"...the most knowledgeable karate  instructor I've ever met."
- Paul Silvas MA, Harvard  University

On July 29th, Andy Kwait and I drove down to Sensei Lopresti's Shotokan  Karate Jutsu dojo in Sewell, New Jersey for a seminar by Sensei Patrick  McCarthy. This is the third McCarthy seminar I've been to, and they just  keep getting better. It's a bit like drinking from a fire hose, though --  there's so much information flying at you that there's simply not time to  absorb it all.

If you've never been to one of these seminars, you're in for a real  treat. McCarthy, head of the International Ryuku Karate-jutsu Research  Society (IRKRS), has devoted his life to studying and teaching martial arts, and qualifies as a genuine scholar.  He's the most knowledgeable karate  instructor I've ever met, and speaks with authority about all sorts of  martial arts and their histories, the physics and anatomy of the human body, and the logical analysis of unarmed combat. His presentation is often entertaining and always compelling in its comprehensive detail and  organization.  It doesn't take long to realize that you're in the  presence of an expert.

Since many participants were from other dojo and  styles, he also pointed out that what we were going to learn was not  specific to any particular style. Rather, it's universal in the sense that  all martial arts systems have to follow the same principles of physics and  apply them to the same targets in the human body. This was very reassuring  for many, since it meant they could apply the principles they learned  regardless of what style they had trained in.

Several times, my eyes grew wide and my jaw  dropped a little as I suddenly understood pieces of kata I'd always wondered  about. Looking around, I saw that I was not alone.  That's one of the  best parts of these seminars: the little "blinding flash of the obvious" (as  McCarthy says) that happens when you suddenly see things in a new light and  wonder why it took you so long to get the point. This often caused grins to break out  all over, as people suddenly had that 'Aha!' experience.

Paul Silvas MA
Harvard  University
Shotokan 4th Dan
Boston, Mass.  USA


Back to Main Menu | Interesting Reading