Instructors: Yoshimoto Kagemasa (Shihan 6th Dan), Yoshimoto Setsuko (Shihan 5th Dan)Address: Aza Yamazato 7 Kume Island 901-3137 Okinawa Japan
- Monday, Wednesday and Friday:Kids Karate (Shorinryu Karate) 6pm to 7pmAdults Karate and Kobudo 7pm to 9pmPlace: 2nd Floor Yoshimoto Sensei's home (Address above.)
- Monday to Friday:
Shimizu Shogakko (Elementary School) Gymnasium
All 7am to 8:40am.
*Most of the students are elementary school students but all are welcome and there are a few adults that attend this morning class when they can.
Yoshimoto Kagemasa Sensei's Biography
The Kume Island Branch Dojo is run by Yoshimoto Kagemasa Sensei with help from his wife Setsuko Sensei. Yoshimoto Sensei is a 6th Dan in Ryukyu Kobudo Shimbukan and a retired elementary school principal. He and his wife are originally from Kume Island which is part of the Okinawan Islands and is located about 90 kilometres west of the main Okinawan Island. Yoshimoto Sensei spent most of his teaching career on mainland Okinawa returning to Kume Island for his final couple of years teaching before retirement. He started Karate when he was 16 years old but only came to Kobudo later in life. Yoshimoto Sensei has a 5th Dan in Okinawa Shorinryu Kyokai Karate but no longer trains himself. He does still teach kid's Karate but his wife Yoshimoto Setsuko Sensei is the official Karate Instructor of Kume Island dojo. Yoshimoto Sensei is an excellent teacher and enjoys helping Akamine Kaicho at overseas seminars. His English ability is limited, but he is able to teach by example, which is always the most effective method. He has attended seminars held in Switzerland, Ukraine and America and is looking forward to another trip to the Minnesota Branch Dojo in October of this year.
Yoshimoto Sestusko Biography
Yoshimoto Setsuko Sensei is also a Kume Island native. Currently she is working on mainland Okinawa but returns to Kume Island most weekends, for all important holidays and for any other important event. Setsuko Sensei is a 5th Dan Instructor with Ryukyu Kobudo Shimbukan and 6th Dan with the Okinawa Shorinryu Kyokai Karate Association. She only started Karate at the age of 52, proving that Karate and Kobudo are open to people of all ages. Setsuko Sensei is also a Yoga instructor and her knowledge of how the body works is amazing. She is definitely the person to ask if you are having any problems such as neck or back pain. Her tips on stretching are highly effective.
* Please note that it is not common to refer to Sensei by their first names unless to distinguish between two Sensei's such as in this case where confusion can arise with two Yoshimoto Sensei's.
Visit to the Kumejima Shibu Dojo by Mikako Jurgens and Penny van Heerden
Mikako Jurgens and I recently were able to visit the Kumejima Shibu Dojo and participate in the children's karate class. The classes are held on the second floor of Yoshimoto Sensei's house. The dojo was built in the last couple of years and it is a bright, airy space with a pleasant through breeze. It is fairly small but there is also a large outdoor verandah area which can be used for training or on breaks. The children are lively but enthusiastic and practice hard. As we had our own kids there we were unable to stay for the adults Kobudo class, although we did stay long enough to meet some of the students. All in all, it was a pleasure training there and we regretted not being able to join in the later class.
*You can click on individual photos to see a full size version.