I’m very pleased to announce the release of this new ebook entitled “Shigeru Nakamura: A Study of the Man Responsible for Okinawa Kenpo”. This work is a culmination of research and exploration into the roots of both modern karatedo and the life of one of its great progenitors.
Although the terms “Okinawa” and”Kenpo” are both sprinkled throughout many styles, the term “Okinawa Kenpo Karate” is specific to the efforts of one individual – Shigeru Nakamura. Interestingly, Nakamura never chose to name his martial art anything specific like Goju Ryu or Shotokan. Instead, he intentionally left it very broad in the hopes of gathering all the styles of karate together under one banner.
This ebook explores the climate of changed that engulfed Okinawa during the early-mid 1900s and how World War II Japan effected the develop of the Ryukyus in significant ways. It also discusses Nakamura’s life and how he found himself simultaneously entwined with Japan’s assimilation projects and some of the most stalwart protectors of Okinawa’s unique culture.
Even if you aren’t an Okinawa Kenpo practitioner, I believe you’ll find the environment in which Nakamura grew up to be very interesting and telling of how karate has developed into what it is today.
Finding history for this kind of project was a difficult task. Okinawa is renowned for its penchant toward word-of-mouth transmission, so very few significant resources were available for Nakamura Sensei.
In order to create a streamlined story, I tapped Heilman Hanshi (Student of Seikichi Odo) heavily and took the cues he gave more to pursue other avenues more deeply.
The result (hopefully) is a story that has both personal aspects and elements of context.
If you have any information or pictures that you think might enhance this ebook and shed even more light on Nakamura Sensei, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am perpetually open to improving this work.
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The right thing to do, when done for the wrong reasons or motivations, is no longer the right thing. This is something I believe, but is also very contestable.
I ask myself – “what if a bystander saves a victim of violence in the hopes of getting a reward? Isn’t that doing the right thing for the wrong reason, and isn’t it still the right thing to do?”
Even though the act of saving the victim was still right, the spirit of the act was wrong and therefore doesn’t reflect budo as I understand it. It is therefore a hollow act.
But hey, who gets to decide that going after a reward is wrong in the first place? What if you have a family to feed, and a reward might meet those ends?
These gray areas keep my mind whirling and remind me I still have much learning to do!
Forrest Morgan shares an interesting tale, which I’ll summarize here:
“In Budo Shoshinshu, Yuzan defines three degrees of doing right. He illustrates his point with a parable about a man who dies during a journey. Before leaving, the dead man had trusted one hundred ryo of gold with his neighbor for safe keeping.
No one else knew of this transaction, so the neighbor is left with the dilemma of whether or not to act honorably.
Of course, taking the money is the dishonorable option, but Yuzan proposes there are varying levels of honor, depending on why the friend returns it.
* The first and most honorable course of action is to return the gold to the dead man’s family without ever considering theft.
* A second alternative would be to covet the money briefly, but then be overtaken with shame and return it.
* The third possibility is to consider keeping the money but decide against it for fear of being discovered by family, friends, or servants.
All three situations result in the same outcome: a fulfillment of giri and remaining honorable. However, each case reflects a different degree of moral conscience, and therefore, a different level of honor the individual has attained.” – Living the Martial Way
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Hey everyone. I’m currently working on a little project for the site, so I thought I’d do a short post here outside my normal rigamarole.
Let’s pretend, just for a moment, that you’ve found yourself on the wrong side of the law. You’re a troublemaker, a scoundrel, and it’s finally caught up to you. Now you find yourself standing in front of the judge as he is about to drop the gavel on you.
For your bad behavior, he has sentenced you to a cruel and unusual five part punishment. But, in a rare twist of kindness, he is letting you make some choices regarding your own fate. Here are your tasks:
1. Choose one, and only one empty hand kata to practice for the rest of your life.
2. Choose one, and only one martial arts movie to watch for the rest of your life.
3. Choose one, and only one weapon to study for the rest of your life.
4. Choose one, and only one martial arts book to read for the rest of your life.
And, just when you thought you had enough, the judge pushes you into a time machine and states:
5. Choose one, and only one martial artist throughout history that you’d like to study with for a year!
Fate has been cruel, but record your answers in the comments below!
Lurkers (people who read blog posts but tend not to comment), this is a good chance for you to make an appearance. Let me know your thoughts! And you commenters who I haven’t seen in awhile, get back in here. You’re going to make me squeeze out a single tear if you stay M.I.A. for much longer. Also if you are a fellow blogger, feel free to use this concept if you need a little something for your blog today.
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