My Most Memorable Seminar

My most memorable seminar with Sensei Yamazaki was during September the 5th, 6th and 7th (this week). It was the most memorable seminar as Sensei Yamazaki gave an inspirational speech. The inspirational speech motivated me to practice and improve my karate for his next visit and my oncoming karate career. Sensei also prepared us for our black belt grading (later on the week) which helped us a lot! I am excited and looking forward to see Sensei Yamazaki next year. Happy 75th Birthday Sensei Yamazaki!

Emily Grey
JKR Australia
Bundaberg Branch

Minako YamazakiMy Most Memorable Seminar
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JKR Bahamas Earn the Best “Treat” on Halloween

On Saturday October 31st, 2015, 15 students from our dojo participated in a local tournament hosted by Sensei Basil Damianos of Holy Cross Goju Ryu Academy. All students were registered and participated in 2 events, kata and kumite. Those 15 students include:

  • Dave Griffen (White), 2nd & 2nd
  • Tyler Ndlovu (White), 2nd & 3rd
  • Danaya Coleby (Yellow), 3rd & 3rd
  • Khaden Johnson (Orange), 1st & 1st
  • Jaden Bethel (Orange), 2nd & 2nd
  • Alexander Butler (Green), 3rd & 3rd
  • Chianna Diggiss (Green), 1st & 1st
  • Robyn Evans (Green), 1st & 3rd
  • Aiden Johnson (Blue), 2nd in kata
  • Alexander Turner (Blue), 3rd & 3rd
  • Charles William Diggis (Red), 3rd & 1st
  • Duran Rolle (Red)
  • Jadyn Munnings (Brown), 1st & 2nd
  • William Knowles Brown, 3rd & 1st
  • Nathaniel Woodside (Black), 1st & 1st


I want to thank Sensei Evans for accompanying the students to this event. Without him, our participation would not have been possible.

Please join me in Congratulating these 15 students for doing such a wonderful job representing our school so well. I have since been contacted via social media by judges and scorekeepers from this event commending our students for their mature and organized behavior in public. This makes me very proud to know that our students conducted themselves accordingly. I understand the team spirit was very strong but was kept in order. The parental support was very strong and the coaching was unbelievably awesome.

I want to thank those parents who supported this event and ask for your continued support for future events.

To those students who like myself were unable to attend and participate, please know the dojo intends on putting on a similar tournament in the near future which will accommodate all.

Best Regards to our 15 champions. We certainly have something to celebrate!!!!

Sensei Chinyere Ijeoma-Chukwuka
N. P. Martial Arts & Fitness Centre
#1 Shirley Plaza
Shirley Street
P. O. Box N-4144
Nassau, Bahamas

Minako YamazakiJKR Bahamas Earn the Best “Treat” on Halloween
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Karate and Medicine

Karate has always been a big part of my life, and I became interested in it from a very young age. I began Japan Karate-Do Ryobu-Kai when I was in 4th grade and have loved it ever since.

I came into karate thinking that we would be chopping blocks and yelling kiais, but I have found that this sport is so much more than that. I am now a nidan level black belt and believe that this sport has played a big part in who I am today. Karate has taught me to be disciplined, focused, and to show lots of confidence no matter where I am. I also saw the example of my senseis at Woodside, who not only devoted so much of their time to teaching us, but regularly practiced themselves, always working to improve.

Now as a sempai I am able to teach others and learn new skills from a teaching point of view. I have gone through struggles as well as successes as I have progressed through the different belts, each time learning a new skill. With these essential skills, I was able to apply for a competitive med-school program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Part of the application process included ten interviews at ten minutes each and I can say that the experience of preparing and testing for the each belt level really helped me.

I am now currently enrolled in a 6-yr combined BA/MD medical program with UMKC and believe that without karate I would not have been able to be as confident or as disciplined in my studies in school.

Emma Connelly
University of Missouri | Kansas City
Undergraduate | 6 Year-med

Minako YamazakiKarate and Medicine
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CPR Confidence

Sudden death in people under the age of 35, though rare, is often due to hidden heart defects, other heart abnormalities, cardiac arrest or heart attack. When these sudden deaths occur, it’s often during physical activity, such as athletic training or a sporting event.

Cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack. Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart becomes rapid or irregular due to force or changes in the pumping action of the heart, which then causes the heart to begin a heart rhythm that is not life sustaining, therefore the heart will suddenly stop beating. A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle is blocked and oxygen is no longer being pumped to that area. To have a myocardial infarction means the heart muscle (myo- means muscle and -cardial means the heart) has died due to lack of oxygen (infarct) which results in the heart attack. The heart attack then may cause cardiac arrest and ultimately death.

The most common cause of cardiac arrest is a dysrhythmia called ventricular fibrillation. Ventricular fibrillation is not a life sustaining heart rhythm. When this occurs, the ventricles in your heart (these are the bottom 2 chambers of your heart) begin to quiver uselessly instead of pumping blood. These dysrhythmias can occur in a person with a normal, healthy heart, when an outside trigger, such as an electrical shock or the use of illegal drugs is present. Ventricular fibrillation can also occur when there is trauma to the chest at just the right moment during the heart’s pumping cycle. This is called commotio cordis. Commotio cordis, though rare, can occur in anyone, though it’s usually heard about when it occurs in people who play sports. This type of trauma can happen when a baseball or hockey puck hits then chest. It can also occur with a simple kick or punch to the chest during that vulnerable moment in the heart beat. Cardiac arrest happens very quickly after impact, with the person having only seconds left before death occurs. Having every JKR instructor not only CPR certified, but recertified yearly to ensure competency will help to ensure the safety of all JKR participants.

CPR is a vital intervention for people that experience cardiac arrest. CPR can more than double a patient’s chances of survival, but unfortunately less than one-third of the people that experience cardiac arrest actually receive CPR prior to emergency personnel arriving. The poor response to bystander CPR is usually due to lack of confidence in one’s ability to perform CPR or their failure to recognize the signs of cardiac arrest. To improve the chances of survival, it is critical that all JKR instructors be both confident and competent in recognizing cardiac arrest and know how to take action immediately. The greatest barrier to a success is fear and fear can be eliminated through consistent yearly training and education in CPR.

Cost: Approximately $25 – $50 per person per year
Look for community events holding free CPR classes, non-profit organizations, groupon, and yelp

By: Jennifer Moreland, RN, MSN
JKR North Dakota

John Paul GonzalezCPR Confidence
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JKR Hombu and Erbs Palsy Awareness Week

My student, Leilani, suffered a birth injury called Erb’s Palsy when she was born. It’s an injury to the complex set of nerves that control the fingers, hand, arm, and shoulders. Leilani’s physical therapist recommended karate to her mom because we use our entire body equally.

Erbs Palsy Awareness Week was Oct 18-25, 2015. We made a few fun videos and wore blue belts to show our support. Leilani is a fearless brown belt and a proud member of JKR.


Minako YamazakiJKR Hombu and Erbs Palsy Awareness Week
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Two Generations of Yamazaki Family Lead International Karate Group on Cultural, Educational and Martial Arts Tour of Japan

Hi, Everyone. Here’s a little #TBT (throw back Thursday). It’s been a year since the momentus “JKR Japan Gasshuku”. Here is an article written by one of the travelers, Sensei Paul Belle Isle – Branch Director of JKR New England, for JKFan Magazine.

– Mina Yamazaki

By Paul P. Belle Isle
August 1-10, 2014

(JAPAN) In early August, Japan Karate-Do Ryobu-Kai (JKR) Chief Instructor Kiyoshi Yamazaki (9th dan, JKR; 8th dan, Japan Karate Federation (JKF)) and his daughter, current top U.S. and international competitor Minako Yamazaki (5th dan, JKR), led a group of over 40 karateka and their family members from the United States, Australia and Great Britain on a cultural, educational and martial arts tour of Japan.

Yamazaki Sensei believes strongly in education as a foundation for effective karate training, and began laying the groundwork for the trip several years ago, so that participants would have time to plan and save for the journey. “I don’t think that anyone ever reaches a point where they have learned all there is to know,” he says, and for that reason, felt it was important for Western karateka to forge ties with Japan.

The international group began its tour in Tokyo, with training sessions over two days at Japan Karate Federation (JKF) headquarters. The first seminar was with former All-Japan Champion Sensei Masao Kagawa (8th dan, Japan Karate Shotorenmei), who focused on one of his signature kata, Sochin. Kagawa Sensei remains impressively athletic, and he gave several members of the JKR group individual attention.

The rest of the first day in Tokyo was spent sampling everything Japan’s capital has to offer. Some of the delegation visited the Dai Nippon Butokukai and Sengakuji Temple, while others toured Meiji Jingu and visited Edo Castle, or strolled through Shibuya Crossing and Ginza. The following day featured a seminar with former World Karate Federation (WKF) and Japan Karate Association (JKA) champion Toshihito Kokubun, who led the visitors through kumite exercises that emphasized proper distance, timing and the use of angles.

Japan Karate-Do Ryobu-Kai Soke Yasuhiro Konishi was also on hand to observe, and afterwards, posed for pictures with everyone. Finally, the travelers were honored with an appearance by JKF President Ryoichi Sasakawa, who made a short welcome speech, and greeted each of the JKR karateka individually.

The international group’s next stop was Shizuoka, making a quick and comfortable trip on Japan’s famous shinkansen. Minako Yamazaki spoke for the group when she said, “We would be in one area of Japan in the morning and on the other side of the country by late afternoon. I was really amazed with how reliable the transportation system was.” Once there, they met up with former WKF champion Takashi Katada, who today not only coaches the men’s and women’s karate teams at Yamanashi Gakuin University in Kofu, but is working to help grow YGU’s business education department. Sensei Katada joined the JKR members for the bus ride to YGU, traveling through beautiful hill country that was dotted with lakes.

Arriving at the university, the visitors took part in a joint training session with Katada Sensei’s students, working on kumite, kata and practical application, with Yamazaki Sensei stressing the need to balance the many aspects of karate. As he has said before, “It is very important that an instructor knows the difference between sport karate and self defense… Karate is several things at the same time: It is a great physical activity, a martial art, a self-defense method, and a great sport.”

Following that, the JKR group was treated to kata demonstrations of Chatan Yara no Kushanku by the Yamanashi Gakuin University women’s team, and Anan by the men. An iado demonstration by Takeru Sato, star of the hit Rurouni Kenshin movies, closed out the athletic portion of the day, and everyone adjourned to a reception featuring remarks from members of the university faculty and administration, good Japanese food, and an opportunity for the YGU students to mingle with their foreign guests. The day concluded with a stop at Mount Fuji to visit one of Japan’s most important sites, before returning to Shizuoka.

From there, the Americans, Australians and Brits moved on to Kyoto. No training was scheduled to take place in Japan’s old capital, so this visit was a chance for the group to relax and take in some more of Japan’s rich history and culture. Many members of the group visited Kinkaku-ji, Ginkaku-Ji and Kiyomizu-dera Temples, and others also explored Fushimi Inari Temple, Nijo Castle, and the Kyoto Tanabata Festival. The highlight of Kyoto for many, however, was a visit to the Taizo-in Buddhist Temple, where a special program had been arranged for the JKR group.

The abbot of Taizo-in, Daikou Matsuyama, led the international visitors on a tour of the temple and its grounds, where they contemplated its famous gardens and viewed Josetsu’s masterpiece, Hyonenzu (“Catching a Catfish with a Gourd”), one of Japan’s oldest surviving ink paintings. The group then took part in a seated meditation session and dined on a delicious meal of vegetarian Japanese specialties prepared by temple chefs. Osaka, the last stop on the travelers’ itinerary, saw the group return to training, this time with two seminars at Yamazaki Sensei’s alma mater, Kindai University. In the morning, WKF medalist Kou Matsuhisa led a number of kumite drills, with current members of the school’s karate team training alongside the visitors, and finished with focused instruction on his signature technique, sasori-geri. Asked what she thought of Matsuhisa Sensei’s abilities, Sensei Anna Parkin of Great Britain (6th dan, JKR) said, simply, “Awesome. Just absolutely amazing.”

Following a short break for lunch, legendary 4-time world champion Sensei Atsuko Wakai (5th dan, JKF) provided instruction on Seipai kata, covering both the form and its bunkai. Her precision, technique and power remain exceptional, and the class was a high point for many. Sensei Paul Belle Isle of the United States (5th dan, JKR), noted, “Training with someone like Wakai Sensei, who, with all of her accomplishments, remains incredibly friendly and outgoing, is something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”

While in Osaka, members of the group also visited Sumiyoshi Taisha, Osaka Castle and other sites. Finally, just as Typhoon Halong began lashing southwestern Japan, the karateka from the U.S., U.K. and Australia held a celebration dinner at a soba restaurant the evening of August 9th, before departing for their home countries the next day. The group had grown closer to one another, closer to Japan, and closer to the roots of karate, and all agreed that their visit was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Sensei Howard High of the United States (7th dan, JKR) noted that the trip was beneficial for everyone involved, including their Japanese hosts: “Working with some of the greatest practitioners in the art of karate was invaluable to those of us who were able to participate in this tour. It was also invaluable for the Japanese karateka to train with our sensei, Kiyoshi Yamazaki, who provided insights into some of the deeper meanings of the art of karate. I was specifically impressed with the attentiveness of the students at Yamanashi Gakuin University when Yamazaki Sensei was instructing them in practical applications.” Simon Oliver of Great Britain (6th dan, JKR) agreed, and summed up his views thusly: “For us as a family, this visit to Japan was a perfect blend of spending quality time with like-minded friends and enjoying training with a varied and friendly mix of dojos and senseis. Making new friends and meeting old ones from when I lived in Japan was something that made this trip special. We visited famous and cultural locations that brought back many old memories – as well as created some great new ones. We can’t wait to go back!”

Minako YamazakiTwo Generations of Yamazaki Family Lead International Karate Group on Cultural, Educational and Martial Arts Tour of Japan
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Welcome to the JKR Blog/Article Section

Hi, everyone! Thanks for visiting the new JKR International website. The JKR Yudanshakai USA is hard at work revitilizing and revamping JKRi and this section is one of them. In this section JKRi will be posting articles related to Ryobu-Kai, fitness, different types of training, and also messages directly from Sensei Yamazaki. Stay up to date by registering to the JKRi website!

Minako YamazakiWelcome to the JKR Blog/Article Section
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Proper Nutrition

With all sorts of crazy diets that promise quick results let’s try something innovative – proper nutrition and a regular dose of Ryobu-Kai karate.  And if you’re feeling even more daring, how about a supplemental gym regiment that isn’t trying to kill you?

Here’s another great article from the Mayo Clinic on basic nutrition.

Minako YamazakiProper Nutrition
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