On July 29th, the team from Naminoue travelled to Osaka to compete in the All Japan Karate Championships (Junior). The team qualified after competing in the Okinawa championships. On this day, champions representing prefectures all over Japan come to meet and challenge each other. Their coach is none other that former Okinawan Kumite Champion, Ippei Yagi. Ippei Yagi is the 3rd generation of the Yagi karate legacy. He is the grandson of legendary Dai Sensei Yagi Meitoku and son to Meibukan Hombu Dojo president YAGI Meitetsu Sensei. Not only is he the coach to these national hopefuls but also a father to 3 of them. Ryuhei, Kohei, and Miko Yagi earned their place among their team mates to proudly represent their prefecture.
It was not an easy event. Like many kumite matches in Asia, Japanese combat matches require a toughness that is not common in North America. Paired with the quality of the athletes all over the country, this event will prove to be the most challenging in the young careers of these mighty mite warriors. Yet with such challenge the team returned with 2 second places. Both sons, Ryuhei and Kohei Yagi earned the number 2 spots in the nation.
Coach Ippei Yagi was truly proud and emotional with such pride and happiness. It was difficult to be stoic when his children announced “I do it for papa.”
MeibukanHombu.com congratulates the Yagi family on their latest achievement. Coach Ippei now has work cut out for him as he organizes the Okinawa Goju-Kai’s first combined Kata and Kumite event scheduled for November 25th.