WMKA News

Click on article titles or photos to read and view entire post

WMKA/MKAA/AFTK SEMINAR TOSHIMITSU ARAKAKI SENSEI, HANSHI, 10TH DAN 

 WMKA/MKAA/AFTK SEMINAR FEATURING TOSHIMITSU ARAKAKI SENSEI HANSH, 10TH DAN   AUSTRALIA , SATURDAY FEBRUARY 18TH 2023 UNTIL FEBRUARY 24TH 2023  FEBRUARY 18TH TO 20TH– CUMMINGS KARATE DOJO, CANBERRA  FEBRUARY 21ST TO 24TH– MATSUBAYASHI-RYU KARATE ASSOC OF AUST  DOJO, WINGHAM , NEW SOUTH WALES.  ALL WMKA/EMKA MEMBERS ARE MOST WELCOME TO ATTEND  THE SEMINAR IS SPONSORED BY THE MATSUBAYASHI-RYU KARATE ASSOCIATION OF  AUSTRALIA, CUMMINGS KARATE DOJO – CANBERRA AND THE AUSTRALIAN   FEDERATION OF TRADITIONAL KARATE.   ENQUIRIES – JOHN CARLYLE (CHIEF INSTRUCTOR, MKAA),IF YOU REQUIRE A   COMPREHENSIVE AGENDA OF THE SEMINAR.  jcarlyle5@bigpond.com or message the Facebook Dojo Pages of the MKAA   

Read more

Steve Woolston’s Visit to Okinawa in November, 2022

Due to the covid pandemic, it had been three years since students were able to visit Okinawa and receive corrections and instructions from their seniors.  In November this year, however, I was able to undertake the journey along with my wife, Sally Woolston.  We run a small dojo in the South-East of England and in the past have travelled regularly to Okinawa; this would be my 11th trip since first visiting in 2010. It’s been a difficult couple of years for us, as it has been for everyone, but at last the restrictions were slowly lifted and we were able to spend 10 days on ‘the Island of karate’ once more.  Flying out of London Heathrow Airport on Saturday, the 12th of November, we were looking forward to arriving and checking into our hotel in the center of Naha, located near to the bus terminal.  Plans, however, always seem to have a way of keeping you on your toes and we missed the connecting flight from Tokyo Haneda to Naha due to being stuck in a massive queue for immigration processing.  The result of this was us having to frantically try to book a hotel in Tokyo, somewhere near to the airport, at 9 pm at night!  Anyway, we did it and flew out from Tokyo bound for Naha at 7:30 am the following morning. Thankfully, we didn’t miss any of the training sessions that we had arranged in advance, as the first of these was on Monday evening with […]

Read more

Sally Woolston’s Visit to Okinawa in November, 2022

Wow what a trip!!I haven’t had the chance to return to Okinawa since 2016. Usually every second year is my year to travel there, but in 2018 I forewent my ticket and let my eldest son go in my place so he could have the experience before he set off to University.  Then boom, Covid struck in 2020 and as we all know, life was never to be the same and the delay for my next chance to visit was excruciatingly long. So as you can probably imagine I was both nervous and excited with the trip looming and the prospect of being able to attempt my 5th Dan promotion.  On occasion I was unable to understand why I was putting myself through it and doubting that I knew anything. Thank goodness I didn’t listen to myself as this was a trip over all other trips for me. Training twice a day was exhausting and exhilarating for me and my companions that visited at the same time.  The enthusiasm that we had between ourselves was immense and just what we all needed to keep us going.  We all worked well together and got to know each other’s training ways and could tweak whilst we were in the different dojos learning from the very best.  The chats on the way back from each session was what you might call intense and we even made an online chat group so we could share and remind each other of any tips. Being a […]

Read more

New Year’s Greeting from the President

News from Okinawa                                                            January 1,2023 Dear WMKA members around the world,   Aratama nu tushi ni simi tu ku-bu kajyati kukuru kara shigata wakaku naimi sochi ii-sho-guwachi de-biru!   I would like to express my heartfelt congratulations to all of you for the glorious and hopeful New Year! In August last year, as Okinawa marked the 50th anniversary since its reversion to Japan from U.S. rule, “The 2nd Okinawa Karate World Tournament” and “The 1st Okinawa Karate Boys and Girls World Tournament” were grandly held by Okinawa Prefecture. Okinawa karate enthusiasts from 24 countries around the world gathered in Okinawa. WMKA Okinawa Headquarters welcomed participants from Australia, India and the mainland of Japan and deepened our bonds & friendship for future. The mass media in Okinawa also published many special featured articles about the Karate events, and anticipation & potential of Okinawa karate’s future was greatly felt.  The 2nd Okinawa Karate World Tournament 2022 Farewell Party was originally planned at a hotel but the event was changed to a Farewell Ceremony at the Okinawa Karate Kaikan to prevent the spread of Covid-19 corona virus infection. My closing address at the Farewell Ceremony on behalf of all Okinawa karate & Kobudo organizations is shown below. The 2nd Okinawa Karate World Tournament Farwell Ceremony Closing Address:“Gusu-yo chu- uganabira!  Good evening, fellow Karate fans. We were able […]

Read more

David Troup’s Visit to Okinawa

From November 7 through the 20th, and after years of delays due to Covid-19 restrictions, I had the chance to visit Okinawa once again. This was my third trip to the island, and I was grateful for another opportunity to explore some of the key karate-related sites in Naha, partake in my favorite delicious and traditional foods, and most importantly, to train with Taira Yoshitaka Sensei, Arakaki Toshimitsu Sensei, Tome Iwao Sensei, and Makishi Tetsuo Sensei. I stayed near the Tsubogama monorail station, and because I was in walking distance to the central Naha Bus Station, I enjoyed exploring the city through public transportation which also allowed me to try and practice my extremely poor Japanese. With training sessions each morning at 10 am, and each evening at 8 pm, I not only took the bus, but often walked across the city to the various dojos, getting to know the city much better in that way. Each day, for lunch, I tried to find a new Soba, Ramen, or Sushi restaurant, while also exploring the many shops and markets on my way. In the second week, I was joined by four European members of the WMKA, Steve and Sally Woolston, Heinz Tessner, and Joel Castasus. We all trained together at the dojos of Taira Sensei, Arakaki Sensei, Tome Sensei and Makishi Sensei in the mornings and evenings. Together, we explored the Karate Kaikan, the Budokan, and the recently unveiled memorial monument to Osensei Shoshin Nagamine. The training was fascinating, and […]

Read more

My visit to the land of Karate in 2022

by Joel Castasus In October 2022, Japan opened its border to tourists. This was fantastic news for anyone who wanted to visit Japan. To me as a karate practitioner, it was a chance to visit and train in Okinawa, the birthplace of karate. Thus in November 2022, this is what did, plus more… There were a few amusing incidents along the way, such as missed flights, but the extremely helpful Japan Airlines staff quickly resolved these minor issues, and I arrived in Okinawa that afternoon. Perfect timing, as I had a few hours to sort out my hotel, have a bit of food, shower, and rest. I was then ready for my first training session at the Makishi Dojo. At the Makishi Dojo, I joined the group of Steve Woolston Sensei, Sally Woolston Sensei, (both from Eastbourne, England Dojo), David Troup Sensei (Maine, USA), and Heinz Tessner Sensei (Grossefehn, Germany). We all trained together with  Tetsuo Makishi Sensei, 6th Dan, and his own students. Although I was tired from a long flight, this had not affected my experience at all. I still remember how much I enjoyed Makishi Sensei’s teaching, and his innovative approach to Kihon and this is something I planned on taking back to Bristol to share.    Training Sessions:The days that followed were a routine of three training sessions per day. Typically, a morning session began with Iwao Tome Sensei, 9th Dan, then an afternoon session with Masao Shinzato Sensei, 8th Dan, and finally an evening with either […]

Read more

Heinz Tessner Visit to Okinawa

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 thenTokyo (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 […]

Read more

Annual Autumn Dan Evaluation test 2022

News from Okinawa                                                                   December 10, 2022 Annual Autumn Dan Evaluation test 2022 Dear WMKA members around the world,   I hope you are staying healthy in your everyday life where you live. The Covid-19 is still actively troubling many people around the world. However, it seems the people and their societies have started moving forward to overcome the damage by it.  We had “The 2nd Okinawa Karate World Tournament” from August 1st to 9th. We also hosted “The 7th World Uchinanchu Festival”, which is scheduled to be held once every five years, from October 30th to November 3rd. Both World Events were very successful and many thousands of visitors from around the world came to Okinawa.   We had the Annual Autumn Dan Evaluation test for 2022 on November 20th in Okinawa. We were surprised to see 17 participants because we had very few in 2020 and 2021 due to the influence of Covid-19. Unfortunately, we had none from Okinawa this time. We had five participants from overseas, three from England, one from Germany and one from USA.  Mr. Steven Woolston received Rensh 6th dan, Ms. Sally Woolston, Mr. David Troup and Mr. Karl-Heintz Tessner received 5th dan. Although Mr. Joel Castasus could have received his 3rd dan within the EMKA, he came to Okinawa and we welcomed him willingly because […]

Read more

A welcome return to the birthplace of Karate

A welcome return to the birthplace of Karate From 29 July to 11 August 2022 a delegation of 15 adults and 1 child from the Kodokan Cummings Karate Dojo, travelled to represent Australia at the 1st Junior and 2nd [Senior] Okinawa Karate World Tournament, along with more than 2,000 participants from around the world. With Japan remaining strict on COVID-19 regulations, entry into Japan was permitted only with an invitation letter from the 2nd Okinawa Karate World Tournament Executive Committee. This year’s tournament was the second seniors tournament (with the first in 2018), and the inaugural juniors tournament. It is designed for karate practitioners across Okinawa, Japan and overseas to come together to showcase the results of their daily training and promote Okinawan karate. Of the delegation, three karate practitioners competed. Reece Cummings placed in the Top 16 in the Male I Shuri/Tomari Division (increasing his world ranking from the Top 32 in 2018). Tom Smithson, age 9, also travelled to Okinawa to compete and placed in the Top 16 of the Boys and Girls II Shuri/Tomari Division. Black belt dojo member, Sean Wallace, also placed in the Top 32 in the Male I Shuri/Tomari Division. The tournament was not the only purpose of the trip, though; the delegation engaged in various cultural and physical education activities while in Okinawa, including visiting prominent landmarks and participating in daily karate training at Taira Dojo, Arakaki Dojo, and Makishi Dojo. The training was particularly rewarding and every student walked away with not […]

Read more

The 2nd Okinawa Karate World Tournament

News from Okinawa                                                                        November 15, 2022 The 2nd OKINAWA KARATE WORLD TOURNAMENT Report Dear WMKA members around the World,We want to inform you about the 2nd Okinawa Karate World Tournament. The following statement was made by the governor of Okinawa (prior to the event) and is borrowed from in the 2nd Okinawa Karate World Tournament 2022 catalog:“This year Okinawa marks the 50th year anniversary since its reversion to Japan from U.S. rule, and we believe that this tournament, held at such a milestone, will attract a general deal of attention from both within and outside of Japan.  About 800 karate enthusiasts from 27 countries and regions around the world will participate in general tournament, along with about 1,400 boys and girls in the 1st OKINAWA KARATE WORLD JUNIOR TOURNAMENT.” In addition, about 800 individuals will participate in Okinawa Karate Seminars.” The participants in the “The 2nd OKINAWA KARATE WORLD TOURNAMENT 2022” were fewer compared to “The 1st OKINAWA KARATE INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT 2018” because of the Covid-19 Pandemic throughout the world. WMKA Okinawa Headquarters sent 12 personnel including president Taira and vice president Arakaki to the “Expert Committees” as seminar instructors and judges or staff. WMKA members participated in the opening ceremony, a group demonstration and in the kata tournament. WMKA participants included 30 members from Okinawa, 5 from mainland Japan, 15 from Australia (as led by Mr. Reece Cummings) and Mr. Kugan Sundarmurthy from India. We performed Fukyugata 1 & Wankan for the group demonstration. Mr. Reece Cummings also demonstrated […]

Read more