[Blog] Taishijuku students' experiences at a training camp in Germany: international exchange and learning through Karate-do① Issa Watanabe



My name is Issa Watanabe. I am currently a third-year university student and train at the Taishijuku Akabane branch.

In mid-May, I took part in a seminar called ‘Kata Special’ in Tauberbischofsheim, Germany. It is a seminar to which Naka Shihan is invited and teaches every year.

Firstly, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Naka Shihan and all the members of the Taishijuku for the very valuable experience I gained on this trip.

I have been practising since I was a child, but I have never had the experience of going abroad to practise, so participating in this seminar was very stimulating and valuable for me.

I decided to participate in this seminar because I wanted to see for myself how karate-do, which I have only practised in Japan, is perceived in the rest of the world and how it differs from Japan.

To be honest, before I went to Germany, I had the impression that karate-do overseas had become more of a sport and that the fundamental aspects of budo, such as courtesy, had been neglected.

However, when I actually attended the seminar, this selfish image was overturned.

Everyone bowed when entering and leaving the dojo, their belongings were neatly organised at the rear of the dojo, and most of them always tried to keep in line during practice. 

I was so impressed by this that I thought those of us who practise in Japan might be neglecting these things.

I also strongly felt that people around me, whether in the dojo or elsewhere, were looking at me as a ‘Japanese’. Therefore, I tried to behave in a way that would not embarrass me as a Japanese person who strives for karate-do, not only in terms of my skills such as Kata and Kihon, but also in terms of my manners and greetings.

I feel that the most important thing I learnt from participating in this seminar was that I became aware that I am one of the Japanese people who are practising karatedo and that I should be a role model for those who are practising abroad. 

Furthermore, through this international exchange through karate, I have gained respect for other cultures and an awareness and pride as a Japanese person.

I would like to review my behaviour as a student of the Taishijuku in my future training and strive to improve not only my techniques but also my character so that I can be as good as my comrades in karate in other countries around the world.

If you would like to come to Taishijuku and train with us, please contact us via the email below.
We are looking forward to hearing form you!

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