Hatsuko Machida 町田 初子 is ranked 6th dan in Uechi-ryu karate 上地流 空手. She teaches at the Ageda Women’s Dojo which is unique in Okinawa for offering women only karate classes. She explained that many of her students had not been allowed to study karate when they were young so now embrace the opportunity to do so. Many of the ladies are over 50 with the oldest still training at 78.
Machida-san was a student of Takamiyagi Shigeru (1935-2014) who encouraged her to set up her own dojo and help spread karate to more women.
Machida sensei’s class also uses the nigiri gamae (握りえ構え) ceramic jars that strengthen their grip and forearms.
After shooting in the dojo we took a short walk to the local park to get a shot of Machida sensei training outside.
All images shot with the Pentax 645Z with the 90mm lens (indoors) and the 25mm lens (outdoors). Lighting with the Profoto D2 (indoors) and Profoto B1 (outdoors) with a Softlight Reflector.