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Mario McKenna has posted some very salient observations on the growing trend of slapping dubious historical connections and illustrious names together in order to sell a place/school as “the” origin of this type of karate or that. Give it a look for a very clear-headed perspective on the recent effort to increase tourism in Fuzhou by hyping it up as the birthplace of Goju Ryu.

Nahate Heresy

My posting of the comparative Goju/Uechi versions of the Seisan kata has prompted the following comment:

“The Seisan version you do is the version Higaonna Morio started teaching in 1977 after he left the Jundokan and hooked up with Aniichi Miyagi. It’s not the Seisan done by the Jundokan (or Higaonna Morio before 1977) Check versions done by Miyazato on Youtube.”

For the sake of comparison, let’s do exactly that!  Below are several clips showing Miyazato in the 1980’s, Miyagi in 2003, and Higaonna in 1975 and again in the 1990’s,  performing the Seisan kata.  If, as the commenter stated, Higaonna changed the kata after leaving the Jundokan in 1977, there should be an appreciable difference between his 1975 version and the more recent one.  Likewise, there should be a difference between Miyagi’s version and Miyazato’s. If you can spot an appreciable difference (beyond age-related factors) among these  renderings or time periods, please share!

Here is Miyazato Eiichi of the Jundokan in 1983:

Morio Higaonna in 1975  (Seisan begins at 1:04):

Morio Higaonna in the 1990’s:

Morio Higaonna’s teacher, An’ichi Miyagi in 2003:

By now most of our readers know that TKRI is affiliated with Harry Cook’s Seijinkai Karate-do Association. Below is a link to an interview with Harry that Shaun Banfield conducted and published on the Shotokan Way e-magazine.

Excerpt:

SB) Of course, you also became an English teacher in Japan. Did you get time to train at many of the major dojos, and how would you describe training in the ‘heartland’?

(HC) My plan originally was to train at the JKA, but Terry O’Neill told me to go and see Higaonna. Once I had seen him I didn’t feel the need to bother with any of the others. I did train at Kanazawa sensei’s dojo every now and then but to be honest they were doing basically the same things I had been doing in the UK. I dabbled with a bit of sword and jo but the bulk of my training was at the Yoyogi Shurenkai dojo of Higaonna sensei. In most dojos training physically demanding, and some instructors are without any doubt racist bullies; they take advantage of foreign students and batter them while claiming they are teaching them budo. It is nonsense. I stress that this was a minority. Higaonna sensei was never like that; we got bashed yes, but everyone did, it was a natural part of the training.

Click here to read the rest.

Senior Goju Ryu exponent An’ichi Miyagi sensi passed away on Monday April 27th. Miyagi sensei  was one of Chojun Miyagi’s last and most notable students. As a teacher he  produced a legacy that includes Goju Ryu maestro Morio Higaonna. Our sympathies go to his family and students.

sensei_anichi

An interview with Morio Higaonna about his teacher is available here.          More information about An’ichi Miyagi sensei is available here.


"Try to see yourself as you truly are and try to adopt what is meritorious in the work of others. As a karateka you will of course often watch others practice. When you do and you see strong points in the performance of others, try to incorporate them into your own technique. At the same time, if the trainee you are watching seems to be doing less than his best ask yourself whether you too may not be failing to practice with diligence. Each of us has good qualities and bad; the wise man seeks to emulate the good he perceives in others and avoid the bad."
Funakoshi Gichin

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