Saturday, 22 June 2019


I've been alerted by a few hundred people, over the last few days, that this blog just had its 12th Anniversary. Thank you all very much for this support.
POST ONE -- JUNE 19th, 2007

While this website/blog will never be so big - as it is not a part of mainstream commercial karate - it's still had over 1.6 million visitors.

Consequently, I'm really happy that so many practitioners, from all around the world, are training and primarily seeking karate as an effective and serious martial art of self-defence. 

Most appropriately, my next seminar outside of Japan will be IKS-1. This seminar will begin a group of trainings around the world that will share knowledge never taught outside the most elite Shotokan dojo (plural) here in Japan before.


This will be INTERNATIONAL KARATE SHOTOKAN's ( 国 際 空 手 道 松 濤 館 ) first international Gasshuku outside Japan. It will be hosted in Halle, Westphalia Germany, in September of this year. This event, will be very valuable for those who attend and will begin the opening of a new phase of Budo Karate knowledge distribution from my late teacher. 

More information will come soon!!!

© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2019).

Friday, 21 June 2019

Trainee from Lübeck, Germany: Jan Kohberg

Jan Kohberg from Lübeck, Germany, came for four days of intensive technical training this week. 

His objective was to learn effective budo karate applications, which covered each day via the connectivity between Kihon, Kata and Jissen Kumite/Goshin-jutsu (real fighting/self-defense).
To initiate this process the six shitei-gata were used, for the fundamental base, followed by a request for Kakuyoku and Enpi. Overall, I saw Jan’s level greatly improve each day and was impressed by his eager willingness to learn and, indeed, his physical effort.  

To wrap up I’d like to congratulate Jan on his progression and wish him all the best for his ongoing martial arts development. For those interested in coming to Japan for instructor and/or elite training as a Renshusei, please read the information below

© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2019).


Renshusei training purposes...While being a renshusei is not really hard training, like daily dojo practice is—but it is very technical—as the purpose is two-fold: (1) to greatly enhance each trainees ability/skill level; and (2) to pass on 'closed door knowledge' from Japan. 

Application...For those wishing to apply to be Renshusei (here at my dojo in Oita City) you must book well in advance to avoid disappointment. As a general rule, it is highly advisable to check my availability then secure the available days, and times, at least three months in advance. This can be done by emailing directly me at:

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

International Seminar in Braga, Portugal (PART IV): VIDEO TWO

© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2019).

Sunday, 16 June 2019

International Seminar in Braga, Portugal (PART II): DOJO PROFILE

In this post I am going to provide a DOJO PROFILE about the host club of my recent seminars in Braga, Portugal. I 
would like to thank Francisco Pinto Sensei for providing this and also Tiago Gomes for his assistance.

Karate Braga hosted my first seminar in Portugal on June 8th and 9th.

DOJO PROFILE: `Karate Braga – Portugal`

Karate Braga was established in January of 2001


The chief instructor is Francisco Pinto (4th Dan);
Instructor assistants are Paulo Narciso (3rd Dan); and Rui Moreira and Agostinho Costa, whom both have the rank of 2nd Dan.

Dojo’s location:

Semelhe's Cultural Center of Parish Council
Address: Rua do Souto nº8    4705-363 Semelhe – Braga - Portugal. GPS 41.554682,-8.460353     Maps

Training days:

Monday, Wednesday and Friday (Saturday and Sunday with appointment).

Training schedule: 

Beginner's class from 19:00 - 20:00.

Graded members class from 20:00 - 21:00 (Friday: until 21:30).

Information and images:

© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2019).

Friday, 14 June 2019

International Seminar in Braga, Portugal (PART I): NEWSPAPER

I'm now back in Japan after giving my first seminar in Braga, Portugal. To preview the upcoming impressions, images and YOUTUBE video, here are some Newspaper Articles. You can click on these to enlarge them for better viewing.

Stay tuned, more to come soon!!

© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2019).

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Trainees from Deutschland: Axel Hoffmeyer, Frank Kohler and Peer Frasch (VIDEO)

As promised here is a brief video from last weekends Instructor Class with trainees Axel Hoffmeyer, Peer Frasch and Frank Kohler. 

© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2019).

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Trainees from Deutschland: Axel Hoffmeyer, Frank Kohler and Peer Frasch

Over the weekend, three karateka from Deutschland, Axel Hoffmeyer (3rd Dan), Frank Kohler (4th Dan) and Peer Frasch (3rd Dan) came to me, for advanced Budo Karate training, here in Oita City.

Rather than describing the lessons I taught I've instead decided to post images. Soon a brief video will also be released on YouTube as a subtle reminder of  some of the key points covered.

Last but not least, I would like to congratulate Peer, Axel and Frank on their completion of the three days of training; moreover, for the significant improvements they have made to their Karate technique. Osu, André

© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2019).

Wednesday, 22 May 2019


The YouTube video featured below is from Day Two—Lesson 3—from my May 2019 Seminar in New Zealand. The seminar was hosted by ‘International Karate Shotokan Christchurch’ and was a very small exclusive event.

I’d especially like to thank the head organizer Peter Burtenshaw Sensei, Matt Brew Sensei and the members of the club. Special mention of Troy Gutry and, indeed, Geoff and Jan!!!

Also special mention must go to Morgan Dilks Sensei who travelled down from Palmerston North, Shivam Patel who flew in from Auckland and Janine Krekel who travelled all the way from Frankfurt, Germany, to attend the seminar.

Lastly, congratulations to everyone who attempted exams. Pass or not pass, the experience is always what matters the most. The spirit of perseverance and resilience are high on the agenda of all true karateka and budoka in general.

Overall, I hope is that this brief video will act as a subtle reminder of some of the key points taught in the third session for all who attended. If you have time, please paste a comment! 

Please note: Many people from around Japan and around the world ask me to upload more videos! To answer these people... `Likes`,`shares`and/or `comments` literally motivate  me to post more.

© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2019).

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Trainee from Canada: Tyler Higo

Tyler Higo (Yondan) from Canada, and a member of of Shototakuhirokan, came and completed a private lesson with me here today.

The practice was kata and self-defence focused, namely in the form of Kanku Dai, Enpi and Kakuyoku Shodan. I had several key points I wanted to share with Tyler (from his last private training with me).

After training we visited Funai Jo (castle) which, while no longer exists, is illuminated. There we practiced a little more focusing on some questions Tyler had for me on mawashi-geri and some other points.

Overall, it was super to catch up with Tyler and give him a private lesson before I travel to New Zealand to teach there. Tyler, my family and I wish to you and your family all the very best for your remaining time here in Japan. Until next time, osu!!

© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2019).