Renshikan Karate Demonstration at the 2013 Calgary Omatsuri

At the 2013 Calgary Japanese Festival, members of the CJCA Renshikan Karate Club and Fish Creek Renshikan Karate Club perform at karate demonstration. In this clip, they perform basic blocks and kicks:

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to catch up to Sey Yamashiro-sensei or Frank Prystupa-sensei for an interview. At least, I can share with you some information and point you in the right direction if you'd like more information.

Perhaps, karate is the Japanese martial art that most people are familiar with. My generation grew up with the original Karate Kid and Miyagi-sensei ("Wax on, Wax off.")

"Karate" means "empty hand". It is a form of self-defense, as Frank Prystupa-sensei described in the demonstration.

They learn a variety of blocks and kicks in the form of kata (forms). In addition to grading, practitioners can participate in tournaments.

Here's where things get interesting. There are so many different schools of karate. The style that is shown here is called Renshikan-Ryu. It is a relatively young style, founded by Japanese-Canadian David Akutagawa (1927 - 2008). It is a combination of two older schools: Shito-ryu karate and Chito-ryu karate. Akutagawa sensei was an eighth dan in Shito-ryu, a sixth dan Shihan and renshi in Chito-ryu.

For more information on karate, or to find a dojo near you, check out the following:

Japanese Martial Arts (book)

Karate Alberta Association

Karate Canada

Karate USA

The Karate Dojo: Traditions and Tales of a Martial Art (book)

In the Dojo: A Guide to the Rituals and Etiquette of the Japanese Martial Arts (book)

About the Featured Photo: Members of the CJCA and Fish Creek  Renshikan Karate Clubs demonstrate a kick at the Calgary Omatsuri. Photo by Christine Kohl. Publisher: Kathleen "Irulanne" Boucher.