EDITORIAL By John Cheetham.
Welcome to the 80th issue of SKM which represents the magazine's twenty years of existence. The first issue was published in November 1984 and I have managed to publish every three months (quarterly) on time, for the whole twenty years which is something that makes me very proud. Most 'specialist' magazines rarely last and SKM is certainly that; we are quite simply a magazine dedicated to the practice, study, and promotion of Traditional Shotokan karate-do. We have built up a very loyal following over the years and a huge thank you to all subscribers for your continued support. The magazine is sent to all corners of the world, we have subscribers in such diverse places as Alaska to the Seyshelles, from Iceland to Bermuda. In fact I am always amazed at the diversity of countries that we send magazines to and the one common bond linking us all together is SHOTOKAN KARATE-DO.
People who know me will know this but believe me when I say that it was with great reluctance that I agreed to do an interview in this edition and have my mug-shot on the front cover because I am not a famous karateka, former champion, great technician or head of an organisation or anything like that. I am just another guy in the dojo, an ordinary karateka like most SKM readers. However, we all have a tale to tell so I hope you enjoy my humble little story.
By complete contrast from me (a very ordinary karateka) we have a short but fascinating interview with one of Shotokan karate's 'genius' instructors, the legendary Tetsuhiko Asai 9th Dan, Chief Instructor to the Japan Karate Shotokai. A former JKA Kata and Kumite champion in the 1960's, Asai sensei was for many years the Technical Director of the JKA and Nakayama sensei's right-hand-man. Many thanks to Andre Bertel 5th Dan (JKS New Zealand) for this super interview conducted whilst Asai sensei was teaching on a recent course in Christchurch.
Chris Thomas' article offers an interesting question... "Did Master Gichin Funakoshi practice and use pressure point techniques?" There's very good evidence here to suggest that indeed he did. The focus on pressure point training holds no interest for many Shotokan exponents, they say that it is far too complex, yet others swear by this concept. We must all keep an open-mind, in the end you always find your own way and your own personal preference with regard to actual training regimes, and reasons for training regardless of the style of martial art that you practice. Just read Tony Terranova's excellent article to see the point or Richard Amos' superb technical piece primarily focussing on the normal three K's (kihon-kata-kumite) approach of the vast majority of Shotokan karateka. This diversity makes the martial arts 'tick'. It would be very boring if we all did the same thing. And also, different types of training methods suit different personalities. It's very important for SKM to feature all these different views and training ideas. It gives us an overall picture of what goes on within the Shotokan family around the world and also apart from that it's often extremely educational - we can always learn more!
Good health, good training. Editor.