The venue was the famous Okinawa Kenritsu Budokan in Naha, training started at 8am for 3rd – 7th Dan every day, then one hour with the Master for basics which included all grades, then there was group training for 3 hours, so a total of 5 hours.
We were also honoured to be given lectures by Aragaki Shuichi Sensei who was a direct student of Miyagi Chojun Bushi and the Sakiyama Sogen Roshi of Kozenji who also trained with Miyagi Chojun Bushi.
There was special trainings and lecture from China;
Lin Yuandun – White Crane – China
Zhang Xiao Feng - Five Ancestors – China
Hung Ting Seng – Canada
Li YiDuan – Chinese Fuzhou Karate-Do Association honourable president.
Everyone enjoyed the Forms that they demonstrated; one could see the connection to Goju Ryu.
So many people in such wonderful surroundings, it is a one in a lifetime experience that everyone that is involved with Martial Arts should make the effort, because it is the birth place of Karate – Do.
On a more sentimental note, Master Higaonna announced that we would be paying our respects to the third anniversary of the passing of Anichi Miyagi Sensei in his home town. As we passed through the city of Kin I felt a sensation that this is where Shinzato Jinan Sensei died during the war. On arrival at Miyagi sensei’s home town we were greeted by the family and Mrs Miyagi, it was quite an emotional time for us all.
I waited for everyone to pay their respects to Miyagi Sensei and then I approached the gravesite and placed my hand on the site; I felt a connection to his presence in my mind that was satisfying. I have the greatest respect for someone that worked hard to support his family and to bless us with the greatest Karate – Do Master that ever lived.
I also was invited by Master Higaonna to test for 8th Dan in Okinawa and to my delight was awarded this prestigious achievement. I would like to thank those special people that supported me in achieving a life time goal.
Chief Instructor OTGKA