A group of local martial arts enthusiasts from a Ballymena-based club head off this week on the trip of a lifetime to Japan.
Eight members of the Chujo Karate Association leave from Dublin Airport on Wednesday, returning on July 21.
The group are travelling under the leadership of CKA Chief Instructor, well-known Ballymena man Sensei Dan Redmond.
First stop will be to the karate Island of Okinawa to train there in the Dojo of Sensei Hokama in the village area of Nishihara.
Mr Redmond has visited Okinawa on two previous occasions and has formed a bond and close friendship with Sensei Hokama, one of the Island’s top Instructors.
Early morning training sessions will take place under the coaching of Mr Redmond in a local Naha City Park. Daytime will be spent visiting the many sites of famous karate Masters who formed styles that are taught worldwide.
Many people think that the character Mr Miyagi from the ‘Karate Kid’ movies was fictitious, but there was a real Mr Miyagi, who developed the karate style of Gojuryu. Each evening will be spent training in the Hokama Dojo in Nishihara Village.
On July 15, the group will leave Okinawa and travel on to Tokyo. Again training will take place early morning in a local park and then evening in a Dojo.
The group will also visit many of the sites of Tokyo including the Rendai Temple grounds where the Legendry swordsman Miyamoto Musashi fought his death duel with Yoshioka Seijuro.