By: Alessandro Arangio Febbo – IOGKF Okinawa

Higaonna Dojo senior member, Sensei Alessandro Arangio Febbo recently returned for a visit to his home country of Italy. During this time Shotokan clubs all across the country, as well as IOGKF Italy took the opportunity to get this well experienced Karate-ka to their Dojo’s for rare training sessions...

 From 10 to 30 September 2010 I went to Italy to visit my parents and at the same time teach and contribute at the diffusion of traditional Okinawa Goju-ryu, with the coordination of IOGKF Italy's Chief Instructor, Paolo Spongia Sensei.

The 1st training was held around Milano city (Legnano) and started on Saturday 18th in the afternoon (starting with kids and then after adults) and continued the next day, Sunday morning (only adults).

This group (of Shotokan practitioners) contacted me from Italy a few months ago and asked me if I was interested in teaching them Goju-ryu, and they organized the event.

I found there a good atmosphere and some good people who wanted learn and study seriously.

I wanted to introduce them to, and also in the following events of this trip, the typical and traditiona Okinawa Goju-ryu training, which in my opinion was the best course of action for these circumstances (all event groups on this trip were Shotokan, except in Rome where I taught  under the Chief Instructors indication). I taught Junbi-undo, Hojo undo (I brought there in my car CHISHI, KONGOKEN, ISHI-SASHI, TETSU-GETA, TAN and other), conditioning and Kakie, of course with applications.

It was a success and I was surprised especially about 3 kids who wanted take place in the training on Sunday, with great attention and seriousness and I congratulated them and all participants for their good spirit.

The next training was held around Pavia city (Broni) on Tuesday 21 Sept. Here too I did same schedule as described above. This was a group connecting at "SAMURAI BUSHIDO" magazine for which I wrote and I am writing currently some articles about Okinawa Martial Arts and culture. The magazine's owner invited me to teach and also while I was there the participants demonstrated a good interest and diligence towards the training.

See Kakie Highlights from this session below:

See Body Hojo Undo Highlights from this session below:

After that I went  to Rome on Sunday 26 Sept and I collaborated with the Italian Chief Instructor, Paolo Spongia Sensei, to do the autumn National seminar with around 80 people taking part in the event. It was a good occasion for me to get to know IOGKF Italy’s instructors and students a little better.

Watch Highlights from the IOGKF Italy Gasshuku here

This teaching was easier than others for me because here everybody was already practicing Goju-ryu (contrary to others who, as I mentioned before, were from Shotokan). I started with Junbi undo, and after Spongia Sensei taught some Kihon techniques; then he separated the participants into 3 groups, and he continued with Kata. I did Chishi and taught some Yakusoku Kumite techniques, and  Roberto Ugolini Sensei taught bunkai. Each group changed after a while and everyone trained very well and were already prepared with a great spirit from their normal training, which was great to see.

I am grateful to Spongia Sensei who invited me and I hope to collaborate again with him again in the future.

Sensei Febbo – Shisochin Demonstration video:

The next day, on Monday 27, I went one more time around Milano city  but in a different place (Seregno) to do another training session. The responsible teacher, Paolo Ornaghi Sensei (he too contacted me a few months ago), had asked me to teach Seipai Kata and applications. There were about 40 people and this session too was interesting and everybody applied themselves very well and I valued their good spirit.

On the last day of training, definitely unexpectedly, was held around Genova city (Arquata Scrivia) and here too (the same style, except in Rome) it was a Shotokan group with about 30 people taking part. I taught them Junbi undo, Hojo undo, conditioning and Kakie, like I did in the other places.

See Junbi Undo Highlights from this session below:


See Hojo Undo Highlights from this session below:

This trip was a wonderful experience for me, and I wish to express my appreciation to all who trained in traditional Goju-ryu Karate and showed its true characteristics. Everyone (I am speaking of course about our Shotokan friends who tried Goju-ryu for the first time) was happy to try our traditional training and I hope this is only the beginning of the good work to contribute to the promotion of Goju-ryu in Italy and in all the world with chief instructors’ cooperation.