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#83616 - 04/02/05 10:08 AM Shukokai and body mechanics
Anonymous
Unregistered


If there are people that have actually studied body mechanics in MA, then they should have at least heard of Shukokai.
Is this an unfair assumption?

What do people think of Shukokai and it's effectiveness in body mechanics?

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#83617 - 04/02/05 03:15 PM Re: Shukokai and body mechanics
Anonymous
Unregistered


right. so since it's been 6 hours and no reply...I can assume that nobody currently in the body mechanics forum has any knowledge of body mechanics.

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#83618 - 04/02/05 05:47 PM Re: Shukokai and body mechanics
Anonymous
Unregistered


kara...it's me again.

I'm a Shito-ryu Shukokai practitioner (to clarify - Shukokai is an organization not style). I spent over 16 yrs training w/ Miyake who had barely a clue of what Tani's body mechanics were (not having trained under Tani directly). He's popular among the sport (USA-NKF) crowd. His opinion of Kimura was "just rough, no technique".

It was only after I left his 'Shuko-kai' that I met Eric Tomlinson (5-Dan @ the time), a former Brit, who was organizing Shito-ryu Shukokai Union USA (under Shito-ryu Shukokai World Karate-do Union - HQ in Japan). He trained under & was graded by Kimura (among others in the UK) & he opened my eyes. Kimura's technique took Tani's work to another level. Kimura wasn't highly regarded in Japan because 1) most of his technique was developed outside of Japan, 2) he didn't come up through the university system & 3) possibly some envy (the only other Shukokai instructor to build a large loyal following was Tomiyama of Kofukan). It is said that Tani was considering appointing Kimura to succeed him but there is no documentation - just conjecture.

The body mechanics will seem 180 degrees from what any other traditionalist is aware of. It takes time to adjust if you're an 'old dog' like me but I'm starting to 'get it' on a basic level. If you need convincing, just hold an Impact Pad for a Shukokai instructor & you'll feel a shock travel through your body when you receive the punch (a fellow instructor said "I felt it in my spine"). And the amazing thing is that relaxation + proper body mechanics is the key. This is my new MA 'holy grail'.

Questions? I'll try my best.

[This message has been edited by hedkikr (edited 04-02-2005).]

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#83619 - 04/02/05 09:44 PM Re: Shukokai and body mechanics
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks for you reply hedkikr, I was starting to lose hope for this forum.
Kimura, 'rough with no technique'? I guess he's never seen him during 'after class class' a little drunk demonstrating reverse punches.

I started Goju-Ryu in 1974 when I was 7. The sensei Roger Labbe was trained by Morio Higaonna and were once visted by Higaonna (he had brought Ken Ogawa who taught our kids class for the weekend, I was stunned by Ogawa's strength and speed). Our dojo had a gradual change of sensei's around 1982. our new sensei was the dojo's top student Dan McCook. shortly after that time McCook was introduced to Kimura Sensei and all of McCooks senior students would travel to NJ once or twice a month to train.
McCook Sensei built a strong relationship with Kimura, and is now 5th Dan with ASKU.
Our dojo joined the Shukokai in 1985.
I was lucky enough to have trained under Kimura (1984-1988) and McCook Sensei, but I moved away for college. I have trained on my own since then, and never bothered to test beyond ni-dan. I lived with my wife in Japan for 4 years and have been back in the states for 2 years. I'm starting to gain interest in being part of a dojo again since my kids started training in Shorin-Ryu and showing the same interest I had when I was their age. The closest Shukokai dojo to me where I am living now is McCook sensei who is 60 miles away. I wish me and the boys were training there. Maybe I could ask McCook Sensei if we could visit once or twice a month :-)

sorry to ramble...that gives you my basic MA background to avoid confusion in further conversations.

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#83620 - 04/02/05 11:05 PM Re: Shukokai and body mechanics
Anonymous
Unregistered


Glad to know of others familiar w/ Kimura. I've made friends w/ a KSI instructor as hour away. His brother is Chris Thompson's R-hand man in S.Africa. In May, the "4 Shihans" (Bill Bresaw, Eddie Daniels, Lionel Marinus & Chris Thompson) will be conducting an international seminar in N.J. I want to go but was told by my friend that it's closed to all outside of KSI. I'm hoping that Eric can arrange something but I'm not holding my breath. Are you aware of this & if so, will you try to go?

I'm sure you've considered starting your own club. Who knows?

[This message has been edited by hedkikr (edited 04-03-2005).]

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#83621 - 04/02/05 11:25 PM Re: Shukokai and body mechanics
Anonymous
Unregistered


oh also..I think it would be difficult to find a dojo (in the US at least) that is a member of Shukokai which didn't have the Shito-Ryu->Tani->Kimura lineage...So I just use the term 'Shukokai' as meaning in style and org.
Most people don't know what I'm talking about with Shukokai anyway.
read my recent topic "The novelty of this site is wearing thin."

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#83622 - 04/03/05 04:50 PM Re: Shukokai and body mechanics
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
I know of and trained with a shukokai group in New Jersey when I first came to the US.

I'd seen them in tournaments in the UK.

Their standard and understanding of kata I have not been impressed with. That may be because the group I trained with weren't into kata particularly.

Shukoki's mechanics seemed reasonable, no better nor worse than any othe mainstream styles I'd trained with.

JohnL

[This message has been edited by JohnL (edited 04-03-2005).]

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#83623 - 04/04/05 09:30 PM Re: Shukokai and body mechanics
Anonymous
Unregistered


I've also heard that Shukokai people were less into kata than their punching technique. Coming from a tournament background, kata was more performance than Bunkai. I'm now into Bunkai & Kimura's method.

All other schools of karate have essentially the same large hip movement to generate power (a distance of 10 - 12 inches from relaxed to full execution). Kimura method uses only 3 - 4 inches to accomplish the same thing. A standard punch will either accelerate (1......2....3..4.5) or decelerate (losing power @ the end) mainly due to the distance factor. But the relatively reduced distance the Kimura punch travels in comparison to the standard punch accomodates acceleration w/o deceleration (1.2.3.4.5). Striking w/ a relaxed fist (no "puting on the brakes" by squeezing) is unusual but easy now. Also, the process of kicking the heel back to create a solid connection from floor through leg & hip to arm & hand ensures true punching w/ the entire body.

Then there's the issue of touque which I'm trying to get @ this time. As I mentioned, it's easier to feel than read about.

(How am I doing, kara?)

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#83624 - 04/04/05 10:36 PM Re: Shukokai and body mechanics
Anonymous
Unregistered


The dojo I was at wasn't into tournament at the time. We had just started to adopt the Kimura method while maintaining our Goju kata. To ease our transition, Kimura sensei personally worked with us to adapt Goju kata for more speed and power utilizing his technique. He was able to do this on the fly. It was amazing. Watching the Goju kata after studying and applying the technique made a much more crisp appearence with only very slight recognizable changes to the observer (hip rotation,shoulder blade position,etc) ...to bunkai it was dramatically more powerful.
Only later (after I left for college) did the dojo start attending competitions...

I was brainwashed from an early age that sparring is important but competitions are generally bad for the art in the long term. I'm realistic though, and realize not everybody should feel that way. That was the division line that cut our dojo in half...when the introduction of Kimura technique implied competition, the stubborn change-resistant half of the top students dropped out within a year. The people that remained were the ones willing to do competition and the ones (like me) that didn't have a problem with it, but didn't feel the desire to do so.

My point of all this history is to realize there may be some dojo's that are in transition between styles or techniques...probably not too frequent or as drastic as our change, but it happens.
I forgot the exact point I was going to make and instead rambled...sorry.
shikona: empty-head

hedkikr about tourque:
very difficult to explain with text (or in person for that matter).
I can say this...if the small of your back hurts after an hour, your doing it wrong.

something very telling (and I only did a few years with Kimura Sensei so don't take my word for it, ask your sensei)
is what gets tired on your body during one hour of gyaku-zuki: your arms should be the last thing that gets tired. Your arms and hands are just there for the ride and to maintain alignment of bone structure.

take care

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#83625 - 04/04/05 11:35 PM Re: Shukokai and body mechanics
Anonymous
Unregistered


Good...no back pain (getting closer I guess) & arms/shoulders remaibn relaxed. Thanks.

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