About Myself (Jimmy) !:

I have learned various form of M.A for quite a long time now. I have been interested by various forms of self defence & conditioning exercises.. Hence now I have gained some skills in these forms of martial arts :
Muay Thai
Eskrima (Don't get much chance to practice this, but I do when I can..).
Some other weapons too [like  Nanchaku, Straight Sword/Long sword, Short stick].

My masters/Instructors :
Renshi K. Mohanan (know as master 'Kaveri Mohan')  -- Kaju Kado Karate International.
Sensei G.S GopaKumar  -- Budo Academy Sports Center "BASC".
I am also very thankful to some great instructors too that had trained me.. 

My Credits and Achievements in Martial Arts :

* Black belt in 'Kaju Kado Karete'  [ a Full contact style of  Karate. Indigenously developed  art form by Renshi K. Mohanan. See below..].

* Brwon Belt in  Shorin Ryu Karate system ["Shorin Ryu Seibukan"], under master Sensei G.S GopaKumar [Budo Academy & Sports Center. Also learned various other forms to M.A too !].

* Skills in other martial arts too like Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Eskrima.

* Represented India for "World Amateur Muay Thai Championships" in 1996 in ThaiLand , Bangkok hosted at "Lumpini Stadium".

* Have won some national level Full Contact Open Style Martial arts , Karate and Muay Thai  championships [Gold medal in Nov 2000 All India Muay Thai Championships in Bangalore, INDIA hosted under "International Amateur Muay Thai Federation".

* Trained officers at Police Training School (ie trained Kerala Police in combat skills)  and served as instructor. 

Please click here to see my certificates & pictures !

Styles I have learned 

'KAJU KADO' Karate International:

This style of karate was indigenously created by "Renshi K. Mohanan". Master  Kaveri Mohan was very famous for his outstanding skills/knowledge in "Full contact Martial Arts". 
Note : Kaju Kado Karate International is Affiliated/Registered to "World British Federation of Martial Arts" (Reg No : 4552).

His style had significant impact in India (mostly in S.India) during 1970's and 1980's. During this period he had a huge network of schools, masters, instructors and many great fighters under him !. Most of his students have taken part in very top level martial art championships in India. In most (almost all !) of them his students have won top positions and were greatly feared in full contact martial art tournaments.. "Kaju Kado" Karate was synonymous in 'Full contact' form of Karate.

I had the opportunity to join this school during early 1980's and had earned a 'Black Belt' (in 1992) in this style [ie, Full contact Karate]. Training was simply hard and comprehensive !. Only few would complete the entire array of drills and conditioning exercises (I ofcourse didn't give up and did all of them !). As a result after a year or less only very few could match the speed, power and 'will' of these students (including me !). So the training was at its extreme but was a good price to pay for what I have got even today :-) ,  During those days I was so strong and courageous/confident that I would simply 'run over' my opponents in sparring !!. In short we perfected our skills in sparring and conditioning and were simply top class in these.

Word meaning of "Kaju Kado" :

I have not been in contact with master since a long time as the main dojo no longer exists.. (only its sub branches headed by some of his senior students exists today. Most of then have split into sub styles/systems and Dojos under different names..). So I could not clarify these things with master.. But let me try to explain it this way.

In japaneese KA means ' long life', JU means 'happiness' and the literal meaning of KADO is "Entrance to a house" [ie similar words would be "Kado Matsu"-- Enterence of house, "Kado Konane" meaning "the gateway of moonlight" etc] . So the meaning of "KAJU KADO" can be explained as  - 
"The gateway of long life & happiness".  
Note : Ikebana (Japaneese Flower decoration art..) is also called Kado or 'kado' is also explained as "The path of flowers".  Here we mean "The gateway..".

Many of Japan's traditions have the word "do" in them, meaning "path." eg : Sado -- the path of tea; Kado -- the path of flowers or the entrance gate (kado) ; judo and kendo -- paths of martial arts; kodo -- the path of incense - are just a few examples. 

The kanji character expressing "do" in these names signifies that undertaking the activity involves a special way of living and a distinctive attitude. It encompasses peace and order and a diligent focus on the event at hand. The "path" or performance is just as important - perhaps even more important - than the results. Approaching an activity in the correct way is more important than the taste of the tea, the correct identification of incense or the success in martial arts. The movement, the style and grace with which the end is accomplished is of chief concern.

KAJU KADO Training and its philosophy : 

 Training : The training is physically intense and very demanding. Exercise is a part of the class structure to insure that practitioners will be physically capable of defending themselves outside of the dojo. The warm-up and calisthenics. Emphasis is placed on bag work (kick, punching, elbows and knees) as well as sparring and grappling (contact with control). After a certain amount of time training, students begin to throw real punches at each other and their partner is expected to react appropriately or face the consequences. Learning to absorb and soften an impact is also a major facet of training. Pinions (Kata) are performed to fine-tune a persons's movements while working with partners for self defense teaches a student how to manipulate an opponent and follow up on his / her reactions. 

This also allows the user to protect themselves from any style fighter.

By combining techniques from Karate, Judo, JuJitsu., Kenpo, Eskrima etc the Kaju Kado fighter can defend himself in many ways. The techniques are arranged so that each technique will set up the next by following the reaction of the attacker's body. The Kaju Kado principles and techniques are mainly oriented to the street-effective system of self-defense, repetition and combination techniques. The basic philosophy being, "if the first punch or kick don't get your opponent, the second, third, fourth and so on will".

When practicing our kicks, we concentrate on the 4 parts of a
kick. Which are: 
1.Raise the knee 
2.Fire the weapon (kick) 
4.Regain proper stance
Thus, we use the maximum power by raising our knee and using
our hips as the basis for the energy we plant into our opponent.
One thing that my instructor constantly reminds me is that, 
"it's all in the hips."

No matter what punch you may be using, one rule applies to all.
The "three inch rule" proves to be helpful and any situation.
Simply focus all your energy into your fist, concentrate, and
(most importantly) think of your target as an obstical. As a 
wall you must pass through to get to your real target. Imagine
that you must go through that person, bick, or board. Bend your
knees, and stay loose. When you take that first step,

Remember that the energy is being gained in those three inches; 
the three inches between your target and your fist. As soon as
your foot hits the ground, your fist (the same as the leg you
stepped with) should imediatly eject. Remained focused and loose.
Remember,... your mind is the greatest weapon

Note :
After learning "KAJU KADO Karate" for such long time, I have noticed that this style has a striking resemblance to another martial art known as "KAJUKENBO " !. Click here to see more about KAJUKENBO

So I have quoted some text from it (because as I said it has got a striking resemblance to Kaju Kado !),
"The emphasis during training was on realism - so much so that students routinely broke bones, fainted from exhaustion, or were knocked unconscious. It stresses the following-up of techniques based on an opponent's reactions and not stopping with just one hit. The reasoning is that while one should strive to end a fight with the fewest techniques necessary, it is important to know how an opponent will respond to attacks, and how best to take advantage of his reactions."

We study with all types of martial arts, not just a select few. Yet our main focus remains on self discipline, honor, and respect. so many schools tend to forget these, getting caught up in materialistics..

'Shorin-ryu Seibukan Karate do' [At "Budo Academy & Sports Center" -'BASC'] :

I have learned Shorin Ryu Karate at "Budo Academy & Sports Center". This martial arts school was founded by master/chief director "Sensei G.S GopaKumar". Situated in Kerala, Trivandrum (a small city in S.India). Master GopaKumar is honored in Karate with 'Renshi'. He has trained some great guys and has vast knowledge-base that only few would dare to challenge.. His skills in various Martial Arts like Kubudo, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Eskrima etc makes him a unique master and is a great honor for any martial artist to train under him. 

Master GopaKumar was the first person who introduced real 'Okinawan Kobudo' in India. Many of the top masters in India has trained under him in Kobudo. He introduced Kick Boxing in Kerala. He is the president of "International Okinawan Kobudo Kyokai india", Vice president of 'Pankration Athlima India (Greek Martial Art). He is the president of "Kerala State Karate Do Association" (KESKA) and the chief instructor of Eskrima in kerala .

His students have consistently won many prestigious martial art championships. Sensei had produced great winners like  Shyam, Shaji, Satheesh, Santhan, Jimmy (Me), Amar, Sidhardh, Pai, Shashikala, Varma, Abey and so many who have won many championship !..

Master GopaKumar has conducted various martial arts championships [he has conducted "Budo Cup -98", an all India Martial Arts championship held at Trivandrum, Kerala, India.].    

I was lucky to join this school about 5 years back and since then have had the pleasure to learn under him. Master is open-minded to all martial arts/ways and he invites other masters from different styles/arts (to show their methods), as a result I had the opportunity to learn  various other arts too like Eskrima, Muay Thai etc.. Which I wouldn't have otherwise. 

I have gained a new insight into martial arts after learning under master GopaKumar and have improved on many new skills & attitudes. Training at BASC is  pretty much all-round work out, which is very effective for a balanced improvement of martial skills. Each and every class is interesting and enlightening.. Thanks to Sensei and his superb teaching methods :-)

Philosophy of 'Budo'
Budo is a general term referring to the Japanese "do" disciplines, such as karate-do, aikido, judo and kendo, that stress personal and spiritual development. Bu is a Japanese word meaning "military" or "related to the military," a character often compounded into others, such as "bugei," "bujitsu" and "bushi." Taken in conjunction with the second character of "halberd," "bu" can be thus interpreted as a means to stop a weapon (conflict), or to gain peace. This is consistent with the idea of practicing budo to achieve both inner and outer peace. 

Do is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese term "Tao" (for Taoism), meaning the way to suppress violence and return to the way of the universe. 
Budo is a Japanese term. It means "martial way" and refers to those martial disciplines whose ultimate goal is spiritual, ethical and/or moral self-improvement. The characters "bu" and "do" in "budo" are rich in meaning and have many secondary interpretations. 

History of Shorin-ryu Seibukan Kata :
When karate increased in popularity on mainland Japan, a move to modify it to a position similar to Kendo and Judo, was endorsed. This changed the kata in form and bunkai (application of technique). Competition and militaristic doctrines forced traditional Okinawan karate to change and conform to the mainland Japan philosophy of “martial arts.” The focus had changed from a sole form of self-defense and character building, to a blend of self-defense, art (karate-do), sport, and nationalistic spirit. 

As time passed, karate was vastly becoming a tournament sport event. Techniques from the master’s kata were being lost in favor of point kumite and tournament style kata. Traditional self-defense kata and techniques were disappearing, and people that were in search of good traditional karate arts were hard pressed to find it. Except on a small island south of mainland Japan, Okinawa. 

On this island, traditional karate was still being practiced and taught. Here ancient masters like Chotoku Kyan, were practicing karate-do. They not only trained on the perfection and polishing of kata forms, but also the practice of bunkai, or kata technique applications. Usually with was done with a partner, which differs from the more modern day jiyu kumite. This form of training was considered as important as the kata itself. Many Okinawan masters, like Choki Motobu, proved that this kind of training had effective uses. This type of traditional training is preserved, intact, in the Seibukan Shorin-ryu karate-do system of the Shimabukuro Zenryo lineage. 

Eighteen (18) kata are practiced in 'Shorin-Ryu Matsubayashi-Ryu'. According to an old saying, one kata would be practiced for three years before the next would be learned. The last kata, Kusanku, is said to take at least ten years to master. Altogether, that's 61 years to master all eighteen kata! Kata are not to be changed. There are infinite bunkai (applications) but only one kata. 
Here is a short description of the kata. 

Fukyugata I - II
Pinan I - V
Naihanchi I - III
Wankan (Okan)
Rohai Wanshu

Shorin Ryu Katas: 
Seisan - "Half Moon" [Naha-te]

Naihanchi [Tekki Shodan] - "Horse Riding Kata, Alley Fighting" Or "Iron Horse / Sideways Fighting"
Pinan [Heian 1-5] - "Peaceful Mind" [Shuri-te]
Wanshu [Empi] -- "Flying Swallow" [Tomari-te, Created by Sappushi]

Passai [Bassai-Dai] - "To Breach a Fortress" [Tomari-te]
Sho - small, or lesser
Dai - large, or greater
Kusanku -- "To View the Sky" 
Sho [Kushanku] -- Shuri-te [Created by Itosu]
Dai - [Created by Koshokun]

Gojushiho - "Fifty Four Steps" [Shuri-te, Created by Itosu] (The characteristics of this kata are the spear-hand thrust and the resemblance of a drunken man's movements.) 
Chinto - "Fighting to the East"
Sanchin [Hakko] -- "Immovable / To Preserve Peace" [ Naha-te, Creared by Aragaki]  

Empi Taki -- "Flying Swallow" [Tomari-te]
Empi Iwa
Shimpa Tan
Shimpa Sho
Wankan [Shiofu / Hito] -- "Crown of a King" [Tomari-te, Created by Matsumura]
Rohai [Meiyko] -- "Polished Mirror / Mirror of the Soul" [Tomari-te]
Kyoku I-VI

Kumite (Sparring) :
Gohon Kumite (Five-Step Sparring)
Sanbon Kumite (Three-Step Sparring)
Kihon Ippon Kumite (Basic One-Step Sparring)
Jiyu Ippon Kumite (Free-style One-Step Sparring)

Important concepts that I follow : 

I belive in the concept of "Shu-Ha-Ri" : There is a concept of "Shu (remain), Ha (break), Ri (free)", which describes how an individual is involved in "forms" as one training develops. "Shu" is the process in which we follow the forms faithfully and try to master the basics of the art. It is the so-called stage of learning. Since excellent predecessors who made every effort and fumbled around for a long time have built up the forms, it is natural to follow them. It it inevitable that we put ourselves into the finished forms, and we train within them. Even if "the forms" are wonderful, it cannot be helped that there is something everyone does not feel suits them, because each form has been born from different persons who have different qualities, bodies, and basic experiences in life from oneself. When deepening the learning of forms, naturally difficulties arise. At this point, we may have the desire to break "the forms", destroying the forms we have mastered. This is the stage of "Ha". However, "Ha" is not a long- standing situation, because this action is not supported by the creative spirit. The more the forms break, more we feel emptiness. We find ourselves caught up by "the forms", while we are breaking "the forms". And we want to free ourselves from such captivity, and wish to perform with a truly free mind. When this is achieved, we reach the stage of "Ri" . 

Ri is the stage of creating new forms when "the time is ripe". There, the trainee has already forgotten the forms, and performs that which is not in the forms. 

While beginners are clearly at the stage of "Shu", what about those who practice for a long time? Where do they put themselves? At "Shu", which is too faithful, you tend to fall into a mere name. At "Ha", which is easygoing, it might cause confusion. And at "Ri", which is imprudent, you cannot get rid of anxiety.

"Kokyu-ryoku" or "Breath power" is very important : "Ki" is the Japanese word for Spirit, energy, life-force. When ki is usefully active in your body, it is known as kokyu-ryoku or "breath power". When you breathe freely, your energy can also flow freely so you can experience centeredness, relaxation, and extension. All your movement techniques are easier when you breathe freely. 

There is hardly a moment in M.A in which you will need to hold or restrict your breath. Rather, you should emphasize the release of ki energy through an energetic release of breath, called a "kiai".

We do engage occasionally in special breathing exercises in which we hold our breath, but these have specific purposes related to your breathing capacity and the stretching of your mind/body. Always maintain a continuation of your breathing process when you practice your movements. All your movement techniques are easier when you breathe freely. 

Speed : There is rarely a need to rush. Speed will come naturally with proficiency. If you train at a faster speed than is appropriate for you, then you are like a skier who is racing down a hill too steep for his ability: an accident waiting to happen. Training too fast also reinforces mistakes which would be corrected at a slower pace. Speed will come with time and careful repetition of techniques. Take it easy and be precise. In this way you will learn well.

"Center Line Theory" :
Your center line is running down the middle of your body. This is the focus point that all punches and blocks originate. Your power origin. Your opponent's center line being the vital area that we center our attack towards; his middle or center of his body, upper and lower attack areas.

The 'Way' to practice your martial art :
Muscles must be relaxed and all parts of the body must be held naturally without tension. Therefore it is not possible to say whether practising fast is correct or practising slow is correct. Fast and slow are based on the standard or level of achievement of the student. 

Basically, one must practise until the whole body is relaxed and comfortably balanced. Once there is internal and external synchronisation, then the question of slow and fast in practise is unimportant. At this stage, one gets the feeling that the upper portion of the body is like the drifting of clouds and the lower portion is like the flowing of water. Consciousness is continuous and is harmonised with movement. All parts of the body are natural and are unified. There is no question of being fast or slow. 

Focus on steadiness, tranquillity, relaxation and rootedness, and use inner force to propel external movements in a continuous or uninterrupted fashion. Internal force is generated using turning movements. After many practises, the whole body is in balance. 
External and internal balance or harmony must be cultivated. 

Students often commit errors in practising the art. Students should bear in mind the following pointers: 
Respect the teacher and accept the philosophy or Dao of the art. 
Be honest and do not take unfair advantage. 
Be conscientious and serious; think, observe and feel (that is, be aware) during practise. 
Progress step by step. 
Be humble and practise constantly. 

How to hit in real fights :
Pressure points are all over the body so if you get into a tight situation just hit their muscles so you squeeze right to the bone and the effects will be obvious. Eg : Middle of traps next to the neck (note if you get a bodybuilder with massive traps attacking you, this is not a wise choice :) , Inner thigh, Middle of wrist, near the inner elbow, eyes, temple etc etc !.

Pressurepoints combined with arm/wrist locks is the ultimate in controlling your opponents. I like control because it reduces the time required to end the fight and as some of you may know, the more time you give your opponent, the more opportunities they have of "surprising" you. 

Note : Do not try to apply locks on a stronger/faster person or who is armed.. Locks should be applied after the opponent is subdued or injured.

Most people do not realise that you can get out of a lot of submission moves even when its been fully applied by utilising common sense pressure points. for those who bother with strangling someones throat, the quicker way is to squeeze both sides of the adam's apple (if your are fighting a guy) and rip it out. Its as easy as pulling the chicken wing off a chicken :) But then again, you may end up killing the poor chap, so if you are using it as a pressure point to get out of a lock, dont squeeze too hard :) Just squeeze your own to find out how delicate it is and imagine using full strength. ps if you want to strengthen your grip, do weights 

To learn how to fight/be a good fighter, you have to spar "anything goes" with people from all martial arts styles. that way you know what skills you need to develop to defend and attack those styles (on the street). And if you like street fighting, fighting dirty will make your life easier eg spit in their eyes to distract them if your are grappling. Remember, traditional stuff you learn in class about respecting your opponents doesn't mean crap when your are on the street, because if you give them a chance, they will pull a gun or knife on you! The key is to think fast and be quick on your feet. if you can do that, your attackers wont land anything on you. 

The mighty back-fist is underestimated by a lot of martial artists. The backfist if done correctly with a whipping motion, is always going to be faster than your fastest punch and can generate equivalent power. Your goal (if you do intend to master this useful attack) should be to have your lead hand only move 10cm before it hits the target's face. Also, do not draw back your hand when you start the attack and do not move your shoulders. This is in line with the one inch punch principle where your entire body generates the power. The other great thing about backfist is if you do do wingchun hand techniques, all you ahve to do is do open your fist and then press down on the attackers front guard to follow up with your other hand. 

Ok how fast can you punch? For the average martial artist, you should be able to do 3 punches in 1 second (karate style in horse stance) For the advanced it should be at least 5 and if you want to go for the world record...I think its 9 hee hee 

How to face Group fights : 
To defeat bigger numbers, what you do is move so they come at you one by one ie you move so they are aligned one behind each other which is why footwork is very important. that way you can take them out one by one. To defeat people bigger than you, you need to move in quick and at the right moment. This only comes with practice. 

Also, sometimes you do sacrifice moves to avoid getting hit eg because of poor judgement youre in a situation where you are bound to get hit and youre off balance, so what I do is a kinkymove where I place my hand on the ground and kick up their crotch either with upper hook kick or front slap with foot.

There is no substitute for sparring esp full contact anything goes because you can be creative and combine moves from different styles. If you read my last update below, I talked about kinky moves. now capoeira has some useful ground moves. You see the move how you get off from being on your back (because you were thrown) swinging your legs is quite useful in situations where your opponent moves in to kick you in the ribs because you can do a scissors takedown. Therefore, do not underestimate any style because your ignorance may someday get you when you least expect it. If you want to fasttrack your progress in martial arts, you need to include some endurance and strengh training as well as reflex training when youre not in the dojo/class. All Mainstream martial arts have inherent limitations eg in TDK you cant kick below belt or grab, in Judo you can't chop or use stikes and in other arts, they are only preoccupied with a certain "way" of attack/defense so it is up to you to blend everything together. 

Sime personal Tips :
* Try regulating your attacks' rhythm, ie for me, I go 100 percent and literally chase my opponent off the mat with side/back/hook/front push kicks...then when we go back to the centre of the mat, I move around the opponent in a circle using elaborate footwork to confuse the opponent and count to 50 focusing on breathing to catch my breath...if they attack moving in viciously, then so be it, I counter, but if they dont, cos I maintained my distance, I will have regained my breath and go for it again...this way will ensure you always have enuff energy and dont run out when it matters most. 

By utilising side, backside, hook and front push kicks which cause pain early, you will be damaging them both psychologically as well as physically thus ensuring your overall sucess in winning. At advanced levels, you should use trickery to make them move where you want them to move eg draw your leg back so they think you are moving back and they move in..then give them a nice hard side kick 

* Nifty moves to immediately cripple your opp : But then I wouldnt advise you doing this to your friends in training cos no one would like sparring you and only use these techniques in tournaments or against aggressive people to teach them a lesson. Remember, the best way to "cripple" your opp is to use your heel/outer edge of foot against their bones. eg if youre fast when they do a turning kick you step back and do a reverse hook at waist level leaning back and land it on their knee/shin when his kick is airbourne, the effects will be devastating :) ps you can have your knee bent if youre a bit too close so you dont miss.

* Practice your punching and learn to move in when they bodypunches.

* Thin Stance: By Turning your body sideways when facing an opponent you reduce the available target area. Performing this action provides you with a bonus to your dodge equal to two times the difference between your opponent's Body or Strength attribute (whichever is lower) and your Body or toughness attribute. (whichever is higher) 

* Invisible from every angle : You are invisible from every angle except for a direct perpendicular 90 degree angle from the direction you are currently facing. At that angle you will look like a card board cutout. This effect lasts until the end of sequence. Opponents that wish to attack you must make a perception check against your Martial Arts skill value in order to attack you. If they succeed in this check they may attack you with no penalties. 

* Many martial artists can totally demolish their opponents but the master can do so with perfect control, with relaxation, without the need to intimidate or hurt the opponent in any way. 

* When you move, there are no signals, nothing moves. You hit powerfully and effortlessly. 

* There just are no secret moves or stances. 
1. Don't be greedy with the hits. Often people are already hit without realizing it. 
2. You don't always have to strike high. This exposes you to low hits. 
3. Many people have no rooting. The stance is weak, not sunken. 
4. The knees should be in. 
5. You should feel like you are melting into the ground. 

Note : You can practice for a lifetime but if your stance is poor you will have wasted all of your effort. 

6. Don't act before you know what is going on. You must feel what is happening first. People act before they feel. 
7. Random flurries won't work. 
8. You can't just rely on speed. 
9. The head should not be forward. 
10. Keep the head back or it will get hit and it also brings the whole posture down to stiffen up the hands.  and Keep the head up.

* Stance and movement :
It is important to connect the hands with the feet. 
Many people get shoved back instead of being able to neutralize the force by absorbing it or by turning the stance. 
Stance training, such as stepping and turning is very important. 
When the opponent retreats, don't just stand there. You must come forward. If you stand there you will get kicked. 

* Practice "relaxed hitting power.." ie Most people's hitting is too tense and relies too much on muscle power. You can 'wip' your fist with a relaxed method.. Once you are fully relaxed, you can change according to circumstances and can therefore neutralise an oncoming force. You will have reached that position of "non-self" where the whole body is the weapon and the hands are no more used as hands. 
You have to constantly remind yourself to relax.
The tense way cannot work.
You will get tired and it will fail against strength.

Note : "The force doesn't come from tensing, it doesn't come from speed. " ie,
The shoulders should not come forward. They should stay back. 
Practice the first set slowly in the mirror and watch that the shoulders stay back. 
Face the opponent square and hit down the centerline. 
Face the opponent properly first before you hit. 
Don't chase the opponent's hands. 
Just hit the central axis of the opponent. 
Flowery movements are not good in fights. Simple connected movements will do. 
Sore shoulders come fom trying to fight against energy (try to work with it (energy)).

* Try to use the concept of neutralizing force along the tangent of a circle. The circle can be horizontal, vertical or diagonal.

* Most people's fighting is too fast for them to realize what is going on. They should feel what is going on first. 

* Changing habits starts with having the proper concept in your mind. 

* Position, Sensitivity, Timing Speed and Power :
Position comes first by training the form accurately. Without proper position your hitting accuracy will be off and your power transfer will be reduced. 
Without proper position, you cannot neutralize force. 
Without proper position, you will be off balanced. 
Proper position comes from performing the forms/Kata/stances accurately..
Sensitivity to force comes next. This is the ablility to antiscepate and sensitivity of what's comming towards you...
Timing comes next. 
Power comes last. 
Speed comes before power. 

* General Principles :
In fighting, don't trade punches with your opponent, worry about your defense first. 
Always travel the shortest distance which is the straight center line. 
The opponent can start first but we get there sooner. 
Use the surprise element. 
You cannot just rush into a kick. If he can kick you, you can kick him. 
If he can punch you, you can punch him. 
When he lifts the leg to kick, you can lift the leg to kick his supporting leg or groin or shin area. Then step in. 

* Youth vs. Age, Small vs Large : 
With age your body deteriorates. 
You cannot rely on muscle power. 
You must rely on position and sensitivity. 
Every opponent has weak points. 
You must find the weak points. 
A larger opponent does not have the advantage with position and sensitivity. 
With protection, the larger opponent will win. 
Brute force methods have the advantage in this case. 
It is more fair on the street with no protection. 
The smaller person cannot have a good chance against a larger opponent with protection. 

* Energy and force distribution in striking :
You should hit through the person's body, not aim for the surface. 
It is where the energy is applied that makes the difference. 
A chop to the shoulder is different than a palm hit to the front of the body. 
It takes 20 pounds of force to smash a nose. 
A small person cannot play around but must hit seriously. If you are lazy, you won't learn much. If you are too greedy and want too much, you will also stop your progress.

If the attack is not committed, then don't react. 
With a commited punch or kick, you can react and win because the opponent cannot recover. 
The centerline path will get you there before him. 
Don't look at your hands. Feel what is going on. Don't look down. 

* It is easier to build a structure from the ground up (someone who knows nothing) than to break down your old habits, your old prejudices (but is quite possible through hard work !.. Like me my sensei "GopaKumar" always reminds me of this fact and I work harder each day to prove it otherwise !.. ).

* Without the stance being correct the hands and feet will not be able to coordinate in the proper way.

The drills will turn into disconnected hand exercises which make the practitioners think they are learning something but they are not. They are feeding their ego by thinking, "Oh, my hands are getting pretty good!" When the position is correct it means the stance, the arm angles, and the centerline are accurate,then you are ready to work on the second step which is to apply the feeling to tell you when and how to change your structure to match your opponent's structure. We must feel what is happening first, then change our structure to the best one to match the opponent's structure. This part of the training is difficult to get without one-on-one practice with someone who has got it. 

* Timing means during what part of the opponent's energy cycle do you apply your energy? 

* Train yourself to be adaptable and evasive.. ie, execute your techniques while rapidly and smoothly changing movement direction and orientation. 
Note : My Sensei "GopaKumar" has taught me some Kata/forms like Rohan/Wankan (Shorin Ryu Karate Katas) and few yogic exercises that really improved these things in a person.. So its really interesting for me because I feel improvement in fundamental body mechanics).

* It takes a long time to realize the proper way. 

* Be always ready to fight. 

* Keep Top fitness and condition : 
Bruce Lee was the greatest martial person who had the best fitness and condition.. So we see how he attained it. Always improving, never arriving at the peak, but always undergoing the process, Bruce enjoyed the never-ending journey toward physical perfection. In other words, the means were as important as the goal, which was to be prepared when the opportunity arose to share his "art of expressing the human body."

For Bruce, it was not simply a matter of running extra miles, doing more reps, or increasing poundage in his weight training. He approached the resolution of the "problem" in a scientific manner: (1) Set new goals for fitness and health, (2) research the best ways to accomplish the desired changes, and (3) implement the new methods using a scientific approach, recording progress and modifying the approach when necessary. There was nothing haphazard about Bruce's training regime, neither was he particularly "lucky" in having started out with natural physical gifts. The greatest talents that Bruce brought to realizing his dreams were intelligence and curiosity (hand in hand, a powerful combination), dedication and perseverance (stick-to-itiveness even in the face of intervening obstacles), and focus (enjoying the journey as much as the destination). 

Sometimes I am asked, "How did he have the time to do so much training?" The answer is simple-that was how he decided to spend his time. The choices he made in each of his 24-hour days included devoting several hours to training his body and mind in order to be the best that he could be. This is also where the wealth of his imagination came into play. In addition to regularly scheduled training times, it was "normal" for Bruce to be involved in several things at the same time: reading a book, curling a dumbbell, and stretching a leg, for example; or playing some kind of physical game with the children; or doing isometric-type exercises while driving his car. As a child he was nicknamed, "Never Sits Still"; he was the same as an adult. 

The process that Bruce undertook to achieve his goal of superior fitness forms the contents [of the book,] The Art of Expressing the Human Body, the title of which was so aptly coined by Bruce in describing his way of martial art. Bruce's martial art, Jeet Kune Do, which is an all-encompassing approach to living life at the pinnacle of developed potential, naturally includes training the physical body to achieve its peak performance. A fitting description of Bruce's devotion to his art is to say that he attained the apex of functional beauty. 

Picture to Bruce Lee :

Quote :
"As long as you are one step ahead of your opponent you are nearly assured victory. "
"No matter how much or little you practise, the practise must be correct".

Daoist sayings that I remember : 
"Don’t be content with being the student of a successful Master; make a success of your own practise". 
"Learn less and practise more". 
"When you drink the water, remember the person who dug the well". 
"Neutralisation of force is the principle behind no-strength. No-strength is not weakness, but instead the stillness of a mountain. No change is seen but much changes. The founder has said, "Dao is the basis, art is the consequential." One learns the Dao by learning not to resist the irresistible, and by teaching the rebellious mind, body, and spirit to be obedient. "
*When defending, one must understand the method of the attack. when attacking, one must be confident, almost comfortable".
"Turning movements start from the waist and hips with hands propelled from the waist and hips in accordance with the principle that all movements originate from the waist. Principles must be understood and no movements are separated from the principles".

Some Karate terms :

KARATE-JlTSU and KARATE-DO : Karate-jitsu denotes the techniques of defense and offense which can be applied to opponents in order to damage them. Karate-do emphasizes the "Do" (way), which exists over and above mere techniques. "Do" is a passage through human life. Thus, Karate-do emphasizes both the mental (spiritual) and physical aspects of life. Karate-do builds character, promotes respect for others, and enables the mind to be clear in all situations.

The Japanese character for "kata" is written in two different kanji as follow: The kata-form presents form of die-cast which cannot be reshaped; once cast, it is considered lifeless. Another kata-shape depicts a shape that is flexible, and can be reshaped against any situation, so that this character of kata has life. It is of the utmost importance that kata must have life while it is being performed. 

ZENSHIN. TSUSHIN, AND ZANSHIN : These are three forms, or states, of mental awareness. Zenshin refers to the period right before an attack is launched. It means that you are in position to do something to your opponent(s), and so you should be alert and mindful. Tsushin occurs during the attack itself. It means that you should maintain your alertness while proceeding in your attack or defense against your opponent(s). Zanshin occurs at the moment of completion of the action; after completion of your procedure against the target - whether successful or not - you should remain alert and aware. Although zanshin is the most commonly-known form of awareness, all three states are important in karate-do.

MA Al : Ma ai is thought of as both space-distance and time-distance. Space-distance refers to a correct judgment of the distance for an attack to reach a target. Without proper spacing, there can be no execution of the attack. Time-distance is another important factor in successfully attacking a target. If timing is off, there can be no execution of any kind. Thus, it is vital for karate-do practitioners to study "ma" and "ai", the space-distance and the time-distance, in order to be able to deliver correct techniques. Do not mistake "ma ai" as meaning space-distance only, which is a common misunderstanding in the martial arts world. "Ma" in Japanese refers to "space-distance" while "ai" refers to "time-distance" or timing. Thus, "ma al" refers to proper judgment concerning both spacing and timing.

SEN AND GO : "Sen" means to take advantage of your opponent's initial movements by interpreting them as a signal to attack, and launching an attack. "Go" means to allow your opponent to get in the first move, but to block it or get out of the way, and then execute a counter-attack to the target. There are three elements of scoring an execution: "sente," means that, without any movement by your opponent, you deliver a scoring technique. Secondly, there is "sen no sen," meaning that, right after you notice your opponent's move, you execute your own technique, before his is able to be completed. "Go sen no sen" means allowing your opponent to exercise his technique before you, so that you can block his execution and then score with a counter-attack.

KARATE NI SENTE NASHI : This teaching came from Funakoshi Gichin's second tenet that there is no first attack in karate. In its most fundamental meaning, karate-do means never to attack someone. It is only meant to defend yourself against an assailant's abnormal behavior. As you will notice, all kata begin with "uke" -a block, which is a defense against attack. For this reason, it is forbidden to use karate-do techniques to launch a first attack. Abusing one's karate-do skills will make him unhappy for life.

KARATE WA REI NI HAJIMARI REI NI OWARU : The literal translation of this phrase is "Karate begins with courtesy and ends with courtesy." This does not mean bowing at the beginning of practice and bowing again at the end. The teaching came from the first of Funakoshi Gichin's "Twenty Dojo Kun (tenets]." In karate-do training, there are many things, far beyond technique itself, which must be achieved in order to reach the ultimate goal. Through the hardness of training, in both physical and mental aspects, karate-do practitioners must conquer the mind, technique, and body in order to build character (shin, gi, and tai), and promote respect for others with courtesy. These qualities are the essence of karate-do training.

Other general terms in Karate :

Sensei: (sen-say) -- Refers to a teacher. Broadly speaking, it may apply to anyone who holds a position to guide or instruct another, such as a teacher, doctor or lawyer. 

Sempai: (sem-pie) -- Refers to a senior person in a school, maternity or organization. 

Seiretsu: (say-re-tsu) -- A command to 'line up' in an orderly fashion. A class lines up before and after the instruction for mokuso and rei. 

Seiza: (say-za) -- A formal Japanese way of sitting on the floor with one's knees bent. Seiza literally means to 'sit correctly' and requires that a person sit not rigidly but with his back straight and with an alert the training. 

Yame (ya-may): -- Return to starting position (finish Meditation). 

Undo: (oon-dou). --Refers to exercises or movements done as calisthenics. Other words used in compounds or phases are: 
Junbi (ju-n-bi) undo: preparation exercises. 
Kubi (ku-bi) no undo: neck exercises. 
Ude (u-de) no undo: arm exercises. 
Ashi (a-shi) no undo: leg exercises 

Rei: (ray). -- A command used for 'bow'. Bowing may be done standing or in a sitting position, before and after the class, to the instructor or to each other to express mutual respect, trust and appreciation. 

Other expressions used with Rei 
Shomen-ni-Rei: bow to the front 
Sensei-ni-Rei: Bow to the teacher 
Otagai-ni-Rei: Bow to each other 

Hai (haee) -- Used primarily for affirmation or consent as in 'yes' or "o.k.'. It is also used to urge and give commands as in 'o.k., let's go!" or "o.k., now!'. 

Kata --Formal movements of Karate, comprising all basic techniques and stances necessary to attain rhythm and coordination. 

Kumite (koo-mee-tay) -- Sparring. 

* "Shu-ha-ri" -- (SHU-learning from tradition, "HA" -- breaking the chains of tradition, RI--transcendence) is an oft-expressed concept as regards kata. Its implication is that the ultimate goal lies in the totally free execution of kata, a freedom from all restraints from the standardized movements, and the natural execution of waza in sparring. 

Important links  :

My Family Album [Mother and Dad's family and us when we were kids !]

Jimmy's Adventure Page [My Cycling Expedition on Jan-04-2002]

How to Make a Fist Pictures [Gichin Funakoshi photos] :

Sensei Itosu 10 percepts :

Martial Arts Guide" :