The Dojo is a place of learning and sharing the experience of martial art.
Martial as violence and art as control gives us a way to deal with the myriad forms of today’s violence, and not just ignore or add to it.
- Sensei John Hamilton
Sho-ha Shorin-ryu karate principles state that one's self-defense, sparring and kata techniques should all be closely related (if not the same), and that the practice of any one of these components should be the practice of realistic, effective techniques of self-protection also found in one's other forms of training.
Thus, the performance of kata movements whose meanings are not understood, sport-based sparring methods, and self-defense techniques that are unrelated to one's other practice are all avoided.
Over the years, as karate has made its way from its birthplace of Okinawa to mainland Japan, and then to the rest of the world, the orientation of both empty-hand and weapons training has tended to shift toward emphasizing competition and contests. Tournament competition has become widespread, and even schools which do not participate in formal contests often train in a way that treats karate as more of a sport than a method of self-defense.
Our school (although certainly not the only style to do so), chooses to not concern itself with such sport-based and sport-like activities, focusing rather on the original, practical self-defense aims of the arts. Thus, only those techniques, strategies, etc., that can successfully be applied in real-world self-defense situations are taught and practiced