First and foremost we are a Shotokan group this is our base style and this is taught throughout all training. Contrary to popular belief there are many versions of Shotokan represented by association, their chief instructors who as they grew in popularity began to "breakaway" from the mother group. The Japan Karate Association (JKA) is the root of Shotokan it is this root style we follow based on the 1970s hard hitting, high impact, long distance attacking style, complete with the obligatory Kihon or basic technique practice and the wonderfully stylised kata. This trinity of kihon kata and kumite is often referred to as the 3 k's and is the original JKA training model.
From black belt the SKK uses a 5 K training model; kihon, kata, kumite, koryu and kobudo!
Koryu literally means old school, and refers to pre-ryu techniques pioneered by Patrick McCarthy Hanshi.
Futari-geiko can and does strengthen the delivery system of any traditional karate style without adversely affecting its cosmetic appearance. The renzoku futari geiko (two man drills) are highly functional practices which transcend style and form a major part of our study into the restoration of Shotokan kata technique.
Kobudo means "old martial way" using traditional Okinawan weaponry kobudo engenders greater self-discipline through weapons practice. As a research group this also helps our Shotokan practice to align with traditional Okinawan karate practice which always includes kobudo.
Chosin Chibana 1885 - 1969 named Anko Itosu's karate Shorin-Ryu "small forest style" in 1928. This was the first school of karate to be named. In the past, the type of karate was known by the location it was practised i.e. Shuri Te - Shuri being a village in Okinawa and Te the Chinese term for hand. He further developed Shorin-Ryū karate based on what he had learned from his teacher the great master Ankō Itosu.
SKK often practice many exercises from the Shorin Ryu. This is to enhance ashi sabki (foot movement) and therefore tai sabki (body movement.) Elementary drilling kata featuring neko ashi dachi and shiko dachi are also practised to enhance the understanding of, what have become "minor" shotokan stances.
Onaga No Ti:
Onaga Yoshimitsu Sensei, is a Tichikayā: a person who holds the knowledge of Ti (手). He is acknowledged as one of the last masters able to understand and teach Ti, the ancient Okinawan martial art that preceded modern Karate. Onaga Sensei calls Ti "the beginning of all karate." In October 2015, Dorian led a small group of Yudansha Kai members to Naha, Okinawa, to train under the guidance of Onaga Yoshimitsu Sensei. This was the first time that the Shinjinbukan Honbu Dōjō in Okinawa hosted a delegation of Karateka from the United Kingdom. Onaga Sensei was assisted by Arakaki Shunichi Sensei and other Shinjinbukan Deshi.
Whilst the Shinjinbukan base style is Shorin Ryu (Kobayashi) much of the training was Onaga No Ti focusing on movement and how to properly execute the techniques we already use.
The training was physically and mentally intense with great attention payed to the smallest detail of each technique taught. Ti is an art that transcends styles or Ryūha and therefore elements of Ti can be integrated into your own Karate, Onaga Sensei calls this “adding the Shinjinbukan salt”. Some aspects of Ti are now passed on in SKK classes.
Our aim is for Yudansha to be familiar with the chosen kobudo weapons.
In 2023 we established an internationally recognised documented pathway for Kobudo training, which leads to Dan grading under the auspices of Tetsuhiro Hokama Hanshi of the Okinawa Goju Ryu Kenshi Kai Karate do Kobudo Association. The formal grading in Kobujutsu is entirely voluntary. Sensei Andy Lovelady heads up this section of the SKK and is developing further courses. Dojo Sensei are encouraged to introduce bo practice at an early stage in students training to prepare for later practice.
The SKK have recently adopted the practice of the Short Form or Cheng Man Ching 37 Short Form, often referred to as CMC37.
Tai Chi is best described as “meditation in motion” and promotes calming of the mind and stress reduction in addition to a number of other general health benefits. The vast majority of Tai Chi practitioners focus on the soft side of Tai Chi consisting of the Short Form and also “Chi Kung” (breathing exercises). The ju of this practice nicely compliments the go of our Shotokan training.