Following the successful participation of SKA Shotokan Karate-Do Association at training seminars with JKA Italy, in Imola and La Spezia last January, 9 SKA Black belts accompanied SKA Chief Instructor Sensei Edward Aquilina again last week, between the 11th and 14th of July, for further training at two of Italy’s most renowned dojos.
Training on Monday and Tuesday took place at the Kembukai Dojo in Cantù, Milan. Instruction was led by Sensei Carlo Bianchi, twice Ex Kumite World Champion and assistant in training JKA Italy’s National Team. Training alongside us were current young competitors and champions in Kumite and Kata categories as well as instructors and mature students.
On Wednesday 13th July, SKA travelled to Palazzetto dello Sport in Carugo, Milan. It was here that we met JKA Italy’s own Chief Instructor, Sensei Naito, for a challenging 6am session of Kihon and Kumite fundamentals. We were later pleasantly surprised by an invitation to Karate conversation with Sensei Naito and some of his JKA Italy administrators over breakfast.
A second mass session followed, in the evening, gathering over 50 JKA Italy karateka from all over Lombardia, Emilia Romagna and Liguria, some of whom had travelled for several hours to train alongside Sensei Naito.
SKA was truly inspired by Sensei Naito’s dynamic display of powerful technique and his indomitable Karate spirit. Sensei Naito also placed passionate emphasis on the true principles of Discipline, Responsibility and Demonstration to all his students, all values that are delivered through Traditional Karate practice. The familial atmosphere which enveloped all JKA Italy participants shone through, with the youngest aged 6 yrs, training alongside the maturest of them at 76 beautiful years of age. It was impressive to witness children’s perseverance despite the intensity of the training, their respect, confidence and their understanding of the importance of discipline and education when they were constantly put on the spot to express their thoughts.
This event was reported a day later on the 14th of July’s Edition of ‘La Provincia’ one of the leading Newspapers in Como. In the attachment below, Sensei Naito is seen formally introducing SKA Chief Instructor, Sensei Edward Aquilina and the Maltese contingent to the JKA Italy adminstrators and athletes as well as the mayor of Inverigo, the managing director of Poliform, a highly renowned company in Italy, as well as a journalist who had also been invited to witness and report the event. We felt honoured by their appreciation of our presence and participation and at having been given the opportunity to train in such a great Karate manifestation. This was truly a unique experience which further continued to foster the growing friendship and collaboration between SKA and JKA Italy when it was followed by a direct invitation for further amicable Karate conversation at Naito Sensei’s residence and dinner at Ristorante Plinio.
SKA would like to thank JKA Italy for their hospitality and friendship, as well as the excellent opportunities for furthering our training during our stay in Milan.
We look forward to meeting again in training very soon.