Jyoshinmon New Zealand team accompanied by Shihan David Bennett and Sensei Beaty Bennett, attended the 48th Anniversary commemorating First Soke Hoshu Ikeda, and participated in the Ikeda Memorial Cup and the 40th Women's Training Tournament in Tokyo, Japan:
Sensei Chris Bennett
Sensei Darren Blomfield
[Photo above] Our team also got to train with Soo Shihan Ai Ikeda and her mother Shihan Mikiko at a couple of dojos. The last time they were able to train with Soo Shihan was in 2015 when she visited Jyoshinmon New Zealand with her husband Shihan Jun and her daughter Senpai Aiyumi, who has blossomed into a fine young lady since then.
[Photo above] Sian, Yasmin and Sevita practising Enpi Happo for the demonstration during the Ikeda Memorial Cup. They were very honoured to be invited to take part in this kata which is performed by females only and wear the hakama (black trousers) that had been leant to them. Sian was particulary honoured to wear Soo Shihan's hakama!
Here are our team's tournament results:
* Congratulations to Sensei Chris who was awarded the Most Valuable Player trophy for achieving a medal placing in all 3 categories - Kata, Kumite and Shiwari (board-breaking).
The final dinner commemorated Soke Hoshu Ikeda, who passed away in 2016. Soke Ikeda created the style of Jyoshinmon Shorin-Ryu in 1969 and is based heavily on the teachings of one of the old master, Kyan Chotoku.
Soke Hoshu Ikeda formally transitioned leadership of International Jyoshinmon Shorin-Ryu Karate-Do in 2012 to his daughter, Ai Ikeda, bestowing on her the title Soo Shihan (Grandmaster). In a male dominated art & sport, as well as the male dominated society in Japan, this is a very rare occurance and shows just how special Soo Shihan Ai Ikeda is.
She has followed her father through the martial arts and alternates her time between teaching and studying. This includes regular visits to Okinawa for both Karate and Seitai.
[Photo of Soo Shihan Ai Ikeda at the 45th Anniversary Festival in 2014]
We hope Soo Shihan and a delegation of Jyoshinmon Japan will be able to visit us here in Auckland mid next year, so we can reciprocate their kind and gracious hospitality. Thank you for an amazing trip!
Photo gallery on Jyoshinmon New Zealand Facebook page.