Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Evolution of a dojo name

I began my adventure to teaching at my father's dojo, I started out by leading exercises, then teaching children's classes, then filling in for him when he wasn't there and eventually acting as Chief Instructor when he moved away. After a few years of leading the dojo, I got some advise from Mr. Phillip Koeppel, did a lot of soul searching and decided in the Winter of 1993, that I was going to stop using the name of my father's dojo and use my own name.

I am sure there will be several people that will say "oh my" and "how could you", well I wanted to pursue and teach a more authentic Okinawan karate, and could not do that in that particular dojo. On January 2, 1994 I opened my dojo and called it Mike Jones Karate-do Budokai, again taking advise from Mr. Koeppel.

The more I pursued the Okinawan arts, I decided that my dojo needed a Japanese name, eventually the dojo was called Yushikan (a name that we still use, but only by those already in the dojo). For almost 10 year I taught all classes at the Yushikan located on the back of my property adjacent to my home. I had grown tired of commercial karate, that coupled with my schedule as a law enforcement officer and eventually Chief of Police lead me to make the dojo private and I was very selective about who was admitted into the dojo. Training was old school and hard core, it was not for the feint of heart and not many people made it through the training. I was particularly hard on my children.

Fast forward to July 2014 and I had grown tired of the politics of being a Chief, the climate against police was turning, the Ferguson Riots had happened and the War on police was beginning, I decided it was the right time for me to retire and do something else in my life.   In October 2014 my family, a couple of students and I began construction on a newer and much larger dojo, which opened in January of 2015.

After several sit downs with the family and black belts, it was decided that normal people would have a hard time understanding Yushikan and being able to pronounce it. So we decided that we would have a public name for the dojo that would be better received by those unfamiliar with Japanese language of martial arts culture. We choose the name Okinawan Martial Arts Center, which made since, it was kind of generic but we thought hey we teach Okinawan karate, Kobudo and Toide, so it was kind of a catch all name that we thought the public would better understand.

You would be surprised how many people can not pronounce the word Okinawan, and don't get me started on the number of people that have called asking about marital advise. In hindsight maybe I should have kept Mike Jones Karate, people didn't have trouble with that. Then again, one of these days one of my son's will take it over, so having my name on it isn't planing for the future.

This year we celebrated 25 years since I opened that first dojo. Some years we have so many students we have to split classes and then some years it is just the small dedicated group that trains regularly.
My advise is that if you open your own dojo someday, keep it simple, name it after your city or county or your last name followed by family karate. From a marketing standpoint, regular people just don't get it.


Thursday, February 7, 2019

T-Shirt Store

Hello for those people that follow our blog, we have added a T-shirt shop with several designs for Men, Women, Children in T-shirt, Long sleeve, swat shirts and hoodies. There are several options and color choices. Please use the drop down menu

https://www.storefrontier.com/store/okinawan-martial-arts-center

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Nantambu Camara Bomani Hanshi


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Mr. Bomani began his martial arts training in the 1960s. By 1968, Mr. Bomani, had traveled to Okinawa and began training with Eiichi Miyazato Sensei at the Jundokan. Mr. Bomani was a student of Miyazato Sensei’s, until Miyazato Sensei passed away in 1999. Since that time he had trained under Koshin Iha Sensei.

In the early 1970s, Mr. Bomani opened his first Jundokan dojo in Ithaca, New York. Mr. Bomani was also responsible for introducing Jundokan Gojuryu to Tanzania and Africa. He established the first ever Goju Ryu karate school in Dar es Salaam in 1973, naming it Tanzania Jundokan, and he founded the Tanzania Okinawa Gojuryu Karate Association. Mr. Bomani was also instrumental in spreading Jundokan Gojuryu through out the United States. He founded many dojos in New York, Washington, Kentucky and Ohio. He has left several yudansha spread across the United States and Africa. He also spearheaded the formation of the Okinawa Gojuryu Karate-do Kyokai Jundokan USA in 1971 and served as it's first president, later he also founded the West Africa Okinawa Gojuryu Karate-do Kyokai and Ghana Jundokan. Several of these branch dojo are still in operation.

Mr. Bomani continued his affiliation with the Jundokan and Okinawa Gojuryu Karate-do Kyokai, he continued to visit and train in Okinawa and he spent a great deal of time traveling between his various branch dojo. All of his Gojuryu grades to 8th Dan Kyoshi were issued by Eiichi Miyazato Sensei, his 9th Dan was issued by Koshin Iha Sensei.

His senior student in the USA was Lloyd C. Johnson Sensei, who he awarded the highest grade he had ever issued and appointed him as president for his associations.

In August of 2009, Mr. Bomani passed away from a massive heart attack; he was buried in Accra, Ghana, West Africa. Bomani Shihan was a true pioneer of gojuryu, he was graded 9th Dan Hanshi, through his efforts he spread the Jundokan and the OGKK methods, too various dojo on two continents. He was a great teacher, friend, role model and inspiration.

Monday, December 10, 2018

So much going on and so little time

2018 just like 2017 has been super busy for me both in terms of my budo and also my personal life. I realized that I have not done a very good job of writing new content or keeping the blog updated as I probably should. I have been busy teaching at my dojo and traveling around and teaching at the various branch dojo, along with continuing to pursue another college degree and my own budo training. I am in the dojo 4/5 days a week, I spend almost every Sunday at the dojo of Jeff Davidson, where a group of us take great joy in punching each other and I spend almost everyday with my favorite little person, my granddaughter. When i get some down time, I have been working on three new books as well. So her is the highlights to get everyone up to speed;


4-8 of April Amber, Jason and I traveled to the east coast for 5 days. We left Indiana on Wednesday and arrived in Maryland Wednesday evening and got a hotel.  On Thursday, we spent a day wondering around at the beach in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. It is a very neat little town and has some neat shops. That evening we went to the dojo of Jeff Sullens (Anshinkai Martial Arts) in Belcamp, Maryland. Jeff’s dojo is a nice little space, his students were all very nice and we had the opportunity to teach for about three hours, covering several sections of the Okinawakan International
curriculum and evening getting a little of track with a section of Aiki-Jujutsu. Later that evening Jeff provided dinner at his dojo and we were able to socialize and met several of the students off the mat and get to know everyone. Jeff, his wife and students were great hosts and are working hard to adapt to the new organization and curriculum changes.

On Friday morning we went to downtown Baltimore and visited the Harbor and National Aquarium, it is truly a cool place, it is unique in that you follow a spiral path up several stories and then back down again, seeing several different habitat displays. We all three really enjoyed the visit to the aquarium and spent several hours there. Later that evening we changed hotels, to be closer to the seminar venue. Friday evening we began the first of a three day Gasshuku at the dojo of Vance
Parker (Parker’s Gojuryu) in Woodlawn, Maryland. All three days we worked on the Okinawakan International curriculum, covering basic’s, Break falls, Ido Dachi, Ido Kogeki, Sandan Uke Harai, Sandan GI, Ippon Kumite, Nippon Kumite, kata from Gekisai to Sanseru, and bunkai. Vance took us to a nice dinner at an Asian buffet on Saturday evening.

22nd of April we hosted Black Belt testing for my dojo. a four hour test that included, History, kihon, Kihon ido, kata, yakusoku Kumite, bunkai and self defense, I am proud to announce that Stan Range and Michael Hehe were promoted to Shodan. Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Davidson for assisting with testing.

On the 5th of May, Amber, Jason and I traveled to Jacksonville, Illinois to the dojo of Steve Foster (Karate-do Kai of Jacksonville). We arrived an hour and a half before the seminar start time, so we ventured around Jacksonville to take in the sights, it is a nice town with a cozy feel to it, and several
of the homes were architectural marvels, just beautiful homes. We met everyone at Steve’s dojo and had a nice seminar. We had some guests join us from the Gojuryu Karate-do Kyokai. We trained for 5 hours total, with a small lunch break that was provided for us by Steve. We covered Sandan Uke Harai 1-4, Sandan Gi, Ippon Kumite 1-6 and then began to work through the kata, worked bunkai and then bo Buri.  After the seminar, several of us went out to eat at a very nice restaurant and enjoyed talking with each other. Steve and his students are working hard to adapt to the Okinawakan International curriculum

23rd of June, Curtis and I traveled to the Indiana Genbukai and had a great day training with Fumio Demura Sensei. Lots drills, lots of kata, lots of sweat. After training we went to their organization banquet and got to speak
with Demura Sensei more. we had a very nice conversation about the training and past events, training in Okinawa and the modernization of karate.

26th of June, Chris Minnich visited for some training at the dojo.

5-8th of July, Amber and I jumped in the car and drove straight through to Fort Myers, Florida. We attended the wedding of my long time fried and dojo mate, John Manley. We took some time to visit the beach and also spent an afternoon lounging by the pool. John and Kim had a beautiful beach wedding. Even though Amber and I drove down and back 20 hours each way, we needed the rest.

27-29 of July I hosted my annual Gasshuku. This was the 18th straight year that we have done the Gasshuku. We had a few before this 18 yer run, but not consecutive. This gasshuku we had Col Hobbs, Col. Willis and myself as the instructors. We had people attend from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Illinois, Missouri and Indiana.

The first day we worked on basics, two person drills and a little kata. Day two was more kata with a lot of details explained and several drills to help reinforce the techniques and some bunkai. Day three was with kata or Nunchaku depending on the group you chose. There was a lot of little details pointed out over the weekend.
This weekend we also celebrated the 60th Anniversary of martial arts training for Sensei Roy Jerry Hobbs and presented him with a cake and plaque. It might be interesting to know that it was also 20 yeas ago that I was
appointed as Vice President for Hobbs Sensei Dentokan association and that Indiana was first established as a Dentokan branch.
We also had a small cake for Deirdre Fusco for being pinned as a nurse the night before the Gasshuku.
This year we also held the first yudansha testing with people testing from three dojo. This year everyone tested in Gojuryu

Congratulations to my students that tested and passed their grading in front of the Testing board;
Curtis Jones 5th Dan
Jeff Sullens 5th Dan
Jason Thompson 4th Dan
Chad Kutcherman 1st Dan
Yondan to Patrick Polvinale
Nidan to Michael Pauley
Shodan to Dan Fusco
Shodan to Kendall Cosgrove
Shodan to Ike Walker
Shodan to Ishan Abdul-Jabbar
Jun Shodan to Jesse Shiflett


Also congratulations to the students of my students that passed as well;
Rick Martini 1st Dan 

17 - 19th of August  Amber Jones, Brit Pile and I Were again on the road. We had a great road trip to and from Republic Missouri, visiting some unique places along the way and we laughed like crazy. The seminar was excellent! Anthony Willis Sensei and his wife were excellent hosts. Anyu Shinjo Hanshi was very genuine and
humble, he is an extremely thorough and exacting Instructor. He truly is an excellent example of his teacher Eiichi Miyazato Sensei.
Day 1: Junbi Undo, 80 High blocks, 80 middle blocks,80 down blocks, 600 forward punches, 200 front kicks. Hour and 15 minutes in walking in sanchin dachi. Not a bad warm up. Then we worked on kata for the rest of the day.
Day 2: Junbi Undo, 60 High Blocks, 60 Middle blocks, 60 low blocks, 180 punches and 60 front kicks, then we moved on to kata.
I have to thank Amber and Mrs. Wills for taking tons of pictures. We also had the opportunity to eat dinner twice and lunch once with Shinjo Sensei.
Also a big congratulations to Col. Wills on being promoted to Hanshi 9th Dan on the last day of the Gasshuku by Shinjo Hanshi.

9th of September, we had a surprise guest at my dojo. Lloyd C. Johnson III Hanshi and his student Eric Jefferson both came to the dojo for an impromptu day of training. Mr. Johnson taught hojo undo and also kakie, as well as reviewing several kata. Mr. Johnson also had a surprise presentation that he made. He promoted MR. Jefferson to Kyoshi and Hachidan. He then issued several of my students certification recognition from his association. He then presented me with a promotion that I in no way deserve, accompanied with documents from Okinawa acknowledging such.

28th of September I was promoted to the Rank of 8th Dan in Ufuchiku Lineage Kobudo through the Ryukyu Dento Kobujutsu Hozon Budo Kokai under the authority of my teacher, Kiichi Nakamoto Soke.

10th of October I awarded my Son's Curtis and Alec with their Renshi license, Jason Thompson with his Shidoin License and Stan Range and Michael Hehe with their Fuku-Shidoin license. Curtis was also issued a Renshi license from my teacher, Kiichi Nakamoto.

October 19-21st, Jason and I traveled to Maryland for the purpose of Black Belt testing and instructing at the Fall Gasshuku.
On Friday evening we got started around 6:00, tested 8 candidates for rank advancement, the testing consisted of a written test, Junbi Undo, kihon, two person drills, kata, bunkai and some self defense. We left the dojo around 12:30am
Saturday from 9-5, after warming up, we worked on Gekisai Dai Ichi and Dai Ni, breaking down several small details, we worked on Gekisai Rensoku, covered the finer points of Sanseru and kihon waza. On Saturday evening we went out to a nice pub for dinner and had a great time socializing. I had the opportunity after 25 years of corresponding through email and social media to meet in person Howard S. High Sensei. I enjoyed our conversations and he did a demonstration of his sword art for us.
On Sunday we went from 9-2, we started with a warm up and basics, we then moved into Bo Buri and Toma Nu
Kun, we then covered Sanchin Dai Ichi and Dai Ni in great detail. I then passed out participation certificates and then presented the following promotions:
Renshi to Jeff Sullens

October 25-27I had the opportunity to spend three days with my good friend, and mentor Roy Jerry Hobbs Hanshi and his lovely wife Dianne.
We worked on Jujutsu and Kobudo together this time. Not many friends enjoy making the other holler in pain while doing a wrist lock or throw, but for over 20 years we have been “abusing” each other.
I thoroughly enjoyed the visit, training and excellent conversations. One highlight was that Hobbs Sensei showed me the various menjo, menkyo and Makimono that he has earned from a virtual who’s who of martial artists. Masters that some of us have only read about in books. Certificates from white belt to 8th, 9th or 10th Dan in several Okinawan Karate, Kobudo and Toide systems. The same for Japanese Karate, Jujutsu, Iaido and even Kung fu systems. 60 years worth of historical documents and photos with legendary masters. It was truly humbling.
I have to thank Dianne and Hobbs Sensei for being gracious hosts and allowing me once again to share their home and family time.
I also have to give a special shout out to my beautiful wife Amber Jones, who allowed me to take off again, after only being home for 2 days from the last karate trip. Not too many wives would support their husbands traveling all over the world to teach and train or spend every evening at the dojo, weekends at tournaments or clinics and spend almost every Sunday watching me Kumite. She has given up a lot to support my endeavors over the past 28 years and I am eternally grateful.

December 1-2, we had two visitors from our Baltimore branch dojo visit for training. I gave detailed instruction on Gekisai Ichi and Ni, Sanchin Ichi and Ni, Saifa, Seiunchin, Shisochin, Sanseru, Seipai, Kururunfa and seisan. Along with Ido Dachi and bunkai.

The remainder of the year with see a holiday party, end of year testing and preparation for our first event of 2019 to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the dojo.


Monday, May 7, 2018

Recent Events


I haven’t had time to write much for the blog lately, I keep quit busy with the dojo, my granddaughter and going back to college. However, let me give you an update on what’s been going on;

4-8 of April Amber, Jason and I traveled to the east coast for 5 days. We left Indiana on Wednesday and arrived in Maryland Wednesday evening and got a hotel.  On Thursday, we spent a day wondering around at the beach in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. It is a very neat little town and has some neat shops. That evening we went to the dojo of Jeff Sullens (Anshinkai Martial Arts) in Belcamp, Maryland. Jeff’s dojo is a nice little space, his students were all very nice and we had the opportunity to teach for about three hours, covering several sections of the Okinawakan International curriculum and evening getting a little of track with a section of Aiki-Jujutsu. Later that evening Jeff provided dinner at his dojo and we were able to socialize and met several of the students off the mat and get to know everyone. Jeff, his wife and students were great hosts and are working hard to adapt to the new organization and curriculum changes.

On Friday morning we went to downtown Baltimore and visited the Harbor and National Aquarium, it is truly a cool place, it is unique in that you follow a spiral path up several stories and then back down again, seeing several different habitat displays. We all three really enjoyed the visit to the aquarium and spent several hours there. Later that evening we changed hotels, to be closer to the seminar venue. Friday evening we began the first of a three day Gasshuku at the dojo of Vance Parker (Parker’s Gojuryu) in Woodlawn, Maryland. All three days we worked on the Okinawakan International curriculum, covering basic’s, Break falls, Ido Dachi, Ido Kogeki, Sandan Uke Harai, Sandan GI, Ippon Kumite, Nippon Kumite, kata from Gekisai to Sanseru, and bunkai. Vance took us to a nice dinner at an Asian buffet on Saturday evening.

On the 5th of May, Amber, Jason and I traveled to Jacksonville, Illinois to the dojo of Steve Foster (Karate-do Kai of Jacksonville). We arrived an hour and a half before the seminar start time, so we ventured around Jacksonville to take in the sights, it is a nice town with a cozy feel to it, and several of the homes were architectural marvels, just beautiful homes. We met everyone at Steve’s dojo and had a nice seminar. We had some guests join us from the Gojuryu Karate-do Kyokai. We trained for 5 hours total, with a small lunch break that was provided for us by Steve. We covered Sandan Uke Harai 1-4, Sandan Gi, Ippon Kumite 1-6 and then began to work through the kata, worked bunkai and then bo Buri.  After the seminar, several of us went out to eat at a very nice restaurant and had a enjoyed talking with each other. Steve and his students are working hard to adapt to the Okinawakan International curriculum.

Next up is the International Gasshuku in July…

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Who has the correct Gojuryu?

There is often a debate on which one of the senior students of Chojun Miyagi Sensei is the most authentic, who has the correct kata?

I go into this question quite a bit in one of my books but have been pondering it more lately.

I think the question of who has the correct version of Gojuryu could be a complicated one. You have the seniors that trained with Miyagi at different times in his development, then you have the years of their own training and discovery after Miyagi passed way to consider. There are a multitude of factors that one could consider in trying to form a hypothesis or prove a theory .

I think that Miyagi Sensei was probably in a constant state of discovery, his karate was ever changing, as his understanding and knowledge advanced, so too did his karate. The seniors all trained with him, at different times in his life, at different times of his understanding.

I am in my 41st year of training in Gojuryu. I can say this if you took all my black belts and put them together and asked them to show you their karate, it would be different.

My karate is no where near the same as it was when I started, it has evolved as I have learned and trained. My teaching methods have changed over the years, as my understanding has changed.

Therefore I think that the answer is this, they are all doing a version of gojuryu as taught to them by Miyagi and therefore are all valid versions of is teachings. I also think that there is much more in common with the different branches, then differences.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Okinawa 2017

On October 21, Amber and I left for the airport at 3:30 am. After checking in and saying goodbye to Amber, I boarded the plane for San Francisco, after almost 5 hours in flight, I landed and barely made it to the connecting flight to Tokyo. The flight to Tokyo was almost 12 hours, it was on a nice plane, they served us breakfast and dinner, the food was actually pretty good. They also had several new release videos available to watch. I was unable to sleep at all on the plane, so I watched several movies.

As we approached Tokyo we skirted the edge of the Typhoon and landed, I had a couple hour lay over in Tokyo, before making the flight to Naha. The ride was a bumpy ride as Typhoon 21 was in full force (Hurricane for us here in the west). I landed in Naha on October 22nd, glad to have made it. Hobbs Sensei, Talip, Umesh and Khalid were waiting for me, as they had arrived from Kyoto an hour before me. We took a taxi to Koza and our hotel. after checking in Nakamoto Hanshi, Zaha Hanshi and Takuma-san met us at the hotel and we had a nice conversation and set our training times. The hotel staff also gave us a huge steak dinner, that was delicious.

On the 23rd we got up and all met for breakfast, the hotel staff once again gave us a huge meal. We then all wondered around Koza (Okinawa City) and visited Ippondo martial Arts store, exchanged our money and we went to the grocery store and stocked up for the stay. That evening we went for training with Nakamoto Sensei and Zaha Sensei. We covered all of the Goju-Ryu kata, we ran them several times, and then we learned Fukyu Kata, for a demonstration that we were scheduled to do for Karate day. The work out was great and we trained for 2.5 hours. After training Nakamoto Hanshi gave us some of his private reserve Awamori that he makes himself, we went back to the hotel and had another fantastic dinner and then broke into the awamori, needless to say we had a late night. 

I woke up on the 24th feeling like I had been hit by a truck. We again all met up for breakfast and again Talip, Ales and I walked around Koza. We all met in the lobby to to prepare for our daily training class. While we were waiting on the taxi, Nakamoto Sensei walked into the lobby and told me to get in the car. He took me to Ippondo to try on some gi and obi, once we determined my size, Sensei took me to lunch. At first we went to McDonald's, but it was full of children, so we drove quite far to an A&W root beer stand and ate lunch. One odd thing is that i ordered french fries and they served them to me with mayonnaise and roast beef on them. Sensei and I had a nice conversation and then went back to the dojo were the group was working on the Goju kata and Hobbs Sensei on Tonfa. I was only there for about 30 minutes, before training was over and we were back at the hotel for diner.  At 7:30 we were back at the dojo for training and we worked on Tokashiki No Sai. After training it was of course more awamori and Orion Beer.

I woke up on the 25th and felt better then the day before. After a huge breakfast it was again a day of wondering around Koza. We went for training from 1-3pm and worked on Shushi No Kun, Chuon No Kun, Hama Higa no Tonfa, Nunchaku Buri, and Nunchaku Sogu. We went back to the hotel and I was off again wondering around Koza by myself. We had dinner together and were back at the dojo by 7:30, we worked All of the Gojuryu kata, then Tonfa Buri, Nakamoto No Tonfa and Hama Higa No Tonfa. We had people from America, England, Slovenia, India, Austria, Zambia, New Zealand and Australia. Of course after training you can guess what we did.

On the 26th we woke up and had breakfast, we went to Shuri, we visited Shurijo or Shuri castle, it is a beautiful place. We also visited the Harley Davidson store in Ginowa, on the way back to the hotel. Everyone else stayed at the hotel to rest before training, but I decided to wonder around off the regular paths and see if I could find some other dojos. I actually found quite a few, to my surprise. We went for our evening training and focused on Tonfa and Nunchaku. immediately after class we had tea and drinks with Sensei. And of course after that we went out to the local watering holes.

On the 27th we again wondered around after breakfast. We trained again at 1-3pm and since Typhoon 22 was on it's way for the evening we skipped our training and had rank testing, Nakamoto Sensei birthday party and our syonora party all that evening. The night was both great fun and a bit nerve racking. I was the first one to test and run my kata in front of not only Sensei, but all the other Okinawakan shibucho and the many international groups.  After the testing was over the party started and we went late into the evening before we returned to the hotel and continued the party.

On the 28th Typhoon 22 had reached the island and we were all stuck inside the hotel. Several of us took the time to catch up on sleep or do laundry. The eye of the storm, gave us a few hours to run out and visit some more stores and wonder around a bit. Once the backside of the storm hit, it was stronger then the previous round, It got a bit rocky and the hotel staff thought we were crazy because we kept going outside to watch it, eventually they lowered steel doors over the hotel doors and windows, we were stuck inside, so more Orion and Awamori.

On the 29th we went to Naha to Kokusai Dori and Heiwa Dori to do some more shopping for souvenirs. That night we went for our last meeting with Nakamoto Sensei, he gave us more awamori and gave Roy, Neil and I all a pair of kama as gifts. He also gave me several pieces of shodo. We went back to the hotel and had dinner, packed our bags, and as a group we all went out for on last night together.

We left the next morning for the airport at 7. Our flight to Tokyo was delayed 43 minutes because of hitting birds, this made us miss our connecting flight to Tokyo, after several hours trying to figure out what we were going to do and multiple trips through security to find our bags and re-check them, we finally got a flight on a different airline and flew to San Francisco, it was a horrible flight and again I didn't sleep. Once we made it to San Francisco we had to go through customs, go to another terminal, re-check our bags and go back through security before we separated on different flights to our homes. I got home about 2 am and asleep about 4 am, almost a full 48 hours from when I got up to get ready to leave Okinawa.

Despite two Typhoons, all the delays and issues trying to get home from Tokyo, this was an awesome trip to Okinawa. We trained twice a day almost every day for 2.5-3 hours each session. I spent one on one time with Nakamoto Sensei, I tested for rank at the so-honbu dojo in front of the seniors of the system and all the assembled country groups. We visited some neat places and we drank a crap load. I met some people I have talked to for years on Facebook, so that was nice. I met several of my Dentokan brethren as well. I have a lot of new material to work on and look forward to the next visit, but I am glad to be home with my wife, children and grandchild. I have to thank Nakamoto Sensei for sharing his vast knowledge of Karate and Kobudo with us. Zaha Sensei and Takuma -san for their assistance during our stay. I have to thank Hobbs Sensei for arranging the hotel reservations and knowing his way around the island. I also have to thank Neil Malpas for being such a great tour guide and the rest of the group for just the over all great time we had together.