|Miyazato Eiichi sensei - checking the form of a new student|
I'm always keen to explain to those who ask, that my standing in the Jundokan dojo in Okinawa is small: really small. Actually, other than being accepted in to the dojo by Miyazato Eiichi sensei a little over twenty years ago, I have no standing in the dojo at all. I'm just a gaigin who turns up each year, trains, and then returns home. I don't ask for promotion, nor do I seek a position of authority outside of Okinawa. To me, the Jundokan has always been a private dojo, not an international karate organization.
Over the time I have been training there, a lot of foreign visitors to the Jundokan have come and gone, many of whom have betrayed the generosity that was afforded them....how easy it was for them to take what they wanted from their association with the dojo, and then walk away from it as soon as their ambitions were no longer being met. So it's interesting, to me at least, to see that some of these people now want to return.
|With Miyazato sensei prior to my return home|
By Okinawan reckoning, December this year will see the 15th anniversary of Miyazato sensei's passing, and I'll be in Naha to take part in the activities being organized to mark the occasion. In such a large gathering I'm not sure how much personal time I'll get to remember my teacher. So this morning, on the 91st anniversary of his birth, I sat quietly for a while after training and reflected on my good fortune; I'm still learning much of what Miyazato sensei tried to teach me....