Judging Kata


Judging kata is not an easy task especially at open tournaments and the different styles that do various versions of kata, however it can be easier if you are judging the correct things. When judging kata in an open tournament judge the competitor based on his/her rank, if the competitor is a green belt, then he/she should have "green belt" techniques, "green belt" concentration, "green belt" execution, etc. If they competitor is a brown belt, then his/her techniques should coincide with that rank etc. If the Green belt has solid technique than he/she gets a good score, if the brown belt has shaky balance and loose fists, then he/ she gets a low score. Don't expect a green belt to look sharp like a black belt or do black belt techniques. Judge based on what a green belt or brown belt should perform like for that rank. We must consider the difficulty of the kata also, however, a Green belt block should look like this, and a Brown belt cat-stance should look like that...

Marathon Training


This weekend will be my annual marathon workout, that consists of starting at sunrise and training until sunset, only stopping periodically to drink water and quick snack, no more than 15 minutes at a time. This is a yearly thing I do and will move it to every six months. This type of training is a test in willpower, endurance, and mental stress, it also is an unbelievable body and mind cleanse. Anyone can do this if they commit their mind, your body is a lot stronger than you think, it's the mindset that is challenging. I do this training outside in the woods on my property where I have my outdoor dojo, so dealing with the elements is part of the training. Doing this alone is a way to find out who you really are and how honest you are to yourself. However, anyone who is interested in joining me on the next one and wanting to give it a try is welcome. Maybe schedule one for October/November....... 



Check out our facebook page, if you don't have facebook, someone you know does and use theirs!!!!! There are some really great videos clips that are both vintage and recent, including many with Shoshin Nagamine.... on Facebook enter Matsubayashi-Ryu namka........
....so as I stated previously that you must be effective from 6-10 inches since Matsubayashi-ryu is the concept of in-close fighting, practicing the punch for 6-10 from the pocket is the basic training point until you learn the concept (through kata, makiwara and heavy bag), then the 6-10 should be effective from the natural fighting position and executing from the center of your body and "not" drawing the hand back to the pocket before punching. You must also learn to be effective with any technique while moving, most people like to be "set-rooted-strike", in a real fight your opponent is coming at you aggressively and is usually closing the gap and getting very close to you quickly...you must move-strike at the same time, if you move too much, he keeps coming, this why alot of fights end up on the ground, the opponent gets too close and they don't know how to be effective with punching/kicking at close range or because their balance is thrown off because they didn't have time to move their feet and "get-set". Just a small part of the many things we need to think about when training and how to train and to what extent our training should be taken beyond the "drills" and "routines". Taking the "competitiveness" out of kumite and learn to use it as a training tool is essential, not just a game of tag. Hopefully this training tip will get you thinking about your "in-close effectiveness at 6-10 both from the pocket and from the center" 



It seems every time we have an upcoming election, the candidates always seem to belittle the other opponent or state untrue facts about their opponent or dig up some kind of dirt or anything that will change what others think about that candidate. People who are easily swayed by the negative rumors that are untrue are just as guilty as the people who start them. It is no different in the martial arts.....people will start rumors because they are insecure, jealous, in need of attention, the need to build themselves up, and justify and validate themselves, the people who believe these false accusations are denying themselves of growth, and therefore they miss opportunities for them and their students. People should investigate for themselves and not the influence of someone else. Have you ever been told about a bad movie or a bad restaurant only to find that YOU thought the food was great and so was the movie, lucky you didn't listen to that persons opinion, you would have missed an enjoyable dinner and movie. It is your martial art, train with whomever YOU want and enjoy the benefits that others missed because they were to busy listening to someone else's insecurities and jealousy...........What's sad is people claim they train "in the traditional philosophy the way that Grandmaster Shoshin Nagamine..........etc.", but are the most vocal in talking and spreading rumors!!!!!  
When we train, we should be focusing on sharpening our tools, which, are all the techniques we have and practicing them in every possible situation. For example: there is a certain way to aim and shoot a gun, regardless of the application and target, aiming and shooting is what is perfected, whether the target is stationary, moving, spinning, alive, a bottle, a can, or a skeet.  With a hammer, the grip on the hammer remains the same and we use the weight of the hammer head, whether it's hamering a nail to build a house, a bookcase, breaking a glass window, or hitting a piece of metal to bend it. When practicing gedan shuto uke for example, we can practice to block against the kick, block against a punch, strike a leg, strike the side of the body, strike a heavy bag, every application gives a different type of experience for the same technique, it helps us develop our gedan shuto uke to use for anything we need it for like the gun or the hammer. So don't limit your techniques to a particular application, whether it's bunkai, bunkai oyo, uke-waza, makiwara, heavy bag etc. all the applications or interpretaions are there to provide a "target" for developing our techniques to be effective in any given situation. Just like you can't say the hammer is only for hammering a nail to build a house.....
LENGTH OF A ZENKUTZ... 11/23/2010   Yesterday during a workout with one of my Black Belts, we were discussing a move in a kata, I did the kata slow and said, “…you step the length of a zenkutsu dachi, (as I actually was in a zenkutsu dachi), then I did the move quickly and he said but I didn’t see the zenkutsu dachi, do you actually go into zenkutsu dachi? No, you don’t, you step the “length” of a zenkutsu dachi!! Although there are many reasons for the different stances that we have, such as building up leg muscles, body shifting etc, one of the things we have to keep in mind is when we actually engage in combat, or just kumite or sparring, we have to use the stances to move, in other words, they are transitional stances, for instance, we may never actually be in a full zenkustsu dachi, but we can step the lengh of a zenkutsu dachi, if we step any farther, than it’s too far and we will be off balance, susceptible to sweeps, unable to body shift or attack at an effective angle. So Zenkutsu dachi teaches us the farthest we can step and still be natural, this can be achieved with other stances as well, learn through kata how we move in the different stances and foot placements, then when engaging, learn to use the “foot placement” without actually going into the stance……..
In order to be successful in Matsubayshi-Ryu karate and get to the deeper meaning, you must train with the following in mind:
1) Our style is based on in-close fighting
2) Know and learn the principles: there are common principles in kicks, stances, blocks and strikes, there are common principles in kata and common principles in fighting. Practice the "principles"...you do not perfect techniques, you perfect the principles, the techniuqes will fix themselves
3) The hara is the storehouse of energy, power, life
4) Legs move the the body (the storehouse), don't lead with the body
5) If you are not moving naturally, you are moving wrong
6) If you have to force (not do naturally) your body to execute a technique, it will create wasted motion and energy, speed, power, efficiency, tightening of muscles
7) Your technique must be effective at 10 inches
8) Kick from the ground, make contact at load point (load point is where we teach beginners to kick from with knee raised), and don't extend the hip
9) Good structure creates "natural tension" and strength, bad structure creates weakness and forced muscle use
10) Defend with tai sabaki from all angles, be invisible and attack the attacker
11) Energy, force, always directed towards your opponent, never side to side
12) Kosa, neko ashi, zenkutsu, jigo tai, shizentai dachis all create the "triangle"
13) Hands move first
14) Our style is based on in-close fighting

15) Our style is based on in-close fighting
There's is a difference between combination techniques and combining techniques. Combination techniques can be described as the use of two or more techniques when attacking such as a punch-kick-punch, or a kick-punch-elbow, or kick-punch-downblock-punch, kata teaches us the use of combination techniques. Kata teaches up how to fight by placing our body in a position to fight from any angle, when we do kata, we practice each technique independently, sometimes putting multiple techniques independently-together or in succession for one particular bunkai/application or interpretation. However, there are some techniques in kata that are not practical in a fighting situation, they are there to prepare us for a much deeper meaning in our training. With that being said, combining techniques (different than combination techniques) can be described as the use of two or more techniques combined to form one technique, without doing any of the two or more techniques independently, this can be found in kata when understanding the concept of in-close fighting. For example: when learning to drive a stick, (1) take foot off gas, (2) push in clutch, (3) shift with hand, (4) let clutch out, (5) press gas, each movement is done independently, when you combine all 5 steps at one time you flow smoothly...especially a drag racer, (our fighting should be like that of a drag racer, combining all the steps to be quick, explosive, fast, smooth, sometimes they eliminate the gas step and keep pressing the gas, sometimes they eliminate the clutch and speed shift!) If you think "nukite" in Pinan Shodan is a practical technique, you're wrong, nukite is a transition technique, not to be used as a fingertip strike... To further understand this concept, attend the Black Belt workout on June 2nd..........enjoy your thoughts on this.



Like the old saying, "It's not how many times you fall down, it's how many times you get back up". We at NAMKA haven't fallen down, we just had some issues that tested our adversity........This past year Kyoshi had some personal issues, and our website was hacked, with that being said, NAMKA has not waivered, we are celebrating the beginning of our 4th year, Kyoshi is back 100% and our new website is better than ever, thanks to NAMKA Yudanshas Kalani Monios and Chad Livesay. We look forward to a new year and some great training.........If you are a Matsubayashi-Ryu Black Belt and are interested in attending one of our Black Belt workouts, you are more than welcome, see you at the next one!!! June 2, 2012 1pm.