Sensei Fisher, who was one of few foreigners ever to complete the JKA Instructor Training program, would be one of the talented group that would include many of the top Shotokan teachers in the world - a group that would include myself, Sensei Kensuke Seto, James Field, Steve Ubl
, Richard Amos and others . I had not seen Malcolm in over 20 years.
I had not seen Sensei
in more than ten years, and Steve Ubl
had not seen him for about thirty years.
...Steve Ubl was the final teacher on Friday.Steve
is really unique and has really made karate his
was the first resident ( and the only resident at that time ) at the Hoitsugan Dojo, and a personal student of Nakayama Sensei
relatively short stay in Japan, Nakayama Sensei
taught him alone, and shared some unique aspects of karate with Steve
is exceptionally strong and knowledgeable about kata bunkai, real budo.More importantly, he
is such a humble guy and a great friend.
That evening we all met for dinner at the San Pedro Brewing Company
in the old part of historic San Pedro.
Malcolm and Steve
split the next sessions.
Malcolm taught "The Riddle of Heian Shodan,"enlightening us with some unique perspectives on Heian Shodan, the kata that Nakayama Sensei
often said must be mastered deeply to truly understand Shotokan, while Steve
presented "Fundamentals" in his unique way, often demonstrating the powerful nature of application of the techniques.
In addition, Field Sensei returned with more kumite combinations, Steve
continued with more advanced kata application, and I introduced a variety of soft blocking techniques and "Sasoi-waza," inviting an opponent to attack and seizing the initiative.
The day continued with the likes of Malcolm Fisher, James Yabe, Steve Ubl