Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Andre Bertel - ITALY 2016: Video Two

Featured below is the latest video of my Seminars in Italy earlier this year. This video, kindly made by Silvio Cannizzo, depicts the first day of training. On that note, here is my 'YouTube Channel' updated: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9sLgH7TVz9zkLQ8okjxT4Q 

© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan 2016.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Stills from self-training today:

One of my favourite sayings in Karate-Do, and Budo (martial arts) in general, is that `one must talk with their technique`; that is, with their skill. Skill in Karate is not only movement, but being able to apply movements in Jiyu Kumite and, indeed, in self-defence. This requires daily practice with the constant aim of ichigekki-hissatsu: to finish with one blow. This physically summarizes  BUDO KARATE. For those who made the request, from around the world, here is my YouTube Channel updated: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9sLgH7TVz9zkLQ8okjxT4Q 
What`s your favourite video? Irrespective, we have new videos coming soon!!! Osu, Andre Bertel.

© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan 2016.

Friday, 21 October 2016

A look back to South Africa 2013

I was asked today to post the videos from my seminars in South Africa in 2013. Which video is your favourite and why? Irrepective, thank you for the request. Soon I will teach, back in my home country, New Zealand, and then Australia. The authentic traditional Shotokan people will be there, but the political `bought grade and qualifications people` wont show, as they never do'.

If necessary, we will collectively, and democratically, create a new direction. I hope that everyone works together for the best of karateka around the world.

André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2016).

Thursday, 20 October 2016

New `old video` from 2011

This video was just sent to me today. It was a small private training in my hometown, Christchurch, New Zealand back in 2011. Soon I will back down under giving seminars in Christchurch and in Australia. For those attending, see you there!! I am really looking forward to sharing some new knowledge in Oceania, which will give instructors a real edge. As a teaser, I`ve also pasted some other video links below. Which one is your favourite? Soon I`ll also post some new Karate-Do training videos from my dojo here in Japan; furthermore, you can look forward to the videos from my Seminars in Italy in August (2016), which will also be coming, in the near future, straight from Venice. I hope all of this footage will help you in your training. Best wishes from Japan.
Osu, André.

André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2016).

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Basic Hand Speed Training Video

I was asked to upload my basic handspeed training video onto YouTube. So, here it is.

I would like to thank everyone in Australia and New Zealand who have sent very enthusiastic letters about my upcoming seminars there: it is going to be a super couple of weekends in Oz and Kiwi-land for those who are attending!! Below the video are the official posters.

Best wishes from Oita-City, Japan.
Osu, André Bertel.
© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2016).

Monday, 17 October 2016


Here is the first video from my seminars in Venice, Italy, earlier this year. All of this footage has kindly been composed by Silvio Cannizzo Sensei. This first video is basically a collage of photos from the governement ceremony in Mira. Footage of the karate seminars will be coming soon, so stay tuned!
I would again like to offer my appreciation to Mauro Mion Shihan and Silvio Sensei. Furthermore, for all of those who attended the training from all over Italy, and those who travelled in from other countries (as depicted in this footage), best wishes from Oita-City, Japan.

Let`s follow the Karate Way together. Osu, André Bertel

© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan 2016.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Eden Ang comes to Oita (Part 2): Eden Ang Productions Video

Here is a video from my karate student, Eden Ang, from his visit—to have private training —here in Oita City. He did this after a 10 year break from Karate-Do!!  It also includes a road trip we did together. GREAT TIMES!! For more about Eden’s visit and exceptional karate background, click on the following link: http://andrebertel.blogspot.jp/2016/10/eden-ang-comes-to-oita.html.

With a few months practice I am sure he can return to a top international level!!! The hard point for everyone, including myself, is relaxation are the foundational techniques. But with Eden’s base talent, and extremely hard work ethic: clearly no problem.

I highly recommend Eden’s YOUTUBE Channel. Here is a direct link:

© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2016).

Monday, 10 October 2016

Eden Ang comes to Oita

We just had a wonderful weekend. My karate student Eden Ang, from Singapore, came to Oita for personal training and to catch up. I haven’t seen Eden in 10 years (literally a 10 year break from karate,, however, still engaging intensively in martial arts). For those who don’t know, Eden was a student at my full-time dojo in Christchurch, New Zealand, for several years. During that time, he attained the rank of Nidan—2nd Degree Black Belt—in Shotokan karate, gained a medal in individual kumite at an international karate championship, and won several New Zealand National Titles in both kata, and kumite.

Now, Eden works in Singapore’s entertainment industry which, to be honest, is not surprising when one considers his extreme talents in multiple fields. Even in his youth when he was in New Zealand, in addition to his karate prowess, he was a top level break dancer, actor (without limitations of genre) and musician. Underpinning these talents are what is most impressive… His work ethic: that is literally, second to none. In the dojo, he was one of the few guys who kept practicing after a killer class would end.
I would guess many people would simply judge Eden as being a naturally talented guy from my initial comments… Nevertheless, as his karate teacher, I see him very differently. My perception of Eden is a that of a REALLY—REALLY HARD WORKER. Yes, he is extremely talented, but he has not rested on his natural ability but, rather, pushed himself even harder to follow his dreams and achieve his goals. I think this is inspirational for young people and older people alike, also intimidating for many. It is a message for everyone, and a message and lifestyle that I really resonate with. 

For Eden’s legions of fans this will be unnecessary, but for those are not familiar with his work, here is a link to his YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/user/GardenOfEdenAng

In regards to the training he had, while here at my private dojo, Eden humbly requested kihon/foundational techniques and a budo/martial arts version of Unsu kata, with applications: as opposed being focused on aesthetics. Again, this was unambiguously reflective of his traditional budo background/understanding (that doing kata properly makes everything else is easy). It was amazing to see him try Unsu after a 10 year break, due to his work commitments. I think if he trained for a few months he would be back to international level.

Overall, we also did an izakaya party, an outdoor practice at a jinja (shrine) in the mountains where I often self-train, a beach session... etc... In sum, you can look forward to what Eden puts online. Stay tuned. Osu!

 © André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2016).

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Foreign Renshusei (Trainees)

The following list includes the non-Japanese karateka who have come to Japan and had private lessons with me. Others have come to train, but the following karateka have: (1) officially applied to be renshusei; (2) have been accepted; and (3) completed training as renshusei. To those on this list, "Omedetto gozaimasu!!!"

1. ANG, Eden (SINGAPORE) 2016

2. BARR, Michae(ENGLAND) 2016


4. ROBERT, Yann (FRANCE) 2015

5. ROBERT, Phinh  (FRANCE) 2015




9. MORALDE, Heidi (AUSTRALIA) 2015   


11. LAMPE, Peter (GERMANY) 2015

12. KÖHLER, Frank (GERMANY) 2015

13. SCHÖNE, Rainer (GERMANY) 2015

14. PINTOS, Leo (AUSTRALIA) 2014

15. JORDAN, Pietro (ITALY/CANADA) 2014

16. LEHMANN, Christa (SWITZERLAND) 2014

17. DILKS, Morgan (NEW ZEALAND) 2014

18. RIVAS, Sergio (SPAIN) 2013

19. DUKAS, Bryan (SOUTH AFRICA) 2010


21. JEHU, Lyn (WALES/JAPAN) 2009

22. DILKS, Morgan (NEW ZEALAND) 2008

23. LEHMANN, Christa (SWITZERLAND) 2008

24. KELLY, Ben (IRELAND) 2007 

PLEASE NOTE: This list will be periodically updated and re-published when foreign karateka come and complete training at my dojo.
Application to be a renshusei: To apply please email me directly at: andrebertelono@gmail.com. In your email include the following: i. your proposed dates to train; ii. full details: if other karateka will be coming with you; iii. dan rank(s); iv. age(s)—please note, those under 18 must be accompanied by a parent/caregiver; and (v) any questions/inquiries that you may have. Also note, that in the case of groups of five or more, the leader/organizer will only be listed.
 © André Bertel. Japan (2016).

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

One? A handfull?? Or heaps??

Movement one of Shotei (dai) kata: Migi zenkutsu-dachi, migi kakuto jodan age-uke.
Every month I include one or two non-syllabus kata in my training. At present, my focus is back on ‘Rakuyo’. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this kata, the name Rakuyo implies a leaf falling from a tree. The leaf falls lightly in the wind and effortlessly flips and turns around, eventually reaching the ground, and landing gently.

Accordingly, this means that Rakuyo, like the other koten-gata, is extremely relaxed and natural. Kime is achieved not by muscular tension; but, rather, by using the whiplike snap of the joints and decisively arresting the technique in the correct positions naturally. This is really useful as I am recovering from a serious injury.

Joko Kata: 'Advanced kihon development kata'  if intrinsically understood.
In Rakuyo, the similarity to mainstream Shotokan is the maintenance of correct shisei (posture), kihon tachikata (fundamental stances), unsoku (footwork) and waza (technique). However, the techniques take a step up ‘application-wise’ and are, thus, more challenging.

Probably the most challenging 'technical point' for non-Japanese karateka is kakato chushin and, in relation to this, use of the vertical, horizontal and diagonal axises.

Yes, it is true that you don’t need anything outside of the standard Shotokan kata to acutely develop such points; nevertheless, practice of such kata can catapult one’s development forward and can also be very motivational.

Training, in my pre-teens, teens, 20s, 30s and now in my 40s, I feel just as motivated as ever in my Karate-Do: if not, even more `driven’! Kata such as Rakuyo are at the centre of this motivation; because, in addition to standard Shotokan, they trigger accelerated technical skill: via placing the bar much higher. This accelerated skill development is very satisfying, and additional technical variations always keep things interesting.

Like the majority of traditional karateka, I believe one kata, or a small handful of them, is more than enough. That being said, one can be a specialist in one or two kata, and also train more broadly at the same time. This approach, has greatly helped me as an instructor, over the years, to help my students and trainees according to their needs; moreover, in accordance to what they want from Karatedo.

© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2016).