Friday, August 20, 2010

How to self practise - Karate - Tips - Self Defence

Self Practice – Karate

The philosophy in karate is enormous and complex. It stems from thousands of years of armed and unarmed combat. Techniques that were perfected hundreds of years ago are still being perfected over and over again by each new-generation. Buddhism, Taoism, and the code of Bushido have all played parts in the development of the martial arts philosophy. Karate in its contemporary form is about 400 years old which was initially an offshoot of Chinese Gongfu. It has its roots in ancient martial form of India like Kalaripayat which is a combination of all forms like ju-jutusu, karate, aikido etc., and involves all techniques including hitting, grappeling, twisting, and ground fighting, and has unarmed and armed fighting also.


  1. Warm up - (10 minutes) running in place or around the block for about 5 minutes; plus about 5 minutes (or 20 repeats each) of push-ups, sit-ups, (or crunches), leg lifts, and reverse push-ups.

  2. Stretch- (15 minutes) stretching all major muscle groups first is essential for a loose and limber body; get a book on stretching if you do not already know what stretching exercises to do. In Karate, stretching the legs is decisive to keep yourself injury-free.

  3. Meditate - (5+ minutes) clear your mind of all thoughts; concentrate on breathing in through the nose, out through the mouth; sturdy deep breaths and a clear mind will prepare you to learn Karate. There is no time limit, but meditating for at least 5 minutes should clear your thoughts enough to allow you to concentrate; forget school, work, family, problems, everything - visualize them evaporating before your eyes. Once the whole thing is gone, you should see a vacant room, and in the center of the vacant room, a ball of flame begins growing from the blankness. This flame of firing strength and energy should symbolize anything you hope to achieve by training yourself in Karate. By the time you are done with your meditation, the room should be entirely overwhelmed by nothing but the flame.

  4. Punching/Blocking (15 minutes) - There are a few essential punches you will need to learn to attack effectively. The straight punch, upper-cut, knife-hand, spear-hand, elbow strike, backfist. Practice them in order and alternate hands. Practice blocking as though these were the punches you were being attacked with. Experiment with groupings and counter attacks. Defend, attack, defend, attack, defend, attack. etc.

  5. Kicking (15 minutes) - ten repetitions of any kick will suffice in strengthening your legs. Focus beyond the target for maximum power, but practice the flow of motion to gain graceful flexibility in your movements; like a flounce; power will follow.

  6. Sparring (15+ minutes) - Find someone to fight, and use all of your techniques to fight them for 15 to 30 minutes. Sparring will help you increase your stamina and ability to throw combinations and defend yourself against multiple attacks or multiple attackers, once you've mastered certain blocking and attacking techniques.

Tips in Karate – Self Defense

  • When punching, stay relaxed until just before you hit your target. Bruce Lee says, "Relaxation is essential for faster and more powerful punching. Let your lead punch shoot out loosely and easily; do not tighten up or clench your fist until the moment of impact. All punches should end with a snap several inches behind the target. Thus, you punch through the opponent instead of at him."

  • When kicking: straight kicks may use the ball of the foot or the heel, keep your toes back or they might be damaged; sidekicks always use the blade of your foot or the heel; ax kicks always strike with the heel (but this is an uncommon kick for most); round-house kicks may strike with the shin, top or ball of the foot. Round kicks with the shin may be particularly effective.

  • When stretching: stretch all; even your neck, back, stomach, arms and hands... concentrate especially on your largest muscles - the legs.

  • When sparring: when attacked –

    • Strike them before they strike you; this may negate or impair their attack, cause them damage and expend a minimum of your energy.

    • If this is not possible, move, change the distance and/or move off the line of attack ready for a counter-attack.

    • Block. Blocking need not occur with the hands and it is very unwise to block medium to low kicks with the hands. This foliage the head unguarded and vulnerable. Blocking kicks with the hands (especially open hands is not smart unless you are an expert). The best defense is not being where you can be hit.

  • If you are interested in martial arts, go and train and stop reading Wikipedia!

  • When attacking - look for your opponent's weaknesses and strengths. Give your opponent a false sense of security by faking an attack they will use their momentum to block, and then attack them using your own power and cunning to lay your opponent out for the count.

  • You may want to try meditating at the beginning of the workout. This way your mind will be clear and ready to work out without getting your body warmed up and then have it cool down while you sit motionless meditating.

  • Never under-estimate, or over-estimate an opponent. The more you're sure you can defeat/be defeated by them, the less/more likely that outcome will occur.

  • Practice everything you know so much that when a real fight comes you don't have to think, just do. Use a training dummy after every warm up to fight with.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Spoken English - Easy Tips

Easy tips

Ø Observe the mouth movements of those who speak English well and try to imitate them.

Ø Until you learn the correct intonation and rhythm of English, slow your speech down.

Ø Listen to the 'music' in English.

Ø Use the dictionary

Ø Make a list of frequently used words that you find difficult to pronounce and ask someone who speaks the language well to pronounce them for you

Ø Buy books on tape

Ø Pronounce the ending of each word.

Ø Read aloud in English for 15-20 minutes every day.

Ø Record your own voice and listen for pronunciation mistakes.

Ø Be patient.

Quick tips

Various versions of the English language survive. Commence by recognizing the group you fall into and initiate by improving the precision of your speech.

Ø Focal point on removing the mother tongue pressure and the 'Indianisms' that creep into your English conversations.

Ø Observe the English news on television channels like Star World, CNN, BBC and English movies on Star Movies and HBO.

Ø Listen to and sing English songs. I recommend Westlife, Robbie Williams , Abba, Skeeter Davis and Connie Francis among others.

Books to help you improve your English

  • Essential English Grammar by Murphy (Cambridge)
  • Spoken English by R K Bansal and J B Harrison
  • Pronounce It Perfectly In English (book and three audio cassettes) by Jean Yates, Barrons Educational Series
  • English Pronunciation For International Students by Paulette Wainless Dale, Lillian Poms