Some exciting news from our friends at GojuRyu Kenkyukai Melbourne!
"Well done to Graeme Loison who graded to Sandan with Taira Sensei’s approval. Thanks to Paul Chandler who assist me in overseeing Graeme’s grading. Also to Steve Evans who was Graeme’s Uke."
We want to thank everyone who participated in the recent North America Workshop. During that time, besides training, everyone had a chance to meet and connect with members from all over the world. The workshop was more than training. We all come together for Taira Sensei's education of Okinawa Gojuryu Kenkyukai. However, we all all one Kenkyukai Family. TO celebrate all of us being one unified group we have renamed the "Okinawa Gojuryu Kenkyukai North America Dojo" Facebook Group to the:
We would like to invite and welcome all members of Okinawa Gojuryu Kenkyukai to join us in this group to communicate, connect, and continue to support our Karate Family!
We hope everyone as now made it safely home and recovered from both the workshop and travel. We have many milestone moments from the workshop share with everyone! First we would like to give a big thanks to our hosts！ A big thanks to Mark Kapel Sensei, Mountain Martial Arts / Gojuryu Kenkyukai of New Jersey for hosting and teaching everyone Taira Sensei's basics and Bunkai. We all appreciate you opening your home and Dojo for everyone.
Thanks to Mat Weisfeld, United Martial Artist for co-hosting the Kobudo portion of the seminar and providing a place for visitors to stay.
We are proud to see all the schools in our Karate Family coming together to support and help one another. Please remember that all students are welcome to train in either dojo regardless of whether there is a seminar.
Big thanks to Taira Sensei for traveling educate all with the desire to learn! Is innovative abilities and teaching continue to have a profound impact on us all.
Thanks to Ray San for making the trip to New Jersey from Arizona to train with Taira Sensei and join Okinawa Gojuryu Kenkyukai North America. Ray San first discovered Taira Sensei after seeing a National Geographic special featuring Sensei. He knew from that point he need to seek out and train under Taira Sensei. In previous years he had his first experience and train with Sensei here in New Jersey at a previous seminar.
We are excited to have him back to visit and train at the Head Shibu Dojo. We also look forward to visiting Arizona and provide training and workshop opportunities.
Arigato Ray San for joining our family!
Congratulations to everyone who graded today! Students from Mountain Martial Arts / Gojuryu Kenkyukai of New Jersey and United Martial Artist demonstrated their abilities, understanding, and proficiency in the curriculum requirements for earning their black belt.
Some of those curriculum requirements included Kihon, Sanchin with Shime, all required Katas, Bunkai, Chi-Shi, Nigiri game, makiwara, and more.
Congratulations to Greg (previously graded), Adel, Silvia, Mat, Bridget, Mat, Sensei Ash, and Anthony.
A big congratulations to Greg San who earned his rank of San Dan at the age of 71. You are never too old to train or start your journey in Karate! Greg San is an inspiration to all interested in learning Karate as a reminder that it is never too late to start your journey.
Regardless of age, there was no shortcuts in Greg's grading. During an in class grading Greg demonstrated proficiency in all curriculum requirements in Kihon, Kata, Bunkai, and more! Greg gives back to the school and community by teaching others including Senior Citizen programs to encourage others for a more positive path. His school is Mountain Martial Arts and learns under Mark Kapel Sensei.
Thank you Greg San for your continued efforts and dedication to Okinawa Gojuryu Kenkyukai!
The following is a personal facebook post by one of the recent students who graded under Taira Sensei. All content has been published with permission by the original author, Mathew Weisfeld, owner of United Martial Artist Dojo, and student of Mark Kapel Sensei .
"Hi everyone! Not too long ago I had an amazing experience of meeting and training under Taira Sensei and acknowledged by the Okinawa Gojuryu North America. I've trained most of my life, 20 of those years were various forms of American/US Gojuryu, and Gojuryu Kai/Japanese. In general, I was not a traditionalist or even that Kean on Kata and Bunkai. I liked to kick high and hit things but took a major step back because of life and complacency.
COVID-19 pulled me back into the "karate world" to save my old school, but I initially didn't have a real passion to save it. That is a much longer story for a different time.
For me the stress of the Pandemic was starting to hit more than I realized. Everything was making me upset, drinking more than ever, weight gain, and really "feeling old" (and I was only 35 at the time). Saying that Okinawa Gojuryu Kenkyukai saved me might be an exaggeration but its not too far off. I met (my now Sensei) Mark Kapel with no intention of training. I went through my favorite kata, Seiyunchin and realized I never really understood it. Next thing I know I'm hooked and training everyday! Doing Sanchin in the snow, learning and relearning katas, and training Bunkai on a deeper level with the unrealistic aspirations of meeting Taira Sensei. As a Karate Nerd I knew all about him as a Karate Idol
My training got my head back on straight. I work in manufacturing/the music industry and us going out of business was a very real possibility. The decisions I've made in my life/day job were directly positively impacted by Karate.
Training in Traditional Karate kept my life at work and home balanced when I needed it most. More importantly 2 weeks ago I had a chance to not only meet but train and grade under Taira Sensei himself! This is the greatest moment for me in my Martial Arts career and one of the greatest in my life. I can't thank Kapel and Taira Sensei enough and now I'm training even harder so I can get to Okinawa!
I wanted to share this because I'm proud of what I accomplished but also to encourage everyone, KEEP TRAINING! Find a Traditional school (or whatever you have access to) and reach your goals and dreams! If you have had a life changing experience from the Martial Arts, share it!
Taira Sensei left me with the kanji: 一期一会, Ichi-go ichi-e: One encounter one chance, one life one chance.
We all get one shot at all of this, we can't waste it! Thanks to everyone who actually read this Facebook novel I wasn't planning on writing"
It has been a long time since we have been able to have Taira Sensei visit us for a grading and seminar. We are proud of all of the students who had a chance on his visit to train and grade with him!
A big congratulations to all who trained and graded! We hope everyone continues their efforts to push themselves as they take another step in their Martial Arts Journey! Looking forward for others to make the trip to the Head Shibu Dojo in New Jersey and become part of our Karate Family!
After a forced two year break from seminars with Taira Sensei, we are excited to have accomplished the first successful Gasshuku for 2022!
We would like to thank everyone who took the time to join us this weekend for the amazing training experience with Taira Sensei. Congratulations to all those who trained and graded! Schools from all around the country and as far as Canada journeyed to the Head Shibu Dojo for the experience to train with Taira Sensei. We will post more about the experience, the training, spot light on those who graded and more! If you are part of the Okinawa Gojuryu Kenkyukai North America you have all associated schools behind you to support and train in our art!
If your school has pictures or video from this weekend or have questions about the seminar or our organization please email us at email@example.com or private message us.
On June 25th 2022 the Okinawa Gojuryu Kenkyukai officially added another member to their ranks. Mat Weisfeld, owner and head instructor at United Martial Artist Academy graded for his Shodan in Okinawa Gojuryu Kenkyukai. Mat San has trained in different aspects of Martial Arts for over 30 years but made the commitment to train in traditional Karate after his first visit to the Head Shibu Dojo under Sensei Mark Kapel.
(Taken from Mat Weisfeld's facebook page)
"I have been training in the Martial Arts for 30+ years but tonight is one of my proudest nights. Thanks to everyone who has helped support during this especially Jane Weisfeld who has been taking care of the kids while I'm training and hitting stuff like a crazy person
Thanks to Mark Kapel for taking me in and training me in Okinawa Gojuryu Kenkyukai North America"
Mat San has spent the past 2 years training and fulfilling all the requirements for his grading all while making the same changes to his own school. Originally from an Americanized form of Karate, Mat's school now has transitioned to a full globally recognized Okinawa Gojuryu Kenkyukai curriculum. Some of those requirements include (but not limited to) demonstrating proficiency in: