considerations mentioned in What is Kin
Shin Kai, following are some of the ways we believe we differ
from many karate groups.
while our classes are highly structured and encourage good discipline
and strong group spirit, we are more relaxed in our formalities than
many other karate styles. These often conduct classes like a military
boot camp. We aim to teach people how to defend themselves and not
how to be pretend soldiers or warriors. We do however retain the Japanese
spirit of courtesy, respect and politeness.
believe enjoying your training is important and so appropriate humour
and having fun is encouraged, particularly with younger students.
Older students tend to naturally take their training much more seriously.
This does not mean we do not put our students under great pressure
at times. Dealing with stress and pressure is a vital part of self
for self, fellow students and instructors is expected but again, unlike
many other groups, does not have to be blind respect. It is encouraged
for any student to politely question instructors about things that
may not make sense to them or with which they disagree (and to expect
a non evasive answer). Besides the obvious benefit for the student
in more clearly understanding where they are going, it keeps the instructors
on their toes and means they are less likely to teach half-baked methods.
maintain there is a huge difference between self defense and fighting,
although there are obviously commonalities in the methods of physical
engagement. True self defense is keeping you and your loved ones safe
from harm. Fighting on the other hand is about battering your opponent
into submission. For ethical, legal and practical reasons we should
clearly not get the two mixed up. Whilst the latter may occasionally
be necessary to facilitate the former, in general we believe that
most self defense is non physical and is based on your awareness of
potential dangers in daily living, as well as the attitude you project
for others to react to. Once a persons mindset changes from self defence
to fighting we believe in fact there is much more chance of them being
not to say that some of our methods are not potentially extremely
and simply brutal. On the contrary, simplicity and brutal effectiveness
are trademark features of the old karate traditions when they are
taught properly. In extreme situations it is generally only tools
of this kind that will give someone being attacked a chance of successfully
it is our belief and experience that most of the time a less brutal
response, often largely non-physical, is more appropriate to self
defense and that any "self defense" based mainly on battering the
other person e.g. boxing, kickboxing is missing the point. Ultimately
this may lead to an unnecessary and dangerous escalation of many confrontations
and result in greater harm to the practitioner even if they "win the
karate tuition in Okinawa was conducted on a one to one or very small
group basis This definitely leads to a far better quality of learning.
At Kin Shin Kai we try and emulate this by teaching relatively small
groups streamed where possible into varying levels and age groups.
Many other groups teach only a couple of larger, less personal classes
where much of the tuition and assistance may be provided by brown
belts or lower level black belts. These, while they may be keen, can't
hold a candle to a more experienced instructor when it comes to teaching
what really matters. In fact they may often impart incorrect information
due to their sheer, relative inexperience. Most Kin Shin Kai classes
are directly taught or supervised by a 6th dan with over 30 years
experience and all instructors have many years of experience in karate.
try and promote themselves with extravagant claims like "the best
style", "Australia's leading karate instructor", or else hang onto
someone else's coat tails by claiming lineage to "the world's premier
teacher". At Kin Shin Kai we think those claims are often unsupportable
and meaningless. There are few sensible criteria for determining such
sweeping generalisations and we question the ego needs of people who
feel they have to make such claims (see choosing
a martial art).
believe we have something to offer that is a little different, which
makes much better practical sense of karate tradition, and which will
suit a broad range of ethically minded people.
emphasize competency based gradings (belt level tests) over curriculum
based ones. We prefer someone who may know less but can make it work
as opposed to someone who knows all their curriculum but couldn't
make it work in a real situation. Some of our training is not as pretty
as a result of this but neither is a real life confrontation.
stress keeping things as simple as possible and we are constantly
working to refine this. We believe attacking vital targets is a critical
part of self defense, but we focus on those targets which are easily
accessed under a situation of great stress and danger, which is
when they are most likely to be needed.
stress evading, deflecting, redirecting and off balancing the opponent
as much as possible and as continually as possible as an aid to controlling
highlight the habitual use of techniques that elicit predetermined
responses from our opponents. This is an important way to make our
follow up techniques more predictable and effective and thus our self
defense easier. We point out how traditional karate is full of applications
that use and in fact often rely on this principle. We try and make
our non contact training mimic what we expect to happen in real life
as much as possible.
many principles from the internal martial arts and consider our power
generation to be of the internal kind as opposed to the external (which
mainly uses muscular strength and tension). The internal when mastered
is an easier, quicker and more flowing kind of power and one that
can be maintained well into old age.
familiar with much of todays teaching of traditional karate, we also
differ in that we offer a wide range of self defense contexts and
entries in our kata applications (Bunkai). We also offer a far more
complete range of exit techniques. This is in contrast to much of
standard karate-do where most applications are practised against an
opponent stepping in throwing a straight right handed punch - not
how people are normally attacked.
we are not just into focussing our attention on the more talented
students. While promoting such students can make a club look good,
we believe such students should be treated exactly the same as anyone
else and not, as so often happens, become the teachers favourite.
We will however try and give more help to any student who demonstrates
a greater than average dedication - that to us is far more important
in a student than just natural talent.
It is one
of the unmitigated delights of teaching martial arts to be able to
watch someone who commences training looking totally unexceptional,
develop through their own dedication and our teaching methods into
an excellent martial artist. The beauty of the martial arts is that
this can be achieved by almost anyone! •
on enrolling in classes see Training Information or Contact Us