Why do we (Shisei-Kai) not follow ‘Kyokai’ Karate?

Before I write anything, I need to say that there are many fantastic ‘Kyokai Karate’ groups out there. The word ‘Kyokai’ (協会)usually refers to an association or large following.’Dantai (団体) also indicates an ‘association’ or ‘group’.

In our Gima-Ha Shisei-Kai we are a small ‘Dantai’ group of like minded individuals. Some may even refer to us as ‘Kazoku’ (家), family, or ‘members of a family’!

That sounds good. Like minded people in support of each other, as opposed to some sort of inter-dojo competition!

‘Kyokai Karate’ has great effect when all the instructors come out of one cadre, trained to a high level, for example the JKA Kenshusei Kai’; the organisation tends to control those who step out of line.

Splinters, and small groups may give rise to a form of nepotism where there is the ‘my way or the highway’ mentality. These small ponds too often have a ‘big fish”. Since we are equal, regardless of grade or status, there is no real necessity for the dictatorship. We should all be able to assist ourselves and our peers on the journey that is Karate-Do.

Students, of course, need to follow a role model. Members need a structure. But, at the end of the day the ‘karate’ has to become ‘their karate’ once Kodansha grades are achieved. We should show similarities to each other, but different approaches need also to be embraced.

Commercialism and propaganda often precede the actual Karate. I believe that we should all see ‘Karate Keiko’ as a beautiful experience; practice to better ourselves and not be seen as ‘part of the machine’!

Style over practicality, function over form? It could be a never ending argument!

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  1. Nice article.For the last several years i have been training with Okinawan styles; I like their approach to Katas; Why over How…

  2. Greetings from Australia. Please allow me to introduce myself, my name is Darryl and I found your message to be a great breath of fresh air. I would be very interested in communicating with you in the hope of one day coming back to Japan and training with your group. I have been studying Shotokan for just on 45 years and have become more interested in the original Shotokan from years ago. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon. many thanks, Darryl.

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