Whilst in Okinawa last year I managed to visit a few other Dojo whereby I would be respectful courteous and quietly observe with interest. Those that may wonder why I did not turn up with my gi to train are not familiar with being an inner student of a Sensei on Okinawa and the protocols it contains. Plus, I was training once if not twice a day anyway, so my body and brain was already being fried for sure. Regardless, I still met some wonderful Karate Ka and learned much from observing too.
One of the Dojo that I visited was the Meibukan of the late Meitoku Yagi Sensei that is located in the Kume district. Training is now headed by his two sons. As in Meitatsu and Meitetsu, with each heading their own group of students by teaching on alternate evenings. What was noticeable is how each has a favoured direction for the Karate that was taught to them by their father, but still both remaining within the parameters of traditional Okinawa Goju Ryu.
Attached is a clip of the juniors training at this very Dojo under the guidance of Meitetsu Yagi Sensei. Some may watch things and say that is wrong, and this is incorrect, and what we do is better. For those that do you have clearly missed the point here!! There will always be differences and preferences and even the closer to the true ways of Miyagi or Funakoshi. What can not be disputed though is the dedication, seriousness and sincerity in how these young Karate Ka practice the art of Karate. To witness them firsthand is not only mesmerising it’s an honour. They are not only technically very good, they practice regular, hard and focussed week in week out, all in a determined way that would put most adult Karate Ka to shame…. Enjoy.