My name is Steve Woolston, and I am a 5th Dan and dojo owner from England. I recently visited Okinawa and stayed for a total of eight days.
During my short trip I had the opportunity to train on a number of occasions with my teacher Arakaki Toshimitsu, Hanshi and also visited many places around the Island, even taking a day out to visit the island of Kume-jima.
The part of the trip that was most enjoyable to me, aside from the karate studies of course, was having the chance to further my knowledge and understanding of the warm culture that seems to be found everywhere on Okinawa. I have been lucky enough to have visited Okinawa now on ten occasions since first travelling over in 2010, and each time there is seemingly more and more to learn about its people, history and traditions.
As a dojo, we are already making plans for our trip in October/November next year, and we are looking forward to it immensely. It is always difficult to convey the gratitude that we have for the generosity of our teachers and seniors in Matsubayashi-ryu, but perhaps the best way we can show it is by continuing to work hard and by spreading the great work that the WMKA are doing in supporting our efforts in following the Matsubayashi-ryu tradition.
I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Ms. Becka Tedder for her kindness and hospitality during my recent stay.