Picture of Shihan

April  2000

Volume 2 Issue 4

This  Issue...

1.  For your information            4.  Advancements

2.   Point of Strategy                  5.  Instructor's Note

3.  Historical Perspectives       6.  Food for thought

Injuries, illness and work demands have taken their toll this past month!

Aibudo Kanji

Advancements this month


--A review of "Dojo"--

     It is a facility in which karate, judo, aikido and other Japanese "do" arts are practiced; also called a gakko (school).  In early Japan, it was the name of a place, usually part of a Zen temple, devoted to religious exercise.  It's original Sanskrit meaning, bodhimandala, is the "place of enlightenment".  This name was adopted by the Japanese warrior to identify all the halls where he practiced the martial arts.

     The four sides of a dojo have special names and functions.  The central locale is called kamiza, implying "upper seat";  it is the place of honor reserved for instructors, honored guests, and judo officials.  Opposite the kamiza is the shimoza, or "lower seat", the meeting place for all students.  During official ceremonies and instructional periods, students are assembled in ranks along the side.

    When facing the kamiza, the side of the dojo to the right is called joseki, or "upper side"; on the left is the shimoseki, or "lower side".  When instructed, students line up along the shimoseki, while instructors face them from the joseki.

Funakoshi's #4 Precept

Control yourself before you attempt to control others:

Recent news stories have told of children who turned their parents in to the authorities for drug abuse.  The martial arts encourage this kind of behavior because they stress living virtuously rather than merely asking others to do so.

          Excerpted from the article by Frank M. Kushner in BlackBelt Magazine, dated December

Historical Note:

Who has taught Itosu-Kai

Shito-Ryu in southern California since 1965


Fumio Demura, who was a national  karate champion in Japan.

.It is said that:

The three most important aspects of kata are the application of strength at the correct instances, the control of speed in and between techniques and the smooth transition of the body from one technique to the next.  Pre-empting these though is rhythm, of which if missing or incorrect, the above cannot be fulfilled!


Modern karate originated in Okinawa and was introduced to Japan in the early part of the 20th century by Gichin Funakoshi.  From here it spread world wide after World War II.  Unlike judo, there are a large number of styles in karate.  Basically divided into Okinawan or Japanese styles, the most widely practiced ones include:

Okinawan:                          Japanese:

     Goju-ryu                            Goju-ryu

     Isshin-ryu                           Kyokushinkai

     Shorei-ryu                          Shito-ryu

     Shorin-ryu                          Shotokan

     Uechi-ryu                           Wado-ryu

Other minor styles or of Japanese karate include:

Chito-ryu, Koei-kan, Renbukan, Sankukai, Shudokan and Shukokai

-- Did you know? --

The obi should have from 10 to 15 inches hanging from either side of the knot.