By Jenifer Tull-Gauger
Kiyan Sensei invited us to an Okinawa Kenpo exchange event. The evening continued to be full of activity. Many thanks go to Amy and David Wray for bringing us a LOT of water, and for taking photos and video to share. The Okinawa Kenpo exchange took place in a room upstairs, adjacent to a junior high school gym. It started in the evening, before the sun went down. As we trudged up the outdoor concrete staircase, I was thinking how hot and humid it was. We left our shoes in the foyer-type room. As I walked through the double-door opening, I felt like I went into a wall of even more heat and humidity. Kiyan Sensei started the Okinawa Kenpo exchange by leading a vigorous warm-up.
After the workout, the head instructors rotated around to different groups and taught various techniques, in effect creating several short workshops.
Kaicho teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-FLMMYraNw
Luckily, even though I was very sweaty and working out, again, in a hot dojo with no air conditioning, and only a few small, high windows open to a sporadic and light outdoor breeze, I did not feel or (in my opinion) look like death-warmed-over this time. For participants, the Okinawa Kenpo exchange event had a good mix. We took part in some heavy physical activity, some light-to-moderate activity, and some rest/break time.
After that training, each group demonstrated kata. A few instructors demonstrated bunkai. Kaicho demonstrated on Depue Renshi. Everyone in our group demonstrated Naihanchi Shodan to Kaicho’s count. Then Kaicho did Passai. These two katas were a highlight of our trip. You would not know how hot it was based on the videos. Or that we should have been physically exhausted at that point in our day. (Fortunately, the Wrays shared the videos. These videos appear in my grand finale blog about the end of our trip.)
The Okinawa Kenpo exchange event finished with some sparring. It was different than the light-contact and the full-contact kumite that I have been exposed to. It was in-between, but I would put it in the category of light-contact, since they did not wear headgear. At the end of the Okinawa Kenpo exchange event, we took a group photo. One of the photographers attending was from This Week on Okinawa magazine.