11/16/2004 5:02pm, #1
Why are they all smiling like that?
Click for funny picture!
Staff photo by Kevin Jacobus
Independent Karate School Shihan Jason Kittredge, center, demonstrates defense against multiple attackers during a demonstration as part of the school’s celebration of its 25th anniversary at Bishop Guertin High School in Nashua on Sunday. From left to right are black belts Jeff Maistrosky, Chris Marsh and Kevin Tipa.
Well this is an interesting article, you can clearly see the ups and down of the school.
NASHUA - Maria Milton broke an almost 10-year-old record among female students of the Independent Karate School on Sunday.
She also broke seven concrete slabs with her well-aimed foot, and with a yell that resounded off the walls of the Bishop Guertin High School gymnasium.
Milton was among about 75 students, of brown- and black-belt status and aged 12 and older, participating in the school’s 25th anniversary celebration, which involved an all-day exhibition.
“It felt really good because I’d been frustrated with breaking seven for a long time,” said Milton, 16, of Merrimack.
She had been working on the move, called the flamingo, which involves raising one foot in the air with heel poised to strike, since last year’s tournament, she said. Edit: Americans call it the flamingo? HAHAHAH!!
“This (school) is an independent island in martial arts,” said headmaster Peter Desmarais, whose father Louis Desmarais founded the Nashua school in 1979 with his partner Victor Nastasia. Both are now retired engineers and highly active in the school as grand master teachers, each with the highest degree of black belt. The school has also expanded, opening a branch in Merrimack. Edit: Meaning this paid more money than their engineering job? OH WAIT! It's for the love of teaching!
“We don’t believe in sending (our students) to all these outside tournaments,” said Peter Desmarais, Edit: Translation, our students suck so we don't want them going out and getting beaten silly point sparring. who seems to enjoy conveying the accomplishments of his students that fall outside the world of karate. The school has given out more than $54,000 in college scholarships over the years, he said. Edit: That is cool, very cool.
“I want this to be a place where they can develop (karate) and use it,” he said. “I don’t like it when it becomes their whole life.”
On Sunday, several of the school’s most accomplished alumni were judges, sitting back-to-back in a line of chairs in the center of the gym while two groups of contestants carried out all sorts of footwork and handwork, including breaking wooden boards, concrete slabs, and tracing fierce arcs and angles in the air meant for imaginary opponents. Edit: Land swimming...
In one demonstration, students brandished various weapons, including long poles, a flashing dagger-like instrument, and colorful fans with metal parts. In another, students faced each other in pairs and followed directions issued by the judges, slipping out of headlocks, falling on the floor with loud thwacks, and mildly twisting their opponents’ arms.
At times, it looked more like a pantomime of fighting. The school is nonviolent, avoiding actual hitting, according to Louis Desmarais, who calls the school’s form of the martial art, classical karate. Edit: How is that classical? People actually beat on each other back then.
For all the throwing of bodies, swirling of weapons and aggressive grunts, there were plenty of polite “sirs” and “ma’ms” in the room; adults addressed each other with “mister” and “misses.”
Pete Desmarais emphasizes the school’s commitment to fostering respect and teamwork among the students.
“If you’re polite to people, it stops arguments,” he said.
The patrolmen and detectives involved in the school help make it clear to the younger students that they are not to use what they learn to hurt anyone, Desmarais said. The school also has a close relationship with school guidance departments in the area.
Sunish Oturkar, an 18-year-old student in electrical and computer engineering at Northeastern University, has been practicing karate for 12 years, attending the school sometimes four times a week when he lived in Nashua. He had traveled from Massachusetts to participate in the exhibition. As a black belt, he has also been able to teach at the school.
“I don’t know what kind of person I’d be without this,” he said.
Oturkar’s experience at the karate school helped him avoid the temptations of drugs and alcohol during high school, he said.
“I was always asked, and it was always easy to politely decline,” he said.
He also managed to avoid physical confrontations.
“I’m very opinionated,” he said. “If people get to the point where they want to fight me, you just talk your way out of it,” he said. “There are so many ways to just not fight.”
A half-hearted search for the school's website turned out negative.
11/16/2004 7:49pm, #2
Looks like they have two sites
The founder of Enshudo, O-Sensei Louis L. Desmarais has traveled the world and trained with some of the very best and true martial artists to bring his students this special art of self defense.
There are over 150 techniques taken from 25 basic jyu-jitsu moves (called Nuggets). Enshudo has two "Katas", the Cane Kata and Kata Enshudo which incorporates many of the basic Jyu Jitsu moves making the Katas not only a thing of beauty but the essence of practicality.
Students learn to use the least effort to obtain maximum results in practical real life situations. An Enshudo student becomes familiar with various martial art styles including Aikido, Kenpo Karate, Judo, and many others including O-Sensei's tutelage in boxing. Together, students not only appreciate the various styles, but are able to combine them to make what we believe is a truly unique experience.<<NextGuard = Paul from Atlanta
Ten years experience can be ten true years or one year repeated ten times.
4/09/2007 4:03pm, #3
- Join Date
- Apr 2007
- Chinese Kenpo
Reply from School Member
This seems like an interesting site, but the comments I read were a bit one-sided and came from a position of ignorance. I just wanted to clarify what our school is about, and some of the things that came out in the edits:
"She had been working on the move, called the flamingo, which involves raising one foot in the air with heel poised to strike, since last year’s tournament, she said. Edit: Americans call it the flamingo? HAHAHAH!!"
JK: I would say that this is a misinterpretation of the interview that the reporter had with Miss Milton. Among martial arts schools that teach kicking with a "chambered" position, it is fairly common to use the term "flamingo"... particularly when teaching children. Her break was actually a "forward heel stomp" using our school vernacular. We do describe the chambered position as a "flamingo" which is how the reporter got that term in the first place.
"“This (school) is an independent island in martial arts,” said headmaster Peter Desmarais, whose father Louis Desmarais founded the Nashua school in 1979 with his partner Victor Nastasia. Both are now retired engineers and highly active in the school as grand master teachers, each with the highest degree of black belt. The school has also expanded, opening a branch in Merrimack. Edit: Meaning this paid more money than their engineering job? OH WAIT! It's for the love of teaching!"
JK: I am more than a bit offended by this, and ask that whoever wrote the editor comments please reconsider how they reached this opinion. In fact, running a traditional karate school with the values that the Independent Karate School has is most definitely *not* more profitable than a full time engineering job. Mr. Desmarais senior had reached retirement age, and his partner Mr. Nastasia left his other job because the school needed his attention full time. The sarcasm about the love of teaching is vastly misplaced, and anyone who has visited our school will know how inappropriate the above comment is.
"“We don’t believe in sending (our students) to all these outside tournaments,” said Peter Desmarais, Edit: Translation, our students suck so we don't want them going out and getting beaten silly point sparring. "
JK: No. Our issue was primarily a safety concern because our students are primarily under age children. We've witnessed that open tournaments can have very loose definitions of "light contact" and "no contact". We don't want to bring any of our students into an environment that has the potential to be unsafe.
Bluntly, we don't care that much if our students win or lose. But we do care if they might get hurt. Anyone with any experience in the open tournament arena knows that there are jackasses out there.
"On Sunday, several of the school’s most accomplished alumni were judges, sitting back-to-back in a line of chairs in the center of the gym while two groups of contestants carried out all sorts of footwork and handwork, including breaking wooden boards, concrete slabs, and tracing fierce arcs and angles in the air meant for imaginary opponents. Edit: Land swimming..."
JK: Not quite sure what this is supposed to mean. Is this a criticism of traditional kata? (e.g. Funakoshi's Heians) We teach traditional kata, but it's certainly not a training methodology invented by our school. We find it valuable.
"At times, it looked more like a pantomime of fighting. The school is nonviolent, avoiding actual hitting, according to Louis Desmarais, who calls the school’s form of the martial art, classical karate. Edit: How is that classical? People actually beat on each other back then."
JK: We're a traditional non-contact school. Historically martial arts schools have existed in both contact and non-contact formats. Classical in this description does not imply non-violence, but it is different from many martial arts schools that ignore classical training techniques.
Thank you for your time.
4/09/2007 4:23pm, #4
4/10/2007 3:56am, #5
Well, to be fair, jkittredge did do a point by point address. But, yeah. Still. It's 2+ years old.Best Vietnam War music video I've ever seen put together by a vet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDY8raKsdfg
4/10/2007 6:50am, #6
- Join Date
- May 2006
Way to step up to the plate and address opinions others have of your school. Welcome jkittredge, hopefully you'll continue to contribute to the forums.
But try to stick to recent threads...otherwise the wrath will be swift.
Out of interest, setting aside tournaments, what level of sparring do you do in class?
4/10/2007 7:37am, #7
- Join Date
- Sep 2004
- Dayville, Connecticut, United States
Welcome to Bullshido. We say mean things here. We do it because confrontation implies ultimate resolution. If we say your school sucks, you are obligated to prove us wrong, or allow that opinion to stand unchallenged. It's how we work, don't take it personally.
The classic issues we are going to have with your school as described in the article are as follows:
No competition: Competition provides you with objective feedback to the quality of your training. If you win, you must be doing something right. if you lose, you are doing something wrong. No individual fighter, or training method is without flaw, and competition allows the most accurate demonstration of these flaws. This facilitates the subsequent elimination of said flaws.
No contact: Not hitting = not fighting. Notfighting = not "martial" art. If you are not making contact, you do not know how you will react to contact. if you are not moving at full speed with real intent, then you do not know what full speed and intent will entail. Ergo, you are NOT prepared for actual fighting. This is where the "land swimming" comment comes in:
Suppose you can't wim, and you hire a swimming teacher to help you learn. But all he does is have you practice various strokes while on land. You spend a year learning backstroke, freestyle, breast stroke, butterfly, and crawl. You drill the strokes over and over again until they are second natur,e and you an do them flawlessly. Then the instructor gives you a diploma and leaves.
What is going to happen the fisrt time you jump in the water? Hence "land swimming."
Those are absically the salient points that would cause us to question the trining methods of your school. If your school's goal is just to provide some exercise and entertainment for it's members, and doesn't relly focus on actual combat proficiency, then that is OK. Not everyone wants to train for the real thing. But if it is your contention that your school's training approach as described in the article constitutes a self-defense system, then I think many will take issue with that.
But don't let that dissuade you. Stick around and discuss it. Keep in mind that we cuss and tease here, and have a thick skin and you will be alright.
--Scrolls of Bujutsu: Chapter 5 vs 10-14.
4/10/2007 9:45am, #8
Hello jkittredge, I appreciate your feedback on my post.
I'll respond to it when I have more time tonight.
Didn't know 'traditional' schools did 'self-defense' style drills.
4/10/2007 11:04am, #9Originally Posted by Wounded Ronin
4/10/2007 2:25pm, #10Originally Posted by jkittredge
Originally Posted by jkittredge
The owners of the above article were able to open another school, so that probably means the first school was successful. Successful in raising funds since another school does take some investment.
Originally Posted by jkittredge
Do your 'off-age' students actually compete?
Is it that you don't compete because you cannot prepare your charges adequately for competition?
Originally Posted by jkittredge
Originally Posted by jkittredge
Thank you for taking the time to post. I am open to your response and see your points that you try to make. I never speak from a position of ignorance nor do I close my mind to possibilties that I may be wrong. I hope you are of similar mind, read the responses and dwell on them. I'm sure you may have one point practised realistic martial arts training but no longer endevour to pass on the same practices to your charges.