Monday, December 24, 2012

Taira Masaji shinshi

In the past I've often mentioned 20th century Okinawan masters who played an important role in preserving "old style" karate such as Kuda Yuichi, Oyata Seiyu, Soken Hohan, Motobu Choki, Uehara Seikichi and others. Unfortunately all these wonderful masters have now passed on. However, there is an Okinawan master (who is still very much in his prime) who is currently doing much to spread a highly functional "old style" approach to karate. His name will already be familiar to many people who study Okinawan karate. It is Taira Masaji and I believe he is one of the most gifted of the living Okinawan masters. I also believe he will be remembered in history as one of Okinawan karate's true "greats".

"I would like to make one point in relation to bunkai practice, as you have mentioned that many instructors are “only now discovering bunkai”. I know of a number of experienced overseas instructors who have said that bunkai was not ever practiced in Okinawan dojo when they were there. They should be careful how they word those statements, as this might well simply reveal the level of karate that was entrusted to them by their instructor! Bunkai has indeed been an essential practice in Okinawan karate from its inception."
 - Taira Masaji shinshi

Here is a good interview with Taira Masaji shinshi:
Human Tornado

I highly recommend Paul Enfield shinshi's YouTube channel which has many excellent videos including (but definitely not limited to) many starring Taira shinshi. 

I am certain many people (at least the old fogies like myself) will remember Enfield shinshi as the rather athletically built uke/assistant in Higaonna Morio shinshi's Panther Video library.

I also highly recommend the videos of Taira shinshi available from Enfield shinshi's website:
Goju Karate Center Carlsbad

I've purchased videos from 2010, 2011, and 2012 and have been deeply satisfied with all of them.

If you want to improve your karate (and this includes people who study arts other than Goju ryu) I strongly suggest checking out Taira shinshi and his students.

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