Sensei Jerry Figgiani recently returned from California after teaching action-packed seminars hosted by Sensei Jordan Duval of the Sunnyvale Shorin Ryu Karate Club and Sensei Jeff Mancilla of the Omine Dojo in San Bruno. Jerry Sensei had an absolute blast teaching fourteen hours of content-rich sessions and working with many amazingly dedicated karateka and senseis, and he is thankful for the warm reception and the gracious hospitality of his hosts, Sensei Jordan Duval and Sensei Jeff Mancilla.
The workshops clearly challenged the participants physically and encouraged students and instructors to take their own training to a new level of intensity and understanding. Jan Smudski commented, “My legs are killing me as proof of how hard we trained, and it was worth it! I’ve gained a whole new enthusiasm for karate!” Cody Burford thanked Jerry Sensei for leading these seminars and commented, “It was a great workout and very instructive, and it was awesome to go there and see such a similar way of thinking about the different techniques. Now we have even more conditioning and training drills to help our students understand and broaden their view of kata and karate. Thank you again for a fantastic seminar!”
Figgiani Sensei approaches his seminars with an open mind, encouraging participants to break down barriers that divide martial artists and to see the commonality of technique, application, and spirit that should unite us. Indeed, the martial arts boasts amazing diversity, yet within the differences there is much that unites and can bring practitioners together. Michael Tobin picked up on this message, noting, “Great teachers don’t always do it the same way all the time. There is no learning without variation. I will teach something one way, then another way, then another way, and the result will be the same. There are many paths to the top of a mountain, yet the top remains the same.”
Successful seminars inspire participants toward excellence and encourage them to see the familiar in new or unexpected ways. Jan Smudski commented that attending these workshops was an “incredible learning experience.” Sensei Duval expressed his gratitude to Jerry Sensei for organizing and teaching these seminars and stated, “Your seminar has been a huge source of inspiration for us, opening our eyes to the bunkai possibilities hidden in plain sight.”
Reporting by Sensei David S. Hogsette