week's thought is from Kyoshi Michael Mackay
Ueshiro Midtown Karate Dojo,Ueshiro
Shorin-Ryu Karate USA
and the Imaginary Opponent
Onegai shimasu, Hanshi, Sensei and Deshi of Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu
Gracie family and televised "full contact" cage
fighting rise in
popularity, one often hears debates such as "What style
is better, karate
or jiu-jitsu? Judo or kick boxing?" followed by a surge
in enrollment at
schools vaguely associated with the reigning champion. Those
of us deeply
invested in a classical martial art such as Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu
wonder if our traditional training truly prepares us for
in other fighting forms.
is if you're concerned about your abilities to defend
against a boxer, grappler, street fighter, knife fighter,
Research how these people attack and defend in life and
situations (vs. movies or sports entertainment).
Select one or two strategies or techniques from your kata
yaku-soku kumite best suited to defeat such an opponent.
opponent an opportunity to attack is a good start.)
Practice those strategies or techniques to a level of proficiency
believe greatly exceeds the skill level of your imaginary
Diluting the speed or accuracy of your Shorin-Ryu reflexes
practicing techniques from another fighting art.
Stepping into a cage, ring or dark alley to "test"
your skill level
and find out what it's like to get choked, pummeled or knifed.
Spending large amounts of time watching random fights on
playing videos games that simulate violence.
belts we're taught to practice kata against our imaginary
opponents. Depending on the type of day you're having, such
emerge from last night's MMA broadcast, a newspaper headline,
irritating colleague, or the dark recesses of your past.
Back on the
deck, Sun Tzu's classic, "Know your opponent and know
vital as we go through the hard work of analyzing the opponent's
and weaknesses vs. our own. Over many hypothetical battles
during kata - we eventually discover a specific strategy
or technique that
will optimize our chances for success. It all depends on
(as opposed to creative) powers of imagination.
there are a LOT of hypothetical opponents. The "Shorin-Ryu
Karate Q&A Book" lists more than 53 martial arts
systems; add in MMA
hybrids, self-proclaimed masters, and hardened street fighters
start to realize that the basics your Sensei has been trying
to teach you
all along are your best bet for survival - no matter what
fighting style or skill. In this regard, Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu
served us very well.
Fukyugata San assure you victory against a Joe Frazier or
Gracie? It depends. Will the fight takes place on your terms
Will you first research the strategies of heavyweight boxing
jiu-jitsu? How are you defining "victory?" As
long as you pick up the
pace of your training and practice Fukyugata San as if every
the power to preserve your life or take away your opponent's,
is no NEED to fight, let alone prove which style or combatant
Cancel the match and get on with what is truly important
in your life.
arigato gozaimasu, Hanshi and Grand Master Ueshiro, for
your "Just do
it" and "Keep training" philosophies.
Ueshiro Midtown Karate Dojo