Moderator: Van Canna
Dear Sensei Van_
The part highlighted in red,[here underlined] reminded me of the practice, with you, and think how many things in common with the darkness, the hip, the explosion of power!
Being a mathematics instructor and a deep thinking man, Sensei Nakamatsu has
applied long hours of self study and scholastic pursuit towards developing an
unsurpassed approach to the study of Okinawan Karate. Probably the most impressive
and most significant thing that we as karate students can learn from Sensei Nakamatsu
is diligent self-study. He says that even now he continues to grow more interested in
karate training, math, and physics.
It is not uncommon to enter Sensei Nakamatsu`s
dojo before a night of practice to find him hard at work in a dark training hall. He
explains that practice in the dark facilitates spiritual training and awareness of the
intricate nature of the body`s physiology. It is also common to find Sensei Nakamatsu in
detailed conversation with a fellow practitioner concerning complexities of hip motion,
retaining focus, or use of the legs in various stances. Significantly, this is often done
with practitioners of other styles because Sensei Nakamatsu believes that, in essence
we are all involved in an intrepid journey towards the same goal.
First and foremost, Sensei Nakamatsu is a diligent student; perhaps this is what makes
him an extraordinary teacher. In the three years I have spent in Okinawa, the practice
at Sensei Nakamatsu`s dojo has not changed in the movements we practice yet it has
changed drastically in the way we think about and execute those movements. Our
practice has has evolved as we have. Whilst practicing in Nakamatsu`s Dojo I have felt
flattered to find Sensei Nakamatsu observing my movements, stepping aside into the
mirror and observing his own then excitingly saying, “Naruhodo” (I`ve got it).
realized that Sensei Nakamatsu is as likely to do this with a student in his first month of
training as he is with another Kyudan (Ninth Degree Black Belt). That we can learn
from one another is a fundamental aspect of his philosophy.
Sensei Nakamatsu believes that the understanding that we gain in karate practice is
readily applicable to our lives as a whole. He often mimics kata done incorrectly to
emphasize its lack of focus, power, and rhythm. We do not learn about ourselves in this
kind of practice.
In drastic contrast, he will demonstrate kata done properly in slow
motion; the movements cease to be made with the limbs and his body moves as in one
graceful powerful motion. He explains that each individual must find his own rhythm.
This can only be done thru diligent practice and careful thought. Because we are
always changing, it is natural that our form will always be in a constant state of change.
As in life, there is no time for stagnation in karate. Our power can only be truly
expressed when we begin to understand our own rhythm.
Sensei Nakamatsu has a long list of accomplishments including traveling all over
Europe and the United States in the Capacity of a Karate instructor as well as a
representative of the Japanese Education Ministry. He was born in November 26 in
1939 and started his practice of Uechi-ryu Karate-do under the tutelage of Master Kanei
Uechi at the Futenma Dojo in 1958.
His career in mathematics began in 1964 and he
opened his own dojo in Adiniya Kitanakagusuku in 1986, where he teaches
approximately fifteen students.
Sensei Nakamatsu worries that this is too many students for him to teach properly and
often expresses concern over whether he can aptly meet the responsibility of guiding
them in their training. I assure you it is being met. He is a highly respected member of
the high school education system and the martial arts community in Okinawa.
He is a
Senior Ninth Degree Black Belt, a former Director of the all Okinawan Karate
tournament sponsored by the Okikukai, and former Director of the Mathematics
Department at the top academic high school in Okinawa. He has two strong, intelligent
sons and a lovely wife.
His oldest son Taichi has an amazing understanding of the
fundamental aspects of his fathersʼ training system.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Sensei Nakamatsu for taking the time
and effort to guide us in our karate practice. Let us all make great progress for a long
time to come under his leadership.
I hope people not familiar with him would just get a sense of his passion for life, his priorities and that his objective is to know himself and to help others know themselves.
I've known him since 1970 and over the years our families have developed a deep friendship. I often refer to my "Trifecta" of mentors, Takara, Nakahodo and Nakamatsu with Nakamatsu being more or less my spiritual or inspirational advisor.
He's teaching the importance of keeping the support leg strong and stable throughout the kick and especially at impact.
His emphasis is particularly on the hamstring, as when it's soft your power comes back through your own leg. That's when the "kicker" bounces backward off the heavy bag.
He's also commenting that many balance receptors are in the ankle and there is a direct communication between them and the brain.
Standing on one leg for extended periods improves balance, in his opinion. Incidentally, my daughter ( Physical Therapist ) agrees with him.
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