If You Do Not Enter The Tiger’s Cave

Baby White Tiger

Japanese Proverb:


Koketsu ni irazunba koji wo ezu.

“If you do not enter the tiger’s cave, you will not catch its cub.”

This Japanese Proverb is the equivalent to English’s “nothing ventured, nothing gained.


The Famous Shotokan Tiger Symbol

NOTE:  The following is part of an article adapted from 24FightingChickens – Shotokan Karate: http://www.24fightingchickens.com/2005/10/07/shotokan-tiger/ but also from other sources.

When a student of karate hears the term “Shotokan Tiger,” one image comes to mind: the traditional symbol of the tiger inside the circle which has become representative of Shotokan Karate.

The drawing was originally created by a Japanese man named Hoan Kusugi who was a friend and student of Funakoshi. Hoan Kosugi, a famous artist and president of the Tabata Poplar Club, an artist’ guild, was a very important figure in the development of Shotokan Karate-do in Japan.

To entice Funakoshi, to write a book about Karate, Hoan Kosugi told Funakoshi that if he would write the book, Kosugi would design it and provide a painting for the cover. When Gichin Funakoshi produced the book, Hoan Kosugi produced the now famous Shotokan tiger

“Ryukyu Kempo: Tode”, Funakoshi’s first book about karate, was written in 1922, but the plates for that original book were destroyed in the fire of the Great Kanto Earthquake in September of 1923. Later that year, Funkoshi released the book again, this time under the name of “Rentan Goshin Jutsu” .

His idea for the tiger came from the expression “Tora no maki.” Tora no maki, in Japanese tradition,  is usually translated as “master scroll” or “master text.” It is the official written document on long scrolls of an art or system, which is used as the definitive reference source for that particular art.  The picture of the tiger in the circle is a pun on the words “Tora no Maki”.  Since “tora” also means “tiger”,  … “Scroll of the Tiger”. Already by Funokoshi’s time, this practice had been long abandoned, but the name stuck.

Since no books had ever been written about Karate, Hoan Kosugi told Funakoshi that his book was the Tora no maki, of Karate. He designed the tiger as a representation of Funakoshi’s art.

The tiger in the traditional circular image is a traditional Chinese design that implies “the tiger never sleeps.” It symbolizes, therefore, the keen alertness of the wakeful tiger and serenity of the peaceful mind. Also the tiger drawn within a circle could be meant to show that the power of the tiger, like the power of Shotokan, is contained. It indicates that this power should never be used on a whim. The power is only unleashed, or broken from the circle, in order to defend ourselves or others who can’t defend themselves from a violent attack.  The kanji character up in the upper right corner of the circle is part of the artist’s name, Hoan Kusugi,

Presently, the Shotokan Karate is is synonymous with the tiger symbol and many Shotokan Karate clubs use as a symbol or logo for their dojo or association. However, the Japan Karate Association still chooses to use the “inyo”as their primary symbol.  Few people understand the relationship of shoto, to what is commonly called the “shotokan tiger.”

When Gichin Funakoshi was a young man, he enjoyed walking in solitude among the pine trees which surrounded his home town of Shuri. He would often walk up Mt.Torao and meditate among the pine trees under the stars and bright moon. Mt.Torao is a very narrow, heavily wooded mountain which, when viewed from a distance, resembles a tigers tail. The name “Torao” literally means “tigers tail”, and it is because of this that people think Funakoshi chose the tiger symbol. There is some skepticism behind this.

Later in life, Funakoshi explained that the cool breezes which blew among the pines on Mt.Torao, Tiger’s Tail Mountain,  made the trees whisper like waves breaking on the shore, thus, since he gained his greatest poetic inspirations while walking among the gently blowing pine trees, when he signed his poems he used the pen name, “shoto”, which literally means “pine waves or waving pines”.

The name SHOTOKAN was made up using Shoto, and the word Kan meaning house or school. Thus Shotokan means the house or school of the waving pines, but today is interpreted as the Karate school or Karate method of Funakoshi.


Many people train Karate aimlessly, without a real goal in mind, or sometimes with a fluffy goal like “getting in shape”. But to really progress in Karate, you need solid goals that fulfil the S.M.A.R.T. criteria.

S.M.A.R.T. is a mnemonic acronym, giving criteria to guide in the setting of objectives

S.M.A.R.T. goal setting brings structure and trackability into your goals and objectives.


What exactly do you want to achieve? The more specific your description, the bigger the chance you’ll get exactly that. S.M.A.R.T. goal setting clarifies the difference between ‘I want to be a millionaire’ and ‘I want to make $50.000 a month for the next ten years by creating a new software product’.

Questions you may ask yourself when setting your goals and objectives are:

  • What exactly do I want to achieve?
  • Where?
  • How?
  • When?
  • With whom?
  • What are the conditions and limitations?
  • Why exactly do I want to reach this goal? What are possible alternative ways of achieving the same?


Measurable goals means that you identify exactly what it is you will see, hear and feel when you reach your goal. It means breaking your goal down into measurable elements. You’ll need concrete evidence. Being happier is not evidence; not smoking anymore because you adhere to a healthy lifestyle where you eat vegetables twice a day and fat only once a week, is.

Measurable goals can go a long way in refining what exactly it is that you want, too. Defining the physical manifestations of your goal or objective makes it clearer, and easier to reach.

(know when the goal is achieved),


Is your goal attainable? That means investigating whether the goal really is acceptable to you. You weigh the effort, time and other costs your goal will take against the profits and the other obligations and priorities you have in life.

If you don’t have the time, money or talent to reach a certain goal you’ll certainly fail and be miserable. That doesn’t mean that you can’t take something that seems impossible and make it happen by planning smartly and going for it!

There’s nothing wrong with shooting for the stars; if you aim to make your department twice as efficient this year as it was last year with no extra labour involved, how bad is it when you only reach 1,8 times? Not too bad…

(make sure it’s realistic),


Is reaching your goal relevant to you? Do you actually want to run a multinational, be famous, have three children and a busy job? You decide for yourself whether you have the personality for it, or your team has the bandwidth.

If you’re lacking certain skills, you can plan training. If you lack certain resources, you can look for ways of getting them.

The main questions, why do you want to reach this goal? What is the objective behind the goal, and will this goal really achieve that?

You could think that having a bigger team will make it perform better, but will it really?

(is Karate really the best tool to achieve this goal?)


Time is money! Make a tentative plan of everything you do. Everybody knows that deadlines are what makes most people switch to action. So install deadlines, for yourself and your team, and go after them. Keep the timeline realistic and flexible, that way you can keep morale high. Being too stringent on the timely aspect of your goal setting can have the perverse effect of making the learning path of achieving your goals and objectives into a hellish race against time – which is most likely not how you want to achieve anything.

(define the time frame and milestones).

Another thing that’s very important when setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, is formulating it POSITIVELY. Remember that what you focus on, increases. So when you focus on NOT doing something, all you think about is that thing. And it will increase. So don’t ‘stop procrastinating’, but ‘achieve a daily discipline’.


Teaching women self-defence still the best way to reduce sexual assaults: study

Source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/study-shows-resistance-tactics-work-to-prevent-campus-sexual-assault/article24905250/


In the debate over how to reduce sexual assault on university campuses, proposing self-defence classes for women is controversial. Women aren’t the problem, the reasoning goes, so why is changing their behaviour the solution? Putting the onus on women to drop-kick rapists, map out safe walks home, or geo-track their drinks at parties, writes the rules in the wrong direction. And it swerves too easily into victim-blaming.

But, according to new landmark Canadian research, it works. The study, published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the Canadian-designed intervention, which focuses on teaching women how to detect risk in situations that could lead to sexual assault and defend themselves when necessary, reduced the rate of rape among participants by nearly 50 per cent. At a time when universities are facing harsh criticism for mishandling sexual assault, when the White House has called for action to reduce sexual violence on campus, when it’s estimated that as many as one in four female university students may be assaulted before they finish their degree, is it responsible to deny young women access to a tried-and-tested program?

Lindsey Boyes, 22, took the course for extra credit in first-year psychology at the University of Calgary four years ago. She calls it a “paradigm shift” that corrected her own confusion about consent, and lifted the guilt she felt about a sexual assault during her teen years. She describes the program as “useful and necessary for where we are now as a society.” But, she says, “it’s a Band-Aid. It doesn’t get at the root of the problem.” (Todd Korol for The Globe and Mail)

The four-year study tracked nearly 900 women at three Canadian universities, randomly selecting half to take the 12-hour “resistance” program, and compared them to a second group who received only brochures, similar to those available at a health clinic. One year later, the incidence of reported rape among women who took the program was 5.2 per cent, compared to 9.8 per cent in the control group; the gap in incidents of attempted rape was even wider.

The discomfiting part: Potential victims are still shouldering the burden for their own safety.

“There are no quick fixes,” says lead author Charlene Senn, a women’s studies professor at the University of Windsor. “We need multiple strategies. But we now know that giving women the right skills, and building the confidence that they can use them, does decrease their experience with sexual violence. This is our best short-term strategy while we wait for cultural change.”

On the first of four Thursday evening sessions, Lindsey Boyes had to leave the room. She was shaking. The facilitator had just finished explaining how the Canadian Criminal Code says consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated and intoxicated.

“It felt like she was talking directly to me,” recalls Ms. Boyes, who joined the study for extra credit in her first-year psychology class at the University of Calgary.

When Ms. Boyes was 16, she’d gotten drunk at a party. An older boy – “the most popular guy” at her small-town school, she recalls – offered to help her find a place to sleep because her girlfriends had already left. She remembers throwing up, a lot, and then flashes of him on top of her in bed. “Afterwards, he said, ‘Don’t worry, I won’t tell anybody.’” But word spread, and she went from being a virgin to a “slut” in one night. Even her friends told her, “You shouldn’t have gotten so drunk.” They were right, she decided, it was her fault.

Now, in this class, she was learning for the first time to see what happened as a crime for which she was not to blame. “It was pretty intense,” recalls Ms. Boyes, now 22, who is going into her fourth year of a commerce degree. “It was a complete paradigm shift for me.”

The prevention program is a modern step from those old-school, self-defence classes that suggested, misleadingly, that the biggest risks come from empty parking garages and strangers leaping from bushes. Participants are reminded in the first of four classes that at least 80 per cent of sexual assaults are perpetrated by someone the victim knows.

Eight hundred and ninety-three women were recruited mostly from first-year psychology classes at the Universities of Windsor, Calgary and Guelph. They ranged in age from 17 to 24. Half of them were living in residence. The women in the study were randomly selected into two comparable groups. Retention was high; about 90 per cent of women assigned to the intervention group completed at least three of the four session in the 12-hour program.

Prior to taking the study, the rate of self-reported rape since age 14 in the entire group was 23 per cent, a number that may be higher than average because women with a history of sexual violence might have been more likely to volunteer for the study. But, at the same time, it’s estimated that one in four university women will be sexual assaulted during their four years on campus. This figure is based largely on a Canadian study more than a decade old, and is the subject of some debate, but American research also suggests rates between 14 and 26 per cent.

In surveys, participants were asked to finish this sentence, “If a man I know, either a date or acquaintance, tried to force me to have sex with him, I would….” The group on the left is the control group; on the right, the women who received the intervention. These numbers show results one week after the intervention, and a year later. Women who took the program were more likely to say they would use force – the most effective strategy for stopping an assault.

The study tracked sexual assault among participants. The numbers above show actual counts of reported non-consensual sexual activity up to one year later. In all categories, the rates for the group receiving the intervention were consistently lower. The rate of rape was reduced by half. Researchers believe this is because women learned to avoid risky situations, and were more likely to stop coercive behaviour before it escalated.

“The keys in the eyes are not going to work around your girlfriend’s boyfriend,” Prof. Senn likes to say. She cites studies that show women are the least likely to use force against acquaintances and friends, that perpetrators are more likely to lead with charm and alcohol than overt aggression. The course covers how to escape a choke hold, and ways to get out from underneath someone on a bed, but focuses on how to prevent situations from going that far. The most powerful part of a woman’s body, participants are told, is her voice. One of the central messages in the course: Don’t worry about being polite. Trust your instincts.

“As women we are really taught not to offend, not to be rude to people,” says Heidi Fischer, now 25, who participated in the study during her first year at the University of Guelph. “It’s about getting in touch with your gut.”

The course has four goals: to teach women common scenarios for sexual assault, how to recognize potential predators, how to evade danger (including through self-defence), and how to think about sexuality and relationships in terms of their own desires and boundaries.

Prof. Senn says the course stresses that learning skills does not mean women are to blame when an assault occurs; they also receive information on their rights, and how to file a complaint. (Ninety per cent of participants attended at least three of the three-hour sessions. Researchers offered small cash incentives, as is standard in trials, and guaranteed anonymity in the surveys. While researchers couldn’t follow up on assaults, women were given material after completing surveys reminding them how to seek help.)

Natalie Hope, 22, took the course in her freshman year at the University of Guelph. “I realized there were so many times as a teenager that I was blind to what was going on,” she says. “I really felt it was something I should have learned sooner.” One take-home lesson: Don’t disappear from your girlfriends; tell everyone where you are going. “We had a code phrase,” Ms. Hope says. “If someone said, ‘Oh, I like your shoes,’ it meant ‘I am uncomfortable, get me away.’” The course helped clarify her own comfort zone. Today, “I feel in control because I know what I expect.” (Galit Rodan for the Globe and Mail)

The participants interviewed for this story could all give examples of ways they had used what they learned. They mentioned covering their drinks, being aware of their environment, speaking up sooner when a situation felt risky even if it meant offending someone. Six months after taking the course, Ms. Boyes was alone in a car with a first date, when he started to make her uncomfortable. “He was getting pretty pushy, and I told him to take me home,” she says. “I am not sure I would have been that direct before.”

“I pay more attention to what I am doing, how I am acting toward people,” says Jenna Harris, 21, who is going into her fourth year at the University of Windsor. “I make sure I don’t lead someone on,” including accepting drinks from a stranger. She practises the buddy system at parties and bars, and she is more careful about her own alcohol consumption, because, she says, “if you are responsible for your friends, you are responsible for yourself as well.”

While they called the material “empowering,” and described sharing what they learned with friends, the women also said they felt conflicted. “It’s keeping me safe, but it’s not keeping everybody safe,” Ms. Fischer says. “Why are we teaching women to be afraid, women to be cautious, instead of teaching men not to be perpetrators?”

Attacking the root, however, has proven more difficult. During frosh week at many North American universities, for instance, freshmen often receive a one- or two-hour workshop about consent. But according to a convincing stack of studies documented by the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, this “education” has little to no influence on what happens during the alcohol-saturated parties that follow. Many programs were too short, the CDC concluded, to have any lasting impact, and tended to focus on areas such as legal implications, as if rape is caused “by a lack of awareness of the laws prohibiting it.” Bystander programs which encourage male and female students to shut down sexist jokes or step in at parties when they see risky behaviour have produced promising results, but cultural change, as Prof. Senn points out, is a long-term solution.

Many of the programs are offered too late – especially for young women like Lindsey Boyes. This was a common complaint among participants: Why hadn’t they learned this when they were first exploring their sexuality, and short on confidence?

There is convincing evidence in the research for introducing these types of program much earlier. The CDC research found that the three interventions that proved most successful at reducing harassment and assaults were offered in middle school and high school – suggesting, researchers said, that these younger ages may represent a “critical window” to promote safer behaviour.

But getting the program into schools can be challenging – as Ontario recently learned with the controversy around its new sex education curriculum, which includes information on consent. Prof. Senn had already faced that hurdle, when she offered the program to Windsor high schools; while the public board declined, she says, the Catholic board allowed the program provided she drop the final class on sexuality and relationships. Prof. Senn says the waiting lists to attend were so long they had to add extra sessions. Given that about half of the rapes women experience happen before they are 18, she says, “adapting the program for girls in high school is a priority.”

The program is not the full answer, researchers say, but it’s an immediate real-world approach. “We shouldn’t just sit around and wait for a cultural shift that isn’t happening,” says Lise Gotell, a women’s study professor at the University of Alberta who is familiar with the new Canadian study, and aware of the criticisms levelled at a women-centred approach. The larger lesson lies with the intervention’s success. “When constraining women’s actions is still the major way that we can respond to the threat of sexual assault,” she says, “that is an indication of how much more we have to do.”

The program will be offered free to Canadian universities, though schools will have to cover the cost of facilitators, for whom training guidelines are now being developed. In an ideal world, says Prof. Senn, “this program would be available to all first-year women students until we don’t need it any longer – that is, when sexual violence ends.”

Taekwondo school offers unique course for people with Down syndrome

Taekwondo school offers unique course for people with Down syndrome


A martial arts club in Calgary has launched a unique class in taekwondo for people with Down syndrome.

Hydra Martial Arts offers the course to both children and young adults, and say it’s the only taekwondo course in Calgary that is specifically designed for this group’s needs.

Anis Heydari/CBC

View photos


Anis Heydari/CBC
“Everybody deserves to be able to defend themselves and to learn,” said Hydra assistant instructor Shane Chamberlain.

“So being able to open and change the program to adapt for absolutely everybody is what our goal is.”

The taekwondo school is offering the course in consultation with Ups and Downs, Calgary’s Down syndrome association.

“We felt this was a great opportunity for us to teach muscle tone and balance and discipline in a fun interactive environment,” said Adam Long, executive director of Ups and Downs.

The Down syndrome class met for the first time in mid-September, and parents and students alike say they enjoyed the all ages, co-ed environment.

“It’s just a great opportunity for the kids to be active … and to just have the same opportunities as their peers,” said Karen Finley, whose son Teo was in the class partly due to his love of the movie Kung Fu Panda and wrestling.

NOTE: At Shi Ryu Kai dojo, in Kingston Ontario, Sensei Allen Yuen has been teaching Shorinjiryu Karate to two adults with intellectual disabilities for over a year.  Unlike the approach taken in this article, our students are integrated with the regular training class and made to feel comfortable with their own abilities and be just regular karateka and achieve their dreams, transform their lives, help them discover their new strengths, and build confidence through the power of Karate.

DVD Koshiki Karate Training Series


Back in the 1980’s, Panther Productions produced VHS Video training tapes of various martial arts.

These were advertised in Black Belt magazine and with Century Martial Arts Supplies.

Panther Productions with Hanshi Michel Laurin produced the:

Koshiki Karate Training Series:

Volume 1: Fundamental Sparring Techniques Approx. 120 minutes.
Volume 2: Intermediate Sparring Techniques Approx. 92 minutes.
Volume 3: Advanced Sparring Techniques Approx. 120 minutes.
Volume 4: Japanese Shorinjiru Twelve Katas Approx. 98 minutes.
Volume 5: Japanese Shorinjiru Weapons Katas Approx. 30 minutes.


Panther Productions has long since gone out of business. You might be able find the VHS videotapes on eBay.

I recently discovered DVD versions of these were later made available, but the company selling them advised that they were discontinued and out of stock.



DVD – This is Standard Karate ~ Koshiki Karate



I believe this DVD was released in 2004.

Description:  Of all the types of karate, Koshiki Karatedo  硬式空手道  best combines safety with strong contact. Any kind of karate technique, including direct attacks to the face, can be trained through the strikes, punches and kicks used in Koshiki Karatedo.

Koshiki Karatedo is realistic kumite, using the Super Safe protector, allows the creation of new offensive and defensive techniques in a holistic, artful and effective fashion.
Chapters include:

Kata Koshiki Naihanchin

Kata Kudaka no Kusanku

Defense and counter-offense with strikes

Gokyoku no Kumite Strikes

Tenchijin Kumite Strikes

Defense and counter-offense with kicks

Gokyoku no Kumite Kicks

Tenchijin Kumite Kicks


Language: Japanese with English subtitles

Run time: 63 min.