Podcasts I’m Listening To

While you’re waiting for me to get The Applied Karate Show podcast back on air, there are some other excellent martial arts related podcasts you should be listening to:

Iain Abernethy’s Podcast

Ian is a UK based “pragmatic traditionalist” karateka who puts out a monthly podcast where he discusses his views and insights into all aspects of karate related to real world applications. A true skeptic when it comes to many of the kata application claims made by some traditionalists, Iain has a way of not backing down when it comes to firmly but politely making his point. Iain was interviewed in episode 9 of the Applied Karate Show.

Martial Secrets

A very regular podcast being put out by Seattle based Goju karateka Kris Wilder and Lawrence Kane, Martial Secrets is generally a two person discussion between the hosts on a variety of martial arts related topics. Occasionally the show focuses on interviews by one of the hosts with a variety of people who are knowledgeable in the arts, or have insights into human nature, psychology or violence as it relates to them. Kris was interviewed in Episode 3 of the Applied Karate Show.

Karate Cafe

Karate Cafe is probably the grand-daddy of karate podcasts, and has gone through several iterations of hosts and formats. Its quite regular at the moment, and I enjoy listening to Paul and Dan discussing a variety of topics.

The DenshoW

Hosted by professional broadcaster and martial artist, Chris Kaye, The DenshoW is a semi-regular show the provides a news roundup of various topics of interest to martial artists, along with short interviews.

 

I hope you enjoy these, and look forward to bringing you more episodes of The Applied Karate Show soon.

Kenkokan Dojo Renovations

I was interested to see that the Shorinjiryu Kenkokan So-Hombu Dojo in Tokyo is being renovated. The Shorinjiryu Kenkokan headmaster (and my former teacher), So Shihan Masayuki Hisataka (Hanshi 9th Dan) has recorded a short video showing the work in progress.

I spent 2 years training at the Kenkokan So-Hombu Dojo, and it is interesting to see the renovations. Operating since 1955 in the current location (near Waseda in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward), the Dojo was quite small but had a great atmosphere. I loved every minute of my time training there.

It looks like the new dojo will be larger and will have sprung wooden floors and walls, with tatami mats to allow for practice of throwing techniques and ground fighting.

Congratulations to Hisataka Sensei and all at the Kenkokan on the new dojo. I look forward to seeing news from the official re-opening in October.

The Applied Karate Show Episode 13 – Pat Nakata Sensei

Applied Karate #013 (mp3 – 31MB – 30 mins)

DOWNLOAD EPISODE 013 OF THE APPLIED KARATE SHOW

After a long hiatus, the Applied Karate Show podcast is back with what I like to refer to as Season 2! Going forward, its my plan to release one episode each month, hopefully on the 15th or so of the month.

This special guest for the launch of season 2 is Pat Nakata Sensei, a longtime practitioner of Chibana Shorinryu Karate hailing from Honolulu, Hawaii. Nakata Sensei has been practicing martial arts for over 60 years, with more than 50 years of karate practice. His teachers include some well known names, including Ohtsuka Hironori Sensei (Wadoryu founder) and Walter Nishioka Sensei. Perhaps his main teacher however was Shorinryu pioneer Chibana Choshin Sensei, under whom Nakata Sensei trained for a year, whilst living on Okinawa.

In this interview, Nakata Sensei speaks about his genesis in budo, starting with Judo at the tender age of 5, and moving into karate from age 14. He discusses visiting Japan and Okinawa with Nishioka Sensei, and his experiences in staying on in Okinawa, training under the watchful eye of Chibana Sensei. He discusses the differences between one-on-one and group training in Chibana Sensei’s dojo, and how Chibana Sensei imparted kata meaning and philosophical aspects.

He also talks about kobudo training with Nagaishi Fumio Sensei and Kyan Shinyei Sensei, and the changes in karate over the past 50 years.

Nakata Sensei also discusses training at his own dojo, and why he has done away with any form of ranking, and also the karate gi jacket.

For more information about Pat Nakata Sensei, please visit the website of his student John Oberle at Bujutsu Blogger.

We love feedback. Email can be sent to podcast@appliedkarate.com. For up-to-date info on the Applied Karate Show, follow us on Twitter – we’re @appliedkarate. Of course, you can leave a comment below, or alternatively, post over on The Applied Karate Forum.

I’d appreciate it if you could rate us in iTunes through the music store.

Applied Karate #013 (mp3 – 31MB – 30 mins)

DOWNLOAD EPISODE 013 OF THE APPLIED KARATE SHOW

Iain Abernethy Releases Beyond Bunkai DVD

Beyond BunkaiIain Abernethy, Sensei (guest on episode 9 of The Applied Karate Show podcast) has announced the release of a new DVD called Beyond Bunkai.

I’ve always found Iain’s DVDs to be very professional, with excellent production quality and interesting and thought-provoking content. I’ve appreciated recently that Iain has been releasing some of his titles as downloadable movies, and hope that he will add Beyond Bunkai as a download soon!

According to Iain’s newsletter update,

This DVD presents a unique non-scripted flow drill that includes all the motions found within Naihanchi / Tekki Shodan. Ideal for the more experienced bunkai practitioner, and essentially infinite in its variations, this drill shows the depth of Naihanchi / Tekki Shodan and includes gripping skills, head-butting, biting, gouging, seizing, locking, controlling limbs, chokes, cranks, takedowns and close-range kicking.

This drill is also unlike most flow drills in that it is not carefully scripted nor does it involve giving up a position of advantage so your partner can have their turn. The drill instead enables the practitioner to dominate at close-range, flow past any obstructions the enemy may present, safely escape, and practise applying the bunkai of the kata in a realistic context. This DVD also includes a breakdown of the kata itself and a discussion on the history of Naihanchi / Tekki Shodan.

Iain Abernethy is one of the world’s leading exponents of kata application and practical karate. He has been invited all over the globe to teach his approach and to help people return to the original combative nature of the traditional martial arts.

Beyond Bunkai is available in PAL and NTSC format from http://shop.iainabernethy.com/acatalog/DVDs_UK.html.

Applied Karate Show podcast update

The Applied Karate ShowAfter a long hiatus, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for The Applied Karate Show podcast.

There were several issues that saw the show go into hibernation, including the crashing of the entire server system for TPN. TPN has rebuilt its server infrastructure, and has a renewed focus and direction, so its time for the Applied Karate Show podcast to get back on the air!

Firstly, the files for all the episodes have been re-loaded to the site. So if you were trying to download the show and getting an error message, you can not get these. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Secondly, I am planning the second generation of the Applied Karate Show, so would love to know your thoughts, etc, on the show, what you’d like to see, who you’d like to see interviewed, etc.

Please leave a comment on this post to let me know, and I look forward to being back on the pod soon.

Stretching in Karate

Paul and co. at the Karate Cafe podcast have started a new series of “minisodes”. The latest (minisode 7) features a brief update from sports trainer Matthew Matson.

In this update, Matthew provides a brief update on flexibility, which he defines as “strength through a range of motion”, as opposed to pliability. He also differentiates static stretching, active stretching, PNF stretching and dynamic stretching.

An important point is that static stretching can actually lead to injury, and should be avoided in all situations except for rehabilitation, postural correction and post-workout. This is somewhat challenging as many traditional and contemporary martial arts schools use static stretching prior to training.

In the Kengokan Dojo, I have been reviewing our warmup exercises progressively over quite some time, and have removed most static stretches, instead emphasising active and dynamic stretching. Static stretching is left for after class, if at all.

Thanks to the Karate Cafe crew for this great minisode. Listen here.

Naihanchin 360

Thanks to the fine folks at KoryuFit.com for posting this interesting interpretation of a classic kata – Naihanchin (also known as Naihanchi, Naifuanchi or Tekki).

As a kata, I’ve long been fascintated by Naihanchin, and the possibilities this seemingly simplistic form provides us through its myriad of applications.

As a practitioner of Shorinjiryu karate, Naihanchin is usually one of the first forms learned. Yet the Naihanchin forms in Shorinjiryu differ markedly from those in most classical systems, with our forms having a lot more movement, including larger steps, and movement away from the lateral line. Many can’t see the connection between a Shorinjiryu Naihanchin and that practiced in other styles, without first seeing the missing link forms, such as Naihanchin no Sho (as taught in the Watanabe Ha lineage), and the Koshiki Naihanchin form introduced in the Kenkokan organisation.

Watching the Naihanchin 360 form shows that clearly the applications seen by many are more expansive than the base pattern lets on.

Similarly, the Naihanchin application used in the Kodo-ryu of Nathan Johnson sensei shows that the kata is very much a grappling form, at least from their perspective.

I’d be interested in hearing other perspectives on Naihanchin and its applications.

Jissen Issue 7 Available for Download

Jissen Issue 7I’m pleased to advise that issue 7 of Jissen magazine (for the Northern Hemisphere Summer of 2010) is now available for download (right click and download the image to the right).

Jissen (meaning actual combat) is published by Iain Abernethy, and contains information by, for and about martial artists interested the pragmatic applications of their art.

Issue 7 of Jissen contains a number of very interesting articles. As a kettlebell enthusiast, I was quickly drawn to the article Functional Training With Kettlebells For Karate’s Hojo Undo, by Chris Denwood, which contains a practical perspective on the role of kettlebells in karate training. I also enjoyed the interview with Gavin Mulholland, author of Four Shades of Black, an excellent exploration of some of the more functional aspects of Goju karate.

Other articles in Issue 7 of Jissen include:

  • The Gurkhas: Masters of the Kukri
  • Cross Training and its Relevance for Sport
  • Functional Training With Kettlebells For Karate’s Hojo Undo
  • Structure and Function of a Knife: Knife as Weapon Series
  • Gavin Mullholland Interview
  • Speed in Training
  • Kyusho
  • Ben Hockman Interview on Training in Urban Krav Maga
  • It’s Hard to Fight When You Can’t See
  • How Many Martial Artists Does it Take to Screw in a Light bulb?
  • Martial Arts Scepticism: How Factual is Martial Arts TV
  • Fighting Dirty: Karate/TKD’s/TSD’s Most Commonly used Technique
  • Dead or Alive
  • The Martial Arts Unanswered Question
  • The Roundhouse Kick: Karate’s best Kick or a Threat to your Survival?
  • Karate’s History

I hope you enjoy issue 7 of Jissen

Contrast Hydrotherapy for Recovery

Inspired by an excellent post on Recovery after Martial Arts Training over on the MarksTraining blog, I thought I’d post an article on Contrast Hydrotherapy that I’ve previously posted over on the website for my dojo.

Have you ever experienced muscular soreness and stiffness following a grueling training session? Not the type caused by actually injuring yourself, but the type that reminds you that your muscles and connective tissue have been working, and that they now need to recover. If so, then you might want to consider contrast hydrotherapy as a form of active recovery.

Sometime ago I attended a 2 day kettlebell instructors course here in Sydney, Australia, conducted by Don Stevenson of Octogen Fitness, Australia’s leading kettlebell instructor. Although I’d been keenly using kettlebells for 8 months (at the time I originally wrote the article several years ago) as an augmentation of my karate training, this course worked at a level of intensity that had me feeling pretty sore and stiff.

During the training session, Don mentioned that he sometimes advises his personal training clients to undertake contrast hydrotherapy to aid in recovery. Maybe it was just me – I was in a group of fitness professionals that know a lot about this stuff – but the term contrast hydrotherapy was new to me.

Pretty much as soon as I got home I could feel the soreness levels rising, and I knew that the next day I’d really be feeling it. So, not wanting to climb the stairs to my office, I grabbed my wife’s computer and Google’d the term.

I found a couple of articles discussing contrast hydrotherapy as a form of treatment for acute conditions, but it took a little bit longer to find something discussing it as a strategy for recovery. When I did, I hit gold, with an article disucssing its merits and the protocol apparently used by the Australian Institute of Sport.

The protocol is this – alternate a period of exposure to hot water with one of exposure to cold water, and repeat. Twice.

There are 2 versions of the protocol – one where you have a bath or spa available, and the other for where you just have a shower.

Bath Protocol

  • Bath for 3-4 minutes in a hot bath (37C-43C)
  • Shower for 30-60 seconds in a cold shower (12C-15C)
  • Repeat two more times (for a total of three circuits)

Shower Protocol

  • Shower under hot water for 1-2 minutes
  • Shower under cold water for 10-30 seconds
  • Repeat two more times (for a total of three circuits)

How did it work? Well, for me, very well indeed. Where my soreness was around 7-8 (on a scale of 10) in several major muscle groups, immediately after the shower it reduced to around 3-4. The next day, when I would traditionally “feel it” the most, it was still around 3-4.

Now, as I understand it, there are few studies proving that contrast hydrotherapy works. And to date I can only provide personal anecdotal evidence of a single experience. So it may not work for you. But I reckon its worth a try…..