Kick into Richard Poage sensei’s GoFundMe

Richard Poage sensei, together with Noah Legel, is one of the creators of the waza Wednesday, an excellent weekly short video into one aspect of karate practice – bunkai, weapons, etc.

I’ve never met or trained with Richard, but enjoy his contribution to karate analysis. Recently Richard travelled to attend a seminar with Iain Abernethy sensei (interviewed back in Episode 9 of the the podcast). On the way home Richard had a seizure and was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Richard had emergency surgery and is slowly recovering.

Richard has a long road to recovery ahead of him, and Noah has setup a GoFundMe for Richard’s Brain Surgery.

Richard, his family and friends have a lot to deal with in the coming days, weeks and months, and any contribution would go long way to helping them all.

Richard and Noah make an important contribution to the karate community, and hopefully the karate community that benefits can make a contribution in return.

Fundraiser by Noah Legel: Richard Poage’s Brain Surgery

Life-Preserving and Life-Enhancing – new Iain Abernethy podcast

One of my favourite martial artist critical thinkers, Iain Abernethy, has released his latest podcast on the Life-Preserving and Life-Enhancing role of the martial arts…

In my case, I feel any martial art that I am to invest time and effort into must achieve two key things:

It must be both live-preserving and life-enhancing.

One of the personally favoured kotowaza (proverbs) of my former teacher, So Shihan Masayuki Hisataka is katsu jin ken—”the life preserving fist”, which in turn was adapted from the Japanese sword art kotowaza of the same pronunciation, but meaning “the life-preserving sword”.

In turn, this was adapted from an older proverb katsu jin ken, satsu jin tou, meaning “the life preserving sword and the life taking sword” (“ken” and “tou” being alternative words meaning sword.

In my opinion, this duality — the sword’s simultaneous role in protection and destruction — lies at the heart of true martial ways. At its essence any martial art has martial intent and martial intent. Also at their core martial ways have compassion and decency.

Or at least they should.

Listen to Iain’s podcast — he’s on the money.

Partly out of respect to Hisataka sensei and partly because I like the meaning of the proverb, katsu jin ken this has become one of the core kotowaza I adopt in my own dojo.

Commerating the passing of Kori Kudaka (1907-88)

A short post to commemorate the 29th anniversary of the passing of Shinan Kori Kudaka (1907-88), the founder of Kenkokan school of Shorinjiryu Karate.

The style of karate I practice—Shorinjiryu Koshinkai Karatedo—descends from Shinan Kudaka's innovative approach, and like all Shorinjiryu practitioners I pause today to appreciate the life's work of Shinan Kudaka.