|The shrine in the Barn Dojo.|
I'm not exactly sure why I thought of all this, except that I know it had to do with shadows in a metaphorical way. So often, it seems to me, students want to sit in some teacher's shadow, and in doing so, they want to make sure that their teacher's shadow is bigger than someone else's shadow. I suppose this is the whole lineage question. But why do students think that they can bask in anyone else's glory, by association, simply standing in someone's shadow? The extent of one's knowledge or understanding of karate can only be measured on the dojo floor. It's something personal. I'm reminded of Plato's Cave. What if the shadow you're standing in (and it might even be the shadow of "the world's greatest karate master") isn't the real thing?
|With Choboku Takamine and|
Seikichi Higa senseis.
We have guilt by association, so I suppose we also have its opposite, something like legitimacy by association. But then again, neither one is really true, is it? And I am making no judgment here on what An'ichi Miyagi knows or what Eiichi Miyazato knows or what Morio Higaonna knows. Personally, and this is probably obvious to anyone who has read any of my ramblings, I'm not a fan of any of their ideas on bunkai or understanding of Goju-ryu. In my experience of training in Okinawan dojos, they teach hojo undo, junbi undo, kihon, kata, and various forms of kiso kumite and yakusoku kumite. Very little bunkai of classical kata is taught--though this seems to be changing in recent years--and if you don't teach the bunkai to the classical kata, it is very difficult to practice the principles upon which Goju-ryu is based. My teacher once said to me, "Don't follow me. Follow Goju." The teacher points the way. But it is each individual's journey. The only things that lurk in the shadows are paper dragons.