For the weekend of September 18-20, the World Shorin-Ryu Karate-Do Federation (WSKF) invited Sensei Jerry Figgiani to participate in a Kuro Obi Kai weekend (an advanced training session for 3rd Dan and above). Kyoshi Jeff Leistner and his wife Sensei Chris Leistner hosted this event at the Troy, Ohio, dojo. Sensei Figgiani was first inducted into the Kuro Obi Kai back in 1989. Traveling along with Sensei Figgiani were Sensei Kaufman, Sensei Borreca, and Sensei Barrett. Hanshi Frank Grant oversaw this training event.
The martial arts relationship and personal friendship between Hanshi Frank Grant and Sensei Jerry Figgiani itself has a rich history. Sensei Figgiani first met Hanshi Grant in Tipp City, Ohio, at the United States Shorin Ryu Nationals hosted by Hanshi Grant in 1988, and later that year, Hanshi Grant awarded Sensei Figgiani his Shodan rank in Matsubayashi-ryu.
This weekend of training strengthened this relationship and formed a bond between the WSKF and SRKDI to cooperate in strengthening and promoting Matsubayashi-ryu for the good of the style and the betterment of its practitioners. We look forward to a bright future of collaboration between the members and dojos of these two organizations, as we work together to promote and build the vision and values of Matsubayashi-ryu created by Master Shoshin Nagamine.