More than seventy Matsubayashi-Ryu practitioners attended the 2022 WMKA Belleville, Illinois USA seminar on September 9th and 10th, 2022. The seminar featured WMKA Vice President Toshimitsu Arakaki, Hanshi,10th Dan and was hosted by Ed French 6th Dan and members of the Nagamine Lineage Dojo in Swansea Illinois. The seminar included over twenty dojo owner’s as well as ten six dan ranks and above as well as their yudansha, mudansha. and several guests from the WSKF from around the USA attended. The seminar was held in gym belonging to the Belleville Union United Methodist Church.
The agenda included an opening on Friday evening with attendees singing “Karate-Do Sanka” written by Grand Master Shoshin Nagamine. A summary of the seminar was given by Ed French indicating that the seminar will center on katas and bunkai as suggested by some of the senior ranks. Participants enjoyed a social gathering after the Friday training and Saturday’s training was followed by the banquet. A short welcoming and opening address was made by Arakaki Sensei.
On Friday night as well as throughout the day on Saturday, Arakaki Sensei gave instruction to participants on Kihon drills, kata and kata bunkai practice. He was assisted by various dojo owners in the demonstration of techniques as well as instruction of the general group. Participants were able to practice partner drills and bunkai while developing connections and renewing friendships with other Matsubayashi practitioners from around the USA. A special thanks to Scott Schnell Sensei who translated for both Arakaki Sensei and attendees.
The Saturday training was followed by a Banquet held at the Main Street Brewing Company in Belleville, Illinois. Short speeches were made at the banquet as well as everyone enjoying a special singing performance by Arakaki Sensei. On Sunday morning, approximately twenty-five met to have breakfast with Arakaki Sensei and to say farewell before departing for home. A few pictures from the event can be seen below.