Be yourself

A lot of people that I teach try really hard to be someone else.  In their eyes they should be like pop or film stars or like fitness models.  I too have been guilty of this, striving towards and pretending to be a better version of myself.  Unfortunately this way of thinking leads to nothing good as we will always have this internal battle between our true self and the false projection.  You will never know what potential you may have until you release your true you.  Since I stopped worrying about who I wanted to be and started to be the person that I truly am my life has blossomed.  I do what I love, I’m with who I love and I’m enjoying life.  Most importantly my life has started to come together and I’m successful, perhaps not in the eyes of others, but in my own, which makes me an incredibly lucky man.  I like this quote by Oscar Wilde a lot:

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

Here is a fable about a ‘cracked pot’ which describes how we are shortsighted and not seeing our true potential and purpose.

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“A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you. “Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?” “I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.” Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it somewhat. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Be yourself no matter what flaws you may think you have, others might take them as your most valued qualities.

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About the author: Les Bubka is an experienced martial artist, personal trainer and therapist who specialises in posture, mobility and Karate.  Les works with a wide variety of clients including martial artists and athletes as well as those suffering with postural dysfunction or those who wish to improve their fitness and wellbeing.

 

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Funakoshi’s Anxiety?

This article is just my speculation…

The other day I was going through one of Master Funakoshi’s books, “The Essence of Karate”.  In reading it one sentence really caught my eye,Funakoshi_Gichin

“As a child, I suffered from a very weak stomach until I started training in Karate…”

When I think about it, I too had a very weak stomach until I started Karate.  I know that there is no medical data that identifies for certain what condition Master Funakoshi may have had, but I know what was wrong with me.

A weak stomach can be a symptom of anxiety, self-doubt and lack of confidence, as it was in my case. Consequently, my theory is that Master Funakoshi also suffered with anxiety prior to him beginning his training at the age of 13 and that Karate helped him improve his mental health, leading to physical wellbeing.

“Once I started Karate, however, it would seem that my ailment was afraid of karate, as it disappeared, and I have not succumbed to illness for even a single day since that time.”

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Working with students who suffer with anxiety like myself I can see how Karate training and positive reinforcement from instructors can improve a person’s mental wellbeing.  It does this by boosting self-confidence and helping to emphasise self-worth through a structured progression.  Given my experience perhaps Master Funakoshi’s revelation that Karate cured his stomach weakness prompted him to promote Shotokan Karate as a holistic system of self-development and self-improvement as well as a martial art.Funakoshi_Gichin2

If my speculation is correct then I believe that this would be the first documented case of Karate helping to fight a mental health condition through structured training methods.  For me this seems quite plausible and would be seen as a positive demonstration of Karate practice leading to health benefits.

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Les Bubka

About the author: Les Bubka is an experienced martial artist, personal trainer and therapist who specialises in posture, mobility and Karate.  Les works with a wide variety of clients including martial artists and athletes as well as those suffering with postural dysfunction or those who wish to improve their fitness and wellbeing.

Isshindo Kan Europe Seminar in UK

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Dear Budoka

Our club would like to invite you, to take part in our,

Isshindo Kan Europe International Seminar, haled in Guildford, UK.

Every year we meet to celebrate and train together in respect and politics free environment.

On our seminars people like minded can experience first hand what others do, how they train and what their style/system is about.

In a friendly and open atmosphere full of common respect between teachers and students from meditation arts, sports or self-defense systems.

If you would like to join us on this event, please find invitation in PDF file attached to this email.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
• When:
7th of July at 10:00 till 18:00
8th of July 10:00 till 12:00 at the Stoke Park.

• Instructors:
Dietmar Schmidt 9Dan Zendo Ryu Karate Do
Stefan Reindl 5Dan Jiu Jitsu
John Burnes 5Dan Goju Ryu Karate
Artur Marchewka 5Dan Shin Ai Do Karate
Sarantis Theodosiu 5Dan Zendo Ryu Karate Do
Jana Gee 4Dan Shotokan Karate
Marek Mroszczyk 4Dan Jukado Kempo
Les Bubka 3Dan Shin Ai Do Karate/ Taiso.

• Where: Surrey Sports Park (SSP) (for details on how to get there please visit their website here: http://www.surreysportspark.co.uk/guestinformation/howtofindus/)

• Cost: Entry £20 or £15 prepaid before 30th of April, via “Tickets” section on bottom of the page or tranfer via www.paypal.me/lesbubka paments are non-refundable .

• Booking: As space is limited we would really appreciate it if those who are planning to attend either select ‘going’ on the Facebook event or let us know via email at les@shinaidokarate.com.

• Important notices:
o SSP have a policy of not permitting any food or drink to be consumed on site unless purchased at SSP. Please note that there is a Starbucks and Sports Bar onsite for refreshments.
o Please do not take photographs as we require a SSP permit to do so. If you would like photographs of the event please ask us to take them on your behalf (using our camera).

• Acomodation: Unfotunatly we are not able to get discounts.
Hilton Hotel 5min walk from the venue
https://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/gb/en/guildford/guisu/hoteldetail
Travel Lodge hotel 25 min walk from the venue.
https://www.travelodge.co.uk/hotels/287/Guildford-hotel
Premier Inn 15min by car
http://www.premierinn.com/gb/en/hotels/england/surrey/guildford.html

– Friday: arrival and registartion at the hotel,
– Saturday:
8:00 to 09:30 grading,
10:00- 18:00 Seminar session at the venue
20:00 – Pub meeting
– Sunday
10:00 – 12:00 training at the local park.

More info about the event can be found on facebook page below:

https://www.facebook.com/events/151029722113063/

Registartion for this event can be done via Facebook click GOING, or email les@shinaidokarate.com

Seminar With A. Marchewka Guildford

Footage from UK seminar with Sensei Artur Marchewka 5th Dan.

In this clip we look at a few of our techniques for receiving impact (Uke), or blocks, followed by counter technique(Atemi): interception and redirection. We want to take the shortest path to interception, and counter.

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Les Bubka

About the author: Les Bubka is an experienced martial artist, personal trainer and therapist who specialises in posture, mobility and Karate.  Les works with a wide variety of clients including martial artists and athletes as well as those suffering with postural dysfunction or those who wish to improve their fitness and wellbeing.

Age Uke

Here we go second clip from Pinan seminar in Guildford.

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About the author: Les Bubka is an experienced martial artist, personal trainer and therapist who specialises in posture, mobility and Karate.  Les works with a wide variety of clients including martial artists and athletes as well as those suffering with postural dysfunction or those who wish to improve their fitness and wellbeing.

Pinan Seminar Guildford

First of the few clips from Guildford’s seminar. Opening sequence of Pinan Kata.

 

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About the author: Les Bubka is an experienced martial artist, personal trainer and therapist who specialises in posture, mobility and Karate.  Les works with a wide variety of clients including martial artists and athletes as well as those suffering with postural dysfunction or those who wish to improve their fitness and wellbeing.

Pinan in Greece

Last weekend (24-25th of June)  I had a pleasure to teach application to Pinan kata at the Isshindo Kan International Seminar held at Amarynthos in Greece. t was a great event with lovely people, please find below short clip from my part of the seminar.

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About the author: Les Bubka is an experienced martial artist, personal trainer and therapist who specialises in posture, mobility and Karate.  Les works with a wide variety of clients including martial artists and athletes as well as those suffering with postural dysfunction or those who wish to improve their fitness and wellbe