Suguru | The Karate Master
“They were training like it was part of their culture and the simplicity of the whole training touched me deeply.”
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Strength, power, endurance.
Standing in the studio of Suguru Tsukamoto sensei (teacher), these traits exhibited by the Shorinjiryu Karate students overpower all your insecurities and fear. The atmosphere in the dojo is that of self-improvement, of spirit, and of community, offering a calm balance to the excited energy of the people.
Suguru sensei began practicing karate because he was drawn to its strength as a kid. In university, he took a trip to Okinawa for the first time. There, he visited the dojo of Joen Nakazato, the originator of Shorinjiryu Karate.
“I found the origin of karate and since then I wasn’t able to quit”.
The trip to Okinawa had changed Suguru sensei’s understanding of karate. No longer was it just a competitive martial art. It suddenly had a greater meaning.
The students at Joen Nakazato’s dojo were training like it was their culture, as if Shorinjiryu Karate was their lifestyle. The simplicity of their training had an everlasting impact on Suguru sensei and his experience with karate.
He brought what he had seen and learned in Okinawa back into his own karate practice in Tokyo. Today, Suguru sensei is bringing the values of Shorinjiryu Karate to the practice of his students and the foreigners he accepts into his dojo. In his dojo, Suguru sensei works hard to foster internal growth and empowerment for his students.
A lot of what was lost from modern day karate can still be found in Shorinjiryu Karate. It focus on self defense instead of competition, which is a key component that distinguishes Shorinjiryu Karate from other karate forms. Also, the martial art’s focus on individualization means that training happens in smaller classes. Unfortunately, many Shorinjiryu Karate instructors are unable to make a living from the martial art because they take on fewer students.
Shorinjiryu Karate has an underlying beauty of spirit and friendship, uncommon to many karate forms focused on competition and dominance. Train at your own pace and see the beauty of Shorinjiryu Karate for yourself at Suguru sensei’s dojo.
Author: Megan Liu