weeks technique is submitted by Sensei Dale Adamson, San-Dan
Ueshiro Viera Dojo Viera, FL
ni sente nashi
Hanshi, Kyoshi, and Deshi:
In August, we had a very inspiring and educational belt
testing at the Florida dojos. I was honored to be
one of the judges.
I want to start my observations with a simple explanation.
Many professions have precepts or axioms that lay
their foundation. In one of the branches of the armed
forces, from day one, recruits are taught "Leave
no man behind."
In healthcare, on the first day of medical school, the student
is told by his or her dean or professor Primum, no
nocere, which in Latin means First, do no harm.
The recruits and students are not told these maxims every
day, but they are shown this in the training and education.
So, by the end of their journey, this philosophy is
second nature to them.
In karate, the Shinden, have left us with the following
thought: Karate ni sente nashi or There
is no first attack in karate. Again, we are
not reminded of this during every class, but in the way
we are instructed. Master Nagamine discusses this
in his book, The Essence of Okinawan Karate-Do, and there
is a reference to this in Hanshis red book, Shorin-Ryu
Okinawan Karate Question and Answer Book. Even Gichin
Funokoshi referenced this in the karate creed:
I be forced to defend myself, my honor or principles
So, at the most recent testing, I asked the students the
following: In your opinion, is the first move of every
kata an offensive or a defensive move? Most
of the students answered, It is an offensive move.
Here is my observation after more than 25 years of study,
of the 19 Kata in the Shorin-Ryu system. I know only
16, but each begins with a defensive move. For example,
Fukyugata-ichi (F1) - Zenkutsu-dachi, Gedan-uke - forward
leaning, low stance and down block; F2 Shizentai-dachi,
Jodan-uke - natural walking stance, head block; F3 Zenkutsu-dachi,
Gedan-uke, followed by Chudan-zuki - down block, then punch.
Our Shinden were very thoughtful in how they taught karate
with this intention - There is no first attack in
karate by composing the first move of every
Kata as a defensive move.
Dale Adamson, San-Dan
Ueshiro Viera Dojo