Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Fell behind a bit, made a pact with myself to blog every couple of days if not daily, wife was sick, one kid was sick, I became sick and before I knew it days and days passed...

Hobbies, well you know some, but one I can't practice enough is Chito-Ryu Karate, this is a very traditional form of karate that has this distinguished history:
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Karate, a Japanese martial art which translates as 'empty hand', is a devastating form of unarmed combat. Chito-Ryu karate is a traditional Okinawan karate style founded by Dr. Tsuyoshi Chitose a medical doctor and Karate master. Characterized by blocks, punches, kicks and strikes, Chito-Ryu karate is an ergonomically correct form of karate. It is designed to instill confidence and self-discipline while preparing the mind and body to defend against aggressive behaviour or assault.

Chito-Ryu is one of the oldest styles of karate in Canada. Chito-Ryu karate offers participants excellent physical conditioning and strong mental discipline, as well as a proven method of self-defense. Instruction at all Chito-Ryu clubs is given by experienced Black Belt instructors, registered in Japan with the All Japan Karatedo Chito-Kai and with the National Karate Association in Canada.

This Karate style can be practiced by all ages. No special athletic abilities or flexibility is required.

Chito-Ryu karate, as a martial art, is designed for people of both sexes and of all walks of life. With its well designed calisthenics to protect the body from injury and painstaking attention given to the mastery of technique, Chito-Ryu karate develops healthy bodies and sharply focused minds.

Philosophy

To provide the best possible karate training, recognizing that each individual has different physical abilities. To help dedicated students progress in the knowledge and skills of karate, thus maximizing their physical and mental potential. The aim of karate is the perfection of the character of its participants. Karate begins and ends with courtesy.

Chito-Ryu traditional karate focuses on good manners, self-discipline, physical fitness and self-defense.
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Sounds very standard, but trust me it isn't, I started Karate at Douvris Martial Arts in Orleans and advanced to a green belt over 2-3 years...I enjoyed it immensely, the katas and sparring drills were fun and I was good at it, I was also in very good shape. I stopped when I was about 22 and last year (at the tender age of 32)joined Ottawa Chito-Kai, I routinely practiced what I had spent 4 hours, 4-5 days a week for 3 years learning at Douvris and rejoined as a Green belt. Wow, was it a shock, while Douvris was a good club in my mind, it was very much Sport karate, they focused on sparring and kumite drills, Chito-Ryu focuses on style, respect, focus and maintaining your inner-eye at all times. I basically had to re-learn everything, it wasn't easy, but after a year I attained my Blue Belt, and while I haven't gone in some time I practice at home every few days and maintain my skill level. Only two of the basically 15 katas/kihons from Douvris carried over to Chito-Ryu, sho-hai and seisan, all the other movements were new, where Douvris had a Kata and some strikes per belt, Chito-Ryu gnerally has 3 kihomn/katas, 10-15 new strikes, 3 bunkais (portions of katas analyzed and performed move by move against opponents to demonstrate practicality) and wrist locks. The depth of this martial art is staggering, this is karate as it was meant to be taught. We are mentored by Hagashi Sensai - 8th Dan based in Toronto, he was trained by O'Sensai Chitose and is the canadian head of the organization. I have attended two clinics run by Hagashi Sensai, and both times he has inspired me as few others have.

It is an art I respect, that I enjoy and hope to master one day.

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