Friday 7 January 2011

JKA Christchurch Reunion

This black and white photo from the 1990's was when my dojo JKA (Japan Karate Association) Christchurch was at its peak. We were affiliated to JKA Matsuno group directly through Tetsuhiko Asai Sensei, seperate to Abe Sensei's group in Auckland. Earlier this month Matt Brew, the then most senior member at my dojo visited Christchurch from Tokyo, where he has been living for over a decade. Matt besides Asai Karate also studied Qi Kung personally under Mrs. Keiko Asai

Anyway, Matt's visit resulted in the opportunity for the three most senior Canterbury and South Island Shotokan karateka to have a reunion. Lyall Stone (Christchurch Shotokan Karate Chief Instructor), Matt and myself.

Back in the 1990's I was a pretty brutal instructor (always trying to make my class harder than the JKA Honbu for my next training stint in Japan). Matt, Lyall and my other senior students endured this, so I am very lucky they still consider me as a close friend, not only as a karate sensei. Nevertheless, my club consistently produced the strongest JKA (Asai/Matsuno) Shotokan karateka in the country.

The support of Asai Sensei & Stamoulis Sensei really made JKA Canterbury strong in the 1990's and that strength continues to this day. What's more, the friendships forged are lifelong, sealed by blood, sweat and bruises.

© André Bertel, New Zealand 2011.

No comments: