Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tai Chi Chuan and Goju-Ryu

Before I began studying Goju-ryu 25 years ago, I had learned the simplified Taichi Chuan (of Yang style 24 patterns). Even nowadays I sometimes practice Taichi Chuan besides practicing Goju-ryu Kata. To me there is almost no difference between Taichi Chuan and Goju-ryu karate.

In case of Goju-ryu, we learn from the aspect of "Go" (= hardness) and ultimately study the aspect of "Ju" (= softness). If Taichi Chuan, it is the other way around, we learn from the aspect of "Ju" and ultimately study "Go". Both different styles trys to attain the same goal, "Go" and "Ju". Like Taichi is a Chi-kung (= qi gong), Goju-ryu is also a Chi-kung. Sanchin, Tensho and Seinchin are obviously Chi-kung. Making Chi (= Ki in Japanese) flows properly is an essential element for both Taichi and Goju-ryu. Although historically and technically both of them are completely different, but I feel the common thing in them. I think if we learn Taichi, we might be able to understand "Ju" aspect of Goju-ryu more easily. I think it is vice versa for Taichi practitioners.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

MASTER YUCHOKU HIGA PRACTICE KARATE IN THE MOONLIGHT

MASTER YUCHOKU HIGA PRACTICE KARATE IN THE MOONLIGHT

Remarks: Original Japanese title "Kyudo Mugen: Karate No Michi" Written by a reporter of the monthly magazine "Aoi Umi" February 1978 issue (No.70) published by Aoi Umi Shuppansha (pages 96-97).

Translated by Sanzinsoo

"Very rhythmical and beautiful movement!" praised a musician from outside Okinawa when he saw a performance of Shorin-ryu karate in Okinawa. It is natural that the musician was impressed, as the characteristic of Kata in Shorin-ryu has not only fighting element but also esthetic element. It has power in the graceful and fluid movement, but we cannot see it by appearances. It is said that Shorin-ryu is rather an aggressive karate, although its movement is soft and gentle. They attack the opponents like dancing. Shorin-ryu has similarity to Okinawan traditional dance in its positioning of waist, movement of hands and footwork. That is why some Okinawan traditional dancers come to the dojo to study karate.

"Yes, like this. You raise your hand. And lower it. You do it fast. You do it slowly." said Mr. Yuchoku Higa. If you add rhythm to Kata of karate, it will become an Okinawan traditional dance.

Master Yuchoku Higa is the chief instructor of "Kyudokan", a karate dojo of Shorin-ryu. He has a strong physique as a warrior because he has been training in karate for a long time. But when he was a boy, he was skinny and had a weak constitution. Higa’s grandfather was worried about his delicate grandson, so he took his grandson to the home of Master Gichin Funakoshi, his cousin, and made Higa stay with Funakoshi’s family. The grandfather hoped that Higa learn karate from Master Funakoshi, and at the same time Master Funakoshi help his grandson with his studies. At that time Master Funakoshi worked as a teacher at school. Four days later, Higa who was in the fourth grade of elementary school, escaped from Master Funakoshi’s home and went back to his home. He was very afraid and felt lonely when he lived apart from his family. However, the grandfather could not give up his idea, so he tried again when Higa was in the sixth grade of elementary school. This time he took his grandson to the home of Master Chojun Miyagi, the founder of Goju-ryu karate. But again Higa escaped from Master Chojun Miyagi’s home. He said to his grandfather, "Please, please do not force me to learn karate!" Eventually the grandfather gave up and never took him to any karate masters.

When Higa was a student of Naha Commercial High School at age 16, he became willing to learn karate. He was physically weak, skinny and pale. He also had a slight stoop. Moreover, he was a bookworm. He liked reading books very much. Higa was an easy target to bully. He was being bullied at school, so he became reluctant to go to school. He felt so depressed that he even thought of trying to kill himself. But he changed his mind. He thought he could die at any time. "I will revenge someday!" said Higa to himself. So he decided and began learning karate.

"The motive for learning karate was not pure at all. I was just thinking I would revenge the bullies someday in the future. Ha ha ha!" said Higa with laughing. He first learned karate from Master Jiro Shiroma of Shuri-te style. And later, he also learned from Master Jin-an Shinzato (Naha-te style), Master Seiei Miyara (Shuri-te style) and Master Choshin Chibana (Shuri-te style). Master Jiro Shiroma always said, "Don’t talk about karate. Don’t demonstrate karate." He warned us that we tended to show off our strength if we learned karate.

Anyway he started practicing karate with "not-pure motive", but his perspective on karate was changing through training in karate. When he was 26 years old, he devoted himself to practicing karate with the policy, "Best defense is offense or attack." But nowadays he runs away in a hurry if a drunken man annoys him. It is a win without fighting. One day Higa’s friend saw Higa annoyed by a drunken man. Higa ran away in a hurry from a drunken man without fighting. Some days later Higa’s friend told Higa, "At that time I thought I could see the real fight by the karate master." Higa said to him, "I know I could defeat him if I fought, so I ran away. I won the fight as I ran away. My opponent must have thought he won the fight as I ran away. Both of us thought we won, so no problem. It’s all right." That is exactly a win without fighting.

The mottos of Kyudokan, Master Yuchoku Higa’s karate dojo, are as follows.

(1) Avoid fighting or quarreling.

(2) Respect your elders and take care of your youngers.

(3) Morality and good manners at karate dojo will have an influence on the community.

The number of students who have practiced at Kyudokan exceeds ten thousand. Currently about 40 students are practicing karate at Kyudokan. Last year (= 1977) Master Yuchoku Higa went to Argentine at the invitation of Argentine branch of Kyudokan. There are 51 dojos affiliated with Kydokan and about 5,800 students in Argentine. In February and April of this year (= 1978), the disciples of Master Higa will go to Peru and Brazil to open karate dojos.

In 1972, a beautiful building of karate dojo was built for Master Higa by his supporters. However, Master Higa himself thinks a dojo is not necessary for practicing karate. He said, "Before the dojo was built, I practiced karate at the yard or garden of my home. There were Gajimaru (= a banyan tree) and Sakura (= cherry blossoms) in my yard or garden. I loved practicing karate there under the moonlight. I think if we practice karate at the place surrounded by the beauties of nature, melted in nature, we can see a wonderful value of karate and understand karate better."

He also criticizes a karate tournament or karate as a sport. Master Higa said, "It is not a karate if you stop your punch before contact. But if you really fight, injury or worse than injury is inevitable. Essentially karate is not fit for a tournament. It is impossible to make karate a tournament sport."

"Kyudo Mugen." (= Studying karate and searching for the Truth is infinite.) It is a word from Master Yuchoku Higa who has been training in karate for more than fifty years. The name of his dojo, "Kyudokan" is derived from this word. There is no end for mastering karate. If we seek the Truth, the path toward the Truth will become distant.

MASTER MEITOKU YAGI




MASTER MEITOKU YAGI

Remarks: written by a reporter of the monthly magazine "Aoi Umi" Feb. 1978 issue.

Translated by Sanzinsoo

"I don't like talking about karate" said Mr. Meitoku Yagi. It means he does not like talking on how you can defeat an opponent by technique like this or how you can win by karate and so on. It is also one of the teachings of his master, Chojun Miyagi. They say that Miyagi Sensei has no story of actual karate feat in battle.Every karateka whose hands and feet can be used as a sword should remember what Mr. Yagi means.

Meitoku Yagi, the chief instructor of "Meibukan" Gojuryu karate, was born in 1912 in Kumemura, Naha, Okinawa where he lives now. He was not a strong boy, although he was not weak.On recommendation of his grand father, Noko, Mr. Yagi began learning karate at the age of 13 when he had passed the entrance examination of Okinawa Prefetural Second Middle School.In old days in Okinawa, men used to learn "Te" (= karate). His grand father took him to Miyagi Sensei's home. "I really ask you to teach karate to my grand son, as he is descended from Jana Oyakata." said the grand father to Miyagi Sensei.

*translator’s note: Jana Oyakata was the highest rank general of Ryukyu Kingdom (= now Okinawa) when King Shonei ruled. He fought most strongly against a Japanese invasion when Shimazu Clan, a Japanese powerful samurai clan, invaded Okinawa in 1609.

Master Miyagi was called “Busaa Maagushiku” (= Miyagi the karate expert in Okinawan dialect) by people and very famous. He was also known as a founder of Gojuryu style. He created Gojuryu kata, “Gekisai 1”, “Gekisai 2” and “Tensho”.Since then Mr. Yagi had been learning karate from Miyagi Sensei. The karate practice was hard. He had to practice only Sanchin for two months, three months or even half a year. “My shoulders were covered in bruises, as Master Miyagi hit by his both palms during Sanchin practice.” said Mr. Yagi remembering the hard training of Sanchin.Master Miyagi developed Mr. Yagi’s strong body and fighting spirits through Sanchin practice. He also taught Mr. Yagi the moral aspect of karate or “the way of human” (= morality). There is an episode related to this as follows.

One day Mr. Yagi went to public baths, when he still trained karate under Miyagi Sensei. At the public baths, he helped an old man wash his back. The old man saw the bruised shoulders of the kind youth and said "You go to Miyagi Sensei's Dojo, don't you?" He also said "Namanugutudo Sundoo." (= "You should be always kind to elderly people like you did to me now." in Okinawan dialect.) and he thanked Mr. Yagi. Later Miyagi Sensei heard this story, so he visited Mr. Yagi at home and said "You did well! It is worthwhile teaching you karate." Miyagi Sensei was delighted. He praised Mr. Yagi.

"I am an ordinary man. I have nothing special and strong." said Mr. Yagi. It means he takes the same attitude toward karate as Miyagi Sensei; karate is the same as Zen.The mottos at Meibukan, Mr. Yagi's karate Dojo, are "Flowing water of a river never compete with each other to go ahead of the others." and "The truth of karate exists in the training of your mind and spirit."

Mr. Yagi with such mottos casts a question over "sportization" of karate. Jiyu Kumite(= free sparring) tournaments are very popular nowadays. They are held by Japan Karate-do Federation. Someday karate would be one of items in Olympic Games. However, Okinawa Karate-do Federation does not approve such tournaments.Mr. Yagi is worried, "We might tend to neglect practicing Kata of Okinawan tradition, if we made karate one of tournament sports."

The following is his own motto for the Way of karate.We have nothing in our empty hands.Mighty power like a steel is our Kata and heritage which require a long time practice and training.It is what men are seeking just only for their self-respect and self-defense.The phrase "men are seeking just only for their self-respect and self-defense" is impressive.

Mr. Yagi opened his Dojo (= a training hall) "Meibukan" in about 1949 or 1950, soon after World War Two ended, when he worked as a customs officer. Before that time he taught karate at a vacant lot of the street.The Dojo still remains the same as before. We remember a Dojo of the old days, when we see a Makiwara and a barbell at the yard of Mr. Yagi's home.

Monday, December 17, 2007

MASTER SEIKO HIGA IN MY MEMORIES


MASTER SEIKO HIGA IN MY MEMORIES

by Saburo Higa

Remarks: The original Japanese title "Omoide No Higa Seiko Sensei" written by Mr. Saburo Higa, an acupuncturist. This article appeared in the book, "Karate Denshinroku" (= True History of Karate) by Akio Kinjo, as a supplementary article. Pages 326-331 (Okinawa Tosho Center, 1999)

Translated by Sanzinsoo

I joined Itoman Dojo, a karate academy of Master Seiko Higa, in October 1952. At that time, the Dojo was located in front of Itoman Elementary School and faced a bus road. At the corner of the Dojo, there was a carpenter’s workshop. I met with Mr. Akio Kinjo for the first time in November 1955 when he was waiting for Master Seiko Higa at the Dojo. He was a student of Ryukyu University and devoted himself to practicing karate.

Although in the chaotic times after World War Two in Okinawa, there were a lot of excellent students in Itoman Dojo such as Juei Tamaki, Seikichi Toguchi, Seiko Kina, Soko Yamakawa and Choshin Ishimine who was a promising young disciple. We sometimes stayed at the Dojo. Soko Yamakawa had a sense of humor. He and Kanki Izumikawa of Kawasaki-shi joined the Dojo at the same time. Yamakawa’s karate feats in battle were famous when Master Seiko Higa was teaching karate in Saipan. Those senior students really admired and respected Master Seiko Higa. Subsequently, they opened their own Dojos and laid the foundation for propagating Goju-ryu karate.

Seiyu Nakasone of Tomari-Te style who was a carpenter often visited the Dojo and studied the fundamental Kata, "Tensho". He was concentrating on his practice of "Tensho" until he fully understood it. Master Seiko Higa often said to us, "Brother Kaa Kaa (His nickname was "Kaa Kaa" as he always stuttered.) is an expert in Shorin-ryu of Tomari style. However, he was well impressed with "Tensho" of Goju-ryu and its step. He is convinced "Tensho" is so real and genuine that it alone is enough to study."

At that time, we had neither a gas cooking stove nor a kerosene cooking stove, so Master Seiko Higa cut pieces of board and burnt them to boil water for making tea. He did not drink alcohol at all. He liked drinking tea and smoking "Lucky Strike" brand cigarettes. When he had free time, he walked about and visited his friends or students to have a chat. Later, he got a job as a karate instructor at Okinawa Prison, and he could somehow make a decent living.

I made five friends of mine enroll in the Dojo. I also brought enough tea to the Dojo from my home. Those things delighted Master Higa. The training times at the Dojo became fixed. Miss Kanako Ishikawa, the first female student, and many others enrolled in the Dojo.

Near the end of December 1952, we had a party at the Dojo. We bought a goat. We butchered the goat by ourselves and cooked it for the party. Mr. Miyahira, a calligrapher as well as a local government worker for Itoman City, wrote the name of our Dojo on the signboard. We hung the signboard that says "Itoman Goju-ryu Karate Dojo, Nippon Butokukai Renshi, Higa Seiko" (= Goju-ryu Karate Academy in Itoman City, Chief Instructor: Seiko Higa who was awarded the title "Renshi" by Dai Nippon Butokukai) at the entrance of the Dojo.

After practice at the Dojo I often had a chance to listen to so interesting stories about karate told by Master Seiko Higa that I almost forgot to go home. Unfortunately Master Higa’s wife had already passed away and it was the poverty times just after World War Two, so he was forced to live inconveniently. I sometimes invited him to my house for dinner and we had a chat about karate. The followings are some stories told by Master Seiko Higa.

(1) Seiko Higa was a relative of Anko Itosu of Shuri-Te style. Anko Itosu taught young Higa when Higa still worked as a policeman in Shuri. Itosu was a gentle and affable person. Once Itosu said to Higa, "Ushii Higaonna ("Ushii" was a nickname for young Kanryo Higaonna.) had a powerful physique." Itosu spoke politely even to a maid. Higa respected him.

(2) Seiko Higa’s father and grand father remembered To Ru Ko (= Ru Ru Ko) and Wai Shin Zan as military officers of "Left and Right" (= maybe it means a commander and a vice commander?) when the representative of Chinese Emperor came to Ryukyu Kingdom (= now Okinawa) for the last time.

(3) Seiko Higa’s father was a close friend of Kanryo Higaonna. He advised Kanryo Higaonna to accept students and have his successors when Higaonna returned from China. And then Juhatsu Kyoda became a student of Kanryo Higaonna.

(4) Kanryo Higaonna went to Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China. He saved a drowning girl during the floods. She was a daughter of Ru Ru Ko, so he was accepted as a direct disciple of Ru Ru Ko. Higaonna’s kicking technique was the best among the students of Ru Ru Ko.

(5) Chojun Miyagi was a member of extremely rich family. He invited Kanryo Higaonna to his house. He learned karate from Kanryo Higaonna there. After practice he always entertained his teacher with a good meal. Kanryo Higaonna was an asthma sufferer. Sometimes Chojun Miyagi and Seiko Higa had a hard time relieving asthma attacks of their teacher.The wooden sign saying "Do not enter! We are practicing." was hung at the entrance of the training hall while Chojun Miyagi was learning karate from Kanryo Higaonna. During that time, Seiko Higa was waiting outside the training hall. After a while Seiko Higa entered the training hall, and he became a training partner of Chojun Miyagi and practiced karate with Chojun Miyagi and Kanryo Higaonna.

(6) Kanryo Higaonna showed students the position of a fist, its movement and so on with his short round stick. He seldom touched their bodies. During the practice he had never glared at students. He always taught them with a gentle look.

(7) In the beginning, originally, they performed Sanchin with open hands. They struck with Nukite (= spear-hand). Different from today’s hard breathing sound, they breathed so silently that the others could hardly notice. Also different from today’s Sanchin training, the teacher never struck shoulders of students. There was no such a training method.

(8) "Matsu (= the childhood name for Chojun Miyagi), stop before you turn at a street corner." said Kanryo Higaonna to Chojun Miyagi. He often gave Miyagi cautionary advices. Miyagi told his teacher that they were burdensome for him. Higaonna replied, "You should have a cautious manner. Make it your habit. Only Nanji (= practicing hard) is not a martial art."

(9) It seemed that Chojun Miyagi went to Fuzhou, China not for studying martial arts but for a minor business. After returning to Okinawa from China, he asked Kanryo Higaonna, "In China, I saw they were breathing with making sound ’Huu Huu Haa Haa’ like a roar of a very large snake when they were practicing Sanchin. What do you think of this breathing method?" Higaonna replied, "Theirs is genuine. Ours is genuine, too. What I have taught you so far is authentic. Everything is slow to mature. Training from the inside is genuine. You are still full of youthful vigor."

(10) Thinking about a technique of karate, Chojun Miyagi got up even in the midnight and studied it. In order to devote himself to studying karate, he left a five-year middle school before graduating when he was in the fourth grade.When Chojun Miyagi was young, he visited karate masters of other styles such as Anko Itosu and Chotoku Kyan. In those days, there were no Ryu or names of karate styles, so karate masters from various styles gathered together and held a meeting called "Bu No Hyoji" (= a forum on martial arts?). At the meeting, they talked about karate techniques, read a Ryuka (= an Okinawan poem) aloud and drank Sake (= an alcoholic drink made from rice). It was something like a friendly party. Chojun Miyagi was the youngest among them.

(11) Chojun Miyagi had a match of applying joint locks with Kentsu Yabu and Choki Motobu.

(12) Chojun Miyagi visited Hawaii to teach karate. There were a lot of professional wrestlers and tough men in Hawaii. Using skillful technique, he dealt with their strong grip.

(13) In Tokyo, Chojun Miyagi attended the meeting held by Gichin Funakoshi to exchange opinions.

(14) When Jigoro Kano, the founder of Judo, came to Okinawa, Chojun Miyagi demonstrated not only Kata but also Yobi Undo (= Preparatory Exercise) in Horai Ryokan Hotel. Jigoro Kano was especially impressed with Yobi Undo. It inspired him to create Judo Kobo Taiso (= Offense and Defense Exercise of Judo) later.

(15) The origin of the name "Goju-ryu" is as follows. Jin-an Shinzato participated in a martial arts festival held in Kyoto Butokuden to demonstrate karate. There he was asked what the name of his Ryu or style was. As a makeshift reply, he answered that it was Hango-ryu (= half hardness style). After this happened, Chojun Miyagi and Jin-an Shinzato were aware of the need to name the style of their karate. Then the name of their karate style became "Goju-ryu" (= hardness and softness style), which was derived from "Ho Donto Goju", a phrase from "Okinawa Den Bubishi".

(16) Chojun Miyagi never demonstrated karate in public, except when members of Japanese imperial family visited Okinawa or when he was asked to demonstrate karate at a very important event held by Okinawa Prefecture Government. Except such cases, he never held Enbukai (= a martial arts assembly for demonstrating martial arts techniques). He was only invited to Enbukai held by his students. Master Seiko Higa said, "My teacher, Master Chojun Miyagi, was like a Buddha."

The above-mentioned are just a part of many stories told by Master Seiko Higa.

I have seen Master Chojun Miyagi was teaching karate at the Police Academy in Naha. At that time, I felt as if a beam of searchlight was shining from his eyes.

Whizzing through the air, Master Seiko Higa performed Kata. His performance was very excellent and energetic. Everybody knew that his performance of Kata was beautiful.

Master Seiko Higa was the closest disciple of Master Chojun Miyagi. He attained the Truth of Goju-ryu karate, and he tried to keep it.

At a party, Master Seiko Higa also danced "Manzai Tichiuchi", an Okinawan traditional dance. He was mild-mannered and gentle like a spring breeze. He was free and flexible. He was a genius of karate-do.

(May 30, 1997)

Friday, December 14, 2007

ORAL HISTORY ABOUT KANRYO HIGAONNA HANDED DOWN FROM DISCIPLES OF SEIKO HIGA





ORAL HISTORY ABOUT KANRYO HIGAONNA HANDED DOWN FROM DISCIPLES OF SEIKO HIGA

by Akio Kinjo

Remarks: This is a part of the book "Karate Denshinroku” (= True History of Karate) written by Mr. Akio Kinjo, a karate researcher and a kungfu instructor in Okinawa. Pages 35-40 (Okinawa Tosho Center, 1999)

Translated by Sanzinsoo

I started researching on karate when I entered Ryukyu University in 1955, but soon I found it very difficult or almost impossible to do so due to a small number of books or written materials on karate. I visited the university library and many other large libraries to find valuable books on karate, but I could not find them. Even if I found a historical article regarding the origin of karate, it was always very simple and short sentences consisting of about five or six lines. Its content was also not so new to me.

Therefore, I started collecting oral history about karate. The most precious and concrete oral history was obtained from grand master Seiko Higa of Gojuryu. At that time Sensei Higa established a karate Dojo (= a training hall) in front of Itoman Primary School. I practiced karate there. After the practice, I used to talk with Sensei Higa about karate. We were so absorbed in talking that we forgot about the time. His stories were not only interesting but also very important as materials for researching on karate.

Seiko Higa’s father is Seishu Higa. Seishu Higa is a distant relative of Kanryo Higaonna who brought karate of Naha style to Okinawa from Fuzhou city, Fujian province, China. As Seishu Higa and Kanryo Higaonna were good friends, drinking Sake (= rice liquor) they used to talk about Kanryo’s memories in Fuzhou, China and his karate training there. At that time Seiko Higa was still a boy and he sat beside his father and listened their conversation with much interest. That is why he had a rich and concrete oral history about Kanryo Higaonna.

There are two disciples of Seiko Higa who were handed down the oral history from him and know more details than me. One is the deceased Choshin Ishimine and the other is Saburo Higa, an acupuncturist.

Sensei Choshin Ishimine was the best among disciples of Sensei Seiko Higa. When he was young, he was devoting all his time and energy to karate training with Sensei Higa. His performance of Suparinpe is so excellent that no one could do better than him. I think that in 1953 there were only five or six karateka who could perform Suparinpe well.

Sensei Ishimine taught me karate enthusiastically as he was not only my karate teacher but also my cousin. He also had “Bubishi”, the secret book of karate which was handed down from generation to generation by copying the book within the high-ranking disciples of Gojuryu. At that time I was a high school student and could not understand the content of the book at all, but I copied the “Bubishi” carefully. I still keep it at hand now. This precious book is very useful to solve the mysteries of karate.

The disciples of Sensei Choshin Ishimine are Mr. Yasuichi Ishimine, the chief instructor of Kobukan, Mr. Riki Uechi residing in Miyako Island, Mr. Tsuneo Kashima, the chief instructor of Miyako-Kobukan, Mr. Atsushi Kuwae, the chief instructor of Shumyokan in Yonabaru. They were also handed down the same oral history as mine. As for karate of Shuri style, I succeeded in collecting precious oral history from Sensei Choshin Chibana of Kobayashi-ryu, Sensei Chozo Nakama and Sensei Hohan Soken of Shorin-ryu Matsumura Seitoha.

Recently I also succeeded in collecting oral history from Sensei Seikichi Higa (Seiko Higa’s son), the president of Gojuryu International Karate Kobudo Federation, Sensei Shinpo Matayoshi, the president of All Okinawa Kobudo Federation, and Sensei Eiichi Miyazato, the president of Gojuryu Karatedo Association.

Based on the above-mentioned materials in Okinawa and the materials I obtained in Fujian Province, China when I studied kungfu there, I have been trying to solve the secrets of karate.

The oral history that I collected from Sensei Seiko Higa, Sensei Choshin Ishimine and Mr. Saburo Higa is as follows.

(1) The name of Chinese master of Kanryo Higaonna is phonetically: To Ru Ko or To Lu Ko or Ru Ru or Lu Lu or Ka Chin Ga Ru Ru or Ka Chin Ga Lu Lu or Ru Ru Ko or Lu Lu Ko. No one knows his exact name. It is so confused that no one knows which is correct, which is his surname and which is his own name. Chinese characters for his name are not available either.

(2) Wai Shin Zan and To Ru Ko were famous as two great kungfu masters in Fujian province.

(3) Wai Shin Zan was a military officer. To Ru Ko ran his own kungfu school as a chief instructor.

(4) To Ru Ko was not from Fuzhou. He immigrated to Fuzhou from other village or town. His house was near river or sea.

(5) To Ru Ko came to Ryukyu (= Okinawa) together with Wai Shin Zan as a military attache of Sappushi (= a kind of ambassador of Chinese Emperor).
Note: According to Seikichi Higa, To Ru Ko's visit to Ryukyu is questionable.

(6) No one knows the nickname of Kanryo Higaonna in China or how he was called by Chinese people.

(7) After arriving in Fuzhou, China, Kanryo Higaonna visited Wai Shin Zan to ask for kungfu training. But Wai Shin Zan did not accept him, because military officers were not allowed to teach martial arts to civilians. So he recommended Higaonna to go to the kungfu school of Master To Ru Ko.

(8) There were a lot of burnt-out incense cores at the front altar of To Ru Ko’s Dojo (= a training hall).

(9) Kanryo Higaonna worked as a ferryman during his early days in China.

(10) Kanryo Higaonna was not taught anything at all by To Ru Ko for some period just after joining the kungfu school, but he had to do household chores of To Ru Ko family. He only trained with implements or tools.

(11) When the river flooded, Kanryo Higaonna came to the home of To Ru Ko by boat and rescued his family. At the risk of his life, Higaonna saved To Ru Ko’s daughter from drowning when she was carried away by a heavy flood. He often talked about his memory of this very risky event to his disciples in Okinawa.

(12) After the flood subsided, Master To Ru Ko said to Kanryo Higaonna, “Thanks to your brave act, we were rescued from the flood. You have saved our life. We are very grateful to you for your help. As a reward I will take care of your traveling expenses for returning to your country, Ryukyu(= Okinawa). Tell me how much you need.” Then Kanryo Higaonna replied, “Master, I came to Fuzhou all the way from Ryukyu to learn kungfu. I have been holding on patiently until you teach me kungfu. As for the expenses for returning to Ryukyu, I think I can manage by myself. Master, please teach me kungfu!” Since then, Kanryo Higaonna became a formal disciple of Master To Ru Ko. He learned and studied hard many kungu secrets and in-depth techniques of kungfu from his master.

(13) On the night of August 15 of the old lunar calendar, the students of To Ru Ko and the students of Wai Shin Zan held a party on the boat to see the beautiful moon. At the party, there was a fight between Kanryo Higaonna and the strongest student of Wai Shin Zan.

(14) To decide who won or lost the fight, the masters held a competition of strength and Kata (= kungfu forms) between the two students. Kanryo Higaonna performed Kata very well with striking at lightning speed, kicking and very fast movements of his body. Seeing Kanryo Higaonna’s awesome and magnificent Kata performance, the strongest student of Wai Shi Zan accepted his master’s advice and was reconciled with Kanryo Higaonna.

(15) Kanryo Higaonna mastered kungfu so well that eventually he acted as an assistant chief instructor at the Dojo.

(16) One day Kanryo Higaonna asked the master for permission to return to Ryukyu (= Okinawa). The master replied to him, “I am so old that I cannot teach kungfu any longer. If you wish to return to your country, you have to continue teaching kungfu to my students here some years more so that some of them could become my successors.”

(17) Some years later, when Kanryo Higaonna was about to go back to Ryukyu, the master gave him a spear shaft that is cut off. He said to Kanryo Higaonna, “This is for you. This spear shaft was cut off when I fought with a tough opponent who was very good at sword fighting art. Although my spear was cut off, but I won the battle. It was my hardest memory. I give you this spear shaft as a keepsake. Keep this well with you.”

(18) When Kanryo Higaonna was going back to Ryukyu, Master To Ru Ko was very old. His eyesight was also bad. (This is an oral history from Sensei Eiichi Miyazato, one of senior students of Grand Master Chojun Miyagi.)

(19) Kanryo Higaonna’s karate of Naha style was created by Master To Ru Ko. He created it by combining his kungfu with techniques of various styles.

(20) The prototype of Sanchin that Kanryo Higaonna taught in the early days in Okinawa is as follows.1- Different from today’s Sanchin, your hands should be always open hands (= Nukite or spear-hand), not closed hands or fists.2- You strike with Nukite (= spear-hand) very quickly and bring back your hand to the basic Sanchin position.3- The sound of breathing almost cannot be heard. When your Nukite is brought back to the basic Sanchin position, you make the short and sharp sound of breathing.4- In the late days, Kanryo Higaonna modified the striking speed of Sanchin; changing the very quick striking into the slow motion.

(21) Chojun Miyagi went to Fuzhou, China on business of tea trading. After returning to Okinawa, he asked Sensei Kanryo Higaonna about Sanchin in China, “In Fuzhou, China, they were breathing with the sound ‘Haa Haa’ or ‘Fuu Fuu’ like a giant snake roaring when they performed Sanchin. Why don't we have such a breathing way?” Sensei Higaonna replied, “Theirs are authentic. And ours are authentic, too.” Then again Chojun Miyagi asked, “If so, will you teach me their breathing way with the sound?” Sensei Higaonna replied immediately, “You are too young to learn it.”

(22) After Sensei Higaonna passed away, Chojun Miyagi began teaching karate at a commercial school in Naha. About at that time, he modified Sanchin gradually. He changed open hands into closed hands or fists when he struck and pulled back. Later he made sounds when he was breathing in and breathing out. Eventually he made Sanchin of Goju-Ryu as we are doing now.

(23) Kanryo Higaonna was illiterate, so we have no written records by him.

(24) In China, if you wish to study kungfu, you have to pay a lot of money to your kungfu master. Sensei Higaonna called such a kungfu as Hanchinti (= a business karate or a making-money karate.)

(25) Sensei Seiko Higa said, “Sensei Kanryo Higaonna has mastered so many techniques of kungfu, because he was the formal direct disciple, not an ordinary student.”

END

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

BREATHING IN AND BREATHING OUT IN ACCORDANCE WITH "GO" AND "JU"

法剛柔呑吐 空手雑稿
宮城長順 著
翻訳 Sanzinsoo 

BREATHING IN AND BREATHING OUT IN ACCORDANCE WITH "GO" AND "JU"A MISCELLANEOUS ESSAY ON KARATE

by Chojun Miyagi

Remarks: This short article first appeared in "Bunka Okinawa" Vol.3 No.6 dated August 15, 1942, and re-appeared as an appendix in the book "Chugoku Okinawa Karate Kobudo No Genryu" written by Masahiro Nakamoto published on April 1, 1985 by Bunbukan.

Translated by Sanzinsoo

I don't know when it was changed, but "karate" is now written with letters as "Empty Hand" instead of "Chinese Hand". Anyway, I am happy to know that nowadays karate is popular all over Japan as a unique Okinawan martial arts, and even it has been officially recognized by Dai Nippon Butokukai (=Great Japan Fighting Arts and Moral Association) as one of Japanese fighting arts. However, without doubt, I am sure that the roots of karate is in China. I suppose the prototype karate might be modified in various ways in my home Okinawa, but I think it is worth enough as we can see the evolution of karate which was influenced by the uniqueness of Okinawan culture. Therefore, maybe, it is not unreasonable to change the letters of karate as "Empty Hand" instead of "Chinese Hand".

Anyway, this time I would like to tell you my private opinion regarding, of course, karate as follows.

I have heard that it is not sure but there is a martial art called "Three Hand" in India. I don't know the original Indian name. "Three Hand" is the direct translation of Chinese language from Indian language. I suppose maybe such a martial art was brought to China from India by Darma during the Emperor Wu dynasty, and it became the origin of Shaolin Temple.

It is very interesting for me that I saw the performance of martial arts played by a Filipino youth when I visited Hawaii last year. I was so impressed and very delighted to find that there is a similarity in techniques between the Filipino youth's martial arts and our karate. Regrettably, I lost the notebook in which I wrote down the youth's name and the name of his fighting arts in alphabets. I suppose it might be kept somewhere else, so I still have a chance to tell you the names if I find it.

I think Shaolin kungfu is a newly systematized fusion of previously existent classical Chinese martial arts and Indian martial arts. This opinion has not been proved yet. We require more research on this hypothesis.

I have been practicing karate for a long time, but I have not yet mastered the core or truth of karate. I feel as if I walk alone on a distant path in the darkness. The further I go, the more distant the path will become, but that is why the truth is precious. If we go forward to find the truth of karate by all our strength of mind and body, we would be rewarded little by little and day by day. The truth is near but hard to reach.

My friend, Mr. Jingyu told me the maxim as follows: "The ultimate formula to the truth is no formula. If you wish to master no formula, you have to master a formula. If you master a formula and no formula at the same time, you can transcend live and death." I suppose the ultimate formula to the truth is Tao, the Way. I cannot understand this maxim well, but sometimes I feel I understand it well. I think we have to master "a formula and no formula", then we can study karate in depth and get the truth of karate.

This is a miscellaneous essay for which I have not prepared, so let me talk about another subject.

As to karate styles, I hear there are two types, the southern type and the northern type. In the aspect of techniques, the southern type specializes in upper body and hand techniques, so it has soft, gentle and quiet features. It is defensive in the fighting. On the other hand, the northern type specializes in lower body and leg techniques, so it has hard and active features. It is aggressive in the fighting. The former steps forward to thrust and steps back to block. The latter steps forward to kick and steps forward again to throw down an opponent. Of course both types thrust, kick and throw down, but the point of view is different each other.

Now I would like to tell you about "Heishu" or "Heishu Kata" and "Kaishu" or "Kaishu Kata" to give some information to those who study karate.
"Heishu" means fundamental Katas. Before entering the way of karate, you have to develop your body and mind by doing Sanchin exercise of Gojuryu.

I will explain in detail. You stand straight firmly with stable stance of feet, and hands positioned properly, breathing harmoniously, then you can feel Sanchin ecstasy. It is a still version of Sanchin.

We also have active version of Sanchin which has another name "Peppuren". Usually we call Sanchin for both versions.
Tanden (= a point a couple of inches below the navel), the back of the head and the buttocks are three focus points on which you have to concentrate your attention during Sanchin exercise.

Brief instructions are the following. Tuck your chin in. Lift the back of your head high. Focus on Tanden (= a point a couple of inches below the navel) to charge with the energy. Your buttocks should be tucked in. These three focus points are not originally separated from each other, but have inseparable relationship. In addition to them, there is another focus point: the middle point between the eyebrows.
I have heard that principles of Zen and other sitting meditations are the same as Sanchin.

When I see karate-do in Okinawa, I think we tend to pay too little attention to "Heishu Kata" such as Sanchin. What do you think of this? Therefore, even if I see your best performance of "Kaishu Kata", I would not be satisfied with it and I feel something is lacking for perfection, as you do not have a stable and fundamental base powered by Sanchin. Hearing my opinion regarding "Heishu Kata" or Sanchin, Mr. Jingyu, my friend told me an interesting story as follows. "I" in the story is Mr. Jingyu himself, not me.

"Although my knowledge is limited, but I heard the following about so-called the South style Chinese paintings namely the paintings of the South Zong dynasty, and the paintings of the North Zong dynasty.
Strong and vital strokes of paintings are the characteristics of Li Si-Xun who is believed to be the founder of the North style Chinese paintings. I feel strongness and toughness as steel when I see his favorite painting technique called 'Cut by Large and Small Axes'.
On the other hand, pure and gentle strokes of paintings are the characteristics of Wang Wei, the founder of South style Chinese paintings. His painting way is called 'the Classic Style of Playing with Threads'. They say that Mr. Wang Wei is on a vegetarian diet and never eats meat, so his works reveals auras of tranquility and purity. It is not exaggerate to praise that Mr. Dong Qi-Chang calls him the King of Paintings.

According to a certain book, the difference of both styles is derived from the different natural environment of the Yellow River valley in the north and the Yangtze River valley in the south.Also according to a certain man who traveled around China for a long time, the difference of the North paintings and the South ones is derived from the different character of each natural environment. In short, the South style of painting is idealism, light, flexible, gentle and quiet. On the contrary, the North style of painting is strong, solemn, magnificent and dynamic.
If we apply it to Chinese fighting arts, it is completely coincident with each other. I think it has some hints."

The writer really agreed with Mr. Jingyu. He continued the story as follows.

"I think the relation between 'Heishu' and 'Kaishu' in karatedo is similar to the relation between the square style of writing Chinese letters and the cursive style of writing Chinese letters in the calligraphy, the Way of Writing. 'Heishu' is 'the square style', while 'Kaishu' is 'the cursive style'. The square style of writing is quiet and calm, while the cursive style of writing is active and dynamic. Therefore, obviously we can see which one is the fundamentals. It is also clear that we should go forward step by step from the fundamentals."

Again, I nodded and completely agreed with him. I think all the arts originated from the same roots and have the same Way.At the end of this essay, I will give you a phrase which is quoted from the famous book "Bubishi" or "Wubeizhi" written by Mao Yuan-yi in the late Ming era, in which he commented on the martial arts by taking examples of calligraphy and horsemanship."If you master how to stroke Chinese letters, then I can teach you all the techniques of calligraphy. If you master how to take the saddle, then I can teach you all the techniques of horsemanship."

Bunkai (= Application) of Kururunfa

型「クルルンファー」分解

PHOTO No.51: Assume the opponent throw a right middle punch. You receive it with right middle block.





PHOTO No.52: Right Kake Uke (= hooking block)
PHOTO No.52: You grab your opponent’s wrist in your right hand, and twist it counterclockwise.



HOTO No.53: At the same time, you turn to right 180 degrees so that you can put the opponent’s arm on your left shoulder. The opponent is behind you.

PHOTO No.53: Your left shoulder is a fulcrum. The opponent’s right arm is a lever. You pull the opponent’s forearm downward. Making use of leverage, you can give him pain.




PHOTO No.54: Left rear elbow strike
PHOTO No.54: While you do this armbreak technique, you make a rear elbow strike with your left elbow to his solar plexus.





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http://www.geocities.com/sanzinsoo

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

THE DANCING OLD MAN

時には「浜千鳥」を舞うが如く 武と舞は同一である
比嘉 清彦 著
翻訳 Sanzinsoo

THE DANCING OLD MAN

by Kiyohiko Higa


Remarks: This is a part of the article "Sometimes I play karate like Okinawan dance 'Hamachidori': Karate and Okinawan dance are the same." written by Mr. Kiyohiko Higa, a teacher of Naha Technical High School. The article appeared in the monthly magazine "Aoi Umi" February 1978 issue (No.70) published by Aoi Umi Shuppansha (page 118).

Translated by Sanzinsoo

Talking of the relation between karate and Okinawan dance, it reminds me of an interesting story which I heard from my father, Seitoku Higa.

A long time ago, there was a karateka whose name was Machaa Buntoku or Kinjo Matsu in Itoman village, Okinawa. He was born in 1867. People said that he had been practicing karate in Fuzhou city, Fujian province, China and mastered the fighting arts in depth.

Hearing about Machaa Buntoku, Miyagi Sensei, the founder of Gojuryu, visited him together with Sensei's disciples, Jin-an Shinzato and Seiko Higa. Miyagi Sensei asked him to show them his best Kata that he had mastered in China. Then Machaa Buntoku put on Hachimaki (=headband) and performed a strange dance in front of them. He danced and danced. Seeing his strange dance, Seiko Higa thought this old man must be crazy or mad because of his old age. Jin-an Shinzato who was yet young at that time lost his temper to see his dance and told him "OK. Dance is enough! Show me your fighting technique! I will be your opponent." Shinzato delivered a karate blow at him, but Shinzato was thrown down by the dancing old man and hurt his back. He lost face. Everyone there felt awkward about it, so they bowed to the old man and went home. On the way home no one spoke.

This anecdote was told to my father by Master Seiko Higa. For the dancing old man, he just showed them his best Kata, however, they had never supposed that his dancing was his best fighting technique.

Sanzinsoo
sanzinsoo@hotmail.com

Monday, December 3, 2007

HISTORICAL OUTLINE OF KARATE-DO, MARTIAL ARTS OF RYUKYU by Chojun Miyagi






琉球拳法唐手道沿革概要 
宮城長順 著

翻訳 Sanzinsoo

HISTORICAL OUTLINE OF KARATE-DO, MARTIAL ARTS OF RYUKYU

by Chojun Miyagi


Remarks: The title in Japanese is "Ryukyu Kenpo Karatedo Enkaku Gaiyo". This essay appeared as a supplementary article in two books, "Okinawano Karatedo" by Shoshin Nagamine (1975, Shinjinbutsu Oraisha) and "Okinawaden Gojuryu Karatedo" by Eiichi Miyazato (1979, Jitsugyono Sekaisha). Some parts are omitted in this translation.

Translated by Sanzinsoo

Original Remarks: This essay was written and prepared by Master Chojun Miyagi especially for the club members when he gave us the lecture "About Karatedo" and its demonstration at the lecture hall on the 4th floor of Meiji Shoten at Sakaisuji, Osaka on 28th January 1936.

1. Preface

What is karate? It is the art we exercise mind and body for health promotion in daily life, but in case of emergency it is the art of self-defence without any weapon. In most cases we fight with our bodies - hands, feet, elbows etc - to defeat opponents. However, in some cases, in accordance with circumstances, we may also use weapons (such as Bo, Sai, Nunchaku, Tonfa, Weeku, Kama etc).
People often misunderstand karate. When they see someone breaking five wooden board or a few pieces of roof tile by his or her fist, they think it is a main part of karate. Of course, it is not a main part of karate but a trivial part of karate. Like other fighting arts, the truth of karate or Tao of karate can be understood and mastered at the ultimate goal which is beyond teachings and impossible to describe by words.

2. How the martial arts was introduced to Ryukyu (= Okinawa)?

The name "karate" is a special term in Ryukyu. Karate originated from Chinese kungfu. We have few books on origin of Chinese kungfu, so we cannot conclude immediately, but according to a theory, the martial arts originated in central Asia and the area around Turkey when the ancient civilization was developed. And then it was introduced to China gradually. However, we still another theory. It says that about 5,000 years ago Chinese kungfu originated at the age of Yellow Emperor (= Emperor Huang) who built the brilliant culture at the Yellow River basin. Anyway, it is not difficult to imagine that the prototype of martial arts was born by fighting spirit for struggle which human being possess by nature. For example, most styles of Chinese kungfu were created by mimicking fights of animals or birds. You can see it from the styles' names such as Tiger Style, Lion Style, Monkey Style, Dog Style, Crane Style and so on. In the age a little later, Chinese kungfu split into Southern school and Northern school. Moreover, each school split into Neijia and Waijia. The characteristic of Neijia is mainly softness, and it is a defensive fighting arts. Wudang kungfu (= Taichi for example) is typical of Neijia. The characteristic of Waijia is mainly hardness, and it is an aggressive fighting arts. Shaolin kungfu is typical of Waijia, which was created at Shaolin Temple in Songshang Mountaion, Henan province.
And later, in the ages of Tang dynasty and Song dynasty, we can find many kungfu warriors at the height of their success.
When we consider how karate was introduced to Ryukyu (= Okinawa), we have various opinions without any historical evidence. We have not yet come to a correct conclusion on this matter. There are three main opinions, namely "Thirty-six Chinese Immigrants", "Oshima Notes" and "Importation in Keicho Period". Simple explanation of each opinion are as follows.

(1) Thirty-six Chinese Immigrants
In 1392 (Ming dynasty in China), thirty-six Chinese immigrants came to Ryukyu from Fujian province. At that time karate was introduced to Ryukyu by Chinese immigrants from Fujian province.

(2) Oshima Notes
In 1762, the merchant ship of the Ryukyu Kingdom was caught in a heavy storm on the way to Satsuma (= Kagoshima prefecture now), and cast ashore on the coast of Oshima, Tosa (= Kochi prefecture now). Shiohira Pechin, a high rank official of the ship, was an intelligent person. He was helped by Choki Tobe, an intellectual who lived in Oshima. Tobe wrote down Shiohira's interesting stories about the Ryukyu Kingdom. His notes was called "Oshima Notes". The 3rd volume of "Oshima Notes" says "Koshankun, a kungfu warrior, came from China to Ryukyu (= Okinawa) bringing his disciples with him." According to the Notes, at that time people called the martial arts "Kumiaijutsu" instead of karate. This notes is the most reliable literature on karate.

(3) Importation in Keicho Period
In 1609 (14th year of Keicho period), the Shimazu clan of Satsuma (= Kagoshima prefecture now) invaded the Ryukyu Kingdom, and they prohibited possessing weapons by people of Ryukyu. Some believe that karate was created spontaneously due to the cruel oppression by Satsuma. The others insist that karate was not a domestic creation but what was imported from China. I think it is reasonable to consider that karate was a fusion of a martial arts from China and "Te" a native martial arts which had already existed, so karate was developed remarkably and even today it is still improved rationally and developed. We have a few different opinions on origin of karate, but they are popular misconceptions and not worth listening.

As mentioned above, so far we do not have any definite and convincing opinion yet. Anyway, karate has been developed, modified and improved for so many years.

3. Karate circles in the past

We also do not know origin of the name "karate", but it is true that the name "karate" was made recently. In the old days it was called "Te". At that time people used to practice karate secretly, and a masters taught a few advanced Kata out of all the Kata only to his best disciple. If he had no suitable disciple, he never taught them anyone, and eventually such Kata have completely died out. As a result, there are many Kata which were not handed down. In about middle of Meiji period (1868-1912), prominent karate masters abolished the old way of secrecy. Karate was opened to the public, so it was soon recognized by society. It was dawn in the development of karate. In accordance with the rapidly progressing culture, karate was also recognized as physical education, and it was adopted as one of the teaching subjects at school. Therefore, at last karate has won the social approval.

4. How we teach karate at present.

According to oral history, in the old days, the teaching policy of karate put emphasis on self-defence techniques. With just a motto of "no first attack in karate", teachers showed their students the moral aspects. However, I heard that in reality they tended to neglect such moral principles. So gradually the teaching policy was improved with the change of the times. Now we discontinued and abolished the wrong tradition of so-called "body first, and mind second", and we made our way toward Tao of fighting arts or the truth of karate. Eventually we have obtained the correct motto "mind first, and body second" which means karate and Zen are the same.Those who are engaged in teaching karate in Okinawa prefecture and outside Okinawa prefecture at present are as follows. (in random order)

In Okinawa prefecture:
Kentsu Yabu, Chomo Hanashiro, Chotoku Kyan, Anbun Tokuda, Juhatsu Kyoda, Choshin Chibana, Jinsei Kamiya, Shinpan Gusukuma, Seiko Higa, Kamado Nakasone, Jin-an Shinzato, Chojun Miyagi

Outside Okinawa prefecture:
Gichin Funakoshi, Choki Motobu, Kenwa Mabuni, Masaru Sawayama, Sanyu Sakai, Moden Yabiku, Jizaburo Miki, Yasuhiro Konishi, Shinji Sato, Mizuho Mutsu, Kamesuke Higaonna, Shinjun Otsuka, Shin Taira, Koki Shiroma, Kanbun Uechi

5. About karate styles or Ryu

There are various opinions about Ryu or styles of karate in Ryukyu (= Okinawa), but they are just guess without any definite research or evidence. With regard to this matter, we feel as if we are groping in the dark.
According to a popular opinion out of them, we can categorize karate into two styles; Shorin-Ryu and Shorei-Ryu. They insist that the former is fit for a stout person, while the latter for a slim person. However, such an opinion proved to be false by many studies. In the meantime, there is the only opinion we can trust. It is as follows: In 1828 (Qing or Ching dynasty in China), our ancestors inherited a kungfu style of Fujian province in China. They continued their studies and formed Goju-Ryu karate. Even today, there still exists an orthodox group which inherited genuine and authentic Goju-Ryu karate.

6. The feature of karate

Some good points of karate are as follows.

(1) A large place or a spacious area is not required for practicing karate.

(2) You can practice karate by yourself. You can also do it together with other karate members by forming a group.

(3) You don't have to spend many hours in practicing karate.

(4) You can choose Kata suitable for your physical strength and practice it regardless of age and gender.

(5) Without spending much money, you can practice karate with simple equipment (such as Makiwara) or without it.

(6) Karate is very effective as a means of health promotion. There are many karateka who are healthy and live long.

(7) As a result of training in mind and body, you can cultivate your character and acquire indomitable spirit.

7. The future of karate-do

The days when karate was taught secretly was over, and has come the new age in which we practice and study karate publicly and officially. Therefore, the future of karate-do is bright. Taking this opportunity, we should stop advertising karate as if it was a mysterious and magical fighting arts in a small island called Ryukyu. We should open karate to the public and receive criticism, opinions and studies from the other prominent fighting artists. In the future, we should invent complete protectors for a safety karate tournament like other fighting arts, so that karate become one of Japanese fighting arts.
Nowadays karate-do has become popular all over Japan, where many people study karate-do very hard. Even outside Japan, karate-do is popular. There is a man who graduated from university in Tokyo. He is now propagating and studying karate-do in Europe. In May 1934, I was invited to propagate and teach karate-do in Hawaii, U.S.A. by Okinawans there and a newspaper company. Karate clubs have been established in Hawaii since then.
As mentioned above, now karate-do has become not only a Japanese martial arts but also an international martial arts.

8. The teaching method of karate

As each person has his or her distinctive character, the muscle development is different depending on his or her muscle use. Therefore, at first, we do "Preparatory Exercise" to develop our muscles so that we can practice karate exercises easier, and then "Fundamental Kata", "Supplementary Exercise", "Kaishu Kata" and "Kumite Training". We teach karate in this way. Each outline is as follows.

(1) Preparatory Exercise
We exercise each muscle of our body in order to enhance its flexibility, strength and endurance, and then we practice the fundamental Kata, namely Sanchin, Tensho and Naifanchi. We do again this preparatory exercise after practice of Kata to relax our muscles. And we take a breathing exercise and take a rest quietly.

(2) Fundamental Kata
Sanchin, Tensho and Naifanchi are the fundamental Kata. Through practicing them, we can take a correct posture. We can inhale and exhale correctly. We can adjust increasing or decreasing our power harmoniously. We can develop a powerful physique and a strong will of warrior.

(3) Supplementary Exercise
This exercise enable us to learn and perform Kaishu Kata well. We exercise each part of our body with a particular movement. We also practice with various equipments to enhance our outer whole strength and particular part strength.

(4) Kaishu Kata (= Kata except Fundamental Kata)
Nowadays we have about twenty or thirty kinds of Kata, and their names are various depending on their creators. Kata has techniques of defense and offense which are connected appropriately. It has various directions of the movements and it is something like gymnastics. We should perform Kata by using power of mind and body in accordance with its technical purpose so that we can learn the principle of untying and tying.

(5) Kumite Training
We untie Kaishu Kata which we already learned, and we study techniques of defense and offense in Kaishu Kata. Understanding its technical purpose, we practice the techniques of attack and defense with fighting spirit like a real situation.

I summarize as follows. We induce the interaction of mind and body from the fundamental Kata, Sanchin, Tensho and Naifanchi. We develop the spirit of martial arts by acquiring fighting techniques through practicing Kaishu Kata and Kumite training correctly.