Shotokan Karate Magazine Issue 154
Featuring CLARE WORTH 3rd Dan JKS.
Shotokan Karate Magazine Issue 154
CLARE WORTH 3rd Dan JKS. Interview and Photos By Graeme Armitage.
JUTTE – THE ENDLESS JOURNEY! By Scott Middleton.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
MASTER GICHIN FUNAKOSHI & OPERATION ICEBERG. By Barry Rodgers.
VERTICAL HEEL ACTION IN ENERGY TRANSFER. By Kamil Kroczewski.
KARATE KEEPS THE SCORE. By Dr Michael Harris.
THE BLOCK-CONTROL-STRIKE PRINCIPLE. By Scott Watson.
THE MYTH CALLED BLACK BELT. By Slavko Bubalo.
EDITORIAL By John Cheetham.
We have an interview in this edition with our very own SKM Secretary and Administrator Clare Worth. It’s important to hear the perspective of Shotokan’s many female students and instructors who train just as hard and seriously as their male counterparts and take all the same knocks, bruises and injuries in training. Shotokan ladies are a tough bunch in my experience.
Clare will be well known to many SKM readers and worldwide subscribers. She nearly always answers the phone in the SKM office, often on the line for an hour listening to personal training regimes, dojo experiences, injury problems, karate-related life-stories – all part of the job.
There’s a fascinating article by Slavko Bubalo based in Croatia, dealing with the ‘Black-Belt’ Myth and the Dan/rank/grading subject, including many historical details and facts relating to this subject.
Many people pay a lot of lip service to one’s grade or rank in Karate-do. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve been asked, “What Dan grade are you now?” Usually I smile and try and explain that the actual number is really not that important but it generally falls on deaf ears! They seem to equate the number of Dans with the technical or fighting ability of the karateka!
The reality is, that these days in 2022 there are massive differences in what constitutes a Dan rank/grade. The levels of technical ability, knowledge and experience required varies considerably from one Association or Organisation to another – and the requirements! A Dan-grading exam is ‘subjective’, the same as judging a Kata contest. Both are open to personal preference, bias, and partiality.
In a Kata event, one judge may focus on correct form and technique, whereas another judge could favour spirit, attitude and power. So, judging a Dan-grade exam is similar if it’s conducted by a Grading Panel of several senior instructors. However, it’s still subjective even if the decision is solely taken by ‘one’ examiner. Age and physical capability/condition are considerations which will always be taken into account by an experienced examiner. Many times a higher Dan grade will be awarded, rightly so, after many years of dedicated practice and service to Karate.
Continuous training, trying to progress and learning are important elements of our Art, not what number of Dan grades one possesses. It’s about the total karate experience, the development – the journey.
Talking about a Karate journey, there’s a real ‘food for thought’ article in this issue by a senior WTKO Sensei, Scott Middleton 7th Dan, focusing on his extensive study and research into Kata Jitte/Jutte. It’s a fascinating, insightful personal story.
I said to Kamil Kroczewski (jokingly) that Nishiyama sensei would turn in his grave if he read your article! Kamil replied saying...“I know about Sensei Nishiyama’s approach but this is really the same principle with a different understanding.”
Both feet-flat, a grounded position can generate incredible hitting power: a lunging action (back heel up) also creates dynamic, explosive hitting power. Surely we can utilise both methods in our karate?
Good training, Editor.