I first began Okinawan karate at the age of 9 when my mother suggested that I try. I initially started with my sister but soon it was just me as she didn’t feel like it was for her. I have since achieved my 1st degree black belt at the age of 15 and my 2nd degree black belt at the age of 17. I am now one of the longest serving members of the Mushinkan Dojo in Eastbourne and have been lucky enough to teach both the kids and adult classes on numerous occasions.
Okinawan karate, not surprisingly, originated on an island called Okinawa which is approximately 400 miles off the coast of Japan. This is the birthplace of karate and began by being taught within families with student numbers being one maybe two students normally which was the eldest son. Mainly in Okinawa at this time most men were fisherman and this links in to the weapons that are used in Okinawan karate and that most is done with the bare hands. it literally translates to empty hand displaying that originally weapons were used very scarcely.
Lots of people associate with the uniform or gi that is used. This actually wasn’t introduced until karate was taken over to Japan by Gichin Funakoshi and Choki Motobu where they saw Judo being done and saw them wearing a suit similar to the karate suit that you see today. At this time they new that it would look more professional to where a suit similar to this rather than their normal day to day clothes as they were trying to introduce karate into the school system.
Matsubayashi-ryu is the style of karate that I practice and this originated in Okinawa and was created by Shoshin Nagamine who had trained with numerous karate masters of Okinawa such as Choki Motobu, Chotoku Kyan, and Ankichi Arakaki who he reports and his three main teachers and it is from these teachings that the karate system was created.
If you would like to know more about Okinawan then please click on the link below which takes you straight to the matsubayashi-ryu website.
By Mykel Mason
Call now 01323 722499