Updated November 16, 2012
“Because of Dai Sensei, I am fortunate to meet great people all over the world. Without my father, we would never have had the opportunity to train and learn together. I owe this to my father.” Meitetsu Sensei teaches philosophy like this in his seminars. He often emphasizes that while it is important to be strong physically, it is equally and perhaps more important to be a good person to contribute to a better world.
Yagi Meitetsu Sensei was born on January 1st, 1949 and is the second son of Yagi Meitoku Dai Sensei. He began training at the age of 6 years old with Dai Sensei and well remembers his disciplined and passionate classes. Dai Sensei was often assisted by Yushin Tamaki, the senior student at that time, and he recalls his tough Sanchin lessons.
By the age of 16, Meitetsu Sensei earned his black belt for both Judo and Karate. In 1983, he founded the Meibukan Nagata Branch Dojo and 12 years later, in 1995, he was appointed president of the Meibukan Hombu Dojo by its founder, Yagi Meitoku Dai Sensei. Meitetsu Sensei is also the founder and chairman of the Meibukan Hambukai Association which is dedicated to the virtues of Meibukan as a way of contributing to a better world. This association was formed shortly after the start of the Nagata Dojo. In 1995, when Meitetsu Sensei was appointed president of the Hombu, Morihide Matsumoto became president of Nagata. As the Okinawa Goju-Kai president, he served for 2 terms between 1997 and 2001 and in the tradition of Dai Sensei, is still acts as a consultant today. He is currently the president of the All Okinawa Karate-Do Association.
On December 1st, 2001, Meitetsu Sensei was awarded 10th dan by his father. Because of Dai Sensei’s age, he was unable to create a legible certificate but the event was witnessed by family and later confirmed by the highly respected samurai, Shiki Tadanori Sensei. Humbled by the position, Meitetsu Sensei revealed it to only a select few including this author for the first year and later reveal it publicly. As president of the Meibukan Hombu and 10th dan, Yagi Meitetsu Sensei is part of the Meibukan Souke and a successor to Dai Sensei. Among the items he received as successor from Dai Sensei was the Hombu Dojo, Dai Sensei’s private diary, and both Karate uniforms of Dai Sensei and Chojun Miyagi.
Although in his youth, Meitetsu Sensei was a spirited athlete, today as Hombu Dojo president he enjoys teaching philosophy as Chojun Miyagi did with Dai Sensei. Among his 10 famous sayings are:
10 – Karate at its very essence is [combat] but we must never fight.
9 – The most important thing to learn in Karate is manners.
8 – Perform a task like your life depended on it. Do your very best and never less.
7 – Never get angry. If you get angry count to 10. If you get very angry count to 20.
6 – We all have good points and bad points. Always look for the good points in people.
5 – Small people speak and don’t think. Big people think and don’t speak.
4 – Enduring hardship is the key to be a good person. Always endure.
3 – Never break a promise.
2 – If someone does bad to you – forgive and forget. If someone does good to you – never forget.
1 – Family always comes first.
You can experience his lessons of Karate and philosophy in person at the Meibukan Hombu Dojo on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights.