Japanese

Traditions for a Dojo New Year

The New Year in Japan is a time of renewal and celebration, just like in other countries. At our dojo, we enjoy special traditions for entering a dojo new year together. Our traditions come from Japanese culture and martial arts. LAST CLASS BEFORE A DOJO NEW YEAR One way that we celebrate a dojo new…

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Traditional Martial Arts vs. Sport Karate

Originally, and I mean way back, traditional martial arts took their place as the only fighting art. Their usefulness had to do with protecting one’s self, family and community. The martial arts evolved into art forms for people to learn a tradition of life protection while improving their lives. More recently, some martial arts branched…

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Self-Discipline through Traditional Karate

Traditional Karate builds self-discipline in many ways. Parents appreciate the discipline in kids karate. Over time, that  leads to self-discipline. But I started training as an adult and my self-discipline skills are from martial arts. It could be because I was a young adult and my brain had not quite finished developing. But I believe that with…

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Karate Kid Fun: Glimpse into Dojo Hilarity

One of the perks I have as a martial arts instructor is seeing karate kid fun first-hand. Kids say and do the some of the funniest things. We run a tight, disciplined ship in class, but we have fun too. Your perk today? You don’t have to put in the hard work, sweat, concern, tears…

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Vegetables of Okinawa: Top 10

The traditional Okinawan diet had over seven times more vegetables than the modern American diet. Why does this matter? Many tout the diet of elders in Okinawa as one of the main reasons they live active, healthy lives to over 100 years old. The biggest difference in nutrition? Okinawans traditionally fill up on vegetables (instead…

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You Represent Your Dojo

Our student came directly from school, wearing his camp t-shirt which boldly read “URKA” on the front as well as “Texas Seminar.” I said, “I see you represented the Alliance as well as the Bushukan dojo (in Texas) today. I hope you did so well.” You represent your dojo. As a karate practitioner you consistently…

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Goya Bitter Melon: Eat and Enjoy

Their traditional diet contributes to the Okinawan elders’ robust health. And goya is a superstar ingredient in their traditional diet. Goya, also known as bitter melon, has many health benefits. It is definitely bitter and said to be an acquired taste. But some of us easily acquire it. Especially when prepared in a delicious chanpuru…

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Karate Title Changes

Changing karate titles are a natural part of our dojo’s martial arts culture. In Japan, people have changed their names: when they became the head of a household or a company; to demonstrate allegiance; and when their social status evolved, among other reasons. They have even changed their names to shed bad luck. And artists…

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Name Changes: A Japanese Tradition

Over the years, I have noticed that Okinawan and Japanese people historically change their names – a lot. Usually their last name or surname evolves. But there are also nicknames bestowed that seem to take the place of given names. About 60 percent down on this Wikipedia listing, under “Historical Names” and “Professional Names” you…

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3 Tips on Japanese for English-Speakers

In traditional Okinawan karate, we promote the culture that created our art. Language is an influential part of culture. The Japanese language remains the most enduringly difficult part of my martial arts training. Like a thorn in my side, it occasionally causes agonizing discomfort. Yet it’s survivable. And I don’t even notice it or think…

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