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Seattle Seminar 2012 with Kenji Ushiro

On August 25th and 26th of 2012, 43 people gathered for a fascinating weekend of karate training and self exploration under the guidance of Ushiro Kenji Shihan, 8th Dan Hanshi in Shindoryu Karate. This, the second annual seminar with Ushiro Sensei in Seattle, was held at the Advantage Basketball gymnasium on the idyllic Bastyr University campus.The near-perfect weather combined with Sensei's inspiring and generous instruction kept the mood light hearted and enthusiastic. Everyone pulled together to experience and explore Sensei's teachings.

St. Edward State Park in Kenmore, Washington

The participants included a number of Sensei's students from the United States, Canada and five senior black belts from his dojos in Japan. About half of those attending had been to at least one of Sensei's events in New York or Seattle. People came to this event from a wide variety of martial arts and life backgrounds. Some were senior instructors with decades of martials arts experience looking for a different way forward. Others were non-martial artists focused and interested in exploring something about their inner potential as human beings. Some were just curious to see what Ushiro Sensei was all about. There was something in this seminar for everyone.

Sanchin kata was performed in unison

Sanchin kata was performed in unison

Sensei's focus throughout the weekend was the inner workings of Sanchin and Naifanchin Kata and bunkai application. He emonstrated and helped us experience the power of neutralization in many parts of each kata. Sensei also shared with us his truly unique perspective on Zanshin, which left us searching to explore the depth and scope of this concept, beyond what we previously thought it to be. Sensei only comes to Seattle once a year, so he wanted to be sure to impart a solid foundation in the depth and range of these kata so we can develop ourselves going forward. Everyone came away with a tremendous amount of new material and ideas to explore and digest over the coming year.

Naifanchin kata was perfoemrd by kenji Ushiro

The training continued at the Saturday evening party at Josh and Gina Drachman's house, where Sensei gave a number of informal lessons to those sufficiently brave and possibly drunk enough to engage with him. The party was scheduled from 7-10 pm but did not wind down until after 12:30 a.m. A very good time was had by all. Yuyama Sota San did a masterful job of managing the difficult task of simultaneous translation for Ushiro Sensei thoughout the weekend. He gave confident, well-timed and accurate renderings of Sensei's instruction which made it possible for everyone to stay connected and tuned into Sensei throughout the event. It was gratifying to see participants eager for more training beyond self study. This has led to significant study groups starting up in New York, Vancouver and Seattle. Regular training in these groups will help participants consolidate their understanding of what Sensei covered and enable them to get to the next level. A core group is growing and has high hopes of significant improvement and change in time for Sensei's next visit to New York on April 20-21, 2013 and Seattle on September 14-15, 2013.


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