Memorable words of a figure of karate
We are proud that when speaking of karate, Okinawa comes to mind, and when speaking of Okinawa, karate comes to mind! Yet today, karate, which has been acknowledged universally, sees its shape changing. It is springing up like bamboo shoots after the rain as sport karate and karate dōjō are scattering all over the world. Fictions are also publicized in newspapers and magazines as well as in movies and on television.
For example, four years ago, the 1st World Karatedō Championship was held at the Budōkan in Tōkyō, and athletes from 38 countries around the world gathered and lined up each holding their national flags during the marching band performance. This soul-stirring scene was enough to make one imagine it as a part of the World Olympic Games. Last year, the same type of championship was held in New York, USA and a tournament is scheduled to be held in Paris France this year. Now we the executives of the federation are wondering if the karate of Okinawa, which is promoting Okinawa as its birthplace, should stay the same as it is now. We are thus repeatedly researching on this matter during head of styles’ sessions and board of directors meetings.
Nevertheless, since Bu – martial art is written with the two characters meaning “to stop (止) arms (弋)”, karate has been passed on with the precepts of being an art of self-defense, a mean to temper the body and a way to be useful for others and the society. Therefore, thoroughly following the words “Seeking the old to find the new” (1) found in the motto “The secret resides in training the heart and mind” (2), we must strive to deeply explore the true essence of karate and preserve the legacy of our ancestors.
I believe that simple matters like who is strong in an actual fight, who has the most power, and who is good in demonstrating are next issues. In that sense, today’s demonstration will see elementary school first grade students up to seniors aged 70 years old performing with all their might. Among them, some may be still beginners and their performances may make you smile, but please understand our intention and enjoy the demonstration until the end.
April 21, 1974
The 7th Karatedō Kobujutsu Demonstration
Sponsored by the All Okinawa Karatedō Federation
YAGI Meitoku, Chairman of the All Okinawa Karatedō Federation
Extracts from the Chairman’s congratulatory address
(1) “Furuki wo tazune Atarashiki wo shiru”, also known as “Onko Chishin”
(2) Gōjū-ryū master Yagi Meitoku sensei’s favored quote “Ōnmyō zai renshin”