“Sometimes I practise karate like dancing Hamachidori”

Martial arts and dance are the same | Article by Higa Kiyohiko, 10th dan


I believe I was about a 2nd grader in an elementary school when I took my first lesson from my father [Seitoku Higa, Chairperson All Okinawa Karate Kobudo Federation]. At that time, along with working for the government, my father taught karate in a village square; however, it didn’t even come to my young mind to think of what training he had been through or what kind of bujin [martial artist] my father was.  I didn’t realise how splendid a bujin he was until I was in high school and my father taught us Yamane ryu bojutsu.

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“Karate begins and ends with Gratitude”

Mokuso and zazen are not the same

Very often we hear the phrase “karate-dō begins and ends with curtesy”, which, in the West, has largely come to mean ‘start and finish with a bow’. But I’d like to pass on something that my teacher Higa Kiyohiko impressed upon me which I feel goes far beyond simply ‘paying respect, for respects sake’. It’s this, “At the Bugeikan, training begins and ends with gratitude.”

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