What is Karate?
The Karate we practice today was brought to its present form during the 17th century when Okinawa was overrun and occupied by the Japanese, and the Okinawan Samurai forbidden to own any weapons. In those desperate years they developed and refined the techniques of Karate until their bodies and hands were as deadly and effective in their defence as the swords that were taken from them.
Where and how Karate was taught was a mystery to most Okinawans, for to be introduced to the discipline of Karate was to be marked as one of the most poised and trusted human beings and was an honour as high as any that could be bestowed. In the more settled times that followed, although remaining secret and known only through word of mouth on the island of Okinawa, Karate became a course of exercise valued for its health and character building.
Our school is the United Kingdom Seiki-Juku Karate Organisation (UKSKO). Seiki-Juku means ‘True Spirit’. The word Karate itself means ‘empty hand’, one incapable of grasping or holding on to pride, prejudice or any other selfish desire. The empty hand is to be offered to others in the service of life itself.
After entering our school of Karate each student is expected to train diligently so as to become strong enough to fell his enemy with a single blow. Karate-Ka (student) within our group must be physically very strong, but must also develop their mental powers (Kokryu). In order that nothing may ever over-awe them.
Classical Karate is at first a means of combat, a means by which by which the exponent defends himself or his family. However, by a process of repetitious training he also cultivates a morally correct state of mind. The true understanding of Karate-Do may only be understood after one engages in sufficient rigorous training.
Championship tournaments of any type have no place in real Karate. The results of a real challenge would end in serious injury. Thus contest becomes artificial combat. Both teachers and students are required only to devote themselves to training and helping each other. However those students who wish to take part in contest in order to test both their nerve and prowess are encouraged to do so.
To have thousands of followers in any school makes it impossible for teachers to give any type of individual attention. Therefore it is the policy of our school to seek controlled expansion and to scrutinise any would be teacher, or student hoping to progress above Kyu grade. This is one major point of difference between our school and most other schools of Karate. I reiterate that the quality of our school comes first and foremost and is therefore preferable to an over-large group.