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Styles – something different


A colleague asked me today what style of karate I practise*. I thought it an interesting question, and an interesting coincidence as well, as I had just been mulling over exactly that point this very morning.

My answer was not simple.

To start with, I train in Chidokan karate-do, as a young’un in the 70s and 80s, and again now, under Kancho Jack Sims sensei – who trained under Takeshi Sasaki sensei, the founder of Chidokan, and Kiyoshi Sasaki sensei, his younger brother and chief instructor at the time. Now, Takeshi Sasaki sensei always maintained that the style of karate he taught was Shotokan, and that Chidokan was just the name of his organisation. Sims sensei has told me that he disagrees; that in his view there are sufficient, and significant enough, differences to warrant regarding Chidokan as a distinct style.

I suppose against that could perhaps be the fact that Nakajima sensei, Chidokan International’s senior instructor, has a video of kata excerpts, which bears a title of “Shotokan-ryu All Kata Excerpts”, and shows in at least some kata the standard Shotokan versions, rather than what I – following Sims sensei (and he following Sasaki sensei) – practise as Chidokan kata (and in one instance a reversed name: what most Shotokan organisations – except Kanazawa sensei’s SKIF – call Gojushiho Sho, we call Gojushiho Dai, and what they call Dai we call Sho; Nakajima sensei’s video shows what I know as Gojushiho Dai, but labelled as Sho).

As well as just agreeing with Sims sensei because of course I do, I regard the differences between Chidokan and the various Shotokan organisations as quite substantive. There are differences in detail, in general themes and style throughout kata and kihon (basics) – and even, I think in the nature of training, and the focus on fundamentals (that focus seems to be more solid in Chidokan – at least under Sims sensei). Does that make it another style though? There’s the question. What does style even mean? Certainly it’s not different like Goju Ryu or Shito Ryu are different from Shotokan, but I do maintain it is different from Shotokan organisations like JKA, JKS, SKIF. Is it a style? Does it matter? These are the bits that are really not clear to me.

How I’m actually coming to think about it is something different again. I’m starting to regard different styles of karate as perhaps best seen as being a particular master’s karate. In that sense, JKA-style Shotokan could be regarded as Nakayama sensei’s karate; SKIF as Kanazawa sensei’s karate; and Chidokan as Sasaki sensei’s karate – though now I would see it, in as much as it stands truly apart, as being Sims sensei’s karate – as he has on the one hand held true to what he learnt from (both) Sasaki sensei, and on the other continued to research and to develop his karate over the fifty years following his initial period of study with them in Japan.

*And yes, this is rather a divergence from my photography posts… which have been completely lacking for a very long time anyway, and it’s my blog… so I can do what I want. 😉

Gorgeous Clowns

My favourite little dinosaurs are the rainbow lorikeets: bright and colourful, acrobatic, clowns, stroppy, and just all-around fabulous. We’ve had a pair around a few times lately, and I’m very happy with this photo I nabbed the other day:

Colourful Clowns

40 year-old lens, btw. I love my Takumar 135.

I also love Lightzone, which I’m learning to use better and better. Perhaps a post dedicated to that might follow at some stage.

No RAW thanks, we’re iOS 8

So then. iOS 8 then. Pretty cool, save one thing in particular. No, I’ll not join the ranks of the poor folks who thought that all their photos had been eaten, simply because the album organisation had changed and the camera roll disappeared… I do mean something in the photos app though: it really does not seem to cope at all well with RAW files.

Swiping through an album of .dng files has become a painfully-protracted endeavour. One image moves a little off the screen, and…

Pause for effect…

… Eventually the next image takes its place. Deleting an image takes similar eons.

I haven’t found any mention of this online, but here’s hoping I’m not the only one to notice – and I particularly hope that Apple notice.

And sort it out.

Nailed it

I had a day most excellent today. Rosellas visited; then king parrots – a couple of bold ones even perched on my arm, then my young son’s, to have a feed.

Then came a pair of rainbow lorikeets.

Lorikeet redux

This month my Pentax has affixed to it my Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 135mm – the perfect lens for today. 😀 After processing the resulting photos as usual, on my iPad, I had a go on my iMac, using Lightzone.

Lorikeet redux

If I do say so myself: nailed it. 😀

Lorikeet pair (LZ)


I’m engaged in a mini-challenge, or project at the moment. That’s over and above the single lens challenge on the Pentax Forums (using one lens every day for a month): as well as that, I’m limiting myself to 24 frames (like a roll of film) a week; I take all unmetered shots – without chimping, at least until I’ve moved away and can’t repeat the shot if I mucked it up. It makes me think much more about each photograph, and so far I’m enjoying it a lot.

It’s quite striking how well the “Sunny 16” rule works as a guide to setting the exposure manually, for example:

Swimming Willow

I’d recommend this as an exercise to everyone – with or without the manual exposure part. Taking a limited number of photos does make you think more about every single one

And your photo library’s clutter increases more slowly. 😉

Another side

I mentioned in my first post that I play guitar. Maybe I should post a merging of those two things: a photo of (a part of) me and one of my guitars. I’m rather happy with how this came out:


Call it a selfie that I don’t mind. 😉

Someone wants my photos.

So. Random message on Flickr. Incomprehensible-or-nearly username, and one photo on their photostream. Addresses me as “Occasionally” (Occasionally focused being my moniker on Flickr). Says they would like to “buy” some of my photos to use on a photography website they run (url not given). Use not specified. Say they “usually pay $75” per photo. Asks can I email them, because they don’t check Flickrmail much.


Personally, I’d tend to use my own photos on any photography website I was running. Well, like this one, I suppose. 😉 So if they’re asking for others’ photos, one wonders are they licensing those photos for others to use? Like a stock photo sort of thing. Or something else?

Of course I can’t check, because they didn’t give me the url. Searching on the supplied email address bore no fruit, either.

But let’s think: some random wants to give me a one-off payment of $75 each for unspecified and (given their use of the term “buy”) eternal royalty-free use of my photos.

And they don’t check Flickrmail much …. the cynic in me says they know that, being dodgy, the account will get blocked/shut down soon, and they wouldn’t be able to check Flickrmail.

I’m not completely sure whether to email them and challenge them on those points – with the (I think vanishingly-small) possibility I’d actually make some money from my photography, or just ignore them.

… I think it’ll probably be the latter though.

… And now I’ve had another bit of Flickrmail. This one seems less completely dodgy, but, well, with terms not exactly geared towards me. 😉 This was from someone at Crowdmedia – it would seem they ask for access to all your photos, and sell use of them to publishers, giving you half the proceeds. Mmmmm … nup. Again, it’s just too open-ended and vague.


Milky Way, Crux, and the Coalsack

Last night I posted that I was about to head out in hopes of photographing the Milky Way. That was the first time my k-30, Sigma 30mm, and O-GPS1 astrotracer were all used together:


I’m rather pleased with the result (this was processed, using the RAW file, on my iPad in Photogene4; I’m working on it on my iMac in Lightzone, and in Darktable, but so far haven’t quite matched this):

Milky Way, Crux, and Coalsack

A Siggy month

Since getting my Pentax K-30, I’ve been participating in the “single in…” Monthly challenges on Pentax forums. These involve taking and posting a photo every day for a month – using just one lens for that month.

For my third month I used my Sigma 30 mm f/1.4. It took me about three and a half weeks to cotton on to the fact it was back-focusing, and then to go into the camera menus and learn how to adjust it. By that stage I was a bit soured on it.

This month … it’s the Siggy again. I’m trying to make friends with it, now that it ought to be focusing properly. Shortly I’m about to wander down the road in search of darkness, and a shot of the Milky Way.

Wish me luck. 😉

No colours


This is another of my favourite photos, and again was taken with a cameraphone – this time an old Sony-Ericsson. My daughter and I were at the airport, and there was a young lad about her age also in the departure lounge. In an instant they found each other, and they remained inseparable until we boarded.

Would that adults were as blind to superficial differences.