Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tuesday, 29th April 2009

Don't want to go to bed and can't sleep...
Don't want to come out of bed and can't get up...
Don't want to move and can't walk forwards, backwards, left and right...
Don't know why and can't explain...

It was a beautiful day...
I saw the people happy and celebrating arrival of the spring...

On that particular day I saw things from different angle and I appreciated what I had... We easily miss the beauty we have around us.

Anyway, we all go thorough up and down, and have good days and bad days...

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Why not...!

ご無沙汰しております "Gobusata shite orimasu"
Long time no see...

I was going to write 意識 "Ishiki"-part 2, but I haven't been in right mood...
So I decided to write something about food and drink.

This is part one... (I hope I continue;-)

One evening, I just opened a bottle of wine which I have kept more than 15 years.
A kind of special wine...

There wasn't anything to celebrate and I didn't have any reason to open such a bottle of wine.
I just thought "Why not", opened and celebrated an ordinary evening!

From Berlin and food

Monday, January 25, 2010

意識 "ishiki' - part 1

I just came back from "Kangeiko", a 6 days course at a Dojo in the South of Germany.
At the end of the course, we were exhausted from intensive trainings but we were all happy and enjoyed the week!

I mentioned this word, 意識 "ishiki', during the training.
I just looked it up in my dictionary and it says: conscious, aware...
We all know these words and have learned it from Karate training...
We all understand it is important to be conscious what we are doing and to be aware.

We have repeatedly practiced to focus on one thing, every day, every lesson and every so often during the week...

I was asking the students to do their techniques with consciousness and to pay attention to the specific points in order to realize something very important, to improve techniques or to change bad habits... In the end, after many repetitions, everybody managed to do well.
Afterwards, I asked the students to do a different thing, and again after many repetitions, everyone managed to do it. But: Most of them have forgotten the previous point...

I was asking simple things - something about the arms, the back, the feet...
For example,
position of hands, elbows and shoulders...
angle of hips, knees and the posture...
feeling the connection between the sole and the floor...
something about the mind..., and so on.

If I list up points of techniques, there are hundreds of things to consider which all need to work together in order to correctly perform just one simple technique.
How can we learn and do hundreds of things together at once...? Almost impossible! even two or three things are sometimes difficult...
We have to focus and work on one thing at the time with 意識 "ishiki".

This is very difficult but very important! Not only once, you have to continue and remind yourself all the time!!

Content copy right 2009-2010. Shinji Akita. All right reserved.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Karate and Photographing

Have you ever thought there is a connection between Karate and Photographing...?

I have another friend. We talk a lot when we are together and we try to fix the world's problems...! His name is Carlos Salinas and he is a professional photographer and Karate-ka living in Calgary.
One day, we were talking about photographing and he told me: "Photographing is like doing Kumite!"
Again, as a good Sensei doesn't say much, he just told me briefly what he means and, typical of me, I didn't ask much...

Many months went by and I kept taking photos occasionally. At the same time, his words crossed my mind.

Sometimes, I managed to take a nice picture but it was just beginner's luck and most of the time I missed the good opportunities... "Ah! this is a nice scene and I want to capture it with my camera", after this thought I first had to get ready to take a picture. By the time finished, it was already another moment and the scene I wanted to take wasn't there any more.
I got ready and was waiting for the same scene to happen again... Of course, the scene I wanted to take never came back or happened!!

I am sure most of you who are parents have experienced something like this...
For example, you want to take a photo of your child smiling but when you point the camera they don't smile or when you ask them to smile it is not natural...

I literary understood what my friend Carlos had said but I couldn't apply it to photographing.
I got frustrated and the time just went by...

When I visited him on another occasion, we again were talking about the world's problems and were trying to fix it! As always, we ended up talking about photographing. I was asking him to find out how not to miss opportunities... His answer was "same as Kumite"!
So we started talking about Kumite instead of photographing and after while...
Guess what? "Ahaa...!" I realized and visualized the answer.

During Kumite, we presume what is happening the next moment and we get ready to react for it... either block the opponents attack, or you attack before your opponent is moving in or moving back and so on. But it happens in a very short moment, in 0.01 sec or even shorter... The next moment is a different scenario so you never get your opponent. When you see the opportunity, it is already too late! When you see what your opponent is going to do it is already too late! you have to be one step ahead...

So you have to know or be able to see, or may be feel what your opponent would do next. In other words, you already see the moment you want before it is happening, you prepare for that situation and then react accordingly... the more you practice and experience, the more often you succeed and make less mistakes. The probability of your predictions gets higher and it won't be a lucky punch anymore...!

I now practice to predict what will happen before the scene comes up! If I miss it or if it is not happening what I was expecting, then I just let go and wait or look for another opportunity and scene...

I learned I don't need a good camera to take a good photograph but I found out there is a limitation with it.
So now I want a another camera, a good SLR camera...

Being a good driver doesn't mean you can drive fast. You need a fast car to drive faster...
Often, good equipment is important for the better performance...
Do Karate-ka need a good "machine"?
Yes, we need a good machine which is our mind and body, for the better performance!
So we have to practice to maintain and make them better!!
Mind you, most of us have very good machines but we don't know how to control!!!

Content copyright 2009-2010. Shinji Akita. All rights reserved.


May I introduce myself as a photographer...!
It sounds serious but I just enjoy taking photos. I am a beginner and I have just started learning about photographing.
I uploaded some photos I took when I lived in Berlin and I hope you like them.


These are just shots and there isn't much message and title...
May be you could see I like cooking!

My camera: Lumix LX-2

Content copyright 2009-2010. Shinji Akita. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

道場のみの空手と思ふな - My friends and Senseis...-

I have friends and they are sometimes my Senseis, but not always in the Dojo...
I have known one of them for a long time, since the beginning of my years in Europe (London).
His name is Michael Rice, an architect living in Ireland.

I enjoy listening and talking to him and I have learned many things from him about life.
When we are together, we could turn anywhere into the Dojo, it could be in the field, on the couch or in the car...

I often don't understand what he tells me at that time, because it is sometimes very philosophical, technical or something very crazy for me, and may be because of his Irish accent!
Although I don't fully understand I always listen what he says and it stays somewhere in my brain.
Very often I "visualize and experience" things he said to me afterwards, may be next day, may be a month later or sometimes 3 years later... and it could be anywhere, in the bathroom, while cooking or driving.
I recognize those moments, "Ahaa! this is what he told me!!"
Like opening the cloud around your head and seeing the lights.

It just came to my mind what Master Funakoshi says:
Karate goes beyond the dojo
Dojo nomino karate to omou na

I often realize, discover and learn "Karate" beyond the Dojo...
Not only my friends, the children are also great masters, too and I learn a lot from them.
They are just like a mirror because they behave how we are...

By the way, In Japan, good Senseis don't explain and tell you much. (I can't be a good Sensei because I talk a lot!)
Anyway, even if you don't understand what Senseis say don't stop seeking what exactly he or she means. Better stop understanding from the words they say. Try to "visualize and experience"!!!
If you do that you will find out what and why more correctly.
Sometimes, don't think too much. Often the answers comes up when you are on holiday!
"No mind...!"

Content copyright 2009-2010. Shinji Akita. All rights reserved.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

力を入れる、力を抜く。"Chikara o Ireru, Chikara o nuku"

- contraction and relaxation of the muscles -

1. Contraction of the muscles
 を れる - chikara o ireru
(chikara = power. ireru = input, load, pump...)

2. Relaxation of the muscles
 を く - chikara o nuku
(chikara = power. nuku = take out, pull, remove...)

Speed and power are developed by these two combined, contraction and relaxation of the muscles. Correct and accurate movements and timing are very important to increase them.
Your mind should be focused all the time.
Kime - is the moment of completing the movements (techniques) with the right timing.
(The muscles should be contracted a very short moment. Not to hold them too long.)

How well can you manage those points mentioned above...?

Japanese Senseis say "Strong" that means often No. 1
Japanese Senseis say "Relaaaaax" that often means No. 2
but you need both to make strong and powerful techniques!!!

Content copyright 2009-2010. Shinji Akita. All rights reserved.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Check your stance, you may be standing too low...

Are you standing correctly...?

Check your stance! whatever you call them, Zenkutsu, Kokutsu or Kiba dachi and so on.
Your stance may be too wide or too long...? Put your centre of gravity lower is important but lowering yourself unnecessary could create and rise the tension to the upper part of your body, and also restrict your ability of movements...

Just try to make your stance narrower and shorter than you usually stand, then move your arms, do different techniques and feel the difference...

Don't forget the balance is always an important point!

And don't misunderstand: I am not encoraging you to stand higher!!!

Content copyright 2009-2010. Shinji Akita. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

始動を早く Shidou o hayaku

On Monday, I went to the Dojo and it was my first training this year. This word came up to my mind and we worked on it...

"始動を早く" -shidou o hayaku- (beginning of movement - quick or fast)

Try to punch and kick or block with 100% every action, not to save or control your energy.
But not to tense your muscles is very important. You will increase the ability to focus and feel every part of you working together. Exhausting though!
Also spend more time to observe yourself and to study your habits at the very beginning of the movements...
This will be my main point to work on this year.

Content copyright 2009-2010. Shinji Akita. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2010, Happy New Year to everyone

2010年 あけましておめでとうございます。
Happy New Year to everyone.
I would like to thank you for all your support during the previous year.
I wish all the best to you in 2010 and I look forward to seeing you again this year.

New year, new start, year of the tiger... whatever, so I created my Blog for sharing something with you, may be about Karate, health and well being, food and cooking, photographing...etc

"Kotoshi mo Yoroshiku!"

押忍 "Oss"

Content copyright 2009-2010. Shinji Akita. All rights reserved.