Tuesday 31 December 2019


I have uploaded a slow performance of 掌手 (Shoute) kata. This is the version taught by my late teacher, Asai Tetsuhiko Sensei.

Tomorrow 国際空手道松濤館 (IKS - INTERNATIONAL KARATE SHOTOKAN) will release a website. It will be under construction for some time yet, but there!

Lastly, I'd like to wish everyone a very happy new year and new decade.



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

Sunday 29 December 2019

Trainee from Pretoria (PART 2): VIDEO

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

Wednesday 25 December 2019

Trainee from Pretoria, South Africa: Simone Roig Collado (PART 1)

Simone Roig Collado (5th Dan) from Pretoria, South Africa, just completed 10 days here in Oita City as a Renshusei at my dojo.

During her time here I saw her greatly increase her skills via studious training and increased self-awareness skills: both are at the core of the IKS 国際空手道松濤館  (International Karate Shotokan) Renshusei Program. The essence of this is to gain measurable results which are tangible. In sum, the training here is all about getting real results—immediate and long term improvements, as opposed to stylistic differentiations—which are largely irrelevant in the greater budo/bujutsu context.

This is why I don’t correct differences, I only correct biomechanical errors and advise about superior application methodologies.

While I'll not go into the specific training that Simone received, as a Renshusei (as always, that is for her and whom she wishes to share it with), I will say that a lot was covered in depth. Amongst the lesson contents included 鶴翼 (Kakuyoku), 青柳 (Seiryu), 明鏡二段  (Meikyo Nidan) and most notably, 掌手 (Shoute).

Throughout the time 'trainee specific' 基本 (Kihon/fundamentals) were covered such as improvements/advancements of koshi no kaiten, tai no shinshuku, teashi onaji, shime, and so forth. Needless to say, everything was related directly to effective application in 組手  (Kumite/unarmed self-defense).

Taken as a whole, Simone did extremely well and, as previously stated, really improved each day. I’d like to once again congratulate her. Added to this, she became the first non-Japanese Renshusei to train at the new Oita-Prefecture Showa Denko Budojo.

Outside of the dojo it was great to spend lovely times with Simone, her husband Carlos, and their little daughter Natalia. We wish you all the very best for the final week of 2019 and, indeed, in the New Year.

 André Bertel

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

Tuesday 10 December 2019


In a mere few weeks we will be entering into a new year and, also, a new decade! While theres still another 21 days of training left to do, Im beginning to do my annual wind-down training, by going through the new 国際空手道松濤館 (IKS: International Karatedo Shotokan) grading syllabus—基本 (Kihon), (Kata) and 組手 (Kumite).

Working through the updated syllabus, just a few days ago, I made a trip to train at Futagoji, which is another famous temple here in Oita Prefecture.

Located deep in the Kunisaki Peninsula, Futagoji was founded over 1,300 years ago. While, indeed, this iconic temple is in Oita, it still took me a few hours (from my home in central Oita City) to get there. As a result, it’s been over 12 years since I last visited and practiced Karate there.

Ever since I first came here to Japan in 1993, I’ve enjoyed training at shrines and temples. I’m not a Buddhist, nor follower of Shinto; however, the architectural beauty and immersion in nature, make them ideal for highly concentrated and intense karate practice. Here in Oita, such traditional places are so vast and, unlike more populated regions of Japan, it is possible to visit them without disturbance.

Lastly, I would like to say that announcements will be made soon:

(1) Regarding dojo and group affiliations to Japan with IKS.

(2) The new examination syllabus.

Osu and greetings from chilly Oita City, Japan. - André

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

Sunday 1 December 2019

紅葉 (Koyo) Part Two: 百聞は一見に如かず

右上段手掌突き (Right upper level palm heel thrust). Kihon training in beautiful Yufuin, Oita.

Enjoying Koyo with my daughter before commencing my daily self-training.
Kata: 八門 (Hachimon)
 © André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2019).