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#148584 - 05/24/05 11:59 PM Ashihara Karate (Fighting Karate)
Ashihara Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/17/05
Posts: 18
Loc: Hokkaido, Japan
Hello,
I currently study Ashihara Karate (also known as Fighting Karate) in Japan, I'm wondering if anybody else is familiar with or studies this style?

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#148585 - 05/25/05 12:03 AM Re: Ashihara Karate (Fighting Karate) [Re: Ashihara]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
Hello Ashihara,

I have studied for 15 years. My original Instructor was Yoshida Sensei who was the head Honbu instructor under Ashihara before he came to Southern California. Glad to meet you.

-B

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#148586 - 05/25/05 12:25 AM Re: Ashihara Karate (Fighting Karate) [Re: butterfly]
Ashihara Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/17/05
Posts: 18
Loc: Hokkaido, Japan
Hello Butterfly, nice to meet you too.

I study in Noboribetsu, Hokkaido under Katsuma Sensei. I have only studied for about 8 months, and am now 8 kyu. I am interested to hear what it's like studying Ashihara Karate in America. Have you ever visited any Ashihara dojos in Japan?

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#148587 - 05/25/05 12:36 AM Re: Ashihara Karate (Fighting Karate) [Re: Ashihara]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
I have not visited any Ashihara dojos in Japan. Training here in the U.S. might be a bit different than in Japan.

There have been slight curriculum changes and other practices that are not exactly as taught to you. I say this because I have met a few other Japanese Ashihara Karateka when they have visited our dojo, and there are slight differences in techique as probably coming from their instructor's take on this style of karate when compared to how I was instructed.

I wish you well in your studies and if you are ever in Southern California, you are most welcome to practice with us.

-B

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#148588 - 05/25/05 12:52 AM Re: Ashihara Karate (Fighting Karate) [Re: butterfly]
Multiversed Offline
Banned

Registered: 03/11/03
Posts: 642
Loc: Sa, Tx. USA
An outstanding karate system. I keep forgetting you're from Torrance. I often visit the LA area and stay near Torrance (actually is Torrance) in Harbor City. Is there an Ashihara dojo in Torrance? Anyway it's a very good style. Good luck in your training.

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#148589 - 05/25/05 01:05 AM Re: Ashihara Karate (Fighting Karate) [Re: Multiversed]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
Multiverse,
You are also most welcom to our dojo. The dojo's location is actually in Lomita, CA. A hop, skip and a jump from Harbor City.

If you would like more information please PM me and I will e-mail you back. I will be honest and say that the best class to participate in would be a class on Saturday run by a gentleman named Shigeta (an honorable man and my friend) who was also the 1991 Sabaki Challenge Middleweight champion (even though we do not generally go to or participate in tournaments).

Warmest regards,

-B

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#148590 - 05/25/05 01:38 AM Re: Ashihara Karate (Fighting Karate) [Re: butterfly]
Ashihara Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/17/05
Posts: 18
Loc: Hokkaido, Japan
Butterfly,

Thanks for the invite, wish I'd joined this forum a few months ago as my wife and I were actually in that area recently. It would be very interesting to practice at an English speaking dojo. As I'm still learning Japanese I tend to miss a lot of the finer points of what sensei is saying I think.
It would be hard to say what's different between our dojos without one of us seeing the other's I suppose. One point I'm very interested in though, do you spend much time on meditation or breathing exercises in the dojo?

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#148591 - 05/25/05 01:46 AM Re: Ashihara Karate (Fighting Karate) [Re: Multiversed]
Ashihara Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/17/05
Posts: 18
Loc: Hokkaido, Japan
Multiversed,

It's nice to hear your opinion! If one looks on the internet for English info regarding Ashihara, there are a lot of references saying that Ashihara is the most 'practical' karate (because of the use of Sabaki, it's supposed to be valid in a street fight situation). Without starting any inflamed debates over what style is best etc, I'd like to hear some opinions on the validity of this claim, from those who are familiar with multiple disciplines.
_________________________
- Ashihara 武士道 (Bushido)

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#148592 - 05/25/05 01:55 AM Re: Ashihara Karate (Fighting Karate) [Re: Ashihara]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
Ashihara,

Hard to compare meditation or breathing excercises when you have not seen us and I have not seen you. But, generally, I think no...not very much time is spent on these things.

If you broke down are classes, we are similar in sone respects to older Kyokushin sans their kata. Basics are done similarly to a lot of the karate styles that I am familiar with. The basics, often, are for gross muscle memory and for fine tuning technique. However, when we punch train for utility, we probably look more like a boxing gym with some modifications to the hand techniques to fascillitate barehanded strikes.

Most things are still full contact without pads. Exception is when you put on headgear and boxing gloves. I have been sent to the hospital a couple of times because of hard sparring. But generally, lighter sparring and pad/bag work are encouraged and are the norm.

Also, unlike most Ashihara schools that I know of, we practice a basic 12 step model of movement rather than the usual 4 steps. This lends itself, at higher levels of practice, to a more Aikidoesque seeming quality in our throws.

The only other addition would be grappling since my current instructor had studied with the Machados.

If you have specific questions, I am happy to answer them.

Regards,
-B

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#148593 - 05/25/05 02:18 AM Re: Ashihara Karate (Fighting Karate) [Re: Ashihara]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
Ashihara,

As far as the validity of our style of karate being the "uber" style. Throw it out the window. I have been around enough to see good in many places and areas. No style has a lock on this. Generally, I would say the individual and how he/she trains matters the most. And there is some very good, hard hitting karate out there from many different sources....

If you are new to karate in general and new to Ashihara specifically, let me give you some information, if I may.

Sabaki is a term derived from Tai-sabaki. This generally means positioning and angling away from the direct line of attack. Lots (every?) martial art has some form of this.

The distinguishig feature of our take on Sabaki came as a direct result of Kyokushin fighting. Kyokushin, if you are not aware, is a father art to us as Shotokan was to Kyokushin. But Kyokushin heavily sponsored hard contact, no pads tournaments (but no punches to the face or grabs or throws) that originally had no weight class. What usually happened, all other things being equal, was the bigger, heavier guy won.

Now, Kyokushin was linear (not so much now). You were supposed to walk through the opponent, guns blazing so to speak. If you were small, you just got squashed.

Now, if you start to control the opponent with grabs and body movement coupled with angles, then you are in a better
position to counter a strong, linear attack.

Our take on Sabaki then implies a couple of things: 1) Body positioning and blocks/perries are superior to attacks; and 2) Attacks are the most beneficial as counters with proper angle and distance.

This may seem logical, but what this really means is that your ability to attack (striking and kicking) has to be considered subordinate to your ability to be in the proper position to attack. Read a different way. Defense, then offense.

Also, Sabaki, in its highest incarnation for us, would be to down a person with body movement alone. Maybe impossible, but is an aspiration. The more utilized definition for Sabaki in our style would be similar to this example:

If someone was trying to sit on a chair. You would pull the chair away from him just as he was going to sit down. This way, your "opponent" has passed the line where he could disengage his momentum. At the same time, you push him away from the chair. If you call the push a block or a perry and use the chair as the defender, and the sitter as the attacker, the idea holds true for Sabaki.

I hope this helps.
-B

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