Tag Archives: karate

Martial Arts in Action: Delivering an Axe Kick Martial Arts 25 APR 2011

Axe kicks are a little debatable as to whether or not they are actually effective as an offensive technique, and you often only really find them coming out towards the end of bouts as the combatants tire and their opponent’s defence lowers a little.

Because of the flexibility required to perform an effective axe kick, in other words striking directly on the collar bone, this kick is most associated with female fighters and the young, though there is nothing stopping a full grown man doing it every now and then.

Simple note though, don’t try it on someone who is taller than you, and most important of all, remember that this kick leaves you particularly vulnerable against someone who likes to move in to disrupt your techniques.

In other words, if you are too slow, expect to be lying flat on your back!

Bikini Beach Funakoshi Training Martial Arts 21 FEB 2011

Friday 11 February saw the perfect way to de-stress after a long week of work, with a Bikini Beach training session to kick off the weekend.

As it turned out, the wind that had plagued Gordon’s Bay during the week had dissipated, leaving only glorious sunshine and white sand to greet the eager karateka as they hit the beach. Under sensei Birgitt everyone was soon going through their paces, mixing sweat and sand under the watchful eyes of parents and passers-by who had stopped to take in the spectacle of white dogi-clad kids and adults taking over Gordon’s Bay’s premier stretch of beach.

Of course, for the adults it was more a case of keeping a watchful eye on the kids and making sure they all more or less stuck to the plan, but in the end it was a lot of fun for everyone involved, and as a bonus the dojo got some pretty nice pictures to use for its website.

Nifty.

To view the full set of photos coming out of the day, hit the gallery here: http://www.funakoshikarate.co.za/bikini-beach-training.

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Funakoshi Purple Belt Status Achieved Martial Arts | My Life 05 JAN 2011

Purple. Not the most manly colour I have to admit. Nevertheless, it feels good now find it snugly wrapped around my waist.

Training buddy Gerhard Roos' son going through his paces on the big day

In all the excitement that made up the last couple of months of my life, it completely slipped my mind to mention that back on the 4th December 2010, I successfully graded for my purple belt making it officially the highest colour belt I have ever achieved, and more importantly, one big step towards that ultimate goal of my first ever black belt.

Purple belt carries with it a fair bit of work, as it can be seen as being one of the toughest lower belt gradings because you are required to grade over the entire karate syllabus going all the way back to white belt, not to mention the introduction of some new, particularly mentally challenging forms like F6B Ushiru geri and Kamae Kata 3!

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Our Link to the Funakoshi Style Martial Arts 30 DEC 2010

Most of you will know that the Funakoshi karate discipline or style was created by a South African in the late 1960’s, a man by the name of Edwin Ward. Soke Dai Hanshi (Founder and head of the style) Ward left our shores in the 1970’s to begin a new life in Canada, though not before he had left sufficiently trained students to continue growing the style in South Africa.

Unfortunately, human memory is not perfect and as the years went by, certain nuances were changed or completely forgotten as responsibility transferred from teacher to student, meaning that many of the forms and kata as well as the basic understanding of certain aspects altered from the original style, meaning that what was left in South Africa was more of a watered down version of the original vision of Dai Hanshi Ward’s Funakoshi karate system.

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Funakoshi Year-end Beach Training Session Martial Arts 17 DEC 2010

Man, I’m really sad to have missed this, thanks to me not being able to be back in GB in time for the event after work.

Last Friday saw the official final training session of 2010 for the junior karateka at the Gordon’s Bay Funakoshi dojo, as they break up for the holiday period.

(Though the adult classes continue on a Monday and Wednesday evening of course!)

Kiba dachi stances in the sand

To change things up and end off on a bang, Sensei Birgitt decided to do something different for a change – an outdoors training session!

And where better to train outdoors in Gordon’s Bay than on our beautiful, pristine main beach?

Needless to say, it looks like it was loads of fun and a great way to close off the official 2010 Funakoshi calendar year for all the junior karateka! Once again, good work Gordon’s Bay Dojo! :)

If you've got to kick something, you may as well kick the sea!

To get more of a feel for how this final training session went down, check out the gallery!

Photo Gallery: Funakoshi Karate Grading (2010-12-04) My Life | Photo Gallery 04 DEC 2010

I achieved my Purple Belt under the Funakoshi Karate International South Africa style in December, at the grading held at the friendly little Mondeor Eco-School in Somerset West. It was a good grading and I was pleased with my performance, which always makes receiving your belt from your sensei feel that much sweeter! :)

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Boland Year-end Development Championship 2010 Martial Arts 22 NOV 2010

And over at Funakoshi Karate International South Africa…

On Saturday 6 November, at Scotsdene Sports Hall, Boland Karate held its final senior tournament for 2010, aptly named the Boland Development Championship. A number of styles and dojos were invited to compete, including the Spartans who came all the way down from Ceres in a sizeable number in order to partake in this final bit of friendly rivalry.

Head of Boland Karate, Sensei Elias Jacobs was there to oversee the tournament, while under the firm thumb of tournament director Sensei Birgitt Smit, Scotsdene Hall was transformed into a proper battle arena, complete with two matted fighting squares and one marked out kata area.

Unfortunately support from the general public was pretty slim, but thankfully there were enough friends, family and karateka to fill the stands and after an official march in and introduction from Elias, the final tournament for the year got under way.

This was the first tournament in which veterans were allowed to partake, effectively lifting the age limit off the combatants and opening up a number of new categories to soak up. Proceedings kicked off with a unison kata with bunkai from Funakoshi Karate International South Africa, with kata Kigai being performed by Chris Mourdik, Gerhard Roos and Craig Lotter.

From there the teams were put through their paces, going through the various age and weight divisions, for both kata and sports kumite. There were a number of members of the South African Proteas team in attendance and we got to marvel at their display of high level skill in both the form and fighting sections.

The tournament itself was a great success and Funakoshi Karate International South Africa enjoyed some further representation in the kumite sections thanks to the efforts of both Jens Smit and Jason.

Tournament proceedings were finally ended off with some brilliant unison kata with bunkai displays from six different teams, with the senior men’s Protea team in particular wowing everyone with their precise and very sharp movements!

Finally, a successful (if somewhat short) day was rounded off with the official Boland year-end prize giving, in which both karateka and administrative staff alike, were rewarded for their commitment and achievements in the realm of Boland karate for 2010.

In other words, the Boland karate calendar year closed off on the perfect note! Osu.

(For more photos, visit the Funakoshi Karate International South Africa website!)

Photo Gallery: Boland Karate Year-end Tournament (2010-11-06) My Life | Photo Gallery 06 NOV 2010

On Saturday 6 November, at Scotsdene Sports Hall, Boland Karate held its final senior tournament for 2010, aptly named the Boland Development Championship. A number of styles and dojos were invited to compete, including the Spartans who came all the way down from Ceres in a sizeable number in order to partake in this final bit of friendly rivalry.

Proceedings kicked off with a unison kata with bunkai from Funakoshi Karate International South Africa, with kata Kigai being performed by Chris Mourdik, Gerhard Roos and Craig Lotter.

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