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  • Do I have to be in good shape before I start?
    No, you will get into shape as you train. We have a series of exercises that you will learn as you progress through the ranking system which will enable you to perform the self defense techniques.
  • I am 31 years old, am I too old to start martial arts?"
    No, you are not too old to begin martial arts training. Kenpo regularly has students start from adolecense through their 50's and older. Kenpo is a practical and effective martial art that does not incorporate gymnastics.
  • I am very busy with my work schedule, how much time do I need to devote to classes?"
    The two 1 hour classes are week are recommended, as is practicing at home. As you progress through the ranks if you want more 1:1 attention we offer 30 minute private lessons which can further help hone your skills.
  • How long does it take to get a black belt?
    In Kenpo Karate, it takes approximately 5 years to reach student black belt.
  • What sort of things should I consider when choosing a school?
    My instructor Master Professor Bill Grossman has a great write up about choosing a martial arts school on his website here:
  • What is Saifia Bunkai?
    SET 1 Attacker: From the left kumite no kamae, step forward and grabbing with both hands your opponents right hand wrist. Release grab and follow though with a right hand face punch. Defender: From the left fighting stance, step back switch guard. Your right wrist will be grabbed. Advance forward to bump and with a pull and twist of your arm/hand, break out of hold. Drop back left leg into a low stance whilst executing a gamen-urauchi (left hand palm heel block with a back fist strike to nose / face area. SET 2 Attacker: From your right kamae, step up ahead and do a right hand face punch followed by a left Mae geri. Defender: From your right kamae, side step (slightly) to the right and do a left open hand Chudan uke. Follow this by sliding to the left whilst blocking with your right hand Chudan harai uke and immediately executing a right front kick to the groin. SET 3 Attacker: From the left kamae, step into hidari Zenkutsu dachi Sanbon tsuki, Left Jodan, right and left Chudan. Ducking under counter attack, drop down to grab with both hands opponents left leg. Follow though from a take down move by defender. Defender: Hidari Kamae, execute triple blocking. Right chudan uke, left kake uke and a right fura uke. Counter soon after with a Jodan Morote tsuki. Then follow with a tetsui uchi (hammer fist) left fist to temple. On the finishing move, right leg ashi-bari (sweep), right leg stomp (kekomi geri) right hammer fist, grab hair and finish with left tsuki. SET 4 Attacker: From the right kamae, shuffle forward attacking with a right hammer fist to the head. Then with your right hand, block defenders combination counter strikes with an uchi uke, Chudan barai uke, follow in the same motion with another right hand hammer fist and a left chudan tsuki. Opponent will be taking you down from here. Defender: From the right kamae, slide backwards blocking with a right Jodan uke and punching with a left chudan tsuki. Side step to the left execute a right haito and nikute of the left fingers to the ribs. Shuffle backwards again to block with a right Jodan uke and a left chudan open hand harai otoshi uke. Grabbing both arms of attacker in a crist-cross hold, Do a join lock of the arms followed with a right leg sweep, take-down move. Once take-down is completed, stomp with the left foot follow though with a twist turn to the left executing a wrist lock on opponent and pull them over (face down) to finish the wrist lock / shoulder jar lock
  • What is Gekisai Bunkai?
    Gekisai Bunkai For each set, both partners will start in the kumite no kamae. From this basic pattern,variations are unlimited. SET 1 Attacker: From the left kumite no kamae. Shuffle into leading with the left foot and execute a hidari kisami tsuki. Moving left foot backwards, block with migi chudan yoko uke followed immediately by a hidari thrusting mae ker~ (keri komi). Defender: From the left kumite no kamae. Shuffle backwards and block jodan age uke. Ayumi-ashi forward by the right foot and execute chudan tsuki. Leading with right foot, side step 90 away and block with left gedan barai uke immediately counter with a migi chudan hiki gyaku-tsuki. SET 2 Attacker: From the right kumite no kamae. Shuffle into and attack with migi jodan tsuki. Moving your left foot only further backwards, switch into right zenkutsu dachi and block with a hidari chudan uke. (Defender will follow to counter). Defender: From the right kumite no kamae. Shuffle backwards and block jodan uke. Advancing only the right foot, step into zenkutsu dachi execute hidari right chudan gyaku-tsuki followed by switching into a 90 gedan siko dachi, left hand grabs attackers punch and with the right do a gedan tetsui uchi to the groin. SET 3 Attacker: From the left kumite no kamae. Shuffle into and attack with a left chudan tsuki. Step forward with your right foot whilst striking urazuto uchi to the neck with your right hand Moving your right leg backwards at a 45 , into a left zenkutsu dachi and blocking a chudan harai uke (open hand). Soon after, defender will counter with ura uchi, you will again using the right hand block with a jodan uke and counter back with a chudan yaku-tsuki of the left hand. Defender: From the left kumite no kamae. Shuffle backwards and block chudan uke left hand. Side step to the left at 90 and blocking with the right open hand chudan uke at head level. From here execute a left mae keri landing forward into a front stance and do a left hijiate empi uchi followed by a combination hidari ura uch~ hidari chudan harai-otoshi uke and then with a right hand chudan gyaku-tsuki. Using your right foot ashibari attackers left leg Follow up with a chop, urazuto uchi to opponents neck with your right hand. SET 4 Attacker: From the right kumite no kamae. Switch and change your guard to a left fighting stance. Defender will sweep both your left foot and hand. Follow leg movements be placed on balance and just to the side whilst blocking with your right hand uchi uke. Roll out and under from this block and strike with a right tetsui (hammer fist) to opponents head and a right mae keri landing in front stance blocking with a combo of right jodan uke and a left chudan harai uke. Defender: From the right kumite no kamae. Attacker will switch to a left fighting stance. Using your left foot, ashibari attackers left leg and at the same time using the your left uchi uke sweep out their left hand. Follow counter with a left hand urazuto uchi to the neck. This chop will be blocked by the attacker. Attacker will counter with a tetsui to your head and a mae keri. Step back and away at 45 into right front stance, block with a combo right kake uke and left chudan harai uke follow this combo move into a morote tsuki. (left hand head punch and right hand in shita tsuki, stomach punch.). This resembles the Mawashi Uke, technique. Attacker will block this move with their own combo move. Once they have executed this block combo on you. You will from there follow with a hip throw / take down and counter with a right gedan tsuki punch to the ribs. * Both fighters will end. finish in the left kumite no karnae with both using ZANSlllN. * *** Shihan Jann Aki has added in his own variation of this bunkai making this the SET Bunkai of the “United Gojukan Karatedo”. Understanding that they are many other variations and combinations will only make you open minded in the world of Martial Arts.
  • Blocks, Kicks & Strikes"
    Blocks: (uke) Jodan age uke: Upper rising block Chudan yoko uke: Middle parry block Gedan barai uke: Lower downward block Yoko uke-gedan shita bari: Middle parry, downward block combination Chudan harai otoshi: Middle downward block Kake uke: Open hand hooking block Mawashi uke: Double hand circular movement Uchi uke: Inside deflecting block Soto uke: Outside deflecting block Shuto uke: Knife hand block Jodan uke-gedan shita barai: Upper block – downward block combo Kicks: (geri) Kin Geri: Groin Kick Mae Geri: Front Kick Kansetsu Geri: Knee Joint Kick Sokuto Geri: Side Kick Mawashi Geri: Roundhouse Kick Kakato Geri: Downward Heel Kick Ushiro Geri: Back Kick Hiza Geri: Knee Rising Kick Kekomi Geri: Downward Slash Blade of Foot Kick Punches: (tsuki) Jodan seiken: Upper punch Chudan seiken: Middle punch Gedan shita: Middle uppercut punch Sanbon Tsuki: Triple combination punch Chusin Tome: Lowered stance pivoting hip thrusting static punch Chusin Hiki: Lowered stance pivoting and recoiling hip tru Snapping Strikes: (uchi) Shomen Urauchi: Frontal back fist snap strike Yoko Urauchi: Side on back fist snap strike Ushiro Urauchi: To the rear back fist snap strike Shuto: Knife hand chop Urazuto: Reverse Knife hand chop Haito: Inner ridge hand strike Furauchi: Roundhouse strike Gamen: Rotating palm back fist snap strike Smashing Strikes: (ate) Shomen Hijiate: Vertical elbow strike to the front Yoko Hijiate: Elbow strike to the side Mawashi Hijiate: Horizontal elbow strike to the front Otoshi: Downward elbow strike Ushiro: Reverse elbow strike to the rear Teisho Ate: Heel palm strike Stances: (dachi) Musubi: Attention Heiko: Ready Gedan Shiko: Low straddle Heisoku: Feet together (1st position) Soto Hachi: Toes at 45 (4th position) Uchi Hachi: Toes forward (5th position) Shiko: Low Straddle Sanchin: Three point Zenkutsu: Front Kokotsu: Back Neko-ashi: Cat Renoji: “T” Stance (feet position like in nekoashi only standing upwards)
  • What is a Kata?
    Kata Taikyoku Jodan: Basic exercise upper block/punch level Taikyoku Chudan: Basic exercise middle block/punch level Taikyoku Gedan: Basic exercise lower block/punch level Taikyoku Kake Uke: Basic exercise open hand hook block, front kick and vertical elbow strike Taikyoku Mawashi Uki: Basic exercise double circular block, elbow, back fist, downward block, reverse punch combination Kihon: Double combinations (redone by Shihan Jann) Gekisai Dai Ich: "To Attack and Smash 1" Gekiasi Dai Ni: "To Attack and Smash 2" Sanchin: Three Battles Tensho: Turning Palms Saifa: Destroy, Defeat - (monkey) Seeinchin: Attack, conquer, suppress - (tiger) Sanseru: 36 Techniques Seisan: 18 Movements (stork) Shisochn: 27 Movements (dragon) Seipai: 13 Movements - (snake) Kururunfa: Holding Ground - (praying mantis) Suparumpei: (pitchurin) 108 techniques
  • How does the belt system work?
    Belt (Obi) System There are many different reasons and meanings for your Obi to be in such a way. This is the way of the “United Goju-kan Karate-do” The five colors of the Goju-kan… WHITE: (Shirobi) As a new student to the arts, you are pure in your journey of the way. YELLOW: (Kirobi) With time passing, your white obi turns dull from the effort and sweat you put in. GREEN: (Midori-obi) As you go on your way in life of a Martial Artist, training has you learning more and more. Demand is greater and the understanding of why starts. Your yellow obi now is more soiled from the sweat and even harder training. A few blood stains and your obi is now a darker color. BROWN: (Chaobi) A few years have gone by and your understanding is far greater then ever before. Techniques have been developed. Your attitude has been humbling adjusted and your well character set to except what the world has to offer. Your green obi has now been worked while you gained confidence, balance and direction in your life. As more hard work, sweat and maybe even more blood stains. Your green obi gets darker in color. Experience now shows. BLACK: (Kurobi) Many years have now passed while wearing the same obi since the beginning. Your body and mind have been tone and refine. The door has been open for you. It is now time for a newer beginning with life long lessons to follow. --- The Tying of the OBI The United Goju-kan Karate-do has a specific way of tying your obi. Study the pattern and learn this well. If tied properly, your obi would be even at both ends once tied around you and an arrow type shape at the knot would be facing to the right. All color belts have a Logo at one end of the obi. This logo would be on your Left side. All Black Belts with our Organization name on one side of the obi, this name would be on the Left side while the persons’ name to the right. Here are some remarks from students of the Goju-kan as to why the dojo name is on theft side, and how it is tied… “I believe that the Black Belts wear their belts with the dojo name on the left is because as with the emblem being on the left chest. This shows the love of the style is in their hearts.” “Having our belts tied as is, shows a discipline in oneself. The belt must be even at the ends with a smooth flow as it wraps around your waist.” “The flowing tie of the obi with NO bends or twist in it will show a path that the wearer will make in their life. Bends and twists shows, off the path one will travel in life.” “Tying your belt is like tying your shoe laces. It has to be neat and even or you can step on them.” Never wash your obi. Washing your obi will be like washing away all the hard work in the years of training
  • Ranks & Titles
    UNITED GOJU-KAN KARATE-DO HAWAII KOHAI – junior level student SEMPAI – senior level student SENSEI – official teacher of an assigned dojo Nidan / Sandan level (common title) RENSHI – senior teacher of an assigned dojo Yondan level – (advisor) SHIHAN – Master teacher Godan / Rokudan level (leadership of an area of dojos) KIYOSHI – senior master teacher Nanadan level (leadership of divisions of dojos) HANSHI – Grand master teacher Hachidan / Kudan & Judan levels (A life of dedication and contributions - Organization leader) KANCHO – Head of an Organization SOKE – Founder of a system or an inherited position SOSAI – A higher honor of Supreme Mastership DOJO ETIQUIETT OSU or OSS - greeting gesture towards one another KIOTSUKE – come to attention, facing to the direction given SEI-RETSU – line up immediately, assemble together SEIZA – formal kneeling position SHOMEN NI TAISHITE – bowing to the front, formally SENSEI NI TAISTHITE – bowing to the teacher SEMPAI KATA-NI – bowing to the seniors, black belts OTAGAI NI – bowing in respect to one another ONIGASHIMAS – asking gesture for help guidance ARIGATO GOZAIMASHITA – thank you gesture REI – bow / ANZA – sitting cross leg / TATE – get up COLORS SHIRO – white MIDORI – green KURO – black KIRO – yellow CHA – brown AKA – red Go-JU – hard / soft RYU – style KAI – organization KAN - school
  • OSS
    OSS (actually osu) is a phonetic expression, formed out of two characters. The first character osu means literally "push" or "control" and determines the pronunciation of the whole term. The second character shinobu has the literal meaning of "bear, endure, suffer." The expression OSS was created in the Japanese Naval School and is universally used for everyday expressions such as please, thank you, I understand, sorry, greeting someone, etc., as well as inside the world of Karate nearly every time a response is required. In Japan it is, for the Karateka, "The World of Words." OSS must not be said loosely, only using the vocal cords and the upper third of the body, but, as everything in Karate, the word should be spoken by using the hara (tanden), in the lower abdomen. Spoken while performing a bow, the word OSS expresses respect, sympathy and confidence to the partner. OSS also tells the sensei that the instructions were understood, and that the student will do his/her best to follow them. At the ceremony, before and after training, there is no OSS during the salutation to the front, (shômen-ni-rei) or the salutation to the place of the gods (shinza-ni-rei), only a silent bow. With the salutation to the master, (sensei-ni-rei) or the salutation to each other (otagai-ni-rei), there is an OSS at the beginning, as a request to go together in the Way of Karate, and an OSS at the end of the lesson, in thanks.
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