糸洲安恒先生遺稿 (唐手心得十ヶ條)

Kenwa MabuniFunakoshiI expect that all advanced Shotokan and Shito ryu practitioners must have heard the name Itosu Anko. Yes, he was the sensei of Gichin Funakoshi (the first photo), the founder of Shotokan and of Kenwa Mabuni (the second photo), the founder of Shito ru. However, I am afraid that not enough credit has been given to Master Itosu for what he has done to modernize karate and to bring karate to the public. Today I want to introduce him so that all of us can remember his great contributions that helped build the modern day karate that we have now.

I will also share his valuable teachings that he left in Tode Kokoroe Jukkajo (唐手心得十ヶ條 , Ten Precepts of Karate).

Instead of re-creating the biography of Master Itosu I will use a quote from a page out of Wikipedia.

Ankō Itosu (糸洲 安恒: Itosu Ankō, 1831 – 11 March 1915, photo below) is considered by many to be the father of modern karate, although this title is also often given to Gichin Funakoshi because the latter spread karate throughout Japan. A low-rank Ryukyuan Pechin, Itosu was small in stature, shy, and introverted as a child. He was raised in a strict home of the keimochi (a family of position), and was educated in the Chinese Classics and calligraphy. Itosu began his tode (karate) study under Nagahama Chikudun Pechin. His study of the art led him to Sokon Matsumura. Part of Itosu’s training was makiwara practice. He once tied a leather sandal to a stone wall in an effort to build a better makiwara. After several strikes, the stone fell from the wall. After relocating the sandal several times, Itosu ended up destroying the wall.

ANKO ITOSU

Itosu served as a secretary to the last king of the Ryukyu Kingdom until Japan abolished the Okinawa-based native monarchy in 1879. In 1901, he was instrumental in getting karate introduced into Okinawa’s schools. In 1905, Itosu was a part-time teacher of To-te at Okinawa’s First Junior Prefectural High School. It was here that he developed the systematic method of teaching karate techniques that are still in practice today. He created and introduced the Pinan forms (Heian) as learning steps for students, because he felt the older forms (kata) were too difficult for schoolchildren to learn. The five Pinan forms were (allegedly) created by drawing from two older forms: Kusanku and Chiang nan.

Itosu is also credited with taking the large Naihanchi form (tekki) and breaking it into the three well-known modern forms Naihanchi Shodan, Naihanchi Nidan, and Naihanchi Sandan. In 1908, Itosu wrote the influential “Ten Precepts (Jukun) of Karate,” reaching beyond Okinawa to Japan. Itosu’s style of karate, Shorin ryu, came to be known as Itosu-ryu in recognition of his skill, mastery, and role as teacher to many.

While Itosu did not invent karate himself, he modified the kata (forms) he learned from his master, Matsumura, and taught many karate masters. Itosu’s students included Choyu Motobu (1857–1927), Choki Motobu (1870–1944), Kentsu Yabu (1866–1937), Chomo Hanashiro (1869–1945), Gichin Funakoshi (1868–1957), Moden Yabiku (1880–1941), Kanken Toyama (1888–1966), Chotoku Kyan (1870–1945), Shinpan Shiroma (Gusukuma, 1890–1954), Anbun Tokuda (1886–1945), Kenwa Mabuni (1887–1952), and Choshin Chibana (1885–1969).


If you wish to learn more on Anko Itosu, here is a link: http://www.historyoffighting.com/anko-itosu.php

Itosu and Funakoshi

Below is a letter written by Itosu Sensei in October of 1908. This letter preceded the introduction of karate to Okinawan schools and eventually to the Japanese mainland. The translation below is my own poor translation of the original Japanese written by Master Itosu. I take all the blame for any possible (but unintended) wrong translation. I attach the Japanese after the English transation but please note that this is in the present day Japanese and not the old Japanese used in the early 20th century.

 

Preamble:

I do not believe karate came from Buddhism which was brought from India or Confucianism which is from the ancient Chinese philosophy (the teaching of Confucius) . What I understand is that, in the past, two schools; (Shorin ryu and the Shorei ryu), were brought to Ryukyu (Okinawa) from China. These two schools have their own unique and strong points, thus their teaching must not be easily changed. Therefore, we all must remember that the moves in the katas must not be changed or modified by your own thinking or liking. I wish to write down the important points of the karate training and their benefits in ten different precepts.

 

空手道は、古代中国思想(孔子の教え)である儒教や、古代インド発祥(釈迦開祖)の仏教から出たものではありません。その昔、中国より昭林流と昭霊流という二つの流派が、琉球(沖縄)に伝えられたものだと聞いております。この二つの流派はそれぞれ特長がありますので、このままの状態を大切に守りながら伝えていかなければなりません。そのためには、自分だけの思惑で、型に手を加えないという心掛けが肝心です。それで空手道の修練の心得とその効用を、項目ごとに行を改めて書き記してみます。

 220px-Itosu_Ten_Precepts

Precept 1

The main purpose of Karate-do is not merely to practice for your own physical benefit. Karate must be used with courage and justice to protect one’s family, master, or country when we encounter a serious situation even if it means that you lose your life. It must not be practiced to fight against only one assailant. Therefore, in the case you are attacked by a villain or a robber, see if it is possible to avoid a fight and to manage the situation peacefully. Never think of harming another person by your punches or kicks. One must never forget that this attitude shows the real karate spirit.

 

空手道は、個人としての体育の目的を果たすだけが、すべてではありません。将来主君(国)と親に一大事が起きた場合は、自分の命をも惜しむことなく、正義と勇気とを持って、進んで国家社会のため、力を尽くさなくてはならぬ、という名分を持っております。ですから、決して一人の敵と戦う意図はさらさらありません。かような次第ですから、万一暴漢や盗人から仕掛けられても、平素の修練の成果により、なるべくこれをうまく捌いて退散させるよう仕向けることです。決して突いたり蹴ったりして人を傷つけることがあってはなりません。このことが、本当の空手道精神であることを、強く肝に銘じて欲しいものです。

 

 

Precept 2

The ultimate goal of karate training is to make one’s body as hard as a rock so that it will bounce off any punches and kicks from an assailant. If your karate skills are excellent, you will have a strong spirit and be able to have confidence. This means you will fear no one and you can conduct yourself true to your principle. Children may start training while in elementary school, then the karate training will help them in mastering other martial arts such as kendo and jukendo when they get into military service. Remember the words attributed to the Duke of Wellington of Great Brittain after he defeated Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo in Belgium:“The Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton.” I consider this saying very accurate and relevant.

 

空手は、専ら鍛えに鍛えて筋骨を強くし、相手からの打撃をも跳ね返すほどの強さにすることが理想です。このように理想的に鍛え上げれば、自然と何事をも恐れず、自分の信念もまげずに振る舞う、逞しい行動力と強い精神力が備わるものです。それにつきましては、小学校時代から空手の練習をさせれば、いつか軍人になった時、きっと他の剣道とか銃剣道のような術伎上達の助けになる効用があります。以上述べましたようなことが、将来、軍人社会での精神面と術技面への何かしらの助けになると考えます。最も、英国のウエリントン候が、ベルギーのワーテルローでナポレオン一世に大勝した時にいいました。「今日の戦勝は、我が国の各学校のグラウンド及びその他の施設で広く体育の教育をやった成果である」と。 実に格言というべきでしょうか。

Precept 3

You cannot become an expert in karate quickly. We have a saying about a cow that walks slower than a horse, but it can last longer and travel thousands of miles. With this in mind and if one trains diligently for at least an hour or two every day, then in three to four years that person will have a much healthier body than an average person. In the end, he may be able to achieve a good level of karate but only after such training.

 

空手は、急速に熟練しようとしても、なかなか難しいものです。「牛の歩みは、馬と比較して、より遅いけれども、歩き続けていれば、ついに千里以上の里程を走破することが出来る」との格言があります。そのような心掛けで、毎日一、二時間ほど精神を集中して続けますと、三、四年の間には通常の人と骨格が違うばかりか、空手のかなり奥深いところまで到達出来る者も数多く出るのではないかと思います。

Precept 4

Firming the hands and feet are important in karate training, so one must train thoroughly on the makiwara. I advise that you should keep your shoulders down, open up your rib cage, grip your fists firmly, stand on the floor solidly, and sink your energy into your lower abdomen called Seika tanden (the lower belly area where the ki collects). To maximize the benefit, I suggest that you will punch and kick one to two hundred times with each hand and foot.

 

空手は、拳足を鍛えることが主体ですから、常に巻藁などで、十分練習を重ねるように努めねばなりません。その要領は、両肩を下げ、胸を大きく張り、拳に力を込め、さらに踏まえた足にもしっかり力を取り、吸った息を臍下丹田(下腹のことで古代中国思想で気が集る所)のところに沈めるような気持ちで練習するとよいでしょう。また、突いたり、蹴ったりする回数は、ともに片方で百回から二百回というところが効果的と考えます。

 5 and 6

 

Precept 5

Here is some advice for your stance. First, keep your back straight. Then, keep your shoulders down. It is critical to spread your strength all over your body. By dropping your breath and energy into your lower abdomen, you will stand very firmly.

 

空手の立ち方は、腰を真っ直ぐに立て、重心の平衡が崩れないよう両肩を下げ、力が体重全体に平均に及ぶような心持ちで、しかも両足も力強く立ち、吸った空気を臍下丹田に集中させ、上下の腹筋も丹田に引き合わされるようにして凝り固めることが大事な要点です。

Precept 6

Kata, the visible form, should be practiced many times. However, there will be little benefit if you practice them without knowing the meaning of the techniques. In order to make your training meaningful, one must learn the meaning of each technique. In addition, there are other special techniques that are not found in the kata such as the different punches and blocks as well as the grappling and joint techniques. These techniques are considered as secret techniques and they must be taught in a face to face training session with your sensei.

 

空手表芸である形は、数多く練習した方がよいのです。が、漠然と練習してもそれほどの効果はありません。練習の効率をよくし、本物の技を身につけるには、形のなかにある一つ一つの技(手数)の意味を正しく聞き届けるだけでなく、その技はどんな場合に用いるか、ということを確かめて練習しなくてはなりません。さらに、形の中に出てこない特別な突き方(入れ)、受け方(受け)、腕や襟を取られた時の外し方(はずし)、関節の決(極)め方(取り手)などの高度な技があるけれども、それは秘伝になっておりますので、多7th-and-8th-principくは師が弟子に対して口で伝えるようになっております。

Precept 7

There is another important thing about kata. One must know clearly before training in kata if the techniques found in them are specifically for the kihon training purpose or they are actually for an application purpose. Only by knowing them one can practice with a definite training method and objective.

 

空手表芸である形は、その技の一つ一つについて、この技の目的は「体」即ち体育(基本鍛錬)のために有効なものか、「用」即ち実用(応用技)として練習するのに適切であるか、あらかじめ確実に理解し、目的と方法を確定して練習しなくてはなりません。

Precept 8

When you train in karate, one must have the same spirit as if marching onto a battlefield. Your eyes should be open and alert. Your shoulders should be kept low. Your body must be energized and must have elasticity. When you practice punching and blocking, you must have the mindset of actually fighting instead of merely punching and blocking in the air. If you train with this attitude, an excellent result that cannot be learned in other sports can be achieved and that will be shown in your kata. I really want you to remember and apply my advice.

 

空手の練習をする時は、ちょうど戦場に出かけるような意気込みがなくてはなりません。目はかっと見開き、肩を下げて、体に弾力性がつくように固め、また、受けたり、突いたりする技の練習でも、現実に敵の突きを受け、蹴りを払い、体当たりしている実戦さながらの強い意気込みでやらなくてはならないのです。このような練習をすれば、自然と他ではまねのできないすぐれた成果が、形となって現れるものです。以上のことをしっかりと心掛けて欲しいものです。

Precept 9

If one over strains himself the blood will rush to his head and his eyes may become blood shot. This will result in some harm. No matter how you look at it, such training methods are dangerous to your health, thus these must be avoided.

空手の練習は、自分の体力不相応に、力を入れて気張り過ぎると、上気して顔も火照り、目も充血して体の害になるものです。以上のことは、どんな視点からみても、健康のため有害ですので、しっかりと肝に銘じたいものです。

 

Precept 10

Many of the karate masters have enjoyed long lives. From medical research it has been found that karate training builds a strong body. It also exercises the digestive and the circulatory systems thus resulting in longer lives. I strongly recommend that karate training to be adopted in the elementary schools’ physical education classes. Once it becomes a part of school programs we can train many school students. Such a program will make it possible to produce some experts in the future who are capable of defeating ten assailants.

 

空手に熟達した人は、昔から長寿の者が多いのです。その原因をよく調べてみますと、空手の練習が筋骨の発達を促し、消化器を丈夫にして、血液の循環をよくするので長寿者が多いということです。それで、空手は自分以後は、体育の土台として小学校時代から、学課に編入して広く多くの者に練習させていただきたいと思います。そうすれば、おいおい熟達する者が出て、きっと一人で一度に十人の相手にも勝てるような猛者も沢山出てくることと思います。

Closing statement:

I further wish that the students of all high schools and universities practice karate with the ten precepts described above. Then, some will attend the Okinawa Teachers’ University with their karate experience. In this way, after graduation, these teachers can teach karate correctly in the elementary schools with the right attitude and appropriate training methods. I believe the benefit of karate will spread across the nation within ten years. The great benefit is not meant only for Okinawa but also for our entire nation. With a strong belief in this I have written this letter and the precepts for your review.

October 1908

Anko Itosu

右の十ケ条の意図で、師範学校や中学校で空手の練習を行い、将来師範学校を卒業して各地の小学校で教鞭をとることになったら、その赴任に先だって、十ケ条に述べました空手教育の意図とその効用を、細かく指示し、各地方の小学校でも不正確な点が少しもないように指導させれば、十年以内には、全国的に普及するはずです。このことはわれわれ沖縄県民だけのためでなく、軍人社会においてもきっと何らかの助けになると考え、お目にかけるために筆記致しました

明治四十一年戊申十月 

糸洲安恒Dojo photo

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