Friday 1 May 2020


Japan’s GOLDEN WEEK has begun and unlike any other year, it will certainly be different due to the current pandemic. While the dojo is still closed, until it reopens, I am continuing my daily training; albeit, in my home and, even more so, outdoors.

For those of you who have come to train at my dojo here in Oita City, you will know that besides daily dojo-keiko, I regularly practice at local jinja (shrines) and temples.

I’d really like to stress here that I have no personal interest in Buddhism nor in Shinto… Just to clarify, my reason for training in these places is threefold: Firstly—unless there is a festival or some other special event, very few people are about. Secondly, the traditional Japanese architecture (I am self-admitted geek about old structures and history). Thirdly, I love training in nature (and, for the most part, the temples and shrines are in places such as beautiful forests, next to rivers, and so forth).

Today I will not describe my training but, instead some photos.

This years Golden Week can still be gold for everyone if they have an open mind and keep up their normal routines as best they can. I have found that the current situation has actually been very good for my karate training. My hope is that you and your loved ones are positive, and keeping in good health. André


© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2020).

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