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As of today, the TKRIblog will redirect to the Fight Sciences Research Institute blog. For readers familiar with our former TKRI blog and identity, you can expect the same high level of quality original research and articles, training information and ideas, discussions, and accurate resources about the fighting arts and sports.

We invite you to follow us as we kick off a wider exploration of the fighting arts and combat sports and all related topics. If you found our old site useful, the new one will be packed with even more research, news and training ideas.

And we’re just getting started.

Readers may have noticed that our focus has evolved over the last couple of years. Initially most of our content was related to karate and other closely related topics. As time has gone by our focus has broadened to include information on a variety of fight training related topics. This has been reflective of our training and interests as an organization as well.

In order to more accurately represent our focus and practice we are changing our name from ‘The Karate Research Institute’ to the ‘Fight Sciences Research Institute’.  It will take us a while to change everything over, but we have now begun. For the time being we will keep the name of this blog the same. Wish us luck on this new chapter in our development.

The FSRI Virginia club will once again be hosting the annual FSRI Summer Training Camp in Ferrum, Virginia. Camp will run from June 24th-26th (Friday-Sunday). As always, all comers are welcome, regardless of what they practice.

The rough theme for the weekend will be “Train Smarter to Fight Harder.” Instruction will feature:

Robert MillerNASM Corrective Exercise Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness for Fighting Arts Certified Trainer

David Campbell– chief instructor of the TKRI Virginia club

Randy Simpson– NASM CPT, Fitness for Fighting Arts Certified Trainer. Simpson’s classes will explore Gentile’s taxonomy of motor skills as a method for planning instruction and analyzing the complexity of fighting skills, and present partner drills to foster development of game skills for close range fighting in a variety of environmental conditions and action goals.

This year’s camp will reflect the transition that TKRI has been making away from “traditional” karate and towards a broader approach to the elements of training for fighting skills and self defense. We invite boxers, wrestlers, judoka, MMA students and competitors and other martial artists who have an open mind and the desire to explore methods of pursuing the goals common to all fighting arts. The skill-based training sessions will focus on practical, intuitive responses to violence, rather than historical or theoretical conjecture.

Read the rest of this entry »

Over the last year, Bob and myself (with the help of folks in our respective groups) have been working on a variety of projects related to our Fitness for the Fighting Arts (F4FA) programs. In February of last year, we held the inaugural F4FA seminar in Virginia. At last year’s TKRI/Seijinkai Summer Camp Bob introduced many of the injury avoidance concepts to attendees. Currently he’s working on an instructional DVD, which will put extremely useful information about activity-specific injury prevention and performance enhancement strategies into the hands of trainers, instructors, coaches and practitioners of the various fighting arts. We’re also working on developing a series of seminars and workshops that are tailored to the concerns of specific fighting arts and sports.

In an effort to make all of F4FA content accessible in one location, we’ve developed a home web site to house the F4FA project:

Fitness for the Fighting Arts

Some of the content is still under construction, but we hope that the new menu will be easy to navigate and simple to understand. Several areas on the site offer information about the program and related materials:

About Us- the Maximal Advantage Training System

Seminar and Workshop Program Packages if you’re interested in hosting an F4FA seminar, browse the program options and contact either myself or Bob, depending on your region of the country.  More information on each package and pricing information will be coming soon.

F4FA Instructional DVD Samples

Articles and Resources

More information will be added in the next several weeks, but if you’re interested in finding out more, contact Robert Miller or myself using the email addresses supplied on the site.

And just like that, 2010 is past and it’s 2011.  Fans of the cult film This is Spinal Tap are undoubtedly familiar with the statement “this one goes to 11.” If you’re not, find a copy and figure it out. Since this is the year of Going to 11, now is  a good time to examine what you spend your training time doing and what you hope to get out of it. In the last year, what’s changed in your life/body/priorities that affects how you train? What can you leave behind, and what do you need to research, explore and bring into your training? What areas need improvement? How are you limiting yourself? There are a few questions that can put the past year into perspective, and lay out a plan for improving on it in 2011:

  • What do I want out of my training time (goals)
  • What do I need to do to make those things happen (methods)

From there:

  • Make a plan. Be realistic. Don’t be afraid to put on your student hat.
  • Get to it.

So with that in mind, good luck in the new year- train hard, train smart and have fun.

People familiar with the Niseishi/Nijushiho kata are often curious about the differences between the older and modern versions. There are many versions out there with their own variations, but one sequence in particular tends to be a focal point for speculation: the bit following the “rising block” and elbow strike.

The common modern version goes into a horse stance followed by a high side kick and a hooking punch. To anyone with any practical experience, this makes absolutely no sense. Think about it- If you have just parried an arm that is close enough to strike you, is there really room to throw a side thrust kick into the attacker’s face? And if that kick lands will the attacker still be close enough to hit with a close hooking punch to the body? In the world outside of the courtesies of the dojo, the person throwing the punch will probably not stop after one attempt and wait for you to get a leg up to his chin. Standing on one leg while someone is charging/collapsing into you is an invitation to being spectacularly clobbered. This version of the sequence is a product of the early JKA retooling kata to make them athletic and visually impressive rather than evocative of practical fighting methods.

The older versions tend to offer a sequence that might resemble something more useful to the experienced eye. Harry Cook teaches a version taken from the karate books published by Tokyo University in 1930 and 1933. In this version, the sequence in question involves two hooking parries and a low kick off of the front leg. This affords a more plausible scenario: parry two punches to the face, keep a hold on the attacker’s arms, kick him in the knee cap or groin, finish with a punch to the face or a crank of the neck. In contrast to the high kick version, a kick to the knee cap or groin will slow someone down enough to make the follow up plausible. Historical origins and veracity aside, this sequence makes a lot more sense than the modern one.

I posted a video of this version for some folks who were curious to compare it to the modern ones so I thought I’d share it here too. This video was taken after our 2008 TKRI/Seijinkai Summer Camp. The camera I had on me was pretty cheap so the video is admittedly low quality. Harry was kind enough to demonstrate a few things for me to record after a pretty high-energy class, so the demonstration is rather informal.

I  disabled embedding for this clip, so you’ll have to visit YouTube to watch.

Just posted a couple of additions to the TKRI training clip library:


Peripheral Visual Tracking Drill

(this is one of those ideas that made us wonder afterward “why the hell did we think this was going to be fun?”)



Sumo Drill, 2-Man Variation

If you watch closely you will see two short clips from the TKRI demonstrations at the Missouri Botanical Gardens this year. Nice job guys.

We were extremely fortunate with this year’s demonstrations at the Missouri Botanical Gardens Japanese Festival: great weather, great crowds, great performances of the material, and two people on hand to film it all in it’s entirety.

Take a look and see for yourself:

TKRI Seizing Drills

Naihanchi/Tekki Application Drills

TKRI Seisan Applications

Bassai Applications

Long Range Knife Defense Scenarios

Close Range Knife Defense Scenarios

Great job folks!

This weekend the combined St. Louis, Washington University and Virginia TKRI Clubs will demonstrate their unique brand of karate at the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

If you’re in St. Louis, swing by the gardens for a great festival. It’s one of the largest in the nation, with lots of great stuff to see/do/watch/eat/drink.  Stop by and see us- we always do a very high energy demo of practical karate that leaves the crowd saying “…ouch…”

The demonstration schedule is available here.

"Try to see yourself as you truly are and try to adopt what is meritorious in the work of others. As a karateka you will of course often watch others practice. When you do and you see strong points in the performance of others, try to incorporate them into your own technique. At the same time, if the trainee you are watching seems to be doing less than his best ask yourself whether you too may not be failing to practice with diligence. Each of us has good qualities and bad; the wise man seeks to emulate the good he perceives in others and avoid the bad."
Funakoshi Gichin


February 2020
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