Do you Believe in God?

ktadmin Posted in OffTopic

Since it is Sunday I thought it an appropriate time to ask this question. I have always operated under the belief that the vast majority of people believe in God. Notice I didn’t specify or define God but just generally that there is a higher power. Recently I came across this web site which while not very scientific I found the results shocking. The site (link below) asks a simple question, Yes or No, do you believe in God. You can click on their logo to vote.

Do you believe?

Given the current state of the world I guess the results should not surprise me. But nearly 50% of the world doesn’t believe!? This makes me wonder what they believe? From my experience most activities fortify my belief. A Martial Arts blog may seem a strange place for this discussion but to me the Martial Arts are steeped in belief in a higher order even though it is left to the individual to pursue. Where do you weigh in? Post a comment…

An Amazing Fitness Tool

ktadmin Posted in Recipes and Health Facts, Training notes

I just discovered an web tool for anyone remotely interested in better understanding their diet! The web site is Calorie Connect (dot com) and it is by far the simplest and most useful site like it that I have come across and best of all IT IS FREE! In just under 5 minutes I was able to create an account, log in all of my meals and activities for the day. Then I could immediately see not only my calorie intake/burn but the break down of the calories I consumed. Once I record a food it stays in my recent food list so adding it for another day just got even easier. If you are like me your diet from day to day doesn’t vary that much (or perhaps I’m just dull!) Here are two examples of the type of at a glance information you get (I created some random food selections and exercise for these charts):

Nutrition Fast FactsQuick View Diet Exercise Comparisons

A Guide to Performing Kata

ktadmin Posted in Training notes

By Mitchell Saba

  1. The Kata begins the moment you take a start position. Your mental state, concentration and focus, must reflect the respect and seriousness required.
  2. Execute the Kata correctly and in the right order. The number of movements in each Kata is fixed and the student must perform all of them, in the correct order, without mistake.
  3. Move accurately, in the correct directions from the starting position. The karateka must end the Kata at the same physical spot they began from. This is impossible if the wrong moves, directions or stride of the steps is not consistent and accurate.
  4. Understand the meaning and intent of each move contained in the Kata. Express the movements fully with the proper power, speed, control and as always accuracy. The movements have meaning, honor them.
  5. Focus. Be aware of the intended target of the Kata. This means the karateka must understand the intended defense/offense of the imaginary opponent, knowing how and when to block/strike.
  6. Execute the Kata clearly so that an observer can clearly understand the meaning and intent of your movements.
  7. Perform the Kata rhythmically, making transitions between movements smooth not jerky. The Kata should be executed with confidence, boldly and powerfully. The end of one Kata is the beginning of the next, this is why it is important to keep movements rhythmic start to finish.
  8. Remember the three factors maintaining rhythm is dependent on:
    1. Proper application of power (timing and target)
    2. Fluency of movement (like a dance)
    3. Body flexibility

There are four primary physical aspect when performing a Kata:

  1. Breathing – This is number one for a reason. Improper breathing ruins your focus, power, accuracy and speed, in other words your Kata. The Kata begins with breathing, the ceremonial exhale and bow, to clear the lungs and mind of the karateka. The karateka inhales as they begin their first movement. Proper breathing is important for the performance of any Kei required in a Kata.
  2. Footwork – Proper placement and spacing of the feet are the foundation of every Kata and karate movement. Inconsistencies insure the karateka will not return to the exact location from which they began. Improper footwork will leave the karateka unbalanced. The feet are the foundation, if placed on sand they are unsure, placed on bedrock they can not move, this is the way to understanding and perfection.
  3. Technique – The karateka must be constantly aware (consciously or subconsciously) of the exact location of every part of their body. This is often referred to as body awareness. Body awareness must be perfected for the karateka to know if their technique is perfect. Only through constant practice can the karateka perform Kata as it was intended.
  4. Timing – This is as important as breathing. Proper timing of the movements gives a Kata its beauty. A Kata performed to quickly or slowly will appear off balance, incorrect even to the untrained eye. Like the saying goes, timing is everything!

11 Year Old Kyokushin VS Shaolin Battle

ktadmin Posted in Competition, Training notes, Video

No this isn’t a battle that has lasted 11 years but a battle between two 11 year old competitors! This match pits a Japanese Student of Kyokushin against a Chinese Student of Shaolin Fists. The competion takes place in China before an all Chinese audience all dressed in Red! Who will win…?!

The two eleven year olds are almost equally matched in terms of weight, although the Chinese boy is a bit taller. For those of you who don’t know Kyokushin Karate is considered the “Strongest” karate mostly due to the training techniques; and Shaolin means (little forest) in Chinese though the name is famous in the Martial Arts as stories of Shaolin Monks come to mind. I think you will be surprised by the results of this match.

In my opinion the results are bogus but not surprising given the circumstances of the fight.

When you watch the video take note of the points on both sides ans post your evaluation of the fight in the comments. Let the debate begin!

Know Yourself, Be At Peace

ktadmin Posted in A Zen Thing

Meditation Point #120

One day Chuang-tzu and a friend were walking along a riverbank.
     “How delightfully the fishes are enjoying themselves in the water!” Chuang-tzu exclaimed.
    “You are not a fish,” his friend said. “How do you know whether or not the fishes are enjoying themselves?”
    “You are not me,” Chuang-tzu said. “How do you know that I do not know that the fishes are enjoying themselves?”

Why do we judge the world and those we know based on our perspective and understanding of the world? The message here is clear, be careful of what you assume to know and understand. In the Martial Arts I always teach people to do two things; never under estimate their opponent; and, to always try and see the situation from their opponents perspective. The former is just good advice. The later is more difficult but can often negate the need to fight, (the ultimate goal of the Martial Arts is NOT to fight). Often if we understand our opponent we can reason with them or at the very least empathize with them. This puts us on the higher ground and often calms our minds making us a more formidable opponent ourselves. No longer motivated by anger or rage we fight with the calm of justice and self-defense intent on only protecting ourselves not exacting our own revenge for the attack. In short understanding the world better helps us stay in control of ourselves, as Zen teaches us the only thing we can control.


ktadmin Posted in A Zen Thing

Meditation Point #119
So many stones are thrown at me
that I no longer cover,
the turret’s cage is shapely,
high among high towers.
My thanks, to its builders,
may they escape pain and woe,
here, I see suns rise earlier,
here, their last splendors glow.
And often winds from northern seas
fill the windows of my sanctuary,
and a dove eats corn from my palm…
and divinely light and calm,
the Muse’s sun burnt hand’s at play,
finishing my unfinished page.

Anna Akhmatova
(translated by Anthony Kline)

A great poem reflecting on the blessings in life from someone whom seems would have nothing to feel blessed about. This is a reflection we should all make in our lives; to often we focus on the negatives and miss the small wonderous treasures life gives to us even in our darkest moments. Quiet your mind with your worries and your wrongs and your injustices; and take notice of the quiet, sweet blessings that otherwise go unnoticed.

Putting Things in Perspective

ktadmin Posted in A Zen Thing, Articles of Interest, Video

Sometimes we need to pause and put things in perspective. It isn’t often that I run across something that covers the big picture so well, so when I do I like to share it. Hope this helps you gain some perspective for without perspective there is little we can do. Perhaps watching this will give you the perspective you need to shape the future?!

Happy Easter!

ktadmin Posted in Events & Holidays

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.  God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it”  (John 3:16-17).

Easter Sunday

And something for the kids…

Easter Egg Maze

An Easter Egg Maze.

May the Blessing of this Holiday be with you.

The Lesson of the 5 Monkeys

ktadmin Posted in A Zen Thing, Articles of Interest

Monkey BusinessWe begin to learn the lesson of the five monkeys but putting five monkeys in a cage and in the cage hang a banana on a string and put stairs leading up to it.

Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana.

As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the monkeys with cold water.

After a while, another monkey will make an attempt at the bananas; again spray all of the monkeys with cold water. Keep this up for several days with every attempt at the banana.

Now we turn off the cold water and observe.

If, later, another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it even though no water sprays them.

Now, remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new monkey.

The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm.

Replace the third original monkey with a new one. The new one makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well. Two of the four monkeys that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.

After replacing the fourth and fifth original monkeys, all the monkeys which have been sprayed with cold water have been replaced. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs.

Why not?

“Because that’s the way it’s always been done around here.”

———————————————————–Meditating Monkey

There are many lessons to learn from this story. Tome the first is that we should always question and seek to understand the reasons for things, regardless of the push back we get. Fortunately I live in a society where you can (to a lesser extent) still do this. There are more places (countries) then not however where this is not the case and asking questions or questioning the norm or expecting more can get you into trouble or killed. Unfortunately those who don’t question are no different then the monkeys and often deserve the cages they live in because they are not willing to take a chance or question in favor of security and comfort. History shows us that most people are sadly like the monkeys.

Another lesson here is an examination of the effects of trauma and/or stress on our reactions and beliefs. Your own reflection or discussion on that idea is left to the comments section (a challenge?!). Why can/does trauma or stress lead to otherwise irrational behavior being viewed as rational? Just to get you started…

Motivating Equality the Martial Way…

ktadmin Posted in Entertainment, Fun Stuff

Motivate Equality

When a Flying Kick won’t do the Job…