Ultimately, at the very end - in our last hour, all that we are is all that we have been. I'm not sure if we can take anything with us when we depart but certainly we can all decide what we leave behind in the hearts and memories of those we choose to keep around us. Positivety, negativity, joy, hardship, ego, modesty and honesty all play a natural role in the continual personal development of our own character, spirit and personality in this unique journey which we call 'life'.

What we all experienced and achieved during the Okinawa Tour of 2009 is above and beyond normal life experience and opportunity. We have been shown new ways of culture, thinking and Karate - some of which were familiar to us and others not so. What we choose to take from this can be used to shape how we are now and in the future with positive impact on our Karate and, inevitably, on our everyday lives; just as we were given the opportunity to experience the ways of Okinawa, we are now given the opportunity back at home, to nurture and develop what has been taught to us and channel this through the expression of our own understanding of Karate.

One comment which was of particular importance to me was: "It is the still water which best reflects the true picture."
This has reinforced my efforts to quiet the turbulence in my mind, to try to review all things calmly rather than to entwine painful memories with lingering emotion. Although I find this tremendously difficult, I will endeavour to keep this advice in mind in the hope that one day I will be able to learn from the many experiences I have such fear to look back upon.

pict0123.jpg picture by Okinawa trip 2009 Fukushuen Gardens, Naha

My heart-felt Thanks and Gratitude go to Dave Wilkins and Lauren Frearson and all those who made this fantastic experience possible and until I can return to Okinawa, I shall revisit frequently in my thoughts.

Thanks and Peace to all. Pete Tinsley. 27th April 2009