I hope you are well. I want to share this article on Miyagi sensei. He is a very special person and possibly one of the best technical teachers on Okinawa today.
This is indeed, or should be a poignant read for all of us.
"When I was 19, I had no interest in karate. However, Irei Seiki, a classmate from Yomitan Senior High School took me to the Kadena Dojo located not far from my parents' home. This is how I became a student of Shinjo Seiyu sensei."
Telling the story is Miyagi Minoru sensei, 70 years old. Minoru sensei was promoted 10th dan in December 2010 by the Okinawa Uechi ryu Karatedo Hozonkai.
"Karate then and karate today has changed quite a lot."
In the past, as recalled by Miyagi sensei, students repeat endlessly kata with full power, with the instructor correcting the performance according to bunkai-applications.
Today, it seems that speed and beauty are the main factors prevailing. "I am deeply saddened by the fact that the meaning of karate has changed and that kata are being destroyed."
When asked if shiai (sparring) was practiced, sensei answers "Of course, but by correctly practicing kata, fighting is not needed."
In karate, especially in Uechi ryu, the importance is placed on body forging and character building more than beautification.
By knowing pain, you understand people's pain. This way, it becomes impossible to use karate in a harmful way. By building a strong spirit and body, in case of an assault, the idea is to damage naturally the other party by defending only.
This is what Miyagi sensei means by "Karate that does not need fighting"! Shinjo Seiyu sensei used to repeat "Shobu ha, Issho Ichido" (A fight occurs only once in a lifetime).
By this, he meant the importance of building a spirit that does not use karate. This is the difference between "Bu - martial art" and "Sport".
Finally asking Miyagi sensei about the tradition, he replies "Kata should be passed on without a single change; meanwhile, a karateka should develop his own techniques.
If the master teaches you one, you should research 9!"
Also, Miyagi sensei believes that in karate, intelligence and academic studies are not what matter; what matters is the technical research.
On top of this, if karate people are to preserve the principles of "Respecting one's superiors" and "Refraining from haughtiness," he believes that true traditional karate will be passed on to posterity.
Synonyms: assumptive, cavalier, chesty, arrogant, high-and-mighty, high-handed, high-hat, huffish, huffy, imperious, important, lofty, lordly, masterful, overweening, peremptory, pompous, presuming, presumptuous, pretentious.
Somethng to think about.