Classes revolve around four primary
activities. They are basic technique, kata, kumite, and conditioning.
The basic techniques of Shorin-Ryu
are based upon “natural” body movements and follow correct principles of body mechanics and physics. They are
divided into A, B, and C foundation drills. A Foundation drills are single techniques, B foundation drills are multiple techniques,
and C foundation drills are simultaneous techniques. These are performed solo or with a partner.
Kata (forms) and Bunkai (interpretation
of those forms) comprise the core of our training. The Kata which we practice are authentic Okinawan Kata and have not been
bastardized for sport competition. Kata can be explained as a series of pre-arranged techniques woven together to simulate
fighting or self defense situations. We practice 20 empty hand kata and it requires several years of practice to be adept
at each. Knowledge of the Kata is the primary requirement for belt rank promotion.
Kumite or “sparing”
was rarely done by the old Okinawan Karate masters as it was considered too dangerous. Kumite at Bushi-Kai is only permitted
after a student reaches a certain skill level and is closely monitored by at least one of the black belts. No sport protective
gear is typically worn and safety is ensured by well controlled and focused techniques. The concept of Kumite is that both
students should learn from the engagement and so both are winners. Therefore, points are not accumulated to determine a “winner”
as they are in sport karate. Absolutely no horseplay is tolerated during Kumite.
In our classes we practice what
is known as kotekitai or forearm conditioning. The blocking techniques of Shorin-Ryu are designed to inflict injury or even
break the attacker’s arms or legs. This accomplishment requires very tough forearms by the Karate practitioner. To this
end we practice three styles of forearm conditioning drills. This type of training is rarely seen in the United States