Sumamos un nuevo dojo

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Continuando con nuestro trabajo de crecimiento, ahora sumamos un nuevo dojo.

Más días y horarios para niños y mayores!


Para más información escribir a:

o al whatsapp: +598 99 634 719

Los esperamos!

Posture, Precise Timing of Body Segments Make Effective Technique and a Healthier Musculoskeletal System

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Autor: Avi Rokah Sensei

To continue improving in our daily training.

In karate we strive to achieve todome (finish technique) and at the same time we seek longevity in training. Both effectiveness and longevity are achieved by using precise movement of specific segments out of optimal static and dynamic postures and alignment within total body movement.

Maintaining or restoring precise movement of specific segments and the relationships between segments is also the key to correcting or preventing musculoskeletal pain.

The biomechanics of human movement is similar to the mechanics of machines, in that the longevity of components and efficiency of performance require precise movements of the rotating segments.

In contrast to machines stress on the human tissues is necessary for optimal health, stress in the right amount can improve the strength of tissues.

Too much stress can harm the tissues and too little stress is not effective.

The loss of precise movement can begin a cycle that harms the tissues over time.

As with other mechanical systems alignment is important. Optimal posture and alignment facilitates optimal movement.

If alignment is faulty before movement starts, correction is needed to achieve ideal configuration, which must be retained throughout the movement.

The more ideal the alignment of the skeletal segments, the more optimal the performance of the controlling segments such as the muscles and nervous system.

Similarly, if alignment is faulty there is greater chance of causing microtrauma to joints and supporting structures.

Studies have shown that the spinal segments subjected to most movement are the ones that show the greatest signs of degenerative changes, especially when movement deviates from ideal.

Optimal muscular performance is achieved through subtle adjustments of muscular length and strength, as well as through patterns of recruitment, and this produces and maintains the alignment and balance of human joint motion.

In Karate we constantly work on posture and alignment along with optimizing timing of movements. Timing of movement refers to external segments, and internal muscles action, the right amount of activation in the right time, and harmonious interaction of muscles action with the external dynamics.

We also should stretch the typically tight muscles and strengthen the typically over lengthened and weak muscles.

It is interesting to note that research shows that altered posture causes loss of proprioception (kinesthetic awareness and feedback mechanism through mechano-receptors in the skin, muscles and tendons) and altered timing of activation.

For examples people who sit for prolonged periods with head forward posture show loss of proprioceptor cells around the lumbar spine, and the smaller muscles around the spine such as multifidus, and inner fiber of lumbar erectors, which are supposes to fire before movement and for prolonged periods (stabilizers), are starting to act as fast twitch fibers, their activation is delayed, and is for a shorter periods.

Those changes mean that the stability of the lumbar spine is compromised and with it also the effectiveness of the bigger, outer muscles which are the “movers”.

In karate terms optimal posture and timing of movement means, quicker start of technique, increased total movement speed, more powerful body snap and acceleration, and stronger and more complete muscles contraction at kime, and at the same time less stress on joints.

Optimal posture and precise sequencing is what makes karate technique most effective on the one hand and it is what makes karate so beneficial to keeping the health of the musculoskeletal system.



Kime – Total Breath, Total Energy Pass Through The Target

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Autor: Avi Rokah Sensei

I share with my students, another definition of Kime.

From what we have been studying and training daily, here is the message of Nishiyama Sensei through Avi Sensei.
To read and understand our training even more.


There are many details to effective kime, which obviously have to come together to the point that you just have the intention of finish technique, and all the details will happen by themselves. At this point your body knows how to make kime.

But no matter at what level we are we always have to revisit and reflect if we apply all aspects of kime optimally, we can always get better. Sensei Nishiyama was never tired or bored of repeating the principles and details of kime, and there was always something subtle, new, that could be learned.

Breathing “through pass” target, “give all air, give all energy”, Kiai destroy opponent”.

Those are different ways to describe a similar aspect of kime. This is an aspect of kime that is difficult for many people, to mentally give everything, and to give all air through pass target, which means all energy and momentum transfer to opponent.
Actually, giving all air is a mean to give oneself totally, not to hold back anything, as budo says “no mind in the technique”.

Giving all air is giving all energy, as Nishiyama Sensei used to say “one period of breath is total amount of energy”, it should be done in the shortest time, and is only effective when the breath matches with the technique, and than at impact there will be maximum pressure to floor and total body contraction to technique line.

Make sure not to blow the air, but pressure to floor and as reaction air goes out, than your throat will stay soft, the breath is not in the throat, the throat is just like a pipe.
The breath/kiai peaks at impact but does not stop, don’t push we need shocking power.

When one gives all air, next breath starts as reaction, therefore next technique or kamae starts naturally (zanshin), you don’t do it, it is done by itself.

Giving all air solves the problem of “snap back”, since “snap back” happens when half the breath (energy) goes to technique and the other half (of breath/energy) goes for the pull back, which means that only part of the energy goes to the target.

At the same token one should not stop and hold the arm extended, this is a dead arm, and it is a space for opponent to counter.

Giving all air solves this problem as well, since when you give all air, next technique starts as a reaction, and you don’t cut and stop at kime.

“Snap back” is especially bad since while “snap back” the momentum is going back, there is one extra motion, space between techniques, which the opponent can capitalize on.

In any case, the more skillful a person is, the shorter the instant of kime is, and one can give all air and deliver all energy in shortest amount of time.

“Give all air” is a feel, and is changing depending on the technique, target and purpose.

Tsuki (punch) to the face is different than to the body, when punching the body more penetration is required and deeper kime, while the head gives, and impact need to be sharper, so energy is transfer before the head gives, even when looks like snap back, all energy must be tranfered first, even in striking techniques (uchi waza).

The point is that once the momentum is delivered there is no point to stay, next technique or kamae are transitioned to naturally, as reaction.

“Snap back” usually happens because one protects itself, wants to recover quickly, but when the chance is there and you are ahead of opponent, no worry, you must try to finish.

“Snap back” also happens when the breath cuts and the body bounce, and “snap back” results.

“Snap back” is also result of sport karate competition, when scoring is awarded for just reaching the target. Those kind of rules encourage training for just reaching the target with the fist, not passing through with the whole body.

It is, of course, easy to reach the target with just the fist than with the whole body connected and total momentum delivered to target.

Some ideas of how to give all breath and energy through target:

Before technique, look way beyond the opponent, intention beyond opponent to infinity, your feet stop inside opponent but breath continue through, it should feel as if your body wants to keep going, yet your feet holding the body from going. If you look to the spot you hit, your  breath/energy will stop there.

Another idea, feel as if your body stops yet inside your body continue through opponent.

Another idea, Imagine your kiai has no echo, the sound does not come back, I like this idea a lot, Sensei Nishiyama told me this over and over.

Another idea, think not of poking the opponent but rather thrust a spear through.



Nuevo dojo

Posted on Actualizado enn

Nuevo Dojo

Nuestra escuela sigue creciendo.

Ahora en nuevo lugar, más días y nuevos horarios!

Para más información escribir a:

o al whatsapp: +598 99 634 719

Los esperamos!


A bit history

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Karate-do Shotokan

There are many stories about the beginnings of Karate-do Shotokan in South America.

There are several versions that speak of those beginnings, according to records of the Uruguayan Federation of Karate (FUK) and practitioners of the time, they say that Hidetaka Nishiyama Sensei in order to expand the Shotokan style, sends South America to Michihisa Itaya sensei as Head Instructor and her assistants Yoshinori Takada Sensei and Mitsuo Inoue Sensei.

Michihisa Itaya Sensei brilliantly performs his work and achieves a large number of followers in Argentina and Uruguay.

In an accident, unfortunately dies, occupying his place Mitsuo Inoue Sensei.
Here I share a historical memory with the three sensei together performing a kanku-dai.




Body Mechanics, But First A Little Bit of Physics By David Schames

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Autor: David Schames

Interesting article that provides more information about body mechanics and the way we apply it in Karate-do.
To read and understand how we can improve our training.

(David Schames is my student for the last 10 years, since he was 16, very smart and also powerful, we have had interesting discusiions about karate principles, so I asked him to put his thoughts in writing, and here is part 1).
Nature often follows predictable paterns. Here is a formula that describes “The Big One”: F=ma
The equation “Force equals mass times acceleration” is useful because of a key pattern in nature.
There is no such thing as a force in nature and it cannot be measured directly with any tool. Force is an extremely useful manmade concept to keep track of what is happening in the natural world we live in. There is a pattern in nature that when two objects interact and one changes velocity the other object changes velocity in a predictable way. If object 1 interacts with object 2 and experiences a change in velocity, (delta V1), then object 2 will change velocity in an opposite direction proportional to the ratio of the mass of object 1 to the mass of object 2. The change in velocity is known as acceleration, and the equation is M1 x A1 = -M2 x A2. Because of this pattern in nature, we call mass times acceleration a force to better keep track of what is happening when objects interact with each other.
The human body is designed to function in the natural world and our bodies are designed to move, and change the things around us. The better a man’s posture is, the more able he is to move efficiently and change the world around him. In general, our legs interact with the floor and move our body, and our hands grab things we want to move and apply force moving our center as we move the object we are grabbing. The bigger a man is, the more he can accelerate an object he is grabbing before the object and the body is at a distance not ideal for applying force using muscles.
In karate we position our body position so that when the striking fist decelerates during a striking technique; our hands will decelerate our whole body and therefore resist decelerating itself. We can apply force from the ground to our center pushing the center in the direction that we intend on striking. When the strike connects with a vital target on the opponent, our fist decelerates relative to the rest of our body and our muscle transfer the forces in a safe way.
Meanwhile from the opponents perspective, the vital organ that was struck accelerates relative to the rest of the opponents body and the vital organ transfers the forces through to the rest of the body in an unsafe way causing damage.
If the force pushing the center forward equals the force pushing the center back, the center does not change velocity and the body can stay in an ideal distance to apply force. This position is also the ideal starting position for the next move. This is what we strive for during kime.
The energy needed to stop a moving mass equals ½ M x V^2 so if the center is moving fast, and is completely decelerated to zero velocity when the fist hits a target, then the energy delivered into the target is proportional to the mass of the center and proportional to the square of the velocity of the center. The fist hits the target and slows down the body center over the time of the collision. At this same time, the feet can push the floor and accelerate the body center adding more energy that is delivered into the target.

Form and Formless?

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Autor: Avi Rokah Sensei

Another interesting article to read.
Serves to better understand our daily training.

Form is limitation, a necessary limitation, therefore ultimately we should be free of form. Being free of form mentally and physically will allow us to flow, adopt, and apply our techniques within any space, angle or instant in time, and from any starting position. With that said, if a beginner starts training without form, they will not likely learn to use the body effectively or develop good timing. Form is a vehicle to achieve no form, but with the principles and skills that allow one to be effective. Ultimately, we want to be like a child who’s mind and body are free from patterns, habits and preconceived idea, yet with the skills that make our techniques and timing effective. It is true with other knowledge as well, a child mind is free and unpatterned, but once the child learn and accumulate knowledge, they grow up to becomes less flexible and more dogmatic. The engineer that is creative and able to innovate, is the one who is able to have balance between knowledge and a mind that is free and formless like a child. I heard about interesting experiment, when preschoolers were asked to find as many uses as possible to paper clips, 98% of them perform at a level of genius, the same kids 2 years later, as they became more schooled and knowledgeble, became less creative and 2 years later even worst. The highest level martial artist is the one that digested the principles but keep a mind of a beginner or a child. Strict Form In karate we are very strict about precise form, especially at the novice level.
The natural question arises, why are we so stubborn about precise form if it restricts you, a strict form cannot be adopted to changing spaces and time?.
Of course, in reality, in real application one must be adaptable, and be able to apply techniques effectively in different ranges and angles, adapting to unexpected circumstances.
No one can use Age Uke or Gedan Barai in real sparring in the same way that we learn it in the basics, in fact, some beginner black belts with very good kata, will have hard time doing kumite, because they try to apply the techniques in a rigid way, like in the basic and kata.
What is basic form?.
Best condition for the purpose, including stance, posture, technique trajectory, and line of energy which is included in the final form.
For example, we say “attack from own center to opponent center, and in between movement do not show your center”.
For blocking we say “protect your own center (don’t go after opponent’s technique)”, “minimize circle, think of a straight line with a curve, to create side line energy”.
We also have a clear standard for certain technique. For example, in Age Uke, center of the wrist should be in line with center of head, and one fist forward and up from the forehead; the elbow should be at ear level and inside the body line. In Shuto Uke, the hand travels from the shoulder to the opposite shoulder line, elbow movement is minimal and elbow points down, when elbow stops it serves as a center of action to elbow extension, and forearm snap at the elbow.
Why is precise form so important?.
Remember that the purpose of karate technique, is to produce maximum force with least effort, and the whole body must cooperate to one purpose.
If Age Uke is different every time in the basics, if our imagination, mental picture of what our body is doing, or our techniques are not matching, and if the purpose of what we are doing is not clear, it will be very hard to learn to use the whole body effectively for one purpose.
The basic form is configured to give best condition of mechanical advantage, where it is easiest to learn and internalize principles such as proper sequencing, body dynamics, connection between all body segments, moving from optimal posture, breathing controls and matches technique. In basic form we perform techniques in biggest functional range, which improves our resilience to injuries and allow us to develop control of power through the full range, and from there we can more easily develop power in shorter ranges.
The ultimate, No Form, not sloppy, do not violate the principles learned from form.
Once we digest the principles, and we “own” the technique, our nervous system is wired to move from the center out and from the ground up, and produce maximal force to many directions, we can and should break away from form and apply techniques freely according to changing circumstances, as long as we don’t violate the underlying principles that we were supposed to learn by training the basic form and techniques.
In application the same technique will be applied differently every time.
Both your mind and movement should be formless and flowing, so one can become the opponent, and apply techniques without fighting the opponent’s power. At this level, whatever direction your intention is directed, the whole body will produce power effectively to that line. There is no thought of form, just breathing hits target and the muscles follow.
But there are stages to get to this level.
Form is necessary as it is a mean to learn movement and combat principles transmitted through many generations, while at the same time it is a limitation if one try to use the form as is.
Be precise when you do kata, and be free and flowing when you do kumite (but without getting sloppy), the principles the kata teach us should be applied fully in kumite. Sensei Nishiyama told me that at the begining one should perform the kata precisely and rigidly, (rigidly does not mean stiff, but exact, without deviations). He compared it to a figure of clay that its shape cannot be changed, and as one master the underlying principles of the kata, he can make the kata his/her own, he can be free with the kata, and Sensei Nishiyama compared this to a lively, flexible doll, whose shape can be changed freely. And then again, when one teaches the kata to a beginner, teach it in the original, strict form as has been transmitted through many generations. Notice in pictures below: Techniques are as big as possible without exposing the center line of the body or disconnect body segments. Elbow moves minimally in Uke Waza. When elbow reaches full range, snap action starts (elbow extension and forearm twist) with elbow being action center. Protect center line and attack from center to center of opponent.
Gedan Barai fist starts from shoulder and travels to opposite hip level, elbow moves minimally, and ends inside hip line. Gyagu Zuki from own center to opponent’s center, and in between do not show your center. Uchi Uke – fist travels from hip to opposite shoulder, at end, knuckles at shoulder level, elbow inside hip line. Area near the wrist is contact area. Shuto Uchi – Hand travel from ears, than elbow through the body, elbow stops in front of the body and serves as action center to the hand which travels in a curve to make side line energy, without over exposing the body center, or lose of unity.

Body, Mind and Brain in Harmony.

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Autor: Avi Rokah Sensei

To continue studying and understanding the practice we do every day.


In Karate through many generations, the wisdom and the tools were developed and transmitted to achieve harmony in oneself and with opponent. Those are not beautiful theories only, in karate harmony within oneself and than with the opponent is a necessity. You will get an immediate feedback when facing a good opponent, if you are not “present”, and not in harmony. This harmony has to be there not only when you lie down on the beach, but when you are on the edge, at extreme situations. Mind in karate refers to as heart, feeling, intuitive mind. Harmony in your body means that your body coordinates and integrates, moves in optimal sequences to produce maximum force with least effort, and it instantly follows your intentions. Achieving this level is a long, unending journey, I will describe some of the tools we use. My teacher, Sensei Nishiyama, used to shout at me “don’t use eyes”, “bypass the brain”, and he did not mean that in karate we learn to be stupid and do not use our brains. It means that in karate we strive to achieve balance between brain and mind (heart), conscious and intuition. We make strategies with our brain, we have to be smarter than the opponent, but when the interaction with opponent began there is too much information and too little time for the conscious brain to handle, and then our knowledge, decisions and actions have to come from somewhere else, we have to tap into a different kind of knowledge. Our intuitive mind and breath with our previous experiences together have to perceive the opponent, and carry out our actions. How do we do that? We start by teaching the body to be most effective, moving out of optimal posture, from the ground up, with the the body center as action center and intention center, we don’t have arm or leg movement in isolation, even if one finger moves the whole body cooperates. Step by step we learn to control all phases of technique with the breath to the point that there is no thought of details, there is only intention and breath, the breath is the “trigger” that initiates our action, and also controls the the type of energy in each action, smooth, continuous, sharp shock. At the next level, we learn to “catch” the opponent’s rhythm and action with our breath, our breathing tunes to the opponent’s breath while our eyes observe, monitor, but we do not judge, do not interfere. We say “eyes way back” as if looking at a far mountain so the brain will not interfere, and than we can start seeing the cues and information that are beyond the external movement. We are looking to opponent’s breathing, and moreover looking to opponent’s heart (feeling, intention). Now our breath controls our body action, and interacts, harmonizes with opponent’s breath and rhythm, our breath initiate our action and our breath make the reaction, there is no need for judgement, confirming, which is delaying our movement and cause hesitation, doubt and unstable emotion, it also causes us to get stuck in what we see, in this or other detail, and it blocks are intuitive “antennas”. Breath reaction is a way to avoid over using the brain, allowing intuitive mind to turn on, and it allows us to give everything without interference of the conscious brain once we move. being intuitive means to be sensitive and see all the cues and information that the opponent gives us without getting stuck on one detail or another. It is not some guess nor it is magic, it is being tuned and allows us to use tools that all of us have. Breath reaction is not enough, it has to work with the previous experiences we accumulated, since with time we face many circumstances and know all the possibilities the opponent has, and also our nervous system is wired properly and we have the skills to handle any attack with ease. So we have step by step tools to allow our mind, brain and body to work in unison, but , it is not a math formula, and takes a lot of trial and error, making mistakes and adjusting. Wayne Gretzki, the hockey great, had it, that is why he could be the best hockey player ever without being the most athletic. But only in karate we have systematic method that allow any person to achieve those levels. In karate we say “think by mind (heart), act by ki (mental energy from body center)”, we say “you don’t see (with eyes) yet you see (with heart), you don’t hear yet you hear, you don’t know (with brain) yet you know (with subconscious mind)”. and everyone can achieve this level of awareness and intuition with proper training and dedication.


Nuevo dojo

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En julio, comenzamos las actividades en nuevo local.

La escuela sigue creciendo!!!…

Comienza tu práctica de Budo a través de Nishikikan – Escuela de Karate-do.

En el mes de julio, lanzamos la promoción de 2 x 1.

Los esperamos…

La Tradición Continúa…

Más sobre Kata . . .

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Autor: Patrick McCarthy


Para un principiante de Karate-do, el kata es el vehículo a través del cual se aprenden por primera vez los principios centrales de la defensa personal. Si hay algo más a ser descubierto más allá eso, es algo que sólo se manifiesta tras intenso estudio y miles y miles de repeticiones; una práctica que le obliga a uno a dirigir su atención hacia el interior. Miyamoto Musashi, un samurai bien conocido del Japón feudal, al describir el ritual del kata, escribió una vez: “Senjitsu no keiko Tan To ii, Banjitsu no keiko Rento Yu” (“1.000 días para forjar el espíritu, 10.000 para pulirlo”).
Los profesores sabios advierten a menudo que cuando el espíritu de repetición no se cultiva adecuadamente o, incluso peor, se pierde, el ritual del kata se vuelve tranquilo, incluso aburrido. Una expresión popular entre los viejos maestros de Okinawa dice que no se pueden poner límites en el entrenamiento de kata, asimilación filosófica, o introspección prolongada.
Un principio confuciano (Analectas 7:8), que se extiende al Budo japonés, describe al maestro que no está dispuesto a iluminar a aquellos sin entusiasmo, ni a educar a aquellos que no están ansiosos por aprender. No se repetirá para aquellos que, cuando él levanta una esquina, no regresan con las otras tres. Es la responsabilidad del discípulo mantener el entusiasmo y deseo de buscar el significado más profundo del Karate-do.
Consumido en y por el kata, capas impermeables de silencio protegen a uno de las distracciones, tanto externas como internas. La confusión interna se disuelve poco a poco hasta que ya no existe en absoluto. Regulando el flujo de aire desde el interior del cuerpo y sincronizándolo con la ejecución de cada contracción física, el kata llega a ser un poderoso vehículo de introspección a través del cual la ejecución externa y el pensamiento interno se corresponden en armonía. Las interrupciones externas e internas se van convirtiendo lentamente en un rugido sordo hasta que ya no son más molestas que el sonido distante de un trueno.
Capturado por la esencia de la introspección, las concesiones personales, el entrenamiento diligente, y la asimilación filosófica establecen un equilibrio interno. A través de este equilibrio, poco a poco se despliega la inmunidad ante las distracciones triviales de la vida. Tanto que, apartarse de las falsas impresiones llega a ser más fácil y más rápido en el tiempo. La respiración es la puerta entre el cuerpo y la mente, entre lo físico y lo espiritual. Desde este punto de vista, el kata se convierte en el vehículo central del Karate, como meditación en movimiento, y el entrenamiento llega a ser tanto mental como físico. Más allá de la extenuación, a pesar de los doloridos músculos, he experimentado paz fluyendo tranquilamente en la brutalidad del Karate-do. A través de esta tranquilidad se alcanza nuestra búsqueda de la realización.
No hay movimientos superfluos en los paradigmas del Karate-do ortodoxo. Cada movimiento representa un principio específico, que se corresponde con su aplicación defensiva. Practicando kata, la ejecución se ve mejorada si el karateka puede visualizar realmente la aplicación física de cada técnica, empleando por tanto diferentes grados de ritmo, potencia, y enfoque. Sabiendo esto, podemos entender mejor lo que quería decir el Maestro Kinjo Hiroshi cuando dijo: “La ejecución de la técnica revela la comprensión de la misma”.
Hasta comienzos de este siglo, la mayoría, si no todas las disciplinas locales de Okinawa giraban alrededor de uno o dos katas. Sin embargo, durante la era de Itosu Ankoh, esta tradición cambió en gran parte debido a la introducción y popularidad del Toudi-jutsu (el nombre que se utilizaba entonces) en el sistema educativo. Posteriormente, cuando el Toudi-jutsu fue llevado a las islas principales (Japón), la instrucción en grupo, clubes escolares, y el formato competitivo revolucionaron completamente la práctica de kata y el estudio del Karate-do.
Antes del comienzo de este siglo, la curiosidad en las islas principales de Japón sobre el Toudi-jutsu surgió por primera vez por la atención que obtuvo cuando el Ejército Imperial consideró su valor como un complemento del entrenamiento físico. Impresionados por el acondicionamiento físico de varios reclutas okinawenses durante sus exámenes médicos en 1891 [14], el Ejército a la larga abandonó su interés en el Toudi-jutsu por los métodos de entrenamiento poco seguros, la mala organización y la gran cantidad de tiempo necesario para llegar a ser competente. No obstante, eso fue después de que surgiera una campaña local en un esfuerzo por modernizar su práctica. El movimiento, liderado por Itosu Ankoh (1832-1915), llegó a tener éxito cuando, a principios de siglo, el Toudi-jutsu llegó a formar parte del programa de educación física del sistema educativo de Okinawa. Al vincular el pasado con el presente, la cruzada de Itosu para modernizar el Toudi-jutsu resultó fundamentalmente en una modificación de su práctica.
Más allá de la carta de Itosu al Ministerio de Educación y al Departamento de Guerra en 1908, hay poco testimonio para apoyar (o negar) alegaciones de que el Toudi-jutsu fue desarrollado para preparar mejor a los reclutas para el servicio militar. No obstante, en última instancia el Toudi-jutsu fue introducido en el sistema educativo de Okinawa con el pretexto de que jóvenes con cuerpos sanos y buen carácter moral eran más productivos en la sociedad japonesa moderna.
Con el Maestro Itosu eliminando mucho de lo que fue considerado entonces demasiado peligroso para niños de escuela, el énfasis cambio de un arte de autodefensa a un pasatiempo cultural para actividad física que subrayaba el valor de la práctica de kata en grupo, pero descuidaba su bunkai. Ignorando la base espiritual sobre la que se sostenía y no enseñando las aplicaciones ocultas de autodefensa (para dejar inválido, mutilar, o incluso matar, traumatizando zonas anatómicamente vulnerables), la vieja disciplina se volvió críptica, y evolucionó una nueva tradición. Estos paradigmas geométricos prácticamente llegaron a ser únicamente ejercicios para la salud y la forma física durante la generación de Itosu Ankoh.
Este radical periodo de transición representó el fin de un arte secreto de autodefensa y el nacimiento de un fenómeno recreativo único. Este fenómeno fue introducido a las islas principales de Japón, donde a la larga se ajustó a las fuerzas de la “japonización” y floreció como una extraordinaria disciplina recreativa.
Cuando se comparan con los paradigmas maternos del quanfa chino, los katas tradicionales del Karate-do son notablemente diferentes. Sin embargo, sin entender cómo afectan las fuerzas antropológicas al crecimiento y dirección de cualquier fenómeno cultural, es como mínimo desconcertante imaginar realmente la conexión entre el Karate-do japonés y su progenitor, el quanfa.
Comprendiendo la matriz social desde la que evolucionó, podemos entender con más facilidad cómo la sociedad inflexible y ritualista de Japón transformó estas tradiciones chinas anteriormente cultivadas en la vieja Okinawa. Un viejo kotowaza (proverbio) japonés describe acertadamente cómo las cosas o las personas que son “diferentes” (no en equilibrio con el wa) a la larga se adaptan o son frustradas metódicamente por las omnipotentes fuerzas culturales de Japón: “Deru kugi wah utareru” (“un clavo que sobresale a la larga recibe un martillazo”).
Como destaqué anteriormente, en la actualidad hay varios estilos de Karatedo japonés ya que cada generación ha producido autoridades que han encontrado razones para reinterpretar los principios del Karatedo. No obstante, si uno mirara con la suficiente profundidad, pronto sería obvio que los principios sobre los que descansa la subyugación combativa son universales.
En su reveladora tesis (en la Universidad de Budo de Japón en 1990) sobre la evolución del Budismo Zen y sus efectos sobre la cultura japonesa, Suzuki Kakuzen Sensei [15], describió acertadamente cómo las variaciones en el comportamiento humano (personalidad/actitud) eran responsables del advenimiento de las diversas sectas Zen.
Comparando su tesis con la gran cantidad de interpretaciones eclécticas del Karate, es fácil llegar a la misma conclusión: el estilo es directamente proporcional a la experiencia, personalidad, y naturaleza de su creador y/o aquellas personas más responsables de su transmisión. Hay un solo mensaje, mantuvo Suzuki, sin embargo, muchas formas de enseñarlo. Un popular kotowaza utilizado por hombres de Budo en Japón dice: “Muchos caminos suben una montaña, pero aquellos que alcanzan su cima ven una única luna”. Los principios sobre los que yace la autodefensa nunca varían, como lo hacen las personalidades humanas, por lo tanto, deberían ser esos principios los que nos esforzamos por dominar.
Tras ser introducidos a las islas principales de Japón, los katas del Toudi-jutsu de Okinawa, como otras disciplinas japonesas ritualizadas, evolucionaron a tradiciones elegantes pero fijas, bellas en su simplicidad. Comparadas con la complejidad de las formas del quanfa chino que, como otras facetas de la sociedad china, permanecieron abundantes pero enigmáticas.

Autor: Patrick McCarthy actualmente ostenta el título de Shihan y el 8ºDan en Karate-do, autorizados por Kinjo Hiroshi. Es el director de la International Ryukyu Karate Research Society (Sociedad Internacional de Investigación del Karate de Ryukyu) y vive en Brisbane, Australia.