Monday 12 April 2021

温故知新 (Onkochishin)


Asai Sensei taught me that "ONKOCHISHIN is critical in Bujutsu". 

 温故知新 (Onkochishin) means “to study and learn what happened in the past, and to utilize the knowledge gained from this to acquire deeper knowledge; furthermore, an expansion of this knowledge”.


We can see onkochishin in the formation of what became known as 松濤館流 (Shotokan-Ryu) and its ongoing evolution. Certainly in the other kaiha/ryuha also.


It is very important to retain and work to ‘attempt to master’ the karate knowledge of the past; however, it is also very important “…to use this knowledge as a springboard to deepen and expand karate”.


More than anything, to be fruitful, cerebral knowledge/understandings must be a part of physical karate training itself—as opposed to merely being 'budo/bujutsu academia'. Otherwise, onkochishin cannot be a part of one’s karate.


Onkochishin in karate must intrinsically be founded on bujutsu/budo, otherwise it cannot legitimately be onkochishin for effectiveness in unarmed self-defense. Karate ineffective in this regard is nothing more than bodily exercise and art. Bodily exercise, sports and art, independently (away from Budo/Bujutsu), can and never will constitute true karate: irrespective of social change.


Needless to say, this aspect of karate is a major part of the Shotokan-ryu, the Asai-ha karate, that I practice and teach; moreover, this sets “…a major divide between authentic karate and current mainstream shadow of the art”.





© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2021).

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