The Surgeon

In 1999 I took part in a Goju-ryu Kata seminar in Sanyo Sports Center, Nara prefecture. Besides practice, everyday evening lectures were given. The organization was very good.

One day a lecture was scheduled by a Dr. Tamesue, doctor of medicine and a surgeon, who was flewn in from Tokyo. He was 80+ or 90+ years old. The lecture was labelled “First Aid in Martial Arts”. He turned out to be one of the earliest members of Ritsumeikan University Karate Club (did you know Miyagi Chojun’s original student Yogi Jitsu’ei was active at Ritsumeikan?).

His lecture covered the parts of the body, the respiratory system, the organs, ripped tendons, broken bones and so on. He also gave mathematical descriptions of what is actually happening. For this he used the math of mechanics, of course.

He had an interesting story about the tools used by surgeons during his younger years. During Meiji era, he said, and as everybody knows, Japan adopted medicine, surgeon tools and techniques from Germany. He said these have been quality tools. Later, he explained, the Japanese began to produce their own tools. He remebered that the Japanese clamps for shutting off the kidney artery occasionally would jump off. As the pressure of the kidneys‘ blood-vessels are under high-pressure, the blood would shoot up right up to the ceiling. He found this was very amusing.

After 2 hours or so he finished his explanations on First Aid in MA, obligatory closing by asking, “Any questions?”

So I asked something about the history and origins of Goju-ryu and while asking I saw a gleam in his eye. He began to explain, writing the board full several times, drawing connection lines all over it, wiping everything away, only to start again. Everybody was amazed by this man. He nearly choked the translator while showing a brutal application of Tensho, changing from Dr. Jekill to Mr. Hide to become a terrifying martial artist.

The lecture continued and continued. Some listeners were already snoring but he finally came to an end.


He finished by asking,

“Any questions?”

As I inhaled for my next question everybody in the room in perfect unison swung their heads around, glaring at me with the promise of immediate fatal attack in their eyes. I was still quite flexible in mind at the time and remained silent.

Dr. Tamesue, 1999, International Yuishinkan Kata Seminar, Nara.

Dr. Tamesue, 1999, International Yuishinkan Kata Seminar, Nara.

© 2015, Andreas Quast. All rights reserved.

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