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Guest Post: Stepping Back

This Guest Post is by my friend and senior, Sensei Pat Nakata. Nakata Sensei is the head of the Okinawa Shorin-Ryu Karate Association in Hawaii. He was a student of Chosin (Choshin) Chibana in Shorin-Ryu, and also studied Ryukyu Kobudo under Sensei Fumio Nagaishi. When he was a young man, he studied Wado-Ryu Karate under Sensei Walter Nishioka.

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Stepping Back

Otsuka Hironori Sensei, the founder of Wado-ryu Karate stated, "The natural instinct is to step or jump back when attacked. One of the primary purposes of training is to break that tendency." Mas Oyama Sensei, the founder of Kyokushin Karate, in his writings always urged one to keep moving forward in a fight. Chibana Chosin Sensei coached me to always press (osae) into the opponent and never reach in with your punch, strikes, or kicks.

It is like life. If we have definiteness of purpose we keep moving forward without stepping back. Never reach for anything beyond your grasp. Just keep moving forward until you reach your target.

This is the way of Karate, training. We keep moving forward with our training, many times taking small steps, but moving forward nonetheless. We may never reach the destination, but we would have traveled a great distance.

Pat Nakata