It was all themed “Bunkai” for the 2018 IKKU Summer Camp entitled “Camp Bunkai”. There was also plenty of time indulging in other aspects, like learning 2 new Empty Hand Kata which was taught during the course of camp. While the focus of the camp was Kotosu-Ha Shito-Ryu Karate, both Kobudo and Katana were also practiced during the week. As usual, the IKKU makes sure every participant has plenty to work on during camp.
No Camp Bunkai would be complete without digging into the Pinan Series of Kata. These gems provide ample basic building blocks for bunkai to expand well into the higher dan ranks. After exploring these kata bunkai series and integrating Katsu-Ryu Kempo into some of the Bunkai it was time to move on to some other technique.
The First Kata taught during Camp to the Group was Nipaipo. This kata has been taught many years ago but for most newcomers, it would be a first attempt at getting both the new forms. Nipaipo translates to Twin Dragon Fist because of the persistent morote fist and forearm block and torquing sequences. The performer will torque his or her own legs from back stance to front stance as the arms torque in a simultaneous fashion. There is plenty of two arm blocking techniques to satisfy anyone’s hunger.
The second kata offered up to the group was Jiyu. Jiyu translates as Freedom. Soke Ruiz received this kata from Arihara Sensei and from the start it was evident that particular kata has a heavy Katsu-Ryu Animal feel to it. Slowly as Hanshi Downton performed the kata in front of the group did the onlookers call our the name of each animal form as it was noticed. It seems to be an interesting blend of Karate and Katsu-Ryu Kempo both incorporated in one kata.
For those that didn’t have extensive knowledge and exposure to Kotosu-Ha Shito-Ryu, the camp offered more than enough to satisfy your hunger for new knowledge. For those that had previous experience, there was still plenty of new ideas and knowledge about this little-known art shared by Soke Ruiz. Hanshi Ron Downton also played a big part during the week as he freely shared knowledge that he has accumulated over the years. Since Kotosu-Ha Shito-Ryu is not something that you can simply walk into a dojo and register for, it made this camp the rarest of opportunities to learn an art that is not like any other.
As the week comes to a close, Saturday night is utilized as a way to unwind from the week as we get together, break bread and celebrate those that proved to be exceptional during the course of the week. We honor those that go above and beyond at our inspiring banquet dinner and awards ceremony. So many come to camp to learn each year that we have to stop and recognize those that come to teach and share.
Congratulations are due to all the award winners and those that received special recognition during the week. Camp Awards, as usual, are voted on by Kuro Obis of the IKKU, with 5 Categories of Awards being given out during the annual Saturday night banquet dinner. And finally but not least we need to recognize Kyoshi-Sei Larry Griffin, the IKKU Camp Director, for pulling off yet another excellent camp for our enjoyment. Kyoshi-Sei Griffin does an exceptional job of coordinating all the details of camp while still providing excellent knowledge on the training floor each year. We would be lost without Kyoshi-Sei’s leadership and involvement.
2018 Camp Awards:
Renshi Shihan Barbara Hughes – KYOSHI AWARD – Most Outstanding Renshi
Sensei Scotty Kight – JACK JACKSON AWARD – Most Outstanding Yudansha
Ana Covington – BRUCE WURTZ AWARD – Most Outstanding Kyu
Shihan Dai Mike Downton – SOKE AWARD – Most Outstanding Karateka
Kyoshi Steve Pruett – HANSHI AWARD – Most Outstanding Kobudo
We’ll have to wait another year for this annual exchange of traditional knowledge and camaraderie to occur again with this type of magnitude. But in the meantime, we have plenty of new Bunkai and Kata to work to fill our spare time. We also have several remaining opportunities to get together for the remainder of 2018 so please be sure to check our Events Page for the latest information on upcoming opportunities to train together.
Until our paths cross again, OSU!
Additional IKKU Information:
For information about joining the IKKU – International Karate Kobudo Union then please visit our IKKU Registration Page. We welcome new members to our organization and have 6-10 scheduled events each year. This will allow you direct access to Soke Joseph Ruiz, founder of the IKKU and other High Dan Instructors from the IKKU.
For a full listing of upcoming scheduled sessions please visit our Events Page. Here we showcase our upcoming Clinics, Camps and other opportunities for engagement with the IKKU.