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Thread: Visiting Okinawa

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Default Visiting Okinawa

    Good evening. I have just been notified that I am going to be allowed to observe training at the Tamonkan in Yomitansan.

    If it is not too much trouble, I would appreciate any guidance on how to maximize this experience, specific dojo cultural nuances, etc.

    I am just observing and have other dojo etiquette learning but would like to not step on any land mines.

    I am visiting Okinawa April 26 - May 1 (early morning).

    If this is in the wrong forum, apologies.

    Regards,

    Stephen Baker
    Stephen Baker

    "Never cruel nor cowardly, never give up, never give in." Doctor Who

  2. #2
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    Jun 2005
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    Naha, Okinawa
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    Default

    Perhaps you could contact Miguel Da Luz at the Okinawa Traditional Karate Liaison Bureau.

    http://okkb.org/services
    Nullius in verba

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by StephenBaker View Post
    Good evening. I have just been notified that I am going to be allowed to observe training at the Tamonkan in Yomitansan.

    If it is not too much trouble, I would appreciate any guidance on how to maximize this experience, specific dojo cultural nuances, etc.

    I am just observing and have other dojo etiquette learning but would like to not step on any land mines.

    I am visiting Okinawa April 26 - May 1 (early morning).

    If this is in the wrong forum, apologies.

    Regards,

    Stephen Baker
    I haven't been to Okinawa, so I can't give any advice.

    Post some pictures of Okinawa here dude,
    I always play chess and go during weekend, unfortunately theres no tournament in Sweden.

  4. #4
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    Nov 2008
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    First have a good trip, try to have fun and most importantly report back.
    This is from 86-87, things may have changed.
    Okinawans don't like to be called Japanese and Japanese living on Okinawa don't like to be called Okinawans. Most westerners cannot tell the difference. If you can avoid calling anyone either name that is a big win for you.
    Any effort you make to learn the spoken and even better written Japanese will be met with "Japanese is a really hard language" followed by a enthusiastic attempt to help you.
    Dojo etiquette can be a little different from dojo to dojo but any sincere effort will be appreciated.
    Bow when entering, leave shoes outside training area, bow to seniors. If you don't know the specifics of the dojo please, thank you and yes sir work pretty well.
    Any dojo that admits foreigners has probably seen a number of them over the years and is usually pretty tolerant. Although they sometimes laugh at our mistakes Okinawans a very generous and kind people.
    The one thing I would caution against is any unauthorized teaching. I remember one fellow who had some very good kicking skills. He just couldn't help himself in showing everyone else how they should stretch, kick etc. At one point our teacher told me he considered him a bad student and made a point of telling him I was more advanced. Attitude trumps ability.
    Also harsh militaristic discipline is rare in Okinawa. A more normal approach is to ignore you till you straighten up.
    Feel free to ask anything more here or in a pm.
    Respectfully,
    Len McCoy

  5. #5
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    Default Thank you much!

    Thanks much for the information. Due to a timing snag I will not be observing as I had hoped. Our communication was great but my travel mucks it all up. I will be attending my hombu so that should be quite the experience as well. I get to practice at least once. Can't wait! Thanks again!
    Stephen Baker

    "Never cruel nor cowardly, never give up, never give in." Doctor Who

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