Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

September 18th, 2017

This weeks technique is submitted by Sempai Robert St. George, Sho-Dan
Northampton Ueshiro Pine Forest Karate

With Conviction

Onegai-shimasu, Hanshi, Kyoshi, Denshi, Shihan, Sensei and Deshi

In Shorin-Ryu karate we learn to always step first, move into our opponent and attack with full speed and power. That is a great concept in theory (moving into our opponent) and that would work fine in taking down our attacker. But, if you are like me, slight in stature 5’5” weighing 145 pounds, it may be ill advised to move into a much larger person. Having read about the various Shinden in our system and particularly Chotuku Kyan’s philosophy and karate style is a perfect example of letting the fight come to us.

Master Kyan was a slight if not powerful man. What he lacked in stature he made up in confidence and a strong personality. He was rather adept at evading and defeating his opponents. He would stand his ground while his attacker was coming at him and at the last possible moment he would take an evasive step and lash out with a devastating kick or blow toppling and crushing his adversary. He did not train to trade punches with his opponents, rather he mastered the art of stepping, evading and striking! I don’t know which would be harder for one to do in a situation where battle was imminent, stand one’s ground as Master Kyan did or attack head on into our aggressor. As with many things in life the right move will come to us (hopefully) when and if we ever need it.

In a perfect world, we would never need to use our karate and training to defend ourselves, but this isn’t a perfect world and so we train to be prepared for whatever comes at us in life, both on and off the deck. We must remember that “In a fight, there is no soft attack” (page 65, Karate of Okinawa, Building Warrior Spirit, with Gan-Soku-Tanden-Riki, Robert Scaglione and William Cummins). Whatever we choose at the moment of battle, be it step and evade or step in and attack we do it with full conviction.

Domo Arigato Gozaimasu
Robert St. George, Sho-Dan
Northampton Ueshiro Pine Forest Karate