Thank you, Peter Mcguire for the following article.

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Hanshi Yamamoto 10th dan ceremony and celebration / Tokyo Japan
7th Feb 2010

The following overview is from my experience of attending this event earlier in the year.

It was an honour and great privilege to attend this event and to also experience the global reach of the IKO. The ceremony can be viewed on this site and not only was it a ceremony for Hanshi Yamamoto to celebrate the ultimate achievement from a life as a Karate student spanning 58 years of diligent teaching and practice, but also for students in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s to practice and learn from each other in a wonderful learning environment.
As a student of the IKO to witness and participate in this event confirms my belief in Karate being a way of life for its followers. The IKO brand spans many countries and the following students represented these countries:
• Hanshi Evangelista 9th dan (Italy)
• Hanshi Barounis 8th dan (Australia)
• Kyoshi Burdett 7th dan (Australia)
• Kyoshi Tsanidis 7th dan (Australia)
• Shihan Yeung 6th dan (Hong Kong)
• Shihan Bridge 5th dan (Australia)
• Shihan Tsanidis 5th dan (Australia)
• Jokyo McGuire 4th dan (Australia)
• Sensei Tan 2nd dan (Malaysia)

We participated in 3 practice sessions in the week prior to the ceremony and this allowed us to be critiqued by two 10th dan / Hanshi Yabe & Yamamoto, 9th dan Hanshi Tokuma, 8th dan Kyoshi Mori and 7th dan Shihan Maeda. This level of practice and teaching is unheard of in any style and this is definitely one of the core beliefs of the IKO that students of any age and rank are forever students and that they will always strive for constant improvement.
The achievements of Hanshi Yamamoto are legendary and his energy and commitment are remarkable for a “young man” of 73 years. We have all heard stories of his Kumite skills and also those of Hanshi Yabe who were truly the “hard men” of Goju-Ryu in their prime. We must also appreciate their ongoing building of the brand across the globe for IKO Goju-Ryu Karate and that they are true ambassadors of our style and sport.

I do sincerely hope that you also visit the Tokyo Honbu (Main dojo) sometime soon and experience the IKO Karate brand so as you to can appreciate what you belong to as a student.

Regardless of your age you will find the experience stimulating and rewarding as you will practice with IKO legends on any night of the week and their hospitality is truly very welcoming. It was wonderful to see very familiar faces who I have known for nearly 30 years including the following:
Kyoshi Mori 8th dan
Kyoshi Yatagawa 8th dan
Shihan Maeda 7th dan
Shihan Mori 6th dan
Shihan Yonaha 6th dan
Shihan Kracklauer 5th dan

And finally I would sincerely like to thank a true gentleman and wonderful global ambassador for the IKO / Shihan Oi, who without fail was the true social glue of the organisation and his passion towards the IKO is contagious.

Yours sincerely

Jokyo McGuire 4th dan