A trip to Okinawa

From November 7th through the 20th, I had the chance to once again visit Okinawa. This was my third trip to the island, and I was grateful for the opportunity to explore some of the key karate-related sites in Naha, partake in delicious and traditional food, most importantly, to train with Taira Yoshitaka Sensei, Arakaki Toshimitsu Sensei, Tome Iwao Sensei, and Makishi Tetsuo Sensei.

My first week there, while staying near the Tsubogama monorail station, I was in walking distance to the central Naha Bus Station, and enjoyed exploring the city through the public transportation system. With training sessions each morning at 10 am, and each evening at 8 pm, and I often walked across the city to the dojo, finding it easier to better understand the city in that manner. Each day I tried to find a new Soba, Ramen, or Sushi restaurant for lunch while exploring the many shops and markets on my way.

The second week there, I was joined by four European members of the WMKA, Steve and Sally Wooston, Heinz Tessner, and Joel Castasus, and we trained together in the morning and evenings, and enjoyed visiting the Karate Kaikan, the Budokan, and especially the recently unveiled memorial monument to Osensei Shoshin Nagamine. The training was fantastic, and I spent every evening writing notes and reviewing what we had explored in that day’s sessions.

In particular our training focused on all five of our upcoming dan grading tests, which were scheduled for Sunday, November 20. On Saturday, November 19, we had a final training, and were joined by twelve other Karate students from Mainland Japan who would be testing with us the following day. It was a wonderful experience to meet and train with these other visitors, and once again reinforced what a welcoming worldwide family the WMKA is.

Huge thanks go out to Riki Nomura sensei for all of his help in making this trip possible, and of course senseis Taira, Arakaki, Tome, and Makishi for their invaluable teaching, their deep knowledge, and their overwhelmingly kind welcome.

Congratulations to Mark Kelly

Congratulations to Mark Kelly on his promotion to green belt. Making wonderful progress! And welcome to our new students! We’re truly grateful for the terrific energy you bring to our class, and for forcing us to once again see things with a beginner’s mind!

Mark Kelly successfully tested for his green belt at the Rockland Matsubayashi-ryu Dojo
Dojo students pose for selfie after successful testing

Congratulations on Successful Testing

Congratulations to Richard Podolsky, Jim Nickelson, Mary Ann Heinzen-Hackett, Daniel Donnelly, Lyn Cathryn Donnelly, and Stephen Pease on their successful testing yesterday at the Penobscot Bay YMCA.
Richard and Jim were promoted to 7th Kyu, Mary Ann and Daniel were promoted to 4th Kyu, Lyn was promoted to 1st Kyu, and Stephen received his promotion to ni-dan.

Congratulations all!

David Troup’s Recent Okinawa Trip

From March 19th to the 29th I had the tremendous joy of training in and around Naha, Okinawa— a trip that not only revealed to me untold new understandings of fundamental kihon, kata, bunkai, and yakusoku kumite, but also brought to life karate history and culture in a fascinating and most unexpected way.More

A Message from the President of the WMKA

Dear WMKA members from around the world,

 A Happy New Year! Shin-nen akemashite omedetou gozaimasu! I congratulate you all in welcoming a bright new year wherever you are living now. We are celebrating a wonderful new year with our families, friends and communities here in Okinawa.

More

Congrats John Thibodeau

Huge congratulations go out to John Thibodeau on his recent promotion to Sho Dan — first degree black belt — in Matsubayashi Shorin-Ryu Karate-Do. Very hard work clearly pays off. Well done sir!