Category: History (page 1 of 3)

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 →

Taira Shinken & Yamani-ryu

When I was learning Kobudo from Minowa sensei I could get away with asking him questions directly; something that my senpai would never be able to do. In hindsight I cringe at what I did, but when I trained with sensei it was during my first three years in Japan and I was so culturally inept and my Japanese was still developing. Read more →

The Passing of Kyoda Juhatsu

August 31 marks the 52nd anniversary of the passing of Kyoda Juhatsu sensei. On that day I will keep Kyoda sensei in my thoughts as I practice the kata he passed on through Kanzaki sensei and now Ikeda sensei. Read more →

HIchiya Yoshio – Dojo Tour 2

“Do not be struck by others, do not strike others”, the founder’s last teachings, held in his heart

Okinawa Goju-ryu Karate Association Hichiya Dojo, Yoshio Hichiya (Holder of the Intangible Cultural Asset of Okinawa Prefecture)

Do not be hit by others, do not hit others”. With this in mind, he ties his belt tightly around his Karate-gi. It’s this same moment when he stands tall, just as he did 63 years ago when he first encountered Karate. He is still standing at the Hichiya Dojo in Shuri, Ishinome-cho, Naha City, where he has a keen eye for teaching. He is respected for his overwhelming technique and gentle personality, and his dojo attracts Karateka from both Okinawa and abroad. Read more →

Joe Swift Interview

An interview with my good friend Joe Swift (Tokyo Mushinkan) discussing his book “Itosu Anko: Savior of a Cultural Heritage” on the Conversations on Karate podcast, episode 22. I Think you will find the discussion very insightful. Enjoy.

Higaonna Morio – Dojo Visit 4

Higaonna Morio (78), Supreme Master of Goju-ryu and a designated intangible cultural asset of Okinawa Prefecture, offers tea and incense at the International Okinawa Goju-ryu Karate-do Federation General Headquarters, Higaonna Karate Dojo in Makishi, Naha City, on the first and fifteenth day of the lunar calendar every month. Read more →

The Legacy of Kobudo is a Living Destiny – Dojo Visit 3

Bunbukan, General Headquarters of the Okinawa Traditional Kobudo Preservation Society, Mr. Masahiro Nakamoto (Holder of Intangible Cultural Asset of Okinawa Prefecture)

Kobudo is my life. I’ve been chasing it my whole life, but there is no end to my study. Nakamoto Masahiro, 79, the only person in Kobudo who has been designated as an intangible cultural asset, wakes up at 3 a.m. every morning and devotes himself to studying and practicing the use of eight different weapons, including the bo and nunchaku. Fifty-five years have passed since he decided to carry on the tradition of Kobudo, which was on the verge of extinction, and at the age of 24, he knocked on the door of master Taira Shinken. He teaches the techniques and spirit he has developed at the Okinawa Traditional Martial Arts Preservation Society’s general headquarters, ‘Bunbukan‘ in Shuri, Torihori-cho, Naha City. Read more →

Uehara Takenobu “There is no End to Karate”

Sixty Years of Training, Growing Everyday

[Dojo Visit, 1]

Karate is for training the mind. If you continue to train, you will acquire a strong body and a strong and tough spirit. Uehara Takenobu, 87, is the holder of a prefectural designation of an intangible cultural asset for Okinawa Karate and Kobujutsu, . He has been devoting himself to Karate for 60 years. The 10th dan instructor of Uechi-ryu continues to hone his skills and mind, saying, “There is no end to Karate“. At his Uechi-ryu Karate-do Shinkokai Head Dojo in Oroku, Naha City, where he serves as the chief instructor, he continues to teach his students the traditions he has inherited, including kata and philosophy. Read more →