O'Sensei was in great health and our training went well. Our training sessions ran 2 to 3 hours long with one of them on Kanna Beach. Along with my students my son Steven participated in all of the training except weapons. I was very pleased that O'Sensei was happy with my student's performance and abilities. I couldn't have been prouder when after a few sessions O'Sensei showed a special interest in my son.
Our site seeing was directed by my mother-in-law Lois and took us to Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, Shuri-jo Castle, Nakijin-jo Castle Ruins, Zakimi-jo Castle Ruins, Ryukyu Mura, Okinawa World, Karate Museum, Manzamo and Peace Memorial Park. Peace Memorial Park is set up on the site where the WWII Battle of Okinawa ended. It commemorates all the lives lost during the battle. Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium has the biggest tank and a great assortment of fish. One tank has three whale sharks (largest shark in captivity), manta rays, yellow-fin tunas and bonito. Peace Memorial Park and Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium are must-sees for anyone traveling to Okinawa.
My favorite part of the trip was watching O'Sensei interact with Steven. As he did with me, O'Sensei left a life long impression on Steven (incredible at the age of 11). It was great to see my daughter Samantha playing with two of O'Sensei's grand daughters even though they didn't understand each other. It was also great having my wife Karen there to share the experience. I am thankful for the site seeing planning effort by Lois. Finally I am very proud of Tony Kerz, Jeffrey Andersen and Karen Hobbes for working hard and earning their black belts from O'Sensei, in Okinawa, the birthplace of karate.
Click here to read Tony's thoughts on the trip.
It is a trip all serious Shorin Ryu karate-ka must experience!