5 Okinawan Karate Masters Recognised as Intangible Asset Holders

The Okinawan Prefectural Government has announced that five karate/kobudo masters have been recognised as Intangible Asset Holders:

  • Ishikawa Seitoku sensei (Shorin-ryu)
  • Uehara Takenobu sensei (Uechiryu)
  • Hichiya Yoshio sensei (Gojuryu)
  • Nakamoto Masahiro sensei (Bunbukan / Kobudo)
  • Higaonna Morio sensei (Gojuryu)

The contributions of these five gentlemen are recognised in a way that only 9 others before them have been. Their contributions to the advancement of karate/kobudo in Okinawa and around the world are amazing, and it is pleasing to see the esteem in which they are held to be recognised by the Okinawan government.

Latest Iain Abernethy Podcast: Funakoshi’s 20 Precepts

Iain Abernethy Sensei has posted his latest podcast, a discussion on the 20 Precepts of Gichin Funakoshi, the pioneer of karate in Japan.

Iain does a great job of discussing each of the 20 precepts, and providing his own insight into them.

I always find that Iain’s works are thoughtful and insightful, and well worth the read/listen. Enjoy!

Redoing Sai Handle Grips

One of the Okinawan weapons we use at the Kengokan Dojo in our buki-ho (aka kobudo, kobujutsu or bukijutsu) practice is the sai (iron truncheon). Whilst traditional sai came were wrapped with rope or occasionally leather, or simply had a bare handle, most modern sai are wrapped with the same material often used on cheaper tennis racquets.

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For a long time, I’ve wanted to get a pair of sai with a rope grip, but these are (to my knowledge) only available from Shureido in Okinawa, and a quite expensive to import to Australia. Plan B was to re-wrap my existing pairs of sai, and as the old grips got worse and worse, the time finally came to do just that.

Not being a handy-man sort of guy, I stumbled across a wonderful Youtube video on re-wrapping sai by Ernie of Ernie’s Budo Lab. So I set aside a weekend afternoon, and got on with the job of stripping the remaining tennis grip handle off 2 pairs of sai, and replacing with a rope grip handle.

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It was pretty straight forward. I got some rope, superglue and some of that non-slip stuff you put at the bottom of kitchen draws and tool boxes. After a couple of hours, I had two pairs of sai that have wonderful new wraps. Apart from feeling more “authentic”, these rope handles are great to work with. They feel better in the hands, and are a much firmer grip.

Until I can next get to Okinawa to buy some Shureido sai, any new sai I get will immediately have the grip removed and replaced by rope. Its better all round.

Enter The Dojo Show

I’m enjoying a new parody show that is available on YouTube called Enter The Dojo.

The show follows the instructor and students at a fictitious dojo of a fictitious style called Ameri-Do-Te.

Enter The Dojo is of course a parody, but enjoy. Its good for us to take a look sometime at the idiocy sometimes propagated, and perhaps the preconceptions people might have about the martial arts.

Geeky Enlightenment

The fabulous Mikka Bouzu online comics follow the adventures of a budoka seeking enlightenment through the study of martial arts. He perseveres through hard and soft and is a bit of a hapless seeker.

Sometimes I see a bit of myself in this character.

Especially when it comes to the role that gadgetry plays in his quest.

I’m sure my wife and I have had that conversation.

Make sure you pop over and subscribe to the Mikka Bouzu webfeed.

IRKRS Introduction

Patrick McCarthy, Hanshi (guest in Episode 1 of The Applied Karate Show) has posted a short (3 minute) video introduction to the International Ryukyu Karate Research Society, a style-agnostic society of karateka interested in researching the foundations of Okinawan karate.

I’ve been a member of the IRKRS for many years now, and can thoroughly recommend membership in the Society for all interested in learning more about the origins and foundations of the arts they study.