From Sensei Michael
Rei: The first and final
moves of kata.
From kio-tsuke (attention position):
* Fingers in shuto but without tension.
* Finger tips lightly touching the corner of the gi, not sides (military),
front (stage bow).
* Bending at the waist: shoulders and back straight, head and eyes centered,
not looking up at opponent or down at floor (maintaining peripheral
the field of vision slowly changes).
* Angle of bow 20 to 40 degrees held for one to three seconds. Depth
duration of bow follow seniority: more junior student bows lower and
the more senior person to rise first.
Common mistakes include hunching the shoulders, bowing too low, or
down at the deck, often caused by confusing the bow in kata with the
bow from seiza.
* Fingers trace a vertical path down and up the legs, maintaining light
contact with the gi.
* Legs and hips remain vertical, not "jack-knifed."
* Only move in kata always performed slow motion, emphasizing humility,
dignity and composure.
* Verbal component ("Onegai shimasu, Sensei" or "Arigato,
Sensei") works in
collaboration with the physical component, sending a consistent message
willingness to learn or gratitude.
* Spoken words are completed before, not while rising from the bow.
Key philosophical concept:
"Bowing is a ritual courtesy displayed during karate practice,
but it is also
an important aspect of our training which must extend beyond the practice
beyond the dojo. We become stronger and more powerful in the true sense
word through our deeds and through respect for ourselves and for others."
Hanshi Robert Scaglione, "Shorin-Ryu Okinawan Karate Question and
1985, page 53.
The profound importance of karate beginning and ending with courtesy
graphically illustrated by the first and final illustrations of the
and Answer" book. Without proper bows kata becomes hollow.
Domo arigato gozaimasu, Hanshi,
Michael Mackay, Go-dan, Midtown Karate Dojo