So many people ask me about where they can see Tou’on-ryu kata and I always have to tell them that there are no public videos of the style. Personally, I would like to see some video made public, but that is Ikeda sensei’s decision not mine. That said, I don’t think I’m giving too much away by showing a short segment of a kata (but who knows, I may get an angry email from Ikeda sensei :-). Read More
I think the following short article published in the 1930s about Karate gives some interesting insight into the attitude towards the fledgling art on mainland Japan. The tone of the article seems to suggest that already by this time, Karate had been co-opted as a means of indoctrinating people into the prevailing military attitude of the time. I hope you enjoy it.
Let’s be honest, how many doughjo boys do you see practicing Karatedo? You know what I’m referring to, right? Those Karateka are in good shape? Factor in what you want (age, diet, co-morbidities, etc.) and then ask yourself, “how many of them are fit?” That is, do they have the requisite strength, flexibility, and stamina to perform Karate-do to a satisfactory level? If you’re even a little bit honest with yourself, I’m guessing you answered: (1) you see a lot of doughjo boys in the dojo, and (2) they don’t have an adequate fitness level to perform Karatedo to an acceptable standard.
Recently I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a book on Nahate, but then my good friend and researcher Joe Swift recently published an excellent book on the topic. After reading through it, I didn’t think there was much I could add to the conversation; so much for that idea. Now I’ve been thinking about writing a book on Tou’on-ryu. Read More
The other day after practice I was talking to one of my training partners in Kobudo and our conversation turned to the advanced bo kata taught near the end of the curriculum. Kata like Urasoe, Chinenshikiyanaka, Chatanyara, Sesoko, and Soeishi. They are all very long and complicated kata that are typically taught only at the higher dan grades and after a long apprenticeship under a competent teacher. Read More
Here’s an interesting observation (at least to me). Some Okinawan and Japanese Karate-do “styles” make reference to two fundamental principles within their own names. Read More
I’m no expert in Ryukyu languages and I may be completely wrong, but I find it a bit odd that Karateka refer to old Okinawa martial arts as ‘Ti Gwa’ (手小). This isn’t exactly correct as far as I can tell. ‘Ti’ of course refers to the old indigenous martial arts of the Ryukyu Kingdom, but ‘Ti Gwa’ doesn’t mean the same thing.