A Report from Philippines: An Experience of Kobudo Seminar in Japan
Sensei Manzo practices Tonfa at Kongo-ryu (Itosu-kai) Headquarters.
He uses the Tonfa which was passed down from Master Shinken Taira.
For the past 16 years, I had been a kobudo practitioner in the Philippines. Sadly, this colorful but deadly art of weaponry has been partly forgotten in our country. I am very grateful to Soke Sadaaki Sakagami for giving me a brighter future to continue the art of Kobudo through Ryuku Kobudo kongo- Ryu style, an oldest kobudo style in mainland Japan.
As I touched down Tokyo, Japan, I went straight to hombu dojo in Tsurumi, Yokohama, Japan. Although a bit, I felt both jet lag and exhausted for a 4-hour flight from Philippines, everything got dwindled as Soke Sakagami, Sensei Ayumu Oda and other Kobudo practitioners gave their warm welcome. The first day was a rigid training regarding the basics movements and eventually putting them together in basic kihon kata training using nunchaku, sai and tonfa with the Swedish and Japanese members. It was a 7 hour straight in which I admire the most, the discipline of the people.
On the second day, we focused on Bo doing basic movements, kihon kata and some kata in blackbelt level. It was all condensed but remarkably informative and enjoyable seminar experience.
The next day, we went to Hiyoshi Minami Shougakkou (Hiyoshi South elementary School) doing Bo kata, kihon and kumite from 9 am to 4 pm. It was a full blast training with the supervision of Soke sakagami.
The 4th day, Sensei Crafoord, Sensei Per Gasgivar and me were given a chance to train nunchaku and sai with Sensei Ayumi Oda at Musashinono Mori Koen (Musashi Forest Park), which is just near the house of Ayumu Oda and right next to Chufo airport.
That evening, we went to Sensei Kitaoka’s dojo (Sho karatedo Club International) at Mikata City, Japan. We studied karate katas such as Gojushiho and Matsumora Wanshu (Tomari Wanshu) under great Sensei Kitaoka.
The 5th day, we went back to Tsurumi dojo, doing Kihon in Soke Sakagami class.
On 6th day we reviewed different katas using nunchaku, sai, tonfa and tekko.
I would like to express my gratitude to Soke Sagami for helping us improve and expound my knowledge in Kobudo. I would like to extend my gratitude to Sensei Ayumu Oda for being a good friend and for guiding us through these days. I would like to honor the presence of Sensei Helen Iwata (the former secretary general of IKIF), Sensei Masahiro Obayashi (Representative of JKF National kumite Division), Sensei Yokoyama (for assisting and teaching us as well), Sensei Tsunehisa Kitaoka who gave additional knowledge and techniques in handling “Bo,” and Sensei Suzuki who provided a wonderful location for our practice with us.
Now, with all of the given knowledge and burning dedication, I would like to propagate this authentic Kobudo-style here in the Philippines. Hopefully, I could unite all the martial arts students/ leaders of different clubs to become full- pledged members and practitioners of Ryuku Kobudo kongo-Ryu style. I am dedicated to continue and preserve this unique and authentic Kobudo style in which the Soke and sensei’s had preserve through the years.
Grand Master Sakagami and Kongo-ryu members
Sensei Manzo Practices Nunchaku
With Shuseki Shihan Sakagami and Kongo-ryu members at the front of the headquarters dojo
At Yokohama Park with Sensei Göran and Sensei Per