If you want to contact us, ask questions that interest you, you can leave a comment or fill out the form.
If you want to contact us, ask questions that interest you, you can leave a comment or fill out the form.
There are a number of useful products offered by Seishin Shotokan Karate. Here is an overview of what’s available.
For details of our club membership just go to our Free Trial Offer page and find out how to sign up.
There is an onsite pro shop at our main dojo that carries a selection of karate uniforms, sparring gear, pads and targets, apparel, books and DVDs as well as other relevant items.
We have an online bookstore through Amazon that includes the most useful books and DVDs that are focused on Shotokan karate. There are also some excellent books on martial arts philosophy and history. Check out the bookstore today!
LESSONS WITH THE MASTER BOOK
Paul Walker released his first book Lessons with the Master in June 2007. The book details his time in Japan training at Master Hirokazu Kanazawa’s Headquarters Dojo in Tokyo for three years. Many great lessons were learned during this time and the book offers a full account of each and every lesson as well as numerous tips for students and instructors alike. The book is available through our club bookstore, from Amazon or from the publisher iUniverse.
There are several curriculum DVDs that are available to club members to assist in self-study outside of the weekly classes. The DVDs cover the kihon, kata and kumite drills that are practiced in class and that are required for testing. These DVDs are available for purchase at our dojo.
THE ONLINE DOJO
The Online Dojo is a new type of training experience that utilizes modern technology to present traditional Shotokan Karate. As a member of the Online Dojo you will have access to curriculum resources in the form of videos, audios, written materials such as articles, reports and terminology sheets, as well as a whole host of sample training plans for students and sample lesson plans for instructors. Check out the Online Dojo today to take your karate experience to the next level.
Seishin Shotokan Karate offers several different programs. Our main program is our Shotokan Karate program and we also offer Junior Shotokan for 7—10 year olds and an additional program, called the Tiny Tigers program, for 4—6 year olds.
Here is a general overview of our main programs:
THE SHOTOKAN PROGRAM
The Shotokan program is for ages 7 and up including adult. We have a series of classes that are both rank-specific and age-specific, including some Junior Shotokan classes for ages 7-10 and various family classes, as well as some advanced classes for brown and black belts. The Shotokan program offers a highly structured curriculum that brings out the best in all students and focuses on developing all of the skills associated with the traditional Japanese style of martial arts known as Shotokan Karate.
These skills include strong stances coupled with dynamic punches, blocks, kicks and strikes, as well as numerous forms (otherwise known as kata), pre-arranged partner work drills and an increasingly focused sparring skill-set that is both systematic and highly effective.
Shotokan is precise and beautiful in its simple approach to martial arts, yet the path of the Shotokan practitioner is far from easy and will provide great challenges to even the most ardent and committed student while offering clearly visible rewards along the way for every age and rank.
THE TINY TIGERS PROGRAM
The Tiny Tigers program focuses on the age group of 4 to 6 years old. For this age group we implement a striped belt system with each progressive belt being white belt with a colored stripe. Some of the goals of this program are to develop focus and coordination, to have fun and to instill a sense of confidence in the young martial artist, as well as a sense of satisfaction for the parent(s) of the Tiny Tiger. The ultimate goal, however, is to prepare our younger karate members both physically and developmentally for the Shotokan Program once they turn 7 years old.
Jiyu-kumite means ‘free sparring’ and this is where the Karate practitioner really puts his/her skills to the test. Jiyu-kumite is where your fighting skills are tested against another opponent, ideally of equal or greater ability, so that you can constantly improve. In jiyu-kumite the karate practitioner is expected to demonstrate a variety of learned techniques, footwork, balance, fighting spirit and self-control among other things. The word free in ‘free sparring’ means that there are no pre-arranged attacks in this kind of sparring, instead both opponents play a game of skill, strategy and focus to try and outwit each other with their fighting ability and knowledge.
There are different kinds of jiyu-kumite. First of all there is general jiyu-kumite which is usually seen in the dojo, with two opponents trying all of their skills in a no-point, no pressure environment. The goal of this kumite is to try many different techniques and combinations against an opponent to find out what works and what doesn’t. This is the experimental stage of jiyu-kumite.
Next there is tournament jiyu-kumite which by nature is for points within a specified time-limit for each match. The goal of this kind of sparring is naturally to score more points than your opponent within the allotted time with the winner of the match going on to the next round to face another opponent in a knockout style competition.
Finally there is match-style jiyu-kumite where each opponent (usually advanced practitioners) try to win the match using mutually agreed upon rules that they determine themselves (rules such as no groin attacks, no joint locks or breaks but full contact striking to specific target areas allowed). This kind of match is very rare and for good reason as its hard to justify two advanced practitioners trying to beat each other up just to win a match. This kind of behavior usually doesn’t befit an accomplished martial artist, however supposedly it still sometimes happens for a variety of different reasons although I haven’t personally heard of or experienced such a match during my own martial arts practice.
The Chief Instructor of Seishin Shotokan Karate is Paul Walker, a 6th degree black belt with over 30 years of experience in the martial arts. Sensei Walker started his martial arts training in England in January 1982 achieving the rank of 2nd degree black belt in Anshin-ryu karate under Sensei Keith Bell in December 1989, and then a 3rd degree black belt in January 1993 under Sensei Frank Newton, head of the Isle of Mann Karate Federation. He began Shotokan karate in 1992 at the University of Aston under Sensei Roger Timmins and trained at Master Hirokazu Kanazawa’s Headquarters Dojo in Tokyo for three years from August 1996 to July 1999. In June 2008 he was awarded his 5th degree black belt from Master Kanazawa and more recently in June 2014 he received his 6th degree black belt from the new head of the Shotokan Karate International Federation, Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa, Master Kanazawa’s eldest son.
In March 2005, Master Kanazawa visited Sensei Walker’s club in Apple Valley and taught a series of four seminars and in the same month Sensei Walker accompanied Master Kanazawa to Hollywood and featured in the master’s DVD series “Mastering Karate” with Rising Sun Productions. Master Kanazawa continues to be the primary influence and mentor in Sensei Walker’s karate training. Master Kanazawa visited again in June 2010 and Sensei Nobuaki Kanazawa also visited in June 2006, February 2010 and together with his father in June 2010. Shihan Manabu Murakami visited together with Master Kanazawa in March 2005 and Hanshi Hiroyasu Fujishima has supported all events at Sensei Walker’s dojo including leading a seminar of his own in 2011.
In June 2007 Sensei Walker published his first book, Lessons with the Master, about his experiences of studying karate under Master Kanazawa in Japan. He has also had his articles on karate published in Shotokan Karate Magazine, Masters’ Magazine, and The Shotokan Way website, among other websites. He is currently working on releasing an Online Dojo that covers all of the Shotokan content from beginner to black belt.
In addition to our chief instructor, our club has several black belt instructors who teach and assist in class on a weekly basis. The two head instructors are Sensei Andrew Sherman, 3rd Degree Black Belt and Sensei Brandon Marquez, 3rd Degree Black Belt. There are also several senior grades who help out each week.
Jiyu-ippon kumite means ‘free one-step sparring’ and it is at this level that the Karate practitioner starts entering advanced kumite drills and begins to hone their free-sparring and fighting skills. Jiyu-ippon kumite is generally introduced at Brown belt level and is the focus kumite for all Brown belt grades and first Black belt (Shodan).
The aim of ‘free one-step sparring’ is to provide the Karate student with a method of developing quick reactions and appropriate and effective defenses against a sudden attack. The method of jiyu-ippon kumite is to state the kind of attack and then to attack with strong spirit and purpose, always trying to catch the defender off guard or off balance. The defender should try to read the attacker’s feints and movements through focusing on the attacker’s breathing while staying as calm as possible inside. By doing this the defender can react with poise and skill and effectively block and counter all attacks.
Once again, like kihon-ippon kumite, jiyu-ippon kumite has many set defenses to learn and remember. The different kinds of attack are front punch to the head, front punch to the body, front kick, side kick, roundhouse kick, back kick, front snap punch and reverse punch. There are a total of 33 set defenses in Kanazawa-sensei’s syllabus to remember from left and right stances although only about 8 different defenses are tested on a grading, usually chosen by the examinee but at the higher levels can be chosen at random by the examiner.
Please refer to Master Hirokazu Kanazawa’s book “Karate Fighting Techniques – The Complete Kumite” for a pictorial move-by-move explanation of all the set defenses or to his DVD series “Mastering Karate.” The members only section of this website also shows all of the necessary kumite drills at the different ranks.
Kihon-ippon kumite means ‘basic one-step sparring’ and it is at this level that you really have to start switching the brain on as there are a lot of set defenses to learn at this stage of your training. Kihon-ippon kumite is generally introduced at the intermediate level, meaning from 6th through 4th kyu and continuing at Brown belt level (3rd kyu and above).
The concept of basic one-step sparring is that one attack is countered effectively and decisively by one defense followed by a finishing blow or strike.
With basic one-step sparring there are several different defenses that the practitioner should memorize at different levels. The different kinds of attack are front punch to the head, front punch to the body, front kick, side thrust kick and roundhouse kick. For each kind of attack there are several set defenses although the testing requirements and knowledge content increase with each step towards the first brown belt (3rd Kyu).
There are 6 set defenses for each of the head punch, body punch and front kick attacks and 3 set defenses for each of the sidekick and roundhouse kick attacks making a total of 24 set defenses to memorize. Generally the practitioner is only required to demonstrate 8 different defenses from either left and/or right sides and for brown belt should be ready to demonstrate a series of defenses at random call by the examiner from both left and right sides.
As there are so many set defenses to practise it is impractical to explain each one in detail so I highly recommend that students purchase the SKIF-USA Grading Syllabus along with Master Hirokazu Kanazawa’s book “Karate Fighting Techniques – The Complete Kumite”. Another great resource is the “Mastering Karate” DVD set, also by Master Kanazawa, specifically the “Kumite” DVD. My own new DVD set “Shotokan Karate—The Complete Curriculum” also covers all of the necessary kumite drills.
Sanbon Kumite means ‘three-step sparring’ and like Gohon Kumite refers to the three forward and backward steps taken by each opponent depending on whether you are the attacker or the defender. Sanbon Kumite once again drills attacks and defenses just like Gohon Kumite. The main difference however is that the attacker delivers three consecutive attacks of a different nature, i.e. front punch to the head, front punch to the body and front kick, as opposed to five front punches to the head.
This variance in the kind of attack and the level of the attack makes Sanbon Kumite a little more advanced than Gohon Kumite, although it is still predominantly practiced at the lower level ranks.
The attack in Sanbon Kumite is always fixed and is front punch to the head followed by front punch to the body followed by front kick. At the higher level the order of attacks can be changed and at times the kind of attack can be changed if practicing modified Sanbon Kumite. There are five official defense sets in the S.K.I.F. syllabus, although only the first two sets are tested in the lower rank grading. Intermediate and advanced practitioners should know all five set defenses and be able to perform modified versions of the set defenses too.
No.1 defense requires the attacker to block the head punch with a rising block, the body punch with an outer block and the front kick with a downward block before countering with a reverse punch.
No.2 defense requires the attacker to block the head punch with a rising block (like no.1), the body punch with an inside block, the front kick with a reverse downward block (opposite hand to the front leg) before countering with a double punch combination to the head and then body.
Grading candidates at the lower level ranks are expected to demonstrate these defenses from left side only at 8th kyu to 7th kyu and from left and right sides from 7th kyu to 6th kyu.
Gohon Kumite means ‘five-step sparring’ because both opponents take five steps when performing this kind of kumite. The attacker takes five consecutive steps forward, each time executing either a front punch to the head (no.1) or a front punch to the body (no.2) and the defender takes five consecutive steps backwards in response to the attack executing either a rising block (no.1) or an outer block (no.2) and finishing with a reverse punch to counter after the final block.
The goal of five-step sparring is to drill the two main components of kumite, one being ‘attack’ and the other being ‘defense’. Both opponents must learn to be in tune with one another and move together in their attacks and defenses rather than one at a time. It is hoped that through repeated practice of this kind of kumite the practitioner will develop powerful and purposeful attacks, effective blocks, strong stances, quick foot movement and good focus.
This kind of kumite is generally practiced at the beginner level although it of course has a place in the training regimen of the more advanced practitioner through the implementation of different attacks such as front kick and roundhouse kick and different defenses such as downward block and inside block, again finishing with reverse punch.
The grading candidate should be ready to demonstrate Gohon Kumite from both left and right sides although he/she will probably only be asked to show proficiency from the left side at the beginning level.
Kihon (basics) are probably the most boring and repetitive aspect of your Karate training but the most important. Basics consist of punches, kicks, blocks and strikes and are generally practiced by means of multiple repetitions up and down in the lines to count. Basics can not be neglected unfortunately because without strong basics the Karate practitioner will have a weak foundation on which to build and as stated in the Training Tips introduction paragraph on basics the foundation of your Karate training is critically important to your ultimate success as a Karate practitioner.
Just as a teacher needs to know how to explain things in simple terms, just as an accountant needs to explain what numbers mean and just as a writer needs to adequately express thoughts in words, a competent Karate practitioner would be lost without a solid foundation in basics.
Some tips for improving basics are as follows:
– accept that practice in basics is necessary;
– practice your basics repetitively to the point of exhaustion;
– do basics slowly, at half-speed and at full speed (when doing basics slowly work on your focus and concentration, when doing basics half-speed work on technique and when doing basics full-speed work on speed and power);
– never think that you have mastered a technique … continue to practice;
– spirit is centered in your mind, character is centered in your chest and power is found in your hara (belly), if all three work against each other your basics are at their weakest, if all three work in harmony your basics will be stronger than you could ever imagine;
– always remember when practicing basics that “simple is best”;
– at the highest level basics only work if they are adapted to one’s strengths and not one’s weaknesses.