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Ben Ryder
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Interview with Patrick McCarthy, 9th dan, Hanshi

Please find below an interview with Hanshi Patrick McCarthy, 9th dan, covering his career, teaching methods and views on application practices.


BR: Whilst you are most prominently known for your historical research and kata application practices you had a successful competitive career in traditional martial arts. What were they?

PM: I was known as a triple threat [kata, kobudo and kumite] and competed all over Canada and the United States in open competition from the late 1960′s through the mid-1980′s. I’m not sure just exactly how many tournaments I won but it was a lot. I won the North American Karate Championships in 1974 and again in 1978, and also took five Canadian national titles during the early to mid-1980′s.

BR: You then relocated to Japan where you were one of the first generation of western shoot fighters in the UWFI. How did this type of competitive format differ from your previous encounters and how did your training have to change?

PM: Day and night! In those days rounds were 10-20 minutes long and training was literally, “a lifestyle!” I first tried shoot boxing but after one professional fight decided to move over to the UWFI as I felt too confined grappling with boxing gloves.

BR: As well as karate you studied many other classical arts, which ones and to what degree?

PM: I studied several styles Chinese quanfa but predominantly Hung Gar, Do Pai, Five Form Fist and Pai Lum.

I started out with Judo in the mid-1960′s under Dutchie Schell, took my first karate lesson in Kyokushin with Adrian Gomes in 1968, and started Chito Ryu in 1970 under Tsuruoka Sensei when my family moved from the small port city of Saint John to the metropolis of Toronto. There, I also boxed, competed in judo, was a collegiate wrestler. I left Chito Ryu to study Jujutsu and Kuntao/Silat before becoming part of the Canadian Karate Kung Fu Association in 1972 where I stayed until I met Richard Kim [Shorinji Ryu] in

October of 1977 and became part of the Zen Bei Butokukai.

During the five years, between 72 and 77, I opened my own dojo and did a lot of cross training with various instructors [Dave Huston, Ron Forrester, Professor Wally Jay, Bob Dalgliesh, and Wally Slocki]. In 1979 I relocated to the West Coast of Canada where I opened my second dojo, the Vancouver Karate Centre. It was during this time that resumed my jujutsu training [under Prof Wally Jay], and joined SMOKA [Shorin Ryu Matsumura Orthodox Karate Association], which was my first involvement with a karate/kobudo-based study group outside the Zen Bei Butokukai. I later joined JMAS [Japan Martial Arts Society] and also the Seishin Kai, under Kuniba Shiyogo [Motobu-ha Shito Ryu] who promoted me to 5th dan.

Having competed frequently [this is probably an understatement as I was literally a tournament junkie for many years] I met and cross-trained with lots of champions, authorities and masters, made many friends and learned much about various traditions. The Canadian/American open karate tournament scene was the virtual epicenter of opportunity during that era and attracted everyone who was anyone. Unfortunately, it was also the hotbed of political animosity.

As a professional instructor, I grew very weary of the politics and decided to leave Canada. I went to Japan in 1985 to study karate and kobudo and spent the summer in Okinawa training with many prominent instructors; e.g., Matayoshi Shinpo [Kin Gai Ryu], Yagi Meitoku [Goju], Miyazato Eiichi [Goju], and Nagamine Shoshin [Shorin], etc. By 1987 I had married a Japanese girl [Yuriko], settled in Fujisawa [Kanagawa Prefecture] and became a direct karate & kobudo [Yamane Ryu] student of Kinjo Hiroshi [Shuri-te]. Over the years, and through his recommendation, the Dai Nippon Butokukai bestowed upon me my Renshi 6th Dan [1988] and my Kyoshi 7th Dan [1994]. In 2005 Grandmaster Kinjo promoted me to Hanshi 8th Dan. In Japan I also studied Koryu [Muso Shinden Eishin Ryu] and ZNKR-style Iaido, under Master Izawa Takehiko, and reached sandan in 1991 [under the ZNKR: Zen Nippon Kendo Renmei] before switching over to Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu under Sugino Yoshio at the honbu dojo in Kawasaki.

BR: Was your interest in finding the true content of kata something that emerged after your competitive career or had it always been there? What first ignited this interest?

PM: Yes, it was after my competitive career. I had, however, always heard that, “kata was karate,” and “Karate was kata,” but I wasn’t 100% sure what that really meant. And, I certainly had no idea that kata was, “the key,” to really understanding this beautiful art.

BR: Whilst you were in Japan you married and conducted extensive field research across south east Asia. How fundamental was/has developing an understanding of Japanese culture and social structure in allowing you to access the research material you required?

PM: Good question Ben, but I’d first like to clarify something so as not to offend academia nor add provide ammunition for my detractors? I certainly did conduct extensive field research and cross comparative studies in SE Asia, China, and Japan, etc., however, it was much more of a personal quest of discovery and understanding than it was a recorded/documented academic project.

Understanding Japanese culture [language, rituals and social customs] in an absolute necessity in order to have an unimpeded understanding of any Japanese fighting art. Not everyone gets this. This is not to say, however, that one must be Japanese to become an excellent karate-ka, competitor or teacher, etc. It only means that, in order to fully grasp how and why the art is the way it is, one must understand the culture from which it comes.

BR: Was this key to developing your Habitual Acts of Physical Violence theory?

PM: No, not at all. It did, however, play a role. Rare as they may be, I witnessed several street/pub confrontations with salary men, over the many years I resided in Japan. I never paid much attention to the fact that not once did I ever see a Japanese kick or punch each other in such encounters. Rather, it was more aggressive shoving, slapping and wrestling than the kind of physical brutality we’ve become so used to in the West. In a conversation with my Fujisawa boxing coach, Mr. Yamagami, I was surprised to learn that Japanese did not have a history of using a kobushi [clenched fist] in street confrontations. In fact, according to him, such a thing did not become popular until the post-war years and even then it was mostly amongst Yakuza-type Japanese. Later, when I was doing some research for my book, on the work of Funakoshi Gichin, I discovered a 1921 article written by Sasaki Gogai [please see the new book Tanpenshu by this writer] in which he talks about how excited the Japanese all were about [kobushi-based fighting] after watching the Jack Dempsy vs Georges Carpentier’s world title bout in New Jersey earlier that year. When I started asking a few questions here and there I was very surprised to learn that the said fight was the first time a nation [Japan] had ever seen boxing! Prior to this the idea of punching anyone in the face [body, etc.] with a clenched fist was virtually unheard of – unless you knew the “secret art of karate.” Little historical morsels like this helped me better understand things that cannot generally be found by looking in history books. This was very useful by the time I started putting together the HAPV-theory.

BR: As there have been similar and/or plagiaristic versions of the HAPV theory put forward, please can you summarize it and how it related directly to the formation of kata and the transmission of information through kata?

PM: #1. The Habitual Acts of Physical Violence [HAPV-Theory] represent the most fundamental kinds of [one-against-one/empty-handed] attacks men faced in domestic violence during 19th century China. #2. They form the basis on which pioneers developed prescribed responses through two-person practices. #3. When the prescribed practices were linked together and performed in solo routines something greater than the sum total of their individual parts emerged – kata. #4. Students of the fighting arts learned function first and relied upon solo re-enactment routines to express individual prowess, and strengthen one’s overall mental, physical and holistic conditioning.

BR: The result of the research you conducted was a system you called Koryu Uchinadi. How much of a struggle was it to systematize the material you wanted to impart, and can you describe the resulting curriculum?

PM: It was never my intention to systematize anything let alone “develop a new style.” In fact, I am still quite adamant about the fact that I have discovered nothing new, but rather only breathed life back into one highly misunderstood aspect of our art; kata. The systematisation concept was due in large part to my position in academia; I was recruited to write Australia’s first martial art’s undergraduate program and, by virtue of that, was required to deliver the course in a completely systematize method. As my approach focused on fundamental knowledge and instructional skills, as the basis of teaching any fighting art, I maintained such requirements represent the baseline competency demanded of each and every capable instructor, irrespective of “style.”

Seeking to protect themselves against those habitual acts of physical violence, which most plagued their community, pioneers were able to call upon empirical experience. Relying upon their knowledge of the human body, its distinct functions and common anatomical weaknesses, a unique system of self-defence was created. As Buddhism prohibited the taking human life under any circumstances, monks developed a non-lethal art based upon seizing and impact. The principal empty-handed fighting tactics they developed and refined were best suited to address the habitual ways of being struck, bitten, gouged and seized, along with escaping and countering a wide variety of ordinary garment grabs, body clinches and common wrestling holds. These skills were further strengthened by learning how to control and submit an opponent by causing pain and/or loss of consciousness through seizing nerves, manipulating joints, and entangling limbs, along with techniques for displacing the opponent’s balance, fighting on the ground and temporarily depriving an attacker of air or blood.

The curriculum I brought together to understand kata was based upon my unique historical study, translation of the old texts, meeting and cross-training with many of the most senior authorities in China, Okinawa, and SE Asia, etc. It contains the following:

#1. Giving & receiving percussive impact/blunt force trauma:

Uchi/Uke-waza [29 techniques]

#2. Negotiating the clinch: Kotekitai, Kakie, Ude Tanren and Muchimi-di, etc. Tegumi [36 techniques]

#3. Joint manipulation, cavity seizing & limb entanglement:Kansetsu/Tuite-waza [72 techniques]

#4. Chokes/strangles-air/blood deprivation: Shime-waza[36 techniques]

#5. Balance displacement: Nage-waza [55 techniques]

#6. Ground fighting & submission: Ne-waza [72 techniques]

#7. Escapes & counters: Gyaku-waza [36 techniques]

BR: Do the principles upon which Koryu Uchinadi is based cross the divide made by styles?

PM: Absolutely. As all fighting arts are fundamentally the same because of their common self-defense orientation and shared holistic nature I believe that, in principle, stylistic variations are merely different way of delivering the same message; the message through which to develop life protection skills, condition the body, cultivate the mind and nurture the spirit. “Many paths lead up a mountain but only one moon is to be seen by those who achieve its summit,” the principles of self-protection remain constant, as should the importance of understanding them be perennial.

BR: What is the purpose of the two-person drilling methods you advocate through this system and where did the idea of creating these two person drills come from?

PM: I believe that I have already answered this question elsewhere but let me add the following. How else can one learn and develop self-defence skills if not through two-person practices? When I studied Judo its techniques were always imparted through two-person practices. My boxing coach used a similar approach. When I wrestled in High School it was the same way. Prof. Wally Jay taught me Jujutsu through the same method. When I became a student of Sugino Yoshio I wasn’t surprised to discover him using the same pathway. What I did find very cool was that those Katori Shinto Ryu two-person drills were more than 600 years old. I still remember how much of an impact that made on me. Oddly enough, the reason I was so blown away by this experience was because I working out three times a week with submission grappler and noted cage fighter, Takada Nobuhiko, of the UWFi. He taught NHB-style submission fighting in an identical fashion! While I really enjoyed the traditional fighting arts but never really thought of them as highly functional for actual fighting in the street. He changed all of that.

Historically speaking, students of the fighting arts always learned function first before honing their form and style. Knowing people as I do, it was not a surprise to learn how and why throughout history different personalities were attracted to or favoured different aspects of this art. Such a thing is still very much with us everywhere today – there are those who only prefer, “function,” others who are more attracted to, “form,” and, of course, those who enjoy both. This would tend to satisfactorily explain the myriad of variations on a common theme.

BR: What evidence is there of such drills in classical karate and its kata prior to its popularization in Japan?

PM: Very little, I’m afraid! Even Okinawan Karate, as we know it today, is largely the bi-product of the reverse influence modern Japanese karate has had back upon it after it became Japanized during its pre-war introduction to the mainland. What few two-person drills remain are either newly developed [i.e., introduced from elsewhere] over-ritualized, incongruous and or rule-bound – void of a realistic contextual premise.

BR: When a principle or group of them have been drilled in this way, are there any other ways they should be trained to achieve functional spontaneity?

PM: Contextual-based sparring, along with lots of grappling, and a healthy array of conditioning exercises are the best ways I know.

BR: In the three and a half decades you have been teaching have you noticed a shift in the attitudes of individuals and organizations towards functional kata application practices?

PM: Of course. Back when I started learning I was so young I focused only upon trying to do what my teacher’s asked of me. We were never encouraged to ask questions about how or why. During the 1960′s and 1970′s I don’t think anyone was too overly concerned with what kata meant, as it was largely studied as an adjunct. I remember while I was studying kung fu there was great respect placed upon the oldest forms as the historical remnants of famous masters, and the hierarchy in which they were learned. Everyone seem to have different ways of applying them, however, as someone who’d fought in the street and worked security in pubs, I never took any of it too seriously. It was towards the mid-to-late 1980′s that the intentions of kata started to really become a trend.

BR: Koryu Uchinadi students also train in Yamane-Ryu Kobudo. Funakoshi once likened the relationship between karate and kobudo as being two wheels on the same cart; how true is this?

PM: I would concur as, in principle, they compliment each other. I teach Yamane Ryu using the HAPV-theory and two-person drills. Function first – form follows.

BR: The most studied kobudo in the UK is the Matayoshi lineage. How does Yamane Ryu differ?

PM: The big differences would be in bojutsu and they would include, the vibrant hip torque/rotation and efficacious movement, [i.e., body dynamics/mechanics] as they are fundamental features of generating power from one’s core and exampled everywhere in Yamane Ryu. In bojutsu, we use a slash-like swing [like a sword] rather than “hitting.” The slash is performed with a very narrow hand-grip rather than far apart as exampled elsewhere. The immediate [and seemingly] over rotated deflection/”inside middle block” retraction used after nearly every slash or thrust. The extended twisting on forehand thrusts, vibrant hip torque/rotation and our stepping and sliding mobility along with the pliable flow throughout our routines. The rather high and un-based chamber rather than the rear hand on the outside the forearm [as is exampled in Matayoshi-style] or locked on the hip [like Yabiku/Taira-style].

BR: You have documented the pressures on the first generation of Okinawan karate teachers to conform to the standards and ideals of Japanese martial arts. Were the same pressures put on kobudo – did it have to change?

PM: Yes, very much so. My explanation of Yamane Ryu “differences” are how I think all kobudo “styles” would look had it not been for Yabiku Moden and Taira Shinken’s liaison with karate. Instead, what you have is karate-based and Japanese budo culture-influenced kobudo.

BR: Traditional martial arts took a lot of criticism when martial enthusiasts sought self defence related training goals. Was this criticism deserved? (Why?)

PM: Well, anytime a long-standing practice is challenged there’s bound to be fall out. My dad used to say, “son, if you’re not carrying the ball no one’s going to tackle you!” How right he was! Look, the original purpose of the fighting arts was to provide something functionally effective, therefore how can you criticise someone for wanting to better understand its functionality?

I think critical thinking is the best tool to eliminate the kind of ambiguity, which has given kata and karate a bad name. Nowhere is this more fundamental than in the traditional fighting arts, which have a custom of imparting overly ritualistic practices in a too subjective manner, without ever ‘pressure-testing’ against aggressive resistance (i.e. used only with a compliant partner and not linked to realistic contextual premises). There’s no argument that the time-honoured rituals [e.g., kata] of traditional fighting arts contain, “the secrets!” It’s not in the preservation of such rituals for their own sake, however, but rather in understanding their underlying and immutable application principles that functionality is revealed, and guaranteed. I am confident that such thinking is far more in line with the original intent, approach and teaching of the pioneers than is the conformist mentality, which underscores the preservation of such rituals with no basis in the testing of them. After all, isn’t “Tradition about keeping a flame alight rather than preserving the ashes?” It’s sad that innovative-ness and eclecticism within our tradition are greeted with such a pejorative if not entirely hostile attitude. It’s nothing short of bewildering that today’s innovators are criticized for what amounts to be the same thing pioneers were admired for!

BR: The result of this was somewhat of a boom for mixed martial arts. Are MMA training methods more appropriate for those wanting to learn self defence, or are these methods limited in other ways?

PM: Like BJJ, isn’t MMA training a rule-bound practice? To the best of my knowledge, those acts of physical violence, to which our self-defence methods must negotiate, have no rules, are completely brutal and totally unpredictable. You do the math my friend. In the kind of training we advocate in KU, biting, spitting, eye-gouging, testicle seizing, head-butting, pulling hair and bouncing heads off of concrete, along with hitting folks especially if and when they take their eyes off looking at you, is a way of life; all of which, IMO, represent old-school tradition.

BR: One area of kata application that has been popularized is ‘pressure point fighting’. Is this a discipline in itself? What are your views on the ‘no-touch knockouts’ that some people claim to do?

PM: It’s bullshit, but that’s never stopped some folks of believing anything! I got a $1000 for anyone who can do that to me as I am rushing in to take your fucking head off!

BR: As more instructors become exposed to application based training, do you have any concerns over the quality of instruction available based on the lack of recognized qualifications or professional scrutiny?

PM: There continues a protracted debate over the relationship between being a ‘good’ practitioner and a ‘good’ instructor. Sadly, one of the most prevalent misconceptions in the fighting arts today assumes a direct correlation between years spent training and instructional competency. This was not always the case. In the past it was taken for granted that instructors became qualified by apprenticing under more experienced teachers; and says nothing about those who have only ever studied competitive/rule-bound fighting arts [under the presumption that they were also effective forms of self-defence]. Since the fighting arts came of age as an industry, however, more educated consumers have began demanding higher educational standards in order to improve both the safety of practice and quality of instruction.

Attributes such as “being good,” “being a champion,” and “being experienced,” or simply, “being a black belt,” are based on a completely different set of learning skills to those requisite to becoming a “competent instructor.” Simply put, physical prowess, champion qualities, years of training and rank are determined by completely different learning experiences and outcomes to those facilitating the development of a ‘tried-and-true’ instructional skill set

BR: You are quite active among Internet forums, particularly where your work is discussed. What do you think motivates the criticism of your work?

PM: Mostly indoctrination, naivety, and self-serving agenda but I am sure my straightforward manner has something to do with it, too. The fact is, I just don’t rude people, and think even less of those who hide behind pseudonyms.

BR: In the introduction to your instructional DVDs you say that your achievements have only been possible by ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’; who do you consider these people to be and who significant has their work or knowledge been in your own personal development?

PM: Reflecting upon just how many leading authorities of this art my studies brought me into contact with over the years, the quote by Sir Isaac Newton [“If I have been able to see farther than others, it was because I stood on the shoulders of giants”] seemed most appropriate. I don’t think that it was any one single person that “changed me” but rather accumulative thinking. There’s a provocative Buddhist proverb that might be more accommodating: “If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.”

BR: In 2008 you presented a lifetime achievement award to your teacher Kinjo Hiroshi at his 88th birthday celebrations. Kinjo Sensei is not particularly well heard of in the UK, can you tell us about him?

PM: Born in 1919, Kinjo Hiroshi is Okinawan and a 4th generation master of Uchinadi. He has an impeccable lineage of instructors, starting with his principal teachers, Hanashiro Chomo [1869-1945], Gusukuma Shimpan [1890-1954] Tokuda Ambun [1886-1945] and Oshiro Chojo [1887-1935], who is preceded by their teacher, Itosu Ankoh [-1915], and his master before him, Bushi Matsumura Sokon [1809-1896]. Known in Japan as “A walking encyclopedia of karate knowledge,” he’s literally known all of the big pioneers [Miyagi, Motobu, Funakoshi, Mabuni, etc.] written hundreds of articles, published a half dozen books, and regarded as the last link to the old-ways. A few years ago, as he was cleaning up his personal library to donate some 3000 books, magazines, articles and old photos to the Naha Central Library, he stumbled across the only known photo of Itosu Ankoh, the grandfather of modern karate. That one discovery lead to several other important and related finds, too. These days, at 90-years old, the grandmaster continues writing and training daily in his Zen-like garden. His quiet and humble character is an inspiration.

BR: Twenty years ago you established the International Ryukyu Karate Research Society, why did you establish this organization, how has it grown and is it reaching the goals you had in mind when you founded it?

PM: Two important aspects of the fighting arts my first master [Richard Kim] taught me were, On Ko Chi Shin andBun Bu Ryo Do: Study the history of this art to understand why it is the way it is today, and support my physical training with scholarly study.

Researching my first book, “Classical Kata of Okinawan Karate,” the Master encouraged me to read E.J. Harrison, Nagamine Shoshin, Nakamoto Masahiro, Nakaya Takao, George Mattson, Bruce Haines, C.W. Nicol, Ratti and Westbrook, R.W. Smith and Donn F. Draeger. During my studies I became particularly interested in Draeger’s work. Like Kim, I found Draeger a practical advocate of the “Pen and Sword” [i.e., Bun Bu Ryo Do]. Through his work I learned of his organization, the International Hoplology Society [IHS], its many periodicals and publications and about Sir Richard Burton, the chosen patriarch of the IHS. This valuable experience inspired me to look beyond the obvious and into the culture; language and ethos of the fighting arts to discover what forces affected its evolution. That new door of learning led me to the Japan Martial Arts Society [JMAS].

Although JMAS principally attracted Aikido and Koryu-based enthusiasts as a karateka I was not discouraged from taking out a membership in the mid-1980s. While JMAS was another great source of learning it did not cater much to the Okinawan fighting arts. Yet, in its absence I was able to learn something quite unexpectedly by turning my attention to swordsmanship and Japan’s old fighting arts. Just about the time JMAS fell quietly dormant from a lack of interest in 1991 the annual seminars of martial arts culture began to grow in popularity, especially for we foreigners residing in Japan.

Sponsored by the Nippon Budokan Foundation and hosted by Japan’s Budo University in Chiba, the International Seminars of Budo Culture project was launched in 1989. Developed to improve one’s understanding of the historical, philosophical, and scientific aspects of Budo, the annual seminars attracted foreigners from both in and out of Japan. This wonderful forum not only provided the opportunity to deepen one’s understanding of all aspects of the fighting arts in general, it also focused on traditional Japanese culture, and offered fabulous networking opportunities from which many new friendships came.

Collectively, these events, and a growing desire for some kind of separate Kenkyukai [study group] through which to specifically study the original fighting arts of Okinawa’s old Ryukyu Kingdom, compelled me to consider taking the lead by establishing just such a group. Mentoring and guiding others was important to me not just because it played such an important role in my own progression but because I also saw it as a bridge building opportunity. In 1989, with more than ample encouragement, and the support of both my Okinawan teacher, Kinjo Hiroshi—4th generation grandmaster of the Okinawan fighting arts, noted author and historian—and wife Yuriko, I established the Ryukyu Karate Kokusai Kenkyu Kai [International Ryukyu Karate Research Society, IRKRS].

BR: You have scaled down your intense traveling schedule to work on some other projects. What are they and how are they progressing?

PM: Hmm, the odd thing about this is that I seem to be busier now that I am not traveling abroad and still not getting my overdue work done!!

Notwithstanding, the first of the projects are three new DVDs, on escapes and counters to the HAPV, and receiving percussive impact, which finish off our fundamental application network. This will be followed four books; #1. Yamane Ryu, #2. the English translation of Taira Shinken’s 1964 Encyclopedia of Kobudo, #3. The Bubishi Companion and #4. The KU International Training Manual.

BR: You have just released a new publication of the Bubishi calling it ‘The Classic Manual of Contact’. What changes have you made to the publication that made you a best-selling author?

PM: In the revised edition, you will find thought provoking words from several colleagues of mine [Roland Haberzetser, Joe Swift, Harry Cook, Bruce Miller, Rand Cardwell, Hokama Tetsuhiro, and Victor Smith] who I invited to comment on the Bubishi. I have also included a huge new introduction sharing my research methods along with some of the most reproducible Chinese script from the original Mabuni Bubishi, several photographs of Bubishi-related research sources, the only known image of Itosu Ankoh in existence. I also made a handful of grammatical corrections that were missed in the original edition. I was very pleased with the way it turned out and I am sure readers will, too.

BR: To help ‘plug the gap’ between your visits Olaf Krey and Ante Brannbacka have been visiting the UK and Ireland to teach Koryu Uchinadi seminars. How good are these guys?

PM: Oh, these guys are superb athletes, wonderful teachers and amongst the best we have. They really exemplify the best of what KU is all about. They’re both foreign graduates of our two-year instructor’s accreditation program who traveled from Germany and Finland to spend two-years at college here in Australia. They amongst nearly twenty other KU accredited instructors spread out around the world teaching KU and helping others make the transition to KU. What makes them so effective? I think it’s that special combination of physical prowess, charisma, genuine concern for the folks they work with, and patience and insightful teaching skills.

BR: Some KU students have also ventured into cage fighting competitions. Was KU ever intended for this or has those individuals’ training had to be supplemented in some way?

PM: Not really, but that’s just a matter of shifting one’s training outcomes and this kind of pliability best exemplifies the principles of KU.

BR: You about to embark on a tour of Europe, North America and Australasian teaching over dozens seminars. What keeps you motivated to do this?

PM: Getting away from my wife and kids! Just joking It’s the desire to make a difference and put back into that, which has given me so much. I also enjoy being in touch with our international membership as I have many friends all over the world.

BR: What should someone expect when they turn up to one of your seminars?

PM: To learn a lot about how kata functions as the art of karate.

BR: What would you say to any martial arts student today if they were to ask for one piece of advice?

PM: Enjoy life my friend and don’t be afraid to live “your” dream!

Stevenson's picture

Great interview, and great questions too Ben. I have read/seen far too little of Patrick McCarthy. This has inspired me to correct that.

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Great stuff Ben! Thanks so much for sharing!

All the best,


Dill Young
Dill Young's picture

Great interview Ben san.Training with Sensei last year was very inspirational. Thanks for your work as well.

Best wishes.

miket's picture


Mark B
Mark B's picture

Great share