15 Aug

Fashion – Okinawa Style

Vancouver, Karate, Goju, Uechi, Shotokan, Kitsilano, Kobudo, Lessons, Dojo

Elderly Shizoku – Ryukyu Kingdom

The other day my friend Joe Swift responded to a post on Facebook about principles of analysing the techniques found in classical Karate-do kata. In his response he mentioned the the importance of understanding the historical context in which kata were developed, including the clothing that people wore. I thought I would go into a bit more detail about that as it may clarify a few things about the meaning of Karate-do kata that have been passed down to us. Otherwise, as my friend Joe said, you may end up super-imposing MMA or Krav Maga applications on top of the kata when they don’t belong there.

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10 Aug

Kiai: Its all in the Voice


It seems that the use of the voice to project energy (i.e. kiai) was a part of Karate-do, but not a formal part of training. There are many folk tales of karate fighters who were known to have “given a spirited yell” during a fight. This would suggest to me that it is a natural occurrence, and one that did not need practice during training. Read More

04 Aug

Funakoshi Gichin & Yamaguchi Gogen: The War Years

Shotokan, Goju-ryu, Funakoshi Gichin, Karate, Vancouver, BC, Kitsilano

L to R: Yamaguchi Takashi, Funakoshi Gichin, Kugimiya Yukio

On July 15, 1937 the then 70 year old founder of Shotokan, Funakoshi Gichin, held a public demonstration of Karate with eleven of his students from Takushoku University to an enthusiastic audience. One month later on  August 13, 1937  Yamaguchi Gogen demonstrated Goju-ryu to an equally excited audience. What is startling about these demonstrations is not the men who participated or their martial arts, but where these demonstrations were held. They were held in Seoul, Korea!  Read More