Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Another finger pointing to the moon!

What's the difference between a cave and a dojo?....Not a lot!
More years ago than I care to remember, I read an article in a magazine about a young man who had just spent six months living in a dojo (the Jundokan) in Okinawa. Back home in England, he continued to train himself as he had been trained. Carefully avoiding the distractions so many others have failed to avoid, Richard Barrett took a different path.

I liked what I read and invited Richard to visit and teach at my dojo over a long weekend: we've been close friends ever since. We're not the same Richard and me, we have a different take on many aspects of karate. But, we agree on one thing, the importance of being an authentic karateka; and that single shared belief has always been enough to relegate any difference of opinion we might have to the box marked "insignificant".

We agree on far more than we disagree, and yet our karate is different. We both practice goju-ryu, and yet our karate is different. We shared the same teacher, Eiichi Miyazato sensei (I was introduced to Miyazato sensei by Richard), and still our karate is different. So what, one might reasonably ask, keeps our friendship going? I'm blowed if I know, but then, unlike someone I know, I've never been one to suffer from the paralysis of analysis, as Stan Schmidt sensei is want to say.

Richard heads up a small group of karateka under the Shinsokai banner, and has recently launched a web page which you can find here and also through the permanent link in the links column. You won't find any kind of sales pitch for new members or information on how to affiliate; but what you will find is a portal to some useful information. The site has been established to advertise the groups presence, not market it; if you don't know the difference between advertising and marketing, you would do well to learn.

It's very early days for the site right now, but in the months and years to come I think this web page will prove to be a very welcome resource for all authentic karateka.