Sunday 1 August 2021

精神と技法 : PART ONE

I would like to begin this series of articles on ‘Kokoro to waza’ by saying that I will really take my time going through the work, intermittently posting between other articles. ‘Step-by-step’, I will do this beginning from today. In order to keep this clear—as I can’t only do this project—(as daily self-training and teaching is my priority in my karate life) I'll label each post '精神と技法: PART 1, 2' etc, to make it easier for everyone to follow.


Before I begin, I’d like to say 

ありがとうございます (thank you very much) 

to everyone here in Japan and around the world for your support!

As a fellow student of Karate-Do I really appreciate everyone: seniors, peers, and juniors. Together, we can keep true Shotokan alive and Budo Karate in general. 

 Clearly, titles of books are important! So, today, I will simply address this point. So, let’s begin. (Please note that I've intentionally omitted 'Karate-Do' from the title as that doesn't need to be be clarified nor explained here).


At a first glance these characters read ‘Seishin to gihou'; however, Nakayama Masatoshi Sensei titled the book 'KOKORO TO WAZA’.


As kanji geek, without going into any linguistic detail below the surface stuff: this is to do with 音読み (Onyomi—'readings derived from the Chinese pronunciations’) and 訓読み (Kunyomi—the original indigenous Japanese readings’).


However, there is more to this ‘title’/’reading’ than this…


精神 (Seishin) implies ‘spirit’, whereas (kokoro) is the heart, which in the Japanese language, conceptually encompasses the indivisible notions of heart, spirit and mentality. Thus, the Nakayama Sensei’s use of kokoro provides an overarching ‘non-physical’ theme.


In contrast and, indeed, in balance the use of the kanji 技法 (Gihou) being rendered as (Waza) also invokes Nakayama Sensei’s potential message from the title in regardless to the physical aspects of Karate-Do. The kanji which make up 技法 ‘Gihou’ include ‘Waza’ and ‘Hou’. This kanji ‘hou’ implies ‘laws’/’methods’/’ways’; so, this part of the title is not only referring to raw ‘techniques’ but the underpinnings/methodologies of them.


To conclude, based on these points (and in consultation with close personal students of Nakayama Sensei here in Japan), he was clearly emphasizing SHIN-GI-TAI in his title.




I think that that is an ideal note to end on, and a both simple, and great one start to this process, Osu! 


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

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