Japan, Karate, Karate Masters Portrait Project, Okinawa, Sensei: Masters of Okinawan Karate, Video
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Cezar Borkowski – Okinawa Karate & Ryukyu Kobudo

A new episode in the Sensei: Masters of Okinawan Karate series is now online! Cezar Borkowski  sensei talks about Okinawan karate, Ryukyu kobudo, and his life studying the martial arts.

Cezar Borkowski photographed November 12th 2019, Naha City, Okinawa, Japan. Chris Willson Photography

Cezar Borkowski has been influential in promoting Okinawan martial arts in North America, acting as a vital bridge between the island’s sensei and Canadian dojos.  

Cezar Borkowski photographed November 12th 2019, Naha City, Okinawa, Japan. Chris Willson Photography
Cezar Borkowski photographed November 12th 2019, Naha City, Okinawa, Japan. Chris Willson Photography

A huge thank you to all the sponsors and supporters of the video series.

Main Sponsors: 

Fusei Kise, Isao Kise and the OSMKKF-USA 

Jerry Figgiani – Shorin Ryu Karate Do International 

Beikoku Shidokan Karatedo Association

Grant Campbell – USA Karate Federation

Series Sponsors:

Cezar Borkowski – Northern Karate Schools

Marguerite “Peggy” Hess – Jensen Beach Uechi Ryu Karate Do Dojo

Reece Cummings – Cummings Karate Dojo

Michael Quinn – Okinawa Shogen-Ryu Karate-Do Europe

Martin Pinto – Essex Goju Ryu Karate

Mark Spear – Black Bear Dojo

Series Supporters:

Tim Herlihy

Robin Ross

Joshua Simmers 

Jeff Perkins

Paul Punshon  

John J. Strangeway

Gerry Campbell

Shelley Cormier

K V Manoharan 

Phil Butler      

Danny Smith   

Justin Rathert

Adam Carter 

Mike Powers

Miguel Da Luz 

Robert Roberto Curtis

Josh Ryer

Belgi Serin

Igor Vakos

Lisken Dus

Andrew Pearce

Christopher Ford

Cos Vona

Steve Ouslis

Sandro Simonetta

Axel Heinrich

Jiří Matouš

Click this link to learn more and help:


Another International Episode is coming in the next few days, and we are getting closer to completion of Episodes 7 and 8 with Iha sensei and Sakumoto sensei.

We’ll be shooting Episode 9 on January 2nd, and a special project on January 3rd, then we’ve got several exciting option for episodes 10, 11 and 12.

Why are the episodes with the Okinawan masters taking longer to release?

Short answer: subtitles. Long answer: all the video footage first needs to be transcribed which if they are talking standard Japanese is slow if they mix in the Okinawa language is even slower. The Japanese / Okinawan can then be translated. This is a laborious processes, but is further complicated by using terminology in both Japanese and Okinawan specific to martial arts. Once the initial translation is completed each sentence or fraction of a sentence needs to be inserted as a subtitle that can be read by the viewer, and still get across the meaning of what is being said. This is where the next challenge lies, over simplify or get the meaning wrong, and we are attributing incorrect statements to the karate master. If they were talking about their favorite food, it wouldn’t be an issue, but if they are giving the heartfelt thoughts on reasons for karate, or life itself, we need to do our best to get it right. Which means the subtitles are checked, edited, checked and reedited. The popularity of the series, and the fact that the subtitles are being read by thousands of that sensei’s students, is even more pressure. The first video with Arakaki sensei was only 8 minutes long. This was the original plan, and deemed feasible. Recent interviews with Chinen sensei, Iha sensei, and Sakumoto sensei have been between 30 minutes and an hour in length vastly increasing the amount of work.

1 Comment

  1. I like that you featured someone who unites people in practicing the discipline of Kobudo. My son would love it if he can watch senseis like this in the flesh. If only a martial arts dojo is nearby we will surely sign up.

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