On the road. Morio Higaonna

On the road. Morio Higaonna


Through research on the history of martial arts, I would like to consider my own path.. From the wisdom and teachings of our predecessors in Japan and Okinawa to the modern era, martial arts such as judo have come from jujutsu, kendo from the ancient Japanese style of fencing and karate jutsu of the past to karate gift of the present, and these Las Martial arts were originally created for self-defense, but now they can be practiced today to complete the character.

Chinese Taoist philosopher Laozi believed that the concept of the road represents both mental and spiritual enlightenment. I believe that to find this fulfillment in life, one must practice asceticism and seek with a true heart to live the most ideal life as a human being.

At the Karate Symposium on October 28, 1936, which was sponsored by the Ryukyu Shinpo Company, Miyagi Chojun Sensei was quoted as saying, "I think the phrase Karate do (Road) should be used, rather than just the word Karate." . Funakoshi Gichin Sensei and other top instructors accepted this statement and together consented to apply the word Do when referring to Karate, to create the title of Karate Do. With this in mind, I want to reflect on why Mi Yagi Chojun Sensei chose the name Karate Do, and what led to the change not only in name but also in relation to martial arts in general in Okinawa.

In 1933, Miyagi Chojun Sensei wrote a summary of Karate Do for a lecture he presented. In this summary of Karate Do there are many quotes (sort of translated) that refer to Zen in relation to martial arts and life. He explains that "Karate Do is an abyss, and it is captured through deep thought and understanding as martial arts in general." I determine this belief as the union of Zen and the martial arts ordered by the mind and body, which will help me focus on the pursuit of the true martial arts in my own life.

During his life, it is believed that Miyagi Chojun Sensei focused greatly on the ascetic practices of Zen meditation in his quest for the self, and to assist him in his training to complete the character. Through his rigorous training in martial arts coupled with the ascetic practices of Zen, I feel that Miyagi Sensei was able to fight for his own realization and his true path in life. He was a true martial artist who only focused on this way of life, lived this way and didn't deviate during the duration of his life. The spread of Goju Ryu around the world is just a testimony to the art and way of life that Miyagi Chojun Sensei was able to pass on to all future generations.

Regarding his Kata, Miyagi Chojun Sensei’s ability was difficult to describe with words, as explained by his students, and his application of difficult techniques (Go) was like a boost of incredible power in an instant, while his skills smooth nicas (Ju) could go from moves to whip to sticky moves (muchimi) with great timing, and this muchimi app would allow you to follow your workout partner with great strength. It was said that watching these performances was like seeing a beautiful work of art in motion. Through his extreme and difficult training in life, Miyagi Chojun Sensei came to reach the Truth (true path) of martial arts and, in turn, left the art for the world to practice with his teachings.

At times when Chojun Sensei was talking to a disciple, he was telling them that "one must polish his character and become one with nature, to understand true karate," and also, "Martial arts are one with the universe." I would often travel north to Kunigami for training, where there are many mountains and an equally plentiful amount of vegetation and nature. During these journeys, Miyagi Sensei would dive into the nature of the mountains and sea offshore, and it is believed that he also meditated amidst the nature around him.

Miyagi Chojun Sensei was a seeker of truth in search of the right path, and to finish, I believe that the ideal path in the life of a martial artist is sought only through dedication and severe training in all aspects of Kata .

The road to real Karate Do is a long way.

With belief in our masters and in ourselves, we must progress step by step with passion. In conclusion, consider this advice.

Morio Higaonna