I have watched the video tape, it is very interesting and
give me a lot of good ideas about ashihara karate movements. I think it
will help me study ashihara karate. The documentation takes a little bit
time to study but I am working on it. I am very impressed about your demonstration
with the red cross car, I think it needs a lot of concentration, how are
you working on your concentration? Do you have some special exercises to
improve your concentration?
André Kelinski - Berlin, Germany
I received your tape and have viewed it several times.Thank
you so very much. I was struck by several things:
South Africa is beautiful. It looks like Hawaii without
the crowding. I wish there had been more of your karate on the tape. Your
system looks to be very interesting and very different in concept from
the Shito-ryu I've been trained in. I loved your basic kata: is that something
that you created? Would you mind if I incorporated it into my system?
One of the complaints I have with kata is that so few of them have kicking
in them. The principles of your kata seem to fit in with the principles
of our system. Thank you again for the tape. If you ever get
to the U.S., you have to promise me that you will do everything possible
to come to the Northwest and stay with me and train with my school.
Hank Prohm - USA
Thank you, I received the tape a couple of days ago.
Russ Smith - USA
I have received the tapes and manuals that you sent.
Thank you! You asked me for my comments and they are provided as follows:
I am enjoying the tapes very much.
Content of basic techniques tape:
1. Having been in kyokushinkai for years the basic techniques
are familiar to me.
2. The Ashihara specific techniques were good and valuable
3. I think the katas are practical.
1. Techniques are demonstrated clearly and are easy tofollow.
2. Techniques follow the manuals quite closely. (In sometapes
and styles this is seldom the case.)
3. Your techniques are crisp.
Quality of the Video
1. The reproduction is only fair.
My impressions of You.
Based upon your tapes, manuals and on-line comments,I
have made the following observations about you:
You are a good educator:
You love karate
You are open and are willing to share your knowledgewithothers.
You believe in the unification of martial arts and techniques...at
least in a general sense.
I hope to view additional tapes in your series. I am anxious
to learn from you.
Paul Hucul - Canada
I got a pleasant surprise at the mail box today. I got
the tape, some awesome footage there.
Jim Prouty - USA
I like your goods and tapes. I am interested in all thegoods
you sent!! Great technique.
Masao K - Japan
I really enjoyed your video, sabaki and appreciated
it very much. It really shows the technique. I teach Kempo karate and Taekwon
do. I wish to convert my small home school into ashihara. What I'm asking
for is your assistance. I understand the technique and comprehend
the method, I just wish to know if I start from your basic blue belt tape
can you assist me in cameras videos right from class over kata, kumite
and different pad drills? ? . I've been in karate for a long time and haven't
seen anything so pure, simple and effective - that one video isn't
enough. I've been over it a hundred times and I just feel the system is
what I'd like to teach. I just wish your school was here, so that
I could attend everyday.
I always wanted to change the kata to a more self-defensive
form and was even thinking about starting my own style - that's until I
Jerry Butler - USA
I have collected and watched the video....needless tosay
I was very impressed and found it very informative.I especially liked the
demonstration of sabaki kumite and the application of the kata's.Please
inform me of any other video's you may have or may be producing soon.
Anand Appoo -South Africa
I would like to thank you for sending me the Ashihara
tape. It was very impressive with much spirit. I was surprised at the running
time. I especially enjoyed the kumite footage.
Anthony C - USA
Greetings ! I received the blue belt video yesterday
in the mail. Thank you. I especially liked watching your match with
Kishi! but I thought the decision was a bit um . . questionable.
That's the way it goes though.
I also liked how you ran Seipai .... very
cool. Your version of Kanku Dai is a little different than our own.
Do you still do these Kata?
Paul Thoresen - USA
Thank you for sending the Blue Belt Tape (part 1).
I enjoyed it very much. The instruction was clear and
well organized. The demonstrators were very powerful and a credit to the
system. The footage of you at tournaments and demonstrations (especiallythe
car roll-overs) was very interesting and impressive.
Best wishes to you in spreading Ashihara Karate.
Steve C - USA
I have now reviewed your tapes and manuals several times.
The material is AWESOME. Only thing I could ask for is the image quality
of your instructional video. I guess it could be possible that the conversion
from PAL to NTSC might reduce the image quality?
Steven R - USA
I watched the video Casette which is nicely made. I wasreally
impressed to see your Dojo. You have dedicated lots of time, money,emotions
and everything. It has been a pleasure to watch you on the video and wishing
to see you in person now.
Sunit Gupta -USA
Your video was rather instructional and well put together
! My compliments
Qiyaam Adams - South Africa
I will write to you soon regarding a more thorough feeling
regarding the video. Plainly stated I enjoyed the entire video, itwas
Lance Barnes - USA
Thanks for the video. I received it the other day
and it was way more than I expected. I didn't expect the Ashihara
testing coverage but it was greatly appreciated. Thank you. It is
very similiar to the Enshin Karate that I've seen. Good training.
Michael H -USA
I've been through the blue belt part of the tape. I like
the yakusoku kumite illustrating the grab and hold. I have no problem
with teaching them, though this sort of thing generally goes against the
basic precepts of Kyokushin only from the point of view of holding as part
of the basics. No problem with it in a street fight.
I also watched some of your tourneys. Very humbleof
you to show even the ones you lost! However, in one of the others,
you did a sweep which won you the match. We are always taught
that the sweep on it's own is not enough. Obviously the rules permitted
that in that match. And of course, in the one you lost, a Kyokushin
match would have disqualified competitors for those holds and throws e.g.the
one that lost the match for you. Still, I only see
this as a variation of the match rules, which in Kyokushin in the past
(and probably now too) unfortunately influences the emphasis in the training.
Shaharin Yussof -Australia
Thank you very much for the tape which I finally received.The
tape really helped me to understand better the information you sentme in
the manuals. The kata is more clear to me now with the tape. I will be
practicing for a while and see if I can introduce what I learn to mystudents.
I will keep you informed of my progress. The tape also helps me to know
you better because it shows different faces of your life (doing kumite,
teaching, interview, demonstration etc..), and I thank you again for allowing
me to know more about yourself.
I am really interested after I saw the first tape in buying
the others tapes from you. The tape I got, included at the end a piece
of a tournament, I was very excited to be able to watch the Kumite competition,
however the tape end with the Kata competition. Do you havea tape that
shows International Kumite competition?. I saw some fights on the tape
and I would like to watch more especially the different styles competing
together. Wishing you all the best with your organization. OSU!
Angel Carrasco - Canada
Osu Shihan :- I enjoyed the tape. I saw you in action and I
liked it.You didn´t loose your condition, I love that. Now, I´ll
call Shihan Bustos to look at it, and he will send you an E-mail.
Zenon C. Becker - Panama
Thanks for sending me the tape. I thoroughly enjoyed
seeing all of the different techniques and clips from tournaments. It was
great seeing you...now I can put a face to the name.
You have put together a great video for the students. Like
everyone, we have had the idea in mind for sometime, but you have actually
done it! I thought it was well done indeed! So congratulations.
Cameron Quinn - Australia
I have now seen the whole video and really enjoyed it. Your
karate is different to mine in Kata and other things, naturally, but I
am grateful for the opportunity to see what it was you were describing
in regards to the Kata and sabaki, etc.
I think you're doing a wonderful job there, the video
was great, I wouldn't want to have cars drive over my stomach these days:
) but that was great promotional stuff. I enjoyed your bouts as well,
you were a good competitor alright!
Bob McMahon -Australia
I watched the tape! Very nice, my favourite was the Sabaki
kumite - circular indeed! I'll try to learn it. Our approach would generally
be considered linear, while a lot of emphasis is placed in body shifting
in our Ippon kumite drills but not quite as circular as yours. I really
liked the clear, down-to-earth approach of your kata unlike some of the
many not readily explained techniques of Shotokan kata. But Senpai, the
names of the hand waza were TOUGH, we BKC guys would faint at names like
those ;-) !
Footage - lots of fun watching that. In kumite, Ashihara
karateka gives me an idea of our full-contact times. Senpai, there was
a footage showing you against a Japanese (sorry, can't remember his name
plus the sound wasn't clear) in which the match started with breaking a
stack of something - what were those, how many? Is this still practised
today - to what system is it unique? If a person couldn't break the stack,then
what? Ah, the demonstration involving you being driven over by a vehicle-
nice! Must've been pretty cool being on the news after that :-)! Hmm,there
was also a footage of a really small kid (remember?) in the tournament,poor
Again, THANK YOU for the video - not once did it occur
to me that anyone would be so kind.
Kamal Advani - Indonesia
Thanks for the video.. sorry I didn't give you a review of
the whole video. I've been somewhat lax and I've received several othervideos
that I've been trying to find the time to review. I looked at yourworkout
only so far (and all of the Higaonna, Chinen material - thanksagain for
The workout is very similar to the ones that we do atoutown
club, this surprised me quite a bit simply because of the overwhelmingnumber
of similar exercises. One that we don't do, but I will probablysuggestis
where one person supports the other off the ground and holdthe belt. Theother
does sit-ups at an angle - pretty cool.
I'll give you a more in-depth review in the next weekor
so, bye for now.
TC - Canada
Your tape is very well done and uplifting, quite impressive
BP - USA
Oh.. I've looked at your Ashihara training video in moredetail,
very good stuff. I like the way you've explored some interestingpaths inkarate.
The high, middle and low blocks are good substitutes forthe onesthat are
commonly taught (which I complain about often), and Ilike the katathat
you teach that is one long fight sequence. That katahas a differentlook
and feel to most kata that I see and flows very smoothly.
Your students are sharper than almost all the people I
see on videos, and I've seen a lot of them. Very nice movement, good focus
and they're obviously strong and fit.
The bunkai on the video is interesting too, but I find
them a little too complex sometimes. I don't know if this is necessarilya
bad thing, but I notice a lot of common themes (like hand behind theneckfor
example) that I'm not sure extends to other belt levels and otherbunkai,so
I can't comment much more on that.
TC - Canada
Watching your tape gives us many new ideas for our childrens
PC - USA
Would love to talk about your tape with you ... I enjoyed
it a lot and employed some of the exercises you do on there with my teens
(who really enjoy the strenous ones that you guys do ... but my beginning
45 year olds don't seem to take to them as well, LOL)
Illona McKenzie - USA
I reviewed the tape and enjoyed it. The tournaments
were good and was interesting to see some different versions of kata.
You certainly have "been around" in your journeys and have some great experiences
under your belt (no pun intended!).
Dan Soller - USA
I am studying your tape and hope to begin to perform thefirst
fighting kata. I will also try to introduce the kata kumite sequences as
a change of pace in the dojo. I especially enjoyed the Sabaki match, I
just shuddered at the thought of the shin kicks you received and gave to
your opponentduring the match.
George Yanase - USA
I saw your Blue Belt VHS cassette thatyou gave me. It was
very nicely done. I can see that this particular copy wasnot the
one for final distributionsince it has some unedited sections,but overall
I was very impressed with it. I think that it would bea very valuable
tool for all Blue Belts.
Scott Eby - USA
Thanks a lot for the Manuals and Tape which will be of great
help for me. I like the Ashihara stuff, especially the sabaki kumite.
Aslam Jeewa - Mauritius
Your enthusiasm for the Martial Arts is commendable. I enjoyed
the video you left with me. If I can be helpful to you in the future, let
Gary Alexander - USA
I had a chance to look at the tape finally. I was surprised
by the amount of karateka that attend the tournament. I had no idea
how big it was. Overally I was impressed. Especially with you getting
run over with the van!
David Wong - USA
The Video was fantastic. I have written you a letter and
will send it today.
Carrie Hartnett - Australia
And thank you for the video, badges and the keyring. Very
nice of you.I did indeed watch the video without noticing that there are
some extras after texts. Some?! Loads of good stuff there. It was really
nice to see all kinds of video clips. Also from your championships.
Ashihara techniques were easy to follow. There were some
really good Ashihara fighters in your Invitational Championships. Expeciallythis
one guy, who had really good and fast snap on his mawashi geri. He was
so flexible that he was in no trouble with opponents five inches taller
than him. Your student I presume? Also his timing and stance were perfect.Also
you guys kicked with the ball of the foot and that seemed to be too much
for some of the fighters ;-) And I think you could not kick tothe legs,
right? This guy could be even better using a bit more sabaki,or what do
you think? Usually he did go straight forward. Anyway great video, have
to watch it again today. Thank you very much Hoosain!
Jarmo Osterman - Finland
I have viewed the Blue Belt tape for which you asked me to
comment. The tape was great in the techniques it covered and I liked
the warming up exercises. For those who are learning directly from
the tape however, it would be helpful if there are detailed instructions
for each of the techniques presented.
For example, for SOTO UKE and GEDAN BARAI as used in KUMITE,
one could emphasize that it is a"gentle deflection" and not a "hard block".
These comments are beneficial to distance learning students because many
new Sabaki students have hard time understanding techniques because they
have a preconceived idea of Karate being a "hard" martial art.
And yes, I have viewed the additional footage which was
very entertaining, how many sit-ups do you do every day?
Y. Toda - USA
I watched your tapes and I think that they are
The additional material (tournament etc.) was quite interesting.
But for instance, we have no contact tournament for children. it starts
at 16. the combinations and kata were new for me. I think it is useful
and I will try to add it to our training plan. I think it would be useful
for beginners to see the targets of the punches and kicks.
Timo Grahl - Germany
Thank you very much for your continuous support. I received
two video tapes and enjoyed to see masters showing their techniques.
Ismet Arsan - Turkey
I knew when I heard a particularly loud thud on
the door mat this morning, your tape had arrived..
Trouble is, I am supposed to be working .. but I have
no will power, and so I keep taking advantage of my wife being out of the
house today to sit down and watch the video instead.. but I really have
to go do something before the rain starts.. So I just thought I'd drop
you a line to let you know that:-
a) I have failed the ashihara bluebelt test
b) I had the guy next door run over me in his truck and
am now feeling pretty sore and
c) it is a real coincidence that you happened to have
footage of some young guy with the same name as yours doing kumite
I will write more about specifics in the tape.. but for
now just a thank you .. and to say I better go do something RIGHT NOW to
persuade my wife that I have been busy all day rather than enjoying myself.
Harry Davis - England
Thanks for taking the time
to record the extra material. It was very interesting to me. I definitely
saw some Kyokushin and some Goju Ryu in there. I think I understand where
Ashihara comes from (in terms of personal lineages), but I have never seen
it in action until I received your tape. I definitely like your two-man
applied kata. Very sensible. These seem to give a flow and spontaneity
to bunkai that you don't get from the more `static' kata and separate bunkai
that I was taught. One of the things I appreciate about Wing Chun, for
example, is the wide selection of two-man drills - its something we never
had in the IOGKF type Goju that dominated my karate curriculum. Your guys
also seem like great kickers - is that the influence of your own training
in TKD? I am not used to applied mawashi-geris in sparring. I used to train
mawashi geri, but never actually found any use for it in sparring (sparring
strictly in Goju techniques), so it was nice to see it applied so comfortably
by one of your students in his demonstration.
The footage of your competitions was great. I forget his
name now, but that Japanese fellow you fought in 1994 really meant business,
I also enjoyed the sequence of the van driving over your
stomach. Do you still have tyre tracks on your torso? <grin>
Dirk Beszdiek - South Africa
Your Blue belt tape also looks
very well done and well presented! I will go though the tape 2morrow.
Again, Hoosain thanks for the tape!
Buddy Govender - South Africa
I have watched the tape in
it's entirety. There is a lot of neat footage. Although the intial tape(Blue
belt) does not have the clean production and pizzazz of the Enshin tapes,
it does have alot of great stuff.
What I liked first and foremost was that it appeared to
have a great class structure. I am sure I could take a lot of the stuff
on that tape and use it in class. I bet your classes are really enjoyable.
It is also apparent that a lot of what you guys do is structured. More
so than I expected. As I have been teaching techniques to my students I
feel they can handle, I get the impression that you have it layed out per
The redirection using the previous blocking hand to guide
the incoming strike into the new block was a wonderful surprise.
I look forward to seeing this and other tapes/CD's. I
was awe struck when I saw the initial footage of the run at the beginning
of the tape. Cape Town is amazingly beautiful. The beach shot with the
islands in the background and the waves rolling in was awesome.
Shane Mussche - Canada
Yes, I have received the video.
I watched it Friday afternoon as soon as I got it out of the mail box.
I enjoyed it a great deal. Thank you very much. I enjoyed watching how
you appear to conduct classes. I would love to learn the kata but I have
not found a Ashihara/Enshin Karate/Sabaki instructor in my area.
I watched closely and noticed you seem to have an excellent
attitude and sense of humility with regards to your training. I would enjoy
meeting you someday.
Scott Stevens - USA
Received and watched video
yesterday. Thank you for sending the video. I specially enjoyed
the kumite between yourself and the Japanese gentleman.
I have not seen the form that so many of your students
were filmed performing at your competitions. I believe you also performed
this form a few times as well. It has lots of circular steps, knee
strikes and seems to end with an arm bar or break. Is this a form
you developed, or is it part of the kyokushin curriculum? Taekwon,
Travis Young - USA
Yes, just finished watching
it yesterday in fact. Very interesting approach. Question for you; is the
material presented for all ranks up to blue belt or just for students testing
for blue belt? Also, if you could forward you rank system to me, I think
it would help to put the whole content in better perspective.
Overall, I like it. good detail, lots of examples.
Norm Moreland - Canada
Your Blue Belt tape was great.
We here do much of same types of excercises. I like the use of the blocking
hand opening up and being used as a Nagashi uke then other hand doing the
block. (Noticed on all of your blocking).
Opening music was a home song for me. As the name of
the song is from a Police show that was in Hawaii sometime ago. "Hawaii
5-0". At first in one technique the students did, I could not see just
what they were on about. Then when they did it with partners... like Mawashi
uke followed with a Hiza Keri. Do you have tapes for every level? Great!
however had to skip it to get to the kumite. Now that
was awesome. We're they your students in kumite? Good matches. Did not
get to see all as of yet. I will in time. What part of S. Africa are you
in? Looks nice place to visit. You have very good students. Strong!
Jann Aki - Hawaii
Once again, thank you very
much for the videotape. It was an eye opener in many ways. For me, personally,
it left me with a nostalgic lump in my throat, as I am also still getting
used to all these new WTF rules and regulations, and still pine for the
good ol' days of real full contact.
Getting back to the tape:
The first part, the blue belt training part, was very
interesting. The entire blue belt program was very precise, with very little
room for deviation. Nothing wrong with it, though! However, we tend to
be more relaxed, with less emphasis on exact technique, and more on development
of personal style.
I was very impressed by your personal appearances in kyorogi.
Your technique is fine, excellent. Without you getting upset, how do you
manage so well with sight in only one eye? With forms, I noticed
that you still take part as well. I, personally, hate the stuff. But then,
I suppose I am not as much of a purist as you are. I am mainly concerned
with sparring and competition. Also, I once again noticed (not having been
at a Karate tournament for a while), that you guys seem to be a lot more
intense and precise about your kata. Fortunately, our own poomsae are a
lot more relaxed. (Taeguek, that is. The original tul I learned, namely
the Pyong Ahns and Palgwes, were a lot more intense and structured as well.)
I prefer the more relaxed approach, however. I hate it when I see Taekwondoin
performing poomsae, trying to make it look like Japanese kata. It completely
defeats the purpose for the Taegueks' existence. But then, we are talking
about two entirely divergent paths of form interpretation.
May I just add that I simply do not believe that nonsense
about "if you perform kata a thousand times it will come naturally when
you get into a real combat situation." You, yourself, as a Master with
experience and technique far superior than my own, should know this by
now. From what I have seen on the tape, nothing you did in kyorogi/randori
(after having performed kata for over 25 years), even closely resembled
forms. What, then, is the real value of forms?
Getting back to the tape you sent me. The sparring is
fine all over. But what was the 2001 Sabaki like?
P. Botha - South Africa
I enjoyed the tape very much.
Thank you! Initially I thought the tape ended after the formal exercises,
but was pleasantly surprised there were MORE on the second part. I saw
one of the competitions that you were in - must be quite some time ago
(a very young fighter and a tenacious one too). I like some of your techniques
and, with your permission, would like to incorporate into mine.
Henry Low - Singapore
I was very impressed by the
blue belt tape Part I. Maybe because I started my karate-career with Kyokushin
in the early seventies.
I changed from Kyokushinkai to Goju-Kai with a few black
belts who convinced me to change to look into the roots of kyokushin. That
is the reason why I became a Goju practitioner since 1976.
I found a lot of comparison with the good old kyokushin
in some movements which were shown. My idea is that kyokushinkai
is changed in a kind of kick-box in the last decade or so.
I want to congratulate you with your efforts and good
work In favour of the Ashihara Karate International.
Leo Van Bortel - Belgium
The tapes are fantastic,
the blue belt tape was excellent and the clips of the tournaments and yourself
at the end was wonderful. I have started to look at the techniques
on this tape and found it very similar to Ryobukai the only difference
is the pre-arrange kumite and this was very good. I am at this moments
overloaded with information and find it difficult to ask question because
I do not know where to start so I will start to write them down and ask
you at a later time. The Ashihara tape was also fantastic, again
I do not know where to start but to say that he look much better on tape
than in a book so was his students (my apology for not mentioning how good
your students look but to say that I envy you).
Hung Quach - UK
I was surprised to see on the
video, that You are much younger than I thought. Those exercises in the
"Blue belt training tape" are really very good and are shown in a good
sequence. The last gradings which I had were for the brown-kyu belt. I
hope it would be possible to receive the following tapes also after some
time. Your African film is really very, very good - you can watch and practice
it at the same time, it is very convenient. Also, I like it very much,
that You try to keep away from politics. I was impressed to see the faces
of Your nice students, sometimes I felt as if I myself was doing the exercises
among them. Once more-thank You very very much.
Rima Puodziukynaite - Lithuania
Saw the extra footage - oohhhh,
I wish we could spar together, I could learn so much from you! It's a real
joy to watch you spar - your technique is unique and precise. I'm going
to watch this over and over - thank you!
Beck Lane - USA
I have received today the video-casette
and the two books you wrote: Student Handbook and Teaching Manual. What
can I say? Congratulations, I was impressed by your work, a hard one. Also
I liked the many demonstrations in which a car has passed over you. I wish
I had the courage to do the same .... maybe one day we'll meet and you'll
reveal me the secret. Again congratulations, thank you and OSSU!
Carloganu Mircea - Rumania
My husband and I watched your
tape today and I must say.... what a great load of information that held!
I was impressed that you put so much information on there but am glad to
have it also.....I can relate to the level of training you showed for BLUE
BELT level. It seems we are on the same page, if not the same 'style'....
I must confess 'Style' is, after all a matter that will be debated long
after, I am gone and have anything to add to the debate!! But I am
Greatly Pleased to the degree of professionalism that is shown on your
And say that I was also entertained as well. In
the matter of the demonstrations you give for the concrete breaking and
nail bed demo...we also do that particular demo at my Dojan for open house
or even sometimes for belt testing on unsuspecting participants who must
learn to TRUST their Instructors. But I must say the car running
over your chest is one I have yet to see until now. I still need
to look over all of the other material that you have sent, and will keep
you appraised of my progress but I must say as for everything so far
(except for some minor questions relating to positions of shoulders, feet,
etc., on some of the techniques shown) I am very Impressed! Thank you for
I'm also wondering in the tourny's that you showed....
were there not weapons forms? I saw a few demos of the Nunchuks,
and a Sai form, but not really any Sword, Staff forms. I also would like
to know if there is an ongoing referee type training program or can myrating
here be transferred? We'll keep in touch and once again thank you for your
continued interest it is most appreciated!
Flame Metter - USA
Thanks for the Tape. That was
great. However, the part I enjoyed most was your fight with Kishi. Personally,
I think you should have been awarded the winner. Kishi's attack was wild
but yours was more focus. You connected with quite a few good reverse punches.
Chris Lau - Hong Kong
Just to thank you for your kindness
and your friendship. I'm excited to receive the Tape (Great one) and the
quality of your book (Great finish) and helpful. Great contents and well
I'll promote it here in Puerto Rico and also to my friends
around USA. I'll start to practice some of your techniques if you authorize
me to do so. I think are great ones. Now one more question.. How
I can obtain more of this kind of tape? And where to buy it?
Santiago Castro - Puerto Rico
The blue belt video tape
is excellent! It is very good for teaching step by step! The Ashihara tape
of Master Ashihara is very good too, it is for fighting strategy
and much more ideas. I will be waiting for the other kyu belt video tapes
when you finish them, Inshallah .
Ahmed Ali Holi - Kuwait
I want to thank you for the great
video's - very good techniques!
Willie Landman - South Africa
Updated by Hoosain Narker