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We all want to grow in the martial arts by improving our skill and our abilities to protect ourselves and others.  However, there is much more to growth in the martial arts than just your skill level...

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One of the most common questions instructors get asked by students relates to increasing kicking height.  While flexibility of the kicking muscles is important, there is so much more to be concerned with.

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Technique is important; in most respects this is the foundation of hte training that martial arts entails.  Without technique, everything can quickly fall apart.

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The martial arts are an excellent activity that all people can enjoy, assuming that they find both a training system or style and instructor that they can associate with.  The fact that these activities can be enjoyed by countless people worldwide is evidenced by the large number of schools, tournaments, systems, styles, and practitioners.  However, there is something to be said about the lifestyle of martial arts versus the business side of martial arts.

 

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This article continues to explore the question “What does a ‘Dan’ REALLY Mean?”.  While from style to style there is no one easy answer, and even in same schools within the same martial arts system this fact persists, individual small systems may be analyzed in regards to this fact.  This article aims to explore the meaning behind Dan ranks 6-10 in the Nemuru system of karate.

 

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Sometimes, it is he or she that we do not expect that will bring something to mind and make us truly think.  The example here is a reflection on a specific point that was brought up at last night's class in relation to the word of the week - perseverance.

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aveldman replied the topic: #19 4 months 4 weeks ago
Perseverance (Nintai) certainly does require strength!

And karate requires perseverance! One simply will not get very far without it. Waking up with sore muscles after an intense training session once may be okay... counting the bruises from sparring could be a “battle story” to share with friends at first... but eventually the novelty wears off and reality says this is what it’s all about. Having that inner strength to persevere allows us to continue to learn, to continue to train, to reach the next level despite those sore muscles and bruises.

But before you can persevere, you must want to reach that next level. It has to be a goal that you set for yourself deep inside; no one else can set it for you. Then, when you have practiced for months (or years), and you still walk away from class feeling like you had the stuffing beat out of you, wanting to reach that next level will feed the strength, and perseverance will allow you to return to class the next time to train harder.

Without perseverance (and that goal), walking away is easy. That’s not what karate is about.

Whether you refer to them as Dans, Degrees, Ranks, or some other term, most systems of martial arts, whether Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Indonesian, English, or any other nationality, contain ranks beyond black belt or its stylistic equivalent.  However, what do these really mean in the grand scheme of things?  This artcile will explore that first 5 Dans of the Nemuru karate system.

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passingthetorchOn February 4th, 85+ people gathered to celebrate and thank Grandmaster Paul Munchbach for his nearly 34 years of service as the head instructor of the Galway Karate Club. In December he stepped down as the head instructor and turned over those responsibilities to Shihan Chris Malley, Grandmaster Munchbach's first black belt.

Besides students from the Galway Karate Club and Golden Eagle martial arts, we were joined by family and friends of Grandmaster Munchbach and Shihan Malley and some past students. We were also pleased to host some black belts from the area. Master Michael Campos and Sensei Tom Grecco from Zen Do Kai, Sensei Roland Lavigne from Eight Star Martial Arts/Red Dragon Karate, and Tony Collins from Pil-Sung Martial Arts were there to congratulate both men. Our own black belts in attendance included: Master Joe Sagarese (founder of the Galway Karate Club), Master Al Blakely (Galway), Sensei Theresa Sagarese (Galway) Sensei Steve Hull (Galway), Sensei Matt McSain (Webster), Sensei Guy Sowle (Galway) Sensei Dean Guenther (Galway), Sensei Beth Malley (Webster), Sensei Mike Lilley (Webster), and Sensei Caelynn Prylo (Galway).

Several of the black belts presented Grandmaster Munchbach with gifts of recognition and shared some memories of Grandmaster Munchbach. Sensei Theresa Sagarese decorated a cake for the event that included the original logo of the Galway Karate Club. Shihan Malley presented him with a card from the students that included several gift cards, thanks to the donations from the two schools. He was presented with framed pictures of the Galway and Webster class that were surrounded with congratulations from the students and families. The final gift was a signed certificate from all thirteen Galway Karate Club/Golden Eagle Martial Arts black belts that are under Grandmaster Munchbach. The certificate is surrounded by some of the patches used over the years by the two schools. The outer frame has the kanji characters for honor, integrety, humility, and warrior burned into its face. Shihan Malley then shared his comments which were followed by Grandmaster Munchbach's comments. He expressed his surprise at the many people that came and his gratitude for everyone. After that we all enjoyed the cake.

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articlebuttonWe are always interested in finding ways to help our students and instructors train, even when they can't be in the dojo. We are takin advantage of the tools that YouTube offers for us to share videos not only of tournaments and demonstrations, but of the many aspects of our training.

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