2022 Kodomo Shinnen Taikai Results

Congratulations and Well Done to you all! “omedetto gozaimasu, yoku dekimashita!”

The 2022 Asato Dojo Kodomo Tachi no Shinen Taikai is complete and we want to congratulate every single participant for contributing. We had over 70 entries from Japan, the USA, Ireland, the UK, Poland, Australia and Germany across all categories and your energy and skills were very impressive. We finally selected 1st, 2nd and 3rd place performances in each category and also singled out an additional few for recognition as Sensei Special Choices.
The Video Highlights are below featuring every single entry.

2022 Results
1: 7 years and under (All Grades)

1st- Hesandu Hiruneth Senanayake (Shorin-Ryu Kyudokan Higa-te, Australia)
2nd-Honoka Taira (Asato Dojo, Okinawa)
3rd-Kaneru Nadoyama (Asato Dojo, Okinawa)
2: 8 years – 11 years (unranked plus 10th kyu -4th kyu)
1st-Souichiro Shimoji (Asato Dojo, Okinawa)
2nd-Dorota Badzio (Puławska Akademia Karate Tradycyjnego, Polska)
3rd-Kai Miyazato (Asato Dojo, Okinawa)
3: 8-11 years (3rd kyu – 1st kyu)
1st-Roxy Brett (Uechi Ryu Kenyukai Coolum Beach, Australia)
1st-Tom Smithson (Cummings Karate Dojo, Australia)
2nd-Manelisi Sibanda (Shorin Martial Arts Bristol, United Kingdom)
3rd-Jaden Catbagan (Cummings Karate Dojo, Australia)
4: 12-16 years (unranked plus 10th – 4th kyu)
1st-Marcus Castasus (Shorin Martial Arts Bristol, United Kingdom)
2nd-Andrea Castasus (Shorin Martial Arts Bristol, United Kingdom)
3rd-Noah Tovey (Shorin Martial Arts Bristol, United Kingdom)
5: 12-16 years (3rd kyu – 1st kyu)
1st-Isabella Gagliardi (Cummings Karate Dojo, Australia)
2nd-Owen Patten (White Tiger Martial Arts, Ireland)
3rd-Naouras Alrazouk (Viersen Germany)
6: All Ages Shodan/ shodan ho and above
1st-Genki Umezawa (Myobukan Yomitan, Okinawa)
2nd-Taisei Kobashigawa (Myobukan Yomitan, Okinawa)
3rd-Connor O’Brien (Kensho Karate, United States of America)
Special Sensei Choice Awards:
We have selected three children who we felt deserved a special mention for showing us they are really embracing the values of Okinawan Karate,
1-Jake Duffy Saive (White Tiger, Ireland)継続は力なり ‘Keizoku wa Chikara Nari’ – Continuous practice begets strength
2-Timothy Font II (Franz Karate, USA)温故知新 ‘Onko Chiishin’ – Study the past to gain new insight
3-William Whitfield (Kodokan Eastbourne Karate Dojo, England)究道無限 ‘Kyudo Mugen’ – The path of study never ends

We will be sending links to participation certificates by email to everyone who entered in the next few days so please check your inboxes. In addition we will be posting printed and signed paper certificates to all 1st,2nd & 3rd place winners. These may take a week or two to arrive so please be patient for those.

As always in competitions it is hard to pick the best amongst many very good entries. Arakaki Sensei set the following standards in place for assessing the level of each kata performance. These are based on the way kata performance is traditionally assessed here in Okinawa and therefore may vary from other competition rules and guidelines, but we hope you find this helpful in improving your kata performance in the future.


  1. “Shisei”/ Posture, Stance – execution of correct stances and body posture including good weight distribution and transitions
  2. “Irioku”/ Power – generation of power and application of power in the correct positions in the kata (i.e. use of “kyojyaku” or power and softness, together during the kata)
  3. “Metsuke”/ Eyeline – correct position and direction of gaze, (i.e. usually not looking down when moving forward, etc)
  4. Rhythm – delivering the kata movements with a suitable rhythm to the nature of the kata and the sequences of techniques within it. Rhythm should be used to express an understanding of the dynamics and applications of the kata sequences.
  5. “Waza” / Techniques – Demonstration of clear techniques within the kata (i.e. strikes executed as strikes (hard), uke executed as if receiving (soft), gripping techniques, etc.

Finally, let’s remember that while we want to excel in our competitive karate performance, it’s also just as important to enjoy our karate practice and keep striving to be just a little better everyday.

“Keisoku wa chikara nari” – consistent practice is the secret to empowerment!


2022 Kids Shinnen Taikai (New Year online competition)

To encourage friendship and motivation in karate training for kids all around the world, we are proud to present the 2nd Online Kodomotachi Shinnen Taikai.

(After the success of last year’s event we have decided to host it again this year) 

With Coronavirus continuing to cause a problem around the world and disrupting plans we are pleased that we can host this event. This year we are expanding the competition to include three main Okinawan Karate styles: Shorinryu, Gojuryu and Uechiryu. All juniors up to the age of 16 are welcome to participate. 

This is a Kata competition that will be judged by Okinawan Sensei from each style. You do not have to belong to an Okinawan karate organisation to take part, but you must choose a style of kata to submit.

You must make and submit a video of your chosen kata with the video recorded from the front and keeping the participant in shot for the duration. 

Please start your video by stating your name, age, ryuha and country. 

Please submit videos via a downloadable link, such as Youtube, Dropbox, Wetransfer etc. 

Applications may be made between 3rd JANUARY to 31st JANUARY 2022. 

Participation fee is 2000 yen per entry. First, Second and Third place winners will receive a Winners Certificate direct from Okinawa.

Every Participant will receive a downloadable participation certificate and will be included in our results video.

Check out last year’s Highlights Video here: 

Please record your video and upload to your choice of sharing platform (Youtube, etc).
Don’t forget to make your participation payment to: 


To register your participation, please fill out the entry form via the link below. The form can be submitted in advance of your video submission. So please register as early as you can to secure your place in the event. When your kata video is ready you can revisit your form to complete the submission.


2021 100 Kata for Karate Day in Okinawa

2021 100 Kata for Karate Day Challenge in Okinawa

Asato Dojo members and friends in Okinawa – let’s take the 100 Kata Challenge one more time!

The 100 Kata Challenge is a celebration of our passion for martial arts and our connection with Okinawa, the birthplace of karate. Every year more and more people around the world take up the challenge and join our worldwide community of karate and kobudo fans. The rules of the event are simple. Participants are free to choose a preferred kata, and progress at their own pace. Participation is open to all ages and levels. Even if you are not sure you can complete 100 repetitions we warmly encourage you to take on the next challenge event and do your best. The only way you can fail is by not taking part! As always we invite everyone to take part.
This year we will hold the event at the Peace Memorial Park in Itoman.
Start time is 11 AM. Please arrive by 10:30 AM. We will stay in the park for a picnic lunch after the event so please bring your lunchbox with you and plenty to drink.
Please wear your karate dogi. Photography is allowed.

Local contact: james@challengeokinawa.com

Facebook event link here – we will livestream some of the event on FB

100カタチャレンジは、武道への情熱と空手の発祥の地である沖縄とのつながりを祝うイベントです。毎年、世界中でますます多くの人々が挑戦し、空手と古武道のファンの世界的なコミュニティに参加しています。イベントのルールはシンプルです。参加者は自由に好きな型を選び、自分のペースで進むことができます。参加はすべての年齢とレベルに開かれています。 100回の繰り返しを完了できるかどうかわからない場合でも、次のチャレンジイベントに参加して、最善を尽くすことを強くお勧めします。あなたが失敗することができる唯一の方法は、参加しないことです!いつものように、私たちは皆に参加することを勧めます。

お問い合わせ: james@challengeokinawa.com


Join BujinTV for FREE!

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!

Seishin Okinawa Edition Dogi – on sale now at Asato Dojo

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).

Asato Dojo celebrates first anniversary and remembers the highlights of 2018

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

Asato Dojo receives prestigious “Dojo of the Year 2018” Award

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


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

Warm regards

Patrick McCarthy
マカシー パトリック
Hanshi 9th Dan
Australian Black Belt Hall of Fame 2000
Canadian Black Belt Hall of Fame 2012″

Shomen Scrolls at Asato Dojo

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.

How To Tie Your Belt

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. 


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