Sayings of Motobu Choki Sensei

All is spontaneity and transformation.

Kamae is on the inside, not on the outside.

Me-oto-de is a principle of karate that must be adhered to at all times. Even in everyday life--for example, when pouring alcohol, holding a cup, or picking up chopsticks--students of kenpō must follow this principle so as to make it a part of themselves.


note: Me-oto-de refers to utilizing the left and right arms in concert, and is a principle of classical karate. In Motobu kenpo, it can be seen in the use of both arms in attacking and defending as well as in holding a sword or .

One must become able to discern the strength of another in a glance.

Against an opponent of inferior strength, one does not have to defend against attacks one by one. One should instead oneself instantly attack.

Karate is sente, or making the first move.


note: In actual confrontation.

Kassen, or engaging an opponent, is strategy.


note: In an actual confrontation, it is necessary to bait an opponent with feint punches and strikes to create an opportunity to attack.

One cannot understand the true meaning of something without putting it into practice.

The way the legs, hips, and lower back are used in the naihanchi kata is the basis of karate.

In the naihanchi kata, twisting to either the right or the left is a stance that can be used in actual confrontation. Thinking of twisting to either the right or left in the naihanchi kata, one can start to understand one by one the meaning of the movements contained therein.

A defending arm must always be able to instantly transform into an attacking arm. Defending with one arm and attacking with the other is not true bujutsu. Achieved with further development, the waza of defending and attacking at the same time is true bujutsu.

Against true karate, a series of strikes cannot be used. That is because if an opponent's strike is blocked with true karate, the opponent will not be able to make a second move.

-- compiled by Nakata Mizuhiko sensei

Translation by Aaron Meldahl