Friday, 4 July 2014

The times...they are a changing.

Once again, Okinawa is undergoing huge changes
One of the things regular visitors to Okinawa never fail to notice is the pace of change; from one year to the next buildings rise and fall, new roads and bridges appear, while others are buried under a relentless tide of urban planning....but is Okinawa a better place because of all the changes?  I guess you would have to ask the people who live there, but as a regular visitor to the island over the past 30 years, I can say that my early visits provided a more enriching experience than they do these days.

A bunch of Japanese politicians met recently to push for karate to be included in the 2020 Olympics, and various leaders of the Okinawan karate community have met a couple of times in order to work out ways to establish and promote the Okinawan "Brand" of karate. Morio Higaonna sensei now heads up a new sports-karate organisation as well as his global karate empire. Again, I have to wonder, are these changes good for the future of karate?

Follow the money....that's what they say when you want to find the root of most things that happen in the karate world; follow the money and you'll discover not only the people pushing for the changes, but the vast amounts of money they stand to make once the rest of you shut up, fall into line, and continue to do as you're told just as you have always done.

I have to smile when I meet karateka who believe they are important, like the frog living at the bottom of the well, they have no idea of the enormity of the sky...