(Please note that this message was translated and may not be 100% accurate!)
On Friday, March 13, Sensei Cecilia Salbuchi traveled to Brazil to represent Uechi Ryu IUKF on the occasion of the seminar that Sensei George E. Mattson (10th Dan) and Darin Yee (9th Dan) were going to offer that weekend. Abruptly the event had to change its organization due to the expansion of the coronavirus in America. That same week, with very little notice, the senseis from the United States had to suspend their trips on medical advice first and because the airlines began to suspend their flights.
Because Argentina and Brazil continued with their open borders within South America, the event could be held with only the delegations of Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, and Buenos Aires. Attentive to the provisions of the government of that country, no training was carried out in closed dojos, only in open spaces (courts and public parks) and the recommended hygiene measures were adopted.
Sensei Salbuchi shared exercises and concepts that were demonstrated in the previous WinterFest in the USA where she had traveled on several occasions, in order to be faithful as possible to the style that characterizes IUKF. In the general seminar on Sunday the importance of practicing Sanchin was discussed to strengthen the body correctly, without doing harm and at all times helping the practitioner to overcome their own limits. They carried out practical exercises of pressure on the practitioner who executes Sanchin, with the focus placed on achieving a strong skeletal-muscular structure and the rooting-based balance that characterizes this kata.
Then we worked on different levels of bunkai of the Kata Kanshiwa, stressing the importance of the black belt always having a different training from the colored belts, so we exercised a level of analysis in the way we call bunkai Ura or Tori Te. At the end of the seminar, some varied endings of Yakusoku Kyu Kumite were seen and various ideas were discussed around it.
Representatives of dojos from different locations within Brazil were present at this seminar, as well as Sensei José Vieira, President of the Federação De Karatê Dos Estilos Okinawanos – FKEO, who was very satisfied with the holding of the event despite the vicissitudes of public knowledge.
The rest of the classes that were held were attended by the brand new IUKF representatives in Brazil: Senseis Luiz Monteiro, André Tavares, Paulo Monteiro, and Wesley Almeida. We had the opportunity to review concepts, train all the katas of the style and enrich each other by sharing Danish training methods. Each of these teachers has knowledge that makes them unique and valuable, and that they shared with humility and generosity with their Argentine counterpart.
We also have videos that Sensei George Mattson sent us sharing some of the material they offered at the Winterfest held a week before this event, as well as videos sent by Sensei Darin Yee about their notions of the soft side of our style.
From Argentina, as representatives of IUKF and also of FAKKO, we appreciate the hospitality and warmth with which the representatives of IUKF Brazil and FKEO received us.