|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).