On October 13th and 14th of 2018, the Intermountain dojos were honored to host three practices led by godan Kei Teramoto in Salt Lake City, Utah. It should not come as any surprise that the practices consisted of kihon, kata, and kumite, with appropriate corrections being made. Kei also took time to share his thoughts on some of the foundational building blocks of irimi by having us work on Ten no Mon, continuous attacks, and other drills. At all practices, Kei took time to work with, instruct, and encourage people at all levels. He seemed to give each person just what they needed based on their experience level, and it was greatly appreciated by all who attended.
It is our sincere hope that Kei knows how grateful we are that he came and shared his time and insights with our group. It’s truly remarkable to be able to practice and spend time with a fellow karateka who has spent 50-plus years practicing the art and has a close personal relationship with Ohshima Sensei. The weekend was a remarkable gift and we are very thankful for the experience.
On Saturday evening, we enjoyed our customary group dinner at the home of Alun Thomas and his lovely wife Jathine. Each year, Alun and Jathine graciously open their home to the group, providing a comfortable and intimate atmosphere for members to interact, tell stories, and enjoy a good meal. And for those who imbibe, Alun’s handcrafted microbrews and ciders are always a welcome treat. On behalf of the group, I extend our heartfelt appreciation to Alun and Jathine.
As I write these quick notes on the recent weekend of practice shared, I am filled with a deep sense of humility and gratitude. The Intermountain sub-region consists of dojos in Idaho, Utah, and western Colorado, and was formally organized in 2011. At Special Training and other events, I often hear people refer to us as “remote dojos.” I’m asked how we can “do it” being so far from the “mainstream” of SKA (on either the East or West Coast of the US). The answer is simple. We attend Special Trainings and do our best to surround ourselves with seniors when we are able. While these dojos are separated by hundreds of miles, we share a bond and kindred spirit that goes well beyond the formation of the Intermountain sub-region. Shotokan-Ohshima has been practiced in our region for over 50 years. Our members share a very rich history and have included notable practitioners such as the House brothers. Sensei was very much involved in our formative years, making many trips to Boise and Salt Lake City to personally nurture our development.
In addition to Ohshima Sensei, the Intermountain dojos have been honored with senior visits from Jim Sagawa, Ron Thom, Norman Welch, Caylor Adkins, George Gamble, Don DePree, Frank Lee, Paul Morgan, Marty Cullenward, Lee Muhl, Tom Muzila, Randy McClure, Yoram Cohen, Hiroko Mori and Bruce Kanegai (if I’ve missed anyone, my apologies!). Some of these seniors have been kind enough to visit multiple times over the years. We watch, listen, learn and practice. I’m continually amazed at how hard my seniors work and how freely they give of themselves when they visit. They are all remarkable people and we are indebted to them.
Once again, a big THANK YOU to Kei for taking the time to come share his valuable time with our group!
— Rick Dulaney, yodan, Grand Junction dojo
— Photos: Annie Cleverly