A Lovely Day to Train

I hope everyone is safe and keeping well. In today’s post I wanted to say how much I enjoyed training this morning. It was a perfect Fall day to get outside and practice Karate and Kobudo. One silver lining to Covid-19 is getting me out of the dojo and back outside (rain, snow or sunshine) for practice and for that I am grateful. On days like these I have no desire to return to training inside, even if it was safe enough to do so. (more…)

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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. (more…)

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Nakamoto Masahiro

Embarrassed?…Good!

Minowa Katsuhiko sensei
Minowa sensei trying to teach me the intricacies of Jodan Kamae

The other day I was looking at some old video I had taken way back in 2001 of Minowa sensei correcting my bo technique. In the video I was performing Yonegawa no kon (米川の棍), the left-handed bo kata developed by Chinen Sanda (1852 – 1925), and he wasn’t happy with how I was positioning my arms (jodan kamae) before doing an overhead strike (jodan uchi). My right elbow sagged too much, my wrist was bent, my left arm was too low and bo was not inline with my shoulder… in other words, everything was wrong. However, Minowa sensei patiently corrected each and every mistake I had made with a smile and a bit of laughter along the way. He also went into great detail explaining the reasons why the technique had to be done that way (1). Not once did he ever bark at me or loose his temper, even though he had every right too; I was his student and I should have been performing the technique better than I was.

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