|Miyazato Eiichi sensei with some of his American judo students in Okinawa|
Miyazato sensei was a very generous man, but he could also be quite abrupt, even dismissive. He was adamant that I should not try to mix judo and karate; crossing his arms at the wrist and stating that "Karate, karate...judo, judo!" That said, he would also try to stop me thinking in such clear and ridged terms. If it came to a physical fight, the aim is to win, and that was best done by bringing the combat to a swift and decisive end. If my head was concerned with either 'karate' or 'judo' techniques, it's highly likely the fight would be over before I had a chance to make a choice.
|Miyazato sensei training with ishi-sashi|
I'm no expert on the Japanese language, but over the years I've been fortunate to have been on the receiving end of some wonderful lessons, Lessons that were delivered, in the first instance, in Japanese. Take the notion of 'Iiwake' for example. As a word it can mean a simple explanation, but it can also be an excuse, and in my experience, it's quite common to find that karateka have a problem understanding the difference between the first and the second. I think this may be a by-product of being right all the time.
|Miyazato sensei training with the kongoken|
Iiwake can be used to evoke other things too. Commonly, Iiwaki conveys a sense of self-justification that many karate instructors take upon themselves. They conduct themselves as if they, by virtue of who they are and what they know, are excused the normal standards of behaviour an authentic karateka is expected to live by. By no ones authority but their own, they move through life strutting their stuff and dispensing advice; advice that they themselves never follow. Ironcally, Iiwake is also indicative of being apologetic, a notion that few modern karate instructors seem comfortable with.
If you identify as a karateka, rather than focus solely on techniques that can hurt others, why not educate yourself to be a better person than your were........