Wednesday, December 1, 2021

RANDORI: FREE PRACTICE, COMPETITION, AND COMBAT

Are you learning randori in the dojo?

Wondering how it can be used outside the dojo?

Randori means "chaos taking" in Japanese, and may refer to any martial instance that involves two or more parties vying for a specific goal. A common practice in Kodokan judo, the purpose of randori is to perpetuate chaos upon the opposition in order to perplex, deceive, overcome, or overwhelm, so that victory may be taken decisively. Randori itself may be trisected into three distinct genres relevant to a respective setting: free practice in the dojo, competition in martial sport, and combat in battle.

Martial artists tumbling | custom martial arts certificates

Free Practice in the Dojo

Though every person in the dojo should participate in free practice with the intention of winning, they must do so under the pretext of study. Dojo randori is a time to explore safely in the company of trustworthy peers. Because taking a fall or a hit in the dojo is no ruinous defeat, one should make good use of the opportunity to test and chart unfamiliar territory. Clinging to a habitual technique merely narrows the perspective and encourages tunnel vision in the training process: Instead, one should experiment with alternative tactics, play outside the comfort zone, and remain unperturbed if a ploy is unsuccessful.

Competition in Sport

In the Japanese martial arts, sport competition is known as shiai. In shai, conditioning, coaching, and fluency of the game are the fastest routes to victory. Unlike in the dojo, the competitor's ring is not the place to explore. Instead, methods that are tried and true are the surest way to go. Though they certainly have backups, many champions triumph through one or two skillful techniques that can be executed swiftly and seemingly from nowhere, because in the heat of competition, experimentation becomes a risk — it could result in loss or even injury — so rules are imposed and upheld by a referee or some other authority to protect the competitors.

Combat in Battle

Combat, to be sure, is an entirely different animal, where the safety of the opposite party is sometimes entirely ignored, and it is truly a skirmish of severe consequences. Never forget that free practice and competition are not combat — they are combat simulations for study or sport, and this distinction cannot be dismissed. In battle there is no referee to enforce the rules, and there is no agreement to sustain mutual welfare. This point is obvious, but sometimes easy to forget, after an accumulation of trophies or consistent victories in the dojo.

Read more about randori!

Receive Custom Martial Arts Certificates

Do you want to earn reputable certificates of rank?

There are plenty of organizations who can give you mass-produced rank certificates, but do those really mean anything? You’re serious about martial arts, and your dedication deserves more than a cheap piece of paper. The Shudokan Martial Arts Association can help you receive legitimate rank certificates that mean something not only to you, but the entire martial arts community. We offer custom martial arts certificates for judo, karate, jujutsu, iaido, and aikido. All you have to do is join SMAA as a full member, give us a detailed history of your training, any certificates you’ve earned, a video of you performing, and a small certification fee of $30.

SMAA can give you something to be proud of! What are you waiting for? Rank today!

Monday, November 15, 2021

Teaching as a Martial Arts Student

Have you ever been asked by your sensei to help another student?

Want to learn how to constructively help them?

It can be intimidating to help others when you’re still a student yourself. You may wonder if you’re helping or hindering your partner. To make sure you’re constructively helping, be positive with them and make sure you fully understand the technique you’re helping with.

Two students performing a joint lock | World martial arts association

Every student of the martial arts has many good qualities, and it's critical to let them know you see that. Simply showing up to the dojo regularly means giving up other activities, and the commitment shown by even the least-talented person in the dojo is commendable. Look for what your juniors are doing right, and be sure to let them know what those things are.

Martial arts are complex. Before offering advice to another student, be sure you understand the technique thoroughly. If you’re training with someone and you feel that they are doing a technique wrong, it is almost always better to ask the sensei for advice than it is to try to correct a fault you think you see. Imagine how you would feel if you "corrected" your training partner only to have the sensei explain the technique differently a moment later. And, as you can imagine, whatever amount of shame you might feel would probably be equaled by the resentment of the student you just tried to help!

A World Martial Arts Association for Every Student

Regardless of age, how long you’ve been training, or where you’re from, there’s always something you can learn from others! The Shudokan Martial Arts Association is a world martial arts association with members in multiple countries. When you join SMAA, you’ll belong to a community of likeminded martial artists and budo fans who have plenty of wisdom to share with you. You can learn more about budo, keep up to date on budo news, and test for authentic rank. If you are a student at heart, continue your education with SMAA!

Contact SMAA today to join! 

Monday, November 1, 2021

How to Appropriately Help Your Dojo Mates

Are you confident in your martial arts skills?

But feel unqualified to help others?

A senior martial artist using a student to show a technique. | World Martial arts association
You don’t have to be a certified teacher to assist people in martial arts. Even as a student, you may occasionally be called upon to help another student. Even in the course of normal training, you may find yourself assisting your training partner by commenting on his or her technique.  When working with other martial artists, it’s important to tread lightly with comments and critiques.

Your dojo mates probably view you as an equal, even if you've been training longer. Remember that most students bond with the leader of the school, and adjust their thinking to accept advice mainly from that person. As a result, they may not feel warmly toward you if you find fault with their techniques. If you must be critical, seek the gentlest way to do so, and share only the most important advice. One thoughtful comment, followed by practice of the corrected technique, is likely to result in improvement. Several comments, one after another, usually just confuse the listener, and rarely make a positive difference. Whatever you do, don't chime in when the sensei or sempai (“senior student”) is assisting another student!

A World Martial Arts Association for Every Student

Regardless of age, how long you’ve been training, or where you’re from, there’s always something you can learn from others! The Shudokan Martial Arts Association is a world martial arts association with members in multiple countries. When you join SMAA, you’ll belong to a community of likeminded martial artists and budo fans who have plenty of wisdom to share with you. You can learn more about budo, keep up to date on budo news, and test for authentic rank. If you are a student at heart, continue your education with SMAA!

Contact SMAA today to join! 


Friday, October 15, 2021

A Different Perspective on the Uke

In your training, do you see your sensei use one person for demonstrations?

Want a different perspective on the uke?

You’re training in class when your sensei wants to demonstrate a leg sweep defense against jodan mawashi geri (“high roundhouse kick”), and he chooses you to be his uke (the receiver of the technique). You have to attack with jodan mawashi geri, and you know when you make this kick, he’s going to sweep your supporting leg out from under you, and you’re going to hit the floor hard. Even worse, you’re not on mats, so you know the landing is going to hurt even if you land properly. But you kick anyway. 

A sensei explaining a technique | Japanese Karate Association

Most of the other students in the dojo are glad it’s you who was chosen as uke and not them. They see you taking the fall, and they think about the pain. They can’t see what is going on inside. 

They don’t understand that when you are uke, your sensei will take you to the edge. You have to be totally present when you’re uke. If you’re too slow, or have bad aim, or do something else wrong, it’s your fault, and your sensei won’t allow you to get away with it. You can’t be sloppy, and you can’t be afraid. You cannot train properly, or be a good uke, if you’re scared. 

If you’re a bad uke, your teacher is going to leave you alone and get someone else to help him or her in front of the class. That isn’t something a good student wants to have happen. In a traditional dojo you’re only rough on the people you like. The rest of the students you treat with kid gloves. 

Learn the benefits to being an uke!

Receive Rank from an Authentic Japanese Karate Association

Are you serious about karate?

Instead of ranking with organizations that don’t have ties to Japan, you can receive rank certificates that actually mean something from The Shudokan Martial Arts Association. Join the SMAA as a full member for only $30 a year for the ability to receive rank and teaching titles. All you have to do is send a video of you performing with your membership application. You can have pride knowing your skills are recognized among other exceptional martial artists. 

Submerse yourself in an international community of karate-do enthusiasts when you join SMAA’s karate-do division. You’ll stay in the loop with our martial arts and community news and enjoy hours of martial arts reading and content.

If you’ve been searching for a Japanese karate association, look no further than SMAA! Contact us today to join. 

Friday, October 1, 2021

The Benefits of Being the Uke

Want to be a fearless martial artist?

Want to learn resiliency?

Karate martial artists sitting in a line | Japanese karate association
The uke in martial arts is the one who receives the hit from a technique from the sensei during a demonstration. Being the uke can seem miserable, but it is actually a great way to become a better martial artist.

If you practice karate-do for any time at all you are going to get hit. It goes with the territory. You have to learn to deal with a certain amount of pain in karate-do, because there really isn’t any way to avoid it. And there’s another reason for learning how to take a hit. 

If you ever have to fight an opponent who will not give in, who just keeps coming at you; then you’re going to have to take some hard licks. You’ll need a resilient spirit to fight back when it gets tough.

If you can face up to your sensei when he looks you straight in the eye, and you know pain is forthcoming, then you aren’t going to be scared of other people. They can’t possibly do anything to you like your sensei has already done. So, while others are thinking they’re glad it isn’t them, a good uke is thinking something different. He or she is glad to have such a great opportunity.

Learn more about the uke on our website!

Receive Rank from an Authentic Japanese Karate Association

Are you serious about karate?

Instead of ranking with organizations that don’t have ties to Japan, you can receive rank certificates that actually mean something from The Shudokan Martial Arts Association. Join the SMAA as a full member for only $30 a year for the ability to receive rank and teaching titles. All you have to do is send a video of yourself performing with your membership application. You can have pride knowing your skills are recognized among other exceptional martial artists. 

Submerse yourself in an international community of karate-do enthusiasts when you join SMAA’s karate-do division. You’ll stay in the loop with our martial arts and community news and enjoy hours of martial arts reading and content.

If you’ve been searching for a Japanese karate association, look no further than SMAA! Contact us today to join. 

Monday, September 13, 2021

The Relationship Between Kata Geiko and Seishin Tanren

What is seishin tanren?

How is kata geiko related to seishin tanren?

Seishin tanren means “to forge the spirit,” meaning that martial artists must have a focused mind and be calm under pressure. This comes from samurai training.

Students doing karate kata | Martial arts organization

Traditional Japanese martial arts, as opposed to some martial sports, are concerned with living and dying, in that the samurai had to face the reality of death more than most people. In this respect, martial arts that evolved from samurai practices are similar to religion, which also deals with death.

Kata means “form,” as in the formal practice of prearranged techniques. It is universally used in traditional Japanese martial arts as a key method of training the mind and body.

To carry out kata geiko techniques in real combat, seishin tanren is needed. Without this capacity for calmness under pressure, no martial arts technique will work. The martial artist will freeze.

Read more about kata geiko and seishin tanren!

Join an authentic Japanese martial arts organization

The Shudokan Martial Arts Association promotes training based around the two central pillars of classical Japanese martial arts: kata geiko and seishin tanren. The use of handed-down kata helps our members, regardless of division, to forge their spirits to face the stress of combat and the uncertainties of life. In this way, folks in the SMAA learn to protect themselves, and live well, while they develop the spiritual strength needed to make a positive contribution to their communities and the world as a whole.

Contact us today to join a martial arts organization with high-ranking members around the world!


Wednesday, September 1, 2021

What is Kata Geiko?

What is kata geiko?

How is it used in martial arts training?

Kata means “form,” as in the formal practice of prearranged techniques. It is universally used in traditional Japanese martial arts as a key method of training the mind and body. Many martial arts enthusiasts have heard the term kata used in karate-do, where kata are often a series of predetermined solo techniques directed toward imagined opponents.

In some martial arts systems, students start by practicing handed down sequences of paired techniques, which are designed to internalize a principle (or principles). Once these principles are absorbed, advanced practitioners create personal variations, such as applying a throw or immobilization against a different attack than is found in the classical kata.

Karate students | Martial arts organization

Kata-based practice is a time-honored, intelligent, and progressive way of building up skill in a martial art. The kata are taught in a specific sequence, allowing students to gradually and scientifically develop their abilities in a way that’s easily understood.

Learn more about kata geiko’s purpose!

Join an authentic Japanese martial arts organization

Interested in Japanese martial arts?

The Shudokan Martial Arts Association is open to all budo enthusiasts, martial artists or not!

Contact us today to join a martial arts organization with high-ranking members around the world!

RANDORI: FREE PRACTICE, COMPETITION, AND COMBAT

Are you learning randori in the dojo? Wondering how it can be used outside the dojo? Randori means "chaos taking" in Japanese, an...