Karate-Do: My Way of Life by Gichin Funakoshi
In this article, I thought of sharing a very interesting book that I read about an iconic figure in the world of Karate, Gichin Funakoshi. The book is call Karate-Do: My Way of Life and I got it from Amazon.com/.
Funakoshi Gichen was a person that influenced with a lot of different ways many people. Nowadays, he is attributed as being the creator of the most widely known style of karate, Shotokan.
Besides that, Funakoshi Gischen had been a school teacher, a man of the family, someone who was taught about the Confucian classics, a master and educator of Karate, and an Okinawan who succeeded in transferring the art and principles of Karate-Do from where it originated in Okinawa to the Japanese Mainland.
Funakoshi had the extraordinary opportunity to live and experience in many significant eras throughout the history of both Okinawa and Japan. During his earlier life, he portrays the effects and the consequences of the novelties introduced during the period of the Japanese history when the Meiji Emperor reigned.
At that time, men holding public posts were under the obligation of cutting their traditional Japanese haircut (Chommage). In the book, he references how he was taught and trained alongside Masters Itosu and Azato, and he narrates known incidents of their achievements. Furthermore, he illustrates all the things he had to give up in order to keep on training and practicing Karate in Okinawa.
Specifically, he once had to reject a promotion because that would mean disconnecting with his karate tutors. It is perceived that Yasutsune Itosu played a key role in shaping karate as being a significant piece of the physical culture taught in the schools of Okinawa.
In addition, the credentials and life experience Funakoshi gained while being a teacher and a karate practitioner, shaped him into becoming a perfect representative of displaying and educating Japanese people.
Funakoshi was part of a big family consisting 10 members. This made his life a real struggle as he tried to cope with his teacher’s salary of 3 yen per month. His wife conscientiousness helped him to cope by waving cloth and growing vegetables.
From his book, it mentioned that his wife also evolved into an accomplished performer of the detailed patterns of movements of Karate kata. She exercised Karate kata in order to raise her spirits when she was fatigued and feeling down (page 39).
When Funakoshi arrived to Japan to display and demonstrate Karate, at first he was offered an invitation to the Kodokan by Jigoro Kano. Eventually he became teaching many fundamental moves and maneuvers to Kano. These maneuvers are nowadays being included in the Judo curriculum.
One might suggest that his involvement with Judo has resulted in his remaining in Japan and taking on another goal. That of educating and teaching the art of Karate to people, with the aspiration that Karate would become widely popular.
Perhaps, deep down he was a teacher and he ended up becoming conscious and fully aware that he had a chance of mixing his two passions; karate and teaching.
When he resided in Japan, at first Funakoshi started off with basically nothing. He worked as a groundkeeper and watchman. In fact, his struggles at some point made him pawn his own belongings in order to ensure being able to meet fundamental needs and basic demands.
Despite the fact that he was over generous and his good manners did not allow him to promote and boost himself, he managed to get the attention of Keio University. Takushoku also became interested in him. From that point on, Funakoshi commenced founding and creating Karate deep inside Japan.
Everywhere inside the book, Funakoshi wrote about various particular occurrences and specific people. Fascinating, humorous and amusing stories are mentioned into his book. An outstanding representation of a particular era during which we watch the journey of the Karate art as it starts from Okinawa, passes through Japan and finally reaches the whole world.
If you are keen to learn the history of karate, click on the link below to get a copy of Karate-Do: My Way of Life by Gichin Funakoshi from Amazon.com. ==> Click here to visit Amazon.com!