Historic Taikiken meeting in Japan, August 2004


August, 2004 a very important milestone was made in Taikiken´s history. For the first time a delegation from Europé visited Japan to spend 14 days together with our ”family” Japanese kenpoka in what turned out to be a wonderful experience and a life-time memory for all participants.
It is impossible to name all present but the following sensei were most involved:

From Japan :
Yoshimichi Sato sensei
President ofTaikiken, Japan.
Norimasa Iwama sensei Vice President
Akio Sawai sensei Vice President.
Yasuhide Takagi sensei Committe member
Shimada sensei Committe member
Seiji Sato sensei Committe member

From Europé:
Jan Kallenbach sensei, Holland :
President for Europé
Marshall McDonagh sensei, Sweden.
Jacques Legree sensei, France.
Bert de Waart sensei, Holland.
Julien Porterie sempai, France
Lars Sjöberg sempai, Sweden

Over the 2 weeks we participated in two large ( 120 –200 participants ) training sessions at Yoyogi Park, visited Takagi sensei Taikiken Shisei Juku dojo – more than 90 attended this training, a visit to a 300 year old temple nearby, and Takagi sensei´s mother had prepared a tremendous meal for us.

We were invited to Sato Yoshimichi sensei´s house for 3 days ( all 6 of us ) and enjoyed fantastic hospitality from Sensei and his wife Kyoko, of course training with Sato sensei´s group in Yuki, Ibaraki-ken. Two days were spent also as guests of Iwama Norimasa sensei and his wife Tomie with training up in the mountains, at his dojo, and by the riverside at Bushi, again with incredible hospitality and friendship.

Another Taikiken dojo from Sato Seiji sensei was visited with outdoor training of course. Lars Sjöberg Nidan Instructor from Oyama Karate Kai dojo managed to fit in ”keiko” at the Shinkyokushin honbu dojo in Tokyo as well, being welcomed very warmly there . Lars also met up with his good friend Kenny a Kyokushin Shodan who also joined us at Yoyogi Park for ”keiko” with Taiki kenpoka.


The group visited the grave of Taikiken founder Soshi Kenichi Sawai (1903-1988) to pay our respects.

On the cultural side we went to Nikko to experience the Toshogu Shrine ( Protected World Historical Treasure ) from the Tokugawa period – a most impressive site up in the mountains with a 3 hour car trip from Tokyo kindly arranged for us by Sato sensei.

A nostalgic meeting and very tasty lunch was arranged kindly at Tokyo Prince Hotel by Shihan Hatsuo Royama of Kyokushinkai ( Marshall sensei trained with him at Ikebukuro honbu dojo in 1965 and Jan sensei trained with him during 1967 ) His books were given to us by Nishioka-san from Kitensha, his publishing company. Nishioka-san was extremely helpful during our stay in many ways and gave us all a CD with all the photo´s taken during our visit.

The Japanese Budo magazines were very interested in our visit and covered all our activities.
The 14 days came to an end all too quickly at the same time it felt that we had been there a lot longer due to the intensive programme but extremely enjoyable in everyway.

It was a ”once in a lifetime” feeling felt by us all, old memories, old friends, very warm ( in all ways – it was in the high 30 degrees C ) hospitality, and friendship, showing what genuine budo interest can achieve, for Jan, Jacques, Bert, Marshall sensei this trip was renewing this feeling, for Julien and Lars it was the first contact with Taikiken in Japan – they will never forget it.

To all our old and new friends in Japan we thank you most sincerely for this experience.

Marshall McDonagh

The following photo montage gives some feeling to what we experienced.

With kind thanks to Kitensha Publications for the photographs in this publication.