Just Jump!

Posted by Kowakan Dojo | Kobudo, Technique, Training
Ryukyu Kobudo - Yoshimura sensei & Krister - Bo vs. Tonfa

Yoshimura sensei & Krister – Bo vs. Tonfa

Ryukyu Kobudo contains a variety of weapons ranging from the more common such as the bo, sai and tonfa, to the more exotic such as the  rochin and tinbe, and suruchin. All of these weapons require years of study with a competent teacher to gain mastery. This requires not only the detailed study of the solo kata, but naturally the two-person fighting sets handed down for each weapon.

Dosoku – Dirty Shoes

Posted by Kowakan Dojo | Karatedo, Philosophy
A while back when we were finishing up practice, a new student stepped across the dojo floor with his dirty shoes on. My immediate reaction was shock/anger and the new student soon recognized the look on my face. I realized that the student had no previous experience in Karate or any modern budo for that matter and would have had no idea that this was not an appropriate thing to do. After politely chatting with the student about this I wondered if anyone has given any thought as to why we don’t wear shoes in the dojo. Of course “tradition” will be one reason that springs to mind quickly, but there are other more practical reasons.

If you’re over 40, like me, then you have the feeling that there’s been a general ” dumbing-down” of Karate-do. That there’s a lack of appreciation for quality Karate-do. You can blame it on whatever you want: ‘kurodee‘, sport Karate, or Karate tourism, or any other asinine activity that labels itself Karate, but the impression remains.

Kyoda Juhatsu

L to R: unknown, Kanzaki Shigekazu, Kyoda Juhatsu, Kyoda Shigeaki, Kyoda Juko

August 31 marks the date of the passing of Kyoda Juhatsu sensei, the founder of Tou’on-ryu. I spent that morning practicing Sanchin, Sesan, Sanseru and Bechurin and reflecting on what he had passed down to his students; not only kata but his moral and ethical teachings:


Posted by Kowakan Dojo | Karatedo
Shinshukan dojo

Front: Minowa sensei (L) & Yoshimura sensei (R) Standing: Tageshima san (L) & Me (R)

It’s been 20 years since I first entered the dojo of Minowa sensei and Yoshimura sensei to study Ryukyu Kobudo with them. Until then I had been practicing Goju-ryu for about 10 years and thought I was pretty set as far as my Karate-do was concerned. Initially I was only interested in learning Kobudo, but at their suggestion and encouragement I began to practice Uechi-ryu.