FEBRUARY 1, 1998

MOVING MEDITATION

This week the technique is "moving meditaion". Its' meaning and origins are described here by Hodes Sensei. "Moving meditation" is seen today in every class conducted in every dojo of Shorin-Ryu Karate USA. It is performed during the month of February in all of our Kyu tests. It is the most important aspect of the tests.

WHAT IS SHORIN RYU, AND WHAT CAN IT ACCOMPLISH?

Shorin Ryu Karate is an ancient Okinawan martial art that traces its origins back almost 1500 years to the Shao Lin Monastery in China.  There, a Buddhist monk named Bodidharma, established a sect
known as "Zen" or "meditation." Tradition states that Bodidharma found the monks in the monastery to be physically weak. They were not able to withstand the rigorous mental demands of Zen training.  Bodidharma created numerous exercises to both strengthen and unify the body and mind.  The practitioners performed the exercises to bring themselves to a state of "moving meditation." An ancillary benefit was that the exercises also provided a system of self-defense. This was
important when the monks sojourned in the countryside. Throughout the 14th century, the Chinese established supremacy over Okinawa. The Chinese introduced Buddhist monks to the Royal Okinawan Court that introduced "moving meditation" to the Okinawan monarch's bodyguards. The bodyguards trained in secret and passed on their martial art from father to son. This secret training continued for the next five hundred years. During this time, China was rife with discontent that finally led to the Boxer Rebellion and the virtual disappearance of the original Shao Lin style on the mainland.  The worldowes a debt of gratitude to the secret training of the Okinawan bodyguards. It was their persistence that has preserved the original "moving meditation" that practitioners of Okinawan Shorin Ryu continue to teach today.  In 1902, the Okinawan public school system introduced Shorin Ryu into the regular curriculum.  An Okinawan educator accomplished this when he recognized how greatly all children could benefit from practicing moving meditation. The non-religious Zen roots of the system foster a non-competitive spirit. It is precisely this non-competitive spirit that enables the teacher of Shorin Ryu to cause increased levels of self-esteem in all students. They learn that the movement is imperfect. In other words, no matter how beautiful an individual performance may seem, it is still flawed.  Once the student grasps this point there is no longer concern for "right" or "wrong" but rather a focus on process and improvement. Everyone, without exception, experiences the inability to do certain movements. The teacher encourages the students "not to give up" and to "keep on trying." The students see improvement in their individual
performance over time and come to realize that they can improve so long as they apply themselves. The compassion evidenced by the teacher eventually transfers to the students as they experience what compassion for themselves as well as others can accomplish.   Eventually the students are able to apply what they have learned in Karate to all the other areas of their lives. Sensei Hodes.  To add to this, Hanshi Ansei Ueshiro brought this art to the U.S.A. in 1962 and thereby we continue this cultural chain of "moving meditation". Arigato, Kyoshi.

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ROBERT SCAGLIONE, Kyoshi, began his karate training 30 years ago in 1967. This is his 25th anniversary as a Blackbelt under Grand Master Ansei Ueshiro-Hanshi of the Shorin-Ryu Karate U.S.A. system. Kyoshi Scaglione is the Chief Administrator of the original style in the United States. He has traveled with Hanshi throughout the U.S.A. and as his representative worldwide.  Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1938, Kyoshi served in the U.S. Navy and in 1961 became a NYC Police Officer. He voluntarily worked exclusively in high crime/ high hazard areas during his entire 20 year tenure with the NYPD. He served in many assignments in all five boroughs of New York City including uniformed street cop, undercover officer and as a Detective in the elite Special Investigating Unit featured in the film "The French Connection." He led the NYPD in felony arrests many times and has numerous awards, citations and letters of commendation from Police Department officials, Federal Agencies, District Attorneys, Grand jurors and the civilian community. He retired from police service in 1981 in order to devote himself full time to the art of karate.

Kyoshi began his karate training in the NYPD. He continued his training under Sensei Terry Maccarrone-Shihan of the Hegashi Karate Dojo on Long Island, New York. He was Senior Instructor at the St. James Dojo for five years. Hanshi Ueshiro, wanting a dojo in Manhattan, asked Kyoshi to open a dojo in New York City. He founded the NYC dojo in 1977, which became the headquarters of Shorin-Ryu Karate USA several years later. After ten years, in 1987, Kyoshi relocated to Merritt Island, Florida and founded the Okinawan Karate Dojo leaving his senior student David Baker, San Dan to continue operation of the NYC dojo.

Over 125 students began their training directly under Kyoshi Scaglione and have attained blackbelt level. He continues to work closely with all his blackbelts, including the ten who have opened dojo on the mainland US, Hawaii, and in Israel. Among his students are many professionals, doctors, lawyers, military officers, police officers, business executives, artists, writers, housewives, students and children.

Kyoshi is the co-author with artist Bill Cummins, Ni Dan of "The Shorin-Ryu Karate Question and Answer Book" and has written another entitled "Building Warrior Spirit." His student David Seeger, Yon Dan, an Emmy Award winner, has produced several karate videos with Kyoshi. Kyoshi is the Editor-at-large of this 30th Anniversary journal. He has written and assisted his students in writing newspaper and magazine articles, film scripts on varied subjects, novels, and stage plays. He has appeared on national T.V. and radio, in stage productions, and at Universities and schools giving karate demonstrations and lectures on self-defense and assault prevention.  Kyoshi's four sons, Sal, Robert Jr., Dion, and Shane are all Ni Dan blackbelts.

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