Founded in 1997, the Kosho Kai Karate Dojo offers traditional karate classes for adults and children ages five and up. In addition to our traditional program, we offer Mini-Tigers classes for children ages three to five (not yet in kindergarten), women's self-defense, Kobudo (Okinawan weapons), and Koshiki (combatives).
Okinawan Seito Matsumura Shorin-ryu is an old village style of karate taught as a highly aesthetic art form steeped in cultural tradition and extremely effective for personal protection. Shuri-ryu is a stylized sport form of karate that is very athletic and competition oriented. The Kosho Kai Dojo curriculum includes both of these styles of karate in their unaltered forms. This dual approach to presenting karate results in a well rounded program which offers the best in fitness, self-defense, sport, authentic tradition, and fun.
Karate, the Japanese word applied in the early twentieth century to the Okinawan art of self-protection, has developed along three separate lines in accordance with the wants and needs of its practitioners.Those three branches of development are classical art, combat sport, and civil self-protection.Frank and Patricia Fink have collectively dedicated over sixty years to the study of this fascinating art.Their personal journeys have taken them through many phases, affording them the opportunity to thoroughly investigate the aesthetic, combative, competitive, and self-development aspects of karate.Together, they have developed a diverse and flexible curriculum that offers adult and youth students the ability to tailor their karate experience based on their individual goals.
By Sensei | October 24, 2017 at 04:02 PM EDT | No Comments
I have recently introduced a new class which I call "Karate Forward". When talking with adult students of karate, my own and others, I often hear that there is an interest in learning practical self defense methods and combative skills. The art of karate that we study today is a Japanese method of self-enhancement and a popular worldwide sport. It was derived from an old Okinawan self-protection art called tode-jitsu (China hand art). With the subjugation of Okinawa as a Japanese prefecture in 1879, many former members of the disbanded Ryukyu Kingdom taught a scaled down version of tode in the newly formed Japanese public school system there on their island as a form of physical education. Anko Itosu was principle among these pioneers. In the years leading up to WWII, many Okinawan adherents of tode were conscripted into the Japanese military and were deemed to be physically remarkable by examining physicians. Kentsu Yabu was one of these incredible young men. In 1936, a famous meeting of tode masters resulted in a decision to make changes to their art in order to get it accepted into the Japanese Budo system. These changes included a name change (tode-jitsu to karate-do), the adoption of Japanese terminology, the use of group-drill instruction methods, and the inclusion of the Japanese kyu/dan ranking system and training uniform.But more importantly, the focus of the training was changed from self-defense and combat skills to fitness, competition, and character development.When the focus shifted, so did the content, or at least the order in which the content was presented.So, the format for modern karate training is lots of kata, kihon, and kumite without much, if any, practical application.The original purpose of kata was to record lessons of self-defense and to act as a secondary form of solo practice when no training partner was available.For years I labored to come up with a curriculum to teach combative strategy, tactics, and techniques until recently when I was stricken by the obvious.The curriculum, whether by design or by coincidence, already exists in the order of kata as established by Master Trias in the Shuri-ryu style.So, that is exactly what I teach.The Taikyoku (body side forms, first basic steps) section covers tai sabake (body movement) and uke waza (receiving technique) and tsuki waza (punching technique).With it comes an introduction to kyusho waza (vital point striking technique) and kansetsu waza (joint locking technique). Taikyoku is the foundation for dealing with both striking and grabbing forms of aggression.Its mastery gives the practitioner the rudiments of self-defense.If one goes no further in his training, he is prepared to deal with most unarmed violent encounters.This is the way it should be; you shouldn’t have to become a black belt in the art before learning how to protect yourself.Wansu then provides a template for resolving all conflicts beginning with one and two-handed grab attacks and grab attempts.Anaku teaches a strategy for responding to grabs with even more severe responses.Naihanchi gives us a strategy for taking a violent attacker into a clinch and dispatching him with close-quarter strikes, neck cranks, and locks.It is truly a recipe for the “three second fight”.The Pinan kata of Seito Matsumura-ryu form an outline for dealing with aggression in five different contexts and form a summary of what their composer, Anko Itosu, considered to be the best tactics of the Shuri-te branch.Of course, black belt students learn application from all the Naha, Shuri, and Tomari based kata in our syllabus.The structure of the program is in three phases.The first phase is bunkai (analysis).Here they learn the purpose and scope of each tactic and techniques for applying that tactic.Once the student learns how to “read” kata, he will be able to discern the combative meaning and application in any kata.The second phase is oyo (application) in which one learns how to apply the tactic in a strategic context against progressively less compliant partners.The final phase is kata randori/kumite (form sparring) in which practitioners respond to random attacks at an ever-increasing intensity level.This final phase of training leads to honed reflexes and the ability to respond to attacks without hesitation and to adapt to any situation while under pressure.Along the way, students will master enabling skills such as muchimite (sticky hands) and kakie (sensitivity training) along with shime waza (strangling techniques), nage waza (throwing techniques), and ne waza (ground techniques).All traditional karate practitioners are welcome to participate in Karate Forward.The only requirement is that they actively train in a traditional karate dojo.