Mike Clarke Visit

Published on December 18, 2013 by

My recent visit to Okinawa allowed me to renew old friendships and begin new ones, and, once again practice under the guidance of Akamine sensei; for the past six years the Shimbukan has become my second home in Okinawa, a place where I can connect to the island’s “other” martial art: kobudo. So often pushed into the background by karate, kobudo is once again becoming an important part of training for many serious karateka, and I consider my acceptance into the Shimbukan dojo as a student of Akamine sensei to be a great honor. For me, the teacher has always been more important than the art; my karate sensei, Miyazato Eiichi, passed away many years ago, but I remain a student at his dojo, the Jundokan in Azato. I believe in the idea of “Kizuna”, of forming a bond with my sensei and his dojo, and of supporting them both through good times and bad. In return, I know I can depend upon my sensei to be a fine example for me to follow; I believe Akamine sensei is such a man.

Even after forty-years of training in karate, I struggle a great deal with kobudo: for me it’s very difficult. On the surface, students, sempai, and sensei make things look quite easy, but then I find I’m smiling to myself as I struggle to do the same things: this stuff is not easy! I’m in no rush to excel in the art of weapons, I know from my karate practice, that if I apply myself to the training in a steady and consistent way, in time, my skills and understanding will improve and my struggle become a little easier to handle. My recent visit was every bit as enjoyable as my previous, and made all the more special for me because one evening Kinjo sensei took the time to work with me and help me with a great many things I was doing poorly with the Bo; his advice, corrections, and encouragement were very welcome.

I didn’t return home with any new kata this year, but I did return home with better kata than those I arrived with, thanks to the generosity of spirit found at the Shimbukan dojo. I’m happy to work on what I have been taught so far; six kata and a collection of Bo and Sai kihon are ample and continue to provide a challenge to me that will keep me going for some time yet. But I also look forward to my next visit to Okinawa, and to continuing my training at the Shimbukan, under the watchful eye of Akamine sensei. My thanks and appreciation go to everyone at the Shimbukan who shared their training with me….”Domo Arigato Gozaimashita!”

Kind regards,
Mike Clarke
Tasmania

1 Comment

  1. Luis Fernando Triviño

    Oh GOOD VERY GOOD,I AM A FOLLOWER OF MIKE CLARKE OF YOUR THIS PAGE IS IN SPANISH,I LIKE YOUR COMMENTS AS THEY REFLECT THEIR SINCERITY,WITHOUT ENGAGE TO UDS CONGRATULED THEM FOR THEIR LESSONS TO THE WORLD OF OKINAWAN WEAPONS,THANKS

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