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A Breakthrough in Posture

I have recently had a "breakthrough" in my Karate training.  It may seem like a small thing, but I have been training for some time, teach, and write at bit, so I thought that I would share it.

The proper poster for Shorin-Ryu is the posture of Goju-Ryu.

That is the short version of my "breakthrough" but says it in a nutshell.

I am a member of the Hawaii Karate Kenkyukai.  Before that, I was a member of the Hawaii Karate Kodanshakai.  During my years with these groups, I have had the pleasure of training with Sensei Alan Lee, the senior student of Sensei Tomu Arakawa.  Lee Sensei is an amazing Karate person, one of the very best I have ever had the opportunity to meet.

Well, over the years, as I have had the opportunity to watch his kata and basics, I have come to appreciate his posture.  And as I have had the opportunity to learn and teach the Kishaba Juku form of Shorin-Ryu, and hopefully improved over the years, I have realized that my posture is becoming more and more like Lee Sensei's.  And I do not believe that it is because I am copying him.  I am still trying hard to move like Sensei Katsuhiko Shinzato.  It just happens that as I copy Shinzato Sensei, I am developing a posture that is closer to Lee Sensei's.

How can that be? He is Goju-Ryu and I am Shorin-Ryu.

Another thing that I have learned from my contact with Lee Sensei is that Goju-Ryu places a greater emphasis on posture in kata such as Sanchin and Tensho than most Shorin-Ryu do with similar kata.  Posture is really important in Goju-Ryu.  It is not just a matter of leaning many techniques -- basically moving your hands and feet.  If the posture is wrong, nothing will work.  And if your posture is correct, everything will probably work.

I will write more about posture.  If you search this blog, you can see what I have already written on the subject.

But my breakthrough is a realization that my Shorin-Ryu posture is (or should be) the same as Lee Sensei's Goju-Ryu posture... which came from the Higa Seko line via Izumigawa Sensei.


Charles C. Goodin