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Online articles from back issues of Dragon Times
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Dragon Times From the Library Journal, Spring, 2000.
“Dragon Times
is a journal for the serious martial arts enthusiast [its] newspaper format eschews gloss and trends to focus on the history and philosophy of martial arts. It is filled with in-depth, accurate articles about the many aspects of the martial arts Dragon Times relies on prominent instructors in the field to provide articles and information backed by expertise and knowledge. The publication will benefit most those who have a base knowledge of the martial arts. Re-
commended for any library where a serious interest exists." Michael Colford, MA.
Dragon Times is a periodical distributed by direct mail to subscribers and through the major book chains (Barnes & Noble, Borders Books & Music, Hastings Entertainment, Tower Books & Videos). Wholesale distribution in North America and Canada is by International Periodical Distributors (IPD) of Solano Beach, California. A subscription to four issues costs $10 including postage. While efforts are made to publish at quarterly intervals, greater emphasis is placed on quality of content than strict adherence to deadlines. Subscribers will however, always receive the full four copies.

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Interview: Liu Chang I
Feeding Crane Gung Fu
Interpreter: Anne Lee
Translation by Takako Funaya, M.A.

Those of us who had grown weary over the years of the theatrical and generally pathetic demonstrations of alleged Gung Fu, were delighted to discover recently a very talented Chinese instructor teaching the original form of Feeding Crane Gung Fu.

When Liu Chang I of Tainan, Taiwan, made his first teaching tour of the U.S. Iast year with the noted Kobudo and Goju Ryu instructor Kimo Wall, seminar attendees were amazed by his speed and power, and his ability to hit his opponents with almost any part of his body, very hard!

Invited to produce a video with Tsunami Productions during the taping studio technicians picked up on their equipment a sort of rumbling, drumming sound that occurred when Mr. Liu performed techniques. "Oh! that's my gong li (ki)," explained Mr. Liu to the astonished sound engineer who was wondering what was wrong with the radio microphone he had attached to the instructor. The mic was removed, taping continued, and an extraordinary video was recorded that will stun collectors of Tsunami videos when it is released.

Liu Chang I was interviewed by Dragon Times just before returning to his homeland recently. His views are interesting, as a person he is quite delightful, and his fighting method is both elegant and practical. Moreover, his martial arts pedigree through his father and grandfather is impeccable, and it is therefore difficult to imagine a better qualified ambassador or Chinese Gung Fu in general and feeding crane style in particular. --more


Interview With Eihachi Ota
of Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu

Eihachi Ota is one of the true pioneers of Okianwan karate in the United States. Like most of his countryman he is quiet, self-effacing, and modest, and as a result, is known only to long-term students of traditional karate. This interview was conducted in the Dragon Times office.

DT: Where do you come from originally?

EO: I was born on Yaeyama Island, one of the most southerly islands in the Okinawan chain. On a clear day we could look to the south and see Taiwan.

DT: What sort of upbringing did you have?

EO: My father was a farmer who supplemented his income by working as a carpenter. Our community, of which my father was the headman, was very small. Never more than100 people. Our island was so tiny that it was almost impossible to find a place on it from which you could not see the ocean.

DT: What made you move?

EO: My father insisted that his six children have an education so when I was about 13 we moved to Naha City on Okinawa. Shortly after that I came in contact with karate.


by Harry Cook

One feature of training in a karate dojo in Japan which is not often met in the West is-the practice of reciting the kun or code of ethics at the end of a training session. G W. Nicol in his book "Moving Zen: Karate as a Way to Gentleness" refers to this practice and its place in Japanese karate-do:

"The oath was always chanted with strength, never mumbled in insincerity. Just as movements would become automatic and reflexes conditioned, the simple truths of the oath would also penetrate the mind of the participant"

The form of the dojo kun can vary from style to style or dojo to dojo but in general the sentiments and basic ideas involved agree in most respects. My own experience centers on the kun used in Higaonna Sensei's Goju-ryu and Kanazawa Sensei 's Shotokan dojos in Tokyo, where the five precepts were identical but not presented in the same order; this is also the dojo kun used by the Japan Karate Association. --more


Secret Treasure of Okinawan Karate

In 1621 Mao Yuan I published a work on military tactics. Composed of 240 volumes, the Wu Pei Chih deals with all aspects of Chinese military tactics, and includes a section on empty hand methods. As I studied the history of the martial arts I was intrigued to learn that Chojun Miyagi had given the name "Goju Ryu" (Hard/Soft Style) to his art from a line contained in the Bubishi (Wu Pei Chih in Chinese). Determined to find out more, I looked at copies of Mao Yuan I's work in the libraries of Durham University and Cambridge University, but I could not find the section used by Miyagi. Finally after two years of looking, the truth finally dawned on me-there must be a different work with the same name! And of course, there is. The Okinawan Bubishi may have used the name of the Chinese original for purposes of prestige, but the contents are quite different. I believe the Okinawan Bubishi is a product of an Okinawan martial artist (or artists) and reflects a synthesis of knowledge and techniques derived from South China (mainly Fukien) and Okinawa.

The technical aspects of the work are based on the methods known as Fukien White Crane. The first chapter of Bubishi is entitled "The Origins of White Crane Boxing," and tells us that the White Crane style was founded by a woman, Feng Chi Niang, who modified a system taught to her by her father, Feng Shih Yu of Fukien. --more


Shindo Jinen Ryu
by Akio Omi

While the roles of Chojun Miyagi, Kenwa Mabuni and Gichin Funakoshi in the development of modern karate are a matter of public knowledge, the work of one of the most important karate pioneers, Yasuhiro Konishi, remains little known and even less appreciated. All who knew him personally speak of his modesty and sincerity. Perhaps it was these characterstics that kept him, by choice, in the background and away from the limelight while he worked energetically to promote the alien art of karate in a Japan seized with nationalistic fervour and that viewed anything not indigenous to the nation, including martial arts, as distinctly inferior. We are indebted to the U.S. branch of the Japan Ryobukai and Sensei Kiyoshi Yamazaki for the following. -Editor.

Shindo Jinen Ryu was founded by Yasuhiro Konishi, who was born in 1893 in Takamatsu, Kagawa, Japan. Konishi Sensei began his training in martial arts at age 6 in Muso Ryu Jujitsu. When he entered the equivalent of a western high school, he began training in Takeuchi Ryu jujitsu. This particular jujitsu style is known for its strong kicks and punches, very similar to karate.

At age 13, while practicing jujitsu, Konishi Sensei began studying kendo as well. In 1915, he commenced studies at Keio University in Tokyo. While average tenure at university is four years, Konishi Sensei remained at Keio University for eight years because of his love for kendo and jujitsu. He was Keio University's kendo team captain, and continued coaching the university's kendo club after his graduation. --more


Interview: Shuichi Aragaki
Interview conducted by Toshihiro Oshiro
Translated by Haruko Chambers

Dragon Times: Sensei, why did you first go to a karate dojo to train?

Shuichi Aragaki: My grandfather Aragaki Ryuko taught Chojun Miyagi karate when he was a child of around ten years old.

Dragon Times: Is that so!?

Shuichi Aragaki: Yes! Chojun Sensei was so good that my grandfather took him to train with Kanryo sensei.

Dragon Times: How old was he at that time?

Shuichi Aragaki: 10 to 12 years old. The Miyagi family were grandfather's neighbors so Chojun sensei would be with him a lot practising karate. My grandfather taught him how to punch, basic stuff life that. Grandfather was about thirteen years older than Chojun sensei.

He told me that one day Chojun sensei asked him to hold his geta because he was going to pick a fight with someone in the street. He told my grandfather "hide and watch me. If I lose run away." Grandfather realized that he needed a hard master to control him so he took him to practice with Kanryo Higaonna sensei.

Then our family went to Taiwan and lost contact with Chojun Sensei After the war we returned to Okinawa and re-established contact. His dojo was in Tsuboya and grandfather took me to Chojun sensei and I became a student at the Garden Dojo. This is how I started karate training. --more

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volume 16, Spring, 2000

JKA Shotokan Karate Back to Basics
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A Special Dragon Times ONLINE Interview
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by Nakamura Taizaburo Batto Do Hanshi, 10th Dan (Translated by Guy H. Power.)

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Thoughts from Japan - The Order of Things
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Thoughts from Japan - By Way of Introduction...
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The Fighting Tradition of Japan
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James Tawatao

Interview with Reverend Toshio Kuramoto
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Hawaii's first Nisei Karate Sensei
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Okazaki on Shotokan

The Sensei
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Success in the martial arts
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Chitose Tsuyoshi
A Bridge Through Time
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Fighting Spirit
by Harry Cook

Karate Training
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Page 6

Liu Chang I

Interview With Eihachi Ota
of Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu

by Harry Cook

Secret Treasure of Okinawan Karate

Shindo Jinen Ryu
by Akio Omi

Interview: Shuichi Aragaki


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