From time to time Kanzaki sensei would recollect to me about his time learning Tou’on-ryu from Kyoda Juhatsu in the 1950s and 1960s. He shared some great stories, but often he would tell me how much of an influence Higaonna Kanryo had on him. I don’t doubt this as there are many anecdotes and much circumstantial evidence to support this. One only has to look at the name of Kyoda’s style which uses the first two kanji of Kanryo’s last name [東恩納]. However, I think there is more going on in that name than meets the eye. Read More
On Sunday’s we have Kobudo class from 2:45 to 4:45 pm. Usually I’m at practice from 2:00 pm along with some seniors to coach them on the higher level subjects in the curriculum. Yesterday though was different Read More
Way back in the 1990s when I was living in Japan the musician Beck had a hit single called “Loser”. It’s chorus went, “I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?” Read More
Here is an interesting exert from “The Loochoo Islands.” Its just one sentence but it says a lot. Read More
I love goya, but it wasn’t love at first sight. Its bitterness is something of an acquired taste for most people – myself included. I first encountered this peculiar “bitter melon” on my first trip to Okinawa in 1988 during a hot day in September. I had entered a restaurant with one of my sempai who ordered something to eat for the two us (I didn’t speak Japanese back then) and 15 minutes or so later the waiter came out with two plates of some bumpy green vegetable, tofu, egg and spam! Read More
Good, traditional, Okinawa Karatedo is not easy to do correctly and Tou’on-ryu is no exception. In my limited time learning from Kanzaki sensei he was uncompromising not only with sanchin kata, but equally strick when it came to other Kata in the system.
I’m surprised at how many times I’ve seen senior and junior Karateka literally gasping for breath after performing just one kata. They move off to the side of the dojo, face flushed, bright red, sweating profusely and sucking in as much air as they can. There are many reasons they’re gasping for air.