2017 Summer Camp

2017 Summer Camp was another great event! Much thanks are due to all those who gave of their time to plan the event, create the schedule, and handle the meals! Thanks to all of the great instructors who gave of their time and knowledge to teach us all new skills! Those who were not able to attend missed out on a great opportunity! Everyone should plan to attend next year!

Victoria Cup Highlights

Published by Independent Sports News
Created: Thursday, 30 April 2015 21:31

Head kicks a plenty during youth point-fighting divisions  Don Osborne Photography

Head kicks a plenty during youth point-fighting divisions Don Osborne Photography

On April 25, 2015, the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE) at Camosun College Interurban campus played host to the 5th Annual Victoria Cup Karate Tournament. Directed by local karate instructors Hanshi Masanobu Kikukawa and Renshi Greg Turnbull, this year's event featured over 100 competitors from Vancouver Island and the lower mainland.

L to R:  Renshi Greg Turnbull, Shihan Mike Lilley, Shihan Paul Turner,  Sensei Erin Halstad-McGuire, Hanshi Masanobu Kikukawa     Don Osborne Photography

L to R:  Renshi Greg Turnbull, Shihan Mike Lilley, Shihan Paul Turner,Sensei Erin Halstad-McGuire, Hanshi Masanobu Kikukawa  Don Osborne Photography

In attendance were special international representatives from the WYKKO (World Yoshukai Karate Kobudo Organization): USA WYKKO Presidents Kaicho Hiroaki Toyama & Kaicho Mike Culbreth and Yoshukai Japan Vice-President Fuku-Kaicho Nobuyuki Matsumoto. Local long-time karate instructors Mike Puckett, Kurt Nordli, Frank Clayton, Sukwinder Manhas, Don Shapland, Pat Byron, Chris Barclay, and Carl Scott were also at today's event providing their support and officiating expertise.

Competitors and officials raise their arms in the shape of a “Y” in support of     Yoshukai founder Soke Katsuo Yamamoto     Don Osborne Photography

Competitors and officials raise their arms in the shape of a “Y” in support of Yoshukai founder Soke Katsuo Yamamoto   Don Osborne Photography

The Sheung Wong Hung Fut Kung Fu Lion Dance team kicked off the opening ceremonies which also included a group gesture, "Y for Yamamoto" to ailing Yoshukai founder Soke Katsuo Yamamoto. Soke Yamamoto was unable to travel to Victoria as he is currently in the fight of his life battling cancer back in Japan. Hanshi Kikukawa on behalf of Soke Yamamoto presented Kaicho Mike Culbreth with his 8th degree black belt, and local Yoshukai members also received black belt rankings: Greg Turnbull (4th degree black belt) and Arlin Ablaza (2nd degree black belt).

The morning's competition started with Raj Basi from Canada's Best Karate (CBK) taking 1st place in adult black belt kata while Ethan McKenna, also from CBK, took the gold in junior black belt kat,a and Paul Turner from WYKKO in South Carolina won the senior black belt division. Weapons kata divisions featured wins by Nick Graves from Yoshukai Canada in adult short weapons, Kyoka Shapland from Chilliwack Tenshinkan in junior black belt short and long weapons, and Paul Turner once again taking 1st in senior long weapons.

Head kicks a plenty during youth point-fighting divisions  Don Osborne Photography

Head kicks a plenty during youth point-fighting divisions Don Osborne Photography

Another feature of the morning's events included kata and point-fighting divisions for special needs competitors. The brain-child of local instructor Nancy Puckett, 6 competitors bravely stepped forward in front of the supportive crowds to demonstrate their abilities and inspire others facing the same challenges to do the same.

The afternoon saw the sparring competition in 3 categories: point-fighting, full-contact, and "bogu kumite". Similar to the morning events, Canada's Best Karate students Raj Bassi took 1st in adult point-fighting and Ethan McKenna took 1st in the junior black belt division. David Lee, from Puckett's Noble House of Karate, placed 1st in both black belt full-contact and bogu kumite divisions. All competitors showed good fighting spirit and technique along with good respect towards their opponents.

Overall, the event was a success with competitors and spectators providing positive feedback to the tournament organizers.


Update on Soke Yamamoto from Donna Toyama

Original FB update dated March 13th:

Toyama received a text message this morning from Minako San to say that the poster of the posted picture and well wishes had arrived. She immediately took it to the hospital for Soke to see. He had already been watching the picture from FB and asked Minako San to show it to him sometimes, at which point he was tearing up, overcome with emotion for the love and caring shown for him. He was very excited about it and asked that I send this message on FB.

Soke wishes for you all to know that he is so grateful for your love, support, and encouragement for him. When he first saw the picture, he was very sick and mentally giving up his fight. His doctors didn't have much hope because of the severity of the pneumonia, along with his already weakened condition from the cancer. When he saw the picture and heard your wishes, he felt a power and strength surge from within. He has continued to view it and gather strength, and much to the doctors' surprise, his condition stabilized and the fever began to subside. In fact, the doctor told Minako San that it was a surprise and miracle that they hadn't anticipated. At this point, they are discussing possibly releasing him, if he continues improving and they hadn't expected to be able to. He wanted you to know that he feels strength and will to continue to fight this and his wish is to be able to come see you all again, one more time. He asked to thank you all again for helping him to be strong and have the desire to keep pushing ahead.

Please continue to pray for Soke and his family. His condition is serious, and we know that love and prayers can give strength with God's help. Please feel free to send any wishes to Minako San, or we can provide an address to send by mail. He attributes much of his mental fight and inspiration to all of you guys in WYKKO. Let's keep him uplifted in the way that you are all so special at doing! Osu!

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2015 Winter Camp Highlights

We are so proud of the huge success of the WYKKO 35th Annual Winter Workout held on Feb. 20-21, 2015 at Pensacola Beach.  We would like to highlight just a few of the special moments and activities of the event.

Our weekend began on Feb. 20th with an awesome group of students testing for Black Belt promotions.  This group consisted of 4 students testing for Shodan and 2 for Nidan.  We were very pleased with the high spirits, stamina, and focus that the students exhibited throughout the testing!  Thanks to these students and their families for their hard work and diligence and to the dedicated instructors preparing our students.

The second day of the workout began with moderate temperatures of about 66 degrees, but very strong winds of up to 30 mph prevailed and also created waves close to 6 ft. at times.  It was immediately evident that red flags would be eminent to warn of the dangerous undercurrents present.  Despite any obstacles, a dedicated group of about 140 students poured onto the sandy beaches that morning.

The first activity on the agenda had nothing to do with Yoshukai katas, weapons, or physical fighting.  Instead, it began with one of the attributes that WYKKO students are best known for; sharing strength of heart, mind, and body to uplift and support others.  As many people know, Soke Yamamoto, founder of Yoshukai Karate, has been battling cancer for many months.  He cares very much for his students in WYKKO, his only recognized Yoshukai organization in the

U. S., and is uplifted by the care, love, and prayers of its students towards him.  In Soke’s honor, all students formed a heart on the beach with a raised fist to let him know he is in their hearts always and remind him of “Yoshukai Strong”.  Photos were taken and shared by many on Facebook.  Soke, being very sick at the time, was shown one of the pictures and smiled, indicating that he can't give up and must remain strong for his students.  He looks at the pictures often to gather strength from the support.  A canvas poster was made from one of the photos and mailed to him in Japan so that he may easily view it at any time as a reminder that his students are always thinking of and praying for his strength and healing.

After the photo, Yoshukai students did warm up exercises together before breaking into group sessions.  A variety of activities  were available for all levels of students, with instruction provided by some of our very skilled and enthusiastic instructors.  Thank you to Mr. Tony Adams for his special Black Belt presentation about demonstrating and teaching respect and manners toward others.  Other sessions provided instruction and practice in katas, weapons, sparring, and full contact training.  As a special treat, a variety of sessions were also provided specifically for family members and guests.  They included family fitness, self-defense, the history of WYKKO, and support training for parents or families of karate students.  It was a very busy training day with big successes and always hard work, combined with a barrel of fun, always inevitable of our many creative instructors.  Due to the inability to complete the workout with training in the gulf waters, some of the instructors cleverly devised a wet moment for the students.  Students gathered in the water’s edge on their knees, and as they practiced basic training, buckets of ocean water was thrown on them.  Of course, a few of the adults ventured into the edge of the water.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the day, and to those of you unable to attend, you were missed as always, and we hope to see you at the next event or soon!

After an opportunity to shower and change into dry clothes from the workout, the WYKKO instructors were asked to gather for a presentation of etched crystal plaques from the directors of WYKKO, Hiroaki Toyama and Mike Culbreth, along with their wives, Denese Culbreth and Donna Toyama.  Refreshments and a short time of fellowship was enjoyed just as a small gesture to let them know that even though not often said enough, they and their supportive families are appreciated more than words can express!

There are so many people to be grateful to for their hard work and dedication.  First, thank you to everyone that attended the workout, many making efforts to travel from long distances including CA, GA, SC, AL, PA, and FL.  Thanks to Mr. Josh McCullars, Mr. Erik Hofmeister, and Ms. Sherrie Hines for many hours spent in planning, contacting others, and for organizing and supervising the schedule.  Thank you to Mr. Gerry Blanck and his very busy and helpful assistant, Ms. Ashley Harrison, for traveling from CA and all of the assistance provided in your hometown.  Thank you to Mr. Sea Dog Selak for arranging the seafood lunch  buffet at Crab’s Restaurant.  Thank you to the finest and most dedicated group of Black Belts and instructors that can be found.  You always arise to every occasion, going over and beyond, putting the needs of the students first!  Thanks to the many others that have assisted in these many areas.  Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Culbreth and Mr. and Mrs. Toyama for provided arrangements and support.  Thank you mostly to all of the WYKKO family for supporting one another and supporting  Soke, who has said, “to make him keep fighting”.  Thanks for all you do everyday, all year, to make this not only a strong organization that encourages and cares for others, but one that can be well respected!  “Yoshukai strong!”   Osu!

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Welcome to our New Website!

WYKKO is proud to present a new website! Why the redesign? We recognized some needs that our old design just could't meet.

1) The new design displays well on mobile devices. We noticed that almost 20% of our traffic came from smart phones and tablets. Now our website will be very easy to use on any device.

2) Content is easier for us to manage now and easier for you to find on the website.

3) Less paperwork is a win for everyone! All Event sign-ups and fees can be accomplished through our store interface now. Don't worry- you can still pay with a check if you choose to sign up at our events instead of in advance.

4) We want to set a standard for excellence among U.S. martial arts organizations and attract new students.

5) With the new layout, we can give prospective students more information on Instructors and promote their dojos.