30 Oct

Karamidi

Nakasone Tokashiki Karamidi 1I thought I would post about  karamidi – locking and restraining techniques found in classical Okinawa Karate-do. In the photo above we can see Nakasone Seiyu (1890 – 1980) demonstrating a karamidi technique. This technique, and similar techniques, were apparently a specialty of Nakasone Seiyu. Karamidi is of course the Okinawa pronunciation of the two kanji Karamu meaning entangle, or entwine and di/te meaning hand. A nice definition of Karamidi is presented on page 122 of The Secret Royal Martial Arts of Ryukyu by Kanenori Sakon Matsuo, and translated by my good friend Joe Swift, “These are the secret techniques of grabbing, twisting, or bending the opponent’s joints to control without serious injury.”

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27 Oct

I’m no expert

For most of my adult life I’ve practiced and researched Okinawa Karatedō and Ryukyu Kobudō. So for that reason I’m sometimes mistaken as some kind of “expert”. Well, I’m sorry to say that they’ve gotten it completely wrong. No, I’m just a little more familiar with the work of some excellent teachers and researchers who are the real experts. Read More

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