Ever since the 1980’s when I started training I have dreamed about taking a trip to Japan to train at the Japan Karate Association (JKA) HQ in Tokyo. Well this year its finally happening as I sat in the departure lounge of Heathrow Air Port updating the website and enjoying the hospitality of United Airways. Travelling up and down the country with Sensei Ronnie Christopher has always been a feature of our education in Shotokan Karate. On a Saturday or Sunday you would find a convey of cars following Sensei Ronnie, usually in the wrong direction (pre sat-nav) to the latest Black and Brown belt course with Sensei Enoeda. The passion to push ourselves beyond the comfort zone has remained with us all these years and taken us to train with some of the greatest karateka in the world.
Last year Sensei Dave Farrance and I took a trip to the JKA course at the University of Limerick in Ireland getting a chance to train with Sensei Naka. It was a stunningly warm day which progressed into very warm as the session went on. Sensei Naka had a favourite saying “enjoy- five more times” which rang out around the sports hall every few minutes!. The massive smile on his face didn’t seem to make it any easier and the sweat poured out. But the enjoyment of that trip spurred us on to more and more adventures with a trip to Belgium earlier this year to train with Sensei Junior Leferve, the mishaps on that trip would fill a book on its own but we got back safe and I can’t go into to much detail as I need to save someone who will remain nameless from embarrassment!
So to this latest trip to Japan, Sensei Dave and Jody flew out yesterday and have arrived safely at the Air B&B, Kevin and I fly to day and arrive Tuesday with training starting on Wednesday. I can’t wait to start experiencing life in Japan and will do my utmost to capture in in photos and reports so that you can join in with the adventure.