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).

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Trainee from Murnau, Germany: Punito Aisenpreis

Punito Aisenpreis (Yondan) came for five days of private training in April. I was greatly impressed to see that he has improved his core karate greatly.

A harmonious mix of Kihon, Kata and Kumite was covered including Kakuyoku Nidan and Rakuyo; the new IKS Dan Examination Kihon; and a generic coverage of proper Budo Kumite Training via the various forms of kumite.

Overall, I feel that Punito's improvements reflect his serious training and study; furthermore, as a professional therapist and trainer he maximizes his own karate practice in a holistic manner. Clearly, this makes him not only an excellent karateka, but also as a valuable instructor/mentor for others. Needless to say, this also goes beyond Karate-Do. In these regards, I would like to congratulate Punito on his improvements.

Lastly, rather than precisely detail about what was covered over those five days (this is for Punito), here are a few images.

Osu, Andre

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

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Latest Training Regime

By request, here is a brief rundown on what I'm currently doing in my self training.


I’m currently focused on the new Dan Examination Kihon. The focus of these kihonwaza are not only for testing examinees but, actually to really increase their skill level. This new approach and system is already causing positive effects. Coming from an education background, I majored in education at the University of Canterbury, I wanted the syllabus to primarily be a mechanism for martial arts technical development and increased effectiveness: not just a set of moves/combinations that one needs to pass tests. In sum, I want karateka to be the best they can be, and the new kihon syllabus actively functions to do this (in the preparation for tests and throughout one's karate lifespan).


I’m currently going through all 65 of our official kata. Rather than exhaust you with the details, yesterday was Junro Shodan (—I will possibly write more about this very soon), Bassai Dai, Gankaku, Chinte, and Raiko. Today was Junro Nidan, Hangetsu, Enpi, Bassai Sho and Nijushiho. My training focus, in all kata, is always from my late Sensei’s advice; and accordingly, at present, mainly ‘technical/application—initiation’ is the top priority of my kata practice. Later in Halle, Deutschland this year, I will unveil a higher level of karate from Sensei, and in 2020 and beyond, this will expand further. Kata is at the soul of this process as it serves to transmit critical martial arts knowledge from the past. That being said, kata is useless unless it directly enhances one's self-defence capacity.


Like kata, I’m presently reviewing all the forms Kumite training. Decisively understanding and properly all forms of Kumite training is imperative to maximize training time. Today I worked on advanced Kihon ippon and Jiyu ippon Kumite. These forms of training underpin the core 'basics' of maximum power transfer—foundationally speaking. Kihon Ippon and Jiyu Ippon work together to achieve this target, therefore, are essential elements of optimal karate training.

Away from this broad daytime practice, my current socho-geiko (morning training) is still, of course,  ‘specializing’ (tokuiwaza, tokuigata etc...) as usual.

Greetings from Sakura covered Japan.

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

Friday, 29 March 2019

Video of Kakuyoku Shodan (Performed slowly)

As promised, here is a video of 鶴翼初段 (Kakuyoku Shodan) kata performed slowly. This was filmed yesterday prior to my training.

It is primarily for seminar attendees. I hope that this video helps you to review the key points covered and, consequently, results in your increased technical effectiveness.

Best wishes from Oita City, Japan.

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

Monday, 25 March 2019

Freital, Germany Seminar 2019 (Part V)

Brief seminar video, as a very subtle reminder of key underlying key points I taught, during the Freital 2019 Seminar.

These points generically cover one of the dimensions imperative for street effective karate - irrespective of ryuha/kaiha; that is budo/bujutsu karate.

By the way, we'd like to hear feedback on the seminar!! Video comments are always very appreciated.


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

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Freital, Germany Seminar 2019 (Part IV)

Click on the link below for another excellent and fun article (in both Deutsch and English). Many thanks to Oliver Schömburg Sensei!!

A drone was used by the host club to capture images.

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

Friday, 22 March 2019

Freital, Germany Seminar 2019 (Part III)

Here is another excellent summary of the Seminar, in Deutsch, by Andrea Haeusler Sensei (Karateschule-Muenster).

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

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Freital, Germany Seminar 2019 (Part II)

Here is the official report on the Freital Seminars—in Deutsch—composed by Andy Nietzold Sensei, including the two official videos and numerous photographs.


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

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Freital, Germany Seminar 2019 (Part I)

To begin, I would like to offer my thanks...

Firstly, to the main organizer of the seminar and my host, Stephan Pilz Sensei (3rd Dan), also his lovely family, who took very good care of me.

Secondly, Andy Neitzold Sensei (2nd Dan), who also administrated the seminar; furthermore, translated, amongst other things. 

Thirdly, Marco Herrmann Sensei (3rd Dan) who was the seminars MC).

Fourthly, the members and families of the Shotokan-Karateverein Freital e. V. club.

And fifthly, all of the karateka from across Europe whom attended.

A big "OSU" to you all from Oita City, Japan.
Official T Shirts from the 2019 Freital Seminar.

Shotokan-Karateverein Freital e. V.

Founded 1984, current round about 90 members. Leading instructors Stephan Pilz Sandan, Marco Herrmann Sandan. For those interesting in starting karate or finding a club in the Freital area here is their official website:

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