Born in 1927 Kiichi Nakamoto 10th-dan Goju-ryu Karate / 10th-dan Ryukyu Dento Kobujutsu is one of the elder statesmen even among the karate masters. At a young age Nakamoto Sensei studied karate under Chojun Miyagi Sensei then later under Eiichi Miyazato Sensei. Nakamoto Sensei studied kobudo under Shosei Kina Sensei, then Shinei Kyan Sensei. He now hold the rank of 10th-dan. Hopefully in the future I will be able to interview Nakamoto Sensei and receive more information about his life in martial arts.
Along with the photographs I shot for the Okinawan Martial Arts Budosai Seminar on April 29th, I also took some video of the event. I edited the footage in Final Cut Pro X and uploaded to YouTube. For those interested, I shot this with a Sony A7sII with the 16-35mm lens (at around 20mm). I manually set the exposure and the white balance. I shot with continuous auto focus. The camera was mounted on a CAME-Single 3-Axis Handheld Camera Gimbal by CAME-TV (see top image). It was a great learning experience. You have to find a balance between documenting the event fully, and not getting in the way of those attending. I didn’t want to block the view of the students or be hit with a flying foot or fist. For some techniques, it would be nice to have another camera angle to show close ups, but for this occasion a single viewpoint will have to suffice. Looking forward to shooting a lot more video this year.
Takashi Okuma, Hanshi 9th Dan Okinawa Goju-ryu Karatedo Kushinkan photographed at Naha’s Budokan on July 16th, 2014.
Toyama Zenshu was born in Awase in 1936, he used to swim in the bay as a kid, and now at age 77, his dojo looks out over the same bay. He is still very strong and demonstrated with James how easily he could throw someone to the floor and dominate an encounter. His favorite kata (set forms) are sepia, suparenpei and saifa. When asked about his favorite kotowaza (idiom / words of wisdom) he said Mikan se no kasei which refers to the imperfection of vision or the inability to see what is right in front of you, like your eyelashes. Fearsome and powerful, but also a lovely friendly grandfather. Toyama-san gave James advice on how to dislocate a man’s jaw. He gave me a can of coffee and a hug.
Another set of images for the Karate Masters Portrait Project. Masaji Taira is 8th dan in Gojoryu karate . You can read more about him on Wikipedia. Here you can see the result of years of conditioning the knuckles by striking hard objects with bare fists.