Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you all. I hope you are celebrating the New Year safe…

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Books on Kojo-ryu – Parts 4 & 5

Part 4 – Okinawa Karate
Author Mark Bishop

In the above book, he wrote about an interview he conducted with the Kojo family in the 1970s, accompanied by an interpreter. It seems that he came from England to interview him at a time when almost no Japanese had come to talk to him about Karate. The photo of the 12 stances of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac were taken by Mr. Tatsumi Kojo. Now they are invaluable photos. The neko-ashi-dachi is very low. Foreign researchers have been enthusiastic since then. The book is still available on the Amazon site today. (more…)

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Useless Titles

I was surfing on the web the other day and stumbled on a karate video on Youtube where a teacher referred to himself as “zokucho”; then another one where a different teacher called himself “gunshi”. I almost fell out of my seat laughing. It was an absolutely brilliant display of using  Japanese completely wrong.


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Grand Master of Flowers


So, I’ve been thinking of some new titles and ranks that ego-inflated teachers and their students could use in Karate and Kobudo. Instead of using the ubiquitous terms like shihan, soke, hanshi or more riduculous terms like doshu or zokucho, why not use English titles? Heck, why limit yourself to 10 dan levels? Why not more?   

Given the fictional nature of most of the titles used by monster ego teachers, what I propose is a list of dan levels and titles based in fiction. I suggest using the titles from from the classic “Monk” character from D&D. I think this will solve the problem quite nicely as the titles are in English and everyone can understand them and there are plenty of them with corresponding dan levels, so there’s plenty of room for their egos to grow 😉




Nakasone Tokashiki Karamidi 1
Nakasone Seyu demonstrating Karamdi on a young Tokashiki Iken

I’d like to relate two stories that were told to me. The first was from Kinjo Yoshitaka sensei and was about Nakasone Seiyu, and the second is from Kanzaki Shigekazu sensei about Kyoda Juhatsu. These two stories stress the importance of ippon kumite.

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