International Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Federation
International Shorinji Ryu Jujitsu Federation

P.O. Box 158

169 Main Street

Philmont, New York 12565


White Crane Snow Tiger News – October 2007


UMAA Hall of Fame 

Watermelon Kumite They seem to like it.

Strength Training

The Good Deed

Okinawa Hakutsuru Kenpo and the Chinese Connection

News Notes & Yamazato New Releases

UMAA Hall of Fame 

Just wanted to let everyone know that Shihan Frank William’s Universal Martial Arts Hall of Fame event held in Charlotte, N.C. was a big success. The event was well attended. He had over 120 people who attended seminars and at least three hundred people at the banquet. This year’s HOF was dedicated to Sensei Mike Hancock. Hanshi Tony Sandoval taught a white crane seminar and Hanshi George Alexander taught a kumite seminar. Additionally, Sensei Scott Mertz taught the Paiho kata of Ryuei Ryu while Tashi Troye Price taught jujitsu and Sensei Jim Logue taught a bo seminar. Secret Service agent and martial artist Tim Spiess taught a well-received seminar on executive security. Finally the seminars concluded with seminar on Chinto Kata taught by Nitta Seifuku sensei and his son.

There were many people at the Yamazato booth too numerous to mention but many karate notables that stopped by included Sensei Jerry Offut, Amy Hancock, Doug Hancock, Matt Mollineux, Randy Randolph, Jonathan Walker, Joche (Josh) Zapata, Danita Clark, the girls from Aznar Weapons and Gordon from Murasaki Kobudo among others. The Aznar weapons are made in the Philippines from a unique hardwood and are virtually indestructible. Check them out at Aznar Weaponry .

At the banquet Hanshi Tony Sandoval and Hanshi George Alexander both received 10th Dan certificates from the Okinawa Shorin Ryu Karate Kobudo Association presented by sensei Seifuku Nitta. This was a great honor and a once in a lifetime achievement. After the banquet we stayed up many hours discussing karate with Nitta sensei. His style of Shorin Ryu seems to be a Tomari-te based system. His son who is a world-class competitor demonstrated Chinto, Gojushiho, Kusanku and Tokumine no kon kata for us. It was obvious from his superb performances of these kata that they are Tomari-te versions of these kata. One distinguishing feature is that they start from a 45-degree angle. Additionally, Nitta sensei studied karate from his grandfather and Seki Toma. Toma sensei was a direct student of Chotoku Kyan who in turn studied with Matsumora Kosaku the organizer of the now rare pure Tomari-te forms. Nitta sensei will be holding a tournament in Okinawa in March. More info on this later.

Shihan Frank Williams put on a great event. He will hold another one in 2009. We will definitely support his event in 2009. He can be contacted at:

Watermelon Kumite They seem to like it.

In the last issue we mentioned our light-hearted adventures with watermelon Kumite. It’s on youtube and we have also produced a twenty-four minute DVD full version of the Watermelon Kumite Championships. It’s free and if anybody would like one let us know and we’ll ship you one. I was a little apprehensive about showing this since it’s not the most disciplined approach to karate Kumite with watermelon guts flying everywhere and everyone having so much fun! Not the most traditional approach to karate sparring. However, we did show it at the UMAA HOF and everyone was fascinated by it and they all said, “Hey! I want to try that!” So maybe we started something that’s not so bad! With all the things I I‘ve done in the martial arts, books written, DVDs produced, etc. Shihan Rudy Crosswell said, “You’ll probably be remembered most as the Soke of Watermelon Kumite!” Can’t wait until next year’s championships!

We will start shooting White Crane Speed & Evasion Vol. 7 next week. This one will cover Makiwara and hojoundo or weight training. So included in this issue is a bit on weight or strength training for martial arts.


One element of karate training is the development of power.  It has been noted that from the standpoint of combat reality and if you had to prioritize your skills in terms of effectiveness, power in techniques is of primary importance followed by speed and lastly by refined technique or form.  Without sufficient power, no matter how fast or well applied, techniques will be ineffective.  According to this theoretical basis, how does one get power in techniques?  There are various ways to gain power.  Repetition training in forms (kata) and basics (kihon) will make punches and kicks more powerful.  Another way to make techniques stronger is by impact conditioning.  Impact conditioning means striking an object such as a makiwara board or kick bag.  This will also make techniques more powerful.  However, the use of weights to create resistance enhances power the most.

A conventional training program with barbells and dumbbells will build strength and put power behind your techniques.  Such exercises as military press, bench press, curls, etc. will accomplish this. Sets should be done with an amount of weight whereby at least 10 to 15 reps can be performed in a single set. Be careful not to overwork the lats in that this can interfere with your punch. Tricep work especially enhances your punch and the development of the lower abs and quadriceps improves the front kick. Other exercises such as bicep curls and calf raises help with conditioning but have no major benefit to the karateka in that these muscles are not of primary use in the performance of punches and kicks. Also available to the karateka are some ancient specialized training devices, which are still effective in making your techniques more powerful.  One of these ancient devices, which originated in China is known as chishi or chikaraishi (strength stone).  The chishi was originally made from a stone weighting about ten pounds.  A hole was drilled into the stone and a wooden handle inserted.  A pair of these can easily be made out of cement and a closet pole.  The handle should be about 18”~24” long and inserted so that a cement dish is affixed to the end of the pole.  The primary training method is to hold these in front of you by the handles with arms outstretched in shiko dachi stance, rotating the chishi to the outside of the body in a large circle then returning them to the original position.  This helps to strengthen the arms, wrists, shoulders, stomach and legs in order to enhance punching power. 

Another device whose training applications also originated in China is referred to as kame or nigiri gamae, i.e., two ceramic jars.  The training method with this device is to grip the lip of the jar with the fingertips and flex the wrist from side to side and up and down.  This develops a strong grip.  Another method used is walking while holding two jars.  This develops the legs, grips and arms simultaneously. Sashi are an ancient training device similar to modern dumbbells. They were originally made out of stone or iron. These can be replaced with dumbbells to achieve the same effect. The performance of punches and other karate techniques (slowly to avoid a joint injury) while gripping a dumbbell is the favored training methodology.

The tetsugeta or iron clogs are another form of ancient training device that with modification can have some modern applications. These were used to strengthen the legs for kicking. These were made out of stone in ancient times. The technique is to go through the motion of kicking with the geta or Japanese style clogs attached to your feet. The weight of the iron geta on the end of the foot served to strengthen the leg muscles used in kicking. Ankle weights can be substituted for the iron clogs to achieve the same results. Caution is necessary in doing these exercises slowly in order to avoid injury. An additional specialized weight training device used to develop wrist and forearm strength is called makiage gu, literally winding up equipment. This is simply a short stick with a rope attached to the center. The other end of the rope is weighted and by turning the wrists the weight is wound up to the stick and then reversing this action is lowered slowly back down again.   There are various other exotic ancient training devices but the ones mentioned above are still practical and can be of value in a power-training regimen.


The Good Deed

By Sensei Bob Weiser

 I've been feeling the need to volunteer some of my time, so I contacted the county and they asked if I wouldn't mind teaching martial arts to an autism group. I said that I wouldn't mind and asked how many people could be expected. They told me there would be 40 people, but their symptoms were mild, not severe. With that many people I knew I would need help, and black belt Sandy Barbee stepped up to the plate. We started out by asking everyone to sit in a circle while I explained some basic background on our style, then had the group stand up and do some light warm-ups.--When I mean light, I mean light, and even this was almost too much for them to do. Sandy and I then had them line up in two lines, facing each other. After an hour of attempting to teach the group how to escape from a wrist grab, with little success, I decided to sit them down while Sandy and I put our Dogu on and did a quick Kendo match. 

Needless to say, the group went crazy. Since I brought a couple of foam shinai, head gear and gloves, I asked if anyone wanted to try it.---I was overrun with volunteers. At least 95% of the group participated and while they weren't very good, their enthusiasm made up for any lack. They had a ball, whacking the floor, each other and everything in reach. The Kendo was a huge hit and you could see where, if you could keep the group's attention, it would be beneficial in helping their hand-eye coordination.

While we did a good deed, Sandy and I were exhausted. We also had a greater appreciation of the counselors and other volunteers who do this on a day-to-day basis.

Okinawa Hakutsuru Kenpo and the Chinese Connection

Arakaki Seisho (1840-1820) was born in Kume Village, Okinawa and became one of the King’s bushi or knights. He was also known as Arakaki Kamadeunchu and was reportedly a warrior of great stature. During his martial arts career he also garnered the nickname “Maaya” or the cat! Perhaps because of his agility or quick movements. Additionally, he is noted as being the original teacher of Kanryo Higashionna. He is credited with bringing the following kata to Okinawa from China Sochin, Niseishi and Unshu.  These kata are all part of the Okinawa Hakutsuru Kenpo system. We recently received some documentation that reveals the kata niseishi, seisan, sanseiru and others were all practiced at the Southern Shaolin Temple. Arakaki traveled to China during the late nineteenth century and studied these forms. His teacher was the warrior Wai Shin zan.  He later taught the forms he learned in China in Okinawa in the Naha district. In this way these forms were introduced to Okinawan karate. Further, Arakaki’s kata syllabus contained the following forms: Niseishi, Sochin, Unshu, Arakaki Seisan, Arakaki no Sai, Sesoku no Kon, Suparinpei (Pechurim) & Arakaki no kon. Arakaki ‘s kata are one of the sources of the Okinawa Hakutsuru Kenpo Association kata syllabus. The goals of this organization are to preserve the kata that came to Okinawa from China. These kata were then transformed or Okinawaized to add the hard aspect of Okinawan karate to the Chinese brand of martial art. The other sources of kata for this group are attributable to Kanryo Higashionna [and Chojun Miyagi] and the white crane master Gokenki. More on Gokenki in the next issue.

Anybody interested in this study group and membership in the Okinawa Hakutsuru Kenpo Association please contact us at



Arakaki Seisho (1840-1920) Photo courtesy Scott Mertz.  Okinawa Hakutsuru Kenpo Chart       Patch

Hanshi Rudy Crosswell has released a new series of six DVDs on Shito Ryu Karate and four DVDs on Traditional Kobudo.



We recently received a new shipment of swords in from Asia. They are called “The Lightening Cloud Katana.” One style is the Master Sword and the other is the New Warrior Spirit!” These are real swords and are sharp (shinken). The Master Sword sells for $600.00.We have it on sale for $500.00. It is very attractive and is a high quality blade. It is manufactured using the Damascus style of folding the blade many times. The New Warrior Spirit sells for $300 and is on sale at an introductory price of $250.00. The New Warrior Spirit is an excellent value. I like the balance of this blade in particular. It comes with either a black or red handle. [I grabbed one for myself and have used it to cut bamboo already.] If you are looking for a higher quality blade go with the Master Sword. Both are good swords and can be used for kata as well as cutting.

The New Warrior Spirit Blade

News Notes

·        Okinawa Trip! We have revised the departure for Okinawa until May 2008. This way all who come along can attend or participate in sensei Nitta’s tournament.

·        Yamazato is selling a new sword called “The Lightening Cloud!” The Master Sword and the New Warrior Spirit! These are hand forged with high quality steel and not machine made. Call 1-888-299-9262

·        ISKKF Summer Martial Arts Camp Got dates for our event next year. The ISKKF 2008 Summer Camp will be held August 1st, 2nd and 3rd, 2008 in Reliance, TN. For more info go to

 New Titles from Yamazato Productions:

$29.95 each FREE SHIPPING! Call 1-888-299-YAMA (9262) or

    Also New! Kyuzo Mifune Judo’s Greatest Master. Awsome! A must see DVD before you die.


Photo Gallery:

 George Alexander receives Hanshi 10th Dan certificate         Shihan Frank Willliams & George


 Members of the ISKKF Jonathan Walker (L), Randy Randolph,           Chinto Seminar

George Alexander & Joche (Josh) Zapata.    

   The girls from Aznar Dixie (L) and Melissa                                             

My best to you in your martial arts endeavors. Stay strong! Stay healthy! Finally, anyone interested in membership in the Okinawa Hakutsuru Kenpo Association/Shorin Ryu Karate/Jujitsu/Sword or any of our other marital disciplines check out the new website and contact me. The article section is growing.


George W. Alexander, 10th Dan President 

Okinawa Hakutsuru Kenpo Association

International Shorin Ryu Karate Kobudo Federation

Shorinji Ryu Jujitsu Federation

World Budokan Kendo Federation
Yamazato International
180 Yellow Jacket Drive
Reliance, TN USA 37369
Tel. 423-338-4972
Toll Free 1-888-299-YAMA (9262)
Fax 423-338-5651