Karate Thoughts Blog


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1650+ Posts... and Counting

Training Since I Was Born

I have stated this before, but it deserves repeating.

I am 50. My friend and senior, Sensei Pat Nakata, has practiced Karate since I was born. Our friend and senior, Sensei Bobby Lowe, has practiced Karate since Nakata Sensei was born.

When we get together to practice or for lunch, I am always overwhelmed by this generational reality. When I was born, Nakata Sensei started learning Karate. When Nakata Sensei was born, Lowe Sensei started learning Karate.

How can I consider myself in the same breath as such seniors? Of course, I cannot! I am just happy and honored to be in the same room and restaurant! I am honored to be able to pour their tea.

Don't get me wrong. I do not worship my seniors. I respect them.

Nakata Sensei learned from Sensei Chosin Chibana. Lowe Sensei learned from Sensei Masutatsu Oyama. They have the greatest respect for their Sensei.

Through our exposure to our seniors, we learn how to be good Karate students and better people. They do not only teach us techniques and applications, they teach us how to be.

I am sure that you have your own seniors who have inspired and guided your Karate training. One day you will become the senior -- perhaps you already are.

Sometimes we are too focused on success. How is success in Karate measured? By rank, titles, awards, tournament victories, the number of students an instructor has?

As for me, I look to the maturity and wisdom of a Karate senior, to his contributions to the art, to the students he has raised and inspired, to the strength of his character, and to his ability.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

Things Not to Say

If an older Karate instructor (you can use your own value as to what is older) asks you to guess what rank he is, you should not say...

  • Green belt
  • Shodan-ho
  • Too high
  • Oh, do you practice Karate?
  • Oh, were you promoted again?
  • Can you be higher than 10th dan?
Of course, a senior instructor would never bring up the issue of his own rank, and would concentrate instead on the development of his students and his own training.

Karate is training, in the dojo and in daily life.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

An Inspiration (Overcoming Cancer)

Yesterday (Thursday), I had the pleasure of meeting a woman who had come to Hawaii for surgery to remove breast cancer. Having read my posts about my wife's experiences with breast cancer and treatment, she had contacted me, and I invited her to meet my wife and me.

This woman has already undergone surgery and faces chemotherapy, radiation, additional surgery, and other treatments, very much like my wife has done. She is also a very active Karate student (I use that term generally to include students and instructors) and really wants to resume training as soon as possible. I could tell that she missed her dojo very much, even as she is still healing from surgery.

Think about it. Some of us complain about little aches and pains. There are always many reasons why we might miss class. We are so busy. There are so many family matters. We have work to do. We need to study for tests. Our knees and backs are sore. We are just tired. The weather is bad.

This woman is still healing from surgery and faces treatment that will be extremely challenging to put it very mildly. And she wants to practice Karate.

I am rarely impressed by people in Karate, and even more rarely impressed on a deep level. But yesterday I was. I still am.

To see a person who loves Karate so much is truly humbling. The students and instructors in her dojo are truly fortunate. I am sure that she would say that they have inspired her.

I, for one, am inspired by her.

Exactly when a person undergoing medical treatment should resume Karate training is up to her physician and her. I cannot say, although I would encourage people to give themselves time to heal fully. In my wife's case, I do not want her to resume Karate training until her mediport is removed. That is a device put under the skin below the collarbone area, which allows easier access for intravenous drugs, such as chemotherapy and Herceptin. I do not want my wife to practice Karate while she has the mediport (because it might be hit or twisted), but that is just our own decision.

Now I have met two Karate women who have been faced with breast cancer. I know that there are so many more in the United States and around the world. I believe that the discipline and conditioning of Karate training makes it easier for women to face the challenges of breast cancer surgery and treatment. These two woman, my wife and our visitor, are certainly much stronger than me.

The next time you feel too tired or busy to train, or your students complain about little things, please think about the people who overcome great challenges, and among all the great concerns in their life such as their own health, family, and work, still have a burning desire to practice Karate. That is a real student and an inspiration!

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

Non-Violent Attitude

We often say that Karate should be used as a "last resort." This means that if there is a way to avoid a fight, we should do so. Only when it is necessary to protect ourselves or others should we use the techniques of Karate.

Some people might think that this is overly restrictive. What if someone is trying to steal your car? What if someone is calling you names? There are many instances when a person might want to fight or fight back.

But senior Karate instructors realize that the use of Karate could easily result in serious injury or death. Would you want to cripple or kill someone over your car or being called names? Certainly not! Only when your life, or the lives of others are at stake, should Karate be used. And there is always a chance that you yourself could be seriously injured or killed. This is why Karate is thought of as a last resort.

Sometime you might find a student who will say this outwardly but is almost looking for a fight. He will not start the fight, but is more than ready for it. "If that guy touches me I am going to beat his... butt!" Such a student is a fight waiting to happen.

Students should have a non-violent attitude. They should not be looking for a fight, or for an excuse to have a fight. They should not be waiting for someone else to "start it" so that they will be entitled to use Karate.

The attitude of a Karate student should always be negative -- "don't fight, don't fight, don't fight." With such an attitude, the student will look for excuses not to fight. Only when there are no other options with the student use the techniques of Karate, and then only to the extent necessary.

With a violent student, once the lid is removed from the jar it is difficult to put it back. One punch might have worked but a dozen just "happened?"

A non-violent student will be looking for opportunities to escape, to disengage from the violent situation. He will be looking for ways to get his loved ones to safety, not to teach the attacker a lesson.

This may sound very passive and weak. Please don't get me wrong. I believe that there are times to "unleash the beast." When it really is the last resort, a person must do whatever is necessary to protect his life and the lives of others. Until that point is reached however, a person should do whatever possible to avoid the use of Karate techniques.

Actually, avoidance and escape are Karate techniques. In that regard, Karate is used all the time. However, when it comes to the destructive aspects of Karate, they should only be used as a last resort.

Students should be taught to look for ways to avoid fights, not for excuses to engage in them and claim that they only reacted when provoked. Students should be taught to have a non-violent attitude.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

How Much For Shodan?

Shodan is a right of passage in many Karate dojo. Along with the belt and certificate (and recognition), there might also come a bill. How much should a Shodan cost?

My answer might surprise you. A Shodan should cost whatever the Sensei and student agree. As long as they agree, any price is OK. Some Sensei might charge several hundred dollars (or more) and others might charge nothing at all. The value of the Shodan is not based on its cost in dollars.

Can you imagine a student who says that he really wants to learn Karate. So the instructor says, "In that case, your Shodan will cost more!"

The value of the Shodan (belt) is not based on its cost in dollars -- it is based on the sweat and hard work that the student puts in to earn that rank! In fact, the cost in terms of effort is always much greater than the cost in terms of dollars.

But I want to repeat, as long as the Sensei and student agree on a price, it is OK. Problems result when expectations are not clear and fairly applied.

If a student complains to me about how much a belt costs, I would say, "Then why did you pay it?" The student was not forced. I assume that he knew about the cost when he was training. If the student agrees, fine. If not, then perhaps he should train somewhere else.

For me, costs are a necessary evil in Karate. Sensei have to pay expenses. Many fine Sensei I know make no money at all teaching Karate. In fact, many spend their own money to pay for the dojo expenses.

Charging for rank is common and I have no problem with it. In my own dojo, I do not do so, but we are strictly non-profit and I do not teach for a living. I make a living as an attorney and teach and practice Karate for enjoyment. So I don't need to charge for promotions in order to defray dojo expenses. I am very fortunate in this regard.

But if I did have to charge, I would make a schedule and distribute it to the students. That way they would know and there would be no surprises.

Some people think that I am very traditional because I do not charge for any ranks. But then my good friend does not give any ranks at all. I am so modern compared to him!

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

One Kata

When I work with an advanced student, I will typically concentrate on one kata, sometimes for several weeks. Knowing many kata has very little value in our dojo. It is nice to know "all" the kata, but we do not participate in tournaments and are not tested by strangers or visitors. We learn and practice kata for the information contained in the kata and the opportunities they present.

Kata, to us, are useful things. If they do not have a use, there is no need to learn or practice them.

Of course, in the beginning it is very difficult to understand what a kata means, what opportunities are presented, and the value of the kata. At first, the kata must be learned step by step.

In the beginning, the kata is like a model of something. It is like a sculpture or a wireframe. It is just a copy of a living thing. The pieces are there and they fit together in some order, but it is just an imitation.

I work with an advanced student on a certain kata because I am trying to help him to turn it on, to activate the kata. Then the kata will be a living thing for the student, and will start to show things to the student on its own. The kata will not be just a copy -- it will be the real thing.

This may sound a little crazy. For most people, a kata is just a kata. That is fine if that is what the student wants. Some students are content to just collect kata -- as soon as one is learned it is time to learn another.

But it is extremely hard to use such a shallow kata. If someone attacks you, kata will be kata the farthest thing from your mind. There will be no time for kata.

But if your kata has come alive, you body will just react, the movements will be natural and a matter of reflex.

I really enjoy the Passai kata (a Tomari version). When I practice Passai, I think, "Who could have developed such a beautiful kata?"

When I practice Passai, I begin to understand the movements of other kata. Passai infects my understanding and performance of other kata. Naihanchi does the same. Each kata influences the other.

Kata are such fine Sensei. You do not need too many!

Learn one kata well. Practice it until it becomes a real, living thing (to you).

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

Being Contacted & Titles

Sometimes I am contacted by the student of a senior instructor who is making an inquiry on his instructor's behalf. Generally, I do not like to deal with students because I feel that an instructor can contact me directly. Of course, if there is a language issue I would understand.

But what gets me is that sometimes the student is so full of titles when referring to his instructor. It is almost like the instructor has taken on superhuman status. The student might refer to his "grandmaster," or "hanshi," or "soke," or "supreme grandmaster, soke, hanshi, 10th dan, great light unto the world."

It really gets me.

When I hear about Anko Itosu, I always hear him referred to as "Itosu Sensei." I have even heard of Chojun Miyagi, the founder of Goju-Ryu, referred to as "Chojun Sensei." Have you ever heard of Sokon Matsumura referred to as "Grandmaster"?

Why is it that living people covet such titles, and why is that students take such titles so seriously? Perhaps the instructor forces to the students to use the titles, or else!

We all live, get old, get sick, have jobs, have parents, have children, etc. We are all people. Karate training should help up to become our best. Titles are unnecessary for a real instructor and not helpful for a poor or fake one.

I feel that we should not show more respect to our instructors than we show to our own parents. This does not mean that we should not show respect to our instructors, not at all. It just means that we should keep it real.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

Proper Diet

I was speaking to my friend and senior Sensei Pat Nakata yesterday and he mentioned that a person cannot talk about getting in shape by exercise unless he or she also considers diet. Exercise is just one component of getting in shape.

For example, a person could practice Karate very hard and exercise regularly, but eat unhealthy food that could make him or her gain weight, have clogged arteries, have high blood pressure, have high cholesterol, etc. Exercise is good, but an unhealthy diet could negate much or even all the benefits of exercise.

Thus, if we are serious about Karate training, and want to get into the best shape possible, we also have to consider our diet.

My other friend, who is a chiropractor and former Aikido student under Yamamoto Sensei here in Hawaii, always says that people need to stand up straight, get plenty of rest, and drink lots of water. I agree! There is more to it than that, but that is a good start.

Train hard and watch what you eat. Your food is the fuel for your body!

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

Funakoshi's Karate-Do Kyohan

The Hawaii Karate Museum was very fortunate to recently acquire an historic first edition, in excellent condition, of Karate-Do Kyohan (Karate-Do Master Text), by Gichin Funakoshi. Published 1935 (Showa 10). 302 pages. Japanese language. We understand this to be a first printing of the book!

Karate-Do Kyohan was on our Top 5 list of historic Karate books being sought. Now if we can only acquire Motobu Sensei's two books, and Karate-Do Gaisetsu!Do you have historic Karate books that you would like to donate to the Hawaii Karate Museum? We always list donors with the books (see our Rare Karate Book Collection), and your donation would help to preserve the history and traditions of the art!

It is only May, and we have already acquired a great book (in addition to all the other donations and acquisitions this year)!

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

Do You Think You Could Beat Me?

I asked a student, "do you think you could beat me in a fight?"

This student is much taller, faster and stronger than me. The only advantage I have is that I have much more experience in Karate.

The student did not want to answer, but I pressed him until he sort of conceded that he did think that he had a good chance. I have to agree that this student is pretty tough.

But that was not my point.

I then asked the student, "how do you think you would do if I had a razor blade?"

That really changed things! He realized that even if he hit me, he would certainly get cut, probably very badly. A little razor blade made a big difference.

"So you see," I explained, "you can never tell when an attacker might have a razor blade or other concealed weapon." "Even if you feel confident that you are stronger, faster, and a better fighter, you can never know."

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

Picking a Fight

A friend of mine visited me today and related a recent incident in which a guy tried to pick a fight with him at the airport. Fortunately, my friend was able to avoid the fight.

But I could not help but think how terrible it would have been for that guy to have picked a fight with my friend. He really is the wrong person to fight with! He has studied martial arts for well over 40 years and, in my estimation, is a really tough (and potentially dirty*) fighter. I suspect that the guy would not have had a chance!

* By "dirty", I mean brutally effective.

Here is the point. My friend does not particularly look like a martial artist. At the airport, he probably just looked like another frazzled and weary traveler. But he is a martial artist. If that guy had known about my friend's background and ability, he might have thought twice.

On the street (or wherever) we do not have the luxury of knowing who will attack us and their fighting skills. The attacker could be a weak fighter, a great fighter, a drugged up crazy person... who knows?

I mentioned in a post quite a while ago that I once escorted Sensei Morio Higaonna to his hotel during a visit to Hawaii. When we got to the front of the hotel, a man came up and looked like he might mean trouble. I stepped in front of Higaonna Sensei to speak to the man and fortunately he went on his way. But I could not help but think that he would have been absolutely crazy to attack Higaonna Sensei! I probably should have stepped aside and watched, but I had a responsibility as a host.

As martial artists, we probably think that most people would be crazy to pick a fight with us -- and that is usually right. But we should not underestimate other people. Sensei Pat Nakata once told me that one of the toughtest fighters he ever saw was a street fighter here in Honolulu -- a street fighter, not a martial artist.

We should not underestimate other people. Who knows? The attacker might be a serious martial artist or a great street fighter. Or he might be armed or have friends lurking out of sight. We should not be like that guy at the airport.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

Karate and Longevity

There is a saying that Shorin-Ryu instructors live at least to the age of 85. Of course, this is not always true, but there is a certain element of longevity assumed in Karate training. Is it true that Karate instructors live longer than the average person?

With respect to the Shorin-Ryu saying, you have to keep in mind that this is an old saying. Today, people live much longer than they did in the past. In Okinawa before World War II, a person living to the age of 85 might have been special. Today, I would think that many people surpass that age. In fact, many people live past the age of 100 in Okinawa.

In a recent Barbara Walter's special about longevity, it was mentioned that about 84,000 people in the United States are over the age of 100!

So living to 85 is not that extraordinary of an accomplishment today (it is a good thing, just not that unusual).

I can think of three reasons why Karate training might enhance longevity. The first has to do with self-defense. If a person uses Karate to save his life, his life will obviously be longer. If he did not know Karate, he might have died and had a shorter life.

I do not know of many Karate instructors who claim that Karate saved their lives in this manner. In fact, two instructors I asked about this, said that their lives were saved (or they avoided bad injuries) because of Judo. Both had fallen off ladders at work, and landed flat on their backs on hard floors. But their Judo training helped them to take a safe fall and only suffered bruises rather than broken bones.

The second reason Karate might enhance longevity is because it is a regular form of exercise. Tai Chi people often emphasize this aspect of their training. But is Karate exercise really better than other forms of exercise? If a non-Karate person were to spend as much time exercising as a Karate student, would the results be the same, worse, or better? I guess that it all depends.

I know some Karate instructors who are in excellent shape. I also know others who are in poor shape. Some of the later have suffered injuries during their Karate careers and now have weak or injured knees, backs, necks, etc. To the extent that Karate training results in long term injuries, it takes away from a good quality of life. That is why it is so important to emphasize safety in Karate training.

Lastly, Karate training keeps a person mentally active. This is especially true when a person teaches. It is intellectually stimulating, to learn, practice and teach Karate. I think that this helps to keep people mentally young and active. This has a positive effect on the person's health -- an active person is generally a healthy person.

But there are also negative mental aspects of Karate -- politics, ego, rank, titles, awards, etc. If Karate becomes negative, it can also have a negative effect on one's health.

I do not know whether Karate is the best exercise in the world. I would think that scientists could come up with some regimen that enhances longevity. But I think that Karate training is, or can be, an excellent form of exercise -- as long as it is not too severe. Some Karate instructors literally beat themselves to death by severe training. For what? If the objective is a long life and a good quality of life, these objectives must be factored into training.

I would like to suggest a new saying -- Shorin-Ryu instructors live to 110!

As a note, there is also a saying that Goju-Ryu instructors do not live long. I am not qualified to comment on this. Kanryo Higashionna lived to be quite old, while Chojun Miyagi did not. Who can say why? But if I were a Goju-Ryu student, I would want to consider how my training might increase or decease my longevity.

I do think that one key, of any form of Karate, is to learn to remain as relaxed as possible until the moment of impact (kime, kikomi, etc.). Karate students should be cool, calm and collected.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

About Technique

When I give lectures to other dojo or classes, I often point to the smallest woman in the group and say, "if she could not use a certain technique effectively then there is something wrong with the technique."

Karate techniques should not be size and strength dependent. If only big, strong men can use the technique, then it is not really Karate.

I always add that I realize that there are many women who are taller, heavier and stronger than me. As a relatively short person (5 feet, 8 inches), I am keenly aware than many attackers will be taller, heavier and stronger than me.

For a small woman, this would be even more true.

So what is the answer? Karate techniques should be practiced for maximum effectiveness, not only for scoring points. Students need to learn where to strike and how to strike in a way that negates the attacker's size advantage. A Karate student should be like a surgeon in terms of the precision with which he or she strikes/attacks the attacker's most vulnerable areas.

I am serious. If the smallest adult in your dojo cannot use a technique (despite diligent, longterm practice), then something is wrong. Some of the greatest Karate masters were barely 5 feet tall and only 120 pounds. They had something other than sheer strength. Their Karate was not size dependent.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

No Osae?

In the Guest Post by Sensei Pat Nakata entitled Transition, Nakata Sensei recounts a conversation I had with him and his student, Bob Inouye (Snaggy) at one of our favorite Chinese restaurants (that serves a great buffet). Knowing how important osae (press) is in their Chibana Shorin-Ryu system, I asked them how many Karateka they have observed performing osae.

As Nakata Sensei mentioned, they hardly see any osae. I think that Snaggy might have said, "None."

Quite honestly, I was surprised. I have been emphasizing osae in my dojo for a while now. It is very clear when a student does osae and even clearer when he does not! Without osae, the movement looks weak and empty.

Snaggy further explained that most people leave out osae because they are so focused on trying to execute the waza (technique) as quickly as possible. It is like they are racing! But he added, "Without osae you won't get to execute the technique."

Say you are going to execute two shuto uke (knife hand blocks), a right and then a left. After the first shuto, most students will rush to execute the second shuto. But what takes place between the two shuto is important -- perhaps more important than the next technique itself. If you are weak after the first shuto your opponent will be able to overwhelm you. He can break through your weak defense and crush you. You will not be able to deliver the second shuto!

So rushing from one technique to the other is bad Karate. Getting from point A to point B is not the point, or at least it is not the main point.

Why rush? I suppose it is because it looks good.

I will tell you something funny. My mother-in-law used to tell me that if you speak quickly people will think that you are smart. English was her second language and I was studying to be an attorney at the time. I believe that she was right -- at least some people will think that you are smart if you speak quickly.

I wonder if people think that you are good at Karate if you move quickly? I think so!

But just as a person could speak quickly but not know what he is talking about, a Karate student could move quickly but actually have poor technique. A skilled person could see this, but an untrained or lesser trained person might not.

Let us say that you have executed a chudan uke (middle block). After you block, you leave the block up for a moment and during this time, the attacker runs into it. If you have osae, you can knock him down or at least fend him off. If you have released your osae, he will be able to push your block aside.

Osae is also very important in Kendo. When the Kendo Sensei is facing you, his shinai (bamboo sword) is often aimed right at your throat. Although he appears to hold the shinai loosely, it is actually firm. He is pressing toward you.

I have experienced this firsthand when I charged in and was speared in the throat! It was like running into a brick wall (or a spear embedded in a brick wall). I almost killed myself!

But the shinai was firm because the Kendo Sensei was pressing (osae). Osae was part of his kamae (posture).

I know that I have oversimplified this, and I do not presume to know anything about Kendo (unlike my sons). But the point is that osae is emphasized in Kendo. You can see it and feel it when you run into a shinai.

Osae is also essential in Karate. Like Snaggy said, without it, you might not get to execute your next technique. This is especially true if your attacker is skilled and can read the weakness of your movement/posture.

It is amazing how much you can learn about Karate at lunch!

I want to also add that just about all of Nakata Sensei's students are senior to me in years of training and age. However, since I am their Sensei's friend, they are always very courteous to me. I never forget that they are my seniors, but recognize that they have been taught the traditional forms of courtesy. I learn a great deal about how I should be (as a student) by observing them, and try to pass this along to my own students.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

Guest Post: Transition

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.

- - - - - - - - - -

Transition

Goodin Sensei, Bob Inouye (Snaggy), and I were having lunch and the conversation turned to Kata and osae (press). Goodin Sensei asked Snaggy if he had ever seen any other Karateka do osae while performing their Kata . We agreed that we have never seen any Karateka or style (ryuha) do osae in their practice of Kata (some may have done it without realizing what they were doing). After thinking about it for a few days, I came to a realization that Goju-Ryu Kata are done with osae, but the problem is that most of the Goju-Ryu practitioners do not realize that osae is built into their Kata, especially in their Sanchin Kata.

In the Chibana Shorin-Ryu Karate Kata curriculum, osae is taught and stressed in the Kihon Kata and the Naihanchi Kata, after which, the whole concept of osae is forgotten for the other Kata. As in Goju-Ryu, most Karate Kata have osae, but most Karateka do not know the concept of osae. For example; if one was to block and kept that block without releasing (hazusu / hazusanai) that end position and did a kick holding that block position, that block was then an osae. That being said, many Karateka do osae when practicing "fighting" techniques. Most of these Karateka question the effectiveness of Kata for real combat. Well, how can a Kata be effective, when there is no osae? In other words, there is no practicality for true combat situations, such as closing or entering the opponent(s).

Most Kata performances I witness are when the Kata performer enters one pose after the other. There is no concentration on the transition (be it osae, clearing, etc.) from one technique to the next. As soon as one technique is completed, there is an immediate transition to entering the next technique. This transition covers the "space" between the techniques. The transition is the fighting application of the techniques. So, the effectiveness of the fighting technique (within the Kata) is dependent upon the execution of the transition, other than just the technique. For an example, one can have a strong punch with good body mechanics, but will not be able to apply it without entering the opponent (osae).

This entering or osae is the transition "technique" that makes a Kata an effective fighting practice. What good is there in having strong techniques when one does not know how to effectively enter the opponent? In the teachings of Chibana Chosin Sensei, "there is osae in every move of the Kata".

I was fortunate to have been able to listen to a discussion between Ueshiba Morihei Sensei (founder of Aikido) and Otsuka Hironori Shihan (founder of Wado-Ryu Karate) on "real" fighting application. Both masters agreed that in real Bujutsu (martial arts [techniques]), one does not wait for the attacker to enter, but rather one should enter the opponent's attack. This application of osae and is the highest level of Kata application.

How does one reach this stage? Through Kata. How does one experience it? Practice Kata.

Pat Nakata

Two Fine Sensei

Last night, Sensei Angel Lemus, who now resides in Hawaii, visited our dojo. See Zentokukai.com. We practiced Yamani-Ryu Bojutsu (Sakugawa Nu Kun and Shirataru Nu Kun). It was a real pleasure. He also began to teach three yudansha and myself his elbow technique drill. Wow! I really like elbow techniques. I think that the drill as 20+ movements. I can remember the first 3!

This morning, I visited the University of Hawaii Karate class of Sensei Sean Roberts. See Minakami Karate Dojo. I spoke about early Karate in Hawaii and "oldstyle" Karate. Again, it was such a pleasure.

Roberts Sensei is spreading the art of Karate at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. I am reminded of the way that Gichin Funakoshi spread the art of Karate in universities in Japan. It takes a great deal to teach in the university setting. The classes are large and I would imagine that most students would not be able to stay in the class for long (several years). I admire Roberts Sensei's dedication to the art by teaching at the university.

I am very fortunate to know many fine Sensei. Lemus Sensei and Roberts Sensei are both in their 40s (Lemus Sensei is closer to my age). Most of my Karate friends are considerably older than me. Of the younger Sensei here in Hawaii, I consider Lemus Sensei and Roberts Sensei to be among the finest. I respect their techniques and abilities very much.

To be able to meet with two fine (young) Sensei in just two days is a real treat! It makes me very happy to be a Karate student and instructor.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin