Thursday, April 21, 2011



Seminar in Czech Republic was held April 15-17; there were 110 participants from Czech, Poland, Germany, Lithuania and Chile, many of them are regular students of Sensei Nishiyama who used to come to LA dojo. I really enjoyed teaching, it was such a great group of karateka, eager to learn, curious, working hard and asking great questions, in this kind of environment, it is like a karate laboratory, there is mutual learning. And, to the credit of karate, in the same class there were some tough athletic young guys, middle age people, women and kids, all can enjoy karate working according to their abilities and reaping benefits according to their interests.

I always try in my seminars to give a whole picture of how karate principles interlink, seeing the reasoning and wisdom in our system, rather than do a bunch of techniques and applications.

This way I believe people can take with them knowledge for future training.



We described what is a good posture and how a good or bad posture affects the technique and the Psyche.

I also try to give tools and drills to make good posture tangible and get feedback as to having a good posture or not because what we feel is right is not always accurate.

Stance, ground reaction

2 types of stance, kamae stance and kime stance, principles of functional stance, and understanding that every action is reaction from floor, even one finger move, it is from the feet, breath activates the feet.
And again, giving tools to get feedback if one is really using the floor in each techniques.

Main power is from body center using ground reaction.

Power from center by body dynamics and muscles action.

Body center connection to elbow and to knee.

Technique is always from body center to elbow to contact area or from body center to knee to contact area, and that includes sequence of movement; body action first technique is result.


Breathing from floor initiate technique, breath make muscles direction of movement, either from the center out or from the outside to the center (reverse transmission), breath make kime and type of kime.

Hiding the inhalation in order to expose chance.

Speed and power

Initiate technique quickest without back motion.

Muchimi – body like whip, total body snap, acceleration.

Kime – pressure to floor for acceleration and mean of transfer momentum to target.

Sharp total body musculature contraction for maximizing shocking power.

Kumite, Applications

I always like to relate the principles taught in the basics to kumite because that is what basics are ultimately for. The beauty in Nishiyama karate is that every technical detail has reasons both in regard to effectiveness of technique and applications. High level kumite depends on internalizing principles of technique.

We practiced Unsoku (footwork) and using Ukimi (suspension of legs from body center.

Rhythm, we did drills using breath and footwork to catch (and ideally conduct) opponent’s rhythm and keeping the maai.

Reaction by breath bypassing the brain, using Sen timing.

Zanshin – not giving mental or physical space after kime, we did some important drills to develop zanshin.

Stressing that the more we give everything in the technique the more physical and mental preparedness we have, and Zanshin is effortless.

Oji Waza (response techniques)

Sen, to anticipate, we practiced progression of Sen timing drills and variations of sen.

Go no Sen (hitting the opponent after first technique or between techniques)

Uke Waza (blocking) block is attack opponent technique on the way to attack his body, foot moves first than body center.

Amashi Waza - using space to avoid attack and counter in the off rhythm.

Understand Mikiru (estimate opponent range).

Mawashi Waza – foot circle, avoiding the opponent’s line of attack and counterattack breaking, switching the rhythm.

Shikake Waza – set up, creating a chance, strategy

Yomu – read opponent intentions, first step before forming strategy

Types of Shikake

Sasoi Waza – invite, using fake, considering the distance, making the fake in the right moment, the right amount of fake depending on the opponent eagerness to attack.

Tsume – press the opponent, infinitely and smoothly coming into his space forcing him to attack, and anticipating him.

Give bait - when detecting the opponent waits for counter, give the opponent a technique to block, and use the space between his block to counter, switching techniques sharply.

Combinations – when the opponent retreat and we can initiate in between his rhythm with small techniques to close the space while staying mentally/physically ahead, finishing with big technique.

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