Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Breath Power is not Rocket Science

Breathing is an important part of every function we undertake. It is the fuel of life. The breath alone does nothing other than to fuel our activates. However when you breath out you may 'feel' harder or heavier. When you breath in you may feel softer or lighter ?

Inhalation and exhalation are important aspects of certain tasks, the task itself dictates the serverity of the breathing procedure, the mind can attribute an emotional response to the process of breathing required. The breath patton is not the objective it is the consequence. As a consequence of effort, breath can make varying types of sounds, the sounds themselves contribute only as a relative factor of an effort taking place. In short the reproduction of a sound alone does not make a prescribed technique more powerful.

A specific sound may indicate that an effort has been made but is not a guarantee that and effect has been made. Breath doesn't cause dynamics or compression power, quite the reverse, it's the dynamics and contractual or compression power that influences the breath. Regardless of style of karate it's a false concept that breath power leads to an enhanced technique, it actualy leads to a constipated effect. Too much going in and not enough coming out. A big paper bag waiting to go pop! Controlled breath for different applications i.e. running, throwing, lifting can be refined for greater efficiency but defiantly not over emphasized.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I don't get any better with age

I need to go back in time to 02/11/1953, 53 years later my psychiatrist says I'm far too old for Karate-jutsu, what does he know?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Monday, August 28, 2006

My thoughts on Karate

On-line Interview: conducted by UK-KARATE- DIRECTORY.CO.UK Alan Platt - 6th Dan Karate-jutsu

UKKD: Please introduce yourself:

A.P: I started training in Shotokan in 1971. I have an active curiosity of the Martial Arts phenomenon. My experience has been varied during the last 10 years. My current interpretation of things may not necessarily reflect my traditional roots. I would like to see more style integration. I do not believe that any one style is better or worse than another. I think the way some are taught as arts of self-defense is inadequate.

UKKD: Alan I have been looking through your website and found sections of it quite interesting. You talk about teaching the mechanics of combat, tactics, dynamics, what is effective, and realistic, the practical principles for self-defense, can you elaborate on this and explain how you approach all these complex subjects within your system...

A.P: There are a lot of descriptive words in your question; this makes it hard to amalgamate them all into a simple answer. My website has more detail. The key points I think are, effective & realistic principles? The way muscles work by successive induction offensively and defensively within a style... To be described as effective, a fighting art, system or style it would have to include the same realistic principles. I approach realistic training by looking at how athletes train. Running, jumping, throwing, catching, kicking etc, this is where body dynamics and mechanics should be studied specifically for a given task; block, punch, kick etc. Mindset, endurance, conditioning and self discipline are all parts of the whole when I look at karate training. Training to perform a punch, kick or stance in a grading to satisfy a stylistic requirement is hardly applicable in reality or my class. Unless all the dynamic principles are addressed in a realistic way, a karate type robotic routine will emerge. Karate can't redefine the inherent way we produce an efficient, effective action. I'm looking at this area for improved efficiency, effort and effect in my training. Our students learn to understanding how to judge what works and why. This allows them to utilize, adapt and apply any technique suited to them, from the vast repertoire available from a diverse martial arts world and from their own creativity. Practical combat tactics have to deal with an infinitive number of probable and possible situations. Let's not forget ourselves with an illusion of adequacy. In any physical pursuit, dynamics and biomechanics have to work together reflexly and harmoniously. We all must work off of the ground to produce an effect. Running (speed, distance), jumping (height, distance), throwing (various objects rotationally or linearly a distance) these are all realistic principles. The harder or faster we use the ground to come off reflects in the action's speed and power. Try the paper test; throw a ball of paper against a wall, down the hall, in the air or to the ground. Each time, throw it hard and harder or throw it fast and faster. Observe the way the whole body gets involved in the action. The more involvement of muscle, tendon and ligament, within the movement, the faster "or" more powerful the effect will be. Increasing the range and intensity of the muscles in both expansion and contraction flex, will give good results. Catching and controlling are reverse aspects, how we absorb or deflect an action is something we address too. Throwing a discus, javelin, hammer, or ball are realistic principles used in combat. They all require different dynamics in order to maximize the effect of the action. A punch loosely speaking is a push or a throw, straight or roundhouse. Having a biomechanical impression of the action, or response to one, and its required effect is important. Visualization is an important part of training. We don't need to simulate, emulate or imitate an action for affect.

UKKD: You mention that you spent some time working the door at clubs and pubs. Was this prior to starting the martial arts or was this the proving ground of techniques learnt and how old were you at this time. Did you have any close calls that you can talk about?

A.P: I can remember, it was around 1982 before I took my 2nd Dan. No way was it a proving ground for karate technique. More of a situation or environmental familiarization experience. I did experience violence. I needed to protect myself in several situations; I was not trying to prove anything. I hope I'm not that conceited. It is rough out there; perhaps I was in search of courage? I had a fractured scull and a few broken ribs once. I managed to disarm a guy with a machete on another occasion. I saw some horrible things.

UKKD: Alan you hold rank of 6th Dan in karate Jutsu, how does that grade hold up against that grade of say twenty years ago when 6th Dans let alone 8th dans were a rarity unlike today where every karate group has its own 6th 7th 8th Dans.

A.P: There is no comparison to 35 years ago when I started. I'm sure I would hold up well at 6th Dan if I could travel back in time. A Doctor from today could probably say the same. We now understand more than those that didn't. 35 years ago there were very few above 2nd Dan in the KUGB. 3rd Dan was the ultimate grade in the license and record books. The whole scene was geared for regimentation within training, and the sporting environment was required to expand the concept of Karate-do. Dan's were younger and fitter then. Getting a point was not a problem for the fast and furious. Older and wiser now? The Dan concept is a debatable one. 20 years ago the whole karate scene went bang, with all the splits in associations and clubs. With commercial masters flowing in to anywhere looking for a leader. Shall we all agree not to argue the authenticity or linage of some, or their relevance? People think the higher the Dan the better. We know that is not to be the reality. People on the outside are obsessed with grade; people on the inside appreciate this. Grading is a very lucrative business.

UKKD: Alan you say that Karate Jutsu is a description of your personalised training study, what is it about style that doesn't agree with you even though your roots are with the JKA /KUGB.

A.P: Apart from developing my own sometimes conflicting ideals and predictions, I owe an awful lot them. To paraphrase, if you reflect a style how can you reflect yourself? Evidence proves over and over again the restrictive environment style has, hinders expression and individual interpretation. I owe myself a chance to express and extend my practice without fear or favor from organizations. I have bolted onto my original style some pretty effective complementary techniques. In the crucible of things, once you burn off irrelevancies, Karate-jutsu is a style, within it are sub-styles. Kyusho or pressure points are vital to study and have a working knowledge of. It's not part of any JKA / KUGB grading I'm aware of. Yet it can be extremely advantageous to stop a fight quickly. I can't agree that the Shotokan way is any better than any other prescribed format for sport karate. I wanted more than it had to offer. I can look at other styles in the same way.

UKKD: Alan I understand you began your Karate career in the early 1970's, how has the Martial arts changed in your view since that era.

A.P: Wow! When I started there was a kind of magic to it all. I believed in the Oriental mystique surrounding the karate phenomenon. Today I do not. For me it has evolved into something more widely accessible and more practical. I do however reserve the right to respect my past and those who are part of it. I do have a sense of pride to have trained with some awesome Oriental Masters. Time has moved things on, so have I. There are still masses marching up and down strictly come martial arts do, spellbound by an oriental concept. Where would we be without them? Also very important to note, Karate-do was practiced then, not Karate-jutsu as I practice now.

UKKD: In your view does training in a so called "traditional system" like the Shotokan style give you the grounding that is necessary before you branch out into something like UFC training or JKD for example.

A.P: Absolutely not. I would argue that 1922 was the start of the Shotokan tradition, but nothing to do with the fighting tradition it ventured from. The UFC guys are Pro & semi pro fighters in a semi real arena; their techniques have to be incredibly diverse, stand up strike, grapple, takedown throw, lock or ground and pound to name a few. They are supremely conditioned for fighting mentally and physically; they practice in a supremely controlled fight environment for huge sums of money. Can you imagine the parents of Shotokan kids and other styles watch their kids train for such a violent pastime?

UKKD: What are your views on Mixed Martial Arts? And will this type of training suit everybody? And will its following increase in the years to come?

A.P: No I don't think it will suit everybody. I think its following will increase. Better to be a Jack of many trades than a master of none in my opinion. I understand a little about many things within karate-jutsu, a mixed martial art itself if you like. Cross training has a place in the future; I think people need to know more about what is out there. Stand up and ground work combat. More importantly it's close association with sporting styles. People like me want to put back the essential parts of traditional working systems.

UKKD: Alan were you ever involved in the competition circuit and what are your views of it's effectiveness in a real situation?

A.P: Yes I was, some regional, national, open and invitation competitions. Kata kumite, team and individuals. I think any practical technique could be effective in a real situation. The competition arena is nothing like a real situation. You can quite easily kill in a real situation. You would be disqualified in competition.

UKKD: Do you feel anyone could be an effective fighter after spending years following a Traditional Martial art or do we all need to be multi martial artists to stand a chance in a real confrontation?

A.P: I think a natural fighter can make a style appear effective. More so than visa versa. A fighter will improvise as any circumstance dictates. Traditional styles as you call them, fail in my mind to address the need for spontaneous improvisation via the spectrum of necessity, it being the mother of invention. Having a working knowledge of mixed martial arts, a data base of effective technique, this would be an advantage in the right hands.

UKKD: Who in the Martial Arts world has had the most influence on you and the way you evaluate techniques and who has inspired you the most.

A.P: Influence from 35 years training, there is so much of it, from so many wonderful characters. Dramatic changes occurred when I trained with Dave Hazard a Shotokan Master, he had a Wow factor. Steve Morris & Bruce Miller also had a profound affect on me. I have been inspired by their difference in approach, attitude, ability, engagement tactics and dynamics. I won't say too much about Steve Morris now. Bruce Miller is a physician in a military psychiatric unit hospital. He has a good working knowledge of confrontational situations. He has studied TCM in depth and without doubt is the best western medicine practical pressure point instructor I have trained with.

UKKD: Your views on the existence of Ch'i, Ki etc are less than complimentary why do you take this view and what is it that doesn't ring true?

A.P: Just about everything. Chi, Ki, Qi, is probably a kinesthetic hallucination sometimes associated with physiologic events which may, at times, be significant. Projection of Qi is purely a rapport phenomenon. I personally think trying to harness its effect in martial arts is a total waist of my time. Meridians & channels are figments of the imagination in my opinion. Show them to me on an X-ray or Scan.

UKKD: Alan you write on your website about "developing a familiar system by which anybody can associate to by virtue of natural martial arts movements". Can you elaborate on this? A.P: If you refer to my answer to the 1st question, you should by association of natural inherent movements, find motor functions and actions of the human body easily connect to a familiar pattern or system. In Karate some are taught to move like a ridged mass. Fluidity is the key, with every movement associated with the previous and the next. Walking is a familiar action, try walking, kicking, punching, throwing, catching and jumping. Call it the Kata of life. Karate can't redefine the inherent way we produce an efficient, effective action. If we associate karate with natural movement we can't go wrong.

UKKD: Alan how long have you been instructing now and do you still enjoy it as much now as when you started teaching, and has what you teach changed over the years?

A.P: Around 30 years total, 26 years in clubs of my own. Sometimes I enjoy it more than others. I don't enjoy it as much as memory serves. I tend to task myself more, the older I get the harder it gets to keep fit. Fitness plays an important part of my training and teaching now. For every hour I train martial arts, I train at least 2 hours in a gym. I can replicate most martial arts actions, in the gym with weights or machines. Tasking myself has its rewards. Teaching martial arts is very frustrating. I think I'm a better student than a teacher. I like the word coach too.

UKKD: Is organizational karate a good or bad thing and how much of the original teachings of the early practitioners are not included in modern Karate systems.

A.P: Organizational karate is absolutely necessary for both good and bad reasons. Where would we be without it? Modern Karate is far more in tune with the history it is involved with today. The internet, research engines and such like provide a plethora of useful information. The early masters taught very small groups of people and they had full time jobs other than karate instructors. Modern karate is more diverse, more complete if unrestricted by its organization or instructor prejudice.

UKKD: As one of the few people that have spent time training under Steve Morris what are your views on his training methods? Judging by what he talks about on his website his views could be taken as a little extreme for most of us, but does what he says make a lot of sense?

A.P: There have been many who have trained with him. I probably don't know any more or any less about him than anybody else who has trained at his dojo. When I trained there 10 years ago we wore a Gi and trained in his realistic Goju method. I have retained the view that self defense is extreme, karate training is extreme and fighting is very extreme. Depending how extreme you are, will affect the outcome of any confrontation. Before it makes sense, it makes no sense at all, extreme enlightenment? In my opinion his command of real life situations, his experience, the training methods he uses to impart skills and his understanding of conditioning required to survive a fight are extremely tried and tested, effective.

UKKD: What in life is the most important thing to you and what are your goals or ambitions for the future?

A.P: I reserve the right not to answer this question, on the grounds I might miss something really important out. Health and fitness should help me toward most of my goals.

Profile

This page is a brief profile of my year’s karate training. I hope it varies enough and reflects the effect on my opinions as you read. Reflects what is appropriate, effective, realistic, the practical principles for any self-defence system. I study and teach the mechanics of combat martial art technique, tactic, dynamics, reflex & pressure points. Incorporating strikes, kicks, locks, strangles, chokes and throws. I have had two years experience working as a bouncer in clubs and pubs, not my best qualification. However I did learn a lot from my experiences. I have been seriously injured a few times and hopefully learnt many lessons from my errors. I admit I have more questions of karate than answers.

For the benefit of the grade orientated, I hold the Rank of 6th Dan Karate Jutsu. A description, as much as a specific style I give to my personalised training study. My roots stem from "Japan Karate Association" / "Karate Union of Great Britain" Shotokan / UKKW Wado Ryu, modern competitive karate and Goju Ryu training. I started Karate training in 1971. Having some Judo training in my youth club days plus a little boxing in the army cadets. I trained and graded mostly in Shotokan Karate, within the K.U.G.B. I tried a little Wushu-Quan at night school classes, looking at perspectives. In the mid 70's I also trained in UKKW Wado Ryu, gaining Shodan much later. In 1987 I was awarded the ultimate grade for my K.U.G.B. record book and karate licence, “3rd Dan JKA”. At the time a who’s who of a Japanese grading panel. In 1992, I was awarded a 20-year service diploma with a lifetime membership to the Karate Union of Great Britain. Presented by K Enoeda Sensei and Andy Sherry of the K.U.G.B. Around that time I also gained full Judge and Referee status within the K.U.G.B. I have entered and officiated at many competitions in over the years.

As compertion Karate grew up in the 90’s I became very disillusioned as to it’s effectiveness in reality. I resigned from the K.U.G.B. because I had lost faith in its direction into sports mode. I then became an Instructor, grading examiner and international referee with the "British Shotokan Karate Union". At the time, I thought a good move, alas, as with the K.U.G.B. sports & politics reared their ugly heads distorting what karate means to me, I had to go. I still retain many friends in the Shotokan scene. I still practice some aspects of Shotokan in an effort to make it effective, in particular for myself. It may not look like Shotokan to others but the concept is there.

However I was inspired for many years and still am by a Shotokan master called Dave Hazard. He is probably responsible for teaching me how much karate has to offer the individual willing to explore its technique. After training with him, it soon became clear a future in Shotokan’s well-established sporting format and static stylistic environment was a lost cause for me. I graduated from Shotokan the organisational style.

I must openly state that because of my extensive research. I have absolutely no faith in the mystical terminology of words like Ch'i, Ki, Qi. Also any other TCM based combat systems that rely on unsupported theory, or rapport phenomenon. Western Medical Science, the dynamics and tactics of authentic martial arts, provide me with support and all the answers I need in order to teach what I know.

I have instructed and run my own club since the 1980’s. I teach karate based on my own ability, experience and knowledge. My Dojo doors are open to anybody. We have no style barrier or prejudice other than bullshit. My motive is to keep one step ahead of my students. We all have a common objective, regardless of individual appearance and ability. I am totally convinced that if you restrict or limit yourself to any one system or style without consideration of all the eventualities, that combat produces, you will miss the essence of it all.

I concentrate my efforts on developing a familiar system by which anybody can associate to by virtue of natural martial arts movements. I have researched history and realise now that organisational karate has only evolved over no more than 80 years. Pre 1920’s Toudi-jutsu, Karate, Jujutsu, Kyusho Jutsu and Torite all play important roles in my training. Medical science provides documentation of effects of trauma and shock to the body. I concentrate my efforts on established, authentic self-defence, and application, not sport.

My thanks go to:
Sandy Beach, Kevin Hicky, Phil Reed, Roy Tucker, Bill Bishop, Suzuki, Yamanashi, Colin Winslade, Derrick Nixon, Tomita, Enoeda, Ohta, Kanasawa, Kawasoe, Asano, Kato, Shiri, Kase, Nakayama, Nito, Dave Hazard, Mick Dewy, Bruce Miller. Who at one time or another have shown me particular attention. Patrick McCarthy and Steve Morris, and so many others who have influenced my thoughts and training. My apologies for any I may have missed. If anybody wants to own up to it, drop me a line.

Enoeda Sensei 8th Dan J.K.A., along with a grading panel consisting of , Kase 8th Dan, Shirai 8th Dan, Kawasoe 6th Dan and Ohta 5th Dan, sensei's of the then J.K.A. under Nakayama 9th Dan. Awarded me Sandan grade on 4 / 9 / 87

J.K.A. Shodan 1st Dan 12 / 09 / 1980
Nidan 2nd Dan 11 / 06 / 1983
Sandan 3rd Dan 04 / 09 / 1987
Yondan 4th Dan 05 / 12 / 1993
Godan 5th Dan 07 / 10 / 1997
Rokudan 6th Dan 01 / 04 / 2006

AMA - UK Registration; Instructors Insurance Membership Receipt Number 64760 / SE290K.

Uk-karate

Karate Jutsu Training and Fight Club.
Club Coach & Chief Instructor Alan Platt Roku Dan (6th)

From this page on, try to understand the implications of what you read and understand, not what you read and don't understand. A wizard in a library is more deadly than a dragon on wing.
We do not teach any one particular style or a collection of prescribed techniques. No one particular style has anywhere near all the answers. We don't claim to either.We teach a state of open mind, techniques concepts, dynamics and tactics which allow you to look for your own answers. Our job is to teach our students to switch on and trust their own critical faculties. We will not teach, mimic techniques or styles for affect.Students learn to understanding how to judge what works and why. This allows them to utilise, adapt and apply any technique suited to them, from the vast repertoire available from a diverse martial arts world and from their own creativity.

We will not spout mysticism at you or try and convince you to train in techniques or methods which you do not understand or know do not work. We will give you the mental and physical tools you need to become an effective martial artist and to fully understand why.
Students need to be aware of what's needed for defence or offense instinctively. Not slow down the process of response by prescribing movement for possible use. A prescribed action alone is not enough. We must learn to be aware of probable actions taking place quicker than you could think the action out. Students must fully understand exactly what the purpose of the action is for , when and why.We work on a system by which we can initiate a stimulant for an efficient movement. A needed response i.e. catch, throw, evade, resist, parry, strike. Of which the body already has inherent patterns for those purposes. You can’t slow down or alter this system to get a better "karate effect". Karate can not redefine movement for its own purpose or style.