Martial artists learn from the sport’s masters
Gerry and Cathy Campbell, owners of the Orillia Martial Arts Centre, travelled recently to Atlanta, Ga., along with their students, Devon Rylski and Darrin Dunn, to attend the Atlanta Rengokai Symposium. This was a first-of-its-kind blend of three traditional Okinawan karate styles taught by the head master of two of them and a senior master of the third.
Seminars in authentic old-style Okinawan karate-do were taught by guest instructors Morio Higaonna, tenth Dan Goju Ryu, Zenpo Shimabukuro, tenth Dan Seibukan, Seisho Itokazu, ninth Dan Konan Ryu and Matayoshi Kobudo, eighth Dan.
These men are the last generation of true Okinawan masters of their craft. The world will never see the likes of them again, said Gerry Campbell. Their mission is to spread the knowledge of karate-do to the Western world so it may continue after they are gone, he said.
Although in their late 60s and 70s, they taught and participated in eight classes each and worked harder than anyone there. Campbell said they are an inspiration to all followers of the traditional way.
The Campbells met these senseis while in Okinawa in 2012 and were thrilled to have the opportunity to train with them again.
The Orillia Martial Arts Centre continues the traditional way in Orillia with the influence and guidance of these well-respected masters.