After waiting a long time for the opportunity to finally go back to Okinawa, at the end of November 2022 I had the chance to do so.
My trip started from the airport in Amsterdam on November 13, 2022 via Munich then
Tokyo (Haneda) with the final destination of Naha, Okinawa.
The journey was to once again polish the detailed parts of Matsubayashi Ryu Karate-Do under the guidance of the leading authorities. Upon, meeting up with friends from England (Steve Woolsten Sensei, Sally Wollsten Sensei and Joel Castasus Sensei) and from the US (David Troup Sensei of Maine), once again was the realization of Ichariba Choodee
行逢りば兄弟 – meaning we know each other for years and each time we meet it is like we last met only few days ago, even if it might be month.
The warm weather, the friendly Okinawan people, the food and the whole atmosphere, immediately made me feel welcome, maybe like being home again.
We had the chance to participate with keiko under watchful eyes of Taira Yoshitaka Sensei, Arakaki Toshimitsu Sensei and Tome Iwao Sensei in particular. We also had the chance to train under guidance of Shinzato Masao Sensei and Makishi Tetsuo Sensei. The possibility to train under these Sensei up to 3 times a day during the upcoming week was amazing.
On Saturday, November the 19th, there was the final preparation for the exam which was scheduled for the next day.
Seventeen participants from mainland Japan, England, the US and Germany presented to the judges (Taira Sensei, Arakaki Sensei and Tome Sensei) as well as to Makishi Sensei what they had had been working on. After about 4 hours everyone was happy to have passed the test.
Another important item on our list of events was the visit the memorial for Nagamine Shoshin Sensei, which we did together and paid our respect to.
On Monday I had the last keiko for this trip in the Dojo of Taira Sensei and on Tuesday it was time to say “until next time“ to Arakaki Sensei.
I Departed from Okinawa on Wednesday morning, November 23rd at 8 am and finally arrived here in Germany at 4 am (early morning) on Thursday, November 24th. It was once again, a wonderful experience and an amazing time.
In summary the days had gone by so fast, because the feeling and knowledge of having roots, friends and family in Matsubayashi Ryu makes our WMKA a wonderful association, with great Sensei who have the will to share their knowledge and experience with the ones who like to absorb. Even if the distance is there, it never feels like there is distance between us. We are one, one family, one group of friends, with the love of sharing and learning the teachings of Nagamine Shoshin Sensei and Nagamine Takayoshi Sensei.
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