ZDK Karate Introduction
The individual practicing in this style begins by building a foundation of basic stances and movements, advancing to blocks, kicks, punches, and other strikes. These foundational skills are practiced in a variety of situations and in combinations with a partner serving as the attacker.
At the next level, individuals practice fifty sets in response to attacks from an opponent or multiple opponents. These sets have the defender respond in a variety of ways, each eliminating the threat in certain terms. Some Clubs also practice two groups of ten additional sets at this level. These movements are often very situational , many involving attacks with knives or other weapons. In these sets, the attacker is defeated absolutely.
The next level of practice introduces students to the circular motion that is unique to the ZDK. In this motion, the attacker's movements become useless; the defender resolutely strikes openings left by the opponent while simultaneously closing his own. The experience of Muga-Mushin is common at this stage of training. In this Zen motion, the individual is engaged in Pure Experience. The circular motion itself facilitates deeper insight into the Motion and into one's own Nature.
“Zen practice pursued within activity is a million times superior to that pursued within tranquility.” - Hakuin
Weapons training, including the use of knives, sticks, tonfa, swords, and staffs, is introduced at later levels.
There are five general ranks in the ZDK, each with its own subdivisions. These ranks are denoted by belt colour:
|5th kyu||White w/ stripe (senior)|
|Level Two||4th kyu||Green (junior)|
|Level Three||3rd kyu||Green w/ stripe (senior)|
|Level Four||2nd kyu||Brown (junior)|
|Level Five||1st kyu||Brown w/stripe (senior)|
|First Rank-Fourth Rank||1st-3rd dan||Black|
|Fifth Rank and up||5th dan +||Red (or Black w/ Red)|
Training is possible for people of varying ages, physical make-ups, and abilities. Members are encouraged to further their own conditioning and understanding in their everyday lives. Far from stressing the rigid conformity (as in the mirror-like movements of all students) demanded in some martial arts, the ZDK encourages individuality within the parameters of the style.