London, July 28, 2019
Being 12:00 hrs on Sunday, Michael Calandra sensei ended the Kobudo seminar, the last official activity of the event called IWKA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2019, LONDON UK (Click here for further details) that took place from July 25 to 28 at the Redbridge Sports & Leasure Center’s facilities in London, England.
The event that featured an exceptional logistic deployment of the Gosshin Isshinryu Karate organization, led by Muthusamy Ramathas sensei and closely supported by Calandra Michael sensei, who traveled from New York to receive the more than 36 clubs and schools of Isshinryu with 450 participants from 10 countries.
The event had the relevant participation of Kichiro Shimabuku Sensei, first-born son of the late founder of Isshinryu and president of the Isshinryu World Karate Association (IWKA) who traveled from Okinawa to also lead the Isshinryu seminar sessions.
ISSHINRYU KARATE & KOBUDO SEMINARS
一 心 流 空 手 古 武 道
From noon on the 25th, the day was full of training with the different seminar sessions for children, beginners and black belts that were led by:
- Kishiro Shimabuku sensei, IWKA president Hanshi 10th dan: Isshinryu Karate Basics & Kata sessions.
- Michael Calandra sensei, IWKA 8th dan: Self Defence & Okinawa Kobudo sessions.
With a strong emphasis on the Isshinryu basic principles, blockages and stances, Kishiro sensei later gave way to the practice of the Seisan and Seiunchin kata, which were reviewed during the two hours of seminar with the black belts.
ISSHINRYU 2019 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
沖 縄 一 心 流 国 際 大 会
Different Isshinryu organisations, schools and clubs gathered during the 26 and 27 to contest the podium of the 14 categories of black belts sorted by gender, age and ranks for the divisions of Karate Kata, Kobudo Kata (traditional weapons) and Kumite (sparring).
The organizing committee of the event determined to give full confidence to the team of referees of the WUKF (World Union of Karate Federation) so that they could carry out the task of providing justice during the tournament. With this purpose, the event agenda considered a meeting for coaches and referees during the morning of Thursday 25 with the aim of clearing doubts, transparent regulation and joining criteria in general terms for the evaluation of competitors in kata.
Mr. Liviu Crisa, WUKF president, expressed great satisfaction of seing the organisation for the first time in europe of the Isshinryu World Championship.
“My happiness is even greater when I hear about the decision to use WUKF rules for running this championship and I am looking forward for a long and fruitful collaboration between WUKF and IWKA.
WUKF is the home of all karate-ka from all the nations that need fair and hight level competitions and an educational program that hope to make the world better”
The high score was set for the “Grand Champion” trophy dispute in the kata division, which had as its premise the exclusive use to compete of Sunsu, the main and unique kata of Isshinryu Karate.
After a tight first round that had Kishiro sensei as an observer in the front row, the Chilean representative of WUIKA and Seishinkan Budo School Diego Rodriguez (1st Place Karate Kata & 1st Place Kobudo Kata, Male 30-44, 3rd – 5th dan Black Belts), tied in score with Donald Washabaugh (1st Place Kobudo & 2nd Place Karate Kata Male Masters 6th dan and up), representative of the local IWKA organisation, forcing an extra round of tiebreaker which gave the winner to the local representative for a tight difference.
Dazzling participation also had the WUIKA team that this time brought together athletes from the United States, Denmark, Chile and Romania, who together added a total of 101 medals in addition to 5 Grand Champion trophies.
WORLD UNITED ISSHINRYU KARATE ASSOCIATION: One Team, One Hearth
Four countries, two continents, three Isshinryu organizations and eight Isshinryu clubs / schools met for the first time in history to bring the WUIKA team to life, attend a Isshinryu World Championship and achieve historic results with a podium presence in virtually all divisions of the event, including Kumite, Karate Kata and Kobudo Kata.
An association that stands out for the search of the technical aspects of Isshinryu that unites its members, the regional directors seek to create instances that benefit the growth of all members of the association, who come from different schools, clubs and organizations of Isshinryu, by what this world championship presented as a magnificent opportunity to share with all the members who traveled to form the team that was inscribed in history.
In this regard, Osvaldo Rodriguez sensei (Isshinryu Karate 7th dan, Seishinkan Budo School & WUIKA South American director), comments: “The initiative to bring WUIKA together in London was something positive and I really regret that we could not have been more people integrating the team and supporting the participation of South America. I think the first approach of USA / Europe and South America was a big step”.
We mentioned that Rodriguez sensei could not be present in London being on the eve of a new trip to Okinawa to visit Uechi Tsuyoshi & Tokumura Kensho sensei.
On the other hand, John Ingram sensei (Isshinryu Karate 9th dan, Ingram´s Okinawan Karate & WUIKA director United States) who traveled with 19 athletes comments “I was extremely impressed and proud to see how our membership from around the globe pulled together. Personally I have never seen anything so impressive in my nearly 50 years in Isshinryu “, referring again to the group consisting of clubs and schools from 4 different countries, whom he could also see in action on the front line when being appointed within the team of referees of the event, being in charge some of the categories of Kumite (sparring) and kata.
Lars Andersen sensei (Isshinryu Karate 7th dan, Joshinkan & WUIKA Europe director) was also very impressed by the number of schools and instructors working together as a team, however “it must have been a lot more dojos. Denmark had 3 dojos represented. I was proud to see how well the dojos worked together. This was the first time that a lot of instructors and students met and I think that a lot of friendships were made”.
In conversation with the three regional directors, they were also asked for their opinion regarding the technical level appreciated in the WUIKA team during the championship in London and what are the projections regarding upcoming calendar activities. These were their comments.
“I was very pleased with the level of kata and kumite of ALL WUIKA clubs. I believe as an association we hold a high standard and that was evident at the IWKA championships. I am very proud of the work my partner Lars Andersen Sensei has done in Europe. He has developed a very strong base and implemented a consistent curriculum. Our partner in South America, Osvaldo Rodriguez Sensei has a very strong group as well. His Seishinkan representative in London, Diego Sensei confirmed that!
Several of the Isshinryu dojo’s in Europe only compete in full contact kumite. Some of them are interested in the semi contact kumite under WUKF rules. My plan is to video some drills that will aid them. I think if we continue to all work as a group each sharing our strong points we will be raised to a higher level.
The only event scheduled now is our Gasshuku in Florida oct 24-27. In the future, Lars Sensei asked me to possibly plan our 2020 WUIKA / Tokushinryu gasshaku for Florida close to the date for IHOF (Isshinryu Hall of Fame). That way those from out of the USA could include a trip to Tennessee. We are only an hour and a half from Disney, Kennedy space etc. Lars Sensei also wants to plan a trip for me to come teach in Denmark within the next couple of years. All of our kata are very close. I would like to share some of the small differences in what Mitchum Sensei taught. I believe some of the small differences are due to the fact that Mitchum Sensei also trained in Shorin with Kinjo Chinsaku who was Master Shimabuku’s best Okinawa student”
“Regarding the level shown by the athletes who made up the WUIKA team, I must say that I was impressed by the standard, but we need to work more on posture, timing and Hiki Ashi.
The WUIKA directors in the US and Europe have decided that we will fully support the IWKA World Championships, so I hope to that WUIKA members will support the next World Championships in India. For future events I hope to set up a black belt training camp in Denmark in November 2019.
“I was following closely the details of the event through social networks and especially through Diego, who traveled to represent us. In what I could appreciate and based on what I know of the various Isshinryu groups, I have no doubt that the level of WUIKA was among the best of the event and that working together all this will become noticeably powerful in the future.
I believe that bringing together people from the USA, Europe and South America to work on the weaknesses and strengths of each group will be a great wealth for all our students and future generations of Isshinryu. I certainly believe that the Kumite is the weak part in relation to the regulation and I think WUIKA should aim high on this. The WKF regulation or the closest to it should be working north”.
There is no doubt that Isshinryu, despite being an Okinawa-born style with deep roots in its principles and values to this day, had a massive growth around the world, mainly the United States due to the large number of marines stationed in the island by the historical process by all very well known. The rest of the world followed to this process and as a result thousands of practitioners follow the “One heart style“一心流 in some way.
For this reason, as a result of a worldwide effort to unite Isshinryu students, an organisation was born that serves as a platform for serious practitioners to train under regional directors in different parts of the world, stimulating a sense of belonging and a deep respect for to the different roots of its practitioners. These joint efforts and a look towards a shared vision result in moments like those experienced during the last Isshinryu World Tournament in London.
Finally, WUIKA, Seishinkan Budo School and the writer wish to express their deepest thanks and highlight the tremendous team work deployed by M. Ramathas sensei and Goshinkan Isshinryu in London.
We also express our gratitude to the support of Michael Calandra sensei, who traveled from the United States to attend the process and also, to accompany Kishiro Shimabuku sensei closely.
And last but not least, Kichiro Shimabuku sensei himself, who at 80 years of age maintains the vitality and energy of the Okinawan people, which allows him to provide the possibility for his students and Isshinryu enthusiasts to practice at his side and enjoy his teachings.
Mention and special thanks to John Ingram sensei, Osvaldo Rodriguez sensei and Lars Andersen sensei, regional directors of WUIKA, for agreeing to deliver some words regarding the event and future plans of the organization.
Domo Arigato Gozaimasu
DIEGO RODRIGUEZ INZUNZA
Seishinkan Budo School Europe
Traditional Isshinryu Karate