45th Jyoshinmon Anniversary Festival - 13-15 September 2014
This festival commemorated 45 years of Jyoshinmon Shorin-Ryu which took place in Tokyo, Japan. There were over 100 international representatives from the following countries –
USA (Florida, Texas)
… and of course the most important team - New Zealand
The delegates representing Aotearoa were Shihan David Bennett, Sensei Beaty Bennett and Sensei Chris Bennett. Also in the New Zealand party were Jojina Scott, Zak Scott and Jose Castillo.
"The flight from New Zealand to Japan`s Narita airport takes about 11 hours. We were met at Narita by Mikiko Ikeda, the wife of Soke Hoshu Ikeda and a Godan Shihan in her own right. She kindly helped us on to a bus to our apartment at The Oakwood Ariake which we recommend for its clean and comfortable accommodation at a reasonable price in a good area."
The festival was spread over 3 days:
Day 1 - Meeting of international delegates, Seminar and Grading up to Nidan
The seminars were taken by Soke Hoshu Ikeda and were based on the technicalities, meanings and subtle but important points to be found in the basic techniques of Jyoshinmon karate. This was followed by a grading for up to Nidan, in which Jose sat his Shodan exam.
Taking place at the same time was the Referee's Exam for Kumite which Chris and Zak volunteered to fight for points recognition. Two girls from Jyoshinmon Australia also volunteered to fight for the examiners.
Zak was one of the people who Soke chose to demonstrate the differences with certain techniques. We learned quite a few things to take back with us and refresh our training sessions.
Day 2 - 45th Anniversary Jyoshinmon Festival
Jyoshinmon World Tournament – with Individual Kata, Team Kata and Team Kumite events. Kumite was based on the ippon shobu scoring system and was in the format of 3-man teams.
New Zealand had a Japanese team first up. Zak fought valiantly but was hit very hard and was forced to withdraw by the tournament doctor with the points level 1-1. Chris won his fight with relative ease and looked very comfortable. Jose lost his fight to a very experienced Japanese fighter, which meant we lost the round 2 fights to 1. Russia went on to win the Team Kumite event deservedly, taking both Gold and Silver in the final.
Unfortunately Zak's concussion meant he was unable to compete in Kata, where all three podium places were won by Japanese competitors. The outstanding event was the Female Kata. Jyoshinmon Japan took the top 5 places and had extremely good competitors; the girl who came second is a past World Universities Kata Champion and came 2nd at the 2012 USA Open.
The Opening Ceremony took place midday with hundreds of Japanese Jyoshinmon giving demonstrations including the American and Russian representatives before honoured guests from other karate styles. The ceremony ended with Soo Shihan Ai using a kama and Shihan Mikiko with a bo providing a precision-based demonstration.
The tournament was followed by a getting together of all the teams with buffet and drinks. The evening seemed to be enjoyed by everyone and all the Shihans had an opportunity to pay their respects to Soke Hoshu Ikeda and Soo Shihan Ai Ikeda.
Day 3 - Seminar, Grading up to Rokudan, Sayonara Party
About 70 people took part in the grading from Sandan to Rokudan. The standard was high, if somewhat variable due to some more advanced ages. Sensei Beaty and Sensei Christopher sat the test and were both awarded Yondan. We surprised Jose a few days later when we told him that he had been awarded Shodan.
The festival concluded with the Sayonara party which was a very friendly and enjoyable event. All the teams got on well and our gracious Japanese hosts organised everything very well. We all made new friends, in particular David Li Yuen Fong and his fellow Aussies, Raul Shelton and his daughter Zeny from Texas, Felix Puga from Miami, Miguel Ochoa and Nubia Gonzalez. Of course all the Japanese - the Ikeda family plus all our old friends too numerous to name.
Shihan David Bennett
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