We had promotion tests for both the adult and kids on Thursday and Friday.
Thanks to everyone, they went very well.
This was the first time that five students from BYU Muso-Kai Karate Club could take the test.
This is the club which Senpai Hoan started from scratch by himself. Thank you to him and keep up a good job.
Because of their participation, students from Muso-Kai Headquarters dojo worked extra hard too.
All the students did very well for their basics, strength and stamina parts. Also, flexibility was good. Sparring was hard as usual, but they survived.
Unfortunately, Naifanchi Kata was not so good. The Taikyoku and Pinan kata is relatively easy because of there are a lot of movements to hide mistakes, but not Naifanchi Kata.
Recently, while I teach, I mostly corrected advanced studentfs Naifanchi Kata but not the lower belt students. I almost forgot how they would perform Naifanchi kata especially under pressure like in a promotion test.
In the last couple of years, I thought I had completed the system of teaching Okinawan Karate as the true martial art.
It took me over 30 years to understand Naifanchi Kata.
I finally built a system which makes my students able to understand and perform almost perfect Naifanchi kata in ten years.
When next generation comes, they only need three years to understand the theory and master the performance of Naifanchi Kata.
That was what I thought.
I was wrong!! Dead wrong.
Life is not that easy!
Any kata you train you need time to understand the theory and master the movement.
You may be able to make the perfect teaching methods; however people need hard training and time to turn that into his/her own skill.
I found that when I was training Naifanchi kata and try to teach the concept of Naifanchi to my own students, my instructions changed almost every day and every second.
Because I was struggling to understand Naifanchi Kata myself, I did not know how to teach the meaning of the kata itself.
When I trained Naifanchi Kata, each time I got an answer to my question about its movement, ten more questions popped up in my mind.
gWhy do I have to move this way?h gWhy is this way is wrong?h gWhat does this movement mean?h gHow to move this part?h etc. etc..
Itfs took me a long time to understand the meaning of Naifanchi Kata and took me more time to make my students understand the meaning of Naifanchi kata.
However, they knew my struggle, my wonder, and my quests. They shared my hardships and my answers became their answers too.
Now that I can make the solid teaching methods of Karate, my students literally follow the footsteps but not the thought and/or concept of Naifanchi.
We must teach our students not only the movement of Naifanchi but also the concept, because it is the essence of not only Karate but also human movements.
How to do it?
Well, this coming September, some Japanese students are coming to learn from us. They are planning to train 6 hours a day for seven days.
Also, we will have a workshop on November 6th and 7th to train 6 hours a day. This training must be nearly man-to-man situations to correct all the movements and let them understand the concept of Naifanchi kata as their second nature.
Also, I must try to translate my entire book to English so my students can understand the concept of Naifanchi like a Japanese student does.
We have a lot of work ahead.
It is impossible to do everything by myself.
Thankfully, Senpai Hoan and BYU Muso-Kai Karate Club showed us that there are lots of people who can and will help us grow.
A long time ago, I decided that I will work three times harder than anyone and achieve twice what others could (I wish I could be more efficient but Ifm not).
I will ask all my students to work as hard as they can, because itfs fun to achieve your dream.
Letfs do it!
August 29, 2010
Muso-Kai Karate Associate Members Club
Because of your help and support, Muso-Kai Karate is growing rapidly.
Almost every Seminar and Workshop we have are in the Japanese Karate magazine and we are trying to publish one book in upcoming months. I have also finished "The History of Karate" and will try to publish it in the near future.
When we grow, we are facing new challenges. There are no Muso-Kai Karate clubs and/or blanches nearby who want to practice this style.
To help people who want to lean Muso-Kai Karate in the world, we have created the network system. We call this the "Muso-Kai Karate Associate Members' Club".
When you are interesting in Muso-Kai Karate but cannot find any one who can train with you, we would like to connect you with someone who has same interest.
You can train with that person and soon, can start a club.
We will help with everything we can to make Associate Members grow in Karate.
You can also participate our workshop and/or seminar as a club member who will receive a large discount.
We will update your information such as name (initial or Nickname is fine), location (State, Provence, City, or Town which ever you would like to put), your experience, and interest etc. on our website.
The Associate Members annual fee is US$100 and you can pay by PayPal or check.
You also need to fill out the application and send it to us by fax or mail.
We hope this Associate Members Club will give you the opportunity to practice Muso-Kai Karate and will see you as often as possible.
Oct. 31, 2010
Well itfs over!!
I usually write this column over the weekend, however, we had the workshop at that time so I had to write now.
In this workshop, Canadians said that they will come next spring, so we had had our students in the dojo and BYU karate club members.
Well, I was tired!!
After the week end workshop I just went to the dojo to teach three classes and went home and slept. That's all I did all day.
Usually when Ifm very tired I just finish a bottle of wine and next morning Ifm just fine (with a little bit of a hang over).
However, this time I did not even want to drink (ha!). All I wanted was rest and sleep.
Is it a sign of aging?
Probably so, however, we have too many things to teach.
I organized and developed the Muso-Kai Karate as martial arts not as the western sport. I created the learning system from basic to advance.
We have more than 10 hours worth of basic warm up and drills which give the students awareness to the martial arts body movements.
We cannot do 10 hours warm up and basic techniques every class, so in this workshop when we were done with 1/3 of that, the morning session was over.
I taught Naifanchi katafs techniques and theory, Pinyan kata and bunkai (application), Kumite (sparring) techniques, and Bo (staff) Kata and Kumi-Bo (Bo kata application) in this workshop. It was too many things to teach, but I had no choice.
After the warm up we divided the class into small groups and each group had the task of those different kata techniques. Every black belt helped teach the workshop very well.
I was very busy looking over the whole workshop and teaching the advanced students. It was physically tiring and mentally demanding.
With every ones hard work and the black belt studentfs help, the workshop was a great success and we had a good time at the dinner party.
Now we must prepare for the December promotion test.
I must refresh my self and work harder.
November 10 2010
Let me brag about my student a little bit.
I have had many great students in my thirty years of teaching.
They are great in not only Karate, but also in school and society. Most of my Junior and Kidfs class students are straight A students.
This being said, they are not goody goody students; they are sometimes wild and fun loving kids.
I teach students aged 6 to adulthood and sometimes kids I taught grow up and bring their kids to my classes.
Sometimes I know the person from 6 years old to 30 years old and I am very much involved in their lives.
I like to think I understand human beings very well (well at least that what I think, Ha!)
So, according to his/her personality, talent, attitude, family background, and some fate (or luck), most of the time I can forecast how much this young child will be able to achieve in society and what kind of person he/she will be as a human being.
However, some times I am surprised by students who glow way bigger and brighter than I forecasted.
Those are the times I say to myself gLook! You made another great, wrong forecasth with a smile on my face.
Unfortunately, sometimes my forecasting is wrong in other ways. There have been some students who did not achieve what I knew they could.
I feel great pain when I think of those students, not because he/she was lazy or did not have enough talent, most of the time it is the inevitability of human fate.
That is why I am never disappointed or lose trust in him/her.
It is the feeling of sorrow of life itself.
Through more than a thousand students I have taught, I have three students who I always remember with that sorrow of life.
However, life goes on.
They are doing their best to make their life better for themselves and their loved ones which makes me very proud and happy.
I am dealing with one of them now though.
I will not write any details of my old student.
It is hard to face his life and honestly speaking, it's making me tired mentally, physically, and especially, spiritually.
Still, I am committed to be with him until he accomplishes his journey and is on his way.
May God bless him and his family.
November 21, 2010
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, I know I did!
We closed the dojo on Thursday and Friday and over the weekend too.
I had a four day break which I loved and definitely needed.
During those four days, I ate and ate and drink and drink.
I really had a great time and hope everyone did too.
Well, believe it or not, I also worked out 4-6hours a day.
The amount I ate and drank meant I needed to work out so hard, otherwise I'd look like a Sumo wrestler, which does not look good for a Karate instructor.
Also we will have two promotion tests on Dec.2nd and 4th so I need to be in decent shape, right?
We are planning to have a seminar and workshop in Utah, California, Canada, and Japan in the year 2011. I also must finish my "The secrets of Okinawan Karate Part 5" in Japanese and must create a DVD in the near future.
As you can see, our Workshop article is in Japanese magazine AGAIN as a full color page special.
We are grateful for our luck but we must keep pushing ourselves more and more.
This is why I ate and drank but worked out as hard as possible. It is not the wisest way to be in great shape, but here I am and this is what I am.
Let's work hard and enjoy life!
November 27, 2010
Trip to Japan
I just came back from Japan.
This time I went to Nagasaki, Okinawa, and Tokyo. I'm a little bit tired however I would like to tell about the trip while the memory is still fresh.
It was my nephew's wedding in Nagasaki, my brothers business' new building, a family gathering, and visiting my mother. Also, I gave my final draft of "The secrets of Okinawan Karate Part 4", pictures included, to Fukusho-Do Co. which is the publisher of "Gettukan Karate-Do (Monthly Karate Magazine)". I also had a photo session with them for a special issue of the magazine. I believe that my article will be published in the magazine on May 27th.
The photo session was very hard. I know the editor of the chief very well; he is a very kind and gentle man however when he is making the magazine some people call him a devil "It reminds me of the movie eThe Devil Wears Pradaf, ha!" So I must show the techniques again and again and again until he said OK!
It is much easier to have each picture taken in a dead-locked pose however I had to perform every technique at top speed each time. Some times the techniques were good but my face was tilted or my eyes were close. Other times my face looked OK but my techniques did not look perfect, etc.
After the photo session the editor in chief and president of the company took me for drinks and I had some good wine with them.
The final draft of part 4 was finished four years ago but my pictures were not done so I felt bad for making them wait such a long time. It makes me happy to say that I kept my word this time.
I'm planning to publish the last book of "The secrets of Okinawan Karate" pentalogy and would like to complete the last one at the end of this year. I must also make DVDfs and open a seminar in Japan next spring. There are so many things I must do but I am determined to go as hard as I can in next 2 years. I will also try to finish the book "The history of Karate" in near future.
For operation plans, we are planning to open a club and branch dojo in Japan and all over the world.
I ask for everybody's help and contribution to our dream.
Also, I met lots of friends and students of mine in Tokyo. I will have an update with pictures later in the week.
April 5, 2010
Trip to Japan Part 2
I went to Nagasaki for my nephews wedding, then to Okinawa for my brother and his wife's celebration for the new building for their own pre-school. Also, their son's passing of the high school exam to enter Naha-High School (where his father, Aunt, and I all graduated from). The entire family came for that and to see me for my visits. Even though it was a Monday evening, we all got together to have a special time; thank you for all.
The next day, Mr. Hideki Uechi came over from Motobu to Naha City with his eldest son. He took the day off just to see me; thank you to him. He trained in Okinawan Kempo since a very young age and when he came to the states to study at college, he entered and won Muso-Kai Karate's U.S. Open two consecutive years. He told me that when he won our tournament he spent the prize money to buy a wedding ring for his fianc?e (now his wife).
He brought the documents of his Okinawan Kempo for my drafts of "History of Karate". Still now, he is practicing and teaching Karate to his own students so we had a great time talking about Karate. Because the food was good and the talk was fun, time flew and I forgot to take pictures of us (sorry!).
The day after, I was in Tokyo and thought I would be staying at some hotel, however, I stayed at Mr. Akihiko Koyanagi's home. Thanks to him for his kindness! Mr. Koyanagi received his first degree black belt in Muso-Kai Karate more than twenty years ago. He was a young man and attending high school in Salt Lake City and practiced with us.
He is now a father of two children (time goes so fast, ha!) and great husband of Emi-san. When I talk to his son Shun-kun
I felt that I got older (of course!). However,
he still practices and enters the Karate tourna-
In fact, he won the Championship of 20th
East Tokyo full contact Karate for light weight
division in 2009! He is planning to compete in
two weeks again and still sometimes trains five
hours a day!
The time he trained with us, we had a lot of fighters who wished to compete and won the national and international full-contact and koshiki tournaments. I believe that he learned the ethics and hard work from those fighters when he attended Muso-Kai Dojo at that time.
His wife Emi-san is very supportive. When Mr. Koyanagi competes, she brings the video camera and records the whole tournament. I believe that he will continue to be a great farther, husband, and Karate-Ka.
I wish him all the luck in the upcoming tournament.
After the day of the photo session in Fukuso-Do, I met Mr. Tsubasa Okamura and Mr.Yusuke Kohira. Mr. Kohira came over
from Hokkaido by airplane just to meet me
in Tokyo. His plane was delayed by the
weather so Mr. Kohira came from Haneda
airport to a hotel in Ikebukuro to meet us.
I was moved by his efforts.
He just said that it was easier than going
all the way to the U.S.
Well, he is right but I still believe that not
many people would go through the effort!
He is the person who goes to China, Korea, and the States by himself without any hesitation. He is able to set high goals and achieves them. His friend and vice-president of Sapporo Muso-Kai Karate Club, Mr. Oyama, could not attend the meeting however he is planning to attend my seminar in Canada this July. I appreciate both of their efforts but would like to tell them to not push themselves so hard.
Mr. Okamura had attended and graduated the University of Utah received a brown belt from Muso-Kai Karate. He is the one who became the photo model for my "The Secrets of Okinawan Karate Part 2" book.
When he took the brown belt test, it was one of the hardest tests in our dojo. The person who took the second degree black belt test was the one who won the heavy weight division of our tournament a few months before. He was big, tall, fast and strong. He was desperate to finish the test and be able to beat anyone in his 20 full-contact sparring for his second degree black belt. Everyone was afraid of him and got hurt by him, however, Mr. Okamura stood up against him and fought well. I still remember his determined face in that time.
He has had a difficult time with his job right now, however by the time he settles down, I hope he will operate the Muso-Kai Karate Club near the Tokyo area.
Also, he holds a second degree black belt in Kendo (Japanese Swordsmanship), so his opinions on the differences and similarities between Kendo and Karate are very interesting.
After a great lunch we went to a coffee shop to have a cup of coffee and cake. Frankly, I am tired of the sweetness of American cakes and missed Japanese cakes, so I ordered a strawberry short-cake. It tasted better than I expected. Well, I drank so much the night before and eating the sweet cake now, some people might think it strange. I had a diet to stick to but at the same time I thought "who cares? I must enjoy these moments!"
At five o'clock I said goodbye to them and went to the town of Kanda where an entire street is nothing but book stores. I'm not too familiar with metropolitan Tokyo so it took me a while to reach Kanda, but I got there before the stores closing time. I was able to buy two books of Emanuel Todd's which I wanted most. I bought a lot of books when I was in Nagasaki with my sister and these two books completed my list.
Unfortunately, I left my umbrella at the book store which Mrs. Koyanagi let me use. I guess I was little too relaxed since the photo session was over at Fukuso-Do (or simply I have a hang-over? Ha!)
The next day, I met Mr. Yoichiro Kawai, a famous international journalist, who took me to a crab restaurant which we visit each time I come back to Japan.
I have known Mr. Kawai for more than twenty years. He practiced Kyokushin Karate and opened a Karate club in his high school.
He taught Karate at the Boise State University too.
He has inspired me in not only Karate but also
my novels and politics. He is also giving me sugges-
tions for the operation of Muso-Kai Karate too.
Mr. Kawai graduated University in the states
and became a journalist of international politics,
military matters, and espionage. He used to go
to Washington D.C. once every other month and went to Iraqi several times during the war. It is always interesting hear his stories about his articles in magazines and even more interesting to hear their back stories. He cannot come to the states right now and so I miss the times we talked to each other until the middle of the night in my home and wish it will happen again.
After I said goodbye to Mr. Kawai at the west gate of Shinjuku station, I rode the limousine bus to the Hilton Hotel to Mr. Koyanagi's family. We had a great dinner there and I was impressed by the eating of watermelon by Mr. Koyanagi's son Shun-kun. When I was a little boy, I loved watermelon too, but some nights I ate too much and wet the bed.
Early the next morning, I took the Narita-Airport Express from Ikebukuro station. I had too many books to carry but did not have any choice so I took them all and safely returned to Salt Lake City.
This is the story of my trip to Japan. It sounds like I went to Japan and was just drinking and eating. Well, that may be so, however, I really had a very good time seeing old friends and my students.
I had a busy schedule and missed out on meeting Mr. Mori, an old friend, and Professor Martens, the father of one of my old students, Tobias-kun. I hope to see them next time.
We are planning to operate our Muso-Kai Karate in Japan i.e. publishing books, making DVD's, operating seminars, etc. I ask for your continued support and encouragement.