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Goju-Ryu and Shorin-Ryu Connection: Part 8

As it turns out, the similarities I noticed between Goju-Ryu and Shorin-Ryu, were more a matter of my perception or characterization. I could have just as easily have said that there are similarities between Shorin-Ryu and Hsing-i.

Not long ago, I visited the dojo of my friend and senior, Sensei Joseph Bunch. As I watched his students train, I noticed that his son has an excellent koshi. Bunch Sensei teaches Ryukyu Kempo.

A couple of years ago, I watched Sensei Kenneth Funakoshi teach a Shotokan class at the Japanese Cultureal Center of Hawaii. Most of the students were very linear, but Funakoshi Sensei had a dynamic koshi.

I watched film of Choshin Chibana taken shortly before his death. There it was -- an elegant koshi.

Koshi -- whole body driven mechanics -- does not belong to any one style or to any one instructor. But when you practice it, you can easily see it in others, irrespective of style or art.

Koshi is a threshhold skill -- there is much more to learn in Karate. Koshi is not everything, but it is a critical thing. There may be an advanced level when koshi is no longer necessary or observable. If you think about it, koshi involves extra movement. It would be faster to move without it. Perhaps at an advanced level, the koshi movement is completely internal -- within the skin or inside the bones. Wouldn't that be something?


Charles C. Goodin