Bohemia Manor High School, Chesapeake City, MD: The Order of Isshin-Ryu celebrated its 40 year anniversary during the Winter Shiai weekend. The weekend started with a seminar on “Denshi’s 20” led by Master Cooling. After the workout, we all met for dinner at the Chesapeake City VFW. Many great stories were shared with old and new members, and special guests including Masters Ralph Passero, Don Nash, and Carl Martin. The dinner was a special night with many memories and a perfect start to a great 40th anniversary weekend.
The Winter Shiai was held on Sunday with guests from Master Carl Martin’s TOKI Dojo and Sensei Alex Rodirugez’s Chinto Kan Dojo. Master Martin and Sensei Rodriquez’s dojos were well represented with their karateka. As custom the karateka were invited to participate in the games, kata, and sparring completions.
The day started with the official rei-in ceremony and kyu rank evaluations. The kyu-kata and kyu-sparring competitions were well executed from all the divisions. The brown belts participated in a team sparring competition and as usual provided many exciting moments. Sensei Cimorose led several “Sensei Says” games with the junior karateka. The youngest karateka all received medals for their participation. Each game concluded when only 1 karateka was remaining. The black belts performed hand and weapons kata as well as participated in team sparring against each other. As with the brown belts, the black belts displayed many basic and advance techniques for scoring points.
The Shiai ended with a special ceremony presented by Master Cooling. Master Cooling honored his senior black belts with presentations from his personal weapon collection in honor of their commitment to the Order of Isshin-Ryu. The finale of the weekend was the promotion of Master Isham Latimer to 9th degree black belt (kudan) and Sensei Barry Smith to 8th degree black belt (hachidan). Both men have been training, teaching, and learning martial arts continuously for over 40 years. Both men are past inductees into the Isshin-Ryu Hall of Fame.
Overall, the Winter shiai was a success and greatly enjoyed by all participants. Mark your calendars for the Summer shiai and another OI family event.