.

Tae Kwon Do, probably more than any martial art, emphasizes kicking – a typical TKD match will be over 80% kicking. In order to win you need kicks that are high enough to hit an opponent’s head. After all, if all you can throw are waist-high kicks, you become pretty easy to defend against. The second thing you need is mastery of the spinning kicks – back kick, spinning-heel, and tornado kick – which help in misdirection and counter-attack.

And in order to kick high and spin, flexibility and balance are a prerequisite. As I advanced into the Tae Kwon Do “middle belts”, I felt that in order to progress into the upper ranks that these two areas really needed improvement. I was certainly developing these skills as a part of my regular TKD training, but I started to search for a way to accelerate their improvement.

For flexibility, yoga was an obvious field of study. I had heard about the popular Bikram “hot yoga” for some time and thought I would give it a try. But I entered the yoga studio with some trepidation, expecting to find a bunch of aging hippy vegetarians. Instead I found an attractive young lady sitting behind a computer. Not wanting to seem too granola, I immediately declared “I’m hoping to improve my martial arts skills and thought I would try some yoga.”

“Yes,” she replied, “we get one of you signing up about once a month. In fact, John is getting ready for our next class and is a martial artist. You should talk to him.”

Soon enough I was talking to John, a seven-year practitioner of Tai Chi. He extolled the virtues of yoga and how it improved his martial art practice, and encouraged me to join. Fifteen minutes later I was standing next to him for my first class. Four months later I consider yoga a extension of my martial arts training and go at least once – usually twice – a week. I consider it so much an extension of my TKD practice that I sometimes catch myself unconsciously bowing as I enter the yoga studio.

My flexibility has definitely improved, but the largest improvement has been in my balance, where the improvements have been considerable for such a short period of time. My back kick went from mediocre to very good, and my spinning-heel went from non-existent to something I am comfortable using in a sparring match.

Bikram yoga is a set of twenty-six postures that are done in the same order in every class. It is what I call the “balancing series” of poses that I think has helped my martial arts the most to date:

theposesBikram-Yoga-Poses-For-Your-Health-and-Wellness

Reference Bikram South Pasadena – Postures

These poses may not look that hard, but remember that you hold the poses. Twice. On standing-head-to-knee the first pose is for sixty seconds. If you can hold these poses for that long, throwing a back-kick and having your body extended in something that approximates the balancing stick for a fraction of a second seems easy.

Another difference in yoga is that when balancing on one leg, the standing knee is locked with the thigh contracted. TKD kicks are done with the standing leg slightly bent, improving balance and stability, so again I find yoga harder than the martial arts for balance, meaning mastery in yoga makes for ease in the martial arts.

The flexibility improvement promised in yoga is also apparent, but that improvement is coming more slowly and will take a longer period of time to master.But like martial arts, yoga is a life-long practice, with true mastery always being just beyond the grasp. I consider them complementary arts and highly recommend yoga to anyone who wants to improve their martial arts skills.

Meditation Point #7

Sensei Posted in A Zen Thing, Quotes
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No Beginning, No End

There is no end.
There is no beginning.
There is only the infinite passion of life.
Federico Fellini

An amazing show…

Sensei Posted in Entertainment
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Eileen IversThis post has nothing to do with the Martial Arts. It does have to do with the perfection we seek by practicing the Martial Arts and walking the Budo path. I witnessed this perfection last night in the performance of Eileen Ivers at the Jorgensen Theater at the University of Connecticut. The amazing talent and sheer joy of Eileen Ivers, Tommy McDonnell, James Riley, Isaac Alderson, and Gregory Jones was a vision of the perfection we should all seek in this life. Watching these musicians command their instruments and voices was like watching a great master execute a kata! Now I am no stranger to the theater, culture is an important part of the Martial Artist’s life (or it should be) so to say I enjoyed this show is not a statement made in isolation.

I have witnessed many incredible performances of both individuals and groups but last night was special, this was not a performance, it was a sharing of thier love for their music. The only other performance I would put in the same class as Eileen Ivers is that of the Kodo Drummers. To the entire group thank you for the wonderful evening and reminding me what perfection looks like.
If you have the chance review their schedule and see this performance when they come near you.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Sensei Posted in Events & Holidays
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Happy St. Patrick's Day

Meditation Point #6

Sensei Posted in A Zen Thing, Quotes
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The truth is more important than the facts.

Frank Lloyd Wright

Jackie Chan, Man of Honor

Sensei Posted in Profiles
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No it is not the title of a new Jackie Chan movie! Man of Honor is the title KarateTraining.org is bestowing upon Jackie Chan for his numerous charity works. Recently this International superstar, Jackie Chan, is adding the power of his celebrity to the service of the Red Cross. Joining the ranks of Pierce Brosnan, Jamie Lee Curtis and Julianne Moore, Jackie Chan will begin promoting the humanitarian missions of the international organization. Jackie Chan will actually participate in some help operations as well as lending financial contributions and solicitation of the same. From the information available to us it seems Jackie Chan benefitted from the charity of the Red Cross as a child and swore to aid them if life gave him the opportunity to do so. Obviously Jackie Chan’s life has given him this opportunity and being a man of his word, a man of honor, he is keeping the promise he made as a child.
Once again, KarateTraining.org is saluting Jackie Chan, not for entertaining us but for showing us that fame does not negate our need to help our fellow man. Thank you.

This explains so much!!

Sensei Posted in Entertainment
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So we all wonder about the amazing feats of Jackie Chan…Alright well I do! But I have finally figured it out. Jackie Chan uses the Force to make himself lighter than air!! Seriously here is a rare photo of him with his instructor…

Jackie Chan and Yoda

When you see your next Jackie Chan film remember this and his amazing feats will finally make sense! 😛

Meditation Point #5

Sensei Posted in A Zen Thing, Quotes
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Western laziness consists of cramming our lives with compulsive activity,
so that there is no time at all to confront the real issues.
Sogyal Rinpoche

But if it wasn’t for Western drive, ingenuity and vision the rest of the world would only think about the real issues!
— Mitch