The karate masters featured in the video From L to R, Senaha Shigetoshi, Gojuryu , Onaga Yoshimitsu Shorinryu and Kiyohide Shinjo, Uechiryu, are pictured at the Onaga Dojo
Five years in the making, the most prolific videos on Okinawa Karatedo and in particular "ti" to come out of Okinawa is available (www.ryusyokai.net/video) . The series profiles the three major styles of karate found on Okinawa, the Shorinryu, Gojuryu and Uechiryu. The first two videos of the series chronicles the kata, bunkai of each system then explores the roots of modern karatedo in regards to both its Chinese (toudi) and its Okinawan influences.
The Video profiles five karate masters of the three major styles of karate on Okinawa and includes kata and bunkai from each of the respective styles.
Shorin-ryu Shinjinbukan, Yoshimitsu Onaga 8th-dan
Uechi-ryu Kenyukai, Kiyoyuki Tohyama 9th-dan
Sekai Goju-ryu Ryusyokai, Shigetoshi SENAHA 9th-dan
Uechi-ryu Kenyukai, Kiyohide Shinjo 8th-dan
Goju-ryu Kenshikai, Tetsuhiro Hokama 9th-dan
The film crew and Ryussokai So Honbu Karateka after a full days filming at the So Honbu. Seated at centre, Senaha-sensei.
The Ryusyokai So Honbu was one of the main locations that filming took place. Ryusyokai Kaicho Senaha Shigetoshi is featured prominently as the Gojuryu proponent in the video. Senaha-sensei demonstrates kururunfa kata and application as well as lectures on kokyu (breathing). Tamaki Hidenobu,vice president of the Ryusyokai shows some of his applications to sanseryu which are very interesting. There is a small spot of myself doing sanchin with Robert Tarferner. James East, who has been living in Okinawa and training directly under Senaha-sensei for almost two years, is captured on film doing sanchin kata with the Tomishiro group. Nagamine Moriteru, a 4th-dan under Senaha-sensei is a brilliant technician, handpicked by Senaha-sensei to demonstrate Ryusyokai kata on the video. His crisp and flawless technique epitomizes the kata of the So Honbu. The speed and precision in which he executes his movements are simply inspring and should be emulated by us all.
The film crew busies themselves during production at the So Honbyu
Onaga Yoshimitsu-sensei and his instruction in ti are central to this project. Onaga, Senaha and Shinjo-sensei have known each other for more than thirty years. In 1974 they all travelled to Mainland Japan together as their respective teachers top students to demonstrate Okinawa karatedo (thats a story unto itself). Senaha-sensei roomed with Shinjo-sensei. Both Senaha-sensei and Shinjo-sensei now train ti at the Onaga Dojo on a regular basis. It is no coincidence they are the featured instructors.
Daniel Kogan, Onaga-senseis representative in Canada and whom some of us have met, demonstrates extensively including some free-form ti and tenshin with Onaga-sensei.
Of particular interest is Michiko Onaga. She is in my experience the best martial artist I have ever seen. There is some excellent footage of her performing where one can get a glimpse at what she is capable of doing. Yagi Dai Sensei once referred to her kata as "perfect". Onaga-sensei himself said that her striking skill exceeds that of his own sensei, Yucoku Higa-sensei. Michiko would fit into the category of an elite athlete in regards to her speed, flexibility, endurance, knowledge and skill. She is a machine.
True to their reputation, the Uechiryu karateka demonstrate the results of years of uedo tanden (hardening, conditioning) can do to a human body. Many of the feats these Uechiryu karateka are capable of is enough to make a seasoned practitioner wince, if not encourage them to up the ante in training. There is an excellent excerpt of Shinjo Kiyohide pounding on his younger brother during sanchini.
There will be regular updates including future filming, news and releases.
Senaha-sensei throws Moriteru Nagamine during demonstrating kururunfa bunkai.