Thursday, 14 April 2016

Melbourne 2016

Melbourne was the 1st leg this year for Sensei’s Australian visit, before he headed off to the Gold Coast, Queensland.
Sensei’s seminar was once again filled with great Kihon, hidden messages, light bulb moments and “no clue” moments, all in all leaving us with a deeper understanding of his principles, which to me sounds like a typical Taira Sensei seminar.

Sensei found the venue used again this year, to be suitable and well-spaced out for our 38-40 students who attended on both the Saturday and the Sunday sessions. We had a large mix of Goju based students along with a few different styles, which was pleasing to see. People travelled from all parts of Australia, which was also pleasing to see.

Sensei seemed relaxed yet enthusiastic, keen to train and always willing to share. This is a special trait of Sensei’s and makes him who he is, which to a large part, is what keeps us all wanting to learn more from him.

In attendance, we also had the pleasure of Bryson Keenan Sensei, who made the visit back home to Oz to see family and train with old and new friends. Bryson Sensei always has great tips for one and all regardless of rank. He helped to keep everyone engaged and ensured that the first timers were able to grasp Sensei’s concepts. His quick one liners, whether it was during the seminar or after, always hit the mark. It was great to have him back home again for a short stay and his guidance over the asia pacific region is well received and appreciated.

At a special Friday night session, Sensei oversaw a grading of 5 of his Kenkyukai students, ranging from Nidan through to Godan. Sensei was happy with what he saw, but wants to ensure that there is good focus on distance (with use of mainly zenkutsu dachi rather than sanchin dachi), kime and good body posture.

Monday night was a class involving instructors along with their supporting Uke’s who run “affiliated Dojos” attached to my Dojo. There are currently 7 Dojos under this affiliated program. These Kenkyukai members are running great Goju Ryu Kenkyukai Dojos in line with Sensei’s methods, and one day hope to be Shibuchos in their own right.

During the session, Sensei provided us with a great break down and guidance of Kata (Gekisai through to Seiyunchin) and Kihon applications. It was reassuring to see that we are all on the right track, yet always with so much more to learn. I thank these affiliated Instructors for their continued support and zest for knowledge in our Kenkyukai.

Thanks again to all those that assisted me with Sensei’s visit and to Damien Martin Sensei for his support and ensuring that Taira Sensei comes out to Australia each year to conduct Melbourne/Gold Coast seminars. We can’t wait for 2017.


Pete Keogh Sensei
Shibucho Australia

Monday, 4 April 2016

Gold Coast 2016 Gasshuku

Masaji Taira Sensei, the 9th dan chairman of the Okinawa Goju Ryu Kenkyukai, returned to the Gold Coast for his 6th visit in as many years. Taira sensei has a dedicated group of students from a variety of dojo in Australia who study his method. 

The camp was organized by Damien Martin and Hannah Thornton, Taira Sensei’s Gold Coast representatives.

Students travelled from Indonesia, New Zealand and all over Australia to attend training with Taira sensei and to get together in friendship. There were 30 participants overall representing nine different dojo.

The camp was a ‘live in’ event with on site accommodation and several hours of training in both Goju Ryu and Kobudo.

The highlight for me was seeing the various members of the broad spectrum of dojos represented all getting together and training and supporting each other despite the huge differences in levels of understanding of Taira sensei’s material and methodology. There was definitely no sense of elitism, only a mutual desire to improve understanding and technique.

This seminar was different from Taira sensei’s previous visits because the central theme was linking the basics to the advanced kata applications, rather than focussing on the advanced kata applications. This conceptual linkage led do an ever increasing amount of those ‘eureka’ moments that come with training in kata and bunkai with Taira sensei.

Planning is already underway for next year.

Damien Martim

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Pedro Ramalho seminar in Venezuela

Last year (2015) I was invited by Alvaro Campolargo sensei to teach a Kenkyukai seminarin Venezuela. After the seminar we established a plan to make possible a seminar with Taira sensei in 2017.
Last year I reported to Taira sensei that "... several instructor from Venezuela are interested in Taira sensei work, ideas an concepts."
This year my travel to Venezuela was with the intention to see the the grow of Kenkyukai in Venezuela and I was not surprised with the growing number of members that we have at this point in Venezuela. Alvaro sensei is doing a great work inside and outside the dojo.

Last year the participants of the seminar where approximately 15 adults and 20 children in one dojo. This year we surpassed that number and we had approximately 100 students (children and adults during the 3 days) from three dojos and also guest from other organizations.


Most of the adults are inside the basic drills of Taira sensei (open-close, over-over, over-slap-under, ...) and have some information on bunkai. My mainly teachings where on drills and explaining the connection of them with bunkai.

Once again the participant where very open and showed a big interest on Taira sensei Kenkyukai method.

Special thanks to:

  • Campolargo sensei for the organisation and commitment with Goju-Ryu Kenkyukai;
  • Contreras sensei for his support to Campolargo sensei;
  • Oquendo sensei for the training facilities;
  • All the students and instructors that attend the seminar.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Nirina Rakotozafiminahy Seminar in Switzerland


At the request of Hugo Cuneo sensei with the permission of Taira sensei, I gave as usual a seminar in Geneva Switzerland.
 
There were only kenkyukai members in attendance. So, I didn't teach drills like open/close/change....
I decided to teach renzuku bunkai in their basic version from the beginning to the end of some katas (sepai, kururunfa and suparimpei).
I chose to teach bunkai because I noticed every time I attend Taira sensei seminar that many Kenkyukai members didn't know the renzuku bunkai of most of the katas and this lack of knowledge prevents the proper conduct of Taira sensei seminar.
I was lucky, Vero was with me to teach beginners and children.
Big thanks to Hugo Cuneo sensei and his wife and all his students’  from kenkyukai Geneve Switzerland.
Nirina Rakotozafiminahy