Okinawa Shorin-ryu
New Zealand
Matsubayashi-ryu karate & kobudo
Top


Okinawa Shorin Ryu New Zealand
Matsubayashi Ryu
Karate - Kobudo

2013 -  OKINAWA  VISIT
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Top
Okinawa Shorin Ryu New Zealand Copyright 2006
Previous
Eat, sleep, sweat... repeat
Intense training, hot humid weather, delicious food and drink, great company and seasonal typhoons awaited seven kiwi's as they made their way once again to Okinawa the island of karate.
Sensei Kevin along with senior club members Tim, Fleur, Jim and Emma were looking forward to the visit, especially training at Taira dojo and catching up with friends from the WMKA.
Megan and Jana from Auckland  Goju Ryu were also training in Okinawa at this time with their respected master Kiichi Nakamoto Sensei. So it was a pleasure to have these friends travel together with the Matsubayashi Ryu crew.

On arriving early morning in Hong Kong the kiwi's were to learn that  typhoon "Fitow" was causing major problems in the area and that Okinawa was now bearing most of its wrath. All departing flights from Hong Kong to Naha airport had been cancelled until further notice!
There was no alternative for the kiwi's but to wait things out and get comfortable. Hopefully connecting flights to Okinawa would resume the next day?


2013 -  Okinawa Visit
"Gateway to Okinawa  seminars...featured many of Okinawa's most prominent masters... ."
Some unexpected sightseeing
So with phone calls made to Taira dojo, accommodation sorted and Hong Kong dollars purchased it was time for a little sightseeing.
The Ngong Ping 360 cable car ride was not far from the hotel so it was decided to " check it out ".


The journey up Lantau mountain was amazing especially in a glass bottomed gondola that offered full 360 degree views on the way up.
Once at the end of the ride and after a short walk through a market village the kiwi's were greeted  by the truly remarkable and enormous "Tian Tan Buddha ". Sitting majestically upon the mountain summit the Buddha and surrounding statues were a  sight to behold.

After lots of shopping, some local food and a few cold beers it was time to get some sleep. Hopefully the next day will see the kiwi's get to Okinawa.


Naha At Last
 Arriving at Naha airport a little later than expected the kiwis were thrilled to be meet by Kancho Taira , Shihandai Higa and senior members of Jichaku dojo including good friend Tony Gibson from Canada.

A much appreciated three car procession had the team once again arrive and check in to the Toyoko Hotel, Omoromachi where bags were put away and a freshen up was had.

Intense training, hot humid weather, delicious food and drink, great company and seasonal typhoons awaited seven kiwi's as they made their way once again to Okinawa the island of karate.
Sensei Kevin along with senior club members Tim, Fleur, Jim and Emma were looking forward to the visit, especially training at Taira dojo and catching up with friends from the WMKA.
Megan and Jana from Auckland  Goju Ryu were also training in Okinawa at this time with their respected master Kiichi Nakamoto Sensei. So it was a pleasure to have these friends travel together with the Matsubayashi Ryu crew.

There was no training scheduled at Taira dojo this day so that meant  it was  - shopping time! The first point of call would undoubtedly be Shureido followed closely behind by a visit to Kokusai dori.
It is always a pleasure visiting Shureido as the staff especially Yoshi san make you feel welcome.  Selecting the right gear is fun, easy and enjoyable with Yoshi. Needless to say a considerable amount of yen was spent by the kiwis this day as dogi, obi and kobudo
equipment were purchased by the  " truck load ".
Kokusai dori with its many shop's welcomes everyone to Okinawa with its many sights, sounds and wonderful foods  to explore, experience and taste.

Taira Dojo Training
Training at Taira dojo began for the team as each work out combined with the heat and humidity ensured nothing less than a sweat fest!
Once again under the expert guidence of both Taira Kancho, Higa Sensei and senior members of Jichaku dojo the kiwi's and Tony solidly worked through many area's of the Kodokan Matsubayashi Ryu curriculum.


On arriving early morning in Hong Kong the kiwi's were to learn that  typhoon "Fitow" was causing major problems in the area and that Okinawa was now bearing most of its wrath. All departing flights from Hong Kong to Naha airport had been cancelled until further notice!
There was no alternative for the kiwi's but to wait things out and get comfortable. Hopefully connecting flights to Okinawa would resume the next day?


 As promised from the 2012 visit to Okinawa the opportunity to learn nunchaku technique and accompanying kata would be made available. Sensei Kevin, Sensei Tim and the kiwi team were excited by this news as this would now complete the kobudo ( Taira dojo ) curriculum that currently comprises  Bo, sai, kama and tonfa that is taught within Matsubayashi Ryu dojo's NZ.

Gateway to Okinawa  Seminars
 It was a fantastic opportunity for the visiting kiwis to also participate and support Kodokan Matsubayashi Ryu at the  "Gateway to Okinawa " seminars held at the Kenritsu Budokan.

The week-long event featured many of Okinawa's most prominent masters teaching at various intervals. This allowed the opportunity for many of the seminar attendee's to be introduced and experience the different ryuha techniques and associated kata.

Amongst the masters present and representing Kodokan Matsubayashi Ryu at the Budokan was Taira Kancho Hanshi 10th Dan. The kiwi team and Tony were privileged not only to participate in this seminar but also pleased to demonstrate both kata and yakusoku kumite to those attending.

Group Training at Taira Dojo
October was fast becoming a very busy month in Okinawa with many cultural events, seminars and dojo sessions scheduled to take place.
Also a large group of WMKA members from the United States were due on the Island and the kiwis were looking forward to meeting, training
and socialising with them all.

Training with Sensei's Gerard Cappiello, Scott Mastin and Steve Wills along with their students and Tony Gibson from Canada was a fantastic experience for the NZ members. Taira Kancho worked solidly with the large group where technique was polished and bucket loads of sweat were produced.

Some unexpected sightseeing
So with phone calls made to Taira dojo, accommodation sorted and Hong Kong dollars purchased it was time for a little sightseeing.
The Ngong Ping 360 cable car ride was not far from the hotel so it was decided to " check it out ".


Some Fun In Naha
A trip to Okinawa is just not complete without having a cold beer at the iconic  " Dojo Bar ". James Pankiewicz and his staff ( special shout to Sam ) offer friendly and welcoming hospitality where the drinks are inviting and the food is tasty.

The bar is a fantastic place to unwind and catch up with everyone after training. The kiwi crew along with WMKA friends from the US and Canada frequented the bar on a couple of occasions to share dojo experiences and get the latest news on up coming events.


Naha At Last
 Arriving at Naha airport a little later than expected the kiwis were thrilled to be meet by Kancho Taira , Shihandai Higa and senior members of Jichaku dojo including good friend Tony Gibson from Canada.

A much appreciated three car procession had the team once again arrive and check in to the Toyoko Hotel, Omoromachi where bags were put away and a freshen up was had.

Jim, beaming about his birthday gift. His birthday  cake even had kiwi fruit on it - wow!
The spectacle that is the  "Naha Great Tug of War " is truly something not to be missed when visiting Okinawa in October. The New Zealanders were excited to not only witness the event but also to participate in it.

Squeezing in amongst the huge crowds of people was at times overwhelming but getting the opportunity to actually pull on the ropes when the order was given is an experience that will never be forgotten. Collecting rice rope pieces after the event was absolutely fantastic as some rope have made fine additions to kiwi makiwara.

Training at Arakaki Dojo
A trip to Nanjo city was eagerly anticipated by the kiwi's as an invitation to train at Sensei Toshimitsu Arakaki's home dojo was gratefully accepted.
Arakaki Sensei, Hanshi 10th Dan is widely respected for his knowledge and skill within Kodokan Matsubayashi Ryu and for those that have had the pleasure to train under him can attest to his quickness and snap of technique.

It was also an immense pleasure for the kiwi's and Tony to train along side senior members of Arakaki dojo where they worked together on kihon, kata, yakusoku kumite and bunkai techniques under Sensei's expert guidance.

Testing at Hombu Dojo
Testing at Nagamine Hombu dojo is something special especially when a student has spent a considerable amount of time both training and living at the Kumoji dojo with the late Soke Takayoshi Nagamine.
It was the kiwi's immense pleasure to have the opportunity to assist and support Canadian friend Tony Gibson with his promotion testing at Nagamine dojo.

In front of a full panel of senior Matsubayashi Ryu Sensei and with many WMKA friends attending, Tony undertook and displayed excellent form in demonstrating kihon, kata, yakusoku kumite and Bunkai that was asked of him by the panel.
Congratulations were in order at the end of the testing as Tony was awarded the new yudansha grade of Sandan.

A Historical journey.
Okinawa has a multitude of sight-seeing activities that capture not only the beauty and wonders of the Island but also offers glimpses and reminders of a past history relevant to this day.
The kiwi's over the period of their stay in Okinawa took the opportunity to sight see when there was no training scheduled at Taira dojo. Places visited were the magnificent Nago aquarium, the beautiful Shikinaen Royal gardens the wonderful Shurijo castle and of course lots of shopping trips to Kokusai dori and Naha main place.


staff especially Yoshi san make you feel welcome.  Selecting the right gear is fun, easy and enjoyable with Yoshi. Needless to say a considerable amount of yen was spent by the kiwis this day as dogi, obi and kobudo equipment were purchased by the  " truck load ".
Kokusai dori with its many shop's welcomes everyone to Okinawa with its many sights, sounds and wonderful foods  to explore, experience and taste.

But one trip the kiwis made which they found both solemn and reflective was a visit to the  memorial site of the  "Former Japanese Navy Underground Headquarters " .Located near Tomishiro town this labyrinth of tunnels offers another reminder about the tragedy of war and the value of peace.
WMKA secretary Riki Nomura had mentioned to the team that there was a special connection with this memorial site and New Zealand.

Rear Admiral Minoru Ota along with his men who died in these caves was respected throughout Okinawa for his concerns and well-being of the Okinawan people. His daughter who grew up in Hiroshima came to marry a New Zealand service man and in 1953 immigrated to Wellington with her husband.

There was no training scheduled at Taira dojo this day so that meant  it was  - shopping time! The first point of call would undoubtedly be Shureido followed closely behind by a visit to Kokusai dori.
It is always a pleasure visiting Shureido as the
Monument to Rear Admiral Minoru Ota         
 and World war two Japanese Naval HQ (Okinawa) deep under ground
Special mention and thanks to Miguel Da Luz for his time in allowing the kiwi team to experience an amazing karate pilgrimage. A journey that took them to the high hills of Nago in search of Bushi Matsumora's retreat. Down to Makabi to view the many tombs of the Shuri te masters and finally ending in Tomari district to see road side monuments and the historically significant Furuherin cave.



Clockwise:  Searching the hills of Nago with Miguel Da Luz;    The hiding place of Kosaku Matsumora;   Furuherin cave;   At the Makabi Shurite Masters Cemetary,  Tomb of Chomo Hanashiro ;   Tomb of Anko Itosu;   Tomb of Sokon Matsumura;    Roadside plaque to Kosaku Matsumora.
Taira Dojo Training
Training at Taira dojo began for the team as each work out combined with the heat and humidity ensured nothing less than a sweat fest!
Once again under the expert guidence of both Taira Kancho, Higa Sensei and senior members of Jichaku dojo the kiwi's and Tony solidly worked through many area's of the Kodokan Matsubayashi Ryu curriculum.


Time had arrived for Sensei Kevin, Tim, Fleur, Jim and Emma to once again bid farewell to Okinawa. With lots of training done, bucket loads of sweat lost. Friendships strengthened and much sight-seeing and shopping achieved, focus now lay upon heading home.

Taira Kancho and Jichaku dojo organised a wonderful sayonara party for the kiwi's which was humbly accepted with many delicious home-made treats and cold beverages to enjoy.

Many thanks and much gratitude, yet again, to Kancho Taira, Shihandai Higa, Manabu Sensei and members of Jichaku dojo for their continued support and hospitality. To the friends within Okinawa and those visiting from the WMKA, thank you also for an exciting and enjoyable time.
See you all back in Naha, October 2014!

Previous
 As promised from the 2012 visit to Okinawa the opportunity to learn nunchaku technique and accompanying kata would be made available. Sensei Kevin, Sensei Tim and the kiwi team were excited by this news as this would now complete the kobudo ( Taira dojo ) curriculum that currently comprises  Bo, sai, kama and tonfa that is taught within Matsubayashi Ryu dojo's NZ.

The week-long event featured many of Okinawa's most prominent masters teaching at various intervals. This allowed the opportunity for many of the seminar attendee's to be introduced and experience the different ryuha techniques and associated kata.

Amongst the masters present and representing Kodokan Matsubayashi Ryu at the Budokan was Taira Kancho Hanshi 10th Dan. The kiwi team and Tony were privileged not only to participate in this seminar but also pleased to demonstrate both kata and yakusoku kumite to those attending.

Gateway to Okinawa  Seminars
 It was a fantastic opportunity for the visiting kiwis to also participate and support Kodokan Matsubayashi Ryu at the  "Gateway to Okinawa " seminars held at the Kenritsu Budokan.

Group Training at Taira Dojo
October was fast becoming a very busy month in Okinawa with many cultural events, seminars and dojo sessions scheduled to take place.
Also a large group of WMKA members from the United States were due on the Island and the kiwis were looking forward to meeting, training
and socialising with them all.

Training with Sensei's Gerard Cappiello, Scott Mastin and Steve Wills along with their students and Tony Gibson from Canada was a fantastic experience for the NZ members. Taira Kancho worked solidly with the large group where technique was polished and bucket loads of sweat were produced.

Some Fun In Naha
A trip to Okinawa is just not complete without having a cold beer at the iconic  " Dojo Bar ". James Pankiewicz and his staff ( special shout to Sam ) offer friendly and welcoming hospitality where the drinks are inviting and the food is tasty.

The bar is a fantastic place to unwind and catch up with everyone after training. The kiwi crew along with WMKA friends from the US and Canada frequented the bar on a couple of occasions to share dojo experiences and get the latest news on up coming events.


Jim, beaming about his birthday gift. His birthday  cake even had kiwi fruit on it - wow!
The spectacle that is the  "Naha Great Tug of War " is truly something not to be missed when visiting Okinawa in October. The New Zealanders were excited to not only witness the event but also to participate in it.

Squeezing in amongst the huge crowds of people was at times overwhelming but getting the opportunity to actually pull on the ropes when the order was given is an experience that will never be forgotten. Collecting rice rope pieces after the event was absolutely fantastic as some rope have made fine additions to kiwi makiwara.

Training at Arakaki Dojo
A trip to Nanjo city was eagerly anticipated by the kiwi's as an invitation to train at Sensei Toshimitsu Arakaki's home dojo was gratefully accepted.
Arakaki Sensei, Hanshi 10th Dan is widely respected for his knowledge and skill within Kodokan Matsubayashi Ryu and for those that have had the pleasure to train under him can attest to his quickness and snap of technique.

It was also an immense pleasure for the kiwi's and Tony to train along side senior members of Arakaki dojo where they worked together on kihon, kata, yakusoku kumite and bunkai techniques under Sensei's expert guidance.

Testing at Hombu Dojo
Testing at Nagamine Hombu dojo is something special especially when a student has spent a considerable amount of time both training and living at the Kumoji dojo with the late Soke Takayoshi Nagamine.
It was the kiwi's immense pleasure to have the opportunity to assist and support Canadian friend Tony Gibson with his promotion testing at Nagamine dojo.

In front of a full panel of senior Matsubayashi Ryu Sensei and with many WMKA friends attending, Tony undertook and displayed excellent form in demonstrating kihon, kata, yakusoku kumite and Bunkai that was asked of him by the panel.
Congratulations were in order at the end of the testing as Tony was awarded the new yudansha grade of Sandan.

A Historical journey.
Okinawa has a multitude of sight-seeing activities that capture not only the beauty and wonders of the Island but also offers glimpses and reminders of a past history relevant to this day.
The kiwi's over the period of their stay in Okinawa took the opportunity to sight see when there was no training scheduled at Taira dojo. Places visited were the magnificent Nago aquarium, the beautiful Shikinaen Royal gardens the wonderful Shurijo castle and of course lots of shopping trips to Kokusai dori and Naha main place.


Monument to Rear Admiral Minoru Ota         
reminder about the tragedy of war and the value of peace.
WMKA secretary Riki Nomura had mentioned to the team that there was a special connection with this memorial site and New Zealand.

Rear Admiral Minoru Ota along with his men who died in these caves was respected throughout Okinawa for his concerns and well-being of the Okinawan people. His daughter who grew up in Hiroshima came to marry a New Zealand service man and in 1953 immigrated to Wellington with her husband.

But one trip the kiwis made which they found both solemn and reflective was a visit to the  memorial site of the  "Former Japanese Navy Underground Headquarters " .Located near Tomishiro town this labyrinth of tunnels offers another
World war two Japanese Naval HQ (Okinawa) deep under ground
Special mention and thanks to Miguel Da Luz for his time in allowing the kiwi team to experience an amazing karate pilgrimage. A journey that took them to the high hills of Nago in search of Bushi Matsumora's retreat. Down to Makabi to view the many tombs of the Shuri te masters and finally ending in Tomari district to see road side monuments and the historically significant Furuherin cave.

Searching the hills of Nago with Miguel Da Luz
The hiding place of
 Kosaku Matsumora
Furuherin cave
Tomb of Chomo Hanashiro
Tomb of Sokon Matsumura
Tomb of Anko Itosu
Time had arrived for Sensei Kevin, Tim, Fleur, Jim and Emma to once again bid farewell to Okinawa. With lots of training done, bucket loads of sweat lost. Friendships strengthened and much sight-seeing and shopping achieved, focus now lay upon heading home.

Taira Kancho and Jichaku dojo organised a wonderful sayonara party for the kiwi's which was humbly accepted with many delicious home-made treats and cold beverages to enjoy.

Roadside plaque to Kosaku Matsumora
Many thanks and much gratitude, yet again, to Kancho Taira, Shihandai Higa, Manabu Sensei and members of Jichaku dojo for their continued support and hospitality. To the friends within Okinawa and those visiting from the WMKA, thank you also for an exciting and enjoyable time.
See you all back in Naha, October 2014!