Trip to Okinawa 2014
Spanish Ryukyu Kobudo Shimbukan members have recently moved to Okinawa in order to train in the Shimbukan Dojo, located in Tomigusuku. This trip began November 26th and finished December 13th.
When we arrived to the Naha Airport, Akamine Sensei and Penny Van Heerden, received us. And then, after a long journey, they offered us a nice welcome dinner. Finally, we were taken to Shimbukan Dojo, place where we stayed during our stay in Okinawa. A first night plenty of emotions, sensations and expectations that outside the jet lag, didn’t let us rest too much.
It’s necessary to remark the first training session the day after the journey at the Dojo, under the watchful eye of Akamine Sensei. Moment of contained emotions and huge satisfaction for being training in a place with such meaning and tradition. Also emotive the reencounter with Setsuko Yoshimoto Sensei and the warmth reception from all the Shimbukan Dojo members.
The following days, the trainings were passing, and each one of them was very special for us. Akamine Sensei dedicated us many moments during those sessions, giving us corrections in order to improve our techniques, showing us the pertinent applications and answering any doubt that emerged in our minds, always with kindness and patience. But our lessons did not finished in the Dojo, the conversations we maintain with him during the different dinners we share were highly instructive for knowing the details of Kobudo and Karate-dô history and evolution.
We’d like to thanks Akamine Sensei for his orientation in our Karate-dô practice during our stay. Following his advice, we practiced Shôrin-ryu under his supervision and at the same time he introduced us personally at the Naha Jundokan Dojo, for training Gôju-ryu with Gima Sensei and Kinjo Sensei. This both experiences where really rewarding, allowing us to compare our Japanese Karate-dô, with the Karate-dô practiced in Okinawa. We’d like to use these lines in order to show our acknowledgements to Jundokan Dojo Senseis, who showed always attentive and interested.
We can’t conclude without mention one new friend we left in Okinawa, Dr. Akamine. Also a Shimbukan Dojo member, who accompanied us in several visits, making as a guide and thanks to his knowledge of Spanish, helped us at different times as an interpreter.
Thank you so much to Penny Van Heerden for her help in what concerns to the trip and stay, and to Fumiya San for his technical advice and for taking us to the airport in our return. Thanks also to the rest of the Shimbukan Dojo members for their hospitality.
José Luis Soto Frutos
Alex Palomes González