...

2020 – More Than an ABC Television Show – It’s a New Year!

Posted on

First of all, I pray that all of you had a fine and safe Christmas and are enjoying the time spent with friends and family during this holiday season.  At this time of year, I always tend to look back and reflect on all of the many good things I am thankful for.  Not least of which, is the time I’ve gotten to spend with all of you in the practice of Karate-Do.  I am very cognizant that we are so fortunate to be blessed with such a fine group of karateka of all ages, along with the many helpful senpais and senseis who help guide the classes each week.  I can’t believe that 2020 will mark nineteen years since we began what is now, the HIS Karate-Do Foundation. I often say that we should strive to learn something new from every class that we attend.  If we have achieved that modest goal, then one would be surprised to find out how many new things were learned in the space of a year, and the growth and progress resulting from decades of training. It’s often said that the practice of Karate-Do can be broadly divided into three components: Kihon, Kumite, and [...]

...

The Passing of a Legend

Posted on

Six decades ago, beginning shortly after Hawaii became a state, three exceptional karateka were dispatched in succession to our islands to establish and nurture the growth of Shotokan Karate-Do in Hawaii.  Each was a stellar member of the Japan Karate Association which, for many years, was considered the premier karate organization in Japan and throughout the world.  Each was a graduate of Takushoku University, famous for producing some of the finest karrateka.  The first chief instructor of the KAH, Hirokazu Kanazawa, had won the inaugural All-JKA championship in kumite.  The man who became the second chief instructor of the KAH had been captain of the Takushoku University karate team.  The third KAH chief instructor, Tetsuhiko Asai, was a former All-JKA champion in both kata and kumite.  Each young karateka would go on to devote the rest of his life to practicing and sharing the art of Karate-Do with others.  Each would reach the very highest of dan rankings, lead large karate organizations of their own, and achieve great notoriety throughout the karate world.  This, despite the fact that none could even speak much English upon landing on our beautiful – though very foreign shores. Sadly, on Dec 8, Master Hirokazu [...]

...

Lost in Translation

Posted on

An interesting aspect to the transition of Japanese martial arts into world-wide activities has been the challenge of transmitting the various techniques and philosophies through the barrier of different languages.  I’ve mentioned before, that among the early American karateka who studied under the first Japanese sensei’s, there were some who were fluent in Japanese.  This presented a distinct advantage in being able to understand what the sensei was trying to impart, beyond just the basics.  The first Japanese instructors, having a limited command of the English language, often had to rely on  exhortations like “Fastah!”, “Deepah stancu!”, “Moru Hipu!”, and…well, you get the idea.  At least, if the student had some fluency in the Japanese language, the sensei could comfortably explain the techniques in more detail and since a number of the early students were kibei (Japanese Americans who had been sent to Japan as children to truly learn the language and culture), even deeper, more nuanced explanations were possible.  Yes, language could be a real challenge.  In spite of this, lessons will usually involve a sensei demonstrating skillful technique which students strive to emulate over many thousands of repetitions.  Practice, practice, practice is always the best teacher. Recently, I [...]