KAIGAN KARATE UK
AND BENEFITS OF TRAINING
Chris Lewis started his career in Karate at the Poole Sports Centre
in 1981. Chris trained with some of the top Martial Arts instructors in
England and continued on his journey of karate until achieving the grade
of Second Dan and it was at this point that he decided to open his own
club called North Dorset Karate, which was formed in April 1991 at the
Blandford Leisure Centre.
After obtaining his 3rd Dan grade in December 1993, Chris decided to
join the Amateur Martial Association, a large
National organisation affiliated to the English Karate Governing Body.
More recently North Dorset Karate has joined the Inner Strength Martial
Arts Academy. ISMAA. This is a local independent organisation which operates
with a 'No Politics Policy'.
On 1st March 2018, Chris decided that it would be an appropriate time
to change the name of the club and North Dorset Karate became 'Minami
Kaigan Karate UK'. The reason for the change was because the original
name no longer suited the geography of the clubs. We still have a club
in Blandford but now we also have 3 clubs in Poole. The translation from
Japanese of the new name is 'South Coast Karate UK'. This suited the location
of the clubs much better.
Training is based on the traditional style
of Wado-Ryu, which was developed in Okinawa
decades ago. The only changes made to the traditional teachings are personal
Students who train on a regular basis can expect to benefit in a multitude
of different ways, ranging from improvements in fitness,
balance, and flexibility.
More importantly you would be learning many aspects of self-defence, which
greatly improves personal confidence.
There are no set programmes per lesson for teaching in the club, although
there is a natural progression by working to the pre-determined syllabus
sheets. Each student would learn the basic techniques for their particular
grade and a Kata, both of which become progressively
more difficult as they move up through the belts. During this time, some
students show an interest in competition work, which can be for Kata or
Kumite. Competitions are not obligatory but
they provide a wealth of experience for the competitors. By working through
Basics, Kata, Kumite, Pairs work and Kihons, you will receive a full and
rounded training programme covering all aspects of Karate.
Karate is an ideal sport all ages, regardless
of age, sex or strength. There has always been a stigma attached
to the sport, that it is very aggressive and mainly aimed at violent males.
This could not be further from the truth, in fact, you are more likely
to receive injuries from playing football or hockey.
It has also been proved that aggressive people training in martial arts,
become more passive, whereas those inclined to be passive, become more
confident. These are some of the additional benefits of Karate.
HISTORY OF KARATE AS SEEN THROUGH A STUDENTS EYES
and prepared by Jamie Owen
has it that an Indian monk called bhodirarma (Chinese) or Durama (Japanese)
went to china and introduced yoga, his diciples could not withstand the
rigorous hours of zen meditation so he introduced physical exercise to
raise their fitness levels and to be able to defend themselves against
bandits and thieves, and Shoalin (shorinji-in Japanese) kung fu was born.
The origins Japanese karate-do can be traced to Okinawa, which is part
of a group of islands known as the Ryukyu Island chain. The Ryu Kyu islands
are located between Japan (North-East), Mainland China (West), and Taiwan
When the Japanese invaded the islands in the early 1600's they banned
all weapons, the people of Okinawa developed a style of empty hand combat
that could enable practitioners to break through the wooden armour of
the Japanese soldiers (Samurai) with their bare hands, this is why hand
and body conditioning is emphasized in most harder systems of Karate,
such as Goju Ryu and kyokushinkai. Also farming tools were used against
their oppressors and was incorporated into a style they called Kobudo
or kobujutsu, kobudo is the use of Nunchaku=rice flails, sai=handheld
trident the length of the elbow to the end of the fingers (originally
a Chinese weapon but has been said to be a seed planter), tonfa=handle
of a grinding stone (more commonly known as a nightstick), bo=6foot staff,
originally a tenbin (a staff for carrying buckets of water), kama = sickle,
Eku=boat oar, so most were not all easily looked upon as weapons, just
'harmless' farming tools. The martial arts practiced had to be done secretly
otherwise the practitioners would be executed. The location of Okinawa
was ideal because it meant that the surrounding countries within Asia
could heavily influence Okinawa, which it was, especially by China. The
new art was named 'te', then later became known as 't'ang' meaning 'china
hand', but was more familiarly known as 'Okinawa te', then later 'to-de'.
After a couple of years three main places began to standout in Okinawa
as the main areas for practicing 'to-de', they were Shuri, Naha and Tomari.
Shuri was the ancient capital city of Okinawa; this is where royalty and
noble families lived; Naha, a port town (much like Poole) of business
and commercial enterprise and Tomari, which is a village, populated by
farmers and fishermen. Each region developed its own unique style.
Shuri's main teacher in the development of 'Shuri-te' was master Sakugawa
, who was widely known by the nickname of 'To-de Sakugawa'. He is believed
to have received his instuction from Peichin Takahara and from a Chinese
military attaché‚ known as 'Ku-san-ku', who was an expert in the
art of 'Chinese-Boxing' and living in Okinawa, it was he who is said to
have invented Kus(h)anku Kata. Tode Sakugawa's most prominent student
was Sokon Matsumura who was also Yasutsune 'Ankoh' Itosu's sensei.
Ankoh Itosu was born in Shuri, one of his great contributions to the art
of 'To-de', was the firm belief of the importance of the development of
a person's character through the concentration on 'kata' and 'bunkai'.
Master Itosu also organized and systemized 'To-de' into a standard method
of practice. When he first began teaching in the school system, the introduction
of the kata 'Naihanchi' was his preferred way to teach. He soon realized
that this kata was far too advanced for the beginner, which lead to master
Itosu creating a group of new kata, the Pinan's. The creation of 5 Pinan
(also known as Heinan) kata was based on the kata called Kushanku and
some other significant techniques. Master Itosu trained a great number
of eminent karateka, including Kentsu Yabu, Chomo Hanashiro, Gichin Funakoshi,
Moden Yabiku, Kanken Toyama, Chotoku Kyan, Shinpan Shiroma, Anbun Tokuda
and Kenwa Mabuni.
Naha's most famous master in the development of 'Naha-te' was Kanryo Higashionna
(or Higaonna). He received instruction from master Arakaki. Master Higashionna
taught many students including Chojun Miyagi, and Kenwa Mabuni.
Kanryo Higashionna (AKA Higaonna) was born in Naha in 1853. He began training
in the martial arts with a Chinese Kempo stylist when he was around 16
years old. His fascination for this Chinese fighting art form lead him
to train in Foochow, China for approximately 15 years.After returning
to Okinawa, he was eventually convinced to teach his system of martial
arts. It was during this period that he introduced the 'hard' and 'soft'
methods of training. Master Higashionna was renowned for his great physical
strength and his performance of the 'Sanchin' kata. Kanryo Higashionna
was also considered to be one of the most highly respected martial artists
in Okinawa during the 19th century. Master Higashionna had many disciples
among who were his most dedicated, Chojun Miyagi, Juhatsu Kiyoda (founder
of toon ryu), Kanken Toyama, and Kenwa Mabuni.
Tomari, two great masters became important historical figures in the development
'Tomari-te'. They were, Kokan Oyadomari who taught Chotoku Kyan and Kosaku
Matsumora, who taught Ankoh Itosu. Tomari-te became absorbed into Shuri-te
and Naha-te This gradually left only two main systems, Shuri-te and Naha-te.
Eventually, they were referred to as 'Shorin' and 'Shorei' respectively.
by Hironori Ohtsuka Meijin, Wado-ryu was brought to England in the 60's
by Tatsuo Suzuki Hanshi. Ohtsuka was first introduced to the Martial Arts
by his mother's uncle Chojiro Ebashi. A samurai, who also was said to
keep in awed with samurai tales, it was he who began teaching him Jujitsu.
In 1897 Ohtsuka started school where he studied Shindo Yoshin Ryu Jujitsu,
under the supervision of Shinzaburo Nakayama Sensei, the third Grand Master
of this style of Jujitsu. The essence of this art lays emphasis upon the
nature and the grace of movement. (Yoshitoki Akiyama Sensei originally
inspired it after observing how the willow tree laden with snow yielded
to the elements of nature, yet maintained its versatility and flexibility
to outside forces without damage.) This study of movement impressed upon
the young Ohtsuka the importance of natural flowing movements. These lessons
play a major part in today's Wado Ryu karate. In defense and attacking
techniques the use of the opponent's body, weight and movement play an
equally significant role in defeating your enemy as your own body movements,
very similar to Aikido. Ohtsuka continued his studies of Shindo Yoshin
Ryu Jujitsu whilst at Waseda University from 1910 to 1917 reading commerce.
Ohtsuka also studied different styles of Jujitsu, experimenting between
styles concentrating on their "positive quality". During his
period at University he was able to examine the techniques of most Martial
Arts. During 1917 he is believed to have met Morihei Ueshiba Sensei, the
founder of Aikido and this began a deep founded influential friendship.
Ohtsuka was awarded the highest degree of Shindo Yoshin Ryu Jujitsu on
his 23rd birthday, which allowed him to succeed his master's position
as fourth Grand Master. It was at the 1922 sports festival in Tokyo that
Ohtsuka sensei was to encounter Karate. Gichin Funakoshi Sensei was invited
by the Japanese Education Department to demonstrate his style of Okinawa
te (to-de). Ohtsuka sensei was impressed with this newly promoted Martial
Art. He visited Funakoshi Sensei on numerous occasions during his stay,
discussing techniques and other aspects of Karate. Funakoshi Sensei prolonged
his visit by invitation from the Japanese Education department. He was
"impressed" by Ohtsuka sensei's enthusiasm and determination
to understand Karate and agreed to teach him all he knew about Karate.
Within the space of a year Ohtsuka Sensei had studied all the Kata that
Funakoshi had brought from Okinawa, although he found certain movements
and techniques difficult to implement and understand. This led Ohtsuka
sensei to search for a deeper understanding of Karate to practice Kata
with Mabuni Sensei. His prowess in the Martial Arts had led him to be
the Chief Instructor of Shindo Yoshin Ryu Jujitsu and an assistant instructor
at Funakoshi Sensei's dojo. By the year 1929 Ohtsuka sensei was a registered
member of the Japan Martial Arts Federation. At this time Okinawan Karate
only concentrated upon Kata, Ohtsuka sensei thought that the full spirit
of Budo was missing. Ohtsuka Sensei meanwhile had been developing Yakusoko
Kumite to compensate for the lack of attacking techniques. He thought
there was a need for a more fluid type of Karate and decided to leave
Funakoshi Sensei to concentrate on developing his own style of Karate.
The year of 1934 proved to be a major year for Ohtsuka sensei and Wado-Ryu
Karate. On February 28th Jiro Ohtsuka was born, he renamed himself to
Hironori Ohtsuka 2nd later on. It is uncanny that during this year Wado-Ryu
Karate was also "born" and officially recognised to be an independent
style. This recognition meant that Ohtsuka sensei fulfilled his life's
ambition to become a full time Martial Artist. In 1935 Karate received
a further promotion upon Kano Sensei's recommendation to be accepted as
a Martial Art, but at first only as an extension of Judo by the Japan
Martial Arts Federation. Ohtsuka Sensei's style of Karate was officially
registered in 1938 after he was awarded the rank of Renshi-go. He presented
a magnificent demonstration of Wado-Ryu Karate for the Japan Martial Arts
Federation who were impressed with his style and commitment and successfully
acknowledged him as a high-ranking instructor. The next year the Japan
Martial Arts Federation asked all the different styles of Karate to register
their names. Ohtsuka registered the name of Wado-Ryu. Other styles to
register included Shotokan Ryu, Goju Ryu and Shito-Ryu. Ohtsuka himself
was becoming a recognised figure within the World of Martial Arts. In
1942 he was awarded the title of Kyoshi-go. In 1944 Ohtsuka Sensei was
appointed Japans Chief Karate instructor and in 1955 the first all Japan
Wado-Ryu Karate championships were held. Until the 1960s Martial Arts
and especially Wado-Ryu karate remained upon the small islands of Japan.
It was hardly recognised outside of the East. This was soon to change.
In 1963 a three-man team left Japan to conquer America and Europe. The
team was composed of Mr. Arakawa, Mr Takashima and Mr Suzuki. The impressions
they left upon America and Europe were tremendous, Wado-Ryu Karate became
recognised worldwide for its true merits. In 1966 Ohtsuka Sensei was awarded
the title "Kun Goto Suokuo Kyoku jujitsu Shou" in Japan by the
late Emperor Horohito. It was presented for his dedication and efforts
to the introduction and teaching of karate. By the early 1970s karate
had become truly established worldwide, mainly due to the most famous
Martial Artist/fighter of all time the late Bruce Lee. Ohtsuka continued
to train and instruct in Japan, whilst a team of Japanese Sensei's continued
to spread the doctrines of Wado-Ryu Karate worldwide. In 1972 Ohtsuka
Sensei was historically awarded with an honor never before bestowed upon
any Karate master, the president of the International Martial Arts Federation,
a member of the Japanese royal family, presented Ohtsuka with the title
of Meijin, the first excellent Marital Artist of Karate to recieve 10th
Dan it was the greatest title possible and was bestowed upon him. Ohtsuka
Meijin continued to lead the World of Wado-Ryu Karate until the 20th November
1981, when he finally decided to abdicate his possession as Grand Master
of Wado-Ryu Karate and nominated his son Hironori Ohtsuka 2nd as his successor.
Hironori Ohtsuka Meijin peacefully passed away on 19th January 1982. He
once said, "The only difference between the possible and the impossible
is one's will."
Founded by Gichin Funakoshi, 'Shoto' which means 'waving pines' was Gichin
Funakoshi's pen name, and kan means building, therefore: "the style/art
they practice at shoto's building". It was Funakoshi (5th Dan) who
formulated the word karate, it is from the Kanji character 'to-de' that
meant 'china hand', because the Chinese were not very popular at that
time, he changed it to 'Kara-te' meaning empty hand. Gichin Funakoshi
Sensei was invited by the Japanese Education Department to demonstrate
his style of Okinawa to-de in 1922. After the demonstration he received
many requests to stay and teach and so he did. Shotokan karate is built
upon triads; kihon, kata and kumite (basics, forms and fighting) followed
by justice, mercy and compassion then duty, honour and loyalty. All nine
principles together can make a very rounded person. The stances in shotokan
are long and very deep in the hips and considered very static and regimental.
Most of the kata used on the competition circuit are from shotokan ryu,
shotokan kata is very popular for competition. Shotokan has produced many
karate masters of the past and present.
Founded by Yoshinao Nanbu, who is considered to be an eccentric by some
people around the world Sankukai has three meanings, which are; 'San'
meaning three as in mind, body, spirit, 'ku' means harmony/ empty, 'kai'
means school. The symbol of Sankukai consists of three circles, two red
and one white. They represent Earth, Moon and Sun. Three elements always
harmonically involved in their cosmic dance. This symbol also represents
the main idea of Sankukai, which is establishing harmonic relationship
with the enemy and usage of enemy's force against him/herself by the means
of escapes, round blocks, punches and kicks. This is the original idea
of most other martial arts, but is often neglected in practice because
of its difficulty. Unlike Shukokai, Sankukai is not mainly intended for
kumite. Techniques for self-defence and for real combat are strongly emphasized.
Stances in Sankukai are high and short, like in Shukokai and Shito ryu.
Another property of Sankukai is also to practice with a partner (randori).
Techniques are not performed individually like in most styles. Working
in pairs is what students are encouraged to do from their very beginning
of practicing Sankukai karate. This way we are learning how to adapt ourselves
to the enemy and how to use his/her force and power in our favour. He
started to practice judo at the age of five, and he started with kendo
when he entered school. He later started to learn Karate and Aikido at
master Someka. When he was 18 he entered a faculty of economics and started
to study Shukokai under master Tani. Under Tani's leadership he made a
good progress and won the competition of Japan University in 1962 where
1250 competitors participated. He was invited to France in 1964 and he
participated in the Cannes cup and by doing so put his reputation on the
line. He won by beating the then French champion, and made famous foot
sweeping an opponent. After the competition he stayed in France to promote
Shukokai. In 1968 he returned to Japan where he realized his idea of producing
his own style. Shortly after that he returned to France and performed
the first demonstration of Sankukai in Paris, 1971. After that he went
on a tour around Europe performing demonstrations and seminars and expanding
his new style. Some time after that his Karate 'evolved' once more and
he named it 'Nanbudo'.
Shukokai style is direct ancestor of Sankukai karate and was founded after
the Second World War, by Chojiro Tani who studied Goju-Ryu for about a
decade until meeting Kenwa Mabuni. Tani combined the dynamics and speed
of Shito-Ryu with the power and strength of Goju-Ryu, so Shukokai roughly
translates to 'work together club'/'way for all club'. This style was
first called Tani Ha Shito Ryu but was then renamed Shukokai. Shukokai
is intended mainly for practicing kumite. It evolved from technique reduction
of Shito Ryu and from adding some new principles, known from other sports,
which give good result in a relatively short time. Attacks are launched
using mainly straight blows such as front punch or front kick rather than
round blows such as roundhouse kick or back fist. Beside the double hip
swing, which provides great speed and power giving the style it's explosive
power also a specialty of Shukokai is a punch which is launched in fighting
stance with the centre of gravity moved forward and the heel of the back
foot is kept off the floor and then kicked down to project the fighter
forward in a fast explosive movement. Shukokai has gained a lot of popularity
and members around the world because of its efficiency in kumite. Impact
pads were introduced to help the Shukokai stylists enhance their power.
Students of Shukokai established the school as a fast and powerful competition
style. Master Choiro Tani educated many good fighters, which have become
famous around the Karate world, such as Nanbu who in turn produced greats
such as Jean Frenette.
Founded by Kenwa Mabuni, he was born in 1893 on Okinawa. Originally his
system was named 'Hanko Ryu' (Half-Hard style), he later changed the name
to reflect the huge amount of respect he felt towards his two great masters,
Itosu and Higashionna. Using the alternative reading of the Kanji for
'Ito' from master Itosu's name, (which can also be read as 'Shi'), and
'Higa' from master Higashionna's name, (which can be interpreted as 'To'),
Kenwa Mabuni created his new name for his style. He started to learn karate
at the age of 13 under Kanryo Higashionna and Anko Itosu. They were teaching
two different methods of Okinawa karate: Naha-te and Shuri-te. Mabuni
was therefore able to learn all advantages and disadvantages of each of
them. Higashionna and Itosu both died in 1915. Mabuni continued to practice
both styles, he also started practicing Kobudo. The Japanese government's
martial arts sanctioning organization, the 'Dai Nippon Butoku-Kai', began
to demand the different groups applying for membership be more specific
in the description of their Karate systems, and pressured them to name
their styles, so Shito Ryu was officialy born. Among his many students
were his two sons, Kenei Mabuni and Kenzo Mabuni, Chojiro Tani, Ryusho
Sakagami, Yoshiaki Tsujikawa, Ken Sakio, Jun-ichi Inoue, Manzo Iwata,
Toshiyuki Imanishi, Kazuo Kokuba, Tokio Hisatomi and Ryusei Tomoyori.
Gichin Funakoshi even sent his son to learn from him. Kenwa Mabuni was
to have the great honour of demonstrating his martial arts in the presence
of Prince Kuni and Prince Kacho, while Gichin Funakoshi was sent as the
official representative to introduce Okinawa 'to-de' to mainland Japan.
The basic stance that is mostly used is neko ashi dachi (cat foot stance).
Defensive principle block & blow is replaced by escape & counter-attack.
Attack or counter-attack is no longer a single blow. As a supplement to
practicing karate, training in Kobudo was also introduced. Master Kenwa
Mabuni died in 1957. During his time he left many masters behind to continue
Founded by the Korean Sensei Masumatsu Oyama who came to Japan when he
was sixteen, he spent a lot of time in the mountains training by himself.
Mas Oyama is famed for testing his strength by punching bulls in the head,
he was gored several times being bedridden for months, although he knocked
out or killed most of the bulls he struck. In 1964 he gave the style the
name "Kyojushin", which translates to "The Ultimate Truth".
Mas Oyama held a 4th Dan in judo, and also studied Goju Ryu, Shotokan
(reaching 4th Dan at the age of 20) and also some Korean martial arts,
which he incorporated into his style. Steve Arneil 9th Dan was the first
non-Japanese to complete the 100 man kumite, which kyokushinkai is famous
for, they are also famous for their full contact knock down competitions.
It is considered a hard style much like Goju styles.
Founded by Kanbun Uechi, originally it was called Pangainoon (half hard,
half soft) and renamed by Kanei Uechi in respect to his father. Due to
the trade between China and Okinawa some of the fighting arts were also
imported into the culture of Okinawa. Many of the great masters obtained
their abilities and knowledge in China, Kanbun Uechi was one of the masters
who did this. Kanbun was taught bojutsu from many masters when he was
young, but his passion in the Chinese arts was sparked when he met a martial
arts master called Toyama and decided to go to china to study and further
his abilities in martial arts. Kanbun was taught by Shushiwa (Chou Tsu
Ho) but had to spend three years learning and trying to perfect Sanchin
Kata, then after that period he learned two other Kata and body conitioning
exercises. He began to assist his teacher and started to teach himself
but had to because it was said that one of his students killed a man in
an argument. He returned to Okinawa but refused to teach or even to show
his skills until one day at a demonstration where he was asked to do a
Kata and could not refuse so he performed Seishan Kata. Everyone was amazed
including other Masters, at one time Funakoshi's teacher Anko Itotsu tried
to persuade him to accept a teaching post at a collage in Okinawa. After
a while he left Okinawa in search of work in Japan. Also in Japan as in
China there was an Okinawan community, which suffered under the Japanese
and again he was asked to teach, he agreed and amongst his students was
his son, Kanei. He moved back to Okinawa and was the fist to teach Pangainoon
in Okinawa, he was drafted for WW2 and served until 1945. Kanbun Uechi
Sensei died three years later. One his friends who was responsible for
spreading Kanbun's reputation was the White Crane expert Gokenki who was
very influential on Karate in Okinawa. One of his students for a short
period of time was Kenwa Mabuni. There are very few kata in Uechi ryu,
the first kata taught is sanchin. Kanei along with some of Kanbun's dedicated
students formulated some other Kata to be taught in between the three
Kata Kanbun had learned in China, these are Kanshiwa, Kanshu, Seichin,
Seirui and Kanchin. Makiwara and body conditioning are a major part of
Uechi Ryu, single knuckle (Ippon ken), fingertip (nukite) and the use
of the big toe play major parts in Uechi Ryu as they are used to strike
the various pressure points of the human anatomy. Demonstrations of Uechi
Ryu include baseball bats being broken on shins and thick boards of wood
being broken with the big toe. Much like Kyokushinkai in that respect.
Ryu - Goju Kai
Chojun began Naha-te with Kanryo Higashionna when he was fourteen and
studied for three years. At the end 1905 Chojun left for China to the
same city Higashionna visited, Fuchou in Fukien province. The purpose
for this trip was to evade the military service tasked by the Japanese
government. Ever since the 1868 Reformation, the new Japanese government
started to adopt the European parliamentary as well as legislative, administrative
judicial organization. The first national legislation regarding duty of
military service became law in Japan in 1873. Japan copied the system
from the French government. According to revised legislation in 1889,
any Japanese male citizen between 17 to 40 years of age were all subjected
for the duty. The government enforced the law in the prefecture of Okinawa
in 1890. In 1872, the Japanese government decided to rule the island directly
and banned the island from associating with China and disbanded the king
from his authority. It was common among the islander youth to leave their
home for China when they reached seventeen years of age. Chojun also tried
to locate those instructors of Higashionna at the city but he was unsuccessful.
Chojun had to come back home in 1908 and volunteered for military service
to fulfil his obligation. One of the basic training methods in the Goju-Ryu
called Sanchin. Chojun added a kata form to his school naming it Tensho.
With his charismatic personality and devoted commitment to promote the
art, Chojun successfully took leadership in Okinawa for his school that
was named Goju-Ryu Karate, meaning Hard and soft style art of Chinese
Hand. It was Jinan Arazato, the oldest student of Chojun who named the
style Goju-Ryu. It was 1933, in Kyoto, Japan, Arazato represented Chojun
and demonstrated Chojun's system at a martial arts event. Arazato temporarily
used the name for that occasion and reported to Chojun about it. Chojun
agreed and authorized the name Goju-Ryu and ever since then he used the
name for official events. He was the first among the Okinawan Karate leaders
who used the school name for the art. The most significant contribution
of Chojun to the art was that he introduced the arts at the public schools
and organizations such as the police department and athletic institutions.
Gogen Yamaguchi was born January 20, 1909 at Miyakonojou, Shonai, Miyazaki
Prefecture. He was named Jitsumi. When he was thirteen years of age, he
studied Goju-Ryu Karate Kempo with his instructor, Takeo Maruyama. Although
he studied such martial arts as Judo (yielding way), Kendo (japenese fencing),
Iaido (way of drawing the sword), Jo-do (way of stick), and Kusari-gama
(art of chain) in his younger days, Karate had from the beginning captured
most of his enthusiasm. He studied Law at Kansei University in 1928 and
Ritsumeikan University from 1929 to 1937 and received Law Degrees. While
studying at the University, he initiated the Karate club and invented
its free sparring form. By this time, all karate schools in Okinawa and
Japan practiced kata and pre-arranged application exercise and never attempted
to practice free form of sparring. In 1937, he received the name Gogen
from Chojun Miyagi and authorized him to promote the school of Goju-Ryu
Karate in Japan.
In 1950, he founded the national organization of All Japan Karate-Do Goju-Kai
in Tokyo, Japan. Gogen received 10th Degree Black Belt from Chojun Miyagi
in 1951. He was recognized as one of the greatest Karate masters in Japan.
He was the founder of what might be called modern Karate, an advanced
stage that illustrates both a technical and social elevation of the art
of Karate. As a result of the introduction of free-style sparring, the
art of Karate had become a more active and popular art in Japan as well
as in other parts of the world. In the general development of Karate,
Gogen had contributed several distinguished services. First, he formed
a group of Asian martial instructors. He then succeeded in bringing seventy
Asian instructors to Japan and travelled throughout the country, holding
martial arts demonstrations. After the Pacific war, he succeeded in unifying
all Karate schools into one union. As a result, the All Japan Karate Federation
was established in 1964. As recognition of merit, Emperor Hirohito of
Japan with Ranju-Hosho, the Blue Ribbon Medal honored him in 1969. In
the United States, many people refer to Gogen Yamaguchi as the "Cat"
because of his speed and sharpness.
The text that has been altered has come from various sources including
books, magazines and the Internet. We fully acknowledge the rights of
Respect and traditions
On entering and leaving the dojo (training area) karateka (practitioner
of karate) must always bow. When approaching the sensei (teacher) before
any words are exchanged you must perform tachirei (standing bow), if for
any reason you have to leave before the lesson is finished you must approach
the sensei (instructor) explain the situation bow to him/her and bow on
the way out. When you bow to kohai, sempai or sensei you don't look at
him/her it is not necessary and is seen as discourteous, your back remains
straight and your body bends from the hips at 30 to 45 degrees, hands
are kept on the sides of the thighs or can slide down the front of the
thighs so the fingertips touch the top of the knees, once instructions
have been given acknowledgement is shown by a tachirei and the instructions
are to be carried out quickly. Before any techniques are performed partners
must bow to each other, kohai bows lower than sempai, ie orange belt must
bow lower than blue belt, and blue belt must bow lower than brown belt
and so on to show respect for a more experienced karateka, this is regardless
of age, sex, race, religion etc.
It has become very popular and considered traditional to have your belt
embroidered with your name and style, once you have reached Shodan (first
degree black belt).
When karateka (practitioner of karate) passes on it is said that karateka
should be buried in his/her Gi, and the belt is tied in a special way
so that the ends of the belt face one up and one down (north-south), this
Every day expressions
Greetings; Hello = konnichi wa (used from late morning onwards), Goddbye
= sayonara (familiar), shitsurei shimasu (polite/formal), Good morning
= ohayo gozaimass, Good evening = konban wa, Good night = uyasumi (familiar),
oyasumi nasai (polite). General; Thank you = domo arigato, Thank you very
much = domo arigato gozaimass (for something happening now), domo arigato
gozaimashita (for something that has just happened or ended, ie the lesson),
You're welcome = do itashimashite, Please do or Go ahead = dozo, Excuse
me = sumamasen, Welcome = irasshaimase, Yes = hai, No = liea, Good = li,
Bad = warui, No good = dame. (onegai shimass = let us begin)
Karate is pronounced kalla-tey fast and slightly rolled, but not to be
In the Japanese language they do not have plurals, so whether you mean
one suit or hundred suits they would say one suit (gi), hundred suit.
There is no stress placed any one syllable, equal weight should be given
to all syllables of each word.
Vowels, A pronounced rather flat and staccato as in 'cart', but a little
more clipped. E pronounced as in pet. I pronounced like the 'ea' in heat,
but more clipped. O pronounced as in 'lot', but with lips more rounded.
U pronounced as in 'Sue'. At the end of words, it is often silent, for
example, 'desu' is pronounced 'dess'. Long vowels; where a vowel is printed
with a line above it, it is pronounced double its usual lengh. Where two
vowels appear together they are pronounced as indicated above, thus the
Japanese word 'tai' would be pronounced as the English 'tie' and not 'tay'.
Consonants, most consonants are pronounced similarly to English, with
the following exceptions: G always pronounced hard as in 'give' rather
than softly as in 'gin', F is pronounced to give a sound midway between
the English 'f' and 'h', R is pronounced almost like 'l', quickly and
lightly but not rolled. Long consonants; are similar to the long vowel,
these are pronounced individually. For example the nn in konnichi wa is
like 'one night' and not as in 'sunny', and the pp in Nippon is like 'skip
past' and not as in 'nipper'
Borrowed from "Aikido" by Brian Bagot.
In Japan counting said differently to the west, instead of saying ten
eleven twelve they say ten, ten-one, ten-two, therefore twenty is two-tens
and so on. One to twenty-five:
Ichi, i, han, hi, o, hok, hich, hach, ku, ju, ju-ich, ju-i, ju-han, ju-hi,
ju-o, ju-hok, ju-hich, ju-hach, ju-ku, i-ju, i-ju-ich, i-ju-i, i-ju-han,
Men = head, oi / hara = centre. Seiza = formal sitting position. Shikko
= formal knee walking. Tacherei = standing bow. Deshi = diciple or trainee.
Kohai = junior or lower grade. Sempai = senior or higher grade. Doshu
= grandmaster. Shihan/Hanshi = master instructor. Jo = place/four foot
staff. Pinan = (peace and) tranquillity. Hanmi = stance or posture. Gamae
= combative stance when facing an opponant. Kai = school. Ryu = style.
Do = way. Bu = Martial. Dan = level. Kyu = class. Wa = peace. Hei = universal.
Aka=red. Ao=blue. shiro=white. No-kachi=winner. Jogai = area. Obi = belt.
Unsu = cloud hands? Gojushihosho = fifty-four directions. Kata = form/type/shoulder.
Goshi = hip. Gyaku = opposite or alternate. Ho = direction. Hombu = headquarters.
Nage = throw. Kote = wrist. Tai = body. Sabaki = movement. Sode = sleeve.
Suwari = kneeling. Uchi = strike/inside. Tenchi = heaven and earth. Waza
= technique. Zarei = kneeling bow. Kiritsu = stand. Tenkan = turning.
Kime = focus.
The shout often heard being performed by the karateka is what we call
"kiai". kiai is;
Ki=essence of one's being, energy, life-force, spirit
According to "Aikido" by Brian Bagot, kiai is "An explosive
outpouring of vital energy, manifested as a piercing shout from the depths
of one's being"
When a gun goes off it makes a loud bang, the sound is not made because
the gun or the person pulling the trigger tells it to, it is the result
of converted kinetic (movement) energy into sound energy as a way to release
the force created by the movement of the components of the gun involved
to produce the effect.
When a bus is coming towards you, what do you do? You move out the way.
If some one tries to hit you dodge it, or you could move out of range
and hit otherwise known as counter attack, you use their energy against
them to your advantage, in Wado Ryu; nagashitzuki is the technique we
use to do this, in Aikido this is the main objective, Aikido is "the
way (DO) of unifying (AI) energy (KI), in combat you would use your opponents
energy against them, (in personal training you are also trying to tame
your own spirit and become mellow and chilled.)
is like skateboarding and Black belt is just the beginning
You have to love what you're doing to be as successful as your imagination
can take you…
Once you learn the basics; riding, ollie, shove-it, pop shove-it, kick
flip, manual, nose manual, varial flip, heel flip, 360 flip, nollie, hard
flip, nose grind, 50-50, 5-0, nose stall, nollie flip, tail slide, fakie
tricks and so on is when you have basic knowledge and ability to express
your self and progress quicker and faster then start to mix tricks; ollie
to manual, kick flip a five set, heel flip to tail slide, 360 flip to
board slide kick flip out and so on. At this point you've probably been
skating for three years if not more, yet this is only the beginning.
It is the same in karate, it takes many years of hard training to become
'good', yet you can't progress to advanced forms (kata) without learning
the basics (kihon) first, after the basics and before the advanced kata
you must learn the basic kata otherwise everything else will have poor
if any foundations and will be sloppy and sketchy. During and throughout
this time you will begin to practise sparring (kumite) and apply the techniques
you've learnt through practising kihon and kata to a fight situation.
Then after a few years of kumite you may become 'good' and will have started
to mix techniques together to create a completely new technique or just
a combination. Then maybe after all those years of hard training you have
become a black belt (shodan), and now you have the basic knowledge to
express your self creatively and your techniques will become faster sharper
and more precise
You may enter competitions and become sponsored, become popular have your
own deck, shoes, t-shirts, karate clubs, team, production line or even
front covers or articles about you in magazines, maybe just become a legend
and idol in the underground scenes, either way it is your love for your
art that has become your determination to be as good as you want to be…