If you happen to meet him at the corner of a street, Mr. Yasuda Tetsunosuke will remind you of a gentleman of old time Okinawa. In the post war Okinawa, he worked on US military facilities before opening his own real estate company named Yasuda Jutaku Co., Ltd that he still runs today. While at a first sight you might not notice it, the life of CEO Yasuda was supported by karate and yoga.
Born in 1926, Yasuda sensei became a student of Miyazato Eichi sensei, a direct student of the founder of Goju-ryu, Miyagi Chojun sensei. As he explains, "The reason why I chose Goju-ryu is because this school had the breathing kata Sanchin and Tensho. This is because I studied the way of breathing through Yoga."
Having encountered psychology at university, Yasuda sensei has always lived a life where severe karate training and Bushido way of thinking are like the two wheels of a bicycle.
Yasuda sensei truly believes that "It is important to face oneself in an honest way. Unfortunately, in the case of many karate people, they are focusing on the outside aspects of karate. That is why when I look at martial arts today, I can not stop thinking that it has gotten out the way of Budo. Ideally, if one practices karate thinking of it as a way to build himself, he will find his Ikigai, his purpose in life". He goes on saying that "Human beings should follow the principles of the Kamikaze units, living as if today was the last day of their life. This concept should prevail for life but also in karate and never be forgotten."
To the question what is the most important thing in karate, Yasuda sensei answers frankly, "Tanden no kyoka and Kiso tanren, respectively the strengthening of the tanden and basic training. I can't conceive that an animal could do something but a man could not!" And at 87, Yasuda sensei, the Saiko Komon or supreme advisor of the Jundokan Sohombu, doesn't only speak about theory but also applies it. Grabbing a 20 kg weight and holding it behind his head, he executes easily some 30 sit-ups. And when finished, he goes back to instructing with a healthy smile on his face...
Interview Conducted by Okinawa Karate News: http://okinawakaratenews.com/eng/hanshi.php#h1