Tag: shotokan

Black Belt

Just over seventeen years ago, I did my first black belt grading and I recently stumbled across an essay that my sensei at the time requested as part of the examination process. Although it in many ways resembles something you’d be asked to write by your English teacher towards the end of secondary school, especially with regard to the title,…

Compounds, negatives and positives

It was hot in Melbourne yesterday. Thirty seven degrees (99°F). Not off the charts hot but hot enough to make you sweat doing nothing at all. And if you weren’t doing nothing at all? If you were pushing hard in the heat with demands being made of you, emotionally and psychologically? If you were pushing hard for a few hours…

No fixed address

Karate-do means The Way of the Empty Hand. The hand is empty because it is not holding anything. While this can be interpreted symbolically, it is rooted in historical necessity. The originators of karate were forbidden to bear arms so an unarmed style of fighting was developed to be a match for adversaries who did have weapons at their disposal.…

What’s in it for me?

“You’re obviously a man in crisis.” This was a friend’s response to my recent uptake of blogging. Both a fellow Irishman and karateka, he was giving me a lift home after training a few weeks ago. Over the course of our rather circuitous journey (he is a slave to his sat nav) he took it upon himself to cross-examine my motives…