This is the first post on our new Traditional Karate Research Institute karate blog, and I thought I’d say something about what TKRI is and how I’m expecting this site to unfold.
TKRI is a small karate group based in St Louis in the US, with some branches and instructors in the state of Virginia. We’re affiliated to Harry Cook’s UK group Seijinkai, but (and this is in the spirit of Harry’s organisation) we’re very much independent free-thinkers, and we have no particular commitment to any one karate style or authority.
Our main focus is on teaching grown-ups to fight (and as you’ll probably realise very quickly from reading our work, we distinguish between that and teaching them to compete in a sport-style match), and so, of course, we train like demons, but we also consider that knowledge of, and so research into, the history and anthropology of karate and other fighting traditions, is relevant to learning to fight, so those are interests for us too.
Fighting skills, of course, include things like grappling, groundwork, disarming, negotiating for position before a fight, knowledge of anatomy and combat psychology etc. and not just striking and blocking. What makes us a karate group, I think, and not just some random street-fighting group, is a focus on traditional karate kata as repositories of fighting knowledge – even if they’re occasionally repositories to which someone has lost the key.
So what you might expect from this blog is this: posts about topics related to karate and learning to fight – VERY broadly construed, to include everything from, say, the influence of Thailand on Okinawa during the 19th Century (I have a feeling Randy will be bringing us up-to-date on that pretty soon) to discussions of the safety and utility of static stretching. We don’t mean to be snobs though, and mma, links to Youtube videos and awful karate jokes will also be legitimate topics.
What you shouldn’t expect: a unified TKRI viewpoint on all topics. We’re not even likely to agree on exactly what TKRI is or what this blog is for. We’re not an authoritarian organisation, but a group of independent people who think a lot about karate. There’s no particular style being promoted here and we’re not a mouthpiece for anyone. It’s just us. See you around.