Learning from the best in the birthplace of karate was a memorable experience for members of a Masterton family.
Steve Riley, his wife Sharron and children Luke and Sarah headed to Okinawa, Japan, for three weeks training at the world honbu dojo with Master Higaonna Sensei, a 10th Dan black belt who is rated as one of the leading Okinawan Goju Rhy instructors on the planet.
Not only did they have the privilege of being trained by Master Higaonna each evening but also attended morning sessions taken by Ernie Molyneux Sensei, chief instructor of England.
"It was full on, tough but enjoyable," Sharron Riley said. "The quality of teaching was amazing, you couldn't help but benefit from it."
Steve Riley, a fifth Dan black belt, is main instructor at the Masterton Okinawan Goju Ryu karate club, which holds adult training classes at their Te Ore Ore Road headquarters on Monday and Wednesday nights, starting at 6.30pm, and a children's session on Tuesdays, starting at 5.30pm. Sharron, Luke and Sarah Riley are all first Dan black belts.
The Rileys are appreciative of the support given to them by the Wairarapa Sports Education Trust and other members of the community in fundraising for their trip and are keen to pass on the knowledge to club members.