"It is doubtful whether the Japanese people and the country as a whole can really be understood or appreciated by anyone without a degree of knowledge of their martial culture." (Donn F. Draeger, Classical Bujutsu. New York: Weatherhill, Inc., 1973)
How many martial artists in the history of karate had ever enjoyed the opportunity to study directly under such formidable masters as Bushi Matsumura, Tokumini Pechin, Itosu Ankoh, Matsumora Kosaku, Motobu Choyu and Satkuma Usumei? To the best of my knowledge there was only one, Motobu Choki.
When you walk into a karate dojo in the United States, you'll eventually here someone say "Oos!" You'll at first wonder what all of the grunting and hissing is about, but soon enough you'll begin to understand that the word is being used to mean hello, goodbye, yes sir, that's cool, and a host of other expressions.
What is the word, and how did we end up barking it at each other? Why do some people use and overuse it, and why do people who trained in Japan return to the United States no longer speaking the word much - if at all? There are answers to these questions. Forget what you have been taught about "Oos!" It's probably wrong. This article details the expression's real meaning, proper usage, and it's importance in the world of Japanese athletics and machismo.