Get 1 MONTH free access to BujinTV – our premier video streaming service for martial arts. Register at www.bujin.tv, then get access via PC or mobile apps on Android and iOS. Use our promo code [ ASATODOJO2 ] for your FREE MONTH. You will find many seminars from Asato Dojo on Bujin.TV along with 100’s of other videos from other teachers and styles. Enjoy!
Join the Asato Dojo team, James and Becka, as we present a series of Online Tours Live from Okinawa, and undertake a major challenge to walk over 200 kilometres around Okinawa island to raise funds in support of funding the dojo upkeep in these difficult COVID times.
Online Tours – May 13th, 16th, 20th, 27th & June 3rd
Please join us as we take you on live walking tours of some of our favourite locations in Okinawa. Locations such as Shuri Castle – the ancient capital of Okinawa, The Peace Park – a beautiful but sobering memorial to Okinawa’s WW2 losses, and American Village & Depot Island in Chatan – a hugely popular shopping and dining destination on a modern waterfront.
Our tours are streamed on Facebook so access to open to all. Join our “Let’s Tour Okinawa” group to get access and updates – https://www.facebook.com/groups/848477308895087
If you enjoy the tour please consider sending us a donation to help support our fund raising for Asato Dojo.
Link to donate – www.paypal.me/dojobar
Our 2021 Long Walk – POSTPONED DUE TO COVID EVENT RESTRICTIONS – TARGET RESCHEDULE OCTOBER 2021
This time we are going even further around this beautiful island of Okinawa than we did in 2019 as we retrace the steps of historical figures in karate history, visit the sights of scenes featured in the recent Karate Kid Cobra Kai hit series on Netflix, discover sites of natural beauty along the east coast and finish at the Henoko bay, site of a controversial new military base construction. We will be walking for 5-6 days and covering around 200 kms so lets hope our legs hold up!! Along the way we will be vlogging and live streaming on our progress and from specific locations of interest.
Please give us your support and encouragement along the way. Your messages and donations to our fund raising in support of Asato Dojo will be deeply and greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Link to donate – www.paypal.me/dojobar
JANUARY SEMINARS AND EVENTS
A very Happy New Year to you all, welcome to our 2021 online seminar program.
Karate kumite technique class with Toguchi Mineo sensei.
On Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81653529415?pwd=bEI2UElLSENQR21HUWhHK2lBSUk4QT09
Contact Asato Dojo or James Pankiewicz via Messenger for details.
View a sample class here on our Youtube channel
Hokama Tetsuhiro sensei – Self Defense techniques against common attacks.
In this online Zoom seminar, Hokama sensei will teach his favourite techniques for self defense drawn from Gojuryu karate and his extensive experience of martial arts including use of pressure point attacks.
Hokama sensei is widely regarded as an expert on Okinawa and around the world in applying highly effective, very painful defensive techniques against larger stronger opponents. This seminar is open to all styles and levels of experience.
Arakaki sensei will be teaching details of advanced level Matsubayashiryu kata and selected bunkai (analysis) and oyowaza (applications).
Participants are required to wear a dogi and belt and advised to have a suitable space available for kata practice.
Training fee requested is 3000 yen. Please send the fee in advance, including a note as follows “Advanced training with Arakaki Toshimitsu sensei” via the following link: www.paypal.me/challengeokinawa
This unique gi is available at the Asato Dojo and karate goods store in Okinawa
The Okinawa Edition Seishin dogi is a truly superior dogi produced in colloboration with Asato Dojo Kancho James Pankiewicz who asked for a Seishin dogi specifically engineered for the hot and humid training environment of Okinawa, the birthplace of karate. In response Jesse Enkamp, founder of Seishin International came up with a fantastic product that features reinforced durability, improved sweat distribution and Zen-like design making the Okinawa Edition perfect for traditional karate.
“Finally a gi that doesn’t stick to my skin!”
- The 300 g/m2 premium blend of 48% cotton and 52% polyester provides a perfect mix of comfort, durability & snap.
- Authentic Japanese bleach makes the canvas stay white for years – instead of turning grey or yellow.
- Soft mesh with Okinawa kanji inside the back of the jacket for added comfort and improved sweat absorption.
- The famous Seishin HW [high waist] pants provides effortless mobility in deep stances and high kicks.
- Free from organization, association and federation labels (e.g. WKF).
- Includes Seishin neck embroidery and no chest embroidery.
- As seen in this day-in-the-life vlog by Jesse Enkamp (‘The Karate Nerd’).
- Care instructions: Optimally wash below 30 degrees, no tumble dry, flat dry, Do not use bleach/solvents.
- Shrinkage: 2-3%
Retail price at Asato Dojo store – 20,000 yen
The Asato Dojo Karate Goods Store also stocks the Seishin Original Dogi, Seishin t-shirts (6500 yen) and the Seishin bag (15,000 yen).
The Asato Dojo opened its doors on January 7th 2018 for the first time and a year on we look back at what a wonderful year its been. We have been blessed with the support and friendship of so many here in Okinawa and overseas in the karate community. Its hard to express how grateful we are for your enthusiasm to support our new dojo.
We opened the Asato Dojo to be both a traditional karate and kobudo dojo (for Matsubayashiryu karate practice under the guidance of Arakaki Toshimitsu Hanshi) and to also offer complimentary practices to facilitate learning, fitness and health such as other fighting arts, yoga, etc. The dojo also offers a great location for visiting instructors to hold seminars and we have been very lucky to feature a number of exceptional teachers here during 2018. More on those below. In particular we are very fortunate to have a close relationship with Yoshida Naotsugu Sifu of Long Fist Praying Mantis style kung fu who designated the Asato Dojo his branch dojo in Okinawa in 2018. Yoshida Sifu is Okinawan but spent his adult life in Taiwan specifically to learn Praying Mantis. He visits Okinawa often and teaches at Asato Dojo. Praying Mantis and Shorin-ryu karate share common roots in northern style Chinese fighting arts.
And also with Hubert Laenen sensei, founder of Koryu Karate Jutsu Jissen Ryu and student of Motobu Ryu Bujutsu Moide under Shiroma Seihan sensei and Yagi Isao sensei. Hubert sensei has also very kindly invited Asato Dojo as a member of his organisation which actively researches the links between traditional fighting arts in Okinawa such as karate and Motobu Udundi and those in China and other Asian countries.
Seminars and visits to the Asato Dojo in 2018
Here is a summary of events at the Asato Dojo in the last 12 months. We have had so many guests and visitors it is hard to list everyone so please forgive the many omissions. Rest assured, you have not been forgotten!
January – Opening Day included kata demonstrations by Arakaki Toshimitsu Hanshi and Arakaki Dojo members, Yoshida Sifu, Laenen Sensei, Higa Manabu sensei and Josh Simmers sensei of Okinawa Kempo. In attendance were over 100 people including Hokama Tetsuhiro Sensei, Higa Masaharu sensei, Matsuda Hiromasa Hanshi, Gaja Takehiro Hanshi, Yagi Isao Hanshi, Akamine Hiroshi Hanshi and many other Okinawan practitioners and friends. In the following week Laenen sensei taught a series of special classes at the dojo.
February – JAL/JTA portal added Asato Dojo to its Okinawa Experiences portal offering inbound passengers on JAL/JTA an option to take a karate class at our dojo.
March – Both James Pankiewicz (Asato Dojo kancho) and Becka Tedder (Assistant Instructor) competed in the local qualifier for the 1st Okinawan Karate International Tournament.
April – 100 Kobudo Kata Challenge was undertaken by seniors and juniors at Sogenjidori Park, near the dojo. 100 repetitions of Shiromatsu-no-kun kata (bo kata) successfully completed by all.
May – Wing Chun and Eskrima classes started with Alessandro Febbo sensei. James Kancho and Becka Sensei completed the Taiwan Beast Race mountain trail run.
June – Adult and junior dojo members performed a karate and kobudo demonstration at the Peace Park in Itoman as part of the the Irei-no-Hi annual events. Yoshida Sifu taught a Praying Mantis seminar at Asato Dojo. James Kancho and Becka Sensei completed in the Ryukyukan Karate Tournament, full contact kumite.
July – Asato Dojo Fitness Club team competes in the Night Run relay race at Onoyamakoen (2 teams). Jesse Enkamp Sensei taught a seminar on Naihanchi Flow Drills at Asato Dojo.
August – 1st Okinawan Karate International Tournament held in Naha. Asato Dojo hosted several international participants for training in preparation for the tournament including Jesse Enkamp of KarateByJesse.com . Following the tournament James and Becka took several international groups on karate history tours and beach BBQ & training days.
October – Greg Linquist Tasshi of Ryu-Te taught a series of special classes at Asato Dojo showing the techniques of his late teacher Oyata Seiyu. Peter Polander, also of Ryu-te, also brought a group of students to visit the dojo and taught a guest class. We are extremely grateful to both instructors and their senior students for sharing an insight on Oyata sensei’s fighting art. Aikido classes begin at the dojo under Sylvian Darocourt Shihan. Chris Denwood Sensei taught an excellent seminar on Naihanchi kata at the dojo and introduced his new book Naihanchi Volume 2. His students attended both karate and kobudo classes at the dojo. On October 25th the Asato Dojo led an international group of 60 participants in the 100 Kata for Karate Day Challenge event at Naminoue Shrine Park and Beach. All participants completed the challenge. On the following weekend Asato Dojo seniors and juniors joined 3000+ local karateka on Kokusaidori for a karate kata demonstration event to mark Karate Day in Okinawa. James Kancho and Becka sensei completed the Ultra Maokong mountain trail race in Taipei.
November – Arakaki Kyoshi sensei of Musokai Karate taught a seminar on Naihanchi kata at Asato Dojo. Yagi Isao Hanshi of Motobu Ryu Bujutsu Moide taught a series of seminars on Motobu-ryu technique. Hubert Laenen Kyoshi also taught a number of classes on Koryu Karate Jissen ryu applications and principles. John Burke sensei, visited from the UK with his students, taught a seminar on various bunkai methods. His group also went to Toyosaki Beach to train with Toguchi Mineo Sensei, former Okinawan kumite champion and resident kumite teacher at Asato Dojo. Patrick McCarthy Hanshi of the IRKRS visited Asato Dojo and taught a seminar to an international group arranged by James Kancho at Senegajima Park. McCarthy Hanshi very kindly gifted a hand written copy of Matsumura Sokon’s Precepts on the Seven Virtues of Bu. This unique gift is mounted on the Asato Dojo wall.
December – Asato Dojo holds the first karate testing day for junior students. All those taking the test pass and progress from 10th kyu (lowest) to 5th kyu (highest). Well done to all our juniors who have progressed so well in only a matter of months. Ulf Karlsson Sensei taught a series of seminars on Kishimoto-di karate at Asato Dojo. We are extremely grateful to Karlsson Sensei for his generous teaching of a rare Okinawan fighting art school. KNX18, the international karate seminar series, came to Okinawa and Asato Dojo was very proud to be the local partner alongside JAL for this hugely popular event, created by Jesse Enkamp. KNX18 featured a prestigious line up of Okinawan instructors (Uechi Kanji sensei, Kuba Yoshio Sensei, Nakasone Koiichi sensei, Yoshida Naotsugu Sifu). Participants also took part in additional training and seminar opportunities at Asato Dojo before and after KNX. This includes a seminar on Isshinryu Karate taught by Andy Sloane Sensei, Praying Mantis king fu by Yoshida Sifu and “Toshi-Koshi-Keiko” (end of year/new year training) with James Kancho.
Article author: James Pankiewicz, founder of the Asato Dojo and The DOJO Bar in Okinawa
The Asato Dojo is only 1 year old today but we have already been recognised and awarded for our achievements by one of the leading karate practitioners and scholars in the worldwide karate community, Patrick McCarthy Hanshi, founder of the International Ryukyu Karate Research Society. We are extremely grateful to McCarthy Hanshi for his support and encouragement, and will strive to continue to deliver an excellent and progressive learning environment for our students and visitors, in the spirit of this award.
We would also like to extend our congratulations to all our fellow recipients of Honour Roll Awards this year. Many are close friends and all exemplary role models richly deserving of this recognition for their contribution to fighting arts practice and human progress.
McCarthy Hanshi wrote in his announcement of this year’s awards:
“2018 ~ The 23rd Annual IRKRS Honour Roll Award Recipients
HONOUR – INTEGRITY – TRUST – LOYALTY
Congratulations, you’ve been nominated and inducted into the 2018 23rd annual IRKRS Honour Roll.
Your wonderful contributions have not gone unnoticed and we believe that your dedication to the fighting arts, and continual efforts to study, preserve and promote its practice, history and values, has been exemplary. The journey for each of us has not been without significant discipline, sacrifice and failure, and yet it is through adversity that we truly grow both inside and out. Ralph Waldo Emerson is remember for having said, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” I like to think that much of our collective journey is about better understanding this and I’m honoured to be associated with you.
Breaking down walls that divide and building roads and bridges, the IRKRS boldly took an ambitious step in 1988 by being the first to blaze a new and unique path upon which to unite like-minded learners in pursuit of common goals, irrespective of style or political affiliation. In the years that followed we built a strong following, received widespread support, international accolades and a sterling reputation for unreservedly serving our alumni, empowering learners, celebrating personal achievement and camaraderie through this wonderful art. In 1996 we initiated the Honour Roll in an effort to recognise individuals whose exceptional dedication, commitment and contributions to the art of Karate, influence, inspire and touch the lives of so many.
It is my great privilege to announce this year’s annual IRKRS Honour Roll award recipients of which you are included:
- The Kinjo Hiroshi Humanitarian Award ~ Michelle Vanderlinden-Enfield, USA
- Lifetime Achievement Award ~ Meredith Gold, USA
- IRKRS Ambassador Award ~ Delia Piralli, Italy
- Person of the Year Award ~ Brett Hall, NZ [Posthumously]
- Dojo Award ~ Asato Dojo & James Pankiewicz, Japan
- Special Recognition ~ Miguel Da Luz, Japan
- Kurofune Award ~ Joe Swift, Japan
- Writer of the Year ~ Christian Bellina, Austria
- Instructor of the Year ~ Josh Stewart, Canada
- Yudansha of the Year ~ Manu Winter, Germany
- Mudansha of the Year ~ Kenneth Urrutia, USA
- Innovator Award ~ Adette Rice, Canada
On behalf of the IRKRS I’d like to congratulate and wish you the best of luck in your continued efforts. The fighting arts condition the body, cultivate the mind and nurture the spirit, in an effort to improve health, its holistic purpose; be better prepared to protect oneself, its defensive application; build moral character, its social aim; discover and overcome the source human weakness; its philosophical nature; and finally, to know inner-peace, its spiritual essence.
“Blessed are they who have learned to admire but not envy, to follow but not imitate, to praise but not flatter, and to lead but not manipulate”
Have a glass of awamori, hug your lovely wife, watch Bohemian Rhapsody and know that you are appreciated more than you may realise
Hanshi 9th Dan
Australian Black Belt Hall of Fame 2000
Canadian Black Belt Hall of Fame 2012″
Anyone who has visited or seen our dojo will know that on the shomen wall we have four scrolls. These ‘Makimono’ were brushed by Hokama Tetsuhiro sensei, a highly acclaimed martial artist, teacher and calligrapher in Okinawa, and gifted to the dojo when it opened. The four phrases pictured in them were selected by James Pankiewicz, Asato Dojo kancho, for their personal significance and expression of the spirit and philosophy of Okinawa and karate practice.
I’ll explain what they mean and why we chose these ones.
From left to right:
1- 命と宝 ‘Nuchi du Takara’
(Life is a Treasure)
First and foremost we must remember that life is truly precious. ‘Nuchi du takara’ is the Okinawan pronunciation of this phrase and it became a motto of peace in Okinawa following the devastation of WW2.
Karate should be about enhancing and improving life – both for the practitioner but also those around them. We are not here to hurt each other or our bodies. Notice that the character for life has been drawn with a long tail to signify a long life.
We only get one life. Live it well.
2- 究道無限 ‘Kyudo Mugen’
(The Path of Study Never Ends)
You train, you learn. You earn belts and ranks.
It’s easy to feel like you’ve ‘done it’ or you’re ‘finished’.
It is always important to remember that there is always more to learn – more depth, more styles, more arts, more everything.
There is no ‘finish’.
Training has no end.
You just have to keep an open mind, keep searching and keep studying.
3- 継続は力なり ‘Keizoku wa Chikara Nari’
(Continuous practice begets strength)
You either do karate, or you don’t. This one is here to remind us that even when you are busy, tired, stressed or whatever it may be – you need to continue training.
Your karate will not improve or even be maintained if you don’t train consistently.
Consistency is key to everything and it is a lesson we want to remember.
4- 温故知新 ‘Onko Chiishin’
(Study the past to gain new insight)
“on” is “to warm”, “ko” is “old”, “chi” is “to know” and “shin” is “new”: to warm the old and know the new (to learn new things from the old)
To study the old things and gain new knowledge or understanding. When starting something new – start by fully studying the past.
We are surrounded by experienced Sensei, resources and karate history and this scroll is here to remind us to use all that is available to us and learn from it. Its wasteful and unwise not to.
Here at Asato Dojo we feel it is very important to know how to wear your dogi correctly and part of that is tying your belt.
We know there are many ways this can be done, all with different styles and purposes.
Below is how we prefer to tie our belt and so we have created this series of images for our students to follow.
Traditional karate taught in a friendly environment by experienced instructors Becka and James. Our students learn karate skills and discipline whilst having fun and challenging themselves. Mon/Weds/Fri from 16:45, Sat from 16:00.
Located in Naha, just 15 mins drive from Camp Kinser. Near Makishi station.
Please call James on 08039081712 for more details.