Video: Tameshiwari – Boardbreaking

Where did this board breaking thing even come from? Do we hate trees? Find out more about the history, purpose and risks of board/ice/stone/brick/tile breaking. Featuring many historical references, and some questionable stock footage.

Video: Kakie and Shisochin Kata

Kakie, the pushing hands technique, is often neglected, or used too simply as just a conditioning exercise. We chip a little off the bunkai iceberg by showing how kakie can be used to tease the bunkai out of Shisochin, a senior kata specific to Goju Ryu, and brought back from mainland China by Kanryo Higashionna Sensei.

Video on How To Clean Your Gi

If, like us, you have invested in a good quality gi and you want it to last, follow our short, simple guide to keeping it fresh, clean and snappy.

Video on Why We Wear White in the Dojo

The karate gi has a longer (and shorter) history than most people realize. We trace the famous angry white pajamas to their origins, explore the logic and history behind the use of white fabric, and the modern stylings of keiko-gi, and cover it in 10 minutes flat.

But Still. I’m So Sorry.

Karate has survived two world wars, Spanish flu, numerous recessions and the worst McDojos in the world. It will survive this. I’m not worried about karate – I am worried about you. The student. The instructor. The dojo parent. Wherever you land in the constellation of people that make up a dojo, I worry. I hope you are okay. I hope you have your health and your livelihood.

Why we wear white

It is the bane of every dojo parent’s existence – the white karate suit. Why dress children in white? Of all the colours, why choose the most unforgiving, most difficult to maintain, most revealing colour of all? Why something that will get dirty 20 minutes before a grading?

Tameshiwari: Boardbreaking

I remember a kid asking me once, “when do we learn to break boards?” and I responded with “when trees attack!”

(Shut up, I thought it was funny.)

For the most part, that usually settles the discussion, but tamashiwari (translated as ‘trial by wood’) keeps cropping up in my reading and research. 

Sensei Mom

Anyway, now I juggle two titles: Sensei, and Mom. And like all mothers before me, I am going to offer unsolicited wisdom, as revenge for all the unwanted advice I got from family, friends and complete strangers in the queue at Checkers (because nothing inspires condescending advice from randoms like a baby bump. The same f*ckers won’t offer you a chair to sit on, but they will ask about whether you plan to have natural birth or not. Rude.)

Karate in the Age of Instagram

I worked as a social media manager in my past life, before I ran away from corporate to become an instructor, and it was a constant battle of shiny, happy updates and vapid copy, my English degrees weeping on the wall while I used hashtags and SEO-friendly babble to sell books, or book launches.

How to Balance Training and Studying

“No matter how you excel in the art of “Ti” (Okinawan precursor to Karate), and in your scholastic endeavours, nothing is more important than your behaviour and humanity as observed in daily life.” – Junsoku Uekata (Confucian scholar), written in 1683 We are always aware of the increasing demands on children’s time. As schools introduce more and more tests…