Masaji Taira Sensei, the 9th dan chairman of the Okinawa Goju Ryu Kenkyukai, returned to the Gold Coast for his 6th visit in as many years in March and spent week on the Gold Coast with us before the seminar.
Taira sensei taught classes at our Helensvale Honbu as well as at the Robina dojo, working everyone on the links between the traditional Goju Ryu warm-up and the practice of kata and self defence applications.
He made numerous positive comments about the progress of students over the past 12 months since his last visit.
The camp itself was once more held at the PCYC owned and operated Camp Bornhoffen in the Numinbah Valley. This picturesque location has proved to be very popular with Taira sensei and the attendees due to the food, the amenities and location.
Students travelled from Indonesia, New Zealand and all over Australia to attend training with Taira sensei and to get together in friendship. There were 30 participants overall representing nine different dojo’s.
The camp was a ‘live in’ event with on site accommodation and several hours of training in both Goju Ryu and Kobudo each day.
The highlight for me was seeing the various members of the broad spectrum of dojos represented all getting together and training and supporting each other despite the huge differences in levels of understanding of Taira sensei’s material and methodology. There was definitely no sense of elitism, only a mutual desire to improve understanding and technique.
This seminar was different from Taira sensei’s previous visits because the central theme was linking the basics to the advanced kata applications, rather than focussing on the advanced kata applications. These conceptual linkages led do an ever increasing amount of those ‘eureka’ moments that come with training in kata and bunkai with Taira sensei.
Planning is already underway for next year… of course.