Saturday, 23 November 2013

Thoughts from Okinawa....

At the "Pine Tree" memorial to Funakoshi Gichin in Sueyoshi Park
My recent visit to Okinawa was a little different from usual this year, the aim of the visit was to participate in a four day event organised by the Jundokan dojo to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Miyagi Chojun's passing, and the 15th anniversary of the death of my sensei, Eiichi Miyazato.

Of course being in Okinawa, so close to many great karateka, I always arrange to meet and discuss karate with several senior sensei; and this year was no different. Some of the conversations will be published in the months to come, but some will remain private; not because of the topics we discussed but because I believe such moments are personal.

I learnt a lot about human nature on this trip, not least my own! It became evident early on, for example, that as much as I need to work on my karate and kobudo technique I still have a lot of work to do on my character. It also became very clear, as I shared the dojo floor with folk from around the world, that I share few of the concerns many seem to have about karate; indeed, the things that concern me didn't rate a mention.

I did confirm one thing though....my belief that karate is an activity we pursue alone, all be it in the company of others sometimes.