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Response to Beyond Style 5

In response to Beyond Style 5, my good friend Jim Alexander (of Belleville, Illinois) wrote:

Reminds me of a story about teacher who had a visiting Okinawan sensei to instruct his class. In private moment, seeking to get some additional tidbit of useful information, he asked his senior, "Sensei, where is the correct place to complete the turn of the wrist in chudan uke; before contact, on contact or after contact is made with the opponent's arm? What is the correct answer, Sensei?" The Sensei thought for a moment, made a few blocks in the air to analyze the mechanics of the move, seeming to make an effort to be as precise as possible, then said "If you block the punch...then it is right".

We forget that Karate is not an arcane subject to be analysed..but an art to be performed. It is action, not style, that is most important. In the end, style, fashion, position, rank...means nothing. It's what you can do. One should be reminded that Miyamoto Mushashi was in his time, lacked formalized training, was dirty, uncouth, sloppy, a social reject. He was not samurai, or a refined gentleman or member of a fashionable ryu as was his most famous opponent Sasaki Kojiro...whom it is said he defeated with a single strike at Ganryu Island.

Jim Alexander