WHO WE ARE AND WHY WE LOVE SHORIN-RYU
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Welcome to your new karate home. We hope that your training with us will be rewarding physically, mentally, and spiritually.
We are a worldwide organization, and the benefits of yearly membership, to you, include the ability to train at our affiliated member dojo and clubs around the world, to transfer to those dojo or clubs should you move, access to the ShorinRyu.com website and email, Technique of the Week bulletins, newsletters; to help fund special system-wide events, and the ability to be part of the Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA system, its history and traditions.
Again, we welcome you.
Shorin-Ryu karate was introduced to the United States in 1962 when Grand Master Ansei Ueshiro moved here from the island of Okinawa.
In 2004, his worldwide organization, Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA, was transferred to his chosen successor, Hanshi Robert Scaglione. Hanshi Scaglione lives here in Brevard County, and, in addition to being the Hanshi (CEO) of USRKUSA, he is also the Shihan (Director) of the Viera, Florida Dojo.
As a member, you may train at all six karate schools in Florida, and more broadly, at all those throughout the world.
Any senior student will be happy to answer questions you might have, either before or after class.
SOME UNDERLYING PRINCIPLES OF UESHIRO SHORIN-RYU KARATE
Quick, Natural and Effective Techniques
The more one studies Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate, the more one appreciates its natural efficacy. Its underlying principles exploit both the physical laws of nature and the body’s inherent strengths and weaknesses to maximize the potential to defend and counterattack. Master Ueshiro exemplified these principles in every aspect of his training. Some key principles are:
· Shorin-Ryu is a natural style with little wasted motion, no exaggerated breathing; and there is no technique, if done properly, that poses risk of self-injury
· Techniques are direct and linear (“hard style”)
· Relax and breathe (shoulders down). The body is erect and relaxed until kime. (Except the hands whose fingers are always together, the feet which grip the deck, and the eyes which “are alert, opened wide then narrowed by drawing up the lower lids creating a spirited glare.”–from Building Warrior Spirit, page 18.)
· Primary targets are on the midline of the opponent
· Aim for a small, specific target when striking
· The striking surface is aimed at the target throughout the technique
· The smaller the striking surface, the greater the force per square inch into the opponent’s body (e.g., ice pick vs. snowshoe)
· All force should be directed through the target and/or down into the foundation
· Techniques accelerate through the target
· Adding acceleration to a technique multiplies force
· Adding mass to a technique multiplies force
· Adding gravity’s kinetic energy to a technique adds both acceleration and mass
· Train the body to be ambidextrous
· Both sides of the body are applied to every technique
· Be aware of your entire 360° perimeter
· Techniques start from a solid foundation, feet directly beneath the body, feet gripping the deck
· Step immediately, turning your feet into their final position right away
· The lower body initiates the force (through hip movement) for each technique
Move forward, take over the opponent’s space with your hara
· When moving between low techniques, stay low.
· When changing height, the rule of thumb is: when going from low to high, stay low until the stepping foot is in place; and when going from high to low, get low right away
· Kicks accelerate by snapping back
· Every technique uses hip movement (rising hip: both quadriceps; dropping hip: gravity; and rotating hip: rear quadriceps, obliques, then gluteals)
· Most force in each technique is generated by hip movement –get your obi to swing
· The upper body and lower body move independently, even in opposite directions simultaneously when desired
· The back remains straight throughout each technique
· The hand coming back into the pocket generates as much force as the hand going out
· Elbow travel: chamber the elbow closest to midline, then accelerate it laterally from there (outward and/or forward); plus up or down, if appropriate
· Forearm rotation: arm techniques use torque of the forearm (rotational energy) to accelerate through the point of contact; by starting their rotation just prior to, and then continuing rotation through, contact
· The force of an arm technique is the body’s mass as applied by the speed of 1) hip movement, 2) elbow travel, and 3) forearm rotation
As with any list of principles, there are exceptions. However, if you are watching your video of Neko-ashi-dachi Chudan soto-shuto-uke as viewed from the side and you thrust your hip backward during the technique, that rearward-moving hip violates the principle that all force should be directed through the target and/or down into the foundation. Likewise, if you are in front of someone doing Shizentai-dachi Chudan soto-uke and the elbow remains still –acting as a stationary pivot point while the forearm hinges to the side –that violates the principle that the elbow must travel (in this case outward) in arm techniques. (And because his elbow does not travel in this example, the overall body mass applied to the technique –other than that of the forearm itself –is zero.)
Therefore, incorporate the physical principles of Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate to dramatically increase the force in your karate techniques. Such knowledge, which has been passed down through generations of masters to Ansei Ueshiro and on to us, is a true treasure and must be preserved accordingly.
However, as Hanshi Scaglione always reminds us, this is achieved only through hard work and constant practice. Which is true of every art. Because, when you think you have attained some skill, your training will always expose how much you still have yet to do.