Wednesday, December 8, 2010

No guarantee

I'm not sure if you are aware of this or not, but Chito-ryu went through a bit of a break-up a few years back. On one side is the International Chito-ryu Karate-do Association and affiliated clubs and National Organizations, which focus on continuing the teachings passed down from O-Sensei while attempting to modernize the style. On the other side are those clubs and National Organizations that wish to expand on the knowledge and teachings of O-Sensei while keeping with the traditions that helped define the style.

Now, I belong to a certain Yahoo group that is centered around discussion of the Chito-ryu style. This week, someone asked a question. The question was innocent enough.

What is the proper position for the Arms and Hands when standing in Hachi-ji Dachi, and why?

OK. Interesting question. Now, here is one of the responses sent to the list:

Do you mean by "proper", the antiquated style of Chito-ryu as was taught by the now deceased O-Sensei? Or "proper" by the up to date and more proper, living Soke Tsuyoshi Chitose?

Am I wrong to think that we, as Karateka, are supposed to be above this type of behavior? I'm sure that the others on the list will just ignore this person and answer the question.

I think what he means is the "old" way which is steeped I'm tradition and deeply rooted in his Okinawan training which provided us with a method of becoming not only better fighters but also better people in society. As opposed to, the new watered down, sterile, seemingly unconnected version that seems to be prevalent today.

Wait... What?? Are you kidding me? Can we not just answer the question without getting into why this style is better than that one? Every style has it's positive and negative points. Sure, there are watered down styles of Karate that have been born in the past twenty or so years, but so what? Crap eventually gets to the point where it stinks enough that someone will flush it.

I especially like this part of the response:
...not only better fighters but also better people in society.
Better people in society don't troll.

I'll finish with this quote which, I think, is quite fitting:
"Karate strives to build character, improve human behavior, and encourage modesty. It cannot, however, guarantee it."
- Ankoh Itosu

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