Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Martial Arts

Goju Kai
The first style of Martial Arts I tried was Goju Kai in Balwyn at Tino Cebrano's Dojo. In the 1980's, I began my career in Martial Arts with this Karate. Not only did it help me locate and exert power but I found eloquence in the katas. I studied for two years and was enchanted by the middle-aged Shihan when he occassionally appeared to give a lesson.
Goju Kai is classified as a hard/ soft Karate and has various blocks, strikes and kicks. Training is orchestrated sequences of combat as well individual shadow boxing, mimicing the instructor. I use a typical Karate-do elbow drill as a warm- up exercise in my programs. The use of elbows is essential in women's self defence as they are useful in close contact. Women usually find themselves very close to their assailant before they realise they are in danger.

I have know Aikikai Aikido for longer than 20 years and probably trained 18 years. I consider it my first style. The attraction to Aikido is it's grace and combat Kata's, a form of dance with rolling as an escape from the wrist locks take downs. Movement is imperitive for Aikido as it is very difficult to exercise the techniques if the uke (partner attacking and receiving the technique) is a motionless blob of tense muscles. I tell them that stone cracks but you can't catch water.
The techniques are effective but the system has been devised as an art form rather than for self defence. There is a degree of co-operation which must exist between oponents. This is less dangerous and reduces the risk of injury. Aikido taught me movement to strategic positons and riding the force. The training is an art form and needs years of training before the practitioner becomes competent to apply it as a self defence. The Aikidoka has several principles to apply such as movement in a cicular form to dissipate the force. Locating your "one point" as an energy source and to exert power.
I use the ikio take down in self defence.

Wing Chun
I first discovered this art in Darwin being a Jim Fung's style and was particularly attracted to it because it was devised by a women and suited smaller people. The concept of centreline extended my knowledge of the Aikikai "one point" to finding stability and it is the shortest distance between you and your opponent. Being balanced allows you to exert and withstand force by redirection. William Cheong's academy has a rule that you never fight force with force. You must not try to overpower a force but move out of the way or redirect it.

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