I travel quite often to various karate functions.
At these functions I meet old friends and develop new friends.
While at these functions I am amazed at the quality and kindness of the people involved.
I just don't remember the karate crowd in the 70's and 80's being this nice.
Maybe it was me. OMG! No, that can't be it.
The point is, that these people have great thoughts and philosophies.
I want to again encourage these people to send in their thoughts.
I would like our readership to hear the views and philosophies I hear when I travel to these functions.
I know it is time consuming and difficult. But the world would benefit from it.
So I am checking my mail box every day for those articles.
Welcome to the world of karate history, philosophy, other martial art information
Dear Karate Enthusiast;
The purpose of this newsletter is to pass on historical information, philosophical views and activities of interest to karate martial artists around the world. Please send your article, event or activity with a photo of the instructor and/or event organizer by the 20th of the preceding month to get your information in this newsletter. Please send your text in a Word document. Please send posters and pictures in small jpeg files, thank you.
Instructors, please forward to other karate enthusiasts,
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We are continuing with another writing from Master Otsuka's book Wado Ryu Karate, published by Masters Publication. This book can be purchased at Amazon.com.
Preparing the Mind, Preparing the Heart
by Master Otsuka
Both are synonymous. As stated earlier, it is unfortunate if one finds himself in a situation where he must use his martial arts skills.
There is an old saying: "Leave one's yard and find seven enemies." No matter how skilled one is in the martial arts, he will find himself unprepared if encountered off-guard. Ideally, then, one should constantly be in a state of preparedness.
In the past, samurai often slept with their swords sticking outside of their mosquito nets hung around the beds. If an intruder cut the supporting cords to the mosquito net, one is helpless. With a part of the sleeping samurai's swords sticking out, he could easily remove or cut away at the mosquito net should an intruder be encountered.
I have forgotten the time and place; but there was a samurai who was very skilled with the sword. One night, he drank some rice wine at a friend's house and armed only with a lantern, went home. The next morning, a servant of the host asked, "Sir, you were drunk last night, but even if you were attacked, you would have been able to protect yourself, right?" and the samurai replied, "No, a samurai must never overdrink, lest he risk losing his life to some attackers."
That would be true for any person excepting those we encounter in stories and fiction.
Back then, when walking past someone, one would got left and approach passers-by on the right. This was because swords are draw with the right hand; this practice can still be imagined today, as cars travel on the left side of the road in Japan.
To the left, one would only leave enough space to allow for his defense, walk quietly to hear noises around himself and watch passers-by from the corner of the eyes. One would walk around a corner leaving enough space to observe that no one was on the other side when opening doors or dividers, take one step back to observe the room before entering.
One would often extend his clothing into the room before he himself actually entered. Thieves would often remove windows to enter, but did not right away, because there may have been a guard, etc. waiting to kill him on the other side.
When I was a child, in the 35th year of the Meiji era, there were still a lot of samurai in existence. Yoshio Suzuki, a 75 year old samurai whom I knew, would always watch me out of the corner of his eye and step quietly whenever we passed by each other on the street. I was about ten and obviously had no intentions to kill him, yet, for Suzuki, it was a matter of habit.
In television and movies, one often sees an individual sitting in front of a hibachi fireplace smoking a long pipe. This was actually a defensive position - in case an intruder appeared without warning, the pipe could be thrown at the intruder's face, a sword reached for and as the intruder struggles to retrieve himself, the sitting man can kill the intruder. Hibachis are purposefully built waist high. The pipe, the hibachi and all these things are only the elements of mind preparation.
Again, in television and movies one often sees yakuza and gamblers wearing their robes loosely tied with a loose knot or no knot at all. This is in case the police come to grab the gambler or yakuza from behind to arrest him - he can disrobe quickly and get away.
Back then, walking around half naked or being barefoot was normal. Although not admirable, these yakuza and gamblers protected themselves with short swords hidden inside their waist wraps. Small objects were placed around exits, entrances and windows, all in preparation to throw these things at one's enemies. To throw ashtrays filled with ashes, or to throw pots filled with boiling water - these were all in preparation to encountering one's enemy.
The smoking pipe mentioned above is usually held in front of the mouth, but in the older days, it was held firmly in one hand and pointed to the side, in order to not allow a sudden intruder to push the pipe down the smoker's throat.
When drinking tea out of tea cups, instead of placing the cup on one's palms, one would hold it from the side with the index finger on the inner surface of the cup. So in case the cup is forced against his head suddenly, the cup cannot make contact with the head.
Even in the present, modern society, a female living alone may consider how to use everyday items as weapons and be prepared to use them, if necessary.
When outside, one might consider how to cross a street with no crosswalk, or the usage of caution when going on to trains, automobiles and so on.
For example, when riding on a train, ride on the middle car instead of the front or the last one. In case of a sudden stop or an accident, less damage is to be experienced in the middle. I often ride the bullet train to go to the Kansai area, but I have seen situations where the overhead luggage fell off due to a sudden stop and seriously injured passengers. With the vibration inside the train, luggage will fall eventually, not directly below but in the direction of the train's travel. I have no knowledge of physics, but this phenomenon has something to do with gravity and the train's speed.
The point being, it is important to be aware of those around you. Especially nowadays in society when signs and people can come falling off from any building, preparation of one's mind is necessary at all times. Not to the extent of paranoia; but as a course of habit.
I myself had such an incident near the Nihon-hashi in Tokyo. It was quite windy and a sign from a nearby building undergoing some construction came flying towards me. I was able to avoid it at the last second, but the person who was walking beside me suffered an injury. This kind of occurrence is not about odds as in a lottery, but rather, misfortune.
Do not walk around when it is not necessary to do so, shut all doors and windows in a storm and so on. Sharp or cornered objects that can suddenly become harmful instruments should not be placed within easy reach. In the past, people would take precautions in order to avoid embarrassing or even threatening situations later. These kinds of precautions should still be taken in the present as well. Especially those of parents - parents' actions greatly influence their children. Hence, we must be careful of our actions.
The Meiji Restoration
The Karate Tapestry - Part 5
Tokugawa Ieyasu was a great man.
In the 15th century, Japan was a divided island, ruled, in name, by an Emperor, but buffeted by a mélange of major and minor warlords all vying for power and always at war. The Samurai, who fought the battles, thrived.
In 1600, it all changed with a battle at a place called Sekigahara. After much death, trickery and treachery, Tokugawa Ieyasu emerged victor, dubbed himself Shogun and initiated a dynasty, a Shogunate, that lasted 268 years. Power now lay in the hands of the Shogun, not the Emperor.
So what? Why do you and I care?
Tokugawa was wise in the ways of the human spirit and the Japanese heart. The Satsuma clan was part of the losing side and Tokugawa knew that nothing is ever forgotten or forgiven in Japan. The Satsuma, headed by a warlord named Shimazu, controlled the southern section of Japan and Tokugawa knew they would inevitably be back for vengeance (see below.) In order to keep Shimazu occupied, Tokugawa allowed him to conquer whatever stood in his way this side of China.
A doomed Okinawa lay 90 miles off the southern coast.
Click HERE to read the rest of the article
To contact Robert Hunt
Both Self and Organizations fight the same battle; the battle within
(Though this article is written about karate training and karate organizations, the principles apply to any individual and the group(s) they belong to)
Why does one train in the martial arts?
Is it to be the best technician, best athlete, best competitor, best referee, the best leader of a style? Whether you become the best or not, then what? What has been gained? Is this what martial art training is all about? It seems shallow when you look at it this way.
When I first started training several decades ago, I read all the old books written by the great masters. There was a theme that crossed these writings; positive character development and philosophies about the struggle within. The training they said was simply a vehicle to reach enlightenment.
Of course, being young at that time, I didn't get it. But aging has a way of slapping you down to a place where you start to look at things differently and ask the question "why do we train."
Like many of you, I am in involved in many karate organizations; my school, style, state organization, national organization, referee corp., and several subgroups. Every one of these organizations experiences the same thing; they have a basic goal or purpose with 95% of the people being great and caring with 5% causing negativity and chaos.
What does this have to do with the two opening paragraphs about self? Both self and organizations fight the same battle; the battle within.
Both the mind and organizations are similar in that they need or should have a purpose or goal. In other words, both need a vehicle for enlightenment. Both are 95% good and caring while both have to deal with 5% negativity.
As karate practitioners we use karate training to reach enlightenment. We work to stay in the 95% positive part of our minds while trying to stay out of the 5% negative. The more successful we are in this battle, the more we experience harmony and enlightenment.
To read the rest of this article click HERE
Mental Toughness from a Different Approach
by Doug Jepperson
One my favorite sources for learning to be a better teacher is John Wooden. As a follow up to last months' article I wanted to start a series on the mental side of karate, so I checked up on Coach Wooden, how did he teach mental toughness?
If you do not know, Coach John Wooden trained more future NBA players than any other basketball coach. He had too many All Americans to count. Coach Wooden lead UCLA to 10 National Championships.
Imagine that you are a star basketball player recruited to UCLA. You show up at the first practice session, ready to show your skills; to earn your spot; to run up and down the court; to slam the ball through the hoop; to leap and jump and spin. You sidle up next to a Kareem Abdul Jabbar, or Bill Walton who earned All-American honors and wait for the coach to get the drills going.
The coach comes out and opens the first moments of practice in a quiet voice, "We will begin by learning how to tie our shoes." You look over to a couple of famous seniors, All-Americans who've already won national championships, thinking this must be some kind of freshman initiation. But no, the seniors calmly begin taking off their shoes and preparing for the shoe-tying lesson.
"First, put your socks on, slowly with care, over your toes," says the coach. The seniors diligently follow instructions. "Now, move your socks up here...and here...smooth out all the wrinkles...nice and tight...take your time," the coach intones his lesson, like some sort of far-out Zen master teaching you how to make tea as a path to higher enlightenment. "Then lace your shoes from the bottom, carefully, slowly, getting each pass nice and tight...snug! snug! snug! Snug."
After the lesson, you ask one of the All-American seniors what that was all about, and he says, "Get a blister in a big game, and you're gonna suffer. Shoes come untied in a close game...well, that just never happens here." One year later, you come to practice, having helped created yet another national championship, noting the surprised looks on the freshmen's faces when the coach announces, "We will begin by learning how to tie our shoes."
So how do we translate this to karate?
to read the rest of this article
We all need a little humor in our life. If you have a joke, send it in.
Martial Art Humor
The Sword Master
Once there was a wealthy man who wanted to hire a great sword master to train his guards and soldiers. He offered a large sum of money and asked all sword masters to come for an interview and he would choose one.
The three greatest masters in the land came to discuss a possible deal. The third greatest sword master came first, and was asked to protect the wealthy man from a fly, which he immediately released from a box. The sword master drew his sword, turned the blade sideways, and with the flat of the blade he swatted the fly to the floor and with a fast lunge step, he stomped the fly.
The second greatest sword master then came and was also asked to protect the man from a fly. The fly had barely left the box when the sword master precisely cut the fly in two with a spectacular flashy swoop of his sword.
Then came the greatest sword master. He just stood with his hand on the grip of his sword and appeared to ignore the fly, yet he kept himself between the fly and the wealthy man for several hours. Then the fly began to buzz the master's face. At first he verbally warned the fly to leave, then he casually brushed the fly harmlessly aside several times ... then with a blur of extreme speed and a soft click, the greatest sword master drew and sheathed his sword. The fly immediately flew away never to be seen again. "But you missed, and now the fly is getting away!" exclaimed the wealthy man. "I never miss." replied the calm master, "nor do I chase those who flee in fear. If I had killed him, he would not have ever learned anything, and as it is, not only will THAT fly never bother you again, but he will never reproduce."
It Will Pass
A student went to his meditation teacher and said, "My meditation is horrible! I feel so distracted, or my legs ache, or I'm constantly falling asleep. It's just horrible!"
"It will pass," the teacher said matter-of-factly.
A week later, the student came back to his teacher. "My meditation is wonderful! I feel so aware, so peaceful, so alive! It's just wonderful!'
"It will pass," the teacher replied matter-of-factly.
We all need a little Zen in our Lives. If you have a story, please send it in.
One of the most difficult areas that this newsletter has to deal with is the use of instructor titles. We are very sensitive to this issue and do not want to offend or insult anyone. To simplify this daunting problem we will use the following guidelines with the use of instructor titles:
a. The correct title of the instructor(s) must be in the article or seminar information submitted by the author or event organizer.
b. All captions that we place under photos will be:
1. Japanese instructors: Last name followed by the title Sensei.
2. Non-Japanese instructors: The title Sensei followed by the last name of the instructor.
c. Any title and name that is placed in this newsletter by newsletter staff will use the title of Sensei.
We consider the title "Sensei" a very prestigious title
|Wado Kai Training Camp|
October 3-5, 2014
Instructor: Bob Nash
JKF Wado Kai
|Wado Kai Technical Seminar|Baku, Azerbaijan We would like to invite you to the International Wado-Kai Karate Technical Seminar, which will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan on 25-26 October 2014. With Sensei Barry Wilkinson 8th Dan, FWE Vice President, Chairman responsible for the organization of DAN Grading, Secretary to Admissions for New Country Applications from Federation of Wadokai Europe (FWE).
For additional information
Instructor: Donny Danner
JKF Wado Kai
November 14-16, 2014
For additional details click HERE
WIKF Wado Ryu Karate Seminars with Sensei Wicks
All courses are open to Wado practitioners (unless stated) and will include traditional Wado Techniques including- OHYO, KIHON GUMITE, TANTO & TACHI DORI, (KNIFE &SWORD DEFENCE) IDORI (KNEELING DEFENCE) AND KATA
OCTOBER 1st -5th WIKF European Championships Cyprus - Contact Marios Vatiliotis (00357 22) 348790
OCTOBER 10th - 12th Dallas. TX. USA ,Contact - Brody Burnsbburns@planodojo.com
OCTOBER 14th - 16th Toronto Canada Contact: Kenneth Corrigan.firstname.lastname@example.org
Wado Kai Technical Seminar and
Instructor: Bob Nash
JKF Wado Kai
Nov 28-30, 2014
For Details click HERE
Other Seminars and Events
10/3-5 Rocky Mountain Gasshuku Sensei Madani Granby, Colorado imakarate.com
10/5 Fall Classic Alex Miladi
Yuba City, CA miladigroup.com
10/11 North Fork Championships 1-970-527-5477
Grand Junction, CO Rick McGavin
New York Open
Westchester Community College, 75 Grasslands Rd, Valhalla, NY 10595
10/18 RBDK Regional Fall Kobujutsu Seminar 650-522-9649
Mountain View, CA Toshihiro Oshiro Sensei
Hollenbeck Invitational Karate Championship
CSULA, 5151 State University Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90032
Fonseca Cup email@example.com
10/25-26 Wado Kai Technical Seminar firstname.lastname@example.org
11-1 Glendale Karate Championships Sensei Walden
USA Karate Sanctioned Event email@example.com
UCI Collegiate Tournament
UCI, Anteater Recreation Center, 680 California Ave, Irvine, CA
Bruce Nuygen/Chad Eagan
2014 USA Seiwakai Seminar/JKF Goju Kai Shinsa [grading]
Santa Monica, CA Vassie Naidoo 310-399-6955
Adlawan Cup Food Drive Tournament
Salgado Community Center, 706 N Newhope, Santa Ana, CA 92703
Boys & Girls Club of Westminster, 14400 Chestnut St, Westminster, CA 92683
11/20-26 2014 Hawaii Retreat firstname.lastname@example.org
3/1 New York International Open 1-347-400-5632
New York Luis Ruiz
3/8 Arizona Karate Championships & USA Karate Nat'l Qualifier
Phoenix, AZ Ray Hughes 602-315-5011
5/30 Tenn State Championship and
5/16 SC Open email@example.com
Greenville, SC 864.277.2008
USA National Qualifier
Jo Valdez firstname.lastname@example.org
8/15 Wado Kai Karate-Do World Cup