Karate

The October/November 2020 issue of Black Belt includes a feature titled "The Sai: A Classical Approach to Wielding a Classical Weapon." The author Chris Thomas graciously prepared this video to illustrate the points he makes in the article about this misunderstood kobudo weapon.

Sai jutsu: Classical Application for a Classical Weapon youtu.be

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Jim Harrison

The "Ronin" Followed the Martial Path and Left His Mark on Our World!

Any veteran of the martial arts will tell you that the 1960s were known as the "blood and guts" era of American karate. Chances are that person also will tell you that one of the pioneers of this period — not to mention, one of the toughest fighters ever — was Jim Harrison. Born on December 30, 1936, the man they called "Ronin" built an impeccable reputation in the combat arts, one that persisted until he passed away on February 23, 2020.

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"Yoshiharu Osaka sensei was always the textbook of shotokan," one experienced karateka said."True," his colleague replied. "But Kanazawa sensei was always the book of its poetry."

Stories of Hirokazu Kanazawa are a soundtrack of post-training bull sessions. Kanazawa, who won the first All Japan Karate Championship in 1957 — with a broken wrist. (When his mother heard he was dropping out of the competition because of the injury, incurred only days before the event, she asked him why he couldn't win with the other hand and with his kicks, compelling him to stay in. Moms then, and Japanese moms in particular, were a little different.)

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In 1984, one of the most acclaimed martial arts movies, The Karate Kid, introduced the world to an equally iconic character.

Mr. Miyagi, played by Pat Morita, epitomizes the standard of wisdom, patience, and pure skill anyone should be so lucky to find in a teacher.

The performance netted Morita an Academy Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actor. There is no doubt that he was a great actor, but, ironically, the man who would play a karate master had no martial arts training prior to taking his famous role.

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To Master the Supreme Philosophy of Enshin Karate, Look to Musashi's Book of Five Rings for Guidance!

In the martial arts, we voluntarily subject ourselves to conflict in a training environment so we can transcend conflict in the real world. After all, we wouldn't knowingly train in a style that makes us weaker or worsens our position. The irony of all this is that we don't want to fight our opponent. We prefer to work with what an opponent gives us to turn the tide in our favor, to resolve the situation effectively and efficiently.The Japanese have a word for this: sabaki. It means to work with energy efficiently. When we train with the sabaki mindset, we receive our opponent's attack, almost as a gift. Doing so requires less physical effort and frees up our mental operating system so it can determine the most efficient solution to the conflict.In this essay, I will present a brief history of sabaki, as well as break down the sabaki method using Miyamoto Musashi's five elements

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