The literal translation for the term kata or gata as it is sometimes rendered in English is "pattern" or "flow". Commonly known, kata has been defined as a person "fighting against imaginary opponents." This claim, to some extent is true, but at the same it is also misleading. It might be better to depict kata as "a handbook of self-defence techniques." By viewing it this way, a better picture of kata will emerge. Kata is indeed an encyclopedia of techniques, helping to recall techniques that an ancient master thought necessary to perfect. In ancient times, kata was a way to preserve techniques that might have been used to protect one's life. A master places ideas on how one can fight effectively against a common street fighter or armed assailant in his kata.
"Bunkai Jutsu" or the art of interpreting kata movements is important if kata is to be understood either as a fight against imaginary opponents, or as a handbook of self-defence techniques. It is important to realize that there can be multiple interpretations for a given set of movements. This relates in part to the versatility of the movements, but also is related to their historical development.
The evolution of 1-2 step sparring, as encouraged by Sensei Ohtsuka, is jiyu, or free, kumite. This type of kumite introduces a level of complexity to karate training that melds unpredictability, explosiveness and strategy in a combination that is lacking in kata, kihon, randore and 1-2 step sparring. This type of kumite is characterized by explosive passes, which are resolved when one of the participants successfully delivers a convincing and decisive strike.
We offer a progressive strength training program utilizing the latest in sport science and equipment like BOSU Balls, Stability Balls, Resistance Bands, Medicine Balls and free Weights. Our students have performed up to 15% better than students of comparable training and age in a variety of standard fitness test. The ultimate goal of strengthening and conditioning in a karate program is to improve the karateka's performance in the dojo. This improvement is achieved as a result of the following:
- Increased muscular strength and power (through better muscle fibre recruitment)
- Increased muscular endurance (building muscle stamina)
- Reduced risk of injury (strengthening the connective tissue supporting the joints)
- Improved cardiovascular efficiency (providing the muscles with more oxygen faster)
While self-defence focuses on escaping from an attack, self-protection addresses a much larger scope: how to avoid becoming a target of violence in the first place. Of course when awareness and avoidance have failed then the next step is self-defence.
Youth Summer Camp
We offer a week-long Summer Karate Camp in July. Youth members of the club participate in a 5-day, intensive program rooted in our curriculum and taught in a fun and engaging way. Themes vary year to year. Check back often for more information on these exciting camps!