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Updates & Inspiring Words from Mabuni Kenwa

Just a bit of housekeeping today. First, I’ve been updating “The Study of China Hand” by Itoman Morinobu so it is currently unavailable, but after it is done I will be offering it as an ebook in addition to the usual paperback.

Next, I continue to work on the translation of Nakasone and Mabuni’s ‘Introduction to Karate-do’ which I am happy to say is currently being proof-read by some very generous friends. Afterwards will be formatting and layout. In addition I am adding quite a bit of supplementary material including Mabuni’s articles from the magazine ‘Karate Studies’ (Karate no Kenkyu 空手の研究). The first is ‘Karate ni sente nashi’ which has already been translated by Mark Tankosich who is generously letting me use his translation. The second one is a short article on ‘Karate Kumite’ (also provided by Mark). Read more →

Books on Kojo-ryu – Part 1

For the next few posts I have translated a series of posts from the Okinawa Den Kojo-ryu Karate-do Rinsankai blog site run by Kachinparts. He has some interesting insights which I think readers will enjoy.

The current information on Kojo-ryu is based on the three books mentioned below, and Fujiwara Ryozo’s two interviews with the Kojo family. As I wrote last time, Mark Bishop, from overseas, and Ryozo Fujiwara in Japan, were only people who came to formally interview the Kojo family at the time (Kojo Yoshitomi). Other than that, no one else came to interview the family.

The History of Martial Arts
March 1, 1990.
Baseball Magazine, Inc.
Author, Ryozo Fujiwara

Conversations on the History of Modern Karate
October 20, 1986.
Baseball Magazine, Inc.
Editors, Shinkin Gima / Ryozo Fujiwara

Japanese Martial Arts Kuken Shosei-do Karate
October 20, 1983.
Publisher Katsuhisa Kato, Kodansha Ltd.
Author: Shinkin Gima / Ryozo Fujiwara / Toshikan Sumi / Eiichi Eriguchi

Not everything in the books are correct and there are quite a few mistakes. In ‘Japanese Martial Arts Kuken Shosei-do Karate’, there are a number of unknown kata listed in the Kojo family tradition: Nepai, Haufa, Undou, Nunfa, Paichu, Paishin, Pachin, Shipaa, Tanchin, Niju-ken, Soden-ken, Gogiho, Fusha-ken, Shiten-ken, Sui-ken, and Shimon ken (ネーパイ、ハウハァ、ウンドウ、ヌンファ、パイチュ、パイシン、パーチン、シーパア、タンチン、二十拳、祖伝拳、五技法、風車拳、四点拳、酔拳、四門拳).

These kata were neither handed down nor do they exist. The Naha-te lineage lists Cai Chang-wei’s (Seisho) disciple as Nakaima Kenri (Ryuei-ryu), yet there is no connection or interaction with the Ryuei-ryu and Kojo-ryu.

It says absurd things the ‘Liu family fist’ of Nakaima Kenri and the ‘Cai family fist’ of Kojo Isei. If someone were serious about his Karate practice, he wouldn’t write such nonsense.

Next time I’d like to write about Ryozo Fujiwara’s past visits.


Guest Post by Kyle Duske: Motobu Choki & the Boxer

Despite the difficulties and challenges that we all face during the pandemic of Covid-19, I am still happily surprised at the resilience of human beings to not only survive, but thrive and help others. I hope you are all safe. Read more →

Karate & Longevity

Unexpected barometer of life expectancy! You can determine your risk of death by your grip strength! On NHK’s “Tameshite Gatten” program, it seems that data shows that people with a strong grip live longer. Read more →

Mifune Kyuzo

Read more →

Sakai Ryugo & the Teachings of the Ryushinkaikan

Unlike my friend Fred Lohse sensei, I never got to train with Sakai Ryugo, but thanks to his introduction many years ago I was able to train with his son Sakai Ryusho sensei and the shihandai of the Ryukyukaikan, Miyagi Tatsuhiko sensei. Ryugo sensei’s Goju-ryu lineage is quite interesting (like most senior Goju-ryu teachers), but what struck me the most was the philosophy he articulated.

Like most teachers of his generation, there is an emphasis on responsibility, discipline and self-reliance that is missing in my opinion from modern Karateka. So, I decided to translate Ryugo’s sensei’s ideals and philosophy as they appear on the Ryushinkaikan website. I hope you find them as insightful as I did. Read more →

Yasuzato Yoriyuki

You may not recognize the name Yasuzato Yoriyuki, but he was the grandson of Azato Anko, the famed Karate and Jigen-ryu master who was a student of Matsumura Sokon as well as teacher to Funakoshi Gichin. Read more →

Karate-do Nyumon Update

Just a quick update that I have a first pass translation of Mabuni and Nakasone’s Kobo Jizai Goshin Kenpo Karate-do Nyumon (攻防自在護身拳法空手道入門). It’s rough, and there’s still much to be done including: double and triple checking the translation, editing, proofing, formatting, and many other things, but I’m happy that I was able to complete it. Read more →