The Newsletter Taira Masaji Sensei's  Okinawa Gojuryu Kenkyukai
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Our First 2014 Newsletter

Welcome to the Okinawa Gojuryu Kenkyukai Newsletter for April 2014

You have received this email because you are or have been susbcribed to the Okinawa Gojuryu Kenkyukai site at We have been told by our members that they aren't getting enough information from us about our activities, and certainly about upcoming seminars. 

So we have created this newsletter, which we hope to update regularly, with information about the Gojuryu Kenkyukai. In this issue we remind everyone about Taira Sensei's promotion to 9th dan by Kishaba Sensei; a report on the Gold Coast; and of course the upcoming seminar schedule.

Please let everyone you know that may be interested about this newsletter, and please get them to suscribe on the link at the Kenkyukai site. And if you don't want to be on this list, use the Unsubscribe option below. 

We're also planning on creating a  more accessible blog, so that we aren't sending you newsletters every 5 minutes as we get a new idea. 


Congratulations Taira Sensei

Taira Sensei promoted to 9th dan by Kishaba Chogi sensei

Taira Sensei's remarkable karate training and teaching have been recognised with the presentation of 9th dan by Kishaba Chogi Sensei, one of the few remaining students of Miyagi Chojun Sensei, and a junior to Miyazato Eiichi Sensei.

Gold Coast Seminar 2014

Damien Martin

Well the 2014 Gold Coast Taira Bunkai seminars are done and dusted; and once again it feels like we have barely scratched the surface of Taira Sensei’s method.
This year we had people travel from far and wide to attend but the prize for the longest distance to train with Taira Sensei would definitely go to Paul and Michelle Enfield, who flew all the way from their home in California to attend. We also had students from New Zealand, Melbourne, Grafton and the Sunshine Coast to augment our own local students.

Numbers were a bit down this year but enthusiasm was not. We had 19 participants on the Saturday and started off working the basic hip drills and the introductory hand drills before moving into isolation drills from the kata. There was wide variation in experience levels around the room and true to form Sensei had everyone working at different levels as required. After four hours of this everyone was suffering from the usual brain overload and ready to move on to the Nomikai to refresh and refuel.
The Nomikai was the first time we had run such an event as it required us getting a liquor licence (surprisingly easy for a non-profit club) and sourcing Orion beer. Thanks to the good folks at Asian Beer Online, we managed to do both and they even threw in a Japanese beer dispensing thingy complete with ‘froth’ function. Everyone was well behaved, loved their first (or not) taste of Okinawan beer and there were a number of new friendships made, and old ones renewed.
The following afternoon saw a few new participants although a few of the Saturday participants were not able to attend both days. We had four black belts from Shihan Bill Wakefield’s Dojo attend. Suffice to say their minds were suitably blown watching and training with a teacher of Taira Sensei’s caliber – as we all were.
The Sunday seminar focused on footwork and takedowns which are contained in the kata. Sensei’s approach to this is somewhat unorthodox but very effective and it needs to be seen and felt to be believed. After several hours of training on the ‘ashi waza’ (foot techniques) we once again moved onto isolation drills from the kata, before finishing with review of the renzoku drills from individual kata commensurate with the participants rank and experience.
Special thanks to Sensei Paul Enfield and Michelle Enfield for their assistance with the seminars, and to Semsei Peter Keogh for his ongoing support in working together to bring Taira Sensei to Australia.
The following day was a rare delight when we took Taira Sensei to meet with Patrick McCarthy Sensei in Brisbane. In the car were Taira Sensei, Paul and Michelle Enfield Sensei’s, Steve Nedelkos Sensei, and of course, myself. For those who don’t know McCarthy Sensei is a prolific author and one of the most learned Westerners when it comes to Okinawan Karate. McCarthy Sensei is also a proponent of two person kata sets and drills similar to those of Taira Sensei and the two Masters had much to talk about. Sadly most of it was in Japanese 

After a delicious Yum Cha lunch with lots of laughs we went to McCarthy Sensei’s Honbu Dojo for several hours discussing karate history and of course, swapping notes on training. I felt very privileged to have been present. Both Masters epitomize the Basho quote: “Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; rather, seek what they sought”
The next morning Taira Sensei and his entourage headed off to Melbourne for the next leg of the 2014 Australian seminars. Suffice to say, planning has already commenced for next year’s seminars.

Upcoming Seminars

  • Udine, Italy 5/6 April. Andrea Buttazoni
  • Monroe Township, New Jersey 25-27 April. Mark Kapel
  • France 29-31 May, 1 June  Contact Nirina Rakatozafiminahy
  • Lithuania 18-20 July. Aivaras Engalaitis
  • San Diego August. Paul Enfield
  • New York August. Chuck Nuccio
  • Dunedin New Zealand 31 Oct - 2 Nov. Brendan Murray 
  • Brisbane Australia 8/9 Nov. Sinn Chew
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