22 Oct

How many Sesan do you need to make a style?

Sesan, Vancouver, Karate, Kobudo, Kitsilano, Higaonna Kanyu

Kanzaki sensei performing Kanyu no Sesan kata

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

08 Oct


Image from: http://www.ryuuka.com/products/detail.php?product_id=1612&PHPSESSID=bqlalczrvqkxs

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