Kuwada and the Kata

Kuwada and the Kata

Richard Kim, “The Weaponless Warriors”, 1974. Ohara Publications, USA.

When morality is missing in Karate, Karate no longer exists.

Once there was a man exactly like that, let’s call him Kuwada.

Kuwada had just begun his martial arts training with the wish of becoming the man most feared by all the rest. But he soon found out that there actually are no shortcuts in the road from beginner to master.
Disheartened by the non stop training of Kata, Kuwada asked his sensei, “When are we going to learn something else? I have been here quite a long time and it is kata, kata, kata every day.”
When his sensei didn’t answer, Kuwada went to the master’s assistant and asked him the same question. He responded: “Kata training is for polishing the mind. It is better to shave your mind than your head. Do you understand?”
Kuwada did not and in protest he abandoned the dojo and started a notorious career as the best street fighter in Shuri. He was tough, no doubt about it. “A fight per night”, that was his motto. He always bragged ” I am afraid of no living man”.

One night Kuwada saw a stranger calmly walking alongside a rock wall. Kuwada became irritated when he saw the other person’s calmness. He ran as fast as he could to the road crossing and waited for him to pass by.
When he did, Kuwada jumped and tried to hit him with a punch, but the man dodged it and grabbed his arm. As he brought Kuwada closer and closer to him, he stared into his eyes. Kuwada tried to get loose but was unable. For the first time in his life he felt a strange sensation, fear of losing.
When the man finally let him go, Kuwada ran, but looked over his shoulder and saw the man walking calmly as if nothing had happened. Kuwada later found out that that man was a master in kata, a martial artist that never in his life had fought.

He who can control himself is the greatest warrior of them all. This is extremely obvious for a master in martial arts. Translated by