Ryukyu Kobudo Tesshinkan
August 24 - 26, 2001
Parksville, B.C., Canada
with special guest:
Sensei Hidemi Tamayose, Kyoshi, 8th Dan
President of the Ryukyu Kobudo Tesshinkan
Along with a large group of students of various ranks I was extremely fortunate this weekend to have had the opportunity to train in the "original weapons system of Okinawa" with one of the finest Okinawan weapons masters teaching in the world today, Sensei Hidemi Tamayose, Kyoshi, 8th Dan, President of the Ryukyu Kobudo Tesshinkan.
To give you a brief history of Okinawan kobudo, Taira Shinken (1897-1970) established the "Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinko Kai", (Ancient Weapons Promotion and Preservation Society) in 1955, and upon his death in 1970, Sensei Akamine Eisuke (1925-1999) his senior student, inherited the leadership of the organization as the second President.
In 1982 Tamayose Sensei began studying directly under Akamine Sensei at the Hozon Shinko Kai Hombu Dojo. As one of the senior students Tamayose Sensei was ranked Nana Dan, 7th Dan, by Akamine Sensei and Hatchi, 8th Dan, by the Okinawa Ken Karate Do Rengo Kai, and he served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors until the death of Akamine Sensei in 1999.
In order to perpetuate Ryu Kyu Kobudo in the manner he had been personally taught by Akamine Sensei, Tamayose Sensei formed the "Ryukyu Kobudo Tesshinkan" on May 22, 1999.
Bo basics
The three day camp began with Tamayose Sensei introducing us to ten of the basic bo techniques that a student is required to know in order to perform any Okinawan bo kata properly. After two hours of constant training every student had a new appreciation for the term - "mo ichi do" - "one more time".
A watchful eye
Throughout the weekend Tamayose Sensei made a point of visiting each student in turn correcting technique, posture, stance, etc., etc. - here on the left he offers words of encouragement to Alex Hanuse, while in the background Sensei Kieran Baldwin holds good form - on the right Ionne McCaully listens carefully as Tamayose Sensei makes a minor adjustment to the height of her bo. Through out the weeked nothing escaped his expert eye and all of his instructions were very detailed and specific, every student left the camp with a real appreciation for the skill and knowledge of this very talented, and very generous man.
Shushi No Kun Sho
Sempai Diane Holland and Sensei Kieran Baldwin are seen here at the end of the afternoon session working on the bo kata Shushi No Kun Sho. Unlike some North American versions of this kata there are no "made up" or "flashy" movements in the original version of this kata, just good basic technique, and as expected all of the strikes and blocks are both functional and effective.
Once again basics, basics, basics
First we did the ten bo basics on the right side then on the left, constant repetition was the order of the day with special emphasis focused on hand and elbow placement in both the reverse grip position as shown in the left photograph and the standard grip as demonstrated by Sensei Holland.
Sweating the small stuff
Sensei Martin Nicholson, whose dojo sponsored this seminar, made a point of spending time with all of the visiting Sensei's to be sure that the smallest detail was not overlooked. Here in the top photo he offers me some suggestions while Sensei Dan Holland patiently waits his turn. It came all to soon as the bottom photo shows, it looks like we got similar pointers.
Proper position is everything
Tamayose Sensei helped me a great deal through out the entire weekend and I am very grateful for his personal attention, here in the top photo he takes the time to make sure I am positioned correctly. In the background Sempai Wes Hunter and Sempai James Luck wait their turn - in the bottom photo it is Sensei Holland's turn - it once again looks like he and I got similar pointers.
Trying to get it right
After each session students would find space to practice what they had learnt - and I was no exception.
Meazato No Tekko
In the afternoon of the second day Tamayose Sensei leads the senior belts through the tekko kata "Meazato No Tekko" and once again "mo ichi do" became the order of the day.
Following the leader
With his years of dedicated training behind him Tamayose Sensei made every part of the kata look both powerful and smooth.
Little things make the difference
During the bo kata, Shushi No Kun Sho, Tamayose Sensei checked each student in turn, here Sensei Dan Holland gets a once over.
At the end of a very successful camp
Sensei Lindsay, Sensei Tamayose, and Sensei Nicholson
Until next year
Thank you Tamayose Sensei for your time and your knowledge.
Both are greatly appreciated.