Our form of Karate is divided into Five parts:
Kihon, Hojo Undō, Kata, Kumite, and Jikobōei
Our Style & Approach
Kihon Waza: Basic Techniques 基本技
Kihon is very important to learn how to properly execute a move such as a punch, block or kick. It takes more the merely sticking your arm or leg out to properly punch and kick. Each move must utilize the whole body to maximize effectiveness. Kihon can be performed in a number of different ways. Some examples would be practicing in a stationary position and working muscle control, practicing while moving up and down the training area, or practicing against punching and kicking bags.
Hojo Undō: Prepatory Physical Training 補助運動
In addition to the physical fitness that is practiced during kihon, kata, and kumite training, we also interweave supplemental strength training throughout. This includes using free weights, static and dynamic stretching, and other forms of isometric and plyometric training.
Kata: Forms 型
Kata is the basis of all karate. Kata teaches how to move one's body. It puts karate moves together in a pre-arranged manner. Bunkai, or the application of kata, is also a very important part of kata training. By practicing kata, one finds self-defense moves throughout. Some are very apparent. However, some techniques are not so apparent until the student trains with the kata for some time. Bunkai are not always explained by the instructor. At times, it is the student who must study and find the meaning of the kata with the instructor as a guide. Click HERE for links to videos of the various kata in the Shotokan system.
Kumite: Sparring 組み手
Kumite means sparring and is divided into 2 parts. The first part is to practice timing with karate techniques with an opponent. It is one thing to learn self-defense moves; It is quite another to put them into action with an opponent who will not react the way you would expect him to. Kumite teaches how to think and react to someone spontaneously. The second side of Kumite is for competition. This side of sparring is what more of the general public recognizes as Kumite.
With both forms of kumite, the student must utilize control. A beginner student will not make contact to his opponent. A more advanced student can make contact so long as his technique is controlled. This ensures everyone’s safety. (We all have to go to work or school the next day!)
Jikobōei: Self-Defense 自己防衛
Jikobōei translates as "self-defense." Self-defense at FMAA comes in two stages: “Dojo defense” and “real world defense”. Dojo defense is the application of basic techniques which will work well in the dojo, however will not necessarily work in the real world. It is taught to the beginning student, so the student can learn which techniques counter which kind of attack, safely and without injury. Once the student learns control, and what techniques work for certain attacks, then the students move to the second stage. The second stage is real world defense. These techniques will work in the real world. However, control cannot be over emphasized at this stage. Self-defense should be simple and effective, which is the basis of traditional Karate-dō.
While we remain devoted and focused on teaching and practicing traditional Japanese Karate-dō, we also believe in the benefit of exposing students to other forms of movement that are not particularly emphasized in traditional Japanese karate. In order to know how to defend against certain types of attacks and bodily movement, it is necessary to have some idea of what those might be. While we do not offer ranking in other arts besides karate, we do expose students to some elements and approaches from Jujutsu, Aikido, and weapons-based fighting.
Benefits of Style-Cross Exposure
FMAA is dedicated to the practice of traditional karate-dō. Although our style is primarily Shotokan based, we also incorporate elements from Shorin-Ryu, Kenpo, and Jujutsu into our teachings.
Any form of karate, or similar art, can teach punching and kicking. What makes FMAA unique is the use of body dynamics, based on the teachings of Nishiyama Sensei. By using the whole body, through the use of proper muscle control, balance, and proper breathing, a strike can be delivered with maximum power and effectiveness. Put simply, it is the whole body that produces energy, not just the arm or leg. No matter the size or gender of the student, traditional karate can be learned and practiced by anyone. This principle is why even experienced karate students come to train at FMAA.