October 2022 Seminars – karate and kobudo

Asato Dojo is very pleased to host two seminars by the extremely skilful and well respected Shorinryu karate and Yamaneryu kobudo instructor Nakayama Takafumi sensei, of the Fukuoka Shidokan dojo.

Bujintv – https://www.bujin.tv/profile/20

Youtube channel here – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3KWSTIjTZBsfRORIkMVE3Q

On October 29th and 31st Nakayama sensei will be teaching open seminars (no restrictions based on your karate/kobudo style) at Asato Dojo, which will also be accessible via Zoom online.

Title: Suidi Karate Seminar 

10/29 2pm-4pm JST @ Asato Dojo in Naha, Okinawa

Instructor: Nakayama Takafumi sensei, Fukuoka Shidokan

Description: Karate has evolved to include many different styles. In general, many styles emphasize strengthening the practitioner’s body and mind. These are important principles. During this seminar, I will introduce a different focus within martial arts. Particularly the importance of absorbing blows, optimal redirection using only necessary movement, and relaxing at the right time to generate natural power. I believe that relaxation of the body is necessary to generate extreme momentous power, and it is only through the relaxation that we can generate optimal force. This is the key principle of Suidi Karate; through body kinematics and correct joint movement an individual can overpower a much larger opponent. Therefore, this seminar will suit all individuals looking to optimize their body movements for powerful striking, from beginners to professionals. 

Content: In this seminar you will learn how to improve your blocking by absorption and minimal redirection, utilize your natural body movements to generate power, and refine the natural flow between defence and attack for simultaneous striking and defense. 

Objective: The aim of this seminar is to offer an alternative view of self-defense and martial arts using methods of redirection and softer blocking styles. I wish to connect with all karate practitioners and share our general enthusiasm for Karate. All Karate styles are welcome because I think it is important to challenge your way of thinking as well as learn new things. 

Cost: ¥5000 (¥4000 each for dual participation)  Payment instructions will be sent to you via email after you register to participate.

Conditions: Anyone over the age of 18 is welcome. 

Online Seminar: I will be live-streaming both seminars on 10/29 and 10/31. Since these seminars will be prioritizing in person teaching, I will be taking questions via email and Facebook Messenger. Feel free to message me anytime after the seminar and I will get back to you as soon as possible! 

Zoom Cost: ¥2000 (¥1500 for dual participation) Payment instructions will be sent to you via email after you register to participate.


Title: Yamane Kobudo Seminar 

10/31 7pm-9pm JST @ Asato Dojo in Naha, Okinawa

Instructor: Nakayama Takafumi sensei, Fukuoka Shidokan

Description: Many styles of Kobudo are practiced around the world, each with their own set of approaches. In this seminar, I will introduce Yamane-Ryu Kobudo, a style that emphasizes natural movement and shares many similarities with Suidi Karate. The key element of Yamane-Ryu is that movements are optimized by being kept compact. Similar to Karate, one only needs to move when necessary. Our style emphasizes the similarity between fighting with open hands (Karate) and fighting with weapons (Kobudo). Drawing parallels between movements. 

Content: The seminar will focus on basic movements which will get you acquainted with the weaponry and show you how to naturally manipulate the weapon. We will then cover everything from fundamental striking techniques to ways you can improve your flow of kata while keeping it true to the movement required for self-defense. 

Objective: My aim for this seminar is to introduce you to Yamane-Ryu Kobudo which aims at developing optimal self-defense practices while remaining true to the natural movement of the body. And, more importantly, to connect with people interested in this exciting art and build new relationships with those that attend. All Kobudo styles are welcome as Yamane-Ryu can be seen as a synthesis of many fundamental ideas taught in other styles, and it is important to appreciate the similarities and differences between styles. I look forward to the engagement and training! 

Cost: ¥5000 (¥4000 each for dual participation)  Payment instructions will be sent to you via email after you register to participate.

Conditions: Anyone over the age of 18 is welcome. Notice: You are welcome to BYOB (bring your own bo) but we will also have bo’s available for rental as we understand it is hard to bring a 6ft stick overseas. 

Along with that, I will be teaching this seminar strictly in English. This is mainly because I think my explanations will become slightly chaotic if I keep switching back and forth from Japanese to English. 

Online Seminar: I will be live-streaming both seminars on 10/29 and 10/31. Since these seminars will be prioritizing in person teaching, I will be taking questions via email and Facebook Messenger. Feel free to message me anytime after the seminar and I will get back to you as soon as possible! 

Zoom Cost: ¥2000 (¥1500 for dual participation) Payment instructions will be sent to you via email after you register to participate.


After Party: After each seminar (both the Suidi and Kobudo on the 29th and 31st) I would like to host a small party at the Okinawan beast himself, Mr. Mineo’s restaurant MARUGENTEI. The participation fee will be ¥3000 for 3 hours of unlimited food and drinks. I think this will be a fun way to further connect with one another and make new friends. Hope to see you there!
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/HE56mJtES8Uoz4RF8   (MARUGENTEI 丸元亭)

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.


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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!

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. 


Kids Karate – traditional Okinawan karate class in Naha. Taught in English.

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.