CHOP TALK: Karate | Martial Arts | Okinawa | Japan
CT085 Yonjuro: Review of Kurosawa & Mifune’s Classic Film Yojimbo

CT085 Yonjuro: Review of Kurosawa & Mifune’s Classic Film Yojimbo

June 4, 2020

This week, Ezra and Nate review the Akira Kurasawa classic film, Yojimbo,  starring Toshiro Mifune. At the top of the show, Ezra and Nate discuss what they have been up to over the last few months, how they have been handling quarantine, both individually and at the dojo.  If hearing more about the Covid sends you into a depression spiral, skip ahead to the first break about 30 minutes in!

In the review, the guys talk about Kurosawa & Mifune's influence on Japanese cinema, and how this film marked a major change from earlier Chanbarra films.  WWII strongly affected both the actor & directors of this movie, and they get into some of the details, many of which are shown in the  documentary Mifune: The Last Samurai.

Ezra and Nate also get into Yojimbo's influence on American and International films, including of course, the Dollars trilogy starring Clint Eastwood and the Magnificent Seven starring Charles Bronson. They compare this film to other martial arts and action movies, and try to figure out what works and what doesn't. These include Die Hard, Lady Snow Blood, Kill Bill, a bunch of Angelina Jolie movies that blend together, some great Blaxslpoitation movies including Coffee, Foxy Brown, and Nate's favorite film of all time Black Dynamite starring Michael Jai White, the various Marvel TV shows and Movies, and a few Tarintino and Jackie Chan movies, plus many more.  

To find a bunch of great samurai films and other classics on the Critereon Channel, check out www.criterionchannel.com

To find out more about Ezra Scott from James McLain's Kosho School of Karate in Nashville, check out www.koshokarate.wordpress.com. To find out more about me, check out www.koshoschoolofkarate.com or listen to more Chop Talk!

CT040 The Art of Japanese Architecture with Professor StanRussell

CT040 The Art of Japanese Architecture with Professor StanRussell

May 18, 2020

This week's guest is Professor Stan Russell, expert on Japanese architecture and carpentry.  Stan is an Associate  Professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. He is also the founder of One Corner Architects, a full service Architetural design studio in Ybor City, Tampa Florida. One Corner Architects specialize in creative contemporary design solutions for residential, commercial, and institutional projects.  

Stan is very experienced in international architecture, having worked in the offices of Balkrishna Doshi in Ahmedabad, India, Team Zoo in Kobe Japan and he also apprenticed with a Japanese master carpenter in Hyogo, Japan.

Russell has presented and published papers in international, national, and regional conferences and journals.  His work has been featured in the Japanese periodicals Jutaku Tokushu, Kenchiku Bunka, The Japan Architect, Kazi, Shonan Style and Kenchiku Chisiki. His work in the US has been featured on the Architectural Record and Archdaily websites and has received numerous design awards.  

 I first met Stan about 10 years ago while I was attending Miami University in Ohio for my Master's degree in Architecture.  When I found out he was offering a class on Japanese architecture, I signed up right away.  He also became an advisor on my graduate thesis project, which focused on Okinawan Architecture.  Stan organized and taught a Japan Summer Studio ,  Where he took about 15 students to study architecture in Japan for 6 weeks.  This was an incredible experience for me and my classmates, and was the first time I had been outside of the US. This experience a big influence on my life and helped convince me to take a shot at living there. A few years later, Stan began running the same program for the University of South Florida, and since I was already in the country, he  was nice enough to let me tag along for a few days with the group again. To find out more about Professor Stan Russell, you can visit his website www.stanleyrussellarchitect.com

If you are interested in finding out more about his architectural work and Japanese carpentry, you can find his contact information on his website.

CT084 The Kendo Podcast with Hiro Imafuji

CT084 The Kendo Podcast with Hiro Imafuji

May 17, 2020

This week, Masahiro Imafuji joins the show. Imafuji Sensei is the host of the Kendo Podcast, which you can find at www.kendo-podcast.com.  He is also the author of the Kendo Guide website www.kendo-guide.com, where you can find a TON of great information on kendo including books, videos, and web courses, this is for kendo practitiors of every level from complete beginners, intermediate, and  all the way to advanced students.

You should also check out the Kendo Guide channel  on YouTube, which has great videos, including  interesting discussions on its Kendo Talk Show, and some recent videos giving tips on training at home during the Covid Qurantines.

Hiro Imafuji he started kendo at 7 years old, under Juichi Tsurumaru, Keisuke Maruyama, and Masayoshi Miyazaki at the Shubukan Dojo in Itami City, Japan. This dojo is over 250 years old. In today's show, we talk about Imafuji's early training at this dojo, the differences in promotions between Kendo & Karate, his experiences teaching in New Zealand, South America, how he came to the U.S, and how his podcast and website got started.

As a kendo practitioner, of course he is a member of the national organization the All United States Kendo Federation, and the regionional federation the East Central US Kendo Federation. Which I belong to, as does our dojo the Kosho School of Karate here in Cincinnati. Now not everyone realizes this, but the Kendo federation also includes Iaido and Jodo. Last year, Imafuji Sensei was the Acting President of the ECUSKF, and he played a major part in organizing the 2019 Cincinnnati Jodo Seminar & Promotion Exam. So thanks again to Imafuji Sensei for helping with that!

If you would like to know more about Masahiro Imafuji, check out www.Kendo-Guide.com, www.Kendo-Podcast.com, or the Kendo Guide channel on YouTube.  Imafuji Sensei's dojo is right next door in Indiana, and you can find out more about that at www.gotokukan-imafuji-dojo.com, and www.mudokwan.com.

CT083 Life Undercover with Don Sonney

CT083 Life Undercover with Don Sonney

May 10, 2020

This week,  Don Sonney returns to to discuss his career in law enforcement and how it was influenced by his martial arts training. Don Sonney's martial arts training led him  to join the Ohio Highway Patrol, which he discusses today. during his time as a trooper he was selected for their newly founded Ranger program (which was the predecessor of the SWAT Team) He also become an Instructor at the Highway Patrol's Academy. Mr. Sonney's undercover career started during his time with the Highway Patrol, and amazingly his first undercover assignment was exactly 50 years ago at the Kent State Riots, also known by some as the Kent State Massacre, which he discusses in today's show.  His career continued as an Agent for the Ohio Attorney General, where he worked undercover on numerous  Investigations, focusing  on Organized Crime of Various Mafia Figures and their Assistants.  He also assisted the FBI on a number of cases.

Some of his investigations included people, that were depicted in the 2011 film Kill the Irishman starring Ray Stevenson, Vincent D'Onofrio, Val Kilmer, and Christopher Walken, and the book To Kill the Irishman by Rick Porrello

Mr. Sonney started his karate training in 1964, in Gary, Pennsylvania under one of the best competitors of the era, Artis Simmons. then went on to train with another of the era's top competitors, James McLain.  Don Sonney competed against, worked out with some of the top karate men the time, including Dr. Mel Wise, Phil Koeppel, Robert Trias, and was a close friend of the head of Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu, Takayoshi Nagamine.

If you would like to know more about Don Sonny, you can contact him directly, on facebook , or you can reach out  reach out through the Chop Talk Facebook page, or send an e-mail to choptalkwithnateengland@gmail.com and I will get you connected.

CT082 Worth Every Minute with Don Sonney

CT082 Worth Every Minute with Don Sonney

May 4, 2020

This week,  long time karate practitioner Don Sonney joins the show..  Mr. Sonney started his karate career in 1964, training in Shotokan Karate in Gary, Pennsylvania under Artis Simmons, who was one of the top karate competitors of the era. He then went on to train in Shuri Ryu with, James McLain in his Cleveland dojo.  Don Sonney competed against, worked out with some of the top karate men the time, including Dr. Mel Wise, Phil Koeppel, Robert Trias, and was a close friend of the head of Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu, Takayoshi Nagamine. Now, everyone thinks of Nagamine as an OKINAWAN martial artist, of course, but he actually lived and had dojo's right here in Ohio.   Mr. Sonney also discusses what made the United States Karate Association such a unique and successful organization, and shares his thoughts on the changes that karate has gone through during his career.

Don Sonney's martial arts training led to join the Ohio Highway Patrol,  him becoming the self defense instructor for their Academy, he was selected for the Ranger program (which was the pretecessor of the SWAT Team), he had an extensive undercover career working for the Highway Patrol, Secretary of State, and the FBI.  We will get into his fascinating law enforcement career in next weeks episode,  so make sure you check back in. Amazingly his first undercover assignment was at the Kent State riots, (which, as I record this on May 4th, 2020, was exactly 50 years ago today).  He also worked on cases, and with people, that were depicted in the 2011 film Kill the Irishman starring Ray Stevenson, Vincent D'Onofrio, Val Kilmer, and Christopher Walken, and the book To Kill the Irishman by Rick Porrello

If you would like to know more about Don Sonny, you can contact him directly, on facebook , or you can reach out  reach out through the Chop Talk Facebook page, or send an e-mail to choptalkwithnateengland@gmail.com and I will get you connected.

CT081 Kakuriki: Okinawan Sumo with Andrew Clark

CT081 Kakuriki: Okinawan Sumo with Andrew Clark

April 13, 2020

This week, Andrew Clark joins us to discuss his experience living in Japan and training in Okinawan and Japanese Sumo. Andy moved to Japan 2004,  to teach English on the tiny island of Kitadaito Jima,  a few hundered miles East of Okinawa. While there, Andy had the unique opportunity to train both Kakuriki, or Okinawan Sumo (also known as Tegumi & Muto). and Japanese Edo Sumo, which is the Japanese sumo that most of you are familiar with. Okinawan Sumo and it has been a popular grappling art for hundreds of years. Some people, including Shoshin Nagamine, thought that Okinawan Sumo was the original martial art of Okinawa, which later developed in the striking art of Te and ultimately Karate.

At the start of the show, Andy tells us how he arrived in Japan, and his first impressions of his new home. He then talks about how he got involved with the Kitadaito Sumo team, and explains the differences between Okinawan Sumo and Edo Sumo. At the end of the show, he gets into some of the challenges he faced during his training, and the best way to see Okinawan Sumo for yourself.

Support Our Sponsors!

Kosho Martial Arts Equipment

Medical Resort A-Tac

Tarvin Plumbing

CT080 Covid, Corona, & Karate with Dr. Andy Wells

CT080 Covid, Corona, & Karate with Dr. Andy Wells

April 5, 2020

This week, Dr. Andy Wells, joins us to talk about COVID-19 and the Corona Virus. Dr. Wells is an Internal Medicine physician, and will be starting a Cardiology fellowship this summer, at a major academic medical center.  

The Doctor breaks down what this virus IS, what makes it different that the flu, the best way to prevent yourself from getting it, what to do if you have symptoms, and the current  situation with protective equipment at the hospitals. For those listeners that are still having group training, Dr.Wells  tells us  the best way to stay safe and  prevent infections at your dojo. At the end of the show, we discuss horrific martial arts injuries and how to way to treat them.

If there is anyone out there, such as Dentists or Veterinarians, that has mask, or gloves, or other medical equipment, please consider donating it to your local hospital. 

To find the latest info on the Corona Virus and Covid-19, visit the CDC's website at www.CDC.gov.

 

Support Our Sponsors!

Kosho Martial Arts Equipment

Medical Resort A-Tac

Tarvin Plumbing

CT079 Pros & Cons of Open Styles

CT079 Pros & Cons of Open Styles

March 30, 2020

Nate and Ezra follow up last week's catch-up episode with a focused discussion on the pros and cons of "Open Styles" of Karate.  

Support Our Sponsors!

Kosho Martial Arts Equipment

Medical Resort A-Tac

Tarvin Plumbing

CT078 I’ve Been EV-ER-Y-WHERE!

CT078 I’ve Been EV-ER-Y-WHERE!

March 15, 2020

Chop Talk is BACK after its hiatus.  But, just because we haven't been PODCASTING about martial arts, doesn't mean we haven't been DOING martial arts! Ezra Scott joins the show to catch up on all the travel, training, seminars, and everything else that has happened in the last few months. 

CT077 Harvey King: The Way It Is

CT077 Harvey King: The Way It Is

July 23, 2019

This week's guest is one of the top Jodo practitioners in the United States (and an instructor at our upcoming seminar in Cincinnnati!), Harvey King.  He started training in karate in the 60s/early 70's, before branching out to iaido, aikido, and his primary focus Jodo.  He has traveled, trained, and taught all over the world.  In today' show we go through some of this history and he shares several training stories from his many visits to Japan.  We also discuss how  he became one of the early Jodo pioneers in the US, and has helped its growth in the country.

For more information on Harvey King visit https://www.facebook.com/New-York-Kobujodokai-1809300232630028/ or find his Jodo group at the Aikido of Park Slope at 630 Sackett St. in Brooklyn New York.

CT076 Ninja Nguyen: Step on the Mat

CT076 Ninja Nguyen: Step on the Mat

July 7, 2019

This week's guest is Ninja Nguyen, author of Step on the Mat: Life Lessons of the Ninja.  In Ninja's new book he shows how martial arts are more than just punching and kicking, and he highlights how the valuable lessons found in the routines of the martial arts can be applied to everything else you do in your life.  From the opening bow, sparring, and competitions, - all of these contain lessons that can help make you stronger mentally and physically, and make you a better person.

In today's show, Ninja talks about his early life growing up in Vietnam and the challenges he faced moving to the US, how he got started in the martial arts and some distractions he overcame along the way.  We then dig into some of the highlights of his book, and also find out how he got the name (NOT THE NICKNAME) Ninja!

To learn more about Ninja please visit  www.XtremeNinja.com

You can find his book, Step on the Mat: Life Lessons of the Ninja by Ninja Nguyen, on Amazon.  

CT075 - A Visceral Reaction

CT075 - A Visceral Reaction

March 6, 2019

Ezra Scott,  from James McLain's Kosho School of Karate in Nashville, and I continue our discussion on Martial Arts in the Digital Age.  Today we get into how to identify a credible source, how to bring what you learned on the internet back into your dojo, whether or not we care about society, and the generation gap that SEVERELY impacts people's perception of sharing martial arts on the internet.

If you want to learn more about Ezra Scott visit www.koshokarate.wordpress.com

CT074 - Martial Arts in the Digital Age

CT074 - Martial Arts in the Digital Age

February 25, 2019

Ezra Scott from James McLain's Kosho School of Karate in Nashville joins us this week to discuss "Martial Arts in the Digitial Age". Ezra and I compare notes on the positives and negatives of social media, publications, videos, blogs, podcasts, and much more.   

To learn more about Ezra Scott please visit www.koshokarate.wordpress.com

CT073 Noah Legel’s Karate Obsession

CT073 Noah Legel’s Karate Obsession

January 28, 2019

  This week's guest is Noah Legel, author of the "Karate Obsession" blog, and creator of Youtube channel Noah Legal's Karate obsession.  Noah and I originally trained together at the Academy of Okinawan Karate in Peoria Illinois.  In today's show we start off by reminiscing about our early training in Illinois, how Noah switched to Shorin Kan, how his blog and videos began, and then wrap up talking about his late teacher, Richard Poage, and his upcoming trip to Okinawa. 

Check out Noah's blog here: www.karateobsession.com  

Check out Noah's Youtube channel here: Noah Legel's Karate Obsession

CT072 Running a Professional School with Joseph Walker

CT072 Running a Professional School with Joseph Walker

September 26, 2018

Shihan Joseph Walker is back this week to continue our discussion on his 1986 Okinawa trip with Robert Trias, the incredible growth of the USKA, training with Gene LeBell, and some great advice on how to run a professional martial arts school.

CT071 - Joseph Walker: Almost Perfect!

CT071 - Joseph Walker: Almost Perfect!

September 16, 2018

This week's guest is my first martial arts teacher, Joseph Walker.  Shihan Walker has been practicing karate for 50 years, and judo even longer.  He was appointed Assistant Chief Instructor of Shuri Ryu Karate by Robert Trias, and named Chief Instructor by the International Shuri Ryu Association.  Today he talks about starting in Judo & Karate, training with Grandmaster Trias, and his first trip to Asia in 1986.

CT070 Sharon Massey on Women’s Self Defense

CT070 Sharon Massey on Women’s Self Defense

September 5, 2018

Sharon Massey from Pyramid Karate in Indianapolis, Indiana joins us this week to discuss women's self defense. Sharon talks about some of the real-world situations she has been in, her transition to traditional martial arts, and how the self defense concerns of women differ significantly from men, including the difference in physicality, situational awareness, dealing with domestic violence, and sexual assault. 

Sharon will be hosting a Women's Self Defense seminar on Sunday, September 9th from 1:00-3:30 at Pyramid Karate in Indianapolis.  Call 317-656-7627 or visit www.facebook.com/PyramidKarate/ to find out more. 

CT069 Phillip Koeppel: A Dojo Is A Family You Can Depend On

CT069 Phillip Koeppel: A Dojo Is A Family You Can Depend On

July 31, 2018

Phillip Koeppel returns this week. Sensei Koeppel has practiced martial arts for over 60 years, training with Yoshio Kawaguchi and Richard Kim in Yokohama Japan, Adriano Emperado in Hawaii, and Robert Trias in the US, and now practices Matsumura Seito Ryu. He opened the first karate dojo in Illinois in 1959.  

Today we start off by hearing how Mr. Koeppel met a fresh off the boat Bruce Lee, a few final thoughts on Kajukembo and Emperado, before getting into the difficulties of opening a karate dojo when nobody knows what karate is.  He then talks about working with Robert Trias to help popularize it in the US, and the early efforts to coordinate the Japanese, Okinawan, and American practitioners. 

CT068 - Phillip Koeppel: An Interesting Life

CT068 - Phillip Koeppel: An Interesting Life

July 22, 2018

This week's guest, Phillip Koeppel, is a true American Karate Pioneer.  Sensei Koeppel has been practicing martial arts for over 60 years.  Starting in 1956 in Yokohama Japan under Toshio Kawaguchi and Richard Kim, then moving on to Hawaii to train in Kajukembo with Adriano Emperado, before returing to Illinois and joining Robert Trias and the USKA.  His many credits include opening the first karate school in Illinois, organizing the first tournament in the midwest, and founding the United States Karate-Dp Kai.  He has been involved with every stage of karate's development in the US.

CT067 - Cobra Kai Never Dies!

CT067 - Cobra Kai Never Dies!

June 3, 2018

This week Ezra and I discuss Cobra Kai, the new Karate Kid series on You Tube Red.  There has been a lot of talk about this show on podcasts and around the internet, but we wanted to give you a karate-guy's perspective on the show.  

Spoilers start IMMEDIATELY, so check out the at least the first two episodes (Available for free on You Tube Red) before listening!

Play this podcast on Podbean App