Japanese

A Peaceful and Free World: An Okinawan Ideal

This Guiding Principle contains some of the most powerful words in Nakamura Sensei’s instructional document. Especially considering the tumultuous struggles of Ryukyu history. Even after all of the turbulence, Nakamura O Sensei still held high the ideal of a peaceful and free world. In fact, he instructed his students (and by extension, traditional martial artists in current times) to build such a world.

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Okinawa Shuri Castle Photo a Favorite

This photo at Shuri Castle is one of my favorite group photos and general karate pictures. For me it symbolizes Ryukyu no shin – the heart of the Ryukyu Kingdom, or the heart of karate from Okinawa in current times.

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Symbol for Ryukyu on Karate Book Cover

The name for this symbol for Ryukyu is the mitsudomoe. Mitsudomoe has a literal meaning of “three comma-looking shapes.” The Ryukyu island chain makes up what used to be an independent country called the Ryukyu Kingdom.

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Karate Teaches Respect

Karate teaches respect by requiring listening to the instructor and focusing on yourself doing your best. In classes students are required to keep their hands to themselves. When working with partners, students are expected to follow the rules of conduct.

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What We Value at our Dojo

I recently started listing out what we value at our dojo. It’s because I was thinking of Sei Shōnagon. She was a writer who lived in service to Japanese royalty. Even though Sei Shōnagon died nearly a thousand years ago, we can get an idea of her personality, intellect, life and values due to her…

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Japan’s Children’s Day

Because we teach Okinawan martial arts, and because our kids’ karate program is popular, our dojo takes an interest in Japan’s Children’s Day. A friend visited Japan recently and spoke about the carp flags flying in preparation of this holiday. It takes place as the third and last national holiday in Japan’s Golden Week. May…

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