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Block - Uke waza
Blocking techniques are practiced first because one who cannot block cannot strike however one who can strike cannot necessarily block! Blocks come in many different forms from fast, strong, slow (or timed), tense, masculine and even feminine! Just remember “Block, Strike, Kick”. Blocks should be practiced with closed hands unless or until specified.... full article
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Articles Home » 剛柔流 Submissions » A Crash Course At The College of Hard Knocks
A Crash Course At The College of Hard Knocks
A Crash Course At The College of Hard Knocks
Article originally published by Blackbelt Magazine USA
Experimental karate campus grades by the lump system

"When I first came here, I was fighting from a different stance, standing open and was kicked in the groin a few times. And I went down, but I learned to be ready the hard way."

"In the universities, they don't pull their punches. You do a technique and they sort of run onto it and it escalates until it becomes ridiculous. But here, they're very kind. All you have to do is ask and someone will show you something."

"Coming here from another country, it's a wonderful thing because in Central America I had only one instructor, who, like any other sensei, has his defects. But here, I have very good instructors not only one, but several."
KUMITE IS IN EARNEST at the Japan Karate-do College as evident in this continued battle after a foot-sweep.

"This system here is the best in Japan, I think. They teach so that the student can understand and really learn."

"I feel that I've learned a lot because I'm big and the Japanese like to be seen beating a big foreigner. Gradually, I learn this way."

The enthusiasm is virtually unanimous for the unique experiment in karate now being conducted in a sleepy little suburb of Tokyo-at the world's first karate college. Now in its second year, the Japan Karate-do College opened in April, 1973, offering lessons from the chief instructors of all the major schools of Japanese karate except shotokan.

Hinori Otsuka of wado-ryu, Manzo Iwata of shito-ryu, Hiroyasu Tamae of rembukan and Goshi Yamaguchi of goju-ryu-they're all here along with Motokasu Inoue, the chief instructor of ryukyu kobudo. The famed Gogen "Cat" Yamaguchi (Goshi's father) is president of the college, although he personally instructs only in yoga, which he insists is intimately related to karate.

John Sullivan, a tall, lithe wado-ryu shodan from London, swears by the new college. "I think it's a good idea getting the styles together. All of the teachers they've got coming here are the very best. The weapons classes are also very, very good and are one of the main reasons I decided to sign up for the college."

Sullivan is one of 20 or so foreigners and Japanese enrolled in the regular college course, four hours a day, six days a week for a total fee of around $430 for the year. But since things are a bit tight for him, the 25-year-old Briton prefers to pay on a monthly basis-$35. In addition, there's an $18 application fee, plus an admission fee of $178. Although the regular college course is usually for two years, the college is flexible enough to accept students like Sullivan who can afford to attend for only one year.

"I'm combining what I learn here with shotokan so that I have all the main styles," the Londoner says. "Nakayama (Masatoslli Nakayama, president of the Japan Karate Association) teaches at this little dojo in Kanagawa, and I go there a few mornings a week to study shotokan."

Since Sullivan teaches English at a private school in the evenings, he also has to skip most of the college's evening classes. According to the daily schedule, college classes are held from 4 to 6 in the afternoons and from 7:20 to 9:20 in the evenings. It adds up to 14 hours of goju training a week and only two hours each of wado, shito and rembu training. Kobudo weapons training is three hours every other Thursday, alternating with goju-style mixed training sessions.

Although he's a wado-ryu stylist and the college is heavily oriented toward goju training, the 6-foot, 3-inch Sullivan doesn't find it that much of a problem. "The basics are completely different nahate and shurite. I don't find that I'm mixing the styles at all. It's been very well planned and thought out.

"Although there is kicking in the groin and some contact here, it's not nearly as bad as it is in the universities. In England, like they do in the States, you control. And when a point is scored, you stop and you say, 'You got me.'
"But in the universities, they don't pull their punches. A friend of mine got a black eye and lost a tooth. It's bad. I wouldn't recommend it.
Goju kata class
The multi-system school allows the students to decide what's best for themselves from intensive training of five Japanese systems such as the goju kata class (opposite page).

"But here they're very kind, which is the main thing. Not like at a university, where you're thinking all the time that there's going to be a fight to the death any minute. The year I trained at Nichidai (Nihon University), we just practiced contest karate, which is why I left and came here. Of course, Nichidai always wiped the floor in the wado-ryu tournaments, but they just weren't teaching techniques."

About two-thirds of the students attending the karate-do college are Japanese. An Australian, an Argentine and a South African Indian have already wound up a year's training and returned home. Besides the tall Englishman, the other foreign students are from Indonesia and Israel, plus a transplanted Japanese from Nicaragua. Twenty karate students arrived from South Africa in June for a special summer course in the college.

The 16 karateka from South Africa came from a variety of schools, including goju-ryu and wado-ryu, as well as an off-shoot of shito-ryu developed in South Africa called budo-ryu. The visitors ranged in rank from a goju yondan, Leo Lipinski of Durban, to 1 2-year-old Tristam Burrell-a green belt from Bloenfontein. Lipinski and one other student brought their wives and stayed in dormitory rooms, while the others bedded down in futon on the floor of the upstairs dojo.

Some of the foreign students, such as the two Indonesians, live in the college dormitory upstairs of the main dojo. Although meals are not provided, the Indonesians have arranged to cook in a small dorm kitchenette and share the same room. They pay $70 a month for dormitory living. Sullivan lives in a small apartment about an hour's train ride from the college, which is located in Jijo Osakne between Nishi Ogikubo and Kichijoji in the northern suburbs of Tokyo. He eats at home, doing all the cooking himself. When he shared the apartment with a friend last year, they managed to cut down their eating costs to 600 yen ($2.15) a day each.
Poster of Goju kai Karate do

He practices karate on the roof of the apartment house every morning. "In the early afternoon, I often meet my Japanese fiancee. We always go out on Sundays to the movies or to her house. I've been going with her for about two-and-a-half years, ever since I met her in the Ginza. I think we'll get married in another year and a half or so."

One of the main reasons Sullivan enrolled in the karate college is because of the weapons classes. Offered every other Thursday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., ryukyu kobudo is taught by one of the finest experts in Japan, Motokasu Inoue hanshi. Also a nana-dan (7th dan) in karate, Inoue teaches both kobudo and karate at his new, 1 00-mat hombu dojo in Shizuoka and is midway through a three-volume book he is writing on ryukyu kobudo.

At the college, Inoue concentrates on teaching the skills of only four weapons-sai, tonfa, jo and nunchaku. "After the students have perfected their skills in these four weapons, I will move on to the others." These "others" include the use of such weapons as the rochin-a chisel-like weapon with a long handle and a short blade used with a tortoiseshell shield called timbe; kusari, or chain with a piece of metal at one end and wood at the other; tekko, metal or wood "brass knuckles" that can be used either defensively or offensively; and elk, a jo. The chain, which is called tsurujin in Okinawa, comes in five-foot and I O-foot lengths and is used to wrap around an opponent's leg or neck.

COULD BE BETTER, BUT...
Posters of the college have been sent worldwide in an effort to draw more students to the school located in Zempukiji, Tokyo.
Govender Krishna, a 25-year-old shodan from South Africa, didn't learn about the college until after he came to the Goju-kai hombu. A goju stylist, the 6-foot-2 Indian says he has trouble keeping track of the kata of the various schools. He also feels that it would be better if the college students had more of a "campus togetherness."

"The students should all be able to live together, eat together, work out in the morning together do everything together," Krishna says. "We'd get to know each other that way, and if I'm a black belt and another student is a white belt, I could teach him a few pointers. During the mornings, I could teach him, help him and then he could get on slowly because the dojo is open in the mornings and there aren't any classes then. But if we're always separated, he can only learn from the instructors. "

Despite these misgivings, he gives the college a high rating. "I think my technique has improved a lot since I've been here. I've learned from different instructors and you can pick up different techniques from each of them."

Krishna was kicked in the groin several times when he began training at the college, even though he had studied goju for four years in Durban and had advanced as far as ikyu (first kyu) before coming to Japan. Noting that groin kicks are only permitted in goju-ryu, Krishna reasons that since "the street-fighter first thinks of kicking you in the groin, if you practice goju style, you're ready for him. Your arm is automatically there to block any kicks to the groin."

Demonstrating his changed, groin-protecting stance, the tall, swarthy Indian recalls, "You get guys from other schools who come here to practice karate, and because they fight in an open stance, they get kicked in the groin. I learned the hard way. It was painful; makes you want to throw up.

"I heard that one of the instructors here was kicked in the groin so hard he had to have an operation. It made him sterile. He and his wife haven't been able to have any children since.
Gogen Yamaguchi
GOGEN "CAT" YAMAGUCHI is president of the college, and
"Punches in the face-sometimes you get it. Of course, it may be an accident, but the higher den often deliberately punch you in the face because they want you to defend yourself. You get punched in the body, too, and you get kicked-not only in the groin. You get kicked in your solar plexus and you go down. That's why they do a lot of stomach exercises here."

Now that Krishna has returned to South Africa, he is instructing at a new dojo in Durban run by a friend. Before he left, he indicated he would teach his students "to kick in the groin, but only if they're at black-belt level. If they're below black belt, I'll tell them not to do it because I could lose a lot of students that way."

Krishna lived in one of the dormitory rooms at the college for the first nine months but moved in with a friend for the last couple of months he was in Japan. He made it a habit to practice about two hours on his own in the mornings-first in the dojo downstairs and then in his friend's apartment.

"I read the karate book by Yamaguchi Sensei. It's a good book, I think, and I study from it. He was very good once. I heard he's going to teach full-time in the college, and so it will have a good full-time instructor."

During his year in the karate college, Krishna was a member of the college karate team that consists of two Japanese and three foreigners- Saito-san, Ono-san, Paul Starling of Australia, Ovadia Shababo of Israel and himself. "We finished third in one competition and second in the other. I won all of my bouts because I have a long reach. My instructor, Goshi Yamaguchi, told me not to go in but just wait for my opponent to come to me because I could get him easily with my longer reach."

Although he devoted nearly all of his time to karate while he was attending the college, Krishna sometimes found time on Sundays to go dancing-go-go style rather than goju style at a nearby dance hall. Unlike most of the other college students, he didn't do any outside work. He indicated that if the college continues to operate, he would send some of his students from South Africa.

Sullivan said recommending the college to others depended on what they wanted. "If they just want contest karate, then I'd advise them to go to a university. But if they want all-around karate kata and the weapons and techniques-then this is the place. We've got an organization of black belts in England, and we're trying to send over one man a year to this college."

But he warned that anyone coming here from abroad would probably have "to take their ratings again." He pointed out that the Japanese give you a grade in England and you come to Japan and lose it again. "Since I received my shodan rating in Japan more than a year ago, it doesn't affect me."

THE DANGERS OF CHUGALUG-RYU
Yamaguchi's son Goshi perpetuates the goju system there.
To celebrate the beginning of the second year of the college, a special kagami-biraki ceremony and party were held in the main dojo. During the festivities, Akio Takahashi, one of Gojukai's chief instructors from the Oshiage Dojo and regarded as one of the school's best non-tournament fighters, approached Israeli Shababo, filled his tall glass-not tiny sake cup-full of sake and motioned for him to drink it down. The 23-year-old student from Tel Aviv practically idolizes Takahashi-san, and he dutifully downed it without batting an eye.

Startled to find his glass immediately refilled by his grinning senior, Shababo again chugalugged his glassful of sake, although this time his eyes were swimming and his head whirling. Those nearby advised him that he had enough, sensing that he was not a drinking man.

About this time, the special guest of the ceremony-a rugged but aging karate senior and former national welterweight boxing champion-called on a couple of the Japanese college students to test their karate punches against his iron-hand chest. They complied, reacting with surprise to the unyielding stability of their target.

The 6-foot Israeli, loud and reeling by this time, challenged the guest to stand up to his karate punch, and the short, stocky, bespectacled man in his 50s promptly jumped to his feet and braced himself. Shababo immediately cut loose with two powerful punches to the chest and uncontrollably drove a third punch to the face, knocking off the guest's glasses and was about to launch a general karate attack when two or three karateka standing nearby seized the Israeli and wrestled him to the floor where he promptly passed out.

Yamaguchi Sensei, the guest and other senior karateka tried to laugh off the incident, but not without difficulty as the drunken Israeli was hauled off to a friend's car and whisked to Fuchu Air Base where he has been living with a friend and his family. The following morning, Shababo was greatly apologetic for all the trouble he had caused and passed around several omiage (gifts) as a way of expressing his apology.

Complaining of an injured knee, the Israeli skipped practice for most of May and June and made himself rather scarce around the college for the next few weeks following the wild attack on the college's honored guest. The gung-ho Israeli was advised to save his aggressive energy until he got back home where it is bound to come in more handy.
Motokasu Inoue
CHIEF INSTRUCTOR of the ryukyu kobudo system (above) is Motokasu Inoue, who concentrates on four weapons.

Still only yon-kyu (4th kyu), Shababo plans to take the exam for the next highest rating as soon as he can. Although he trained under a friend in Israel, "it was really like starting all over again when I came here in May of last year. I was trying to figure out which school I should attend in Japan, and a friend of my father in Japan suggested that I should go to the karate-do college. "

He spent six months in the Israeli Army as a teenager and expects to put in more duty when he returns since everyone is supposed to train at least one month out of every year. He attended Safra College in Tel Aviv but came to Japan before he graduated.

"The college was just right for me since I wanted to train all day and not work. I'm very happy here because I can attend four hours of training a day and practice a few hours besides."

Shababo worked for a while, however, serving as a security guard for the Israeli Community Center in Tokyo, but lost the job when he had to spend five weeks in Hong Kong to change his visa status.

Shababo had high praise for Starling who he said helped him a great deal before the latter returned to Australia. The 25-year-old Starling entered the college as one of the first students and was also among the first one-year students to graduate. The Aussie received his nidan (2nd) and sandan (3rd) ratings from Cat Yamaguchi and was promoted to yondan (4th) after completing one year in the shihan course. Actually, he underwent the same training as the other college students and paid the same fees.

Starling is the chief instructor of a karate school in Sydney that has an enrollment of about 300 students. He was a member of the Australian karate team that participated in both the first WUKO World Karate-do Championships in Tokyo in October, 1970 and the second WUKO World Championships in Paris in April, 1972. (WUKO signifies the World Union of Karate Organizations.)

A CONSTANT STUDENT
WADO-RYU founder Hironori Otsuka, now over 80, demonstrates block-and counter moves on Govender Krishna as Simbolon Edyson (left) and John Sullivan watch.
Takuo Katano, who lived in Central America for 13 years before entering the college in April, 1973, recalled that Starling lived in the dormitory and practiced all day. "He not only attended the classes every day but devoted himself to the practice of karate all day. And in one year, he improved very much. Everybody knows that. He took the shihan course, but the instruction was no different from that given anyone else. "

Katano himself was living and working in Managua, Nicaragua when it was hit by the tragic earthquake in December, 1973. It was obvious that it would take many months to clean up the city, so several friends wanted him to use the time to train in Japan. "And here I am."

Katano says his initial days in Japan were spent looking for a place to improve his techniques. "After visiting several schools, I came to Goju-kai and found that they were starting a new karate college. It attracted me because the chief instructors of wado-ryu, shitoryu and rembukan all came to teach here. I came as a black belt, but they didn't recognize it here, and now I'm wearing a brown belt."

Briton John Sullivan, while he didn't lose his black belt there, always puts on a white belt when he engages in goju training. Katano got his shodan rating from shingi-kai, a small and not widely recognized branch of shito-ryu.
"I was sick for three months last year," says Katano, "and missed the first shodan exam and also missed three months of practice. If you practice twice as hard as everyone else, however, you can catch up quite easily. I hope to be even higher than shodan by the time I complete my second year, but it's hard to say at this stage."

Katano was born in Taipei but was raised and educated in Japan. About 13 years ago, he went to Managua and became an independent graphic designer, eventually marrying a Nicaraguan girl and settling down there.

"After studying karate alone for a year on the basis of what I had learned from my shingi-kai sensei, I discovered several Nicaraguans practicing karate out of books at a couple of phony dojo, a bit from here and a bit from there. What I saw was people practicing karate terribly wrong but with such enthusiasm-kata and everything. The chief instructor of the dojo was a black belt but when I asked him where he got it he was unable to answer my question.

"Some of the boys practicing at the dojo heard about me and came to where I was working and wanted me to teach them. But I told them I couldn't do it because I was learning just like them. They said at least I could come and watch them, and so I went along. But I felt sorry for them because they were so eager and yet so bad."

The transplanted Japanese came in the evenings to watch them, trying to correct them and guide them. "After I began organizing things a bit, everything went well, but then the earthquake came a short time later. The dojo and every single building was destroyed in the center of the city. I lost everything, my private office and my house. The government began giving food to the people, but I was a foreigner so why should I be wasting their food?

I had intended before the quake to go to Japan and study karate and so I took advantage of the long reconstruction period in the aftermath to come here."
 
One of the five systems represented is rembukan, taught by Hiroyasu Tamae (in foreground). Tamae particularly stresses practical application, often having his students practice against simulated street attacks.
A TAXING SCHEDULE
Like the other students in the college, Katano attends the Goju-kai training sessions twice a day on Tuesday, Wednesdays and Fridays and alternate Thursdays. One of the two training sessions on each of these days is for the college students alone and the other is for the combined training of the college students and the ordinary Goju-kai members.

The sessions invariably begin with about 40 minutes of calisthenics. First, jumping up and down and knee bends to limber up the body. After alternately twisting their feet and legs from side to side, they do the splits. They then wiggle their fingers and press them against each other, and they also press their palms together to loosen the wrists. Next, they spread their legs and bounce their torsos up and down from the hips before beginning their kicking- one leg at a time. The karateka also pair off, lock their legs around each other and rock back and forth-crossing arms, leaning back and then straightening up 100 or more times. In another exercise one lies flat on his stomach on the floor and the second man sits on the first one's legs. Placing his arms behind his back, the man on the floor lifts his torso up from the floor 20 or more times, and if he falters, the second man helps him up by pulling on the back of his jacket. One of the most trying exercises is done after each man lies on his back on the floor, then lifts his legs halfway up and holds for 10 seconds, three-quarters up and holds for 10 seconds, then down to one-quarter and again holds for 10 seconds. This is repeated several times.

Now the regular practice begins. With one black belt as leader, the students go through the basics step by step, moving up and down the dojo. First, chudan zuki, then jodan and finally godan zuki. Other black belt instructors go through the ranks checking to make sure the posture is correct. A bo is used to check blocking moves. After the punch basics are over, kicks come next-front kicks, snap kicks, side kicks, roundhouse kicks and reverse kicks. Instructors sometimes do the basic moves directly in front of a student so he can imitate it. The combined training session is done first with the upper kyu ranks practicing, then, while they take a break, the white belts take the floor and go through their basics.

Kata comes next, practiced first by the numbers, with the students holding after each move to allow the black belts to make the necessary corrections. The kata is then done from start to end without stopping, and in the case of the white belts, it sometimes becomes a hodgepodge of confusion the first couple of times. But it soon gets smoother with repetition.

The session usually ends with shiai practice between the upper kyu ranks and the white belts, with the latter attacking and the former defending. Then the upper kyu ranks take off against each other in shiai practice, attacking and counterattacking back and forth across the floor, several bouts going on at the same time. After about 20 minutes of shiai, the training session comes to an end.

All of the lower ranks line up in rows at one end of the dojo, with the black belts positioned off to one side. As they all face the front of the dojo, Yamaguchi Sensei enters with his son Goshi, and the two men sit at the front. At a signal from one of the black belts, all bow to the floor to honor the late founder of goju-ryu, Chojun Miyagi, whose portrait hangs at the front of one side of the dojo shrine. All then bow to Cat Yamaguchi, who bows in return and makes an announcement of the following day's schedule. After he goes out, all bow to Goshi Yamaguchi, who also makes a brief announcement and departs. Bows are also made to each of the black belt instructors lined up on the side of the dojo. After the final bow, the students get up and start cleaning and waxing the floor, marking the end of the two-hour training session. It is now nearly 9:30 p.m.

OLD AT 34?
Tournament karate is available at the conventional universities, says John Sullivan (left). "But if they want all-around karate—kata and the weapons and techniques—then this is the place." Above, Sullivan and Simbolon Edyson practice their basics.
Katano finds that the four hours of daily training plus a couple of hours practice on his own are very hard on him, especially since he's not as young as he used to be. Now 34, the 5-foot, 9-inch bespectacled Japanese works outside of the college by teaching Spanish and doing translation work. On some days, he has both morning and afternoon classes in the overseas engineering department of the Chiyoda Electronic School in the Ueno section of the city.

Sunday is a time for Katano and his wife to relax. "We go to the park or to the movies or bowling. We sometimes go outside of Tokyo and visit friends, but these days we don't like to go out very often because there are too many people. It's just too crowded.

"My wife sometimes goes to karate class, but she's not a regular college student and is not entitled to be in the class so when she comes, she has to pay each time."
Katano is sold on the college. "Sometimes there may be only five students showing up, and we'll have five instructors-all higher dans. Not just one, but several-one per student.

"The lessons of all three shurite styles-wado, shito and rembu-are very much alike. They all teach us the essence of karate in a short time, which is very difficult to absorb. Professor Tamae always explains very clearly the difference between shurite and nahate. One should learn both.

"I take notes of the lessons so I can take them back to Managua with me, and I plan to do some filming before I return. I'll be among the first to complete the two-year course."

Tamae Sensei of rembukan concentrates not only on the basics and kata, but also on the practical application of karate. He sometimes uses a bo to show the students how to defend against it, parrying the blows and thrusts by slanting them off to one side. When they practice the basics and kata, he personally checks their form and position.

In the last part of the session, he has the students pair off, one attacking and the other defending in a kind of simulated street fighting. They practice chops to the Adam's apple, the base of the ear and to the collarbone, or a punch to the groin. He also teaches them how to break free when someone grabs them from behind.

In a group huddle, Tamae points out that gouging the eyes is not the best way to blind your opponent. In a slow-motion demonstration, he shows how to strike the back of the opponent's head with a sharp blow to knock his eyes right out of their sockets. They next take turns practicing hitting the punching bag with their forearm, their elbow and the base of their hand.

Hironori Otsuka, founder and chief instructor of wado-ryu, concentrates more on skull sessions, using the blackboard to explain a difficult point. In discussing energy, mass and motion, it seems he is conducting a class in physics rather than a session in karate.

But Otsuka is also strong on basics and kata, spending the first half of his training period having his charges practice straight punches and kicks, punch-kick combinations, blocks and counters, etc. Now more than 80 years old, Otsuka Sensei sometimes gets carried away in his huddle discussions, spending more time talking to the students and less time letting them train.

John Sullivan, who studied under Otsuka Sensei before coming to the college, complains about the lack of organization in wado-kai. He points out that there is no hombu dojo and that it is therefore difficult to take an examination for a higher rank.

Shurite training is offered by the college on Mondays from 4 to 6 p.m., and again from 7:20 to 9:20 p.m., as well as on Saturdays from 4 to 6 p.m. The chief instructors of the three schools alternate, one taking each of the three practice sessions.

English and Japanese conversation classes are also held on Saturdays from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by yoga classes from 7:20 to 9:20 p.m. Yoga is the only class that Cat Yamaguchi takes charge of personally, although he serves as the president of the college.
Stomach Exercises
Sessions begin with 40 minutes of calisthenics. Above is one of several stomach exercises, a form of sit-up repeated 100 or more times. After the calisthenics come basics, then kata and finally shiai between upper and lower ranks. The two-hour evening classes end about 9:30.

Besides the ordinary classes for the Goju-kai members and the regular two-year college courses for non-black belt students, the Japan Karate-do College also offers a one-year instructor course and a shihan course for karate masters. To enroll in the instructor's course, the entrant must be at least shodan "in any recognized system of karate." He is assured of graduating as at least a nidan after one year, or possibly sandan, depending on his ability and the knowledge he has gained during the course. The cost is the same as for the regular college students.

One of the biggest problems facing Cat Yamaguchi is promoting the college and enrolling enough students. Since it opened in April, 1973, there have never been as many as 10 foreign students enrolled, except for the special summer session involving 18 karateka from South Africa. Only one of the foreign students had heard of the college before arriving in Tokyo, but steps are now being taken to remedy that situation, including the dispatch of recruiting posters to the various goju-kai dojo around the world.

As far as the various courses go, so far there is nothing to distinguish the shihan and instructors' courses from the regular college courses. The fees are the same, and the training routine is the same. And, of course, the goju classes heavily outweigh the shurite classes. Moreover, there are conspicuously no shotokan classes offered, presumably because Yamaguchi Sensei and Nakayama Sensei were unable to see eye-to-eye on the make-up of the karate-do college.

There have also been some instructor problems. Throughout most of May and June, Iwata Sensei of shito-ryu was so busy with his family's tea business that he was unable to teach at the college during that time.

As far as the physical plant itself is concerned, there are eight dormitory rooms available but no dining rooms and no real feel of campus togetherness. Some foreign students live in, while others live out. All of the Japanese students enrolled in the college live off campus. A dojo on the third floor of the main building makes it possible to hold the college classes separately from the ordinary goju classes in the 75-mat dojo on the first floor.
Shababo
ISRAELI Karateka Shababo performs a goju kata in his quieter moments of a school party where he learned the dangers of drinking.

The two Indonesians, Rompas Jantje and Simbolon Edyson, live together in the dormitory. Edyson, a 27-year-old shodan from Medan, Sumatra, came to Japan three years ago to watch the first World Championships in Tokyo and has been here ever since.

"I like this college very much," says Edyson, "and I think this system is the best in Japan. Although I study shitoryu and the other styles, it's difficult because of the different stances and kata. It makes me confused sometimes."

Edyson sometimes goes to other dojo, but only to watch. These include Mas Oyama's kyokushinkai dojo in the Ikebukuro section of Tokyo. "When I go back to Medan in another year or so, I will open a gym for teaching goju."

On Sundays, he and Jantje relax and prefer to do nothing at all. But Jantje is skilled at ping-pony, badminton and tennis and enjoys playing these sports. They sometimes kick around a soccer ball out back, or go swimming when it gets hot, or maybe take in a baseball game.

Edyson doesn't often attend the kobudo classes because, as he says, "I'm completely wrapped up in karate." John Sullivan feels pretty much the same way: "It's all karate and sleep."

Perhaps the thing that strikes an outsider more than anything else is that for all of the many shortcomings of the Japan Karate-do College, all of its dozen or so students without exception are enthusiastic about it. Sullivan puts it about as well as anyone when he says, "If you look at the college for what it is-all the styles getting together-I think it's a great idea. I think that's what people should do-pick the best from each style. It's what I and all the rest of us here at the college are doing. I don't think there's anything like it anywhere else in the world".
Comments
#1 dcweider
on August 23 2005 22:59:04
I was training in Tokyo when this article was written.

Boy oh boy - It was a load of rubbish then and it's still a load of rubbish.

Just about everybody in the article is now dead or retired. Sullivan trained there about three weeks until he could get hooked up with Inoue and found out training at Yoyogi with Higaonna was cheaper and better although he never took Higaonna’s classes.

Eventually the 'college' was closed because it 1- had no students 2. -was too expensive 3 was dirty and unhealthy 4 was located far out of the center of Tokyo 5 Yamaguchi never taught karate just a few yoga poses. It was a total failure.
#2 3885
on April 13 2010 04:51:49
Hi there, I dont know if I am writing in a proper board but I have got a problem with activation, link i receive in email is not working... keyword,
#3 4622
on December 19 2010 08:50:14
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