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TMA UnderGround >> Ashihara Karate?


10/31/11 2:39 PM
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MIKE CIESNOLEVICZ
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Who has experience with it?

Where are the dojos in the states, etc?
10/31/11 5:15 PM
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khd29
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I think Ashihara and Enshin are very similar. Joko Ninomiya used to train under Ashihara until he found Enshin. I worked out with a couple of Enshin guys but can't really give an opinion. I think the use of sabaki is encouraged.

I don't think there are many, or any, Ashihara dojos here in the US but I would like to know as well.
10/31/11 9:03 PM
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cdueck
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 Imagine Kyokushin with movement and throws.  If I am not mistaken Enshin was formed by one of Mas Oyama's top fighters. He was not very big and found the Kyokushin fighting method was not mobile enough for him. Kyokushin fighters like to stand and trade to see who is tougher, Enshin uses circular movement and off balancing to defeat there opponent. I think they still do all the same kata as Kyokushin though.
11/1/11 7:28 AM
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Kolsyrade
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 Bah, I wrote a long reply on history of Ashihara and relation to kyokushin ans Enshin but it got lost due to javascipt problems :-(
Basically the founder of Enshin (Ninomiya) was a student of the founder of Ashihara karate (Hudeyuki Ashihara) when they were bothstill with kyokushin. Ninomiya was a big kyokushin fighter who once won the all Japan open (the bigest Japanese-only tournament in kyokushin).  When Hideyuki left Kyokushin (why he did so differs depending on who you ask) 1979, Ninomiya followed with his teacher out of loyalty and was second in command until there was a schism between them (neatly coinciding with Hideyuki naming his son, and not Ninomiya, as heir of the style) and he left to found Enshin 1987 (it htink it was). Ashihara and Enshin are very similar, and both are similar to kyokushin -although with the trad kata removed and more focus on sabaki and throws.
Regarding the kata. Hideyuki Ashihara removed all the old traditional kata and replaced them with modernized ones that more resembled fighting (or long combo drills). When Ninomiya founded enshin he took the same idea, but created new katas just so as not to be the same as ashihara.

Ashihara kata

Enshin Kata

Anyway,
Here is the main Ashihara organization (NIKO) USA homepage. But I cannot get the "show page in english" ) link to work, so it is the Japanese language version.
http://www.ashihara-karate-usa.com/

This is a smaller Ashihara organization (Ashihara international) based in south africa. It USED to have a fairly big network of Dojo´s in the US, but it seems to have dwindled a lot.
http://www.ashiharausa.org/

There are a few other Ashihara organizations out there aswell, and several independent splinterdojos from Ashihara, such as http://www.miuradojo.com/ (why is it that Knockdown karate organizations are so prone to splits, schizms and powerstrugles?)
11/1/11 9:53 AM
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khd29
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Kolsyrade-

Isn't Miura dojo more WOK, than Ashihara? I think Miura and the Oyama brothers (Shigeru and Yashuhiko) were WOK until he found his own dojo in Chicago. Some of the stuff I read, Miura headed the Kyokushin org in Chicago, then changed to WOK, to now Miura dojo. I could be wrong, though.



11/1/11 10:11 AM
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Kolsyrade
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 oops, yes. I got Miura mixed up with another guy. But right now my mind draws a blank on the name of the guy I was actually after.
11/1/11 12:15 PM
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MIKE CIESNOLEVICZ
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Here is a list of USA Schools i found for Enshin Karate.

http://www.enshin.com/index.php?option=com_schools&r=usa&Itemid=52
11/1/11 12:16 PM
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MIKE CIESNOLEVICZ
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Great posts/info guys! TTT
11/1/11 4:43 PM
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cdueck
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 That was great info. 
11/4/11 12:30 AM
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yusul
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ttt
11/19/11 4:37 PM
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m.g
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Edited: 11/20/11 9:14 PM
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I trained in Enshin Karate under Joko Ninomiya starting in 1990. I continue to train under him in Enshin Karate until about '98. I competed in the Sabaki challenge for several years.

Ninomiya started a Judo class (it was a very small class with only a few student, one who had many years experience in Judo) in 1998. I continue training Judo, mostly with Ninomiya's oldest son, Mike Ninomiya: who is also a Judo Black belt, until about 2004 - 2005. I began my Bjj training shortly after in 2005.

Anyway, Kolsyrade's post isn't completely accurate in regards to the rift between Ninomiya and Ashihara. Ninomiya left Ashihara, more or less, because Ninomiya had his own ideas of where to take the Sabaki concept. Also at the time Ashihara was showing signs of the illness he eventually died off: ALS. It was affecting not only Ashihara's heatlth but also his control/leadership of the Ashihara organization.

I've always known about Ninomiya well before I began training with him. I would pass by his school everyday when I was a young kid. I would also frequent his martial arts supply shop/bookstore all the time. At the time I didn't have the financial means to study martial arts so I was a constant spectator. Ninomiya already knew who I was when I finally has able to financial afford training with him because I was there all the time (at his school or supply shop). Anyway, I watched Ninomiya's style of Karate transition from Kyokushinkai to Ashihara to Enshin. When Ninomiya broke away from Ashihara he began to add more Judo type throws and sweeps reflecting more of Ninomiya's background in that sport.


Incidently, some of Ninomiya's black belts and fighters have switch over to Bjj. One of his Japanese fighters, Nobu Yagai, is now a Bjj black belt. Paden Wolfe, who won several Sabaki Challenges, is a purple belt in Bjj. I am a purple belt in Bjj and another former Sabaki challenge competitor and Ninomiya Black belt, Sean Stewart, is a Bjj brown belt.


I still occassionally train with Ninomiya's son, Mike Ninomiya, although we mostly practice Bjj when we do get together.
11/24/11 10:33 AM
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Fast Pitch
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m.g - I trained in Enshin Karate under Joko Ninomiya starting in 1990. I continue to train under him in Enshin Karate until about '98. I competed in the Sabaki challenge for several years.

Ninomiya started a Judo class (it was a very small class with only a few student, one who had many years experience in Judo) in 1998. I continue training Judo, mostly with Ninomiya's oldest son, Mike Ninomiya: who is also a Judo Black belt, until about 2004 - 2005. I began my Bjj training shortly after in 2005.

Anyway, Kolsyrade's post isn't completely accurate in regards to the rift between Ninomiya and Ashihara. Ninomiya left Ashihara, more or less, because Ninomiya had his own ideas of where to take the Sabaki concept. Also at the time Ashihara was showing signs of the illness he eventually died off: ALS. It was affecting not only Ashihara's heatlth but also his control/leadership of the Ashihara organization.

I've always known about Ninomiya well before I began training with him. I would pass by his school everyday when I was a young kid. I would also frequent his martial arts supply shop/bookstore all the time. At the time I didn't have the financial means to study martial arts so I was a constant spectator. Ninomiya already knew who I was when I finally has able to financial afford training with him because I was there all the time (at his school or supply shop). Anyway, I watched Ninomiya's style of Karate transition from Kyokushinkai to Ashihara to Enshin. When Ninomiya broke away from Ashihara he began to add more Judo type throws and sweeps reflecting more of Ninomiya's background in that sport.


Incidently, some of Ninomiya's black belts and fighters have switch over to Bjj. One of his Japanese fighters, Nobu Yagai, is now a Bjj black belt. Paden Wolfe, who won several Sabaki Challenges, is a purple belt in Bjj. I am a purple belt in Bjj and another former Sabaki challenge competitor and Ninomiya Black belt, Sean Stewart, is a Bjj brown belt.


I still occassionally train with Ninomiya's son, Mike Ninomiya, although we mostly practice Bjj when we do get together.


Very cool info!

When I was in high school, I was very much into karate. There were very few karate schools in the rural area where I lived, so for a while I tried to teach myself karate from books. One of the first books I checked out of the library was Vital Karate by Mas Oyama. I eventually started training at an Isshinryu karate club, since it was the only one near me.

A couple years later I bought Ashihara's book Fighting Karate from my local bookstore. It showed the actual fighting style of full contact karate as taught by Ashihara. This was a totally different way of fighting than I was taught by my Isshinryu instructor...way more realistic. Now I really wanted to seek out and learn the full contact Japanese karate.

I eventually trained in Kyokushin here in the states and in Japan. I still love the style, although I'm training exclusively in BJJ now. I have watched Fighting Black Kings probably 30 times. I also have read Joko Ninomiya's book on karate (which is similar to Ashihara's) and his autobiography. I'm very impressed by the man.

M.G., is Enshin still a popular style or are more people at the school gravitating toward the grappling arts? Also, does anybody in Enshin still practice the old Kyokushin katas or are they gone forever? I know Enshin has its own "fighting" katas but being an old traditional karate fan, I've always loved Sanchin, Seinchin, etc.
11/24/11 11:40 AM
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m.g
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Fast Pitch,

Enshin is relatively popular. In general karate and TKD are more known and accessible to the general public than the grappling arts. Enshin isn't as well known as the more traditional Karate styles like Shotokan, however I think Enshin karate does have a strong following in the U.S

As far as kata goes, I don't think the traditional katas are well known among the current generation of Enshin practitioners. I think only those individuals in Enshin who have historic connections to Kyokushin practice those old katas.
11/24/11 4:05 PM
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cdueck
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 ttt
4/24/13 5:05 AM
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Sabaki
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Hello. Perhaps I can answer some questions regarding ashihara.

I have both been an active competitor and a coach for national team and since -06 been attending every World Championship and sitting in various meetings etc.

Currently Ashihara has restructured its European logistics and the main focus has been on this.

I currently have no info on the USA situation. Only that the link http://www.ashihara-karate-usa.com/ Was not an official NIKO (New International Karate Organisation) dojo.


Whenever we have meetings the questions about growth and dojos that wants to join Ashihara comes up. Kancho (along) with all the branches has decided that a slow and steady growth is more important than exploding out all over the world.

4/25/13 6:08 AM
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cdueck
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ttt for more info from Sabaki!

4/25/13 5:01 PM
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The Mat Pimp
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Very cool thread. I will say that Ashihara's two books: Fighting Karate and More Fighting Karate, and Ninomiya's book Sabaki are three of the best put together books on stand up martial arts I have ever seen. Also Ninomiya's autobiography is a good read.
4/26/13 9:38 AM
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FRANKI2154
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ttt, Love Enshin karate. I own the book,Sabaki Method, and add some of its methods towards MMA striking.
4/26/13 3:48 PM
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The Mat Pimp
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An interesting thing to contrast is the footwork Machida shows in his book and DVDs with what Ashihara and Ninomiya developed. It is similar, but not the same.
5/2/13 5:12 AM
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Sabaki
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@the Mat Pimp - I wouldnt call the footwork machida shows - ashihara or enshin. Its rather different since his base style shotokan has a totally different distance.

Ashihara I would say rather has a base that likes to go up close with your opponent. Elbows and knees are very important in the style.

Noteably are the elbows to the back of the head and the kicking of a downed opponent. Ashihara has a saying and that is "finish" the fight as soon as possible = kick your downed opponent fast and get ready to move away or take on your next attacker. Ashihara used to be called "street fight" karate it is still someting we mention but in a more downtoned way since saying you teach "street fight" is somewhat complicated..

This is a good text that I would say summarize Ashihara a bit.

" Ashihara teaches the student to handle himself at three different ranges, the use of the knees and elbows, use of the legs to block kicks and the importance of punching through the intended target. The Ashihara reverse punch is another difference to traditional Japanese Karate. With Ashihara stylists, the rear heel is lifted off the floor, for one thing, and the punching shoulder is allowed to rotate towards the target. When you are hitting, you want to punch through the target to penetrate.

You do not, for instance, see a lot of back fists or ridge hands, and certainly no showy blocks. Instead you have the relatively high, short stances of the professional kick boxer - along with the kick boxer's fondness for elbow and knee strikes. Whilst the Ashihara punches show a clear boxing influence, the style itself prefers a hooking elbow smash to the standard boxing hook. At close range, the Ashihara style inevitably proceeds towards a take down. And whilst there are a variety of trips and sweeps employed for getting the man down, once he is down he is finished off with punches and stomps. At a medium range, the adept makes use of shorter kicks and longer punches. At long range, the emphasis shifts to roundhouse kicks and evasive and gap closing counters."

/sabaki
5/7/13 5:29 PM
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The Mat Pimp
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@Sabaki, my point was that the footwork is different, that's why I said "contrast".

The larger idea I was getting at is that while both styles use evasive footwork, they actually do it pretty differently with Ashihara style moving forward more and Machida-do fading back, using longer range attacks and counter striking.

Does that make more sense?
5/8/13 4:42 PM
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Sabaki
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@the mat pimp - makes sense!
6/28/13 8:11 AM
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DanTheWolfman
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Sabaki book is one of the best MA books ever. I used to email with the Enshin founder yrs back.
7/8/13 3:04 PM
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The farm
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I recently took an interest in Enshin and Ashihara based after learning about its "sabaki" method and principals of defense and want to start incorporating for the context of self defense. I watched some Sabaki challenge fights and a lot from what I seen looked like just straight up knockdown karate. I understand facing another Ashihara or Enshin fighter hip to your game would be hard to pull off some of it or is it also much harder then it seems to pull it off.
7/8/13 4:05 PM
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m.g
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http://youtu.be/sFesOpjrQDE

http://youtu.be/vi8ckKmC5xE

http://youtu.be/6883rGXRNyc

http://youtu.be/bZs5gMNmesU

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