Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

2008 is the year of the rat.

It's not like I pay much attention to zodiac details, but since I was born in a previous year of the rat, 1960, it seems appropriate.

We at That's My Satori, would like to wish all of you, a happy and healthy New Year.

The following video is of a song called Year Of The Rat done by a band called Badly Drawn Boy. It has a great message for the start of this new year. Check out the Christ like character with K-9 accompaniment.

Friday, December 28, 2007


I thought that it would be interesting to post some rather unique bits on the sai for a change, starting with the old favorite of Yamaguchi and Urban Sensei's discussing the use of it.

Known as a symbol of police authority in Okinawa, the police would hold the sai up in front of them when arriving at a crime scene, just as modern officers do with their badges. The sai was originally introduced to the RyuKyu Islands probably by pirates. Definately not as some mistakenly beleive, as a farm implement but as an obvious weapon.

What we know as the sai is actually indeginous to the Indonesian archepelago, and called tjabang or cabang.

From Malaysia, here we have the trisula.

Here are tekpi, from a display at the Sultanate Palace in Melaka.

Yours truly in a posture from the kata Arakaki No Sai that I learned while living in Okinawa.

Here is something that you don't see every day = a Southern Chinese Sai Form.

Another early version called nunti was formed in the shape of a buddhist talisman, with one prong up and another down. It also has pointed shafts on both ends as seen here in this picture of yours truly, and Dai Sensei, Kow Loon Ong.

The nunti is also often seen attatched to the end of a staff. This is known as a nunti bo.

Old Old Old...................

This picture of yours truly, with Bill "Super Foot" Wallace and Sensei, Zino Salnave as a skinny young green belt, was taken at a tournament in Atlantic City, New Jersey over 20 years ago.

It seems like it was taken last week.

Man! I'm getting old!

Thank God I'm still good lookin!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

And Now For Something Completely Different........

More on the topic of the use, or misuse of Japanese terminology:

Here is another pedantic Malanoski rant on the misuse of Japanese terminology. This one is really not your fault, if Nihon Go is not your or your instructor’s first language. I blame the folks who write books dealing with the instruction of martial arts, and those who blindly use such books for the perpetuation of misinformation on the non suspecting student.

This micro treatise will deal with the Japanese word Uke.

In the striking arts uke is often incorrectly translated as block.

In the throwing / grappling arts, uke is often incorrectly translated as partner.

Then there is the compound word ukemi, which is most often incorrectly translated as break falls.

I have even been asked at a karate get together, by an instructor from another dojo, to get one of my ukes to make a run to the store for us……………….

The fact of the matter is that uke literally means to receive / accept.

Ukemi Waza = methods of acceptance.

When used in reference to a blocking technique, uke actually refers to a method of accepting an on coming strike or attack without being hit.

When used in reference to a person, uke actually refers to the person receiving a technique.

When used in reference to a break fall, ukemi actually refers to a method of receiving a throw or joint locking technique, allowing one to go with the flow of the technique while avoiding injury.

By observing the word uke in its proper context, we, in my opinion, can better understand the concepts of blocking and break falling.

For an interesting article, written by Dave Lowery, on the kanji for uke, go to:

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Gangster lean.

Here is a pic of GMstr. Peter Urban in a group shot with Sosai Masutatsu Oyama and company. He is standing at left, next to the pillar in trench coat. This pic appeared in Oyama's book "What Is Karate?" many years ago.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Was in another life time, but it seems like yesterday.......

Osu! Here is a shot of Sensei Urban, with my team that I brought up from Florida that year, and I, at Shihan Al Gotay's All GoJu Invitational at The John Jay Collage Of Criminal Justice.

GMstr. Urban's katsu revisited.

Here is a short video of a fight between the famous tournament stars, Joe Lewis and Skipper Mullins, in which Maestro Urban not only referees, but also performs katsu resuscitation on Mullins after he "Mullins," receives a vicious Lewis side kick. Circa 1960's.

The following is a re posting of an article written about Sensei Urban's katsu, circa 1969.

Click on pics below in order to view at full size:

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pedantic Malanoski Rant on the misspelling of Osu!


OK, here it is. I’m not going to win some people's popularity contest with this one. But I figure that since I’m already listed as Public Enemy # “fill in the blank,” this can’t hurt any. Add sarcastic chuckle………..

Being a practitioner of a westernized version of an oriental art co notates enough scrutiny and arduous self justification already, without adding fuel to the fire by acting in one of the following categories when it comes to the use of Japanese terminology:
UNLETTERED implies ignorance of the knowledge gained by reading . UNTUTORED may imply lack of schooling in the arts and ways of civilization . UNLEARNED suggests ignorance of advanced subjects .

The Nihon Go = Japanese language, word Osu!, that we see so often used in the martial arts, literally translates as “Push On.”, as seen on the doors of grocery stores in Okinawa. It is used by some practitioners of martial arts as a reminder or promise to keep on pushing on through adversity. It is also used as a greeting between males. Although in the west, chauvinism is not as popular as in the east, so females are not out of place to use it. Osu!, is often used like a verbal bow or salute, or a slang word for yes, or understood, or like the Hawaiian Aloha, meaning hello and or good bye.

Other translations of the phonetic sound of osu are:

To infer / to conclude / support

To apply pressure from above.

To stamp, “as in stamp a passport.”

Sensei Urban used phonetic spelling in order for the westerners who were not acquainted with the vowels of Nihon Go = Ahh Ehh Eeee Oh Oooo, to be able to pronounce the words. However much time has elapsed since the martial arts were first introduced to the west, and the time has already come for everyone to jump on the band wagon, and come in for the big win, so to speak.

The following misspellings used by many mistakenly for osu have the following meanings.

Oss is not a word. Although it is however an Urban ism, so in respect for The Sensei, I suppose it’s ok, but don’t say that you were not warned that it is not a word in Nihon Go!
Osui means filthy water, or sewage.
Ousu means weak.
Ush is not a word.
Ushi means cattle, cow, beef, ox “Chinese Zodiac,” barb of a feather, tooth decay.

If you think that this rant is bad, try going to the following site:

I also highly suggest that the reader uses the Japanese to English dictionary site, found in our links section on the lower right hand corner of this page.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Have you ever heard of Joe White?

For years, I have wondered why a man that was responsible for so many US Marines being introduced to the GoJu system has basically fallen into obscurity when it comes to GoJu history. Up until recently, the only time I ever saw his name was in a caption under the picture that you see here, circa 1957. He is the black gentleman sitting in the front row, along with Seiko Higa Sensei and Seikichi Toguchi Sensei, which was published in one of Grand Master Seikichi Toguchi's books.

I would like to take this time to introduce you all to him.

Unfortunately, this picture was taken at his going away party. Where did he go, you may ask? He went to Viet Nam and never came back.........

Can you spell HERO???????????????

Here is another pic of Joe White receiving his ShoDan from Toguchi Sensei.

Thank you Sensei White. For what you unknowingly contributed to the GoJu style, and for the ultimate sacrifice that you made in the name of freedom.

Special thanks to Shihan John Roseberry for giving me permission to use this picture, which came from his website

Monday, December 17, 2007

Some unsung personalities in our lineage.

I realize that many of you aficionados out there have already heard of these folks. But it has come to my attention that a great deal of those who would be interested, have not. So, with no further ado, I give you something that you may not already know.

Ryu Ko Arakaki who was responsible for Chojun Miyagi’s initial training, and introduced him to Kanryo Higashionna. If the reader plays around with the name, he may come up with an interesting historical perspective.

Tate KoJo operated the KoJo DoJo at the Okinawan Ghetto in the city of Fuchow in the Fukien province of China. The KoJo DoJo is where such luminaries as Miyagi and Uechi among others, did their initial training when visiting China. It seems that the KoJo DoJo was a gathering place for various Chinese boxers.

Juhatsu Kiyoda was a senior student of Kanryo Higashionna. He founded a style called Toon Ryu after the death of Higashionna...

Miyagi, Kiyoda, and Shinzato

Jinan Shinzato was Miyagi’s top student. He would have been the heir apparent, had he not been killed early in World War 2.

Seiko Higa was a junior classmate of Miyagi’s in Higashionna’s dojo. Becoming a student of Miyagi, after Higashionna’s death, he was the only person that Miyagi ever granted permission to teach GoJu Ryu. Miyagi petitioned the BuTokuKai to issue him the Renshi menkyo. He later attained the Hanshi menkyo from BuTokuKai after Miyagi’s death. (Incidentally, Miyagi was the first karateka to be issued the Kyoshi menkyo from BuTokuKai.)

Takeo Maruta was a student of Miyagi who moved to Kyushu in Mainland Japan. He was a carpenter by trade, and also operated a dojo. He was Gogen Yamaguchi’s first Sensei, and was responsible for Miyagi’s being invited to visit Ritsumeikan University, which is how Yamaguchi met Miyagi.

Nei Chu So, originally of Korean decent, but living in Japan as a citizen, was a junior dojo mate of Gogen Yamaguchi, who like Yamaguchi, also trained with Miyagi during his visit to RitsumeiKan . He later became a member of Yamaguchi’s Japanese GoJu Kai. He was Masutatsu Oyama's GoJu Ryu instructor.

Friday, December 14, 2007

KaraTe Do Sanka

The music that you can start by clicking on the audio start button at top right of this site, under the about me section, is called the KaraTe Do Sanka. That is Nihon Go = Japanese language, for the karate song. It was written by the late Grand Master, Soshin Nagamine who founded the MatsuBayashi ShoRin Ryu style. An interesting note on Nagamine, is that he, along with GoJu Ryu founder Grand Master Chojun Miyagi, created the GekiSai kata. The two of them were in the process of introducing KaraTe into the Okinawa public school system, and developed the form in order for the young students to have an initial rudimentary set of moves that they could easily understand. Of course Miyagi later developed the GekiSai Dai Ni kata, and much later began developing the GekiSai Dai San, which he unfortunately passed away before completing. Fortunately, GekiSai Dai San was completed by his student, the late Grand Master, Seikichi Toguchi, founder of ShoreiKan GoJu Ryu. We practice Gekisai Dai San in my ShobuDo GoJu Jitsu system, as taught to me by Dai Sensei, Kow Loon "Kayo" Ong, founder of Chi I Do.


Ah, beautiful islands of sunlight,

And the color of the sea,

The proud fighting spirit of the Islanders

and the empty handed Sword of Justice.

Training spirit and training body

Ah, this is Okinawan Karate-do!

O, but if an enemy should happen to attack us,

and the method of courtesy prove to no avail,

if he should cut our flesh with his iron weapon,

even then we will punch through to his bones.

Courtesy and defense together

This is Okinawan Karate-do!

O! Ever since the mythical ancestry of Japan,

the bell of peace has been ringing continually in Okinawa.

The way of courtesy and the five bodily weapons of Karate together,

to make a straight character and good Etiquette,

This is Okinawan Karate-do!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Sensei

Osu! I am sure that most of you have seen this before, but for those who have not, here is some footage of The Maestro = Urban. You will see a very short piece here of the famouse fight between The Maestro and GMstr. Don Nagle. This will have to suffice, until I get the miles of footage that I have of him, converted for use here on My Satori.

The 3 Mentors Of The Maestro.


Now that we have the technology, I thought it apropriate to post footage of our family tree three. That is to say, the grand fathers so to speak, of what we know as GoJuLandia Americanus. Here are GMstr. Urban's three teachers.


Here we have some classic footage of Hanshi, Richard Kim, GMstr Urban’s first teacher. He is seen here lecturing on etiquette and a very interesting perspective on the circular concept of Ju. What makes this footage even more interesting to me, is that you can see GMstr. Urban sitting at a table behind Hanshi, Kim. This video was filmed at a Super Seminar that the two of them did, years ago in Canada.


This is pretty much self explanatory.


Here we have Sosai, Masutatsu Oyama. I personally find this short video to be of interest, as I never saw it before, until recently. Another thing that makes it special, is that, keeping in mind that although Oyama was a master of Japanese KaraTe and a Japanese citizen, he was originally of Korean decent. He is seen here visiting Korea, and giving a kumite class to Tae Kwon Do black belts, utilizing the cat style of play that GMstr. Urban was so fond of. One can also see how the USA GoJu Tensho kata was obviously influenced by the KyokuShinKai / Oyama version. For those not hip, the big guy at the end of the video, is Master Gary Alexander of I Shin Ryu, who later founded the I Shin Ryu Plus system.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Back in the U.S.S.R.


The following video segments were filmed during some of the many demonstrations that I did in the former Soviet Union as part of a Christian missionary martial arts demo team. These segments took place in the cities of Zaparozia and Alexandrea. The videos were filmed by Allan Knapp. Special thanks goes out to Monday Salnave, for his tireless efforts in converting these videos for use on the internet.

The Urban Kooroorunfa / Kururunfa " Violence "

Here are a couple of segments of The Urban Kooroorunfa kata which I performed at the coloseum in Zaperozia Ukraine. On the day of the segment in which I wear a black gi, we showed up at the coloseum to find that pieces of broken bottles had been spread all over the floor that we were to perform on. Even after the floor was swept, there were still small pieces of glass left all over, so you will notice that in the " hopscotch " segment, I am looking down, and for good reason...............

Please see previous posts for more explaination of the meaning behind this form, which is not to be confused with it's name sake = an ancient Chinese / Okinawan kata " Kururunfa."


Here are a few segments of various KoBuDo. A short nunchaku demo, Arakaki No Kon, and some Iaido. The Kon was done at the Alexandrea KyokuShinKai HQ.

The IAiDo that was done in the colosium, is a hyped up conglomeration of quite a few IAiDo katas combined, replete with kiais added on for theatrical effect. We don't normally practice in such a way.

Bed Of Nails

Here is a shameless theatrical superman show off routine that was actually done for a good cause, so please endulge me.........

By the way, this actually is very dangerous. During a live TY show that I performed this same demo in, the sledge hammer was driven all the way through my body, and I wound up with a double hernia that I found out about and had operated on years later.

So don't try this at home.............

GoJu Jitsu Waza

Here are a few techniques that I demonstrated with the assistance of my uke Sasha, during the Alexandrea demo.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A message to the enemy: I READ YOUR BOOK!!!!

Osu! I have chosen to re post something that I wrote on he topic of familiarity with the enemy's strategy in the THERE AND THEN, as it seems appropriate considering what is going down in the HERE AND NOW. The strategy that I speak of, is called Divide And Conquer. This is a proven " Gets em every time," unless you see it coming. Lest the reader gets the wrong impression, let me say now that I refer not to my teacher as the enemy. He both taught me of, and warned me about this strategy long ago.
So, with no further ado, I give you my hypothesis once again, this time, replete with VIDEO ACCOMPANIMENT!

Please click on pic so as to enlarge, for you to see The sensei's message to yours truly written at the top of the cover.

Upon the announcement of my 2ND marriage, The Sensei sent his Autobiography to us as a wedding present. It was his own personal copy, and the only one left to his knowledge.

The Sensei told me that he would be greatly pleased, if in two years after receiving the book, that the two of us were to walk up to his table and yell "I READ Your BOOK!!!, as General Patton did to Field Marshal Rommel in WW 2, which was shown in George C. Scott's movie Patton.

At a memorable moment in the movie Patton, George C. Scott as the General crows as his tactics foil the North Africa strategy of Rommel, the German "Desert Fox."
"Rommel, you magnificent bastard," he shouts, "I read your book!" For Rommel had published his innovations in the art of war, and Patton, a keen student of military history, possessed the ultimate advantage: he knew his opponents mind. Rommel was defeated before the engagement had begun.

Well, the marriage dissolved last year, and no, the two of us never did walk up and yell "I READ YOUR BOOK!!!, although I did read it, from cover to cover on numerous occasions, and use it as reference material even now.

Maybe The Sensei was trying to tell me something...............

Anyway, during multiple conversations with The Sensei after his giving me his autobiography, he eluded to the Patton, Rommel story.

Even if ones plans are not to take over the world, it is always good to study the strategy of those whose plans do entail domination.

The works of great strategists like Sun Tzu's Art of War, Miyamoto Musashi's Book of Five Rings, and on a darker side, Hitler's Mein Kampf, Mao's Little Red Book, and also Tojo and the coming of war by Robert J C Butow, are all insightful as to learning what to watch out for. Oh, and if you have never read The Turner Diaries then you have no insight as to what went down in Oklahoma, and what is bound to happen again here in the US. This book was written prior to the Oklahoma Bombing.

Maxims such as the ever popular "Divide and Conquer" are used and seen by all of us, in the dojo / martial arts politics, on the job, in relationships etc etc ad nausium.

Just as the practice of weapons in your martial arts training, is not just for tradition or the bi product of physical development which is gleaned from the handling of weapons = most of you are not going to use a nunchaku, katana, knife, sai, or spear in a fight on the street, knowledge of the use of these weapons capacitates the ability to better defend against an armed attacker.

Familiarity with the Motis Operandi of the enemy is capacitation for defense and or anialation.

This is why I watched, much more than I ever played, when it came to chess games with The Sensei at the dojo.

OneGaeShimasu Sensei!

Your teachings continue with new lessons every day.

Domo Arigato Gozai Mashita!

Thank You, For Being You.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The new and complete symbol, and what it symbolizes.

At the encouragment of some of my black belts, I have reintroduced a symbol that we once used many years ago, in conjunction with the badge that has been in the process of development for the past while. As you scroll down, you will find a detailed explanation of the meanings behind the various facets of our logo. Please note that although I have strong religious beleifs, "Christian," I do not push my beleifs on my people. You will find that much that is contained in our logo, has been taken from Eastern spirituality. Although I do understand their meanings, most of them have a different meaning to me. The various facets are meant to be an historical and philisophical expression.


The Nio (Benevolent Kings) are a pair of protectors who stand guard outside the temple gate at most Japanese Buddhist temples, one on either side of the entrance. In Japan, the gate itself is often called the Nio-mon (literally Nio Gate). Their fierce and threatening appearance wards off evil spirits and keeps the temple ground free of demons and thieves. In some accounts, the Nio were said to have followed and protected the historical Buddha when he traveled throughout India. They have since been adopted by the Japanese into the Japanese Buddhist pantheon. Each is named after a particular cosmic sound. The open-mouthed figure is called "Agyo," who is uttering the sound "ah," meaning birth. His closed-mouth partner is called "Ungyo," who sounds "un" or "om," meaning death. Other explanations for the open/closed mouth include: (1) mouth open to scare off demons, closed to shelter/keep in the good spirits; (2) "Ah" is the first letter in the Sanskrit alphabet and "Un" is the last (same in Japanese syllabary too), so the combination symbolically represents all possible outcomes (from alpha to omega) in the cosmic dance of existence. At some Buddhist temples, the Nio guardians are replaced with a pair of mythical and magical Shishi Lion-Dogs -- one with mouth open, the other closed.

These nio were the symbols of the Arakaki Naha Te Kempo DoJo that I trained in while living in Okinawa. I used the Nio as my DoJo's symbol when I returned to the U.S.

To me, the nio symbolize guardian angels, who protect us from the adversary, Satan, his demons, and ourselves, by reminding us of our true purpose, when we are not thinking or acting righteously.

Yata No Kagami

The outer edge of our symbol, which at first glance appears to be a flower, is actually Yata no kagami, which symbolizes wisdom or honesty,
Yata no Kagami, or "The Mirror Yata" or "The Octagonal Mirror". According to the mythical history of Japan, the Gods offered three sacred gifts to the first japanese emperor to prove his "divine descendence":
1. KUSANAGI NO TSURUGI - "The Sword Kusanagi"
2. YASAKANI NO MAGATAMA - "The Jewel Yasakani"
3. YATA NO KAGAMI - "The Mirror Yata"

Of course Emporor Hirohito was forced to admit the falshood of this divinity to the masses of Japan by General McArthur, after the defeat of the Land Of The Rising Sun in WW2.
The form is modeled after an ancient 8-sided copper mirror (called yata-no-kagami). This mirror is chronicled in Japanese Shinto legends and the shape is represented in numerous Japanese crests (mon). The mirror, reflecting everything truthfully, is a symbol for honesty.
The Yata no Kagami is not a normal mirror. Unlike normal mirrors that reflect our external image, Yata no Kagami reflects our soul. For this reason, there are always mirrors inside Shinto temples (it is said the original Yata no Kagame still remains untouched inside a Shinto temple in Japan).

The shape = octagonal, is seen in the Chinese eight diagrams “ Pa Kwa,” and is popular replete with mirror in the Fanshuei that is used today in the decorating of so many homes and businesses.

To me, it symbolizes that if you want the honest truth, look in the mirror.


The flower seen on our logo is called Sakurabana, The cherry blossom, which was considered an especially beautiful and important symbol for Japanese samurai because at the height of its beauty it would inevitably fall to the ground to die. Samurai also had to be willing to sacrifice themselves in their prime, and the cherry blossom was evidence that this is the natural way of things and could even be beautiful and pure. Life is as delicate and light as the falling petals, and there is a natural time for all beautiful things to end. The samurai strove to understand the nature of life and death by meditating on the blossom of the cherry tree. This peace was tempered by the inner strength, power, and fighting spirit represented by the circle of red. Through the study of attack and defense in GoJu Jitsu, we learn to harmonize our spirit and body, learning to both fight hard and let go softly.
In Eugen Herrigel's "Zen in the Art of Archery" (1953) it is said that "It is not for nothing that the Samurai have chosen for their truest symbol the fragile cherry blossom. Like a petal dropping in the morning sunlight and floating serenely to earth, so must the fearless detach himself from life, silent and inwardly unmoved."

The GoJu Jitsu Cross

The name of our organization is written in the shape of a cross. From a Christian view, the cross is self explanatory. But being that this cross is in the same shape as the Iron Cross, as made popular these days by West Coast Choppers, and even though any one who knows me, knows that I am anything but racially prejudice, I feel that an explaination of it's meaning may be necessary.
The origins of the Prussian/German "Iron Cross".
The tradition of the Iron Cross (which was Cross Pattée in shape) had an honourable beginning, when it was instituted as a Prussian decoration, in March 1813, by King Friedrich Wilheim III during the War of Liberation against Napoleon. It was awarded without regard for nationality or social class to combatants for acts of heroism, bravery or leadership skills.

Tetsu Te

Tetsu Te is Nihon Go = Japanese language meaning Iron Hands, which is the moniquor given to me by Maestro Peter Urban. His rationale for this was my hand conditioning and the way that I lead my troops.


Shobu is Nihon Go = Japanese language literally translated as mortal combat. I avoid using this translation, as it appears to con notate the martial fiction movie of the same name. Of course this word was around eons before movies even existed.

Nowadays, Shobu often refers to a contest. The Ju Jitsu that is encompassed in our style is not for sport, but a contest in which the prize is going home alive.


Do is Nihon Go = Japanese language meaning Way or path. It is pronounced Dao or Tao in Chinese.


Go is Nihon Go = Japanese language meaning Hard. A forceful technique or attitude.


Ju is Nihon Go = Japanese language meaning soft , gentle, or yeilding technique or attitude.

Jitsu / Jutsu

Jitsu / Jutsu is Nihon Go = Japanese language meaning art or methodology.

Truth / Actual

When the martial arts were first introduced to the west, the accepted spelling of the kanji for soft or gentle was Jitsu. Later scholors realized that the phonetic spelling translated a different word all together. The kanji that is pronounced Jitsu actually means Truth or Actual, which I also find appropriate. Ergo, we use the original Romanization which can be translated either way.


Kai is Nihon Go = Japanese language meaning Society.

The clenched fist.

The clenched fist is the likeness of the fist of Miyagi Chojun, Sensei,the founder of GoJu Ryu.

It was first used by Yamaguchi Gogen, Sensei,as the symbol of his KaraTe club at Ritzumeikan University in Japan. It later became the symbol of the Nippon GoJu Kai, and was adopted by his student Peter Urban, Sensei, as the symbol of USA GoJu. Urban changed the kanji writing on the wrist and ribbon of the original, to the English writing of USA GoJu. We have eliminated all of the writing on the wrist and ribbon, and changed the color to red.