Yoshitaka Taira Sensei, 10th dan Hanshi, and president of the World Matsubayashi Ryu Karate-do Assosciation, was in Canada from July 24 through August 1st to officially open the Ryu Shin karate dojo. While in Canada, Taira Sensei also conducted a three day seminar. Here are the highlights of his visit.
- Taira Sensei conducted a three day seminar. Students from Canada, the USA, and as far away as Argentina were in attendance. The first two days of the seminar included basics, kata, and advanced bunkai techniques. The third day was dedicated to bojutsu. Students were introduced to bo basics, bo basic kata, as well as Shushi no kin ichi and Choun no kin ichi.
- After the seminar the official opening ceremony for Mr.Anthony Gibson’s new school, Ryu Shin karate, took place. The ceremony was well attended and included speeches and demonstrations from several WMKA Sensei’s and Taira Sensei himself. In attendance also was the Deputy Mayor of Clarington, Mr. Willie Woo, who presented Mr.Gibson with a Grand Opening certificate, on behalf of city council.
- Once the ceremony and dinner were complete, Taira Sensei made a special presentation to Shigehide Akamine Sensei from Argentina (originally Okinawa). Taira Sensei presented a very unexpecting Akamine Sensei with the rank of Kudan, 9th degree black belt. This was a very emotional moment.
- Now that the events were over, Mr.Gibson took Taira Sensei and Akamine Sensei(as well as some of his students) sightseeing. In Toronto they visited the CN tower followed by dinner at the only Okinawan restaurant in Toronto. The following day meant a trip to Niagara falls, where Taira Sensei took part in the Maid of the Mist boat cruise which travels right to the base of the powerful falls.
- The final two days were spent relaxing at Mr.Gibson’s cottage on Shadow lake. It was a time to reflect and experience some Canadian wilderness. Taira Sensei experienced his first ever campfire and enjoyed the scenic boat ride around the lake.
Quote from Mr.Gibson:
“The entire event and visit were a resounding success. Many thanks go out to all the participants, particularly those whose traveled great distances. Thank you to Akamine Sensei who helped translate for Taira Sensei.
It is a very busy year for both Taira Sensei and the WMKA, with the Soke Nagamine memorial event taking place later this year. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Taira Sensei for taking the time to come all this way to open my school. It is very humbling to have someone of his stature take the time for someone like myself who is just beginning his journey”