Picture of Shihan

September 2000

Volume 2 Issue 9

This  Issue...

1.  Some things to ponder on                 4.  Advancements

2.  Precept

3.  Historical Perspectives

Two very close comparisons, in different times!

The Dinosaur and the Martial Arts

Aibudo Kanji

Recent Advancements

Mike Bodwell to 6th Kyu Green

Are you a true martial artist or just so much "noise"?

     What do you think Gichin Funakoshi would have to say about the "conceited braggart"?  What would the result be of Musashi being confronted with "all noise and not much substance"?  How many times have you witnessed the fact of a bully backing down to a whimper when confronted?  As a practitioner of the martial arts, do you want to be a true threat to "stupid" or just so much air?  Do you want others to know your abilities (techniques, defenses, etc.) or be wary of the unknown?  You will be more effective as a martial artist, if you are known "of" (hearsay and whispers), rather than about (as a written book).  A true martial artist is effective because they are in the shadows and not out in the sun for all to see.  The martial arts or a circus, it's all up to you.  Notoriety or duty, it's your choice, your conscience, your reputation as a whisper and not a lot of wind.

Funakoshi's #8 Precept

It takes an entire lifetime to learn karate:

Although we live in a "fast food" society, we should not think that there is an end to our martial arts training.  The budo (warrior ways) can teach us patience and a never-give-up attitude, which are solely lacking during this time of changing of spouses, jobs and homes.

          Excerpted from the article by Frank M. Kushner in BlackBelt Magazine, dated December 1999


A Japanese karate master, Tsuyoshi Chitose, became the Supreme Instructor and President of the All Japan Karate-Do Federation, Chito-kai.  His initial learning experience was the kata Seisan, which he is said to have practiced for seven years before being taught another at the age of 14.  Prior to World War II, Chitose was regarded as one of the most outstanding kata masters in the Japanese empire.  He studied Kobo-Jutsu (art of weapons) with Gichin Funakoshi and another unnamed instructor at the Okinawan Engineering School.  He studied Goju-Ryu (hard-soft school) with Chojin Miyagi and Shorin-Ryu karate with Choki-Motobu.  Chitose began teaching karate in Japan while still a student at the Tokyo Medical Center.  He integrated Shorin-Ryu and Goju-Ryu to formulate his own system, Chito-Ryu.  Although the style is not one of Japan's most popular, it has spread throughout the world.  Mas Tsuroka and Shane Higashi, both of Canada and William Dometrich of Kentucky are the leading Western exponents of the style.  It's greatest Japanese following is in the southernmost part of Kyushu, where the membership is reported to be in excess of 42,000. 

Excerpted from "The Original Martial Arts Encyclopedia"  by:

                            John Corcoran and Emil Farkas with Stuart Sobel

The Martial Arts ? Today

     What would Funakoshi, Shimabuku, Musashi, Itose, Azato and the like think of the arts today.?  I hope that you find the arts in what you live and study.  If it appears to be:

An aerobics class with a lot of flailing of the arms and legs

Or a you hit me and I'll hit you situation

Or all muscle and no intelligence

Or a place just to spend time

And it has a sign  or add that has "martial arts" in it, is it?

I believe the dinosaur age of the martial arts is upon us.  The dinosaur disappeared  for a truly unknown reason, and I don't have a logical reason for what's happening now, do you?

     It's not as the way, but what aspect of a martial artist is most respected?  Their knowledge of martial arts history?  Their physical attributes or appearance?  Their rank?  Their philosophies?  Their associations with other martial artists or associations?  The size of their training hall?  The number of students in the class? Their ability to "prove" themselves with their mouth?  The toughness they "show" in the public eye?  The expertness that they perform kata?  Or their proficiency in kumite?  Well, that is easy to answer, but is it truly right?  Most all know the right answer to that question, but down deep will not agree with it.  Do you?