Master Hohan Soken was the previous Grand Master in our system. He was one of Master Fusei Kise’s teachers. In an interview with Ernie Estrada in 1978, he had this advice for Americas:
“Estrada: Sensei, any recommendations for us — Americans?
Soken Sensei: Yes, but you won’t like it! Americans want to learn too much, too fast. You want more this and more that. You have a life time to learn. Learn slowly. Learn correctly. Look. Listen. Practice, practice, practice. Don’t be a rash American, but a smart American. Never be in a hurry to learn, OK? Learning in a hurry can cause pain. Do you know about pain? Let me show you!
Interviewer’s Note: At this time, Soken demonstrated basic “ti” methods involving the use of the “sharp forearm bone” and the “thumbing” methods. All of them hurt – a lot! He had an uncanny command of the human anatomy and would use the thumb to hit the various nerves in the shoulder, the forearm and the sides of the body. He laughed a lot when doing this – he really enjoyed grappling. (3) A number of techniques resembled aikijujutsu movements and instead of moving in on the opponent, he would step backwards and would use his body weight to increase the power of the technique. (4) He would always block using what he called a “double bone block” and counter with a thumb technique or a grappling technique that took you to the ground. Soken stated that he could drive an individual through the ground or just simply throw him on the ground – either way, the opponent was at a distinct disadvantage. He could then subdue you with techniques like kicks or move away from the confrontation.”
During this time, Americas were becoming more and more enthralled by Karate and martial arts in general. This interest probably peeked in the mid to late 1980s. Since this time, many things in American martial arts have changed. Still, his advice to us is as good as ever. Take your training seriously. Anything that is worth doing in life is worth doing right!
17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
For the full interview, follow this link: Interview by Ernie Estrada