Showing Tag: "japan" (Show all posts)

Keinosuke Enoeda - Unsu

Posted by on Friday, July 27, 2018, In : Photography 


Keinosuke Enoeda, former Chief Instructor of the Karate Union of Great Britain, performing the kata unsu. 

Image Source: kenseis-shogyu.blogspot.com


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Jigoro Kano with a Policeman

Posted by on Sunday, July 22, 2018, In : Photography 



Jigoro Kano demonstrating Judo with a policeman in Berlin

Source: judoinfo.com


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Mitsuyo Maeda

Posted by on Friday, July 20, 2018, In : Photography 


Mitsuyo Maeda was one of the finest judoka that ever lived and helped spread the art outside of Japan. Known as Conde Koma (Count Combat), he is said to have fought in two thousand no-holds-barred fights and was so successful, many see him as the ‘toughest man who ever lived’. When he emigrated to Brazil, he taught his art to Carlos Gracie who along with his brother Helio, would go on to develop Brazilian jiu-jitsu by adapting what they had been taught by Maeda, who is also often referred...

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Hienori Otsuka

Posted by on Tuesday, April 24, 2018, In : Photography 




Hienori Otsuka - Founder of Wado-Ryu Karate

Source: 
fpbujutsu.weebly.com
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Hirokazu Kanazawa

Posted by on Friday, March 9, 2018, In : Photography 


Hirokazu Kanazawa 

Source: chilternkarate.co.uk
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Morihei Ueshiba

Posted by on Friday, February 16, 2018, In : Photography 



Morihei Ueshiba vai theaikidowarrior.com

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The Fleet of Ashikaga Takauji

Posted by on Tuesday, February 13, 2018, In : Art 


The Fleet of Ashikaga Takauji Sets Out for War, painted by Utagawa Yoshifuji c.1845.
 
Source: mfa.org

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Kenwa Mabuni

Posted by on Tuesday, February 6, 2018, In : Photography 


Kenwa Mabuni founder of Shito-Ryu karate, photographed in 1938.

Source: 
wikipedia.org
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The Kenjyutsu Machi Dojo

Posted by on Tuesday, February 6, 2018, In : Photography 


Photo taken at the Kenjyutsu Machi dojo in Japan at the beginning of Meiji period (1870-1900).

Source: 
kendo-fik.org
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Jigoro Kano & Kyuzo Mifune

Posted by on Friday, February 2, 2018, In : Photography 



The founder of judo Jigoro Kano (right) training with Kyuzo Mifune, who is widely considered to be one of the best technical judoka to have ever participated in the sport.

Source: 
wikipedia.org
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Minamoto Yoritomo on Horseback Attacking an Enemy

Posted by on Wednesday, January 24, 2018, In : Art 



Minamoto Yoritomo (1147 - 1199) depicted on Horseback Attacking an Enemy by artist Taiso Yoshitoshi (1886).

Source: toshidama-japanese-prints.com
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Jumping Spinning Back Kick - Unsu

Posted by on Wednesday, January 17, 2018, In : Photography 

Mikazuki geri (crescent kick) flowing into sempu geri (jumping whirlwind kick) and ending with fuse no shisei (going to ground position) from the kata Unsu.


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Gichin Funakoshi - Gankaku

Posted by on Monday, January 15, 2018, In : Photography 



Sensei Gichin Funakoshi performing the characteristic crane-like technique from the kata Gankaku.

Source:  helldragon.eu

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Nagasaki Magistrate

Posted by on Friday, January 15, 2016, In : Photography 



Samurai magistrate from Nagasaki (c.1863).

Source: ameblo.jp
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Kendo Demonstration - Part 3

Posted by on Tuesday, January 12, 2016, In : Video 

Richard Hill and his student demonstrating some basic kendo moves at the Asian Art Museum's educator workshop for the Lords of the Samurai exhibition on September 5, 2009. 

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Samurai in Armour

Posted by on Thursday, November 19, 2015, In : Photography 



Samurai warriors (1870) wearing kusari katabira (chain armour jackets), kusari zunin (chain armour hoods) and hachi gane (forehead protectors) while holding naginata (pole weapon with blade attached).

Source: 
wikipedia.org
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Female Samurai

Posted by on Saturday, October 17, 2015, In : Photography 



An example of a female warrior of the samurai class (onna-bugeisha).

Source: pinterest.com
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Kendo Demonstration - Part 2

Posted by on Thursday, October 15, 2015, In : Video 


Richard Hill and his student demonstrating some basic kendo moves at the Asian Art Museum's educator workshop for the Lords of the Samurai exhibition on September 5, 2009.
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Sumo Fight

Posted by on Sunday, October 11, 2015, In : Art 



Title: Sumo Fight

Date: 19th Century

Artist: Kunisada Utagawa 1786-1864

Information: Depiction of two sumo wrestlers fighting while samurai warriors look on.

Source: artelino.com
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Winter Training with Mas Oyama

Posted by on Saturday, September 12, 2015, In : Photography 


Mas Oyama, founder of Kyokushin karate, leading his students in some winter training.

Source: saikyokarate.com
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Musashi Goro Sadayo

Posted by on Tuesday, September 8, 2015, In : Art 


Title:  Clearing Weather at Mt. Shimahiro

Date:  c.1850

Artist:  Utagawa Kuniyoshi

Information:  This image depicts a 15 year old 10th century samurai by the name of Musashi Gorō Sadayo defending himself against Imperial forces. The fighting came about after his lord, Taira no Masakado, proclaimed himself the new emperor in 939. However the rebellion was ill fated and the pretender and his men were defeated at the Battle of Mt. Shimahiro by troops led by Fujiwara no Hidesato just a few months a...
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Tekki Shodan - Gichin Funakoshi

Posted by on Tuesday, August 4, 2015, In : Photography 

Still photos of Gichin Funakoshi taken while performing Tekki Shodan.

More photos of Sensei Funakoshi performing Tekki Shodan
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Ashigaru Using Tanegashia

Posted by on Wednesday, July 29, 2015, In : Art 


Title: Ashigaru Using Tanegashia

Date:
1800s

Artist: Unknown

Information: This woodblock print dating from some time in the 19th century depicts a group of c16th century Japanese infantrymen (ashigaru) using matchlock firearms (tanegashia) while taking cover behind their shields (tate).

Source: Firearms of Japan
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Drink Alcohol and Pursue Fun

Posted by on Tuesday, July 28, 2015, In : Proverbs & Quotes 


“It is necessary to drink alcohol and pursue other fun human activities. The art of
someone who is too serious has no flavor.”

~ Choki Motobu ~
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The History of Kihon Kata

Posted by on Tuesday, May 5, 2015, In : Video 

An instructional video of kihon kata by Sensei Masao Kawasoe.

Kihon (basic form) is the most elementary of all the shotokan kata. Invented by Sensei Gichin Funakoshi as an easy introduction to kata and karate itself, it is made up of only two moves, gedan bari (lower block) and oi tsuki (lunge punch). Kihon kata, also known as Taikyoku Shodan, is a part of a set of basic kata that Funakoshi introduced, though in shotokan only the first is now taught and even that has now disappeared from the...
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Heian Sandan - Gichin Funakoshi

Posted by on Friday, May 1, 2015, In : Photography 

Still photos of Gichin Funakoshi taken while performing Heian Sandan.

More kata photos
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Whatever the Gods Offer

Posted by on Monday, April 27, 2015, In : Proverbs & Quotes 


"Do not look upon this world with fear and loathing. Bravely face whatever the gods offer."

~ Morihei Ueshiba ~

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Samurai Armour & Weaponry

Posted by on Monday, April 6, 2015, In : Art 


This lithograph plate from 1888 by Albert Racinet (1825-1893) shows Japanese samurai warriors
with various different types of armour and weaponry.

Source: Wikipedia

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The History of the Heian Kata

Posted by on Friday, January 30, 2015, In : Video 


The Heian (peaceful mind) kata are derived from the older Okinawan Pinan kata (which also means peaceful or calm mind). Sensei Gichin Funakoshi changed the name of these and many other Shotokan kata when he took karate to Japan in the early 1920s in a bid to make them more accessible to a Japanese consumer base. An interesting karate history fact is that the kata we know today as Heian Nidan was originally the first of the Heian kata until in the 1930s, Funakoshi switched Nidan with Shodan. ...
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Muso Soseki Quote

Posted by on Sunday, January 25, 2015, In : Proverbs & Quotes 


"It's better to practice a little than talk a lot"

~ Muso Soseki (1275 – 1351) ~
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Anette Busch - Female Sumo Wrestler

Posted by on Monday, September 15, 2014, In : Photography 


Anette Busch (1882 – 1969) was an Estonian strong woman and wrestler who fled to Japan to escape the Russian Revolution in 1917. While there, she became the first female sumo wrestler from outside of Japan and saw huge success beating all opponents who stood before her, most of which were men.

fscclub.com
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The Fudo Masamune

Posted by on Monday, September 15, 2014, In : Photography 


Goro Nyudo Masamune (c.1264–1343 AD) is widely regarded as the finest sword smith that Japan has ever seen. His samurai swords and daggers (tachi and tanto) were made in the Soshu tradition and he is believed to have worked in Sagami Province during the last part of the Kamakura Period (1288–1328).

The Fudo Masamune is one of the few surviving blades that is known for sure to have been made and signed by the legendary sword smith and from the early 1600s, it was in the possession of the Ow...
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The Art of Fighting Without Fighting

Posted by on Saturday, August 30, 2014, In : Video 


In the scene above from the 1973 classic Bruce Lee movie Enter the Dragon, the main character, Mr Lee, encounters a bully while travelling on a boat. When ask of his style, Lee replies;

“You can call it the art of fighting without fighting”.

He agrees to show the bully his art but instead of violence, he uses his intelligence and traps the bully on a smaller boat. This segment of the film was adapted from a similar incident that is said to have happened to a 16th century samurai warrio...
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Sosai Masutatsu 'Mas' Oyama

Posted by on Wednesday, August 27, 2014, In : Photography 






The legendary Sosai Masutatsu 'Mas' Oyama, founder of kyokushin karate.

Images via masutatsuoyama.com
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Kendo Demonstration - Part II

Posted by on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, In : Video 


Richard Hill describes some moves from a kendo kata at the Asian Art Museum's educator workshop
for the Lords of the Samurai exhibition on September 5, 2009.
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Kendo Demonstration - Part I

Posted by on Friday, June 6, 2014, In : Video 


Richard Hill describes the gear worn by kendoka at the Asian Art Museum's educator workshop for the
Lords of the Samurai exhibition on September 5, 2009.
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Miyamoto Musashi Fights Sasaki Ganryû

Posted by on Friday, June 6, 2014, In : Art 


Title:  At Ganryûjima in Kyûshû, Miyamoto Musashi Fights Sasaki Ganryû 

Date:  1843-47

Artist:  Utagawa Yoshitora

Information:  Miyamoto Musashi in his duel with Sasaki Ganryu (aka Sasaki Kojiro). In this
woodblock print he is shown using his trademark two sword style of fighting known as Nito Ichi (two swords as one) or Niten Ichi (two heavens as one) though it is more commonly believed that Musashi used a bokken that he fashioned out of a boat oar to defeat Ganryu.

ukiyo-e.org
...
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Westernised Samurai

Posted by on Thursday, June 5, 2014, In : Art 


Title:
 Westernised Samurai

Date:  1866

Artist:  Unknown

Information:  This picture was published in London News not long before the Meiji Restoration.
It depicts a group of young warriors dressed in western clothes alluding to the fact that many
of the samurai class were in favour of the opening of Japan’s borders to foreign influences. 

wikipedia.org

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Muhammad Ali - The Original MMA Fighter?

Posted by on Wednesday, May 21, 2014, In : Photography 


On June 26, 1976, Muhammad Ali engaged in a battle with Japanese professional wrestler Antonio Inoki in a fight that was billed as being a competition to find the toughest man on the planet. It is unclear whether or not the result was fixed beforehand, though both camps maintain that the fight was real. 

Some sources say that Ali’s camp were expecting an exhibition match, but when they found out Inoki would be going at Ali to win, they demanded several rule changes. These included Ali being ...

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Go to Bed With a Dragon

Posted by on Friday, May 16, 2014, In : Proverbs & Quotes 



"Better to sit all night than to go to bed with a dragon".

~ Zen Proverb ~

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Thirteen Iaido Kata

Posted by on Sunday, April 6, 2014, In : Video 


A demonstration of thirteen Iaido kata.
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Morihei Ueshiba

Posted by on Friday, April 4, 2014, In : Photography 


Morihei Ueshiba, founder of aikido.

Source
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The History of Empi

Posted by on Friday, March 14, 2014, In : Video 


The origins of the kata Empi (Flight of the Swallow) are unclear though there are three main theories on how it came into being;
  1. Empi was, according to some sources, originally brought to Okinawa from China in 1683 by an envoy named Wang Ji, an expert in Shaolin Fujian White Crane.
  2. Others suggest it was brought to the island with the arrival of a group of Chinese immigrants known as the Thirty-Six Families. Their appearance in the late 14th century changed the history of fighting on Okinaw...

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Miyamoto Musashi Self Portrait

Posted by on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, In : Art 


Title: Miyamoto Musashi

Date: c.1640

Artist:  Miyamoto Musashi

Information:  Self-portrait of Miyamoto Musashi, who as well as being
considered one of the best samurai warriors of all time, was also an
excellent writer and a renowned artist.

Source
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My Heart Burns Like Fire...

Posted by on Monday, March 10, 2014, In : Proverbs & Quotes 


"My heart burns like fire but my eyes are as cold as dead ashes".

~ Sayen Shaku ~

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Jumping Side Kick

Posted by on Monday, March 10, 2014, In : Gifs 
Flying side kick on Make A Gif


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The History of Wankan

Posted by on Tuesday, January 14, 2014, In : Video 

Sensei Keinosuke Enoeda performing Wankan.

Wankan (Kings Crown) is also known as Ohkan (which means the same thing in Japanese). The history of all the Shotokan kata is hazy at best and this applies doubly for Wankan as not much at all is known about its origins. 

In some styles there is another kata practiced that shares the name but has totally different moves to the Wankan of Shotokan, which may suggest that they are both only a portion of a longer, lost original kata. If this is the case, ...
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The Defeat of Benkei on Gojo Bridge

Posted by on Saturday, November 9, 2013, In : Art 


Title:
  Combat and Defeat of Benkei on Gojo Bridge

Date:  c.1830

Artist:  Hiroshige

Information:  A woodcut print of samurai legend Yoshitsune Minamoto (jumping on the right) attacking the warrior monk Benkei. The holy man had vowed to collect 1000 swords by dispossessing them from their owners in a series of duals. When he met up with the 15 year old Yoshitsune, he needed just one more for his collection but would soon realize that he had met his match. After being defeated but the young samura...
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Akiyama Yoshitoki

Posted by on Friday, November 8, 2013, In : Art 


Akiyama Yoshitoki, a physician from Nagasaki was instrumental in the development of the Yoshin School of jujitsu in the 17th century. After studying medicine in China, he learned hakuda, a fighting style that mainly consists of striking and kicking techniques and applied his knowledge to his jujitsu. This allowed him to develop hundreds of ways to subdue an opponent, and to be able to revive those he rendered unconscious or heal those he had caused injury to.
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Techniques from Tenjin-Shinyo Jujitsu

Posted by on Saturday, November 2, 2013, In : Art 


Techniques from the Tenjin-Shinyo School of jujitsu, founded by Matayemon Iso in the 17th century.
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The History of Hangetsu

Posted by on Thursday, October 31, 2013, In : Video 

Takayuki Mikami perofming Hangetsu.


Hangetsu (Half Moon) is possibly the oldest kata in the whole art of karate. Formally known as Seishan, it came through the Naha-te school though its origins are unknown. One theory is that the kata was formed from a Chinese folk dance, which aimed to explain to the onlooker the importance of the tides.

The original name, Seishan, means Thirteen which may be in reference to the thirteen day intervals as the moon revolves around the earth. However a more like...
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Minamoto Yoshitsune Training with Tengu Demons

Posted by on Monday, October 28, 2013, In : Art 


Image: Minamoto Yoshitsune training with tengu demons

Date: 1852

Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797 - 1861)

Infomation: The great twelfth-century warrior Minamoto Yoshitsune
training with tengu demons, the keepers of the secrets of the martial arts.
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Decapitation During the Nanking Massacre

Posted by on Thursday, October 17, 2013, In : Photography 


A Japanese headsman tells his Chinese prisoner the best way to hold his head
for a smooth decapitation. The picture was taken in 1938 during the Nanking massacre.
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Samurai of the Edo Period

Posted by on Friday, September 20, 2013, In : Photography 


A group of samurai warriors dressed in traditional costume photographed towards the end of the Edo Period in the 19th century.
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The History of Jion

Posted by on Tuesday, September 10, 2013, In : Video 

Hirokazu Kanazawa performing Jion


The origins of the kata Jion (Mercy) is highly debated by scholars of world martial arts. It starts with the left hand covering the right fist, kamae that probably has its roots in Chinese boxing. It is thought to have come through the Tomari-te style of Okinawan karate, however according to the legendary Hirokazu Kanazawa (above), the kata originated in the Chinese Buddhist Jion Temple (where the monks were accomplished martial artists) and then spread to the...
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Grappling Samurai Warriors

Posted by on Wednesday, September 4, 2013, In : Art 


An old illustration of two samurai warriors engaged in hand to hand combat on the battle field. The grappling
moves being displayed are an example of fighting techniques that come from an early form of jujitsu.
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Judo vs. Brazilian Jujutsu

Posted by on Friday, August 16, 2013, In : Video 


A fight between Masahiko Kimura, Judo master and Heloi Gracie, the Brazilian Jujutsu legend from 1951

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Jujutsu by Toyokuni Utagawa

Posted by on Tuesday, August 13, 2013, In : Art 


Title:  Jujutsu

Date:  c.1815

Artist:  Toyokuni Utagawa (Also referred to as Toyokuni I)

Information:  This woodblock print by renowned artist Toyokuni Utagawa depicts an expert in Jujutsu fending off multiple attackers. Utagawa was one of the leading artists that came out of the famous Utagawa school of Japanese woodblock art, and is credited with making the school famous in the 19th century.


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Morihei Ueshiba

Posted by on Friday, August 9, 2013, In : Photography 


O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) who founded Aikido in the early nineteen hundreds.
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Legendary Swordsman Haga Junichi

Posted by on Thursday, August 8, 2013, In : Video 


In this video legendary swordsman Haga Junichi is demonstrating kendo from the early Showa period of Japanese history, a period that started in 1926 and ended with the death of the Showa Emperor, Hirohito in 1989. (Note the unarmed wrestling at the end of the film).

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The Place to Train

Posted by on Saturday, August 3, 2013, In : Proverbs & Quotes 

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Mas Oyama - Fighting a Bull

Posted by on Thursday, July 18, 2013, In : Photography 


Sensei Mas Oyama, who had 52 fights with bulls, killing 3 outright and cutting off the horns of the rest with his knife hand strike.
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The Great Battle of Kurikaradani

Posted by on Thursday, July 18, 2013, In : Art 


Title:  The Great Battle of Kurikaradani between Kiso Yoshinaka and the Taira General Tomonori in 1183.

Artist:   Yoshiiku (1833 - 1904)

Date:  1857

Information:  This Japanese woodblock print depicts the scene of the slaughter of Taira forces at the hands of the Minamoto Clan during the Battle of Kurikara. The victorious side launched a surprise attack and ambushed their opponents after forcing them into a closed off valley by guiding at them a heard of stampeding oxen with flaming touches atta...
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We Walk on Hell

Posted by on Tuesday, July 16, 2013, In : Proverbs & Quotes 

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The Death of Sasaki Kojiro

Posted by on Friday, June 28, 2013, In : Art 

Title:  Sasaki kojiro

Datec. 1815

Artist:  Ashihiro Harukawa

Infomation:  This painting depicts the Kabuki actor Ohtani Tomoemon, playing the role of samurai warrior Sasaki Kojiro who meet his end in his famous ill-fated duel with Miyamoto Musashi on Ganryu Island. Kojiro was everything a samurai warrior was expected to be and followed the local Bushido code to the letter. However he was infuriated by his opponent’s lack of respect when Musashi turned up late, was dressed like a tramp and f...
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The History of Jitte

Posted by on Friday, June 28, 2013, In : Video 

Jitte, performed by sensei Imura Takenori with application from Masatoshi Nakayama

Jitte literally means Ten Hands and the name may imply that one must have the strength of ten men, which is how Masatoshi Nakayama interpreted it in his book, Best Karate, Volume 7, (seen by many as a definitive guide to Shotokan kata). An alternative theory is that the name may derive from the raised fists hand position from within the kata, which is said to looks similar to a type of Sai known as a Jitte that ...
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Chojun Miyagi & Juhatsu Kyoda

Posted by on Sunday, June 9, 2013, In : Photography 


A young Chojun Miyagi and Juhatsu Kyoda practising what appears to be an
application of the Okinawan kata Saifa.

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Judo Throw

Posted by on Thursday, June 6, 2013, In : Gifs 

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Seppuku

Posted by on Sunday, June 2, 2013, In : Art 


Title:  Seppuku
Date:  1867
Artist:  J. M. W. Silver
Info:  Illustration from "Sketches of Japanese Manners and Customs", which were reproduced copies of
native Japanese art done by using a method known as Chromolithography and published in London.


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Sensei Chojun Miyagi Teaching Goju Ryu Students

Posted by on Thursday, May 30, 2013, In : Photography 


Sensei Chojun Miyagi (far right) teaching his students Goju Ryu karate c.1929 in Okinawa.
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Koshiate

Posted by on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, In : Art 


Title:  koshiate
Date:  1735
Artist:  Hayakawa Kyuukei
Info:  This woodblock from the Edo period depicts a series of Japanese samurai swords on their koshiate
(Sword Hangers) and is from a Japanese book on samurai armour called Tanki Yoriaku: Hi Ko Ben
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Karate Sweep

Posted by on Sunday, May 19, 2013, In : Gifs 

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Moko Shurai Ekotoba

Posted by on Friday, May 10, 2013, In : Art 


Title:  Moko Shurai Ekotoba

Artist:  Unknown

Date:  c 1293

Infomation:  This picture depicts the samurai facing Mongol arrows and bombs and is from a set of near contemporary illustrations known collectively as the Moko Shurai Ekotoba. They were commissioned by the samurai warrior Takezaki Suenaga to record for prosperity his heroic deeds during the Mongol Invasions of Japan, which consisted of two failed attempts to conquer the country in the second half of the 13th century.


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Nihon Kendo Kata

Posted by on Sunday, May 5, 2013, In : Video 


Nihon Kendo Kata, forms 1 to 10.

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Goro Nyudo Masamune (c.1264 – 1343 CE)

Posted by on Saturday, May 4, 2013, In : Art 



Title
:  Masamune

Date:  Unknown

Artist:  Unknown

Infomation:  This old image is of Gorō Nyūdō Masamune (c.1264 – 1343 CE), widely considered to
be the best sword smith that ever lived. He lived during the Kamakura Period and is said to
have made swords that had the perfect balance between strength and flexibility.

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The Mongol Invasion

Posted by on Saturday, April 27, 2013, In : Art 



Title
:  Mongols Invasion

Date:  1847

Artist:  Kikuchi Yoosai

Infomation:   This Ink and water colours on paper depicts the destruction of the Mongol fleet in a typhoon that prevented them conquering Japan. This happened not once but twice, prompting the Japanese to believe it to be a Devine Wind or kamikaze.
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The History of Sochin

Posted by on Sunday, March 24, 2013, In : Video 


Sochin (Tranquil Force) may have its origins in martial arts history in Dragon Style Kung Fu and then later come through the Naha-te school in Okinawa, where it was taught by Seisho Arakaki. According to legend, Higaonna Kanryo learned it from him then passed it down to Kenzo Mabuni, the founder of Shito-Ryu.

Mabuni is said to have spent some time instructing Gichin Funakoshi’s son, Yoshitaka in the art of kata and as a result of these instructions, the Shotokan syllabus gained not only S...
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Bodhidharma Scroll

Posted by on Sunday, March 3, 2013, In : Art 


Title:  Bodhidharma

Artist:  Hakuin Ekaku (1685 to 1768)

Infomation:  This calligraphy scroll is Japanase in origin and reads;
“Zen points directly to the human heart, see into your nature and become Buddha”.


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The History of Nijushiho

Posted by on Friday, February 22, 2013, In : Video 

Nijushiho being performed by Tetsuhiko Asai (1935 – 2006)


Nijushiho (Twenty-four steps) is of unknown origins though some scholars believe that like Sochin, it originally comes from the Chinese Dragon style of fighting. Others believe the kata was created by the 19th century Okinawan master Seisho Arakaki, who may have also invented Sochin and Unsu.

The Okinawan name, Niseishi, was changed by Gichin Funakoshi however both mean the same thing. Whenever it was created, its development fo...
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Jigoro Kano & Yoshiaki Yamashita

Posted by on Saturday, February 16, 2013, In : Photography 


Jigoro Kano (the founder of Judo) on the left and Yoshiaki Yamashita
(the first to achieve a 10th degree red belt) performing  Koshiki-no-kata
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Gichin Funakoshi - Shuto Uke

Posted by on Wednesday, January 30, 2013, In : Photography 


Gichin Funakoshi executing a shuto uke (knife hand block)

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Tsukahara Bokuden

Posted by on Wednesday, January 30, 2013, In : Art 

Tsukahara Bokuden (1489 - 1571)
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The History of Gankaku

Posted by on Monday, January 28, 2013, In : Video 


Gankaku, as performed by JKA Chief instructor Masaaka Ueki (1939 – Present)

Gankaku Gankaku (Crane on a Rock) is a very old kata that was originally named Chinto (Fighter/Battle to the East), until it was changed by Gichin Funakoshi. In this case the change was brought about not only to make it more acceptable to the Japanese, but to remove any connotations of war the name might have as a result of Master Funakoshi’s pacifist beliefs. He also made modifications to the kata, changing its...
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Takasugi Shinsaku

Posted by on Monday, January 21, 2013, In : Photography 


Takasugi Shinsaku, a Kendo practitioner from 19th Century Japan

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The History of Meikyo

Posted by on Friday, December 7, 2012, In : Video 


Meikyo (Bright/Polished Mirror) was renamed by Gichin Funakoshi (above) from its original name, Rohai meaning ‘Vision of a Crane’ (though many styles still use the old name). The kata comes from the Tomari-te school where it was a set of three, Rohai Shodan, Nidan, and Sandan.

These kata were probably invented by Sensei Anko Itosu, with the techniques being derived from a much longer version of Rohai which was possibly invented by Kosaku Matsumora, suggested by the fact that it was known...
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Tsukahara Bokuden and his No Sword School

Posted by on Friday, December 7, 2012, In : Art 


Picture: Bokuden's No sword school
Date:  Unknown
Artist:  Unknown
Info:  The painting depicts a tale about the legendary samurai warrior Tsukahara Bokuden,
and how he defeated a young warrior with guile alone. He agreed to fight on an island then
abandoned the warrior there, telling him; “Here is my No Sword School!”

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Sensei Gichin Funakoshi Demonstrating Basics

Posted by on Thursday, December 6, 2012, In : Photography 


Sensei Gichin Funakoshi demonstrating some basic karate moves.

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Tomoe Gozen - Female Samurai Warrior

Posted by on Wednesday, November 28, 2012, In : Art 


Title:  Tomoe Gozen

Artist:  Kikuchi Yōsai (1781-1878)

Infomation:  Tomoe Gozen was one of Japan’s few famous female warriors who fought
alongside her master, Yoshinaka Minamoto, in the Gempei War (1180 – 1185).

Read article - Tomoe Gozen – Female Samurai Warrior

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The History of Chinte

Posted by on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, In : Video 


Chinte (Strange Hands) (performed by Master Masataka Mori above) is a very old kata that probably has its origins in China, though it has been suggested it is actually derived from an Okinawan folk dance. Favoured more by women than men, unlike most Shotokan kata it consists of predominantly circular movements instead of the more common linear ones.

If it did derive from a dance, some suggest that it symbolizes all the things a woman should know about life according to the culture at the ...

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Go to Bed With a Dragon

Posted by on Saturday, October 27, 2012, In : Proverbs & Quotes 

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The History of the Kanku Kata

Posted by on Thursday, September 20, 2012, In : Video 


Kanku (Looking into the sky) Sho (minor) and Dai (major) are advanced kata in the Shotokan syllabus and practiced by many styles including those of Japanese, Okinawa and Korean karate. Kanku Sho (Performed above by Takayuki Mikami) is the younger of the two Kanku kata and was probably developed from kanku Dai and handed down as a part of Master Anko Itosu’s teachings.

It contains moves that are typical of Itosu kata, such as double punches and moves that are designed to control and or ...
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Tomoe Gozen

Posted by on Thursday, September 13, 2012, In : Art 


Title: Tomoe Gozen

Date: 1899

Artist: Toyohara Chikanobu (1838–1912)

Infomation: This painting depicts the legendary female warrior Tomoe Gozen at the Battle of Awazu
in 1184. So the story goes, she killed one of the warriors shown with her, Uchida Ieyoshi, and
escaped capture from the other, Hatakeyama Shigetada.
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The History of the Gojushiho Kata

Posted by on Tuesday, August 28, 2012, In : Video 



Gojushiho (54 steps) is a set of two kata (sho/minor and dai/major) that both have their origin in a single kata from the Shorin-ryu style which was called Useishi (meaning 54). In a strange quirk of martial arts history, the kata known as Gojushiho Sho was previously known as Gojushiho Dai and vice-versa, but they got reversed.

Legend has it that in the 1960s or the 1970s during the All Japan Karate Championships, a high ranking karateka of the JKA announced Gojushiho Dai then did the wron...

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Yoritomo Minamoto

Posted by on Tuesday, August 28, 2012, In : Art 



Yoritomo Minamoto (1147 - 1199) , after he defeated the ruling Taira Clan and
ushered in the Kamakura period and the rule of the Minamoto Shogunate.
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The History of Unsu

Posted by on Tuesday, August 14, 2012, In : Video 


 Unsu (Hands in the Clouds) is a high level kata and one of the oldest practiced within Shotokan karate. Its exact origins are unknown but it is believed to be of Chinese origins, and of the Dragon Style of Kung Fu. According to Masatoshi Nakayama, anyone who tries to master Unsu before first mastering the Heian kata, Kanku-Dai, Empi and Jion will look like “a scarecrow trying to dance".

Symbolism is a recurring theme in the history of the martial arts and it has been suggested that the mo...

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Zen Proverb

Posted by on Tuesday, August 14, 2012, In : Proverbs & Quotes 

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Ainu Hunters

Posted by on Sunday, August 12, 2012, In : Art 


Title: Ainu Hunters

Date: 19th Century

Artist: Unknown

Infomation: The clothes, weapons and characteristic thick beards
of the Ainu went largely unchanged for much of the history of Japan.
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Early Karate Training in Japan

Posted by on Tuesday, July 31, 2012, In : Photography 


Students of karate training on a roof top in Japan c.1934

The History of Okinawan Karate
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Prince Yamato

Posted by on Sunday, July 29, 2012, In : Art 


Title: Yamato Takeru Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839–1892)

Date: 1886

Infomation:This is a woodblock print on paper of Prince Yamato Takeru dressed as a maidservant, preparing to kill the Kumaso leaders. Yamato is held up as an ideal samurai and as an example for others who followed him.

Samurai History
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Musashi vs. Bokuden

Posted by on Saturday, July 28, 2012, In : Art 



Title
:  Musashi vs. Bokuden

Date:  Between 1868 – 1892

Artist:  Tsukioka Yoshitoshi

Information:  This woodblock print depicts a fictional fight or training session between legendary samurai warriors Tsukahara Bokuden (1489 - 1571) and Miyamoto Musashi (1584 - 1645)

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