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  • Writer's pictureranganravindran

Starting a club

Allow myself to introduce mys...ok let me start again. My name is Rangan and I am trying to start a karate club...and why would I want to do that you may ask? Well because I really like training karate, I'm decent at it and the most enjoyment I get is when training with competent people who understand the principles of fudochi karate. Unfortunately for me all those people train in Leicester, where I used to live, and now that I have moved to Surrey I figure the best way to get some competent training partners is to teach them the style that I have learnt for over 22 years.

So why not just train at another shotokan club? I do and I really like it but the style of karate that I have learnt is very different from all shotokan, not in form or technique, but in the emphasis and focus on the mind. This specific approach is really at the heart of the martial arts but is not really practiced anywhere that I know of other than by my sensei Rick Jackson (University of Leicester Karate club). So for me to be able to continue developing and training fudochi shotokan karate, where the emphasis is on kumite drills (sparring) I need to train up some willing people and hence open a club.

Whats so different about this Fudochi thingy? There are some technical differences compared to orthodox shotokan but nothing mind blowingly different. We do a lot more variety of stances than the typical club, lots of fudo dachi, cat stance, oichi dachi, sanchin dachi etc.. also more use of uchi waza (striking) than a normal shotokan syllabus and lots of taesabaki (body shifting) movements. But none of this is exclusive to fudochi shotokan and I am sure there will be plenty of shotokan clubs who apply these techniques regularly. The key difference is on the demand and emphasis on mindfullness, committing to full concentration and presence in the moment. The way this is done is through the use of ever changing drills and kumite practices that demand complete perfection of technique in the midst of full speed attacks. These drills forces the mind to become present, nothing focuses the mind like getting kicked in the guts! Below is an example of the type of drills we learn, bear in mind these guys will have learnt this in one session and probably won't do it again! But through continous regular training with the correct state of mind they have been able to hone their abilities to train in this way. And thats what I want to do with others train up to that level so we can train like this

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