Shigaku-Kan Dojos First Visit to the U.S.A.
Taiani Sensei (middle right) greets Tsubamoto Sensei (middle left) and his Shigaku-Kan Dojo at JFK Int’l Airport. This event marks the Shigaku-Kan Dojo’s first visit to the U.S.
From October 8th – 11th, the Soto-Kan dojo of the Ichikawa-ha Goju-ryu International Karate-do Sosui-kai hosted our Japanese brethren of the Shugaku-kan Dojo for three days of training. The Shigaku-kan is headed by Tsubamoto Kazanobu Sensei, 9th Dan Hanshi and also the successor of the Ko Shu Do from Ichikawa Sosui O-Sensei. Tsubamoto Sensei was invited to the United States by R. Choji Taiani Sensei, 9th Dan Hanshi and custodian of Ichikawa O’sensei’s Bubishi and Ko Shu Do. Although Taiani Sensei and his Dojo have trained together with the Shigaku-Kan on different occasions, this event marks their first visit to the United States.
Although most of the Shigaku-kan Dojo was pretty tired from the 12 ½ hour flight from Tokyo to New York, who could pass on a nice meal, a few refreshing drinks and a chance to discuss Goju-ryu
The training, which took place at the Goshin-kan Dojo in Merrick, N.Y., had several very specific focuses. Among them was Tsubamoto Sensei’s Da-Mo Taiso training. This version of Da-Mo Taiso, in addition to warming-up the body for the rigors Karate training also concentrates on strengthening the joints. Tsubamoto Sensei stated many times throughout the session the importance of this practice in order to fully grasp the mechanics of Ichikawa-ha Karate-do.
The second segment of the seminar was with the entire group practicing Shisochin Kata. It was evident during Tsubamoto Sensei’s demonstration how he emphasizes very deliberate mechanics of the Kata in order to accentuate proper structure and the techniques contained within the Kata. After practicing Shisochin several times with Tsubamoto Sensei as our guide, many of his senior students assisted the more junior students of the seminar in the finer points of executing parts of the Kata.
Practicing some of the key takeaways of the kata session.
In addition to training in Shisochin Kata, there were also break-out sessions where each individual student had a chance to practice two other kata in addition to Shisochin. The two other kata were Seinchin and Saifa. Many of the senior students of Taiani Sensei enjoyed interacting with Tsubamoto Sensei’s senior students while comparing and contrasting various segments of the kata.
After a day of rigorous training, all the participants from both Taiani Sensei’s Soto-Kan dojo and Tsubamoto Sensei’s Shigaku-Kan dojo took a few moments and got together for a group photo.
Seminar participants from the Soto-Kan & Shigaku-Kan dojos. (Seated front row l-r) R. Choji Taiani Sensei, 9th Dan Hanshi; Tsubamoto Kazanobu Sensei, 9th Dan Hanshi; Khalid Newton Shihan, 8th Dan Kyoshi and senior student of Taiani Sensei
On Saturday the 9th both groups got together for a wonderful meal at a local steakhouse. Although customary for Americans, our Japanese guests were amazed at the size of the portions. From the consensus, everyone truly enjoyed the meal as well as the company.