A few weeks ago I was driving back from Kobudo practice with one of my students and he commented that practice is about refining what you know and learning new material, and not necessarily about doing a workout. I thought that statement was quite insightful and started me thinking about how some students in the West equate practice with fitness, getting a good sweat going, and practicing some of the dojo curriculum. Of course this is true to an extent, but it isn’t the whole picture.
This blog post is a short translation of an article that appeared in the Asahi Shimbun in the summer of 1945. It caught my eye because it talked about training Tokyo police officers in hand-to-hand combat aagainst US soldiers using simplified Karate techniques. Near the end of the war there was a real belief among administrators, military officials and politicians that US forces would invade Japan. Although it doesn’t mention who originally taught the Karate techniques that were part of the seminar, I’d speculate that it could have been some of Funakoshi Gichin’s students; many of whom were active participants during the second world war. Read More
There is quite a bit of evidence to suggest that Shurite/Shorin did practice a version of san chin kata. I thought it may be of interest to people to post some notes on the topic from that I had made from Kinjo Akio’s book detailing what he calls “Shuri Sanchin”.
This week I’ll be teaching a short workshop on Sanchin kata at Vancouver Mind Body Centre. I’ve been organizing my ideas on what I will try to convey at the workshop and would like to share these preliminary ideas in this blog post. The motive is entirely selfish as writing them down helps me better organize my ideas. Although not fully formed, here they are. Read More
There is a phrase in Japanese that conveys an important strategy in Okinawa Karate-do, “Suemono ni shite utsu (据え物にして打つ)”. This phrase means to strike your opponent after forcing him into an awkward position. Read More
Derek English is a true power-house of Okinawa Budo – proficient in both Goju-ryu Karate-do and Ryukyu Kobudo. I first met Derek in Japan way back in 1995 at a conference we were both attending in Kumamoto prefecture, but it wasn’t until a few years later that I finally caught up with him on Okinawa and was able to train briefly with him and his teacher Uehara Ko at the latter’s dojo in Naha. Read More
Here’s a exert from the book I’m writing on Kyoda Juhatsu and his Tou’on-ryu. It includes an overview of the his teacher Higaonna Kanryo and his supposed teachers including Aragaki Sesho. The writing is not fully developed and I haven’t included the references, but I think readers might enjoy the ideas that are put forward. Whether they agree or disagree with them is not the point as the aim is to make them reconsider their ideas about these historical figures. Read More