Martial Arts

Kyudo Renmei South Africa

Kyudo, the Way of the Bow, is the perhaps the oldest of Japan's traditional martial arts. The bow has been used in Japan since prehistoric times. From the fourth to the ninth century, the close contact and exchange of ideas between China and Japan had a strong influence on Japanese archery; particularly the Confucian belief that a person's true character could be seen in the refinement of their archery.

Over hundreds of years, archery was further shaped by Shinto traditions and Zen Buddhist philosophies, as well as by the practical requirements of warriors. Court nobles concentrated on ceremonial archery while the samurai class emphasized kyujutsu, the martial technique of using the bow in actual warfare. As the introduction of firearms to Japan in the sixteenth century caused the military importance of the bow to wane, Japanese archery began to slowly transform from the strictly technical and practical art of kyujutsu (the technique of the bow) to the more spiritual practice of kyudo (the way of the bow). This transformation into a reflective, peaceful discipline positioned kyudo to be the first "martial art" to be allowed in Japan after World War II when the American occupation began to lift its prohibition against all forms of martial art instruction.

In its modern form, kyudo is practiced as a meditative art and as a means of moral and spiritual development. Many archers practice kyudo as a sport, with marksmanship being paramount. However, a fundamental philosophy articulated in Japanese is seisha hitchu, "a true shot never misses". When the spirit and the technique of the archer is in balance, that is, when the archer's practice is fully conformed to the shaho, "the Law of Shooting", then the shooting is correct and the natural result will be for the arrow to pierce the target. To give oneself completely to the shooting is the spiritual goal.


About Ashihara Karate

Ashihara Karate is one of the most practical karate systems today. It is a karate system based on Sabaki........ - the combination of defence and offence into one!

The following is an introduction to the Karate organisation under whose auspices, traditional karate has been taught since 1980. The dojo (organisation) was founded by Hoosain Narker, the Kaicho of Ashihara Karate Kokusai. We hope that by perusing this web site, you will gain more insight into this dynamic karate system founded by the late Karate Master, Kancho Hideyuki Ashihara.

go to www.ashiharakarate.org

About Sabaki

  • Sabaki is a unique method of meeting an attack by combining defence and offense into one.
  • Sabaki uses one of four fundamental circular movements in response to an attacker's thrust. These movements carry the defender to the outside- left or right of an attack, moving either slightly forward or backward.
  • In each case, the defender move's to the attacker's back side. This limits the defender's exposure to frontal attack. In addition, it allows the defender to develop a "blind spot" in the attacker's position.
  • Once the defender has developed this "blind spot", he/she can take strategic advantage of this position by entering that "blind spot" and countering effectively with various combinations of punches and kicks.
  • No matter what the distance - short, medium or long - this strategy of moving outside and to an opponent's "blind spot" is essential.
  • In Ashihara Karate the practitioner learns to be aware of three types of distances and the Sabaki that applies to each.

What does Sabaki mean?

Sabaki is a difficult concept to translate from Japanese. Broadly speaking, Sabaki refers to movement, often involving a concept of control, sometimes implying preparation for a subsequent movement. For example, Sabaki can be used in reference to training a horse. The rider performs certain movements in an effort to control the animal, in order to make the animal behave as he/she wants it to.

Kancho Hideyuki Ashihara has adopted the word Sabaki to epitomize the essence of this style of Karate. In Ashihara Karate, Sabaki describes the movement made by a defender stepping out of line of an attack, into a position from which he/she can launch a counter-attack. This controlled movement, in preparation for a subsequent advance, is the basis of the strategy of Ashihara Karate: the combination of defence and offence into one ... SABAKI.

go to http://sabaki.8m.com/

About Tae Kwon Do

Tae Kwon Do is a Korean martial art that resembles the Japanese martial art of Karate. It is the national sport of Korea and an official Olympic event. Tae kwon do is famous for its wide range of kicks. In Korean, "Tae" means kick, "Kwon" means punch, and "Do" means art or way.

Tae Kwon Do also emphasizes breaking power, such as splitting wood, smashing bricks, or destroying tiles with the bare hands and feet. Training consists of a variety of punching, kicking, dodging, jumping, parrying, and blocking techniques. It also includes sparring and learning formalized pattern of movements called poomse.

The beginnings of Tae Kwon Do are obscure. Historians believe it originated in a martial arts form called t'aekyon more than 1,000 years ago. Beginning about 1910, Chinese and Japanese techniques were introduced, transforming the older art into its current form. Like most martial arts, Tae Kwon Do underwent changes in the late 1900's, when it was practiced increasingly as a combat sport.

go to http://sataekwondo.8m.com

Tai Chi

This website informs and educates the public at large about Tai Chi Chuan and other related subjects, such as Chi Kung, Traditional Chinese Acupuncture and internal martial arts.

go to http://www.taichi.co.za/home.html