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Friday, November 20, 2009

The Difference between Techniques, Tactics, and Strategies in Karate

We need to take a three dimension view of our karate. Many people get confused with the difference between techniques, tactics, and strategies. Today’s post, I want to help clarify the difference between the three.

Techniques are the individual move of the martial arts. When you look at most traditional karate curriculum or rank requirements, they are purely techniques ~ moves and combinations of karate. At the techniques level, you are not exploring the practical applications of the moves - just the move itself.

Tactics are specific applications or actions used to make the techniques work in a real situation. For example, the application of a fake or feint in a sparring match setups the use of other techniques. A good example of a tactic in grappling would be to push someone in order to tempt them to push you back so that you can apply a specific move. Or many times, you attempted to go left to open the right or go high to open up low. Tactics also entail the conditions required for a technique to work.

Strategy is how to achieve the overall objective. Strategies require you to link multiple tactics and techniques to achieve a higher goal. When explaining a technique, have you ever had a student say, “What happens if your opponent does this instead?” or have a student thwart a technique by resisting. At this point, you are talking about strategy. If you apply a tactics and the opponent responds differently than expected, you need to create a strategy for that scenario. Strategy make you think “Okay, what will I do now?” or “How will I respond if my opponent does this?”

That’s your 101 level crash course on tactics vs. strategies.

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
(215) 249-3532

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Book Review: Bubishi - The Classic Manual of Combat

Recently, I have become fascinated with this book, Bubishi: The Classic Manual of Combat. For years in the Martial Arts, you heard rumors of the existence of a secret manual that was passed down from the Master to the next master of a style.

Well apparently, there was such a manual called the Bubishi. Bu means “military.” Bi translates as “To prepare.” Shi translates as “Record.” So together it means “The manual of Military Preparation.”

This manual was hand copied from karate master to karate master. There’s strong evidence to suggest that most of the founders of the different styles of the karate had a copy of this text. Sensei Gichin Funakoshi placed sections of the Bubishi in his book Karate-Do Kyohan.

I read Patrick McCarthy’s translation of the Bubishi and found it very enlightening to my understanding of karate and especially of kata. I believe this text needs a closer examination because of its historical significance. Patrick McCarthy version includes not only the original text translated but also, insightful commentary that shows the tremendous amount of research that went into the text.

For me, the 48 figures are of particular interest. The 48 figures appear to be practical self-defense moves, although the exact meaning of each figure needs to be interpreted by the reader. The Bubishi appears to be written as a reminder of techniques for practitioner that already knows karate. I believe that it’s very plausible that our kata came from the practice of these 48 figures in multiple attacker scenarios.

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
(215) 249-3532

Sensei Talks: Tim Rosanelli

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Impossibly Easy Taco Pie

Pressed for time, this recipe takes less than 30 minutes. It’s easy to make and tastes great.

This recipe is from Betty Crocker Ultimate Bisquick Cookbook: Hundreds of new recipes, plus back-of-the-box favorites.

1 pound ground turkey breast
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 package (1 ounce) Old El Paso® taco seasoning mix
1 can (4.5 ounces) Old El Paso® chopped green chiles, drained
½ cup Original Bisquick® mix
1 cup milk
2 eggs
½ cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese blend (2 ounces)
1 medium tomato, chopped (3/4 cup)
1 ½ cups shredded lettuce
2 medium green onions, sliced (2 tbsp), if desired
Sour cream, if desired

1. Heat oven to 400°F. Grease 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.
2. Cook ground turkey and onion in 10-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown; drain. Stir in seasoning mix (dry). Spoon into pie plate; top with chilies.
3. In a medium bowl, stir milk, eggs and Bisquick mix until blended. Pour into pie plate.
4. Bake about 25 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Top with cheese and tomatoes. Bake 2 to 3 minutes longer. Cool 5 minutes. Spinkle with lettuce and green onions. Serve with sour cream.

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
(215) 249-3532

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Ideas on the Evolution of Kata and Bunkai

Over the last few months, I’ve done lots of research on kata that have inspired a new method of teaching them and will stimulate a better understand of the kata for students.

But first… I want to give a little background on the evolution of kata.

What is kata?

Kata is specific series of techniques that are performed almost like a dance or gymnastic routine. Kata was original used by karate masters to remember and catalog self-defense moves. Each kata has specific bunkai or martial application.

I believe tha
t these kata started as a formal Randori. Randori is a form of free sparring that uses self-defense techniques. Watch the video below.

As you can see, if the techniques were practiced without the opponents you’d have a kata.

Unfortunately, over time, kata diverged from self-defense. Now, most of the techniques with kata over the years have changed so much that they have almost esoteric meaning to them.

This divergence happens for many reasons. First, Funakoshi simplified the kata to teach school age kids and hide the dangerous self-defense moves so they would not use them for the wrong purpose. Also, during the build up period prior to World War II, Funikoshi taught thousand of student going into the military. He had so many students that the classes would spill into the streets. This resulted in further simplification in order to teach large groups of people effectively.

Some another reason from divergence of kata
Lack of understanding – Karate masters kept much of their art secret and only passed to true meaning and secrets to senior students after many years of faithful training. Most of the karate masters had a book called the Bubishi that contained many of the true meanings of kata in it. This book was concealed from student and hand-written from senior student. Recently, this Bubishi was published and contains 48 figures that demonstrate techniques found in kata.
Performed for tournaments – Over the last 50 years, tournaments influenced the performance of kata as a performance art. Since these changes are more for ascetic reasons, the kata performance diverged away from the original purpose of cataloging self-defense moves.
Changed for reasons other than improving self-defense – Any changes to kata that were made for reason other than improving it’s self-defense application caused divergence that further the esoteric nature of kata. For example, changing the kata to define differences between karate organizations, make it simpler to learn, etc.

It’s my belief to breath new life into kata, we need to rediscover and catalog specific self-defense moves for each move in kata. With the discovery of the original Bubishi, I have seen a revitalization of teaching the applications of the kata.

Unfortunately, I feel that the kata at this point have diverged too much to ensure that we re-discover the true original purpose, but I believe we need to create applications for the current form of the kata and adjust the performance to conform and evolve them along self-defense lines.

Next, I will talk about Bunkai or the Martial application and recommend some Rules of Bunkai that we should adhere to when creating Bunkai. Also, I will recommend new way of teaching kata that is more effective, efficient, and exciting. In testing these methods, I found that you can teach a lower belt an advanced kata with excellent retention in a short period of time and they enjoy it the whole time.

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
(215) 249-3532

Sensei Talks: Tim Rosanelli

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Chicken Rice Soup

Here's a terrific recipe that we make to use up the leftovers of a whole chicken like the beer can chicken we made last week.

It's surprising how much chicken you get off the leftover whole chicken.

1 leftover whole chicken
6 cups of water
1 medium onion
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 cup dried rice
1 cup chopped carrots (2 medium)
1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
2 tbsp snipped fresh parsley

In a large kettle combine leftover chicken, water, onion, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Simmer, covered about 2 hours.

Remove chicken from broth and let cool. Skim fat from broth. Remove meat from bones. Discard bones and bay leaf.

Bring broth to a boil. Stir in rice, carrots, and celery. Simmer, covered, about 8 minutes or until rice is finished. Stir in Chicken and parsley. Heat through.

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
(215) 249-3532
Sensei Talks: Tim Rosanelli

Friday, November 6, 2009

Book Review: Debt is Slavery

Over the last few months, I’ve read many great books that I want to review for you. Debt is Slavery book received many great reviews so I decided to read it. It’s a short read – only 122 pages. I read it in less than a day but don’t let it’s brevity trick you. It’s full with valuable information.

The title pretty much says it all – Debt is Slavery which I whole-heartedly agree with, but I think it gives solid financial advice that anyone even if you are not in debt can follow.

Chapter 2 – Time may not be money but money definitely is time - astounded me because I wrote about the exact idea in my personal journal on January 27, 2006, before this book was written. I can’t take credit for the idea because I wrote about it in my personal journal and never published my ideas (from the success of this book, I guess I should have), but this idea created a whole evolution in thought that advanced me forward in my career and business. In a separate post, I’ll explain my AhHa! moment that advanced from this concept.

The basic concept is that you view ever purchase from the stand point of how many hours will I need to work in order to purchase this item. For example, if you make $15 per hour and a CD cost $15, then you will lose one hour of your life to work for this item. On every purchase, ask yourself “Am I willing to work X hours for this item?”

When you start to view purchases this way, you will start to see that most items aren’t worth the hours of work you put into them. Also, I realized a long time ago that spending money on increasing your skills and experience through education and reading is a much more valuable use for your money. I always put a greater value on my karate training then things like buying a new car. Ben Franklin put it “If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”

In the end, this is a great book for anyone to read.

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
(215) 249-3532

Sensei Talks: Tim Rosanelli

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Patience creates results more than any other talent

If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention, than to any other talent.
~ Isaac Newton

People remark about my patience frequently whether it’s about my students, childs, or my dogs. Many ask how I can be so patient.

The answer is easy…

It produces the results I want.

I learned this lesson about a year ago when I was working with a dog trainer with my four dogs. I had all the elements correct accepted I was too hurried to get the desired results. I noticed that the dog trainer was patient and would wait to get the result she wanted. I was able to repeat the results by being more patient.

After that, I thought “Well, if it worked on the dogs, I wonder if it would work on a child.” In classes, I started to experiment with using specific commands followed by silence. IT WORKED!

I would make statement like “I will start the game when everyone is sitting like a Black Belt and silent,” or “We will bow out as soon as everyone is standing at attention and quite,” followed by silent. The fun part about it is that the students started correct the others that didn’t comply with the command and the children became more attentive.

It shows the great power behind silence and patience.

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
(215) 249-3532

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Beer Can Chicken

Beer Can Chicken is one of my favorite ways to cook a whole chicken. The chicken turn out so moist.

This recipe is from my favorite grilling book Weber's Big Book of Grilling. In fact, my version looks so tattered and worn, I may need to purchase a new one soon.

This recipe works with any type of rub providing you with endless variety.

For the Rub:
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp Granulated onion
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Ground Coriander
1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper

1 Whole Chicken, 4 to 5 pounds
2 tsp Vegetable Oil
1 can (16 oz) Beer

Preheat Grill to Indirect Medium Heat (350 degrees). In a small bowl, mix the rub ingredients.

Remove and discard the neck, giblets, and any excess fat from the chicken. Rinse throughly inside and out and dry with paper towels. Brush chicken with oil and spread the rub, inside and out.

Open the beer can and pour off half the beer then slid the chicken over the can so it fits in the cavity. Transfer the chicken to the grill being careful not to tip and spill the beer. Using the two legs and beer can create a tripod and balance the chicken on the grill. Grill over Indirect Medium heat until the breast reaches 170 degrees F in the breast and 180 degrees F in the thickest part of the thigh, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Wearing barbecue mitts, carefully remove the chicken and the can from the grill, being careful not to spill the beer - it will be hot. Let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes before lifting it from can. Discard the beer. Cut the chicken into serving pieces. Serve warm.

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
(215) 249-3532

Sensei Talks: Tim Rosanelli

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