Itosu AnkoI was recently reading Itosu’s 10 lesson’s of Toudi in Mario McKenna’s translation of Nakasone’s “An Overview of Karate-do”. While I am not in Itosu’s lineage as an instructor of the young for nearly 40 years listening to the man who originated teaching the young seem like a good idea. While taking my daily walk and thinking on his words, it strikes me how differently we see Karate instruction today.
For one thing he makes the statement Karate is not to be studied for health reasons, though correct practice will help one’s health. The only reason to train is to develop the courage to protect ones parents and instructor. If attacked karate should only be used to deflect an attack not to inflict punishment.
Obviously Itosu didn’t speak for all instructors, but he did initiate the modern instruction of youth. It does address how different Okinawa was from today’s world. That Okinawa wasn’t truly a dangerous place even though violence can happen anyplace.
He didn’t state Toudi should be simplified, rather one should train vigorously. That art contained entering, deflecting, releasing and seizing in addition to striking. And that it required a lifetime of dedication. His vision saw everyone participating and that it would benefit military preparation. The benefit to health was a byproduct for training.
I do think it suggests the place we should hold our training today.
He explained, Toudi, or karate, held a role in society to develop the individual to protect the family to my way of thinking, Not for promoting health or self defense, Rather the parents, and by extension the family was the goal. A society that doesn’t promote the family is on its way to being lost.
That does not mean everyone should do karate, though that be an admirable idea.n Better to encourage the members to follow their own dreams, where ever they may be.
Rather the karate-ka should be conscious of their role protecting their own. The dojo should not be a place to hide and run away from one’s role. It should encourage and support the member’s family roles.
Protect one parent’s, one’s spouse and one’s children comes first. Balance training with one’s responsibilities. Be mature towards them first and the dojo will become stronger.
And of course the karate-ka will want to protect the instructor, a grand idea.