Dell Hamby is the 77th Karate Master to be photographed for the Karate Masters Portrait Project. He is 6th dan Uechi-ryu Karate and 6th dan Ryukyu Kobudo Shimbukan. Originally from Switzerland, he now lives, teaches and trains in Okinawa. He studies Uechi-ryu under Yoshitsune Senaga (who we will be photographing in the coming weeks) and Ryukyu Kobudo under Hiroshi Akamine. He was one of four masters who took part in the Okinawa World Tournament Promotion Tour earlier in the year, and is one of the kobudo judges when the tournament is held next week. It was a pleasure to photograph Dell, a real gentleman and a great ambassador for Okinawan karate. The project has been on hold for the past year as we welcomed Jasmine to our family, but as things settle down we’ve been able to start things up again. My goal is to release the second volume in the series in time for the Tokyo Olympics in the summer of 2020. All images taken with the Pentax 645Z and the 90mm lens. Lighting from …
Yukio Kuniyoshi, the latest subject in the Karate Masters Portrait Project. A master of kobudo he is highly proficient in a wide range of traditional weapons. The following shot really shows the advantage of using a powerful studio flash with a rapid flash duration for this project. The Profoto 7a gives me a flash duration of up to 1/12,000 second. This allows me to stop the suruchin ball and chain as it whizzes around Kuniyoshi sensei’s body.
Kiyoshi Yogi is a master of Uechiryu Karate & Ryukyu Kobudou. He was the sai world champion, the bou world champion, and the first Okinawa traditional karatedo world champion. Yogi sensei was the 17th master to be photographed as part of the Karate Masters Portrait Project. We stared on March 11th 2012 so we’ve being underway for a year. Over the past 12 months it has become clear just how important the project is. There has been praise and encouragement from all over the world, although the best feedback is usually the beaming smiles from the masters as we hand over the prints for their dojos. Hopefully over the next year we’ll photograph even more of these Okinawan icons. I’ll continue to take the portraits, James will continue to organize the shoots, and the karate masters will continue to share their knowledge with the world.
Yuukou Tomimoto, a Ryukyu kobudou master who studies a rare type of bo (staff) fighting that was passed down from the royal court of the Ryukyu Kingdom.