A feature in Okinawa
by David Hogsette January 30, 2019
On January 18-20, 2019, SRKDI celebrated its ten-year anniversary with a doshi kai style training marathon weekend, in memory of Sensei Joseph Carbonara who inspired and encouraged Sensei Jerry Figgiani to form Shorin Ryu Karate Do International back in 2009.
As Sensei Figgiani prepared for the weekend celebration and training session, he thanked the many students, colleagues, and friends who supported him from the very beginning: “As I get ready to start the kick off to the 10th anniversary of Shorin Ryu Karate Do International, I have to give thanks to the following people who were with me from day one: Senseis Nestor Ramos, Rick Kaufman, Kathleen Sauli, Silvio D’Onofrio, John Shanahan, Michael Borreca, Charles Barrett, Alfred R Andersen, and Arianne Douglas Bechel. Thank you all for your support and encouragement. Also, to my good friend Sensei Thomas Casale for the advice going into something I really didn’t want to do. I appreciate you all!”
Of this dynamic commemorative training weekend, Sensei Rick Kaufman had this to say: “This past weekend, I was fortunate to participate in the 10th Year Doshi Kai of Shorin Ryu Karate Do International. Not only keeping the dream of Joseph Carbonara Sensei alive, but expanding and growing unity in the community of Shorin Ryu practitioners both at home and abroad, Jerry Figgiani Sensei has worked without political considerations to bring the essence of Okinawan karatedo to all who would participate. This past weekend’s celebratory training was an example of the endless possibilities and options that can be revealed with dedicated training.”
Senseis Tamaki and Tokashiki with Sensei Figgiani
SRKDI is fully sanctioned by our home dojo in Okinawa. Sensei Figgiani noted that our Okinawa family expressed full support for this celebratory training weekend: “Our 10th Anniversary has received a lot of support from our Okinawan family! Thank you Tokashiki Sensei, Makino Sensei, and Daiku San for your support and guidance in making this a success. A big thank you to Takeshi Tamaki Sensei who is the Chairman for Shorin Ryu Karate Do International!”
Training up the future!
With the guidance of Sensei Figgiani, the direction and encouragement from Okinawa, and the support of member dojos around the world, SRKDI will continue the precious heritage of Okinawan karate, sharing it with new members and practitioners from across the globe.
by David Hogsette March 18, 2016
To Shorin Ryu Karatedo International:
Sensei Juan Queris, with Winter Haven Budokai along with Michael Mitchell were honored to host a gathering of KarateDo Senseis and practitioners at the Doshi Kai held on March 12th, 2016 at the Budokai Headquarters in Winter Haven, Florida. The success of this event was due in large part to the support and participation of Sensei Jerry Figgiani, 8th Dan and practitioner of Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu. Sensei Figgiani came bearing many gifts. By far the greatest of these gifts was a wealth of knowledge in technique, style, and philosophy that has been passed down by various Senseis, just as it has been passed down from Instructor to student for centuries. Sensei Figgiani and his associates consider it their duty to continue in the spirit of this lineage by graciously sharing their knowledge of Shorin Ryu. They do so with honor, humility, and distinction.
Sensei Figgiani’s knowledge of the Martial Arts extends far beyond the Matsubayashi style and includes a background in various other systems such as Judo and Kobudo. This diverse background and open-minded approach delighted the many practitioners that benefitted from their participation in these dynamic Doshi Kai training sessions. A cornerstone of Sensei Figgiani’s philosophy seems to be that each student must adapt and embrace those aspects of training that best suits him/her as a practitioner. Martial Arts Styles and techniques are not a “one size fits all” science. A student must learn to apply the technique that best addresses a particular situation with appropriate modification. To this end, an eclectic and open-minded approach to training offers a practitioner a wider variety of options than would a more narrow approach. Sensei Figgiani’s open-minded approach embraces the strength and importance of a diverse background and creative application. This willingness to embrace diversity will help Shorin Ryu KarateDo International grow into a powerful and leading force for the advancement of the Martial Arts.
Sensei Queris, with over 50 years of experience as a Martial Arts practitioner and as Head Sensei and owner of the Winter Haven Budokai, is eternally grateful to Sensei Figgiani and his two assistants for their support of the Doshi Kai. We also deeply appreciate the respect and support their actions demonstrated towards his many dedicated students. Sensei Figgiani’s modern approach to an ancient art, keeping within the traditions of the art, was impressive and motivational to all of us. He and his associates left us with the confidence that our shared love for this ancient practice will effectively be passed on to our students for generations to come, just as it was passed on to us.
Sensei Juan Queris
Winter Haven Budokai
by David Hogsette December 5, 2015
Kyoshi Patrick Beaumont wrote the following in response to Sensei Figgiani’s practical bunkai seminar held in Ireland, November 14-15 2015:
On behalf of Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu International, I would like to thank Jerry Figgiani Sensei of Shorin Ryu Karatedo International for a fabulous training weekend in Ireland on the 14th and 15th of November. Figgiani Sensei is one of a long list of instructors whom we have brought here over the years, but I would have to say he is one of the most open-minded teachers I [Jerry Ireland 2] have ever met. He is dedicated to preserving the old way of Shorin Ryu and promoting Shorin Ryu Karate in its best light.
His understanding and knowledge of the Shorin Ryu principles and applications were outstanding. His humble and easy going personality put everyone at ease. He ensured that everyone–from our youngest children to our most senior club members–thoroughly enjoyed the weekend. We all gained something beneficial and unique from these workshops.
This is the beginning of a long and lasting relationship.
Kyoshi Patrick Beaumont
by Jerry Figgiani August 4, 2015[Sensei Jerry Figgiani Receiving 8th Dan Certificate from Sensei Takeshi Tamaki]
On July 12, 2015, I was truly honored to receive an 8th Dan certificate from Takeshi Tamaki Sensei in Okinawa. This is definitely one of the highlights in my martial arts career.This honor culminated a week of training at the Tokashiki Dojo, in which we explored kihon, various kata, bo basics, and bo kata.FacebookTwitter [Share]
by David Hogsette September 27, 2015
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.
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
by Jerry Figgiani March 11, 2015
SENSEI JEFF MANCILLA EXPRESSED THESE WORDS OF ENTHUSIASTIC APPRECIATION FOR SENSEI JERRY FIGGIANI’S PRACTICAL BUNKAI WORKSHOP HELD FEBRUARY 28, 2015, AT THE OMINE KARATE DOJO IN SAN BRUNO, CALIFORNIA:
[Jeff Mancilla Review] Figgiani Sensei is a consummate martial artist. His karate skills are electric, and his knowledge of Matsubaysahi-ryu and Okinawan karate, in general, is very impressive. His instruction of two man flow drills and bunkai (which consists of seizing, grappling and throwing techniques) is not only lucid, but it is very practical and easy to follow. The flow drills and bunkai taught are a breakdown of practical kata applications which elicits true combat self defense. The seminars are non-intimidating, educational, and very fun.
The Bunkai Two Man drill Seminar held at the Shugyokan Dojo has been a resounding success, and I have heard a great deal of praise from those who have attended this outstanding event. I and, along with everyone, believe that your dynamic, clear presentation and the genuine enthusiasm of your assistant, Kaufman Sensei, were key to this seminar’s success.
The demonstration you presented was without a doubt a well defined, simple, and concise presentation. Despite the many Yudansha people present at the seminar, you presented this in a manner where a first week mudansha-ka would greatly benefit from the experience.
After being in karate for so many years, I thought that this was going to be another long, two-hour boring monologue about kata. Instead, Figgiani Sensei and Kaufman Sensei grabbed my, as well as everyone else’s, full attention. There was never a dull moment. The Kata bunkai presented were a breath of fresh air. That day, I added more valuable “tools” in my “toolbox”.
Personally and without hesitation, I enthusiastically recommend Figgiani Sensei’s Understanding Bunkai Seminar and Workshop unequivocally. Regardless of what style of karate you are in, give Figgiani Sensei a call, and I am sure you will find him equally motivating like I did.
by Jerry Figgiani November 30, 2014
Sensei Jerry Figgiani is featured in Karate Masters Vol 5. The article titled “Jerry Figgiani: A Loyal Leader” provides a detailed overview of Sensei Figgiani’s experiences in the martial arts, outlines his unique journey, and offers glimpses into his vision for the future of karate.
Purchase your copy of Karate Masters Vol 5 on the Books shopping page.