Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Wow! Andre Bertel san! 見えない!高速空手!大分のアンドレさん!

Here is a video courtesy of Nishi Fuyuhiko San (KURO OBI WORLD after the last JKA Gasshuku here in Oita: under the guidance of Hashiguchi Yuji Sensei. I'd like to thank Nishi San for this but, more importantly, for his long time and ongoing filmatography of authentic Budo Karate.

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

Thursday, 14 July 2016


Next week I will be flying out of Japan to teach three international seminars in Europe (Germany, England and Italy). Usually, only once a year I have time to teach Karate outside of Japan—due to my very busy teaching and training schedule—so internationally speaking, ‘this is literally it’ for 2016.

For those who have secured places (to attend any of these three events) I look forward to training and camaraderie with you. If you have not yet booked a place, and wish to, I recommend that you contact the organizers immediately (on the off-chance that there might be a space left). – Osu, André.

André Bertel European Tour 2016

Where: Ahrensburg (Hamburg Metropolitan Region)
When: July 23rd and 24th, 2016.
Contact/Organizer: Oliver SCHOEMBURG SENSEI

Where: Poulton-le-Fylde (Lancashire)
When: July 30th and 31st, 2016.
Contact/Organizer: Michael BARR SENSEI

Where: Venezia
When: August 6th and 7th, 2016.
Contact/Organizer: Silvio CANNIZZO SENSEI and Mauro MION SHIHAN

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

Monday, 11 July 2016

New “Kuro-Obi World” on Vimeo!!

As you will know, I am a fan of Nishi Fuyuhiko San’s excellent ‘Kuro Obi World’ website: so I’m really pleased to announce its new channel on Vimeo. For everyone interested in Budo Karate it is definitely worth checking out! Here is a direct link:
© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2016).

Monday, 4 July 2016

大分県の空手家たちが素敵すぎる!Soul of JKA in OITA!

JKA Oita was featured on ‘Kuro Obi World’. I posted about this excellent training camp just recently.
Here is a direct link to that article... Osu, André 
© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2016).

Sunday, 26 June 2016


Photo after self-practice today: mae-geri keage and kizami mae-geri was the complete focus. Happy, but burned out thighs!!! 
Over the years, and especially recently, many people have asked me to start my own karate organization; however, I would only ever do that, if I was outside of the JKA (Japan Karate Association).

My hope is to stay in JKA and contribute to it as much as possible. That is why I returned to JKA in 2013. I HAVE NO PLANS TO FORM MY OWN KARATE ORGANIZATION. I am simply training and teaching. Osu, André.

© André Bertel. Oita, Japan (2016).

Sunday, 19 June 2016

9th Anniversary of André Bertel's Karate-Do

Today marks the ninth anniversary of this blog/webpage. Over those years—and, more than 1.4 million visits,—the objective of this site has remained the same: the training and promotion of the authentic 武道空手 (Budo Karate) of Japan. 
Rather than write much today I’d simply like to offer my utmost thanks to my supporters around the world.

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

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Sunday morning training with Morooka San

With Morooka Takafumi San after our training this morning. Morooka San is not only a big guy: he is also a technician.
Today I had an extra training with Morooka San (JKA 4th Dan). Normally I do not train on Sunday mornings. 

We practiced for two hours. The time was dedicated to the shitei-gata (Heian Shodan through to Tekki Shodan in chronological order); then Kanku Dai and Sochin. In particular, we focused on precise kihon in these eight Shotokan-Ryu kata. Taken as a whole, the session was very productive: especially in regards to linking the fundamentals of the shitei-gata to all of the other kata; moreover, Karate-Do in its entirety. 

Above all else, the shitei-gata never cease to be tough challenge and, because of this, they continue to push ones karate forward physically and mentally, irrespective of how long one has been a karateka.

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

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Updated Training Regime

It is hard to believe that June is already upon us! Here is my updated self-training regime.
Osu, André.


Sonoba-Kihon: (1) Chudan choku-zuki (Hachiji-dachi); (2) Jodan age-uke (Hachiji-dachi); (3) Chudan soto-uke (Hachiji-dachi); (4) Chudan uchi-uke (Hachiji-dachi); (5) Gedan-barai (Hachiji-dachi); (6) Shuto chudan-uke (Hachiji-dachi); (7) Mae-geri keage (Heisoku-dachi); (8) Yoko-geri keage (Heisoku-dachi); (9) Gyaku-zuki (Uken then Saken in Hidari then Migi zenkutsu-dachi); (10) Chudan mae-geri keage (Migi then Hidari in Hidari then Migi zenkutsu-dachi);

Ido-Kihon: The following ten techniques—all in zenkutsu-dachi unless otherwise specified: (1) Chudan jun-zuki; (2) Chudan gyaku-zuki kara jodan age-uke soshite chudan gyaku-zuki; (3) Chudan gyaku-zuki kara chudan soto-uke soshite chudan gyaku-zuki; (4) Chudan gyaku-zuki kara chudan uchi-uke soshite chudan gyaku-zuki; (5) Chudan gyaku-zuki kara gedan-barai soshite chudan gyaku-zuki; (6) Shuto chudan-uke kara shuto chudan-uke (Kokutsu-dachi); (7) Kizami Mae-Geri kara mae-geri keage; (8) Kizami mawashi-geri kara mawashi-geri; (9) Ushiro-geri kekomi; and (10) Either: a. Yoko-geri keage kara yoko-geri kekomi (Kiba-dachi) or b. Yoko-geri keage ashi o kaete yoko-geri kekomi (Kiba-dachi).

Reps: For each of the Sonoba kihonwaza, I execute each technique a minimum of ten times slowly, then and a minimum of 40 times in the regular fashion. Insofar as the Ido kihonwaza go, a minimum of 10 times slowly followed by 10-20 repetitions, with snap.


At present my training has mostly been dedicated to the four Sentei-gata: Bassai-Dai, Kanku-Dai, Enpi and Jion with references going back to the Shitei-gata. Often this includes extensive practice of one of the Shitei-gata, such as Heian Yondan, alongside Kanku-Dai etcetera. To treat myself I am triweekly concluding the kata section of my practice with a Jiyu-gata. Amongst these are Hangetsu and Gankaku (one of which I need to select for my next JKA qualifications exam), and Sochin.

Without going into details, I'm using Sochin to push my technical boundaries/limitations. This practice is pushing me to the limits, not only physically, but also mentally: as it is forcing me to control myself differently.

Reps: I’m currently using the `alternate slow motion/regular speed’ method of practice. Following this pattern it is customary to do each kata no less than eight times; that is, slowly then with regular speed to the north, south, east then west.


I. All the forms of `standard Shotokan kumite’ are presently in my regime: Nevertheless, rather than spreading myself wide and mitigating the positive results of my training, I have a specific theme. This theme is simple… ‘to maximize my channeling/transferring of power in all of my techniques’. Currently, Oi-zuki (Jun-zuki), Gyaku-zuki and Mae-geri-keage are the most important techniques in this process; hence I’ve also returned to the practice of Kihon Ippon Kumite (Kiri Kaeshi): as an extension of my ‘kihon ippon training’. In sum, I am doing Gohon-Kumite, Kihon Ippon Kumite, Kihon Ippon Kumite (Kiri Kaeshi), Jiyu Ippon Kumite and Jiyu Kumite (along with ‘Uchikomi’ work). On days when I don’t have a training partner I practice these as solo drills.

Reps: I am simply going through each drill once very slowly then at least two times in the regular manner.

Overall, my aim is to continue to improve both physically and mentally through Karate-Do training. I’m never satisfied, when looking back, so I must advance myself each and everyday. This is very challenging for me but, at the same time, provides daily satisfaction and, with that, perpetual motivation. Staying at one place is both boring and pointless, and needless to say, regression is even worse. Over 20 years ago I learned that ‘staying in the status quo’ and ‘regression’ are very closely related. I think this is what Funakoshi Gichin Sensei meant when he said: “Hitosu, karate wa yu gotoshi taezu netsu o ataezareba moto no mizu ni kaeru” (Karate is like boiling water; without heat, it returns to its tepid state). Best wishes  from Oita, Japan. To the limit!!!

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

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Private kata training for Ohtsuka Shohei

Today I had a trainee from Usa-Shi, Ohtsuka Shohei Kun. He wanted to study a budo version of Unsu, which he could also exhibit in competition. He wants to compete in both budo karate (JKA) and JKF: and demonstrate true Karate-Do. This, to me, is very good, as kata is not an aesthetic game but the foundation and time capsule of traditional Japanese budo/martial arts.    

He has had many wins in competition but is seeking more pure karate. Again, for a young man of 23, I really admire this; moreover, with hard work he has the capacity to do extremely well. He has speed, power and talent in abundance; nevertheless, here in Japan the level is so high, so the climb is very-very steep. One of my top goals is to support JKA Oita Prefecture as much as possible. I really want to give as much as I can to Oita.

In addition to Unsu I also corrected his Enpi and Jion. He was very receptive and excited when he felt the difference in his execution of kata and then experienced the oyo (applications). Overall, it was great to see him lift his execution of the kata covered and, indeed, his understanding. Ganbatte Shohei!!!

                                                       © André Bertel. Oita, Japan (2016).

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Renshusei from England: Michael Barr

Michael Barr recently came to Japan to be a renshusei (trainee) at my dojo. During his time here in Oita he completed ten hours of one-on-one practice. I’d like to congratulate him on completing this training and clearly improving his technical ability. OMEDETTO GOZAIMASU!

This year I will once again be teaching Karate-Do Seminars in Europe:

Ahrensburg (GERMANY)—July 23/24;
Poulton-le-Fylde (ENGLAND)—July 30/31; and
Venice (ITALY)—August 6/7

I'm reiterating this here as Michael has organized, and is hosting, the England portion of my Europe Tour. For those wishing to book a place on the Technical Seminars (July 30/31) in Poulton-le-Fylde, please contact him directly at:

Lastly, for those interested in Michael’s karate training experience here in Japan (beyond the photos featured in this post)—please click on the following link, which features a written report:

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