Shihan Paul Arel founded Kokondo Karate in 1970, based on his studies of several Karate systems as well as his mastery of the Japanese Jujitsu training he received from Sudo Sensei and as a Marine stationed in Japan. Shihan Arel uniquely developed three guiding principals which informed his retention of the thousands of techniques he learned from his earliest training. He used these principals to further understand and develop the techniques he learned from: SanKata Karate, Isshin Ryu Karate and Kyokushin Karate. These Principals are Kuzushi, Shorinji and Jushin. While Kokondo’s techniques and Kata are similar to the systems stated above, these three principals are unique to Kokondo’s Founder in both concept and application. The further development of them is also uniquely Kokondo’s as taught by the founder’s successor Greg Howard Kaicho.
Kuzushi as Kokondo utilizes the term means unbalancing the opponent to gain advantage over them. This allows the Kokondoka to physically control the opponent’s strength but in also controlling their attention and focus. Kuzushi has three distinct aspects that are taught to Kokondoka as they progress.
Shorinji as Kokondo utilizes it is the concept of points and circles. The original term comes from our Kyokushin roots and has been modified to explain the dynamic use of motion and the powerful effects of the abrupt stopping a technique exactly where intended. Again there are three aspects of Shorinji to further understand the use of this dynamic principal.
Jushin again as used in Kokondo is the concept of centerline. The term is used for the strongest line of the body and helps the student to align the technique directly and accurately to the opponent for the intended action. There are three aspects of Jushin which clearly demonstrate this concept in all Kokondo techniques.
These principals are the creation of our founder, Shihan Paul Arel. They are his insights over a long 54 year history of studying Martial Arts. While present in some martial arts Kokondo has a unique appreciation for them and perspective on them. No other martial art has these principals as the founder intended them to be taught.
The foundation of Kokondo Karate is Kata. While, Kata is used for perfection of technique, the perfection of technique is not a goal unto itself. Each movement must be applied to self defense. Kokondo believes that every technique in Kata, regardless of appearances, can actually be one of five things. These are Escapes, Strikes, Blocks, Locks and Throws. Therefore, what appears to be a straight forward move may have many moves hidden within the apparent. That is the beauty of Kata.
All Kokondo Kata have been chosen by its Founder to amaze, to teach and to illuminate his principals across the generations.