Video

Nipaipo (dropping ippon ken sequence)

In this video we look at bunkai for the motions surrounding the dropping ippon ken (single knuckle fist) in Nipaipo kata. Nipaipo translates as “28 Steps” and the kata was created by Kenwa Mabuni (1889 – 1952). It is said the kata is a summation of the instruction Mabuni received from Chinese martial artist Go Kenki (1886-1940).

Nipaipo is a very popular competition kata and it is aesthetically pleasing. However, it is important to appreciate that the kata was designed to encapsulate combative methods. Its real beauty is therefore in the application of its methods.

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The Need to Critique Karate (video)

In this video I discuss the need for those that love karate to be prepared to criticise it. As Winston Churchill said, “Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.” We need to critique karate in order to make it the best it can be. In this way we can start to repay the previous generations for the wonderful art they bequeathed us by continuing their work. We also ensure future generations can practise the best version of karate possible.

All the best,

Iain

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Choki Motobu inspired pad drill (video)

This video covers a Choki Motobu (1870–1944) inspired pad drill. All of the methods included in the drill can be found in the two-person drills and writings of this highly pragmatic karate master. Of course, Motobu did not have access to modern focus mitts, but if he had, I think we can be sure he would have fully embraced them. This drill was filmed in my dojo during a regular class on a mobile phone. Please forgive the shaky camera work. I hope you find the drill interesting!

All the best,

Iain

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3K Karate

In this video I define “3K karate” and contrast it with more practical and traditional approaches to karate. Most approaches to karate will include the 3Ks: kihon (basics), kata (forms) and kumite (sparring). What causes the radical difference between “3K karate” and practical karate is the nature of the 3Ks and the way in which they integrate, or don’t integrate.

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The Training Matrix!

A quick video about one of those things that should be obvious, but obviously isn’t :-) All training methods have deliberate flaws that have to be introduced for safety, specificity of training, or efficiently. Only real is real. These deliberate flaws do not render a given method useless, because the flaws will be counteracted by other training methods. It’s the integrated training matrix that ensures training is practical and effective. Isolating a method from the matrix and then critiquing it is entirely vacuous. Such statements are meaningless. It’s the matrix that matters!

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Karate Pad Drill

This video covers a pad drill that I recently taught in my home dojo.

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Restricted Punching Pad Drill

The chaotic reality of self-protection means we need to be able to hit hard from any angle and any position. This pad drill is designed to help us develop explosive punching power from non-ideal positions. This drill includes striking while unstable, while kneeling, while sitting, while on our backs, while rising, etc. Additionally, the holder is not permitted to hold the pad flat, horizontally or vertically. This means we need to adapt the strike, and select the striking surface, to match the unorthodox angles presented.

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Variations on a Bubishi Takedown (video)

In this video we look at some variations of the bubishi technique called, “like an imp helping someone remove their shoes”. The first variation we look at is one to help us regain our feet should a criminal knock us to our knees in a self-protection situation. It is a technique of last resort to be used from a position of huge disadvantage.

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Kushanku-Sho (Kanku-Sho) and Bassai-Sho Bunkai

This video shares bunkai for the rising motion (morote koko gamae) common to Kushanku-Sho (Kanku-Sho) and Bassai-Sho. This is not my bunkai, but that of Norwegian karateka André Pedersen. I was teaching in Norway and chatting with André when he shared these with me. I really liked them and encouraged André to share them. André suggested that I should share them via my channel, so here you are! Thank you André!

All the best,

Iain

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Placement and Pad Drill

This basic pad drill includes tai-sabaki (body shifting), limb-clearance, a straight palm-heel, a dropping-slap and a rising face kick. Rather than drill such things individually, I believe it is better to drill them in innumerable combinations so they are always viewed in a combative context (it’s more fun too). We begin by practicing the combination on a partner, with control, so we get to practise the placement of the techniques on a human body. We then take the same combination onto the pads so we can practise the methods with impact.

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