TEXAS KYOKUSHIN KARATE
Kyokushin Karate & Japanese Cultural Arts Program, has been bringing families together in a healthy, fun, educational and safe environment, for more than 10 years. The core curriculum of this program is a traditional style of Japanese karate, known as Kyokushin. Both children (ages 4 & up) and adults achieve numerous physical, as well as psychological benefits, improving overall health and attitude.
There are many martial arts styles and schools. Unfortunately, very few maintain the structure, discipline, etiquette, and most importantly, the true purpose of studying a martial art. When masters of the past developed martial arts decades ago, tournaments and points competitions were not what they had in mind. Martial arts were pursued as a vehicle to develop and improve one’s overall character through physical training and constant introspection.
Traditional schools, such as the Allstars After School Program, emphasize the achievement of a higher physical, mental and spiritual level, which gives students the tools and the awareness to improve and succeed in every aspect of their lives. The goal of traditional Budo karate (martial arts as a way of life) is to propagate the virtues of integrity, humility, compassion, and courage, and to ultimately assist the student in the forging of a strong will and confident self.
The Allstars After School Program stand firm in its commitment to teach its student more than just karate techniques. Through Budo Karate training, students learn respect for self and others, courtesy, and discipline. Students improve their self-confidence through their physical accomplishments, thus elevating their self-esteem. In addition, students learn the importance of attention to detail and the ability to focus. This results in a greater attention span, which improves overall performance in school, work and other activities. If karate training as not helping the students in their everyday life, then it is not a successful endeavor.
Classes are taught in a structured and disciplined environment. Emphasis is placed on effort and on coaching students to push through self-imposed limits. An attitude of perseverance is continuously stressed, helping students to develop a no-quit attitude, which is undoubtedly a great advantage in dealing with life’s everyday challenges.
Traditional rules of etiquette and procedures are utilized during training to ensure safe and smooth operation, as well as to honor and uphold longstanding traditions. Since Kyokushin is a Japanese system, all training commands, name of techniques, etc, will be learned in the Japanese language. The Japanese terminology used is, in fact, learned quickly through constant verbalization of the technique name, commands, etc. Children especially, enjoy learning a new language and consequently, grasp it very quickly.
Other practices introduce the students of Eastern methods of courtesy, self-discipline and focus. The bowing process which is done at the beginning and end of every class is another traditional formality. This procedure has no religious connotation whatsoever, and should not be looked upon as such. Kyokushin karate does not promote, teach, or intrude upon anyone’s religious beliefs. The “spiritual” aspect of this art is personal and unique for everyone. The underlying objective, regardless of one’s beliefs, (and whether realized by the student or not), is to assist students in becoming honorable, compassionate, and productive individuals, equipped to transcend everyday adversities.
Promotions for belt ranks are awarded after the student has satisfactorily passed a formal test consisting of fitness, karate techniques, Japanese terminology, and includes a written test for certain more advanced ranks. There is a nominal testing fee which covers the cost of belts, certificates, etc. Only Students with consistent class attendance are considered for promotion. Promotion tests are scheduled on an as-needed basis. (We do not test and collect a testing fee every three months as most commercial schools do. Students are only tested when the instructors feel that they are ready.)
Warm Up (taiso)
A typical class begins with a series of warm exercises.
General Training Etiquette (reigi)
Introduction of training etiquette and customary training practices are covered in depth. Students learn to properly line up, how to address the instructors and fellow students, and general rules of behavior. All techniques and commands will be learned in Japanese.
Basic Technique & Stances (kihon and dachi)
The new student begins with proper formation of the fist, four basic blocks, thrusts and basic kicks. These are practiced from one of the three stability stances; Horse Stance, Hourglass Stance, and front Leaning Stance. These stances teach the student balance, proper body alignment and weight distribution. The stability stances strengthen the bone and connective tissue of the hips and lower extremities.
Stances are initially practiced in a stationary position. This allows the student to focus on the physical hand or foot techniques without being deterred or frustrated by a possible lack of balance. When the student has become more familiar with the hand or foot techniques, then they are performed with forward movement while in a particular stance.
Formal Exercises (kata)
Once some level of proficiency is gained in performing basic techniques while moving, the student is then ready to begin learning the formal exercises called kata. Kata are a series of prearranged basic hand and foot techniques performed in a specific sequence. The practice of kata, which are comprised of all the techniques learned up to the point, helps students to further develop their basic skills. Students start with a simple ten-step kata for each block and progress to longer, more advanced forms.
Practice Fighting- Sparring (kumite)
Students first begin practice fighting in a three-step method in which one student executes three specific attack techniques (with minimal contact), while the other performs three predetermined blocks. This practice introduces students to working with a partner, and is a crucial aspect of training as it allows students to refine their technique on whether they were able to apply it successfully and effectively.
Later, free style practice fighting is then begun using a non-contact basis. As the student becomes more proficient, light, controlled, contact is allowed. Sparring is a gradual process in which the student learns to employ their basic techniques in a more realistic situation and to control their reactive emotions. Sparring is an essential piece of training as it teaches students effective distance (from opponent), timing, strategy, and enables them to test the application and effectiveness of their techniques. It is pointless to practice something over and over if it can’t be applied to a real life situation.
Safety Awareness & Self Defense (goshin-jitsu)
Common sense self-awareness practices encourage students to constantly be alert to their surroundings and thus avoid potentially harmful situations. These practices, although simple, are often overlooked. Students are taught to first assess the situation before determining a course of action, (i.e. the difference between responding to a bully on the playground versus being accosted by stranger). After determining the severity of the situation, students must then examine all possible options. Self-defense techniques are taught to students as a last resort of self protection.