Monday, September 27, 2010

"Dreams Come True" A Shiramizu Celebration: 12th September

Peter here;

Sunday, September 12th was a celebration party in honour of everyone from Shiramizu who competed in tournaments in August who earned medals. The main guest of honour was Rie Hirai, for her outstanding achievements at the Wado World Cup, by winning the individual
-55kg women's kumite gold medal & the Women's Team Kumite gold medal.

Held at the Sanko Salon Banquet Hall in Kuki City, about 20 minutes by car from the dojo, this was a collar and tie event (a fact I only learned as I was getting into the car to go to the venue in my jeans and short-sleeved shirt; prompting a pretty sprightly change into a suit), and I saw most of the Shiramizu family looking very dapper in their suits and dresses.

Richard had prepared and edited footage from the different tournaments to play in the background while toasts and presentations were made. Several guest sensei were present, including Fujimoto Sensei and the instructors of the highschool karate club who gave a speech of congratulation.

We were also treated to the award-winning Kata from Tsubasa (Kushanku), Takoba (Kururunfa) and Masatoshi (Wanshu).

The food was wonderful (with some of the junior high school students breaking the record for repeat visits to the buffet table), and the meal was accompanied by alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. I was sat next to Uchida-san and Mori-San, so the conversation and beer flowed quite frequently!

Uchida-san and Iwasaki Sensei posing with the JKFan photographer.

After the meal each medal winner was presented with a special commemorative photo of the Shiramizu team at the Japan Wadokai Nationals. Mine is on my wall, next to my medal- a daily reminder that the awards that you win are never as important as the people who help you reach them.

left-right: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
  1. Yukiko Yamasaki Sensei (Shiramizu instructor, numerous Wadokai Nationals Women's Kata champ)
  2. Hiroyuki Uehara Sensei (Shiramizu instructor, Vice-Chair of Shiramizu after Arakawa Sensei)
  3. Hiromasu Shimizu Sensei (WKF 1996 Worlds Men's 80kg+ kumite champion, Nihon University Head Coach & current JKF National Team Coach) - he was invited as he is the new coach for Rie Hirai as she entered Nihon University from this April as a 1st year student.
  4. Takamasa Arakawa Sensei
  5. Mitsuyo Akiyama Sensei (Saitama Prefecture Kazo City's Hanasaki Tokuhara High School Karate Club Coach & International Budo University Karate Club alumni/class mate of Arakawa Sensei)
  6. Hitoshi Kikuchi Sensei (Shiramizu instructor)
  7. Takamasa Iwasuki Sensei (Shiramizu instructor)
  8. Noriko Yoshinohara Sensei (Shiramizu instructor, numerous Wadokai Nationals Women's Kata champ)

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