From 13 April to 27 April, Australian WMKA member, Reece Cummings made his 12th annual trip to train with the senior instructors of Matsubayashi-ryu. This trip was a particularly noteworthy one as it involved training, on average, 3 times per day at various WMKA Dojo in Okinawa, covering both karate-do and kobujutsu.
During the trip Reece was fortunate to study with sensei(s) Kaicho Yoshitaka Taira, Fuku-Kaicho Toshimitsu Arakaki, Kancho Iwao Tome, Kancho Tsugio Miyagi, and Kancho Masao Shinzato. During the first session with each instructor, the lesson was focused on ensuring kihon-waza and all kata were comprehensively understood, with specific details covered on koshi, muchimi, gamaku, and power generation, and unique points given from each knowledgeable sensei. Moving into other sessions, the teachers covered topics such as oyo-waza from kata, applied and yakusoku kumite, and kobujutsu (including bo, sai, tonfa, nunchaku, eku).
Reece said “Each teacher in the WMKA in Okinawa is genuine, supportive and endeavours to make sure that every trip is a successful one when it comes to the learning of the physical side of karate-jutsu. However, it is the lessons they impart when it comes to karate-do that I believe is even more important; the education of culture, respect, and history is integral to preserving Okinawan karate and kobujutsu internationally, and these lessons are the ones I try to ensure are transmitted correctly also to my students.”
This year’s trip for Reece was an extra special one, as while his dojo in Australia is celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Arakaki Dojo is also celebrating its 30th anniversary, making it an extra memorable experience. Reece hopes to bring a sizeable group of students to the World Matsubayashi-ryu celebrations in October/November 2020, and looks forward to catching up with many of the WMKA family then.