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Markham Meibukai – Research Document – December 5, 2002

This is a collaborative work authored by Sensei Ryusuke Juge and Sensei Sean Wong. The original Japanese documents that were used for this
translation were found in two publications authored by modern masters of Traditional Goju-Ryu Karate-do.
The Life and Drama of the Man, Meitoku by Yagi, Meitoku
and Seiden Okinawa Goju Ryu Karate-do Giho by Kai, Kuniyuki

What is Karate-do - by Miyagi Chojun,


Dai Nihon Butokukai Okinawaken Shibu Jogiin (All Japan Butokukai Okinawa Prefecture Branch Member)

These notes are a summary of the lecture given at SakaiSuji, Meiji Shoten Gym (4th floor), on January 28,
1936.

1/ Hajimeni (Introduction) Central Asia and spread to Indochina. There was


What is Karate - you ask me. On an ordinary day, another source that said otherwise. It suggests
you train your body and keep healthy, but carry that China Kenpo's appearance goes back some
no weapons. However, in case of an attack you 5000 years ago, in the Yellow River valley where
will want to protect your body. Namely, it is a a brilliant culture from the period of an Emperor
matter of principle to use one's body for a fight of the Hwang Ho had emerged. It is not hard to
and knock down the enemy. Depending on the imagine that its beginnings could have come
situation, there may be a possibility of using from ancient peoples of a combative nature as
some objects, as a weapon to protect oneself. well as a sense of rivalry. For example, China
There is a great many misleading notions of Kenpo in Koryu (an old style school) was in fact
Karate, such as breaking apart a thick board or based on 'Shoju no Soto' (fight between a bird
crashing a pile of roof tiles with bare fists, etc.; and an animal) which imitated the movements.
these are not the essence of Karate. The above And the Ryuhamei school from that period
are only a part of the methods for our training. proved its ancient origin by such names as:
The way of Karate had a common thread in a hiyopo (tiger), shishipo (lion), enpo (monkey),
general understanding with Budo, that is "Kyoge kenpo (dog) and tsupo (crane) etc., obviously
Betsuden Furyumonji" (teaching man to man, further supporting the origin.
verbally and without written instructions) in strict
secrecy in order to make one understand and In the following generations, China Kenpo was
initiate one into the mysteries of Karate-do. In the divided into North and South schools.
following, I shall describe an epitome of Karate Furthermore, the school was subdivided into
and a glimpse into the methodology of guidance. Inside Kenpo vs. Outside Kenpo, respectively.
Characteristic of inside is soft and awaits the
2/ Kenpo Toraini Tsuitei (Introduction of Kenpo to opponent’s attack. One representation of this is
Ryukyu) Buto Kenpo. The characteristic of outside is
The name Karate is distinctive to Ryukyu. We mainly hard and direct. Shorinji Kenpo is an
can trace back its origin as far as China when it example of Outside Kenpo. Subsequently, in the
was called 'Kenpo.' However, there is a limited periods of Tang1 and Sung2 a great number of
written reference to its origin and location. China Budoka was born and China Kenpo flourished
Kenpo mostly influenced Karate. The during these periods.
commencement of Karate is rather difficult to
predict; one source mentions it started at the 1 Tang-Chinese dynasty A.D. 618-906, a period during which China
dawn of civilization within an ancient culture in expanded and her art and science flourished.
2 Sung-A.D. 960~1127 active in literature, philosophy, and art.

Copyright: © 2002 Ryusuke Juge and Sean Wong.


This document used the translation of Shinegawa/Zeskoski as its template
with additional references from the translations of Sanzinsoo and Toshio Tamano
This document is published on www.markhammeibukai.com February 2003

Please Note:
This document has been published freely on the Internet for the benefit of the community within Goju-Ryu and Traditional Karate-do. Please feel free
to share it with your colleagues and/or students. The authors kindly request that the above copyright be indicated on all copies however, as it is
standard practice with the use of all intellectual property. Thank you for your co-operation.
Markham Meibukai – Research Document – December 5, 2002
This is a collaborative work authored by Sensei Ryusuke Juge and Sensei Sean Wong. The original Japanese documents that were used for this
translation were found in two publications authored by modern masters of Traditional Goju-Ryu Karate-do.
The Life and Drama of the Man, Meitoku by Yagi, Meitoku
and Seiden Okinawa Goju Ryu Karate-do Giho by Kai, Kuniyuki

So based on the above, an introduction of Kenpo importation of Karate combined with


into Ryukyu had no fixed historical facts Ryukyu’s indigenous “Te” progressed
concerning exactly when it reached our islands. remarkably to become an effective method.
There are, however, three important views!
Obviously, there were 2 to 3 more opinions about
i) An opinion of 36 sei Yunyu, ii) an opinion of these facts, however, none had been verified.
Ohshima Hitsuki, and iii) an opinion of Keicho go Notwithstanding, Karate by virtue of many
Yunyu. generations training in this discipline reached
today's status.
(i) A version of 36 sei (a surname) Yunyu
(imported), in 1392 by Binjin (an ancient China 3/ Kakoni okeru Karatekai (History of the Karate
native who lived in the southeastern region) into World)
the Ryukyu islands. The origin of the use of the Karate name in
Ryukyu, is also not known. However, it was clear
(ii) A version of Ohshima Hitsuki (handwriting); in that it came about quite recently. In older times,
1762 a cargo-vessel carrying a gift to Satsuma generally it was named "TE"(hand). At that time,
from Ryukyu, shipwrecked and drifted ashore in training in Karate, ie."TE" was done in great
Ohshima, Tosa. There was an able officer in secrecy. Above all, the various "Kata" (style) was
charge by the name of Mr. Shotaira Pehchin only taught to the student who demonstrated a
Morinari, an erudite who spoke smoothly. A superior talent in martial art. If there were no
record was kept by the local scholar Mr. Otobe of capable candidates, no Kata was passed on and
his writing and named "Ohshima Hitsuki." In his would end and disappear in one generation. As a
third volume, of their conversations "Kenpo Jozu" result of this many styles did not survive.
had been noted. "Koso kun from China brought
along a few of his pupils to the islands." At that By the time of the middle of the Meiji
time, they did not say 'Karate' it was referred to (1868~1912) in order to comply with the new
as "Ai Jutsu" (grappling); P.S. In a note, this was movement of younger generations, the method of
the most definite reference existing for Karate. training and guidance was changed. The old
policy of secrecy was discarded, and an open
(iii) Keicho import version; in 1585 (Keicho door policy was implemented to meet the needs
14nen) [There are 2 theories to this version.] of the new society. After the rapid progress in
cultural advancement, Karate had been
1) This version takes place after the occupation recognized for its value in physical training, as
of the Ryukyu Islands by Mr. Shimazu. well as educational value in the school
Because of the Satsuma’s ruthless, "no curriculum. Thus, for the first time ever in history,
arms" policy enforcement, some say that Karate (China Hand) achieved total social
naturally and almost spontaneously Karate- recognition.
Jutsu was created.
I would like to point out the following:
2) However it is safe to say that there is
stronger evidence to indicate that the

Copyright: © 2002 Ryusuke Juge and Sean Wong.


This document used the translation of Shinegawa/Zeskoski as its template
with additional references from the translations of Sanzinsoo and Toshio Tamano
This document is published on www.markhammeibukai.com February 2003

Please Note:
This document has been published freely on the Internet for the benefit of the community within Goju-Ryu and Traditional Karate-do. Please feel free
to share it with your colleagues and/or students. The authors kindly request that the above copyright be indicated on all copies however, as it is
standard practice with the use of all intellectual property. Thank you for your co-operation.
Markham Meibukai – Research Document – December 5, 2002
This is a collaborative work authored by Sensei Ryusuke Juge and Sensei Sean Wong. The original Japanese documents that were used for this
translation were found in two publications authored by modern masters of Traditional Goju-Ryu Karate-do.
The Life and Drama of the Man, Meitoku by Yagi, Meitoku
and Seiden Okinawa Goju Ryu Karate-do Giho by Kai, Kuniyuki

*Meiji 34. April, at Shuri Elementary School, Takushoku Daigaku Karatebu


partake Physical education in Karate subject. Shoin Jogatsuko
This was the beginning of teaching in groups. Nihon Daigaku Ika Karate Kenkyukai

*Meiji 38. April, Okinawa Kenritsu (Prefectural) In the Osaka area:


Daiichi Chugaku, Naha Shiritsu Shogyo Gatsuko Showa 5. 5. Kansei Daigaku, Karatebu were
and Okinawa Ken Shihan Gakko, all founded founded.
Karatebu. Also, Kenritsu Norin Gatsuko, Kenritsu 5.12. Kansei Daigaku Senmonbu,
Kogyo Gatsuko, and Kenritsu Suisan Gatsuko Karatebu also started.
followed the same. Osaka Koto Yakugaku Senmon Gatsuko and
Osaka Koto Igaku Senmon Gatsuko set up
*Taisho 11. Okinawa Prefectural Police Academy Karatebu.
commenced to teach Karate.
In the Kyoto area:
*Showa 8. (in 1933) April, Karate was added to a Showa 2. 12 KyotoTeikoku Daigaku Judobu,
regular curriculum as Judo and Kendo. invited a Karate instructor and a workshop was
conducted.
*Taisho 15. March, Okinawa Karate Club was
opened. Showa 10.12.21 Ritsumeikan Daigaku,
established a Karate Kenpobu.
*Showa 5. (in 1930) Nov. 21, Okinawa Kenritsu
Taiyuku Kyokai opened and merged with Taisho 10, 3.10, Emperor Siejo Hieka on the way
Okinawa Karate Club. to Europe went to Okinawa and watched a
demonstration of Karate at Kenritsi Shihan
*Meiji 35, May. Karate was recognized as Shibu Gakko.
by the Dai Nippon Butokukai Board.
Taisho 14, May, Chichinomya Denka on his way
*(Showa 8.12.26.) Okinawa was granted the to England also visited Okinawa to view a
Hombu for Karate in all Japan and at the same demonstration.
time was accepted by Butokukai Headquarter in
Japan as an official subject of Japan’s Budo 4/ Genzai no Karate Shido Jokyo (A Recent
curriculum. Karate Guidance)

Around Taisho 13 Outside of Okinawa you will An old Karate guidance indicated that "Karate ni
find these schools in the Tokyo area: Sente Nashi!"(No first move by Karate) as its
motto. Nowadays, we follow "Kenzen Itsuchi no
Keio Gijuku Taiikukai Karatebu Shinshu Taiju"(hand meditation in harmony to
Tokyo Teikoku Daigaku Karatebu follow with the spirit of the centre body) as the
Daiichi Koto Gatsuko Karatebu principle and struggle on the aims of Budo
Waseda Daigaku Gakuyukai Karatebu principles.
Nihon Daigaku Karate Kenkyukai

Copyright: © 2002 Ryusuke Juge and Sean Wong.


This document used the translation of Shinegawa/Zeskoski as its template
with additional references from the translations of Sanzinsoo and Toshio Tamano
This document is published on www.markhammeibukai.com February 2003

Please Note:
This document has been published freely on the Internet for the benefit of the community within Goju-Ryu and Traditional Karate-do. Please feel free
to share it with your colleagues and/or students. The authors kindly request that the above copyright be indicated on all copies however, as it is
standard practice with the use of all intellectual property. Thank you for your co-operation.
Markham Meibukai – Research Document – December 5, 2002
This is a collaborative work authored by Sensei Ryusuke Juge and Sensei Sean Wong. The original Japanese documents that were used for this
translation were found in two publications authored by modern masters of Traditional Goju-Ryu Karate-do.
The Life and Drama of the Man, Meitoku by Yagi, Meitoku
and Seiden Okinawa Goju Ryu Karate-do Giho by Kai, Kuniyuki

Instructors currently teaching Karate are: (1) There is no necessity for a large place for
training.
In Okinawa prefecture: (2) A single or group training can be conducted.
Kentsu Yabu, Chomo Hanashiro, Chotoku Kyan, (3) Training does not require a lot of time
Anbun Tokuda, Juhatsu Kyoda, Choshin (4) There is no need to separate man from
Chibana, Jinsei Kamiya, Shinpan Shiroma, Seiko woman, old from young pupil, in other words
Higa, Kamado Nakasone, Jinan Shinzato, because of their physical constitution, because a
Chojun Miyagi suitable 'kata' can be fashioned to suite either
strong or delicate person to meet their needs in
Outside Okinawa prefecture: training.
Gichin Funakoshi, Choki Motobu, Kenwa Mabuni, (5) There is no need for a great initial capital as
Masaru Sawayama, Sanyu Sakai, Moden only a simple tool can be utilized for Karate
Yabiku, Jizaburo Miki, Yasuhiro Konishi, Shinji training to be achieved.
Sato, Mizuine Mutsu, Kamesuke Higaonna, (6) Karate is an effective way to keep physically
Shinjun Otsuka, Shin Taira, Koki Shiroma, fit. A remarkable number of Karate Kenpo
Kanbun Uechi practitioners enjoy robust health in reaching an
advanced age is a proof of training success.
5/ Karate no Ryuha ni Tsuite (About Karate (7) Training one's body and mind will result in a
Schools) tireless spirit and the building up of one's
There were many stories about Karate schools in character.
Ryukyu, but none, in my opinion had particular
sources. However, in general, Shorinryu and 7/ Karate-do no Shorai (The Prospective of
Shoreiryu are fairly recognized. The former was Karate-do)
better suited for a strong physical constitution, (A period when the confidentiality or secrecy
corpulence, large bone structured person and the bestowed upon Karate-jutsu ceased to exist)
latter for a small bone structure, unimposing Now, we are facing a new age of practicing an art
looking man, a slender figure like a willow tree. of Karate-do and pledging to be open to the
After searching other related information and public. Taking this opportunity, we must emerge
examination affirm before the world that the from a small "hole" called 'Ryukyu' where we
above categorization was definitely false. One have been promoting our Karate as if it were a
thing is definite, in Bunsei 113 (1828), Goju Ryu secret. We must present Karate as a public
Karate Kenpo was formed and is the only commitment even though receiving all Budo
unfailing school descending from the China practitioners’ criticism, but also their research
Fukenha that has continued after years of hard and a long-awaiting search of fulfillment of 'Bogu'
study. This group is still in existence in Okinawa. must emerge. Consequently, we can pioneer the
way to contest with other Bujutsu in future
6/ Karate no Tokucho (Characteristics of Karate) tournaments. I firmly believe that this route is
The followings are noteworthy advantages of going to be the best way to meet with the spirit of
Karate: Nihon Budo in general.

3
(1818 – 1830) Qing or Ching dynasty in China

Copyright: © 2002 Ryusuke Juge and Sean Wong.


This document used the translation of Shinegawa/Zeskoski as its template
with additional references from the translations of Sanzinsoo and Toshio Tamano
This document is published on www.markhammeibukai.com February 2003

Please Note:
This document has been published freely on the Internet for the benefit of the community within Goju-Ryu and Traditional Karate-do. Please feel free
to share it with your colleagues and/or students. The authors kindly request that the above copyright be indicated on all copies however, as it is
standard practice with the use of all intellectual property. Thank you for your co-operation.
Markham Meibukai – Research Document – December 5, 2002
This is a collaborative work authored by Sensei Ryusuke Juge and Sensei Sean Wong. The original Japanese documents that were used for this
translation were found in two publications authored by modern masters of Traditional Goju-Ryu Karate-do.
The Life and Drama of the Man, Meitoku by Yagi, Meitoku
and Seiden Okinawa Goju Ryu Karate-do Giho by Kai, Kuniyuki

Currently, there is a keen interest existing in harmonizing with one's character to demonstrate
Karate-do all over Japan. In addition, there was a one's own spirit of Budo.
Tokyo ‘X’ college graduate who went abroad to
Europe where he taught and promoted Karate- (3) Hojo Undo
do. In May of 1934, I was invited to attend a This drill helps to teach Kaishu Kata movement.
workshop of Karate-do in Hawaii, USA. His Movement using all parts of the body
activities were sponsored by Japanese citizens (explanation omitted) enriches general
living in Hawaii and assisted by a Newspaper capabilities, as well as elemental capability in
publisher in the islands of Hawaii. Karate-do now utilizing apparatus of various kinds to improve
seems to be getting attention as well as kinetic locomotion.
acceptance worldwide.
(4) Kaishu Kata
8/ Karate Shidoho (Karate Guidance) This exercise has 20 ~ 30 different types and its
Every person depending upon their stage in life name differs by the originator (name omitted).
has different interests as well as tastes. Likewise Naturally, each Kata has various techniques of
their use of muscles differs and the development offence and defense combined, yet linking to
of muscles stays at different stages. draw an exercise line for physical movements.
Consequently, in Karate we start with a warm-up This technique of the movements meets the
exercise, in due time to influence the build up of purpose of 'Shinki to Tairyoku' (spirit, mind and
muscles as to be able to perform basic Kata, physical stamina) application and diversion. Its
support movement, Kaishu Kata, and Kumite focus is an acquirement of the principles of 'set
renshu, etc. The following is a summary with free and close' routine.
explanations:
(5) Kumite Renshu
(1) Yobi Undo (Introductory Exercises) All kata consists of various offense and defense
A warm-up exercise of movement of each body techniques that are to be analyzed and used for
part (explanation omitted) to soften muscle, and Kumite training. The main objective is to exercise
build up its toughness and stamina, as well as freely with vigor and full spirit.
self-rationalization of Karate, but not Kihon Kata
that was Sanchin and Tensho for Naifanshi. After In summary, by utilizing basic Kata for Sanchin
taking part in various Kata drills Sanchin and and Tensho, or Naifanshi one should initiate a
Tensho are resumed again, followed by "control unity between the action of the mind and body.
of muscles" which along with breathing exercises Furthermore the practice of Kaishu Kata and
is modified to culminate in a quiet rest up period. Kumite Renshu, applying the essence of offence
and defense, will lead to full reasoning and
(2) Kihon Kata establishing true Bushido Seishin (spirit).
Sanchin and Tensho or Naifanshi are basic kata.
Their purpose is to maintain a fixed body posture
while with one's breathing an attempt is made to
control the balance of one's power while

Copyright: © 2002 Ryusuke Juge and Sean Wong.


This document used the translation of Shinegawa/Zeskoski as its template
with additional references from the translations of Sanzinsoo and Toshio Tamano
This document is published on www.markhammeibukai.com February 2003

Please Note:
This document has been published freely on the Internet for the benefit of the community within Goju-Ryu and Traditional Karate-do. Please feel free
to share it with your colleagues and/or students. The authors kindly request that the above copyright be indicated on all copies however, as it is
standard practice with the use of all intellectual property. Thank you for your co-operation.