'Incredible opportunity': grand lesson for Orange's martial arts students

IT’S far from The Karate Kid, but students of Pollet’s Martial Arts had their very own “wax on, wax off” experience last weekend when one of the planet’s supreme martial artists, Grand Master Kiichi Nakamoto, visited the Orange dojo to present seminars on the kata and bunkai disciplines.

Nakamoto’s pedigree is second to none, and Pollet’s students have rarely had the chance to learn from a more experienced martial artist.

The 83-year-old is the last living student of the Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate founder, Chojun Miyagi, the inspiration for the afore mentioned movie’s supporting character.

He is a direct descendant of great Uhugusuku Samurai family, the personal bodyguards of the Okinawa Kings and was a personal student of the great Kina, Shosei Weapons Grand Master.

Nakamoto is also a 10th degree Grand Master of Ryukyu Kobujutsu Weaponry, a 10th degree Grand Master in Goju-Ryu Karate and a 10th degree Karate-Do, All Japan Dojo Federation and Iaido (Samurai sword) Grand Master. He is the president of the Ryukyu Weapons Society and of the Okinawa-Kan Dojo. Nakamoto currently owns 28 martial art schools in Japan and eight in Okinawa.

“When he comes here it’s a very humbling experience,” Pollet’s Orange manager Emma Gavin said.

“When he comes onto the mat, despite there being a slight language barrier, he just puts everything in a whole new perspective. Everyone got plenty out of it, from the students right up to me. I’ve done three of the seminars, and every time you learn something new.

“It was mainly focusing around the traditional Karate-Do discipline of kata, and mainly around breathing techniques and that sort of thing.”

Pollet’s will go on a return venture in August, for any student willing and able, which will provide the chance to train with Grand Master Kiichi in his Okinawa dojo.

“All the guys who have been over there before have been unable to describe the trip in words,” she said.

“It will be an incredible opportunity for those who go.”

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