Always do your best.

“ ‘Ishiki’ (意識) is very important. ‘Awareness – Take more attention and focus’. Without ‘Ishiki’: you wouldn’t realize what is happening here and there. By doing it you see and realize things happening. During everyday training with more attention and focus you will see and realize how your stance, form and technique are. Do not…

Great emphasis was placed on balancing physical and mental learning.

“During Matsumura’s generation, unlike today, great emphasis was placed on balancing physical and mental learning.” . Nagamine Shoshin (1907-1997), the founder of Matsubayashi-Ryu, published a book called “Tales of Okinawa’s Great Masters”. The quote above comes from that book, and highlights the importance of “Bun Bu Ryu Do” (roughly “Cultural and Martial Studies Together”) in…

There is only one opponent and he is in front of you.

“There is only one opponent and he is in front of you. Turning to face a new direction while performing the kata does not mean you are turning to face a new opponent.” ~ Seikichi Toguchi (1917-1998) . “The meaning of the directions in kata is not well understood, and frequently mistakes are made in…

Ever had the feeling that you were being had?

Ever had the feeling that you were being had? The rise of the internet has allowed many unscrupulous people to suddenly become “experts” in a particular field and touting themselves as the perfect source of knowledge for you to follow. . If you want to, you can begin a martial arts school, or even an…

Forging the exceptional, out of the ordinary.

“Recently I hear people saying that sports karate, competition karate, is the tradition of our time…. But if I may express my personal opinion, I’d like to ask ‘so then what is karate in Okinawa?’….. . It is an unbroken culture and tradition that our ancestors have carried through history. For hundreds of years especially…

Jiu-kumite should reflect the kata

“I don’t mean to suggest that I have a totally negative opinion about karate-do’s competitive element, it’s just that I feel that it is too shallow. Regardless of whether it is Okinawa, the Japanese mainland, or the world in general, jiu-kimite (free sparring) ignores the principles to which kata apply. Simply put, jiu-kumite should reflect…

To be a master you must be a great & humble student.

I have learned that you cannot teach someone who doesn’t want to learn or grow. Without that desire, there is no use in advising or coaching them, because it just won’t work. People reach a particular level of knowledge because their interests and motivations bring them to a point, but then they don’t want to…