SBKS Seminar- Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

 July 14th and 15th, 2017

 July 14th, 2017:

The 6th Annual Sanchin Bushi Karate System International Seminar took place in Aguadilla, PR this year.

The location for the Friday event was the Ester Feliciano Mendosa, School Gymnasium at the old Ramey Air Force Base, Aguadilla Puerto Rico.  The instructors this year were: Meijin Bill Solano, Hanshi Frank Ramirez Jr., Kyoshi Joe Rodriguez, Shihan David Helmick, Renshi Troy AhYo, Renshi Roberto Gonzales and Yudansha Angelo Melendez.

The day began with a warm up led by Renshi AhYo followed by Shihan Helmick leading the class in focused work on the foundational stances of karate. The participants were guided through the stances and instructed in the strengths and weaknesses of each stance, and application of strikes and blocks.  Meijin Solano gave the historical reasoning of how the stances were developed.

After working through the stances, the kata Naihanshi Ichidan was reviewed and presented as the focus of this year’s Seminar.   Renshi AhYo and Shihan Helmick led the participants in the movements of the kata, then breaking down specific movements in the kata and multiple bunkai applications.  A spirited workout involving execution of blocks, sweeps, kicks, strikes and traps continued for the rest of the morning session.

After the lunch break, Meijin Solano instructed the participants in the Bo Kata – “Bo Ich Sho”.  The Bo kata was broken down, move by move, then performed through it’s entirely by all participants. The participants then broke out into pairs and ran through striking and blocking exercises using Bo and the movements of the Bo kata.   

Following the Bo kata workout, Yudansha Melendez taught multiple Jujitsu based moves to the class including floor work and standing traps.  A long day of hard work was ended with a cool down by the participants all doing the kata Naihanshi Ichidan at a slow, methodical, relaxed speed.

July 15th, 2017:

 Saturday the Seminar changed locations to Renshi Roberto Gonzales’ open air dojo located in the backyard of his home in Aguadilla.  All participants were impressed by the custom floor matting, the collection of martial arts workout tools, all of the historical articles on the walls and the unique “old school” design of the impressive dojo.   Sensei AhYo remarked that it was like a movie set.  After a short warm up with Renshi AhYo, the participants went back to training in techniques from the Naihanshi Ichidan kata.   The technique training led by Shihan Helmick, were; rigorous and focused on real world application.   Individuals were place in the center of a circle of attackers and practiced reacting to attacks from all sides.  The multiple attacker; workout was based on Kajukenpo training methods (The Clock).  

Next, Hanshi Ramirez and Kyoshi Rodriquez then led the class in block/strike drills and kumite training with the use of the fighting strategies of Zen, Zen-no-Zen and Go-no-Zen.  The class performed these martial arts defense strategies by rotating through the drills in pairs, while simulating actual fight situations.   The class continued with instruction in breathing exercises and the necessity of exhalation techniques when struck by an opponent.  The instruction focused on the differentiation of breathing in to the chest, belly and deep pelvis.   Proper breathing is the basis for being able to deliver a powerful strike and successfully taking a blow to the body.

 The seminar concluded with Meijin Solano giving a very informative presentation on the origins of Japanese and Okinawan Karate blocks and strikes.  He presented that the Japanese based their fighting system on the katana (sword); the Okinawa’s based their system on defending against the katana.

 After the seminar concluded, we celebrated another year of training, friendship, camaraderie and another successful SBKS Seminar.  A BBQ dinner at Hanshi Ramirez’s residence was a celebration of our shared passion for Karate, enduring friendships, new students, and the importance of family in our lives.  The cooks served steaks, ribs, sausage, rice/beans, salad, seasoned potatoes and other delicious food.   All shared in the joy of food, family and brotherhood.

The 2018 SBKS Seminar will be held in Homestead, FL.   We look forward to hosting all SBKS family from Puerto Rico, Saint Thomas, USVI and throughout the U.S.   


 By:   Troy Ah Yo, Renshi