Strength and conditioning have always been a part of Okinawa Karate-do, especially those styles classified as “Nahate” such as Goju-ryu, Uechi-ryu, and Tou’on-ryu. I’m sure you have seen many old photos of younger Karateka doing their “strongman” pose showing off their level of muscular development and low body fat. Read More
Okinawa martial arts are a part of my life, so it goes without saying that I tend to meet a lot of people who have practiced them to varying degrees. I’d have to say that they fall into spectrum that was beautifully described by the Aikido teacher George Leonard: Dabbler – Hack – Obsessive – Master. Read More
How many Karateka have you met that have some kind of injury? Sore arms, sore back, bruises, wonky shoulder, bad knees, the list of injuries that Karateka can sustain seems endless. Karate-do students tend to be a stoic bunch so they clench their teeth and get down to practice; rarely saying anything about what’s ailing them. Sure their injuries for the most part are not life-threatening or debilitating, but they can and often do interfere with the quality of their practice. It seems injuries happen to all Karateka at one point or another in their training . Yet it is ironic that the very thing that they love could potentially be hurting them. Read More
Documentation of the Japanese Army using Karate-do as a form of hand-to-hand combat training during WWII is uncommon. I have read accounts in books as well as interviews of instructors saying that it was used with the most famous being Egami Shigeru and Funakoshi Yoshitaka teaching Karate-do at the Nakano Academy. However, I’ve never found much direct evidence; until now (1).
If you thought the title of this short post refers to the names of two Japanese women, then you’re mistaken. No, its about Karateka and Kobudoka who travel to Japan or Okinawa and think they’re training (keiko – 稽古) , but are actually Karatedo or Kobudo tourists (kankokyaku – 観光客).
Attracting, keeping and training students to a traditional dojo can be a challenge. People come, they watch, and they may even try a class, but they rarely stick it out. It seems that people aren’t interested in traditional martial arts. It may have something to do with the lifestyle of modern men and women – little free time, mentally and physically drained from work, etc. Perhaps it is because teachers stick to an old style training curriculum. However, on reflection I think that is only half of the equation. The other half of the equation is the teacher and speaking for myself, I don’t think I’m a very good one. Read More