26 Apr

So you want to move to Japan

Uechi ryu, Goju ryu, Karate, Vancouver, BC, Lessons, Martial Arts, Dojo, Japan, Okinawa

Minowa Katsuhiko (L) & Me (R)

When I lived in Japan, I would get e-mails from people from time to time saying how envious they were that I was living and training in Japan. To be perfectly frank, there was nothing to be envious of. Living and working in Japan, despite your love of budo, can be extremely taxing, frustrating, stressful and at times incomprehensible. Read More

22 Apr

Bechurin & Sanseru – Ideas from Sato Kinbei

Sato Kinbei, Sanseru, Kururunfa

Sato Kinbei

Sato Kinbei was an iconic martial arts teacher in Japan who was proficient not only in his native traditions but also those of China. I never met the man, but did learn a little about him through Murakami Katsumi who studied Taichi, Baqua and Hsing-in from him. Kinbei was also a prolific writer and published many books in Japanese on the fighting arts. None of them, to my knowledge, have been translated into English. However, one of them in particular I have always found interesting, Jissen Kinna Jutsu; his book on Chin’na or join manipulations.

In today’s post I would like to share techniques that are similar (at least to me) of techniques found in some of the Nahate kata such as Sanseru and Bechurin.

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19 Apr

I did it my way!

Ga-ryu, Karate-do, Kobudo, Vancouver, BC, Lessons, Martial Arts, Budo, Goju-ryu, Uechi-ryu, Shotokan, Dojo

Dai Sensei Frank Sinatra

More and more I come across individual teachers, usually young, who have opted to create their own style of Karate-do of which the technical level and aesthetic content (remember Yo-no-Bi) is usually quite low – abysmally so. The main reason for this is surprisingly simple – not enough time in training. “You can’t beat the clock!” as my friend Wade Chroninger would say. Read More

08 Apr

Fukuchi Seiko Memorial Demonstration – Part 4

Fukuchi Seiko, Goju, Suparempei, Vancouver, Karate, Kitsilano, Lessons, Martial Arts

I’d fallen behind posting these other videos from the 1984 Fukuchi Seiko memorial demonstration. If you want to share the videos I would appreciate it if you will use this blog link instead of posting the video directly. I hope you enjoy them. Read More

05 Apr

The Master

Master, Karate, Kobudo, Vancouver, BC, North Vancouver, Lessons, Martial Arts, Uechi-ryu, Goju-ryu

There is no shortage of Karate ‘masters’ these days. They’re quite literally everywhere: in your neighborhood, city or country; online media, blogs, and forums. Although I should correct myself as the term ‘master’ is prosaic compared to what most of these teachers self-servingly call themselves. A cursory look on the internet will give you titles like sensei, shihan, saiko-shihan, renshi, kyoshi, hanshi, soke, doshu, zokucho, gunshi….the list is never ending and reading it just makes me depressed. Yet from my point of view, few if any, have put in the years of hard work or have the competence to label themselves with such grandiose titles. Read More

29 Mar

How to be a Middling Karateka

Middling Karateka, Karate, Kobudo, Vancouver, Goju-ryu, Okinawa, Lessons, Martial Arts, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, North Vancouver, Uechi-ryu, Shotokan, Shito-ryu, DojoYes, I’m a vain and arrogant person when it comes to Karate-do- I speak Japanese, I’ve translated books, I run a dojo (…well, I used to). Indeed, I’m the exact opposite of how budo is supposed to shape a person’s character. However, being a successful Karateka can be so very stressful. So I’ve decided to take up some of my valuable time to reveal some insider secrets. Read More