Dojo Matsuri in Cuba
January 28, 2008 · 1:21pm EST · Posted by Fujiyama Dojo
Fujiyama Dojo
P.O. Box 20003
Thorold, ON, Canada
L2V 5B3
(905) 680-6389
On November 17, 2007, Bushin Dojo of Havana, Cuba, celebrated a martial arts demonstration and festival in commemoration of the anniversary of the dojo's inauguration. Invited to the event were delegations of other prestigious schools and members of the Cuban Federation of Martial Arts, the governmental organization that regulates martial arts instruction in the country. Among them were:

Aikido Mushin Juku. Under Egushi Nobuaki-sensei. Represented by Dr. Fidel Hechevarria Grave De Peralta and students.
Muso Jikiden Iai jutsu Komei Juku. Under Sekiguchi Komei Sensei. Represented by Cesar Towie and students.
La escuela Cubana de tradiciones del Machete Mambi (Cuban School of Traditions of The Mambi Machete). Under Prof. Frank Gonzales. Represented by Prof. Frank Gonzalez and students.
Koyama Tenmon Ryu Seizan Dojo. Under Sada Hiroshi-sensei. Represented by Enrique Perez and students.

Each delegation offered a message of congratulations and friendship and a demonstration of their art emphasizing their similarities in technique and spirit.

Of particular historical interest was the wonderful demonstration given by the delgation of the Machete Mambi school. The machete was the weapon of choice of the Mambises, the Cuban rebel army that fought the wars of independence of 1800's against Spanish colonialism. The Mambises' "carga al machete", an all out cavalry charge brandishing the now legendary weapon, inspired terror in the Spanish troops. The heroic leaders of those wars, like General Maximo Gomez, and General Antonio Maceo, are forever associated with the machete mambi and the many military victories owed to its well deserved reputation as a very effective weapon. It must be pointed out that the bravery and spirit of sacrifice of the mambi soldiers and the noble ideals of their most prominent leader, Jose Marti, known as the Apostle of the Cuban Independence, himself a teacher, a poet and a writer, draws a close parallel with Budo. This delegation's participation added a wonderful connection between Japan and Cuba.

Each delegation, however, put forth their best effort. The result was an awesome display of skill that was immensely well received by everyone present. The final demonstration was given by the members of Bushin Dojo. Several generations of Daito ryu students took to the mats in turn to honour their dojo, their ryu, and their teacher, Mr. Maximo Roy Sensei, with great martial discipline, and great enthusiasm, which showed in their actions and in their faces. The public's reception was no less enthusiastic.

Maximo Roy Sensei himself demonstrated several techniques in honour of his own teacher, and as a gesture of deep gratitude towards him. His closing emotional words expressed those feelings quite accurately. When he thanked his students for their loyalty throughout the years, the deep bow done by his students in response lasted a very long time. It was a well deserved reply for a teacher who has invested his whole life in the service of his ryu. Celebrating the longevity of the dojo was also a homage to the spirit of its members. The event was televised coast to coast as a special program by Cuban National Television, and will be followed by a documentary on the long history of Daito ryu in Cuba, already in production.


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