I thought I would post the following comments on Budo principles from Kondo Katsuyuki sensei, a well-known Daito-ryu Aikijutsu teacher. Although he is addressing Daito-ryu, I feel his ideas and principles are applicable to Karate-do as well. Daito-ryu Akijujutsu – Hiden Mokuroku Series Part 1 Ikkajo Tachiai by Katsuyuki Kondo Basic Principles 1. Rei Courtesy: In old days, words such… Read more →
A lot of people are asking me to tell them the quickest way to enlightenment, and what they really want to know is what is the cheapest way! Dalai Lama Shambhala Sun, November 2006 I teach a very small group of students, about five or so. This is virtually identical to how I trained in Japan. From time to time… Read more →
The practice of Karate-do and Kobudo are not like other activities. I’m not saying that they are superior or inferior to other pursuits, just that they are different, and not meant for everyone. They are not hot yoga, pilates, aerobics, community soccer, or any other physical activity. They are not simply paying your fees, treating your instructor like an acquaintance, walking in… Read more →
In the early 20th century under at the dojo of Higaonna Kanyo, oral history tells us that Sanchin kata was strongly emphasized. This makes sense to me given the emphasis on physical education during that era and the average age of the students that sought tutelage from Higaonna (approximately 12 to 18 years old).
Today I was thinking of two of my sempai from Kobudo and Karate-do, Tageshima-san and Kamada-san. In the years that I trained with them in Japan and in many subsequent visits to the dojo, these men were kind and generous both inside and outside the dojo and asked nothing in return. They are proper examples of how a sempai should behave… Read more →
Humility is an essential part of Okinawa Karate-do and Kobudo; at least that’s what our own teachers tell us. Heck, so do the writings of Karate-do sensei of our own respect styles tell us. Many of them, Miyagi, Kyoda, Mabuni, Toyama, and Funakoshi taught the importance of humility in daily life and training. For instance, the founder of Shotokan, Funakoshi… Read more →
Movement of gamaku / koshi (torso / pelvis) is important to the generation of power in general. The whipping of the hips is another matter and has to be approached with a lot of caution. Certain techniques / kata in Goju-ryu lend themselves very well to this type of motion such as Seipai.
I’ve been catching up on my reading and decided to reread one of my favourite books “Zen Flesh, Zen Bones”. It’s a compilation of Zen stories by Paul Reps. Even after rereading it many times over the years, I understand very little but I always feel better after reading it. I thought I would introduce the reader to the story… Read more →