Canada Report May 2013


On Friday 31st may sensei Derek Ridgway chief instructor for Kazokukai arrived in Vancouver Canada. This was his 16th trip to Canada and as ever the next two weeks were going to be busy with him teaching his brand of karate to an ever increasing group in and around the Vancouver area.

Derek was met at Vancouver airport by sensei mike scales chief instructor to kazokukai Canada. Mike had organised the trip and Derek was to be stopping with mike and his wife Liz while over in Vancouver. Jet lag was the first thing to be combated this was duly helped by students Dave and lance who took sensei Derek for a pub lunch and a few beers to wake him up. This duly did the job and by Sunday the jet lag was well gone.
Sensei Mike Scales had booked 4 sessions with sensei Derek these classes were to cover the kata Koshiki Ananku for the first week which included all technical aspects and bunkai. Sensei Don Shapland the famous Kobudo instructor turned up at these sessions to train. Don is renowned for his knowledge of Kobudo and spent many years in Okinawa learning his art. During the second week sensei Derek covered the principles of Naihanchi kata as taught to him by master Isamu Arakaki 10th dan while in Okinawa. Also covered in the second week were the applications of Jion kata (shotokan version) the training at Mike’s dojo was warmly received and well attended.
All those attending had a really good time and enjoyed sensei Ridgway’s fresh and open approach to teaching karate. Plus of course they went away with their heads buzzing with all the information and knowledge passed on during the two weeks.
On Wednesday morning sensei Ridgway was taken by sensei Scales to visit sensei Don Shapland at his dojo which is about 100km from Vancouver. As mentioned sensei Don is a master of Okinawan Kobudo and Sensei Mike Scales is one of his students. Sensei Ridgway was treated to a demonstration of Kobudo kata many of which would very rarely be seen outside Okinawa. Amongst those demonstrated were. Maezato no Tekko, Maezato no Nunchaku, Akamine no Nunchaku, Sakugawa no Kun, Chikin Shitahaku no Sai, Hama Higa no Tonfa, Kanegawa no Tinbe/Rochin, Tsuken Sunakaki no Eku. A rare treat indeed big thanks to sensei Shapland for his time and his hospitality.

On Friday 7th we headed off to catch the ferry to Vancouver Island as on Saturday sensei Derek was booked to teach at the large navel base club in Victoria which is run by sensei Mike Maxwell. The day was to be spent working on bunkai (applications) from heian (pinan) kata in the morning, then Bassai Dai kata in the afternoon. Sensei Maxwell and his wife should be congratulated for their fine hospitality on the Friday evening when we stayed at their house in Victoria. As ever the course was well attended and received by all students. It was a pleasure to see students of all ages and grades enjoying their training. They should be congratulated for their enthusiasm and well done to sensei Maxwell for organising a superb seminar with sensei Ridgway.
After the days training Mike had booked us on the ferry back to the mainland we were up early next morning and off to Hope (a small town about 150km from Vancouver) to teach at Norm Losier’s Yama dojo. Sensei Norm teaches Okinawan Isshin Ryu and had invited sensei Derek to come and teach some Okinawan karate at his dojo. Study for the day was to be the Shorin Ryu version of Passai Sho kata. Sensei Ridgway took great time to stress the technical detail in this kata, movements were drilled again and again until understood by all present. Finally some examples of bunkai were demonstrated by sensei Ridgway on a most unfortunate sensei Scales. The class was then drawn to a close. Sensei Norm should be congratulated on his fine dojo and the enthusiasm of his students. It was a great day and enjoyed by all.
Late afternoon saw us travelling back to Mike and Liz’s house in Coquitlam Vancouver where Mike was to treat us to another of his fine BBQ’s the first week had been very busy but very enjoyable. The weather had been warm along with the welcome. Roll on the second week.
As mentioned above several sessions were taken up in the second week at Sensei Mike Scales Coquitlam dojo. Another booking we had in the second week was to visit the Ladner Shito Ryu dojo of sensei Mert Horita who is a 6th dan senior instructor with the SeikiKai Shito Ryu association in Vancouver. Sensei Mert wanted to study bunkai from the Pinan kata. As ever sensei Ridgway took to the task with usual enthusiasm causing much pain to his host Sensei Scales. Again the class was very well received with many students looking quite amazed at the applications which could be found in Pinan kata. Big thanks to sensei Mert for putting on a fine clinic and for his hospitality.
The final day of sensei Ridgway’s trip was spent with some shopping and of course packing along with some last sight seeing. It had been a really great trip. Great training, great weather and above all else great people. The people of Vancouver and B.C really opened their hearts to sensei Ridgway. They should be congratulated and thanked for their warmness their hospitality and their keenness to learn from what sensei Ridgway is trying to pass on the the karate world. So well done everyone for making the trip such a success.


I would briefly like to thank all who attended my seminars and made my 16th trip such a success. I can’t wait to return and continue to teach such an enthusiastic and inspiring group of students who always make me so welcome. I look forward to seeing you all next year.

Finally a very big thank you to Mike and Elizabeth Scales who again looked after me so well. Without their help and support none of my visits to Canada would have happened. I regard them both as some of my dearest friends and I sincerely thank them for their help over the years.

at Norm Losier dojo in Hope