SEMINARS

Seminars

 

Training takes place in the Okinawa Prefectural Budokan (above), in Naha, Okinawa. Asahibashi, Tsubogawa, and Onoyama Koen monorail stations are all within easy walking distance. We also train at the Okinawa Karate Kaikan in Tomigusuku, and the Gokokuji Shinto Shrine in Onoyama Koen.

Our instructors are selected for their ability and experience, and many are world famous for their specialties. Higa Sensei can pull anyone off their feet with apparent ease, and teaches how to avoid this. Kuba Sensei has an arsenal of kata applications (bunkai) that are impossible to resist, and brutally effective. Itokazu Sensei is a leading teacher of Uechi Ryu and Headmaster of the Matayoshi Kobudo organization. Tsutomu Nakahodo Sensei is one of the most senior Uechi Ryu instructors in the world, and Morio Higaonna Sensei is known for his phenomenal power and technical excellence.

While our seminars focus on core karate principles, (many of which are never taught in the West) little time is spent on the repetition of basic technique. The purpose of the training we offer is to expand and improve each student’s ability—regardless of their grade and experience—in the areas of efficiency of movement, speed, striking power, and practical comprehension of kata and their applications.

Over the 5 day seminar period there are 2 seminars each day, each of which is taught by a high grade instructor (8th -10th Dan) with assistants.

 


Okinawa Karate Kaikan

 

 


Budokan and Kaikan: Please remove your shoes as you enter, and store them in the racks provided. All the dojo are large, well-lit, and airy and the excellent wooden floors are designed for karate training. Please warm up beforehand so you are ready to start training when the instructors arrive.


Gokokuji Shinto Shrine

Gokokuji Shrine. It is a real privilege for us to be able to train here and have a service dedicated to our group, so please follow instructions carefully and show respect.

When you climb the stairs to the shrine itself, use the outside of the staircase as tradition dictates that only the spirits use the center part. Wash your hands and face in the font provided, the shrine attendants (Miko San, usually a young lady wearing a bright red hakama and white top), will show you how to use the bamboo dipper and give you a towel afterwards. Please remove jewelry and hats before you enter the shrine, seat yourself, and when the big drum sounds, lower your gaze during the actual ceremony and blessing.

As you leave the shrine the Miko will offer you awamori or sake both of which contain alcohol, (awamori as much as 50% by volume or 100 proof), so if you are under twenty you will have to forego this part of the ceremony.

Kagi Sensei, the chief priest of Gokokuji, and his staff are tremendously supportive of our events so please show them every courtesy and consideration.

 

Instructors

Minoru Higa, 10th Dan Hanshi, Kobayashi Ryu. The nephew and long time student of Yuchoku Higa, Minoru Sensei is the current head of the Kyudokan Dojo in Tsuboya, and President of the Okinawa Karate Kobudo Renmei.

Morio Higaonna, 10th Dan Hanshi Goju Ryu, student of An’ichi Miyagi. Probably the best known karate instructor in the world, and the author of numerous DVDs and books on Goju Ryu Karate. Elevated to the status of, “Intangible Cultural Asset” of Okinawa in March 2013.

Tsutomu Nakahodo, 10th Dan Hanshi, Uechi Ryu. Student of Kanei Uechi, Seiyu Shinjo, and Seiko Toyama. Nakahodo Sensei is famous for his speed, power, and superlative technical ability.

Zenpo Shimabukuro, 10th Dan Hanshi, Shorin Ryu, Seibukan. A student of Zenryo Shimabukuro, his father, who was the premier student in the 1930s of karate legend Chotoku Kyan. Zenpo Sensei is the President of the Zen Okinawa Karate Do Rengokai. Rengokai.

Katsuhiko Shinzato, 9th Dan, Kishaba Juku Shorin Ryu, is a Professor Emeritus (Linguistics) of the Kokusai University who has also taught during his long and illustrious career at Stanford University (US) and Reading University (UK) universities. He is the co-author of the award winning volume The Kobudo & Karate Encyclopedia, and Supervisory Editor of Okinawa: Birthplace of Karate.

Takenobu Uehara, 10th Dan Hanshi Uechi Ryu. The son of Saburo Uehara, one of the first and most prominent students of the style's founder, Uechi Kanbun, Takenobu Sensei has been training for more than seventy years. and is training still! He was elevated to the status of, “Intangible Cultural Asset” by the Okinawan Government in March 2013.

Ryuko Tomoyose, 10th Dan Hanshi, Uechi Ryu. (Intangible Living Cultural Asset). A student of Kanbun and Kanei Uechi, as well as Chojun Miyagi, and a living part of the history of Okinawan karate. Tomoyose Sensei’s father was responsible for persuading Kanbun Uechi to make his karate, Pangai Noon, (as Uechi Ryu was then known) public during the 1920s.

Tsuyoshi Uechi, 9th Dan Isshin Ryu. After studying Shotokan in mainland Japan briefly in his youth, Uechi Sensei returned to Okinawa and trained extensively with Angi Uezu, the son in law of the Founder. Uechi Sensei is well known for his strength and technical ability.

Seisho Itokazu, 10th Dan Konan (Uechi) Ryu, 9th Dan Matayoshi Kobudo. The son of Uechi Ryu pioneer, Seiki Itokazu, Itokazu Sensei is a flawless performer when it comes to Uechi Ryu karate and Matayoshi kobudo.

Yoshio Kuba, 10th Dan Goju Ryu. A student of Seikichi Toguchi, Kuba Sensei is well-known for his mastery of the applications of the Goju Ryu kata, and his ability to apply them to great effect. Being an acupuncture therapist undoubtedly gives him a advantage in this field.

Zenshu Toyama, 10th Dan Hanshi, a student of Seiko Higa and Seikichi Toguchi, has been studying Goju Ryu karate for more than sixty years. He is also an accomplished artist, calligrapher, and raconteur. His seminars are always full, and notable for their content such as; self defense from the floor, small man versus large man, and ancient striking techniques compared with modern.

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