05 Oct

Craftsmanship

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It was the end of the week and my wife and I were both tired; neither of us felt like making dinner. We’re lucky that there are several restaurants around where we live catering different food: Thai, Italian, French, and Japanese. A new sushi restaurant had opened up a few weeks ago so we decided to order some take-out to eat at home. The owner / chef was Japanese so the odds of it being good were pretty high we thought. So off I went 30 minutes or so after phoning-in the order to pick it up.

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25 Sep

Just Jump!

Ryukyu Kobudo - Yoshimura sensei & Krister - Bo vs. Tonfa

Yoshimura sensei & Krister – Bo vs. Tonfa

Ryukyu Kobudo contains a variety of weapons ranging from the more common such as the bo, sai and tonfa, to the more exotic such as the  rochin and tinbe, and suruchin. All of these weapons require years of study with a competent teacher to gain mastery. This requires not only the detailed study of the solo kata, but naturally the two-person fighting sets handed down for each weapon.

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19 Sep

Dosoku – Dirty Shoes

A while back when we were finishing up practice, a new student stepped across the dojo floor with his dirty shoes on. My immediate reaction was shock/anger and the new student soon recognized the look on my face. I realized that the student had no previous experience in Karate or any modern budo for that matter and would have had no idea that this was not an appropriate thing to do. After politely chatting with the student about this I wondered if anyone has given any thought as to why we don’t wear shoes in the dojo. Of course “tradition” will be one reason that springs to mind quickly, but there are other more practical reasons. Read More
17 Sep

The Dumbing-down of Karate-do

If you’re over 40, like me, then you have the feeling that there’s been a general ” dumbing-down” of Karate-do. That there’s a lack of appreciation for quality Karate-do. You can blame it on whatever you want: ‘kurodee‘, sport Karate, or Karate tourism, or any other asinine activity that labels itself Karate, but the impression remains. Read More

14 Sep

Micropost: The Teachings of Kyoda Juhatsu

Kyoda Juhatsu

L to R: unknown, Kanzaki Shigekazu, Kyoda Juhatsu, Kyoda Shigeaki, Kyoda Juko

August 31 marks the date of the passing of Kyoda Juhatsu sensei, the founder of Tou’on-ryu. I spent that morning practicing Sanchin, Sesan, Sanseru and Bechurin and reflecting on what he had passed down to his students; not only kata but his moral and ethical teachings:
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