Monday 14 January 2008

Was Asai Sensei the successor of Mr. Nakayama?

Many people have asked me if my late teacher Tetsuhiko Asai was the true successor of Masatoshi Nakayama (as Chief instructor of the Japan Karate Association). In actuality I never asked him this question as I was only concerned about learning as much as I could.

Therefore, my answer is "I really don't know"...

Asai Sensei never mentioned about it to me, and he only spoke the odd thing about the JKA split here and there. I never attended any committee meetings or the like when it all happened, and even if I could have, I would have chosen not to.

Now both men are gone, rather than asking "who was the real successor?" people should question "what does being a 'successor' or 'chief instructor' really mean?" And does it really matter if you are simply wanting to improve your own karate technique? Of course it doesn't!
In my opinion, all that matters is ones own practice, and more importantly, the quality of this practice. When it comes to technique, Nakayama Sensei, Asai Sensei, and all the JKA instructors, on both sides of the fence, were/are fantastic examples of this (that is, what really counts)... High quality training.

© André Bertel, Japan 2008

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