The black belt grading in September 2013 was a special moment in my karate journey as I successfully passed to Sandan under the watchful eye of Sensei George Andrews. Alongside me that weekend was three of my students who were grading to 1st kyu. A lot has happened over the past year, including the move of the Honbu dojo to new premises in Peckham to make way for the demolition of the Institute of Traditional Karate-Do in the Heygate Estate.
This is the 15th year that I have been teaching at the Institute of Traditional Karate – Do. In that time I have conducted twice yearly Black Belt Gradings and this time was one of the best, in terms of a true family feeling.
The world famous Higaonna Dojo in Naha, Okinawa is a short walk from the Asato station on the Okinawa Monorail (or Yui Rail). On an exterior wall visitors are greated with the following words:
The kanji next to the IOGKF kenkon reads "Okinawa Goju Ryu" followed by "Higaonna Karate Dojo" in larger print. The remaining text tells us that beginners and women are welcome for maintaining health. These simple words remind us not only that karate is for everyone but this martial art is for the purpose of looking after your body.
Thank you to Kumiko Akamine for the translation.
Training started on Saturday morning at 10am, and after the warm up the teaching was concentrated on Kata Sanchin, Sanchin Kotai and Tensho and Kakie, followed by supplementary training Chishi and Makiwara.
A group from Moscow have arrived at my Dojo for training and sightseeing, this is a great way to combine a holiday with training and the offer goes out to all IOGKF members in the world, you just need to e/mail about your date of arrival.
I can cater for a group up to 15 people; the amenities include Sauna, Showers and Kitchen, sleeping on Tatami with airbeds, all you have to bring is a sleeping bag so think about for the future.
This is the second time we have arranged a Fun Day for the Children, and I can
say that this is the way forward in developing their Social skills and Self-esteem, when I look around at the different issues that some Children portray and I would like to add that this is not only down to some parents, it is also the lack of Confidence and Motivation.
For those that have graded under Sensei George in the past, not only at the Institute but around the world, know that it is no easy task and that everyone is given equal opportunity to achieve their goal irrespective of Ability, Gender, Race, Religious Conviction, Maturity or Sexual Preference.
Chief Instructor OTGKA