I had the pleasure of welcoming Sensei Shimabukuro 9th dan representing Europe from our Uechi-ryu Karate school within my association AKKO. The course took place on the weekend of 23/24 March 2024 at the municipal dojo of Larçay. Saturday brought together more than 40 practitioners coming from Paris, From toulouse, as well as the practitioners of various Tourangeaux clubs. The high level was there with a group composed of several 6th and 7th dan. I remember my beginnings when I trained with my friend Hervé Lesueur in the CESAM La Riche dojo with our teacher Jean Smith. Jean invited for the first time in February 1994 Sensei Shimabukuro to start learning this school. 30 years later we are all 3 again on tatami mats with our beautiful red and white belts, with a beautiful friendship.

Saturday, there were a good number of trainees practicing Shotokan, suddenly Shima, as we can call it, to demonstrate body strengthening techniques in pairs, one of the specificities of our school. In the evening we were able to share a moment of conviviality together in my personal dojo (Crane flying dojo).

The day after, we were more than twenty Uechi-ryu practitioners and a Kyokushinkai, so we have revised all the Uechi-ryu katas, then flexible techniques which correspond to the applications of the katas. Shima shared with us the benefits of practicing the techniques “dite shotokan” to be able to better adapt during grade changes for black belts.

It was a very good weekend, where we were able to see all our practice friends again : Philippe DOG, Jean SMITH, Hervé LESUEUR, David CHEREAU who structured school karate within the FFK, Jeff FOUGERET, and lots of other people I haven't seen in a while.

Karate unites……

Lazare.