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Old 04-19-2012, 11:45 AM   #1
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Mod's Choice Awards: March 2012

March saw some excellent posting, and the Mod's were kept busy keeping track of so many excellent posts.
Authors of this month's nominated posts (in alphabetical order) were

Ashiharakaicho
FigherforLife
Kanku
Mr Wizard
Okamido
Spirit
SteveK
supergroup7



The votes are in - and the winner of the Mod's Choice award for March is...

This post, From Mr Wizard. congratulations MrWizard, and all of the other authors. Your posts have made a permanent contribution to the world's knowledge of martial arts! OSU


Quote:
Originally Posted by MrWizard View Post
I've seen this subject come up several times even in my short time on K4L, and when I did a search on it the majority of thread titles were questions. A lot of what I'll say below has already been said in different ways in multiple threads, I just thought I'd take the time to condense information and add some of my knowledge and experience.

My background regarding this: I used to be a gymnast (did it for about 5-6'ish years starting when I was a teenager). I've been in touch with my old gymnastics instructor a lot recently on this subject (after a conversation here on K4L ^^), and have checked up some other resources on this as well.

The first rule of stretching is that there is no one way to do it, everyone's body is different from others and needs to be stretched slightly differently. When I use the term "your maximum extension" I mean you as a person in your current state, not the maximum extension your body should be able to handle eventually. And remember that stretching should feel rather comfortable.

The second rule is that stretching shouldn't really hurt. You have to learn to tell the difference between a muscle stretching and a muscle hurting. And the joints should never hurt, if they are you're doing something wrong.


There are 4 general ways to stretch: Dynamic, Fixed Static, Non-fixed Static, and Ballistic.

Dynamic: You extend a muscle from a relaxed position with a motion, bringing it close to as full extension as you're capable of without it hurting. Note that you should do the movement on a single line, the only change in direction should be the reversal.
Example: A mae keage is a classic example. You bring the leg up straight as high as you can, without muscles hurting. (Note: Soto/Uchi keage change direction and at the high points you risk pulling thigh muscles if they're not already stretched)

Fixed Static: You use something to help you stay in place, most often the floor or a wall, while fixing your body in a certain position. You extend the muscle you want to stretch as far as you can, and hold still a while.
Example: Sit down on the floor, spread your legs wide, and lean forward as far as you can.

Non-Fixed Static: You keep a muscle extended in a fix position, but you don't use anything to help you keep it that way.
Example: Perform a slow mae geri jodan (or as high as you reach) and keep the leg in the extended position.

Ballistic: I'm only including this for completion and warning, never ever do this!
Basically you extend a muscle as if you were doing Fixed Static, but when you're at full extension you use gravity and/or body strength to push it further and then let it come back repeatedly, creating a "bobbing" movement to it.
This has been scientifically proven again and again to be harmful for the muscles and tendons since somewhere around the 70's.


The difference between Dynamic and Ballistic: This is a question I often get when talking to my friends about stretching. The difference is that in dynamic you start from rested and reach your maximum extension, while in ballistic you start from your maximum extension and then forcibly move past it violently.


When to use which?

The way I learned it as a gymnast was to begin any training session with some dynamic stretching, the legs/torso/shoulders being the important ones. This is to avoid pulling muscles during warm-up.
After warm-up is done either one of dynamic/fixed static/non-fixed static can be used, most often fixed static is the best choice to let the muscles recouperate a bit. If you want to increase your flexibility, focus on the least flexible muscles during this phase.


How should the muscles feel while extending/extended?

With dynamic you should try and relax the muscle as it is moving. Never try and force the motion to go further than what feels natural, doing that means you risk pulling something. Rather keep doing the motion and it will naturally reach further and further as the muscle starts to loosen up.

With static stretching you should always try and force the muscles to relax as you try to extend them, this is best done in steps. First extend just a bit, stop, tense the muscle for a couple of seconds, then relax and extend a bit more, stop, tense, etc, until you reach your maximum extension. At your maximum extension you can tense the muscles for support or to alleviate the feeling of "stretching". It's only when the muscles are in movement extending that they shouldn't be tensed.
If the muscles hurt during static stretching, tense them, if they still hurt, it means you're extending too far compared to what your body has learned to handle and that you need to back up. Do NOT bite down against the pain and think that you're drastically increasing your flexibility, you're actually just hurting your muscles & tendons, and you're most likely increasing the time until you actually gain flexibility.


Why am I unable to extend my muscles further?

Your brain is a bit of an a-hole, and as you extend a muscle it shouts out warnings that the movement is going too far and could be dangerous, so it tells the muscle to tense in order to stop it. The whole point of tensing and then relaxing as you're trying to extend the muscle is that if you're consciously tensing the muscle, your brain stops trying to.
Barring injuries there is nothing that physically stops any person from doing e.g. a split. The only thing holding people back is the built-in reflex our bodies have to protect us from overextending.
As your muscles elongate they can extend further before the brain starts to protest.


How should I stretch to be able to kick high?

The most common question people have when they start training karate (that is related to stretching).

I recommend doing the following 3 dynamic stretches before training starts.

1) A modified mae keage, instead of focusing on the form you focus on keeping the supporting leg straight and you don't tense the foot to hit with chusoku. The angle between the legs is the important part.
2) Yoko keage. Again, keep the supporting leg straight, the angle is the important part.
3) "Ushiro keage". Basically a keage made backwards. Brace yourself on something (e.g. a wall) with your hands and lean a bit forward, then kick back with a straight leg while keeping the other straight.

Do these until the movement feels "frictionless" at around your maximum extension. This can mean up to or above 30 times per leg per direction (90 in total for each leg) in the beginning. Be warned though that it's rather taxing on the endurance of the legs, so don't overdo it right before a training starts. As you start doing it more often you get down to about 10 times per leg per direction, but remember to still not force the legs too high too quick.
Just having done this, try to slowly and without force or snap to kick high, you'll be surprised at how smooth you can reach your usual height just from doing this.

Most trainings include static stretching (and if your's doesn't just do it yourself at the end). During that you should not try to push all your leg muscles to elongate, always go for the weakest link and focus on that. There are some different reasons for this, but mostly it's because you want the others to help support the leg while the strained one recuperates.

For most people it's the hamstrings (the backside of the leg, from hip to heel) that are the most inflexible. To stretch these specifically, sit down, spread your legs (but comfortably, not as far apart as you can), and then lean forward over one leg at a time statically stretching it. When you start to be able to reach them you can grab your toes (from above, not from the side) and pull them backwards, this helps pull on the hamstring.

If your inner thigh muscles are the most inflexible ones, sit down and put the soles of your feet together and then let your knees fall to the sides. Do the tensing/relaxing of the muscles and use your hands or elbows to try and force he knees further down to reach your maximum extension.

If the front/side muscles are the least extendible (unusual, but could happen), there is a great fixed static stretch for that. Stand on one knee (as if you were to propose) but with the front foot quite a bit forward, bend your body forward (put your opposite hand next to the forward foot for balance), grab the back leg's ankle and try to bring that heel to your butt. To increase the extension (when necessary) you press the hips forward towards the floor.



Please ask/comment/correct

I tried to add the general questions along with answers, if I missed one feel free to ask it and I'll add it.

It became quite a wall of text, so if I made a mistake somewhere or contradict myself, please point it out so I can correct it.

Comments and feedback is as always very appreciated!

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Last edited by Janus; 04-19-2012 at 11:53 AM.
Old 04-19-2012, 11:45 AM   #2
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Other Nominees, (Listed here in the order that the nominations were lodged) who are also to be congratulated - for these are all excellent posts, and examples of why K4L is such a great forum:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Okamido View Post
There is no official traditional Katas within Kudo, however there are some Kudoka that have backgrounds in other martial art styles and-or combat sports. As the various dojo's will run lesson programs based on the instructors beliefs and experiences, it would not neccesarily be wrong for a Kudo instructor to teach kata under certain circumstances, for example as part of their dojo's youth program.

If kata is seen as a drill, simply to teach particular techniques in a pre-set sequence, then many Kudo instructors may inadvertantly be teaching katas when they use drills.

For example, when I teach groundwork I always stress to the students that they must be very carefull when performing submissions. I use modified Judo ( along with modified Kickboxing ) and always say Judo is Gentle way.

However, as my Kickboxing sessions are always high impact, cardio, go-go-go sessions, my students still want a good workout.

I do this via my Ground-N-Pound drill. This is technically a type of Kata!

The drill is the following...

Setup : Everyone is standing over a GnP bag that is lay in front of them.

Drill starts : All student are Shadow boxing, throwing out punches and level changing ( high stance to crouched stance ).

My Commands :

"Sprawl!" -
Everyone Sprawls over the GnP bag!

"Posture Up!". -
Everyone Postures up to the Mount Position.

"Ground-n-Pound!” -
Students hit the GnP bag with Punches, Open-Palms, Forearms, Elbows + hammerfists. ( 15 seconds as fast and hard as possible )

"Side-Control - Knees!" -
students all clock-walk to side-control ( 90 degrees ) lying across the GnP bag chest-to-chest, then deliver 4 knee-kicks.

”Knee-on-belly-strikes!” -
students all put their right knee across the chest area of the GnP bag and deliver 3 open-palm-strikes to what would be the face area of the GnP bag.

"Drop-Knees!” -
students all stand, then drop back down across the chest area of the GnP bag with a drop-knee, 2 times.

"Stomp-Kick" -
students all deliver a single 'Stamp' to the chect area of the GnP bag.

All students then return to shadow-boxing with level-changing, until everyone has caught up, then I run the drill again.

It takes a total of 30 second to run through the drill, and we go 3 times ( total 90 seconds ) all at full speed and full power.

Then we partner up, and I teach a submission drills, all very slow and controlled so that there are no injuries, especially with techniques like guillotine chokes. As the students work on the submissions I constantly remind the class to take their time, Judo is the gentle way. However there is little need for the reminder, as the cardio burn from my GnP drill ( Kata - Form ) has put everyone into a controlled tempo as they recover.

GnP Drill - 90 Seconds
Submission Drills 180 Seconds
Repeat.

Maybe 5 - 8 times in a Kudo groundwork Lesson. Then one final GnP drill to burn up the energy levels, before randori!

So, my Kudo session does actually have a pre-set Kata type drill that I always use, each time I teach groundwork and submissions.

Would this be seen by some as a Kata?

Osu!
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Last edited by seienchin; 04-05-2012 at 10:36 PM.
Old 04-19-2012, 11:45 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashiharakaicho View Post
Thanks - Nasiera has been training with from the age of 4 - she has developed well and I've written of her before. She started refereeing at a young age and routinely acts as a centre judge at seniors tournaments which she handles with ease.



Thanks for the plug in - I always say my karate is immersed with my ideology. In 1980, I opened my dojo. In mid 1993, I separated from the NIKO organisation and towards the end of that year, with the encouragement of many, formed the AKI (in between that time period, I was involved with the founding of the AIKO group but separated).

Since that time, our organisation has grown to over 40 000 members in over 30 countries. In the past few months, I've been interacting with possible new affiliates in 4 countries. I've haven't yet changed my mind set and this idealogy seems to have rubbed over to many of our affiliates who are doing some of the stuff we do.

I guess this "holistic" approach seems to have all helped in the further propagation of Ashihara Karate.



Thanks for the rep. I always consider myself fortunate and blessed with the support I have. But perhaps too it is because people see the impact we have on their kids and their lives and that makes it easier.

Nasiera is a extremely clever student - she was the top student in her grade at her High School and has been consistently so from primary school. I've written before that our students must bring their school reports to me after every exam. If they don't improve the results, I "threaten" to withhold them from competing, promotions and social activities. BUT, I also help (with the aid of parents who are teachers) those that need some helping with school work. (Blame that on having studied to be an educator and for doing a brief one year teaching stint before become a full time karate instructor).

It is all those type of things and I've written about it before, that makes things work for us. New students just fall into the system and so we go on.

But coming back to Nasiera - Dent Sama and Fred in China met her during their visit here in 2010 - she has spent many vacations with us as a Uchi Deshi. I require our school students to spend their vacations with me - now it's actually nicer because they get to babysit, clean baby's poo nappies and so on. Makes their lives really miserable having to do other chores, but they learn.

I should post some of their essays on spending time as uchi deshi's. But those are the short term ones. I have had a full time deshi for 4 years and we've just extended it by another two years - now he is more than just being a deshi.



Feel free to make use of what I write and share it liberally. Yes, I did Kyokushin until 1982 - then for one year or so we called ourselves 'Shin Kakuto Jutsu" and then at the end of 1984, we migrated to Ashihara Karate.

Please see http://www.karateodyssey.com/html/tr...apartheid.html for a more detailed background of myself.

.................................................. ....
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:45 AM   #4
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And SteveK in the kids KD thread:


Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveK View Post
Not sure that I agree here Dr Phil - the emphasis in fighting sports for me and when I have been teaching kids karate and boxing has never been on hurting their opponents but on using techniques and developing fighting strategies infact I tell the kids if they are trying to hurt their opponant they have lost their focus and form.

There is an acceptanceand understanding that if you get hit it will hurt and so then their is the conditioning and developing coping mechanisms for this, just as you accept if you are riding a bike you will fall off and get hurt so you are prepared to pay the cost

It is also teaching the kids there is a difference between competing against another person who trains and practices what you do and bullying or pushing kids around and hurting them - I believe kids also learn the important lesson about the effectiveness of their techniques and ability to cope under pressure - how many people, adults included are walking around with over inflated ideas about their ability and the effectiveness of what they can do

Kids also learn the essential life lesson that they can get knocked down and get back up - the great thing about KD is the kid stands there on his own with no where to run or hide and he does it himself in a safe and monitored environment and he walks away a better and stronger person for the experience - I think we force our fears, anxieties, phobias etc onto them when most of them just want to get out there and play the game - if we are confident and accept this as just part of training and growth and development the kids will pick up on this and have the same attitude

I have seen more emphasis on hurting your opponant in the physical battles of Rugby League and Rugby Union by parents and coaches than I have in Karate or Kickboxing and more kids are pushed into these sports by parents and peers

And one from Kanku:
Quote:
Originally Posted by kanku View Post
Osu 49ers!

In my dojo we had a guy in a wheelchair, he trained with the main senior class and was one of our most popular members, he asked no special treatment and got none, he did the same as everybody else and improvised where required. He achieved shodan in a very high class dojo.

I have seen him tipped out of his wheelchair by instructors and they let him retaliate as he could

I have said it before on this forum, i hit him so hard one day he went flying out of the back of his wheelchair, i also kicked the side of his wheelchair when trying to kick him around the head, we shared many bruises!!...i promise this is all true!!

The point i am trying to make is i think it is admirable you are thinking this way but wherever possible i would try and make "challenged" people part of the main class rather than a sub-group.

You will find if disadvantaged people take to your lessons, most will show as much spirit if not more than most members!
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supergroup7 View Post
I haven't found anything definitive as to the creator of the Tsuki No Kata.

However, I have unearthed a couple of mentions on the internet that the Founder of the Seigokan Goju Ryu, Hanshi Seigo Tada, created two kata. One was Kihon - Tsuki No Kata, the other was Kihon - Uke No Kata

Kihon - Tsuki No Kata

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyg3ZEOA5O0

Kihon - Uke No Kata

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bonVPUMPGpk


The Seigokan Tsuki No Kata appears to be the same as those of the Kyokushin, and Seido Kata.
................................................

This, from FighterforLife:

Quote:
Originally Posted by FighterforLife View Post
Thats a very interesting viewpoint. I think, perhaps, you and I feel it this way because I am a student, whereas you are a teacher.

I think, after imagining myself as an instructor with a class full of eager students, I could very easily see me finding fault in myself if a student were go off the reservation on somebody and I did not teach that "there is no first strike in karate" (speaking of virtues, of course, not tactics).


Osu!
And Spirit, who doesn't post often, but when he does post....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spirit View Post
I truly dis-like disagreeing with others, but it is very difficult to have a level and timely conversation via a keyboard....

Some of us have had clean lives and others have not.
Some of us Karate was more than just an Art, the dojo was our escape from reality of our lives.

Some of us used Karate as a family, a brother, a father, or a mother...
We who have done such thing often see Karate in a different light that does not mean our view is correct, just much different.

We are (most of the time) all are correct about how and what we feel about Karate.

Often debating how we feel in the cold space of the web is not always healthy for the subject.
OSU
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Old 04-19-2012, 02:11 PM   #6
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Congratulations Mr. Wizard ! Who would have thought so much good could come from two worlds colliding ; )
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Old 04-19-2012, 02:35 PM   #7
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Osu,


Congrats to MrWizard and all other nominees - you make K4L great! \


Osu!
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Old 04-19-2012, 02:37 PM   #8
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Congratulation. Hopefully it will lead to more posts of equal quality.

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Old 04-19-2012, 03:17 PM   #9
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Osu!

Well done Mr. Wizard - that was indeed a very helpful and informative post

And well done to the others mentioned. That's what makes this place great
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Old 04-19-2012, 03:29 PM   #10
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Congratulations Mr Wizard and well done to the Mods an excellent choice and thanks Seinchin for the effort in putting this post together

Must say looking forward to see how Mr Wizard tops that this month

Osu
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Old 04-19-2012, 04:08 PM   #11
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Opened this thread with the thought "Oh, I wonder who won this month." And my first reaction was "Huh, what's my post doing copied here? Where's the winning contribution?"

Thank you all so much for the congratulations and the wonderful feedback!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveK View Post
Must say looking forward to see how Mr Wizard tops that this month
Oh god the pressure... xD

Osu!
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Old 04-25-2012, 03:34 PM   #12
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Osu!

Well done, Mr Wizard! And to all the nominees. Good on the second, or third, read too.

Osu!
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:23 PM   #13
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Osu,

Congrats Mr Wizard - I love Tom Kurz's approach to stretching, so loved your post. Haven't been posting much but I do try to read as much as possible.

On another note, I wrote about Nasiera and she just accompanied me to Brazil and did lots of the work - even as to bringing me coffee when I didn't want - but at 15 she is developing well and for her parents to let her go alone with me also says that at least they think I could look after her ...;-)

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