Karate and Ki

Kenji Ushiro


My name is Ikuko Kimura. I worked with Stanley Pranin, "Editor of Aikido Journal", for more than 20 years at Aiki News in Japan.  Through Stan's generous offer, I would like to introduce via Aikido Journal, Kenji Ushiro Sensei, a remarkable martial artist, who was one of the featured instructors at the Aiki Expos in 2002, 2003, and 2005, as well as the ASU Colorado Summer Camp from 2005-2008.



Ushiro Sensei teaches style of Okinawan Karate called Ushiro Karatedo. He is a also a 7th dan Kyoshi of Iaido in the All-Japan Kendo Federation.

Ushiro Sensei’s touchstone book "Karate and Ki", now translated into English, consists of two parts.

In part one, Ushiro talks about Ki energy which he has come to master thorough his long history of martial arts practice together with his experience as a top engineer and corporate executive in three Japanese high-tech companies.
In part two, Ushiro Sensei talks about his philosophy of life based on the principle of real martial arts. 

This book gives martial artists the basis for understanding how to increase their ability to generate and use internal power as well as an excellent martial arts philosophy through which to live one’s life.


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“Karate and Ki”


The first priority in marital arts is "enter your opponent"

The following text is from part two of "Karate and Ki". Here Ushiro Sensei talks about the importance of “entering”. 
“Entering your opponent” means that you control your opponent both physically and mentally making them unable to attack you.

Entering your opponent is the first priority in the one strike, one kill world of martial arts. Once you enter, your opponent will become weak and your one strike will be strong with destructive power. Hence, the significance is different from sports-based martial arts where your strike is suppose to "hit" your opponent. While it is commonly believed that hitting makiwara and sand bags strengthens your striking power, the actual result is contrary. For this reason, you do not do such training in martial arts. A powerful strike is just one example, but is shows the difference in the way of thinking and practice process between sports-based and traditional martial arts. Your opponent's body will unconsciously be able to read your attack when your brain is creating an order to attack. This is because you are giving away the targets that you are aiming at your opponent. However, when you create ma (space, distance) to enter your opponent first, then your opponent is unable to read your intention of attack and defense. In martial arts practice, you must enter your opponent first. The ultimate goal of sports is timing. But timing is only beginner's level in martial arts. The important thing is to "enter". If you misunderstand this, you will never make progress no matter how many years you spent practicing.

One of the unique characteristics of Ushiro Sensei's karate expressed in "Karate and Ki" is the ability to neutralize an opponent. Ushiro Sensei can neutralize his opponent before an attack or technique has been executed. "Karate and Ki" and details the principles and conditions for developing this ability. Ushiro Sensei is one of few who can truly win before fighting by controlling "Ma" (distance) and harmonizing with his opponent at any point in an engagement. This concept of neutralization can be very valuable for Aikido practitioners as it helps explain how to harmonize with and throw an opponent without the use of physical power.

イメージ4Kenji Ushiro is a business executive, accomplished engineer, and one of the top martial artists of his generation. Born in 1949, Ushiro Sensei is an 8th dan and Hanshi of Shindo-ryu Karatedo, and a 7th dan and Kyoshi in Iaido under the All-Japan Kendo Federation. He was Head of the Technological Research Institute of Yoshimura Electric Co.Ltd. and Managing Director in 1986.

He became President of Kaga Components Co.Ltd. in 1997. In 2004, he founded his own school, UK Jissen Juku. After retiring from the corporate world, he has devoted himself to teaching not only Karate but practical principles he has derived from Karate to professional sports athletes, coaches, university and high school students, as well as business people.

He teaches students of all ages both in Japan and internationally exercising his own revolutionary teaching method. Ushiro Sensei's mastery of ki, as expressed through his karate, is at a level rarely seen in the world of martial arts. He is a highly sought-after instructor in Japan and author of several books on martial arts. His second book, "Karate and Ki," has recently been released in English.

Press the button below to purchase the
“Karate and Ki”