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Sensei: Masters of Okinawan Karate #4 Takeshi Tamaki

The fourth episode in the crowd-funded YouTube documentary series Sensei: Masters of Okinawan Karate is now online!

Please share, like, comment, and subscribe as these factors all influence the YouTube algorithm to get it shown to more people.

This is a real team effort. Thank you to those who helped make the episode including Gary Hughes, James East, and Yuki Willson. A huge thank you to Jerry Figgiani and Sadahiro Makino for setting up the interview, and of course to Takeshi Tamaki agreeing to be interviewed and sharing his thoughts.

I made the decision that I didn’t want this video series monetized by YouTube advertising so a huge thank you to the people and organizations who have donated to help keep this project going. Tomorrow I’ll start work on the edits for the next video which will hopefully be ready at the end of June.

Main Sponsors 

Fusei Kise, Isao Kise and the OSMKKF-USA  

Jerry Figgiani – Shorin Ryu Karate Do International

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

Series Supporters 

Tim Herlihy

Robin Ross

Joshua Simmers – Okinawa Karate Podcast

Jeff Perkins – Okinawa Budo Kai

Paul Punshon  

John J. Strangeway

Gerry Campbell

K V Manoharan – India Uechi Ryu Kenyukai 

Phil Butler      

Danny Smith – Boone Trail Isshinryu/Tokushinryu Kentucky  

Justin Rathert

USO Okinawa 48th Annual Service Salute.

Thank you for having me as your photographer at the USO Okinawa 48th Annual Service Salute. The Service Salute celebrates those individuals who work as volunteers in their community from both the American and Japanese services.

Congratulations to all those who received awards.

Attendees can now download images from the event from Dropbox at the link below.

https://tinyurl.com/y4rghkxl

This service is provided by the USO Okinawa. Attendees can share the images and make prints of their favorite photos for free.

Success and Sponsorship

Now that the first three episodes of Sensei: Masters of Okinawan Karate have been published to YouTube I can happily say that the feedback I’m getting has been really positive, and its popularity on YouTube is growing with each video! The first video had 5000 views in its first month, the second video had 62,000 views in its first month, and the third video has had 86,000 views in its first two weeks!

I’m in the final stages of the edit of the fourth video with Sensei Takeshi Tamaki, and hope it will be released on May 22nd.

This endeavour is possible because of sponsorship and support by the international karate community. If you see the value of undertaking this project, please consider become a main series sponsor, series sponsor, or supporter. More details here.

Sponsors and supporters are listed in all subsequent episodes of the series. If you’d like to help, and get in touch before May 21st, I can add you to the credits for Episode 4 before the final file creation and upload.

Thank you again to all those who are helping create these videos it is a real team effort.

Jasmine and the Lilies

Lilies are flowering in Okinawa at the moment. The 24th Iejima Lily Festival took place from April 20 to May 6, but there are still plenty of lilies in bloom around where we live in Motobu. I went out with the camera to shoot some still images, and get some b-roll video for future projects.

Jasmine – Homo sapiens mischievous
Easter Lily – Lilium longiflorum

Sensei: Masters of Okinawan Karate #3 Koichi Nakasone

Koichi Nakasone Karate Master 9th-dan Ryukyu Kingdom Sui-di Bujutsu

Episode 3 of the documentary series Sensei: Masters of Okinawan Karate is now on YouTube! After a couple of months working on it, it is a great way to end the Heisei era!

A huge thank you to Koichi Nakasone for giving up his time to be interviewed and demonstrating his techniques. Thank you to James, Becka, Angelina, Yuki, Michael and Gary for help create the video. James literally got a little choked up in the making of this episode 🙂

Please share via social media to get the word out, and also thumbs up, comment and subscribe on YouTube so that it is recommended by the algorithm to more viewers.

Koichi Nakasone Karate Master 9th-dan Ryukyu Kingdom Sui-di BujutsuPhotographed on July 11th, 2017 Nakijin Village, Okinawa

This crowd-funded documentary series would not be possible without the help of the international karate community. Thank you all.

Main Sponsors:
Fusei Kise, Isao Kise and the OSMKKF-USA

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
Jerry Figgiani – Shorin Ryu Karate Do International

Series Supporters:
Tim Herlihy, Robin Ross, Joshua Simmers – Okinawa Karate Podcast, Jeff Perkins – Okinawa Budo Kai, Paul Punshon, John J. Strangeway, Gerry Campbell, K V Manoharan – India Uechi Ryu Kenyukai, Phil Butler

We’re making progress with each episode, learning new techniques, using better equipment etc. but I see so many possibilities about how to keep improving. It’s an exciting challenge.

Isao Kise 10th dan Matsumura Orthodox Shorin-Ryu Karate & Kobudo

Isao Kise 10th dan Matsumura Orthodox Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo

On Saturday we also photographed portraits of Fusei Kise’s son Isao Kise. He is now the main teacher at the dojo in Okinawa City. It is always interesting to photograph multiple generations of karateka.

Isao Kise 10th dan Matsumura Orthodox Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo
Isao Kise 10th dan Matsumura Orthodox Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo with sai
Isao Kise 10th dan Matsumura Orthodox Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo with bo
Fusei Kise 10th dan Matsumura Orthodox Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo ( 83 years old.) Standing with his son Isao Kise 10th dan Matsumura Orthodox Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo ( 61 years old.) Photographed at his dojo in Okinawa City on April 13th 2019.

All images shot with the Pentax 645Z. Black background images used a Profoto B1 monolight with a softlight reflector and the 90mm lens. The shots with the dojo in the background were taken with natural light and with a 55mm lens.

Fusei Kise 10th Dan Matsumura Orthodox Shorin-Ryu Karate & Kobudo

Fusei Kise 10th dan Matsumura Orthodox Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo

Yesterday we visited the dojo of Fusei Kise and his son Isao Kise in Okinawa City. 10th dan in Matsumura Orthodox Shorin-Ryu Karate, Fusei Kise studied under  Hohan Soken.

Located in Okinawa City not far from the Goya Intersection, Fusei Kise has taught several generations of American service members who have taken their knowledge back to the States.

Fusei Kise 10th dan Matsumura Orthodox Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo. Holding a picture of his teacher sensei Hohan Sōken.
Fusei Kise 10th dan Matsumura Orthodox Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo
Fusei Kise 10th dan Matsumura Orthodox Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo ( 83 years old.) Standing with his son Isao Kise 10th dan Matsumura Orthodox Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo ( 61 years old.) Photographed at his dojo in Okinawa City on April 13th 2019.

Fusei Kise will be 84 years old next month, so although he still trains the majority of teaching is done by his son Isao Kise who has also reached the rank of 10th dan in Matsumura Orthodox Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo.

100 Kobudo Kata Challenge 2019

On Saturday the 100 Kobudo Kata Challenge 2019 took place at Sakiyama Park, Shuri, Okinawa. Organized by James Pankiewicz the event was opened by Toshimitsu Arakaki 10th-dan Matsubayashi-ryu Karate.

100 Kobudo Kata Challenge 2019 at Sakiyama Park, Shuri, Okinawa March 31st 2019. Event opened by Toshimitsu Arakaki 10th-dan Matsubayashi-ryu Karate.

It was great to see so many young people taking part from the Asato Dojo and Okinawa Kenpo Kenyukai Dojo. The recently completely rear gate of Shuri Castle, seen in the background of the group photo, is also looking impressive.

100 Kobudo Kata Challenge 2019 at Sakiyama Park, Shuri, Okinawa March 31st 2019. Event opened by Toshimitsu Arakaki 10th-dan Matsubayashi-ryu Karate.
100 Kobudo Kata Challenge 2019 at Sakiyama Park, Shuri, Okinawa March 31st 2019. Event opened by Toshimitsu Arakaki 10th-dan Matsubayashi-ryu Karate.
100 Kobudo Kata Challenge 2019 at Sakiyama Park, Shuri, Okinawa March 31st 2019. Event opened by Toshimitsu Arakaki 10th-dan Matsubayashi-ryu Karate.
100 Kobudo Kata Challenge 2019 at Sakiyama Park, Shuri, Okinawa March 31st 2019. Event opened by Toshimitsu Arakaki 10th-dan Matsubayashi-ryu Karate.

Hisao Hamamoto, Koden HachimanRyu Jissen BattoJutsu Hamamotoden BattoKai

Hisao Hamamoto is a master of Japanese swords. At 83 he continues to teach how to use katana and wakizashi.

Hisao Hamamoto Sensei 2011

I first photographed Hamamoto sensei on October 1st 2011, before the Karate Masters Portrait Project began. The single-light beauty dish portrait I took of Hamamoto would become the lighting setup I’d then use for the entire series.

Hisao Hamamoto Sensei 2011

I met up with Hamamoto sensei today at the Budokan in Naha City, to get some video of him teaching his class. Afterwards I asked to take a few location portraits at the shrine next to the Budokan.

Hisao Hamamoto 2019
Hisao Hamamoto 2019

We then grabbed some lunch before heading over the Dojo Bar with James Pankiewicz to film a short interview with Hamamoto sensei. It won’t be part of the Sensei: Masters of Okinawan Karate series, but a bonus interview about his life and art. A real delight to meet him once again.

Thank you to Hamamoto sensei for giving up his time, to James for helping set up the shoot and letting us conduct the interview in the Dojo Bar, and to Gary for assisting as a second videographer.