Thursday, May 04, 2006

What "Shotokan" means to me.....


Shoto means "The sound the wind makes whispering through the pine trees", it is the nickname that Sensei Gichin Funakoshi used each time that he did caligraphy. Sensei Gichin never wanted to "name" the style of karate that he, and his students trained in... so whenever someone would ask his students where they trained they would say "at Shoto Kan" (Gichin's place) the same way that I could say "at Sam's house".

Shoto also is the word used to describe one of the swords that the Samurai of Japan would carry around with them always. The Samurai carried two swords.. a long Katana, and a short Shoto. The shoto sword was ALWAYS on the Samurai's person. He would leave his Katana by the door, but would wear his Shoto, even he went to bed.

What does Shotokan mean to me? That I need to bring myself back to nature, and realize the powerful potential within me. Just like a wind will wear down a mountain through erosion, I can reach my goals through my persistance. Like the pine tree I have to be strong against the force of the wind, but also I need to bend with it. I need to value, and be faithful to the teachings of the founder of my art, Sensei Gichin Funakoshi. Like the Shoto sword, I need to carry my karate with me everyday, and never put it down.


[Mat] said...

If only, as you so well said it, everyone would use that set of mind.

As O'sensei said it :

Ware ware, karate-do oh shugyo surumonowa
Tsuneni bushido seishin oh wasuresu.

We who study karate-do must never forget the spirit of the samuraï.


What a long path it is.

supergroup7 said...


Yes Mat, it is a long path, but isn't the view wonderful?

Stephen Irwin said...

Aah the view...

backwards, forwards, here and now.

Watch your step and beware of cheap imitations :)

"That I need to bring myself back to nature"

Just a matter of remembering. Original form.