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Monday, April 18, 2011

My Brain is Full

I went to one of Taika Seiyu Oyata's seminars over the weekend. I enjoyed myself thoroughly, but could not escape the feeling throughout the seminar that I was an utterly uncoordinated idiot, quite unable to walk and chew gum at the same time.

All I was trying to do was learn a new exercise. You wouldn't think it would be that hard. I think I've got it, that is, I think I can execute the movements in the correct order. Haltingly and at a glacial pace, perhaps, but I think I can do it. Perhaps in a week I won't look like Frankenstein's monster whilst I do it.

This seems to be one of the benefits to training in RyuTe. You WILL, via some very considerable challenges to your physical coordination, forge new neural pathways. As some consider that sort of thing one of the means by which you avoid age-related mental deterioration, that is a good thing.

A note: if you, as a practitioner of some other martial art, had happened to be in a roomful of RyuTe yudansha on Friday night, and had you known no better, it is my bet that there is no way on God's green earth you would have identified what they were doing as Okinawan karate. It is increasingly hard for me to read people's commentaries on "karate" without thinking to myself, "But there is no way that you've seen 'karate,' at least 'karate' as it was 150 years ago." I'm very serious. What you are seeing as "karate" and what Taika Oyata is teaching his students are different. The surface appearance may be similar, but the underlying reality is very different indeed.


  1. I started doing karate today with my son. He has been doing it for a month and a half.

    I did not realize that I was so out of shape. That hour and a half wore me out!! I'm sure that as I do it more I will become less and less winded and end up less sore at the end of the night (or at least I hope so - lol!)

    Course a lot of the soreness stims from the fact that tonight (Monday) just happens to be the night that the sensei decided to teach the class some fundamental ju-jitsu (falls and rolls and such) after the normal karate regiment.

    In any case, even as much as it wore me out, I enjoyed myself.

  2. Otter, I can't tell you how absurdly pleased I am. Tell you what: when you get a chance, search YouTube for "Morio Higaonna" and look at some of his stuff. You might even be able to find a clip involving him from that cable series "human weapon" or whatever it was.

    At any rate, while he is from a different branch of Okinawan Goju Ryu, overall, they are all very similar, and you might enjoy seeing some of what is possible in that system.

  3. I watched a few, including the Human Weapon clip and I do see the similarities. However, keep in mind, I have only been doing the Goju Ryu karate since Monday.