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Chito-ryu is the style of karate practiced here. It is a traditional Japanese style karate with Okinawan origins. The origins of karate and chito-ryu are deep in history.
Karate can be practiced as an art (budō), self defense or as a combat sport. We practice traditional karate with emphasis on self-development (budō). Our training includes kihon (basics or fundamentals), kata (forms), and kumite (sparring). We practice modern Japanese style training emphasizing the psychological elements incorporated into a proper attitude and character such as perseverance, fearlessness, virtue, and leadership skills. Chito-ryu is rich in traditions that we still practice today. All ages can benefit from dedicated training.
We train mind and body. You bring and generate the spirit.
Karate is beneficial to both young and old. Age is no disqualification for becoming more skillful. In a narrow sense karate can be defined as the study of weaponless self defense in order to be able to protect oneself from attack. The ultimate objective of karate is the perfection of one’s self through the systematic training of the mind and the body through exercise so that each works in harmony with the other.
Students see extraordinary changes come over them; the sluggish and undisciplined become energetic, obese and uncoordinated people soon lose their weight and become graceful; athletes find an entire world of physical and mental challenges; the non athletic becomes strong.
- Excerpts from William J. Dometrich, Hanshi
So, why study Karate? Ultimately, you, as the student, must answer that question after searching your own heart and spirit.
A message regarding Personal Transformation:
As a traditional Japanese martial art, with a Zen philosophy foundation, Chito-Ryu Karate-do facilitates an individual student becoming a more self-actualized and more fully functioning person. Our system inevitably addresses each student in a personal way, challenging her/him to reach beyond physical and psychological comfort zones to stretch and grow.
While the developmental opportunities differ for each individual, common recurring themes involve our learning to reduce our egocentrism. For some, this self-consciousness manifests itself as deficiency in assertiveness, low self esteem, absence of clear personal goals, victim mentality, etc. Others are challenged by conceit/arrogance, hostile-aggressive interpersonal attitudes, attention-getting exhibitionist tendencies, disrespect for authority, etc. As a matter of degree, all of these issues present themselves in us in terms of insufficient patience (with ourselves and with others), insufficient courage to cope fully in stressful situations, unnecessary pride/need to save face and ultimately, disingenuous expressions of filial piety toward our Instructors.
Fortunately, Chito-Ryu Karate-do is designed to cause substantial changes in each of us, across all these spectra. If we stay the course, we will assuredly grow and become better human beings. Our waza are the MEANS to the end: personal character development. The waza are not an end unto themselves. Thus, maintaining a beginner’s mind, we need not concern ourselves about belt grade, rank, martial titles, organizational titles, preferred status with the Instructor, etc. All of these are transitory and irrelevant to our goal of self-development. In fact, attaining the former things actually seems to obstruct many of us from seeing ourselves as we really are (in terms of always still needing to improve our character). These “rewards” often seem to reverse whatever progress some might otherwise have made. Net, yield yourself to the transformation process. Avoid being distracted by rank and titles. Remember why you began the journey and expect to grow continually.
(Originally shared in 2002)
Lawrence C. Hawkins, Jr., Esq., Hanshi
Established Yoseikan Cincinnati
Gichin Funakoshi 1869-1957