About

Thank you for visiting,

SippingTi is a blog about Okinawan martial arts. It is split into five parts comprising of an introduction to the styles I teach, a schedule of regular classes and upcoming events, photo and video gallery and an appendix with overviews of other Okinawan Karate and Kobudo styles on the island. A members section is available for those seeking training opportunities from abroad.

SippingTi has, like my own journey in martial arts, undergone several transitions. This probably won’t be the last.

Where I’m coming from

I’ve been training in karate for over thirty years, including periods living in Japan and Okinawa where I train privately with Higa Kiyohiko at the Bugeikan in Shuri.

With a foundation in judo from my father, my earliest karate training  was in Shotokan. Like most at that time, I simply didn’t know about other karate styles and you just joined the local club. At eighteen I moved to Tokyo to further my training where I had my eyes opened to the older methods of Okinawan martial arts and Funakoshi’s original art. Subsequently I stopped training in regular dojo, preferring instead to seek instruction with noted teachers until I eventually met Higa sensei.

In 2011, during an extended visit to the island, Higa Kiyohiko conferred to me the rank of 5th dan, granting permission to teach the techniques of the three styles I have been learning; Hanashiro Chomo’s Syuri-ti, Tachimura-ha and Yamane Ryu bojutsu.

Joel Reeves 5th dan Bugeikan
Joel Reeves (centre) receives 5th dan 2011

The approach to becoming empty

As a Tutor and professional Shiatsu Therapist my approach to karate emphasises the restorative nature of old-style karate, where the preservation of life is a value held in high esteem by many teachers of Okinawa’s fighting traditions. Consequently my training is geared for bringing the long-term benefits to health and the combative skills to protect it.

To those who train regularly with me the learning process often begins with gaining competence in a series of natural exercises, tail, in order to release tensions and restore broken lines of power in the body’s structure. Only through relaxation can we release the tensions and poor movement habits accumulated since birth and become ’empty’. From this stage we can begin to remould the body to receive good karate and develop true strength.

For those suffering with postural complaints and martial art injuries I am available for consultation.