Do Not Fall

Do Not Fall

Shoshin Nagamine founder of the predecessor style of Yamabayshi Ryu, was a long-time public official and one time Chief of Police. He was a San dan, third-degree black belt, in judo. Judo by his time had replaced jiu jitsu as the subject control and arrest technique system taught throughout Japan to all police cadets and […]

What Sakiyama Saw

What Sakiyama Saw

In these three articles I tried to convey something of what was exchanged between myself and influential Okinawan Zen priest and karate master Sakiyama Sogen, Roshi: True Karate Do His translation into Japanese, and distribution to the karate community on Okinawa, of my vision of the potential of dojo practice… Sakiyama Sogen’s Last Letter    His […]

Play, Work and War

Play, Work and War

There is a lot of info out there about ways to train. Both physical training and meditation advice, as they are presented now, are highly biased toward self-attention. If you have only trained in this modern mode, it might seem that there is really no other way to do it. Here is something to consider: […]

Penetrating the Truth

Penetrating the Truth

When you begin training you get advice. You try to understand. Sometimes the advice is easy to use, like “Close your fist.” Often, even though the words are familiar and the grammar makes sense, what to do with the advice remains obscure. As a result of practice, the meaning becomes clear. By returning to the […]

Yamabayashi Archive

Yamabayashi Archive

Here is a searchable archive of articles posted on this site, published since The Good Fight, through September, 2022. (Articles omitted from this list are excerpts from included articles.) This archive also appears on the Links page. These and older articles are on the Posts page. Intro 山林 Yamabayashi Shorin Ryu Karate Bloodlines Sakiyama Sogen’s Last […]

Self-defense vs. Protection Rackets 

Self-defense vs. Protection Rackets 

Kids need love and protection. They may wander off. They may get frightened or hurt. They want someone who can do protect them.  Families do that. Part of growing up is the transition from wanting protection to providing it. As a teenager you learn to look out for yourself. You take care of your body, your dignity, […]

Matsumora’s Hara Story

When Okinawa was absorbed into Imperial Japan in 1879 the Okinawan men were conscripted as laborers, the women and children were abused. All were intimidated, forced to abandon their native language and way of life. The new leaders did not believe they were taking Okinawa from the Okinawans. They thought they were taking Okinawa from […]

Matsumora’s Grasp

Matsumora’s Grasp

空手に先手なし   ‘There is no first attack in karate’ means that we respond when the cause is just and the need is present. People think that Gichin Funakoshi used the “no first attack” idea to communicate to non-Okinawans that his karate was a cultivated art, for cultivated people. The presumption was that karate and other arts […]

First Kata

First Kata

In our  first kata we learn to project power in eight directions. This kata, Shoshin Nagamine’s “Fukyugata Ichi”, has some very advanced elements.   “Blocking” in Two Dimensions If you look at the s-curve at the center of the yin yang symbol you will see a map of our blocking system. Follow the progression of […]

Rope in the Ocean

Rope in the Ocean

  In the fifth month of the year on Okinawa the typhoons begin. The Okinawans found it wise to stay off the water. There was plenty to do at home. They made new ropes for the rigging on their ships. They repaired their fishing nets.  They celebrated. Their year was full of festivals. Everyone got […]