Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Training in Fukuoka with Ryu Goto

Sasho uken shita ago mae (Heisoku dachi) - Jion kata.

Last week I was kindly invited by my friend Goto Ryu to train in Fukuoka. Of course I went, because it meant I could catch up and train with him again. If you haven’t read my last post about Ryu, who is not only at the very top of the violin world—but also a superb Shotokan karateka, please click here: I should also say here, that irrespective of everything, he is a really great guy whom I really like.
Movement 13 of Bassai Dai (Hidari chudan uchi uke -- Migi hiza kutsu).

A private lesson: As it turned out, the karate training was actually a private lesson for Ryu under the guidance of Hashiguchi Yuji Sensei (7th Dan JKA) who is a former JKA World Champion (in men’s individual and team kata). Furthermore, Hashiguchi Shinobu Shihan (8th Dan JKA) was also present and provided both instruction and feedback.    

Movement 5 of KANKU DAI kata -- Hidari tate shuto chudan uke (Hachiji dachi).
To be honest I was exhausted before the training began but, surely, not anywhere near as tired as Ryu must have been (as he was coming to the end of his 2015 Japan violin recital tour)… What’s more, he had no time to rest before the practice: as he constantly had to sign autographs for the junior black belts of the dojo. Needless to say, I was again really impressed by his Karate-Do Seishin.  He clearly has budo in his DNA from his grandfather, who was an 8th Dan in Goju Ryu.
Hashiguchi Sensei explaining movements 23-24 of Bassai Dai

What was covered in the training—“The JKA Sentei gata”: While the practice was not a long one, it covered the four sentei-gata. Up first was Kanku Dai; followed by Bassai Dai; then Enpi; and finally Jion. Ryu and I had to do each kata twice, in front of Hashiguchi Yuji Sensei and Hashiguchi Shihan (to the count and then mugore). Between each kata corrections were taught, which were certainly very helpful.  
After training Hashiguchi Shinobu Shihan and Hashiguchi Yuji Sensei took us for a nomikai. It was a fun time with much karate discussion and laughs.

Overall, I’d especially like to thank Ryu very much for inviting me and hanging out; Shimizu Sari San for her assistance in getting me there (and for the great photos featured in this article); and both Hashiguchi Shinobu Shihan, and Hashiguchi Yuji Shihan, for their kind hospitality. I’d like to end by saying that "if you attend one of Goto Ryu’s violin recitals, you will be absolutely blown away"; however, know this, behind this extreme talent is that of a very high level budo karateka, and a really wonderful human being.
Ryu Goto demonstrating a great migi kokutsu dachi/hidari shuto chudan uke (Bassai Dai Kata) in front of Hashiguchi Sensei
© André Bertel. Aso-shi, Kumamoto. Japan (2015).

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