So Guts Is The Key reader, if you’re not interested in the martial arts, then this article may or may not be of interest to you. I have been a karate Sensei for 25 years or more. It has been a huge part of my Life, Ministry and practice.
For the last nine years I have taught in a school call Shotokan Karate Academy of Thomasville. I’ve always donated my lessons and my teaching. But this was made possible to a large extent because I was able to teach in a Church Fellowship Hall and minimize expense. It now seems that after covid-19, I will no longer be able to teach in this location. Therefore we will open a top-notch dojo in the city that I live. When we open this Dojo, the name will change from Shotokan Karate Academy of Thomasville to Car-Kai-Ryu Shotokan Kai-In. This article is to detail to those interested in my martial arts program, exactly why I’m doing this and what this means. So I hope you can read along and enjoy. But if not don’t worry I will get back to my other topics very soon.
Things that make Car-Kai-ryu Shotokan Kai-In distinctive
A-D. Four Key Affiliations
AI. Christ is Our center
This is not just talk. Christ is truly our source of strength and power. The same technique can be performed, with different sources of power generating the energy. For us, we intentionally Focus On Christ to be the source of our power and strength.
BI. Glen Kaizer is co-founder of Car-Kai-Ryu
Foundations are important. And as I was developing the key thrust of how I have trained through the years. Glenn Kaizer was my training partner. And he and I developed the original Concepts that have today become the stylized version of Shotokan that I teach. He will always be honored as my partner and friend, who’s training techniques and habits are a key part of Car-Kai-Ryu.
CI. Affiliation with Dillingham School of M.A.
For the last nine years, I have enjoyed a deepening relationship with Larry Dillingham, and Shito-Ryu. He has patiently generated and motivated continued martial arts growth in my life and style. He is Sensei, mentor and friend. He is a key leadership source for the karate I teach now.
DI. Christian Combat Arts Association
With Larry Dillingham I am a Co- founder of this very important work. We now have six or seven clubs, Who network and work together on tournaments and specific ways that we can enrich the North Carolina martial arts community. And we have expanded some into Virginia and South Carolina. We focus on keeping Christ Center, so that it is not just sports events that we sponsor but Christian virtues and excellence in the lives of the students that we teach.
So aide from the affiliations of the new school. What are training imperatives of Car-Kai-Ryu?? They are as follows:
1. Deeply replenishing breathing technique. Unique training in this.
I literally trying my students to watch their abdomen expand at the proper intake of air. And to deflate their abdomen and tighten their muscles upon the elimination of air. This accomplishes a very deep replenishing of oxygen to the cells of the body, while karate is being performed. Allowing a more sustained and engaged stamina in karate performance.
2. Power from the rootedness to the ground.
I literally emphasize on very many techniques how to draw power from the ground through the heel up through the legs and into the Torso and out of the Striking object into the target. This is not some Mystic Oddity. While it may indeed be very deep spiritually naturally. It is also powerfully effective to realize and establish that the most powerful way to deliver the greatest striking impact is through a rooted connection with the ground. The Earth literally supplies an additional force of strength. And also this causes The Stance to be more rooted and for the karateka, to be more steady and less likely to fall concentrating on this concept.
3. Dynamic expansion and contraction built into every technique.
In the same way that a Billows expands and contracts. The body has a very natural way to expand and contract in the performance of karate techniques. Contracting is like tightening the spring. It causes there to be a latent and pent-up energy ready to explode, into the next focused technique. Expansion is like the spring being let go. The power from coming together is released in the dynamic expansion. Learning to flow in a contraction and expansion is a definite way to practice additional strength and power in every technique that is performed.
4. One O’clock. Training Concepts.
A normal healthy body will move faster than the mind can direct.
I had been trying to teach a student back in the 90s that there was a spontaneous release that enabled a greater speed than conscious Direction. In fact it was allowing the mind to let go that cause the body to be able to experience this faster acceleration and additional speed. This student called me at 1 in the morning when he got it …. with excitement. So, I have always called this one o’clock training. It is usually realized in such an “aha” moment. And when recognized and pointed out to the student to capture this moment it can then be repeated much more easily. Catching that sudden and jolting spontaneous explosion and identifying it can cause increased speed, to be effectively practiced. The loosening of the limbs and allowing a very relaxed physiology, then suddenly moving with rapid release and an even more sudden locking can result in terrific and explosive power and aimed Focus.
5. Fortified abdominal, core strength training. I am the bag…..
I don’t know that I will always continue this. But all the years of my karate instruction, I have literally allowed all of my students to use my torso as their striking Target. The point has been not only that I have a powerful abdomenal muscle. But also that nearly anyone can train and develop, a very strong core. I emphasize this to all of my students. There are definite techniques that we use in Hip twisting and torso locking, that enhance abdominal strength. And abdominal strength enhances all karate techniques properly performed.
6. Very focused locking the body training which brings about a power in Striking techniques, otherwise impossible.
Locking the body at the point of impact turns a fleshy instrument into an impaling rock solid weapon. This is accentuated in most martial arts forms but definitely in Car-Kai-Ryu , it is emphasized!
7. Circle in a circle. Natural circular movements of the body built into and strengthening linear techniques. (into linear techniques)…
Shotokan has always been known as a very linear form of martial arts. And there are those that would argue that a more circular type of motion is preferable. However each linear technique has many circles within the linear technique that are compounded and work with each other. Every joint in the body is a circle. And these circular movements behind linear movements enhance the power. But they must be practiced, realized, identified and each one utilized for this circle in a circle power to be developed.
8. No pads accuracy training is an intentional strategy. Very limited sparring until green. Or fight training just becomes perpetuation of bad habits, and incorrect muscle memory.
Many schools allow students to come in from the very beginning phases and put on pads and wail and whop on each other.
This is very ineffective. It allows students to come in with poor development of movement and skills, and to practice these bad habits so that they are perpetuated and unnecessarily continued. This training mistake, also allows students a false understanding of the power they can generate and the effect of their striking techniques on opponents. Because of the padding that is never present in a real conflict. We teach students from earliest phases to be in control of their techniques. And do not let them practice Kumite drills until they have learned improved ways of movement. So that when they start kumite they can take the new learned train muscle memory techniques and employ them, instead of sustaining the bad habits that they walked in the door with As a green beginner. Many people think we would have more injuries this way. But we have less. Because students are taught from the very beginning to be responsible with their techniques. If they mean to show pinpoint accuracy, (that they can stop millimeters short of the Target) OR/AND if they mean to devastate an opponent they can aim through the target, instead of control. This is like the trigger to a gun, that the operator chooses to use or not to use. This is definitely a Car-Kai-Ryu distinctive.
9. Repetion over quantity of techniques.
In a real conflict, there is no time for reason and thinking. That is why it is always said that karate must flow. The things that have been deeply trained must be so ingrained, that at the moment of need they flow like water from a faucet. The only way this happens is that instead of practicing myriads of techniques. That the core techniques are practiced myriads of times. This causes muscle memory and for these techniques to become natural, in moments of conflict and need. So therefore in Car-Kai-Ryu it is considered more important to practice one technique a thousand times, than 10 techniques a hundred times. Focusing on key and core techniques is the training preference, above learning more and more and more and more. More of course can be learned but it is lekararearned more effectively when, but not until, a strong training base is developed.
10. To center always in stepping movements, with each technique prevents the crossing of feet.
We do not practice going to the ground. We practice taking the opponent to the ground with such a devastating strike or attack , that they they stay there, and we move on to face the next opponent. One of the misconceptions is that people will always grapple. But if you take out an opponent’s throat, break their neck or decimate another key Target, there is no such thing as a ground game. These are brutal realities then we do not really emphasize or teach until Greenbelt and above.
So the training preference of Car-Kai-Ryu karate is always to stay on our feet. One of the ways that we teach students to stay on their feet is strong stances. And the other way is by teaching a style of movement that always causes the feet to come to Center and expand out on every technique. Thus never allowing the feet to cross. Which keeps a sure footing in a conflict, when the last thing you want to do is accidentally fall. So we practice how to move in every technique always coming back to Center, in route to executing the properly executed technique.
11. 1″ practical face defense training…
It is generally not emphasized to precisely enough, nor accurately enough, how to effectively guard the face. Lateral defenses defend against lateral attacks. Vertical defenses defend against vertical attacks. And it only takes one to two inches from the facial Center to defend your face. In doing this, bringing the defending hand back to Center each time is crucial. Also important is not using any extra energy to go beyond the space needed to execute the necessary defense. Practice of the 1″ technique Concept is required to simplify and maximize the effectiveness, of defending the face and also to a lesser extent the body.
There are 26 kata that I teach in Car-Kai-Ryu
27 movements added, See list!!!
500 minimum class hours min. to Black belt consideration
revised and updated established testing guidelines
Students are to have annual individual karate goals,. Have a form and have them write them down and keep a copy to follow up as Instructors.
Intentional Christ centered inspirational component before OR after every class.
Instructors are to script out level based training plans to me for approval.
Submitted to me at least 3 days before class.
Instructors are too familiarize themself with each student’s training criteria.
Guidelines are set by me and subject to revision by me. Questions regarding training and guidelines should be brought to my attention, before class instruction.
NO testing without me. No exceptions.
it is also very important that it be known that the martial arts style that I teach will be grounded in character and ethics. Our philosophy of training is as follows:
1- Seek Perfection of character.
2. Be faithful.
4. Respect others.
5. Refrain from violent Behaviour.
- “The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory nor defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants ” …
All of these training guidelines are humbly submitted ….. and as this karate teacher continues to submit his life, mind and practices to Christ, they may change in time. ……. Slam- Tim G Carter, Sensei Car-Kai-Ryu Shotokan Kai In.