Long ago…well maybe not that long ago, people used to do a quick session of daily exercise for “medicinal purposes”. This was sometimes referrred to as a “tonic” and was meant to help maintain your health.
In Karate-do and Kobudo you must strive to master the basics when you train (1). Sure, you may want to leap into doing your most advanced kata or practicing an elaborate two-person set, but this really isn’t where you should be focusing your time….especially if you’re a novice. Read More
In Japanese I’m what you would call a ‘Kuishinbo’ (食いしん坊); a complete foodie. French, Italian, Japanese, hole-in-the-wall, high-end, you name it, I’ll probably like it. So, the other day when were out of town and my wife was hankering for some sushi I was game. I popped open my phone and opened ‘urban spoon’ to see what was around us. Sure enough there were lots of sushi restaurants. Read More
These words name the stages of learning to master an art. “Shu” is the reading of the character which means “protecting” or “keeping” as in “keep a promise”. The character for “ha” means “breaking” or “accomplishing”. The character for “ri” signifies “lining up side by side” or “separating”. In English we use the words “follow”, “adapt” and “master”. In any discipline, artistic, academic or physical, the stages of learning follow the same order. 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 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 and performance. 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
I was reading an article titled ‘Japan’s honorific language about more than manners‘ that discussed the physicist Richard Feynman’s frustration with learning Japanese while he was working in Kyoto. Read More
Yabiku Moden was an important and prominent teacher of Kobudo on Okinawa and one of the principle teachers of Taira Shinken. Yet very little is know about his early life. So I have decided to present a brief biography of the man that first appeared in Japanese in Okinawa Dento Kobudo: Sono Rekishi to Tamashi’ by Nakamoto Masahiro – This is the original Japanese language text that has been recently translated into English. I think it provides a good overview of this important man.