Okinawa

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 are Ryukyu Kempo’s Core Principles?

Our dojo, East Valley Martial Arts, is a member of the international United Ryukyu Kempo Alliance (URKA). The URKA is a unique martial arts organization for many reasons. One of the things that makes us unique are the Core Principles taught by our instructor Amor Kaicho. He learned them from his teacher Oyata Taika who…

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Cobra Kai needs the Dojo Kun

The “Cobra Kai” web TV series came out in Spring of 2018. It’s a more mature, modern continuation of the “Karate Kid” movies. The second season came out early this month. After watching it, I’m more convinced than ever that Cobra Kai needs the Dojo Kun. Cobra Kai Appropriate? While the “Karate Kid” movies may…

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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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Ryukyu Kempo’s Core Principles 4-5

In the United Ryukyu Kempo Alliance, we apply five core principles to our martial arts training. These principles also help us to be more effective and successful in other areas of life. In my last blog, we covered the first three principles with both martial arts and life examples. Here we will finish up with…

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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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The Okinawan Sweet Potato

The Okinawan sweet potato was one of the few things that I missed out on when we visited Okinawa. There, purple sweet potatoes are a part of the culture in the cooler months of autumn and winter. Small trucks with ovens on the back go around selling fresh roasted sweet potatoes. I hear they are…

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Veggies Please! How to Increase Vegetables

Okinawan elders live longer, more physically active lives well into old age. And later they spend less years in nursing homes at the end of life. One of the things that helps them keep robust physical health is their diet. And the most obvious difference in nutrition? Okinawans traditionally eat a lot more veggies than…

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