Sunday 9 September 2007

Blog name change

Naturally there are a lot of references to Asai sensei on this website, including private lessons, interviews, and other experiences I had with him (and much more to come!). In saying that, the core objective of this blog is MY ONGOING SELF-TRAINING. This blog is not an ‘Asai Tetsuhiko worship site’, but rather a means of sharing my karate experiences with you (past and present). Obviously the biggest external influence, on my advanced development; was from Asai Sensei, which is naturally of interest, to many people around the world. These training experiences continue to help me, as I technically evolve through my daily practice. To clarify the blogs emphasis on my own karate training, (namely my own perception and physical understanding) I’ve changed its name to as opposed to calling it "asaikarate", as this better represents this site, and establishes proactivity, as opposed to stagnation. Regardless of who you are, who you have studied under, and your 'percieved' achievements, YOUR KARATE is your own, therefore, all that matters is the quality, and intensity, of your own training.

The purpose of my blog

The nucleus of this blog is threefold, but best summed up by one word... “Training” (Training = blood, sweat, physical pain, the satisfaction of improvement, and the ability to apply ones karate, under extreme pressure - that is, in a dangerous altercation)... Here are the three main objectives of this site:

(1) Sharing my 25+ years of karate, namely the foundational ‘JKA Shotokan style’. That is, my 'physical training', and the discoveries I make (or have made) via my daily practice, here in Kyushu, Japan.

Sharing my training experiences under the direct guidance of the Tetsuhiko Asai Sensei, and the seamless incorporation of Asai-ryuha, into ones Shotokan training. Essentially this is my physical translation of what Sensei taught me. As Asai Sensei sadly passed away, this blog is appropriately dedicated to his memory (hence the original name of the blog).

(3) The incorporation of other training methods, ideas etc.., from other sources, which help me to improve my skills as a karateka/budoka. This was the constant advice of Asai Sensei. He didn’t want people to become ‘clones of himself’. Asai Sensei hated to copy others, therefore he stole from all sources, then created his own way, which best suited his physique and unique attributes. This is the only means, by which individuals can achieve greatness, in any field, karate included. Sadly, as many organisations aim to control their members and keep their wallets fat, this is usually not encouraged.


(4) Seperate from my core objectives, but crucial to mention: I have a non-political stance, therefore, this blog is for anyone interested in my karate experiences, regardless of style, organization, martial art etc. Even if you are not a practising martial artist, welcome! Hopefully my blog is an OK read for you!


Here's official letter, to those on my blogs mail list: (PS - If you want to become a member of the email list -it's 100% free, please drop me a line at and your address will be added).



Firstly, thanks you very much! The hundreds of emails, letters, and even some phone calls I have recieved, have been nothing less than fantastic. It's wonderful to know that people all around the world have been enjoying, and learning, from this little room on the web. I want people to steal my ideas, even better, improve them, or alter them, to more efficiently achieve their own training targets. Whether one is a complete beginner or senior instructor, I'd like to share what I have learned, and what I'm currently working on, with you. Likewise, I would like to hear your positive and negative feedback! As you all know, karate is a daily 'work-in-process' for me.

The address of my blog has been changed to wrestle an issue, which has been out of my control. I originally named the site "Asai Karate", however, many people have seemingly taken the site, as a 'worship alter', for Asai Sensei. Of course, the site is dedicated to the memory of my late teacher, Asai Tetsuhiko, and the preservation of what he taught me. However, it is also dedicated to the foundation (the karate of the unified JKA), which forms the base of what we now refer to as Shotokan. Without this solid base, Asai Sensei's karate is impossible to 'effectively' learn from, and likewise, self-innovation is clearly counterproductive. This base can only come from the 'large repetitions' of precise traditional kihon. This training never ends, regardless of age, dan rank, and position.

The concrete base of my karate, is that of the JKA; the advanced training I recieved from Asai Sensei is the marble floors, perhaps with a little bit of 'gold mix'; and the house is "what I'm building by myself". Just being a member of an organisation, or student of famous instructor, can not build your house for you! Only by proactively using the material they have provided, can you begin to build your house, and even then, you still need to source materials from elsewhere. Only through your own blood, sweat, and hardship in general, can you achieve a high technical level in karate. That is the ongoing target of my training, and all others who are true karateka.

Therefore the new address of my site is as follows:

Again, thanks to all of you for your kind support. I don't claim to be 100% right, but are trying my best via my strict physical training. Where my knowledge and ability fails me, I attempt to make up for it, on the dojo floor. If I maintain this physical commitment to my karate, I know I will continue to improve. This 'seeking of technical perfection' to me, is what completely defines karate-do. Without training fiercely, with this determined mentality, we have nothing more than an image.
I wish you the very best on your karate journey, OSU!
© André Bertel, Japan 2007

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