LESSONS & LEARNINGS
USING YOUR MARTIAL ART TRAINING
.. As a student in the martial arts,
.. you must be aware of how you will attack,
.. if the need calls for such action.
.. A soldier in war sees a far different threat
.. than an executive preparing to cross a street at night.
.. A police officer may face conditions as lethal as the soldier,
.. but the ways in which he is allowed to respond are much more limited.
.. You students at Red Sun
.. are trained to control you emotions
.. and NOT use what youve learned
.. unless you are seriously physically threatened.
.. This does NOT mean attacking a bully
.. or getting even with a "jerk" at work.
.. This means using your training
.. against an attacker who will put you in a hospital, or worse.
.. If you believe you are in that situation,
.. you must have the fortitude
.. to carry out the violent acts on your adversary
.. and do them 100%.
.. You must be able to stomach
.. the groin-kicking and eye-gouging responses
.. called for in such an extreme and unfortunate situation.
WHAT STYLE IS THE BEST?
...(personal story from Sensei)
...When I was still in school,
...I was introduced to karate
...and was told that karate was the superior style of the martial arts.
...I wasnt more than a kid, so I simply accepted that.
...Later, I moved into Tae Kwon Do,
...and was told that Tae Kwon Do was superior to karate,
...that any TKD practitioner would "whip" a karate student in a tournament.
...I was confused.
...Later, I moved into Jujitsu,
...and the instructor there told me that Jujitsu
...was the ultimate style in the martial arts.
...I was starting to see a pattern.
...I later studied Aikido and Judo,
...and each claimed to be superior,
...looking down their noses at the "hard" styles.
...Years later, my Tai Chi instructor told me that
...Tai Chi is much more advanced than the other styles.
...I have come to realize that ALL styles are to be respected,
...and ALL styles have strengths and weaknesses.
...I dont think you can say one is superior.
...We must respect all styles.
...Taking other sports while you are a member of Red Sun is fine,
...as long as you can still train an average of two times a week.
...If soccer or music lessons or whatever prevents this,
...karate may not be for you.
...To seriously train in the martial arts
...involves dedication, not something to put on a back burner
...when you get the chance or if something else fun comes along.
...I (Sensei) will give my time and my heart to serious students,
...but not to those who consider karate a hobby.
.. A builders heart was not in his work.
.. In fact, he did lousy work.
.. Before his boss let him go,
.. he wanted to give him one more chance,
.. and asked him to build his last house.
.. The builder said yes,
.. but he resorted to shoddy workmanship
.. and used inferior materials.
.. When finished,
.. the boss gave him the house as a going-away present.
.. Now, the builder had to live in the house
.. that he didnt build too well.
.. So it is with us.
.. We build our lives,
.. and we live in what we build.
.. Our actions, our choices,
.. and our attitude dictate our true home.
KARATE vs. TAE KWON DO
.. What two styles of martial arts are we studying?
.. You need to know this.
.. Karate comes from Japan.
.. Karate kicks tend to snap from the knee.
.. The pivot isnt as great as in TKD kicks.
.. This is because speed is emphasized.
.. Karate tends to value basics and low stances.
.. It also tends to employ more hand strikes than Tae Kwon Do.
.. Tae Kwon Do comes from Korea.
.. TKD kicks thrust from the hip.
.. The ground foot is greatly pivoted because power is emphasized.
.. TKD has several spinning and jumping kicks,
.. where karate is less flashy.
.. In most Tae Kwon Do tournaments,
.. hand strikes to the face are not allowed
.. (something which we have not adopted).
.. Both styles have strengths and weaknesses.
.. Here at Red Sun,
.. we utilize the speed of karate and the power of TKD.
.. What are the differences between Tae Kwon Do & Karate?
.. .. -- Tae Kwon Do comes from Korea, where Karate comes from Japan
.. .. -- TKD stresses kicks, where Karate stresses hand techniques (though not always)
.. .. -- TKD employs more of a thrust, where Karate employs more of a snapping motion
.. .. -- TKD seems more flashy and uses more combinations, Karate more basics
.. .. -- In the US, TKD schools tend to be large and high-energy
.. .. -- TKD follows changes and trends, where Karate schools tend to be more traditional
.. Note that these differences are generalizations.
.. There are many Tae Kwon Do schools that are most traditional,
.. stress hand techniques, basics, and are small in size.
.. There are many large karate schools that stress kicks,
.. teach the thrusting principle, emphasizes combinations,
.. and are high-energy and change with the times.
"Mind-no-mind" is an important concept in the martial arts,
and that is what we try to achieve through meditation.
Without mental chatter,
we can react without thought, a
cting from another level in the mind.
We seek to fight in this mindset,
as thinking interferes with fighting.
To often, students learn to achieve "mind-no-mind"
while in stationary meditation,
but fail to reach it while training in their art.
Kata is one way.
You need to execute the form without mental chatter or emotion.
HORIZONTAL vs. VERTICAL PUNCH
There has been debate as to which is better
the horizontal or the vertical punch.
Some wish to replace the traditional horizontal punch
by the Chinese vertical punch,
and even that is being replaced
by the even more non-traditionalists diagonal punch.
But which is the best?
Again, with everything, theres pluses and minuses.
Hold you hands out (palm face the floor) (then palm face each other)
and see which seems more comfortable to you.
Try hitting the bag both ways. Decide for yourself.
You may find both ways have their application
in different situations.
Dont fall into the trap "this is better." or "new is always better."
Remember the key word - Different, not better or worse.
.. Sometimes I push you hard.
.. Maybe you dont always like it.
.. But folks, thats my job, to see that you reach your best.
.. When I say "More power" or
. "your attendance is week; come to class more" or
. "you need to work on control",
.. its to better yourself.
.. You can do one of 4 things:
.. .. 1. Be defensive: ("I am hitting hard!")
.. .. 2. Justify: ("Ive got other things to do")
.. .. 3. or think that you know best:
.. ..... ("Thats the nature of the martial arts, to hit hard!")
Ive heard it all.
.. .. 4. Or you can accept responsibility
.. .. .. .without pointing the finger at others,
.. .. .. .learn, and try to do better.
Hopefully, you choose option #4.
.. I know that I push you hard at times.
.. Its not always fun to give more sweat on the mat,
.. but thats what the martial arts demands.
.. Sometimes its hard to even find two hours a week,
.. but serious martial artists do
.. (hey folks, were ALL busy!
.. No ones time is more important than anyone elses).
.. And its NOT the nature of martial arts to hurt each other
.. while training; I am very adamant on keeping the dojo safe.
.. So when I push you to be your best,
.. please understand its not because
.. "Sensei has it in for you";
.. its for you to become your best.
If you give an okay effort,
how good can you expect to be? (answer: only okay)
If you give a pretty good effort,
how good can you expect to be?
If you want to be excellent,
how much effort must you give?
WHY IS ATTENDANCE SO IMPORTANT?
...QUESTION: Why is attendance so important?
......A. Because Sensei is a Control Freak
......B. Because Sensei wants more paperwork
......C. Because Sensei misses you too much when youre away!
......D. Because attendance reflects attitude, which Red Sun seeks to teach