Rediscovering the Roots of Okinawan Karate

A student passed me a link to this episode of a television show called Samurai Spirit. The show focuses on  have Greek-Danish karateka and K-1 full-contact fighter Nicholas Pettas. It tells how, as a young man, he was beaten and so turned to karate to toughen himself up. He went to Japan as a teenager and submitted himself to the gruelling discipline of Kyokushinkai karate, becoming a live-in disciple at the hombu dojo, under founder Mas Oyama.

At first I thought the show was going to be another paean to Oyama’s brand of brutal full-contact karate. But instead it is about Pettas travelling to Okinawa to train under various traditional masters. Pettas good-naturedly puts up with some very tough, specialized training that gives some good insights into what traditional karate training is all about. Two knuckles up!

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