Monomane: Tou’on-ryu & Ryukyu Kobudo

Oscar Wilde is quoted as saying, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.” It seems there is no shortage of Karateka and Kobudoka demonstrating kata they clearly never had any formal instruction in. It seems that when they post these videos, the teaching of humility conveniently vanished; or maybe it was never taken to heart in the first place. (more…)

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With my teacher Minowa Katsuhiko

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. (more…)

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Taira Shinken

So you want to move to Japan

Uechi ryu, Goju ryu, Karate, Vancouver, BC, Lessons, Martial Arts, Dojo, Japan, Okinawa
Minowa Katsuhiko (L) & Me (R)

When I lived in Japan, I would get e-mails from people from time to time saying how envious they were that I was living and training in Japan. To be perfectly frank, there was nothing to be envious of. Living and working in Japan, despite your love of budo, can be extremely taxing, frustrating, stressful and at times incomprehensible. (more…)

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