What is Kin shin Kai back...

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Kin Shin Kai is an independent, Melbourne Australia based martial arts group founded and headed by master instructor George Ciechanowicz. Kin Shin Kai is not concerned with competition but rather with effective self defense.

Based squarely on the Goju Ryu karate tradition as passed down by Master Ohtsuka Tadahiko of the Goju Kensha, Kin Shin Kai is nonetheless open minded about investigating alternative or complementary methods from any source for modifying or adding to its own methods. However our core Goju Ryu tradition, being one of the original and most popular karate "styles", already has many excellent methods when properly understood.

One of our main goals is to streamline and present the tradition in a way that will make more sense and be more practical. This is in contrast to the 'Art for art's sake' type activity which is typical of so many Japanesed karate styles (for some of the reasons why this is so please refer to the section on History, Origins and Evolution).

In this regard Kin Shin Kai has more recently been influenced by the research and teaching of a number of others including Patrick McCarthy who over the last 25 years seems to have influenced the direction of many karate teachers in the western world. Sadly, as is far too common in the martial arts world, few publicly acknowledge his influence. We do so here.

We also have been influenced by the extremely efficient Bruneian Silat of Maul Mornie whose brutally effective life or death self defense methods have enhanced the abilities of our more senior and mature students - such methods have to be used selectively and appropriately.

We value our connection with tradition and eschew the modern trend for freestyle "I made it up myself by learning bits and pieces here and there" schools and also those claiming to be uniquely practical in self defence. Whilst the modern 'practical' classes certainly may be more immediately focused on self defence than a holistic traditional style they are almost always using techniques drawn from effective traditional martial arts and often are teaching these in a less effective manner in our experience. Also at the same time they are often deficient in taking time to vet who they are teaching potentially very dangerous techniques to and some schools from our perspective lack an acceptable moral and ethical framework.

Thus our classes use our well developed understanding of tradition to focus on self defense and holistic health and fitness (properly taught traditional karate targets the enemies within as well as without). Non contact dojo sparring is also practised but full on competition is left to individual students to pursue if they are so interested.

The self defense skills taught initially have simple yet very effective elements, which are then enhanced by more sophisticated and rewarding principles and skills which are the heart of Goju Ryu and associated traditions. The training is designed to be a very healthy and enjoyable exercise in its own right.

Our initial aim with new students is to instil a sense of discipline, respect and self confidence. To the foundation striking, blocking and evading skills of karate, we progressively add escapes, restraints, sweeps, throws, seizes, locks, grappling, knowledge of vital points and advanced self defense routines. Safe practice is stressed to students and normal dojo sparring is "non- contact" i.e. we aim to stop short rather than hit with our strikes.

Progress towards black belt is measured by a colour belt or "Kyu" grade system which has 10 levels. There are then many levels of black belt. Contrary to popular belief & myth, getting a black belt simply means the student can be considered an adult in karate terms. They are not in any way 'experts' or invulnerable although they will hopefully have some good basic self defence skills.

This is not always the case as in far too many modern martial arts schools the blackbelt has simply become a commodity and marketing tool. Our experience is that many such students actually have incredibly poor self defence skills even though they like to say they are black belts.

In actual fact the genuinely dedicated students find that the most rewarding and effective learning occurs after they have attained black belt level.

At these more senior levels we also encourage development of leadership and effective communication skills and expect students to be good role models for more junior students in particular and society in general. This is in line with the aims of Karate Do (the way of karate) which stresses personal development.

At the same time we also follow the idea of Karate Jutsu (the techniques of karate) which demands that technique be effective.

For those who may be interested, our "style" is a mixture of Japanese, Okinawan, Chinese, Bruneian & western influences. We believe "style" is too often a much misunderstood idea. Even "traditional" styles are just teaching methods and cannot help but change as different teachers reteach and, often without being aware of it, reinterperet what they originally learned.

At the end of the day, every person's style has to be their own - what suits them. Their mother style simply gives them a set of tools and principles to start them on the road to achieving that end. We also encourage and expect our senior students to seek out other teachers knowledge to help them round off a set of skills that will best suit them

For further information on Kin Shin Kai check out How is Kin Shin Kai different?

For information on enrolling in classes see Training information or Contact Us