Miyagi Kan Roma was the first member club of I.K.O (International Karate Organisation) to be established in the Western world. With the 9th Dan head instructor, Maestro Evangelista at its helm, there is a wonderful ambiance and mixture of traditional karate practice as well as sports karate links. Shihan Barounis and Sensei Evangelista trained together in Japan almost 35 years ago, and have remained close friends despite the geographical distance of their dojos. They were able to see each other for the first time at Sensei Yamamoto’s 10th Dan Celebration in Tokyo, earlier this year. This was the first time in 25 years since their last meeting.

I first made contact with the Roman club through one of the Senseis, 5th Dan, Guglielmo Serafini, almost by chance on our club’s facebook page of Miyagi Kan Australia. When the opportunity suddenly came up for me to visit Rome, I could not pass through the city without at least trying to meet up with Guglielmo, Sensei Evangelista and train with the club.

I was picked up by scooter from Roma Termini and we took a crazy ride through the city, past the Vatican and up the hill overlooking Rome and finally going past the city limits and into the suburbs where I was to meet for the first time, Sensei Alberto Evangelista and others from the Miyagi Kan family for the first time. Since my visit was on the 1st July, this also happened to be the first official day of European summer, so classes had already broken up for the holidays. Fortunately, a class was organised due to my visit and I couldn’t have been happier to attend! It was a great pleasure to train and practice with the others who were there. The only way to describe my feelings from the training session and visit, was like meeting family for the first time. We had never met, but the lineage of our knowledge was obvious.

I hope that this year marks a significant reunion of our two clubs and the start of a closer relationship with our Italian friends.

Thank you to my new friends from the Miyagi Kan dojo in Rome – Sensei Alberto Evangelista, Sensei Giovanni Rotandella, Sensei Guglielmo Serafini, Mauritizo and Fabio for making my visit so pleasant and memorable.

Join their facebook page – “Quelli della MiYAGI KAN Roma Goju Ryu”