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Johnston Karate - Martial Arts Thoughts and Articles


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This free online PDF book contains martial arts thoughts, articles, and drills that supplement our primary karate guide Understanding Karate-do.

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Johnston Karate - Martial Arts Thoughts and Articles

  1. 1. Martial Arts Thoughts and Articles Owen Johnston
  2. 2. Martial Arts Thoughts and Articles Legal Information Please read this page completely and carefully before continuing. Copyright Information: Johnston, Owen Martial Arts Thoughts and Articles (official version 3.0) Copyright 2010-2012 All Rights Reserved. This book may be freely distributed orcopied for personal or classroom use, but may not be modified or usedfor profit. It may also be posted on any reputable website as long asyou do not offer the book for sale. The Johnston Karate student guide Understanding Karate-do isalso available as a professionally bound and printed trade paperback,and available as a Kindle E-Book. Please help our dojo defray costsand keep tuition low by purchasing a copy and/or sharing our onlinebook store with others :) Author & Publisher: Owen Johnston Johnston Karate Home Page: Dont forget to visit the site for information on our classes,as well as our free articles, books, and videos. Quick Links: Karate Classes in Lake City, SC Owen Johnston, Chief Instructor Free Karate Downloads Martial Arts Supplies About the Author: View page 4 of this document for more information about mymartial arts experience and qualifications.
  3. 3. About This Book This book is based on blog posts originally made on the JohnstonKarate main page. We are continuously researching the martial arts,and constantly refining our teaching methods. As such, this book isintended to represent our most polished developments that are notstrictly related to Karate, as well as various bits of thoughts onthe martial way.
  4. 4. About the Author I am a native of Lake City, SC and teach karate as a way oflife. I serve Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I have beenactively training since June 10th, 2002, when I enrolled at theNippon Kokusai Karate Center (NKKC) dojo in Lake City, SC. I tookover management of the dojo in January 2004, and obtained the rank of1st degree black belt in October of that year. NKKC is affiliated withJapan International Karate Center (JIKC). View JIKC History In late April 2005, I officially split from NKKC and foundedJohnston Karate. Since then, I have had the opportunity to train invarious other styles. Besides having continued teaching karate overthe years, I have trained at various other JIKC dojo. I trained at aboxing gym in Sumter, SC, for about 3 years. I also trained once aweek for a year and a half in Brazilian Jiujitsu, in Conway, SC. I am a certified instructor under the International FightingArts Federation, owned by Sensei Dwayne Eaddy. I officially joinedIFAF in November, 2011, and was tested for and promoted to 3rd degreeblack belt (sandan) under Sensei Eaddy on September 15th, 2012. Visitthe International Fighting Arts Federation website for details onSensei Eaddy and the IFAF. We have a shared goal of keeping"politics" and unnecessary bureaucracy out of martial artsinstruction. If you would like to view full info on my qualifications,schedule a free trial class or consultation, or contact me for anyother reason, please visit the following webpage – Owen Johnston, Karate Instructor For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. - Philippians 1:21
  5. 5. Martial Arts Thoughts and Articles http://www.johnstonkarate.comFull list of articles:Martial Arts ThoughtsFruits of TrainingFactors to ConsiderCoordination of Mind and BodySparring TipsIn-fighting drillBoxing Counts and Combinations
  6. 6. Martial Arts Thoughts and Articles Owen Johnston 2010-2012 The man who would be a warrior considers it his most basicintention to keep death always in mind, day and night, from the timehe first picks up his chopsticks in celebrating his morning meal onNew Years Day to the evening of the last day of the year. When oneconstantly keeps death in mind, both loyalty and filial piety arerealized, myriad evils and disasters are avoided, one is withoutillness and mishap, and lives out a long life. In addition, even hischaracter is improved. Such are the many benefits of this act. - Daidoji Yuzan, Budoshoshinshu: The Warriors Primer (William Scott Wilson translation)
  7. 7. Martial Arts Thoughts by Owen Johnston My top mantra in teaching is to keep technique crisp and compact. Ittakes thousands upon thousands of repetitions to master this. Being clever and thinking outside the box are among the mostimportant things to drill after learning the basics of sparring. One of my favorite karate "traps" is to step in with a jab,follow with a reverse punch fake, and continue with the motion into astep across front kick and a pulling block with the faking hand. Thebasic idea of setting traps is "show him this, but give him that." Each of the older traditional kata (forms) could be called itsown method of fighting. It isnt unheard of for some teachers todrill one kata and its bunkai for a year or more. Learn kata andlearn it thoroughly. Practice sparring drills to understand kata.Move on to light sparring to learn to apply your techniquesnaturally. Just remember that when you step outside of the dojo /school, you are leaving a controlled environment. You have to beready for anything. The traditional forms should be held in high regard. Yet once wehave internalized the forms we must then interpret them as needed. Wemust always consider the importance of traditions and the influenceof culture on martial arts. On the other side, we must also rememberto apply the lessons learned from traditions so that we may makecontinued progress. We must learn from those masters who came beforeus, but also not be a slave to a style of martial arts - we must seekthe true way, just as the old masters did. It is fair to say that reverse punch is the staple move ofkarate. It is a simple technique, but simple is good. Theapplications of reverse punch are endless. Knowing martial arts and how to teach them are related but notquite the same. The latter requires knowledge of how body mechanicswork and how to express them clearly. There is no best martial arts style - no art is complete, andeach art has something to offer. I advocate learning a martial art asyour core art and later supplementing it with training, principles,and techniques from other styles. We must thoroughly study theunderlying principles of our respective arts and how the techniquesevolve from those. Let us remember that the journey to mastery is alifelong one. The journey itself is the goal and its difficultiesteach us a lot about becoming better people.
  8. 8. Martial Arts Thoughts page 2 For success in martial arts, we must remember 3 things - basics,conditioning, and discipline. These 3 are equally important and gohand in hand. If we lack basics, we lack a foundation to build upon -and everything else falls apart. Learning the fundamentals thoroughlygives us a solid base to work from, and also helps with bothconditioning the body as well as disciplining the mind. If we lackconditioning, then we may lack the stamina to perform basics properlyin a drawn out match. If we lack discipline, then we will not be ableto focus in a long, hard match, much less be able to thoroughly drilleither basics or conditioning. Keep all this in mind as you train -and remember that tomorrows battle is won during todays training.This is true in both martial arts and life. Training in martial arts is good life experience. It teacheshard work and goal setting as well as sportsmanship and character.Remember to keep yin and yang in your martial arts practice. Theremust be gentleness in strength, and power in looseness. Also, whentraining, challenge yourself, but dont overdo it. On the other side,remember that rest is also part of training. Also, it is important to train not only your body, but also yourmind. Pushing past the point of wanting to give up strengthens bothmind and body. Do not neglect the need for developing your innerwarrior. To do this one must become acquainted with discomfort andpush through lifes obstacles, with ones goals constantly in mind.Life itself is the battlefield in which we must fight for our dreams.In martial arts, as in life, its about getting up after fallingdown. Trying again. Learning from the life journey is the victory.The spiritual growth found in the fight. Life is tough, but its abeautiful challenge. Do not forget, however, that it is important to developcontentedness with our situation, and to love life in general.Nonetheless, we must still work hard towards our dreams and have hopefor tomorrow without forgetting to enjoy the moment. Dare to take astand and claim your dreams. Inspire others. Life is tough but onlyyou decide when to give up. The thrill of victory is often worthstriving for, but it is not the most important thing. The spiritualgrowth found within fight itself is the most important.
  9. 9. Fruits of Training by Owen Johnston When Im having a bad day, Ill train hard to keep my mind offof things. When Im having a great day, I train to improve. Even whenIm depressed or sick, Ill train to the best of my ability. Justgetting up and moving some keeps the body healthy and relieves mentalstress. And always remember...Your training will never betray you.
  10. 10. Factors to Consider by Owen Johnston Let us revisit a previous article on my method of teaching.Specifically, here is an excerpt from In Pursuit of Perfection, orMizuumi / Lake - Part I detailing what I identify as factors forstrength both inside and out. "Remember these factors for external strength - power, speed,technique, agility, balance, control, endurance. Remember thesefactors for internal strength - love, hope, faith, discipline,looseness, determination, fighting spirit." Original article found within the Johnston Karate student guide,located at the below page Other teachers and systems may detail more or less factors.Regardless of which factors we agree upon, I believe training shouldultimately be difficult and thorough, with an emphasis on realism(self defense), "art" (self expression), and perfection of character(self development). Learning techniques for defense can become toolsfor violence if placed in the wrong hands. The proper training andcoaching will ensure that proper values and discipline are instilledwithin the student. It is these that will stay with the studenthopefully throughout his or her life. As to the basic factors I list, there are many subtleties. Theyare all equally important and part of the inseparable whole. Forinstance, internal looseness alone allows proper power, speed, and soforth in technique. Determination is needed to build physicalendurance. Love, hope, faith, and fighting spirit are needed in notonly the dojo and self defense but also life in general. Of course, understanding the factors lead to further refinementof the principles of combat. The thing to remember is that theessence of combat is stillness in motion. This stillness is thesingular, calm focus of the mind we have when either practicing kataor sketching a picture on a page. You do not think about the kata orthe picture, you simply sketch your movements. When we investigate this - the art of movement, of expression -we may be reminded of one of many chopstick battles in classicChinese Kung Fu films, or even Mr. Miyagis classic fly catchingattempts using chopsticks. Even seemingly simple things like theseare influenced by the way we incorporate "the martial way" into ourlives. I may sum up the factors into three very basic factors. Thesefactors are physical conditioning, mental discipline, and technicalbasics. Without rigorous, repetitive, realistic training, we will notdevelop these three things.
  11. 11. Factors to Consider page 2 With solid, well rounded physical conditioning we are able toperform at a high intensity for long intervals in hard sparring.Obviously, if you do not have good conditioning, you are likely to"run out of gas" quickly. When you run out of gas, youre more likelyto "lose your head" (your discipline / game plan etc.) in hardsparring, and youll definitely suffer as far as technique. Ofcourse, discipline is needed to carry out your game plan, and havingsolid "basics" / basic techniques will ensure this.
  12. 12. Coordination of Mind and Body by Owen Johnston Needless to say, taking up martial arts is very rewarding yetalso very demanding. I think of it as a journey rather than a goal -the journey is the goal itself. Self defense is important, certainly,and often the major reason why people take up martial arts of anykind. By going through the physical training for self defense,however, we find the necessity of having a focused mind anddisciplined body. Acquiring both assists not only self defense, butlife in general. To use the mind and body as one - not for violence,but to end it. In that way we might coordinate ourselves with othersinstead of creating conflict. No good to simply learn techniques andnot practice sportsmanlike conduct or etiquette. Let us learn how towork together instead of against one another!
  13. 13. Sparring Tips (Non style specific) by Owen Johnston Hands up, knees bent. Eyes forward, looking at the shoulders.Move the head, hands, and feet. Move in fast, move out fast. Work thejab. Lateral movement to trap the opponent. The feint must penetrate,and convince the opponent, and the true attack must follow quickly.Find the opponents rhythm, follow it, then steal the pace and pressthe advantage. Slip the jab. Bob and weave. Tight guard, compacttechnique. Attack by combination. Attack by drawing. Relax - be yourself - thought and action must become one. Useyour peripheral vision and stay balanced. Utilize offense and defenseas one. Be aggressive, find your partners rhythm, and createopenings with good timing and distance. Steal the pace and keep it. Remember the 3 timings for counter attack. 1. Defend the attack (block and/or dodge), then counter. 2. Defend and counter simultaneously. 3. Counter before the attack may be fully launched - a pre-emptive strike. (Move last but hit first.) In all things, be in the moment and adapt on the fly. Usetiming, reflexes, and tactics. Remember to use slips, bob and weave,jamming, stop hits, and trapping hands. Always focus on compacttechnique, correct form, and proper breathing."You must apply the most effective weapon as soon as possible to themost vulnerable point of your enemy." - Bruce Lee
  14. 14. In-fighting drill for boxing and martial arts by Owen Johnston The purpose is to drill sensitivity as well as quick reactionsand counter attacks in close quarters. At first, use only punches tothe body. Light to medium contact, at about half speed. Withprogress, the contact, speed, and strikes used may be varied asneeded. Always use the appropriate training gear when practicing in-fighting with a partner. Start in the on-guard position in front of your partner, outsideof punching range. Engage as you normally would in a light spar, butwith the goal of moving into close range. Move evasively on the feetsuch that you never "square up" with your partner. Of course thistakes a lot of practice in terms of timing, distance, and counterattack. Remember your basics. Practice slipping your partners punches to the body by twistingat the torso while blocking with the elbows. Counter punches from aslip should be used with a broken rhythm. If you both have the samefoot in front, your lead foot should be kept outside of his. Yourshoulder as well as quick blocks should be used to jam his movementsas you slip punches - especially when switch hitting (switching feetwhile pressing the advantage with punches). Use jamming and clinching movements along with compact counterpunches to off balance your partner. Once you have him off balance,keep him so by pulling him into more punches. This is called "dirtyboxing" - remember that at first this should be drilled at mediumspeed / contact and some resistance. With more practice this drillshould gradually start to resemble actual boxing style sparring. Always press the advantage on the inside - using defensiveoffense. Overall, drill slipping, jamming, tricky and aggressivefootwork, clinching, off balancing, and compact counter punches.
  15. 15. Boxing Combinations and Counts by Owen Johnston All lead hand punches are odd numbered and all rear hand punchesare even numbered. Just remember that all combos listed are basicideas. Do what works for you! Just try to keep the punches flowingand try to put your combinations together smoothly. When working thebag using combinations, remember the following: Keep moving yourhead, keep up your defense, move in fast, move out fast, and work thejab as your main punch. Work the jab moving in and moving out. Throwmany thousands of combinations to perfect what works for you, and tolearn how to mix things up. Remember to incorporate feints and trapsinto your combinations, as you improve. For instance, bait their jab,slip and feint a 9 to draw their guard down for a block. Move in asyou feint and launch a high combination.Counts1,2 - Jab, Cross3,4 - Outside hooks to the head5,6 - Uppercuts7,8 - Outside hooks to the body9,10 - Straight punches to the body11,12 - Shovel hooks to the head13,14 - Shovel hooks to the bodyCombos1,2,3 – Jab, Cross, Outside Hook1,1,1,21,2,7,31,6,3 - the uppercut sets up for the hook but landing it is good too!Parry a 1,2, and immediately counter with 1,2Block, 2,3,2 (when defending your lead side)Slip, 1,2,1 – fast; follow with body blows – hard!Slip and quick step in with 9,10,1,2, follow with in-fightingSlip – while slipping, quick step into close range, and 13,14,11,12Slip, duck, step, 7,6Duck, step, 9,10,5,12Step in with jab feint, then hook with same handBlock a hook to the body, counter with shovel hook on the same side -if you block your left side, use a left shovel hook, etcStep in while blocking with the lead hand (to jam), brawling hookwith rear hand, bob and weave in the direction of your hook, stand upwith a high shovel hook with lead hand
  16. 16. Martial Arts Thoughts and Articles Owen Johnston http://www.johnstonkarate.comDare to take a stand and claim your dreams. Inspire others. Life is tough but only you decide when to give up. The thrill of victory isoften worth striving for, but it is not the most important thing. The spiritual growth found within fight itself is the most important. Drills, sparring tips, and more are contained within. This bookserves as a supplement to my primary karate guide UnderstandingKarate-Do. Dont forget to visit the site for all of our books andvideos, which are provided freely. Simply click the link at the topof the page that says Free Karate Downloads.