Wednesday, October 17, 2007

­Mr. Decuir teaches Shotokan karate - a Japanese style that is characterized by strong focus (a concentrated moment of energy) made possible by full hip motions and a total body commitment to the technique. This is formal training, based upon traditional teaching methods, that gradually build up ones physical condition and mental concentration.

Gichin Funakoshi is widely known as the father of modern Karate, which literally means empty hand. Karate is a system of unarmed self-defense using a variety of blocks, kicks, punches, and strikes. There are many karate styles, each placing different emphasis on certain aspects of training.

The founder of Shotokan was Gichin Funakoshi, who taught karate to many individuals before his death in 1957. One of his students was M. Nakayama, a 10th dan and former chief instructor of the JKA in Japan. Mr. Nakayama died in 1987. It was under Master Nakayama that Mr. Mikami received his training and it is under Mr. Mikami that Mr. Decuir received and still receives his training. Thus, there is a direct and unbroken line of instructors who have nurtured and maintained the integrity of the traditional teachings.

Shotokan karate is different from many other martial arts. Instead of thrusting the beginner immediately into actual sparring and contact situations - where injuries may easily happen and where little real learning can occur - Shotokan begins by teaching basic principles and movements. All other techniques are built upon this solid foundation. With an understanding of how power and speed are generated, progress will be made toward strong, effective technique.
Rank (belt) tests are given about every three months by certified JKA examiners. Successful completion of the test qualifies you to
increase one step in rank. Individuals are ranked by numerically descending kyu grades. The progression of rank and the color of the belt associated with the rank is:

9th kyu – White
6th kyu - Green
3rd kyu - Brown
8th kyu - Yellow
5th kyu – Purple
2nd kyu - Brown
7th kyu - Orange
4th kyu - Purple
1st kyu - Brown
Black Belt, or Dan ranks, are assigned in numerically ascending grades, for example:
Shodan – 1st degree
Nidan - 2nd degree
Sandan - 3rd degree
And so forth.
All black belt ranks are recognized internationally and are registered at JKA headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. Rank test include three main components: performance of a Kata, wherein you execute a prearranged series of defensive and offensive moves; Kihon, where you show your proficiency in basic techniques; and Kumite (sparring), in which you demonstrate your offensive and defensive skills in a controlled sparring environment.
NIKI is certified and registered with the Louisiana Karate Assoc. (LKA), and the Japan Karate Assoc. (JKA). We enjoy affiliations with the largest and oldest karate organizations in existence in this state, country and world. So a student of our school not only retains his rank in perpetuity, but also is recognized by that rank throughout the entire world.

While many independent martial arts’ schools may claim international roots, only a school certified by such organizations can be relied upon to teach authentic karate that is governed by uniform standards. As such, all the students of our school are tested quarterly by multiple certified examiners of the Japan Karate Association - World Federation (JKA-WF) to insure that the standards of our karate are consistently high. No other school in this area provides that.
As members of the ASKF and the JKA, you gain access to many benefits of membership. Primarily, of course, you get continual guidance from highly-skilled and certified instructors, experienced evaluation for Dan and Kyu rank promotions, the right to participate in local and international JKA and ASKF karate tournaments, and dozens of other practical advantages.

Karate is not an easy art. But it is an art. And like any art the more you put into it, the more it will repay you. Karate enriches you physically, mentally and spiritually—developing your body, your
mind and your character. Why? Because the JKA is The Keeper of Karate’s Highest Tradition. Our karate is the strongest and most traditional karate there is. We see it not as a sport, but as a whole way of life. And that is always our emphasis: the whole. The goal is to help you develop every aspect of who you are.

But the best reason to join is for karate itself. Authentic traditional karate has tremendous benefits for body, mind and spirit. Physically, karate is good for the heart, strengthens bones, builds muscle, creates resilience, develops hand-eye coordination, and makes the body less susceptible to sickness and injury. Mentally, karate helps develop patience, discipline, perseverance, understanding and open-mindedness, as well as concentration and focus. Spiritually, karate builds confidence, develops self-control and increases calmness and peace.

A typical karate practice session usually begins with a comprehensive warm-up, followed by the various training exercises. The exercises are divided into three main categories: kihon (basic techniques), in which you learn the basic blocks, punches, kicks, stances, etc. of karate; kata (forms), in which you practice and physically remember the various kihon learned; and kumite (sparring), where your kihon and kata techniques are matched against a real opponent. As your skill level increases, so will the difficulty and degree of the exercises. Of course, there will also be times when you are taught theory, dojo etiquette and the more philosophical aspects of karate.

Once you join the club, only four things will be expected of you. You are expected to be committed to your karate training, and to attend classes on a regular basis. You are expected to give your karate training your maximum effort, and to work hard during practice. You are expected to demonstrate the respect, humility and courtesy upon which karate’s long-standing tradition is founded. And of course, you are expected to pay your dues and other fees.

There are affiliated dojo’s (karate schools) throughout the world. The JKA has branches in well over 100 countries, The ISKF has branches in all 50 states, and the ASKF has branches in all southern states from Texas to Tennessee, so there’s bound to be an affiliated dojo nearby. Please feel free to call (364-5000) and talk to the instructor, ask questions, etc. If you prefer to go in person, you can observe how a typical class is run. You can make any such arrangements directly with the instructor once you’ve received the dojo information from our representatives.

1 comment:

layankee said...

finally made it - looks great!

Steve B.