Change happens frequently throughout our lives. At times change is sought after and welcomed, other times it is brought upon us by tragedy. This year has shown us many changes. Our dojo downsized and underwent a remodel, we expanded classes and adjusted others, we welcomed new students and said goodbye to others.
The biggest and most recent change has undoubtedly been the loss of our teacher and mentor— Shimabukuro Masayuki Hidenobu. Shimabukuro Sensei began visiting Bakersfield in early 1994, establishing a long term relationship with a handful of students lasting better than eighteen years.
When we lose someone, we grieve, in time we heal, and hopefully grow an understanding of the example they left for us. Shimabukuro Sensei made an enormous impact on my life and the lives of so many; I am honored to have had the opportunity to be his student. The budo family that Shimabukuro Sensei left behind is a testament to his life. We, his students, are drawn together and dedicated to continue his vision, to grow and continue to grow our budo family, both within our communities and around the world.
I look forward to welcoming new faces and representing our teachers, traditions and budo family for years to come.