OKINAWA   2003

17th August 2003 – Naha-City, the capital of the Japanese prefecture Okinawa – three members of the Karate Club of Nordhausen sweated when there was a temperature of 33°C in the shadow and a humidity of 80%.But not only the temperature made them sweat – no, it would just take a little moment and everyone would go out in the “arena” in order to have his skills in martial arts assessed by 7 judges.
But that is not all. Almost one-thousand people were in the audience of this World Championship of all Okinawan Karatedô- and Kobudôstyles in 2003. The ones from Nordhausen took part in the category BÔ-KATA for the style RYŰKYŰ KOBUDÔ TESSHINKAN. The BÔ had to have a length of 182cm and a weight of at least 900g. Summed up about 600 participants from 31 different countries took part in one of the three categories, BÔ-KATA, SAI-KATA and OKINAWAN-KARATE-KATA.
After one person had died by KUMITE, it has been no longer part of the competition, furthermore KUMITE is trained traditionally only in the DÔJÔ. After all the results for the three participants of the Karate-Dô-Kwai Nordhausen e.V. looked quite bright: Frank Pelny, chairman of this club, achieved the nineteenth place, thus he was the best German one, and he got a great compliment from the Japanese nationalcoach. Michael Kleffel, also trainer of this club, achieved the 37th place, followed by Sebastian Edelmann number 38. All in all the Nordhausians are part of the 5 best from Germany. Being the first participation in a Worldchampionship they could be quite pleased.
But not only then, they also made everyone pay attention to them, when they were examinated. Well-prepared Micheal Kleffel and Sebastian Edelmann dared to do the SHÔ-DAN examination. Only 4 of ten people, who tried to do this test, passed. Two of them were the Nordhausians and compliments have been given by TAMAYOSE SENSEI (8th Dan) to them for being the best of all those who> But we still spent most of the time on training. We had between three and six hours of training each day and we often had the chance to practise in the BUDÔKAN, the HALL OF MARTIAL ARTS. Each lesson was given by a high-ranked Sensei, most of them had 8th, 9th and 10th DAN. The eldest one to teach was a hundred-year-old one. A huge amount of experience can be carried home now.
Last but not least it is very important to mention the comradely atmosphere. All over the Worldchampionship there was no competing against but with each other. That was a great feeling. The Nordhausians were often asked, whether a picture of them might be taken. The Australians and Japanese did not miss any chance to.
Visiting the widow of Akamine-Sensei, being received by the mayor of the city, a karaoke-party (Help!!), loads of shopping and taking bathes in the Eastern Chinese Sea (Quite warm!!!) gave this visit a comfortable end. On their 14 hours lasting return to Germany the delegation, which consisted of 17 people, began to have their impressions reflected. Probably the Nordhausians will also take part in the next Worldchampionship 2005 in Malaysia.