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Japan 2010


When I travelled to Japan last fall, it was my third trip there and my first time back since 2004. Things in my life have changed since then. I now have a beautiful daughter. I’m out of my 20s and in my early 30s, and lots of training has left me with some wear and tear. I was looking forward to heading back to Japan to see old friends and train hard.

Matt with Okashita-Sensei and some of his students

October 2010 also marked the 10th year of my first encounter with Sakamoto-Sensei, when he came to Toronto to put on a demonstration. I was 23 then and his performance left a strong impression, ultimately convincing me that I had to study under him. But I didn’t imagine then that one day I would be staying at his home in Japan and learning his concepts and approach to technique.

My first few days (Oct. 15 to 20) where spent with Okashita-Sensei, north of Tokyo. We trained every day, doing ichizen (stretching and ki warm-up exercises), ritsuzen (standing Zen), Sanchin kata, Nihanchi kata and basics in the mornings. In the afternoons or evenings, we would go over other kata, bunkai and exchange ideas on technique and applications.

He also showed me his ideas on shimegoshi hip action. I attended his classes going in Kasukabe and Tsukuba. It was nice to see and train with his students again. Some of his students where children when I was there in 2004, and now they are grown up and black belts.


Sakamoto-Sensei instructs Matt on transfer of power.




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