Our previous Cultural Exchange Group visited Japan from 3 to 13 October 2014. Group members had been preparing for many months for this event which saw several of them perform their grading test in front of a senior Japanese grading panel that included Saiko Shihan Goshi Yamaguchi & Peter Brandon Hanshi.
In what has become a rich tradition between Gojukai SA and JKGA (Japan Karatedo Gojukai Association) our karate families spent time together to learn from each other and to exchange customs and enrich friendships. The jam-packed itinerary included a great deal of training at the IKGA (International Karatedo Gojukai Association) Hombu Dojo and a special invitation to Masatoshi Yamaguchi Shihan’s dojo. Site-seeing around Tokyo and Asakusa, visits to Shinto temples in Kamakura, Zazen training and lunch with Shinto monks and a trip to the Imperial Palace were just some of the other activities that kept the group busy before they completed their special trip and returned with a lifetime of memories and strengthened Goju spirit.
Peter Brandon Hanshi & Frank Brandon Shihan met with this group in Japan after the Shihan’s Seminar. To view members of the delegation, click here. We congratulate them all on their achievements during trip and look forward to hearing about their wonderful experiences.
Before Japan I look back and see how different my life was, I could see that I was playing a character and not being who I was but now I’m just natural and not having to pretend to be someone, and I can have fun with it.
The main reason I wanted to go to Japan was to have the experience of living the life of a real karate student, I wanted to be able to see and feel what it was like for them as a student.
I enjoyed how relaxed and how quiet the Japanese where and I enjoyed the way they did things, and that is most probably one of the big things that changed how I see the world now from before I went. My favorite part of Japan will still have to have been the training with the monks, to me that was a life changing event and probably the biggest part for me, it was a fun way to see how a different culture does things and spends their day and how they train. It was also very nice to see the proper way to meditate and not to have the one in mind that we see on TV. The training that we did with Saiko Shihan Goshi Yamaguchi was some of the most amazing training sessions that I have ever had and are probably going to be the most amazing that I will have in a long time.
Dylan de Kock