Sabaki List Member Profiles

This page will feature profiles on members of the Sabaki Talk Discussion List.
Members are listed in alphabetical order. New members to be added in due course.

Kamal Advani - Indonesia
My name is Kamal Advani. Though originally Indian(as in India and not Red Indians of America :-)), I have been settled in Jakarta, Indonesia for about 14 years now. Our organization is called the Bandung Karate Club(BKC), and we practise a blend of Kyokushinkai and Shotokan although our logo bears the mark of Kyokushin. Generally speaking, we follow Shotokan kata but Kyokushin kihon/basics. Kumite is semi-contact. I've only trained for 6 years and currently ranked 1st Dan.

Anand Appoo - South Africa
My name is Anand Appoo and I would firstly like to thank Sempai Narker for his initiative in creating this list.I live in Cape Town, South Africa and practise a loose combination of Kyokushinkai and Ashihara Karate.

I have dabbled in a couple of other arts in the past few years, namely American Kenpo, Jujitsu, Kung Fu (Wing Chun, Tai Chi Chuan, Seven Star Praying Mantis and Chang Chuan).

Mukesh Banka - India
I am Mukesh Banka from New Delhi, India. I am learning and teaching Seido Karate. My introduction to this fascinating art came in 1989 when I joined Shotokan Karate. Thereafter I learned Goju Ryu Karate (IOGKF) under Sensei Pervez Mistry.

I became a Shodan in 1995 then my job as a computer professional took me to New Delhi where I joined Seido Karate and presently I am a Shodan in Seido also. I take classes for poor children in the mornings and I do regular classes in the evenings which are taken by my teacher and friend Senpai Subodh Dhiman who is three times National Champion in both kata and kumite.
I am also gold medal winner in Nationals (Kata). That's all about myself. Looking forward to meet some exciting karateka's via this platform.

Lance Barnes - USA

Zenón Cortéz Becker -Panama
I start Martial  Arts  studies in 1976, + I receive my sandan on the 17th of March, 1985, from Shihan Jorge Bustos Padilla, ambassador of  Kyokushin system in Panamá.
+ Ashihara Karate International of Panamá is my dojo name. I live and train in Colon, Republic of Panama, this year we opening  a new dojo in Panama City, this is one of many goals that we A.K.I. Panama have in this year.
+ Awarded with a certificate in Sports Medicine by the Society of General Medicine and Sports Institute of Panamá (INDE), in 1993.
+  In 1994 he was chosen as the General Director of the professional United Martial Arts Society (PUMAS), in Panamá.
+ Became a member of the National Commission of Karate (CoNaKa), in 1995.
+ I receive my YonDan,the 16 March, 1995, from Shihan Kang Rhee, ambassador of  PaSaRyu Martial Arts and designating my his ambassador in Panama.
+ On the 16th of March 1995 he joined the World Black Belt Bureau in order to further  his Knowledge in Martial Arts - Pa Sa Ryu System.
+ Weight Lifting and Progressive Resistance instructor on June 8, 1996.
+ Designated president and representative of The Panamá WBBB, organization of  Full-Contact Karate Groups in Panamá.
+ On December 28,  1997, nominee Chairman of  Central America Area.
+ On June 17, nominee also Chairman of South America Area. Means that we are the Ashihara Karate International contact  for  Latin America.

Leon Beech - South Africa

Vincent Benstrong -Seychelles
My name is Vincent and am from Seychelles, which comprise a group of 115 small islands, call the Seychelles Archipelego.
I hope you could be able to visit it one day, as it is call the Paradise, with the forest still green in its virgin state.

Now, a little bit of myself, I,ve been doing karate for 4 years now, as a member of the Ashihara karate International, but before that i've learn a little bit of Shotokan and Goju-ryu before from my brothers.
I now hold a 3 kyu green belts and hope to broaden my knowlege a bit deeper in order to teach others in the future. Note that even as a 3 kyu, I sometimes have to take the class i n the absence of my intructor.

RJ Bonanno - USA
Osu!  My name is Sempai R.J. Bonanno, I am a Shodan in Kyokushin under Shihan Larry F. Giordano in Mass.  I have been studying kyokushin for over thirteeen years and much has changed.  When I first started the use of protective kumite equipment was unheard of, now it is a must.  We still fight hard but not like the old days.  A few of us, myself included, still train knockdown.  The true kyokushin!!  As far as the system goes not mush has changed.  We are still a hard style and our fighting is based on a sabaki principle.  One of our symbols is the well known kanku, we fight in a circle just as the kanku shows us.  Kata is done different throughout the world but has the same base.  Our style is old yet extremely powerful and beautiful.  I believe we are growing, we just need to show everyone the same power and beauty that we know and love.

Pieter Botha - South Africa
I have a background of 27 years in Martial Arts, specifically:
4th Dan in Chung Hun TaeKwon-Do (ITA).
4th Dan in Song Moo Kwan TKD (World Song Moo Kwan Association)
4th Dan in Jidokwan Taekwondo (International Jidokwan Federation)
Master Instructor in Gajong Bersilat.
I am currently the South African President and Master Instructor of the International Jidokwan Federation.

Fabián Merino Calvo - Costa Rica

OSU every one on the list:

My name is Fabian Merino Calvo, I'm from Costa Rica, and here is my intro.

I began my training in Martial Arts (Tae Kwon Do) when I was 9 years old. In 1992, I start practicing Kung Fu Choy Lee-Fat, then Kempo Karate, Judo and Jujitsu.

On February 4th, 1993, I got my yellow belt from Shihan Antonio Lono and Moises Muñoz. as well as my blue belt in Judo and Jujitsu by Kodenkan Danzan Ryu.

In 1995, I competed in the Young Karate Do National Championship where I won the 2nd place team event and the 3rd place singles. In the same year I got my green belt in Choy Lee Fat from Sensei Ramon Lono Ancho and Moises Muñoz. I competed in the Tang Soo Do Championship, too.

In 1996, I won the first place team event and the first place singles in the Young Karate Do National Championship.One week later, I won the first place in the Senior Karate Do National Championship.  In 1996 I competed in the Tang Soo Do National Championship getting the third place. That same year I got my black belt in Kung Fu Choy Lee Fat and my Brown belt in Judo and Jujitsu, in the Kodenkan Danzan Ryu.

In 1997 I got my Shodan by Kung Fu Hong Sing Choy Lee Fat School. The same year I won the 3rd place in the Kung Fu National Championship and I competed in the First Kick boxing Championship of Costa Rica where I won the second place. I also completed the referees' course of Karate Do. In march 14th of 1997 I got my black belt in Kempo Karate, gaven to me by Kodenkan Danzan Ryu School.

In 1998 I competed in the Senior Karate Do National Championship, winning the 1st place in the Shodan -80 k. category. I start practicing boxing in 1998. I was part of the National Team of Costa Rica in the years of 1995, 96 and 97. Currently, I teach Karate in the Centro Educativo campestre (SCHOOL), and in the Victoria's Gym.

In 1999, I joined Ashihara Karate International and I got my Nidan and the representation of the Ashihara Karate International of Costa Rica. In October of the same year, I had the visit of Sensei Zenon Cortez B., who conducted a training camp for four days.

I have also trained with MANUBU MURAKAMI, rokudan in Karate and SKIF World Champion.

Angel Carrasco -Canada
My name is Angel Carrasco and I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba ( Canada ). I have been practicing Kyokushin for a few years. I share what I have learned with a group of students. My son and I run our Webpage, "Winnipeg Kyokushin Karate", and also the Kyokushin WebRing. I would like to thank Shihan Hoosain Narker for including me in this mailing list. I believe this is a
good opportunity to learn more about Martial Arts.

I would like to use this opportunity to give my opinion about the topic of rank and status presented by Shihan Narker. I believe Martial Arts is a way of life to me, it means that we should take with us what we have learned in the Dojo in our daily life. As an example, if we learn so many different Katas we have somehow (according to our understanding) project this outside the Dojo. Outside the Dojo we face different situations, we have to deal with our job, our family, our friends,and many others, same like Katas we learn different Katas and on each one of them we use a different approach to deal with the specifics circumstances, if we fail to see the relation between what we do in the Dojo with our daily life then Katas will be only another form of exercise to stay in shape and learned some basic pieces of selfdefense. If we manage to see this relation and apply it to our daily life then it becomes a way of life.

We can approach with this same idea about the use of ranks and status inside the Dojo. Inside the Dojo  according of your style or teacher rules ) we use different expressions to communicate with our students or our teachers ( Sempai, Sensei, Shihan, Teacher, Professor, Maestro, Mr., Master, and others) we do this to show respect and recognition for our teacher, students, and if we believe that respect is important in the Dojo then we should apply this same idea outside the Dojo without feeling uncomfortable of doing it. Now if we use all this terminology in the Dojo without really wanting to do it then this is another subject. We should first have a clear understanding why we do it in the Dojo so it will be easy to project outside the Dojo. I do not mean that we should use the same Dojo terminology in our daily life, however we should carry the concept of it ( I mean respect ). If we feel uncomfortable using words like, Sensei, Shihan,......, we always have alternative words like, Mr., Miss., Mrs..... Of course there will always be exceptions to this and in that case we should use our own judgment. Again it is very important to understand first why we do this, otherwise it will make no sense to someone who believes that to show respect he does not necessarily have to refer to someone in a special way. In this case we should discuss first if we really have a need in Martial Arts to use these ranks and status in order to show respect. I wish all of you well in your path through Martial Arts. OSU!

Paul Carroll -Japan
I currently live in Tokyo, Japan, though originally from Australia. I have been here for about 9 months now, and I have just started a new job , which has thrown my martial arts timetable into disarray. I was originally praticing Daido Juku (which I had been doing for about 6 months), but my new job has prevented that, so I have started Seido Juku, as their timetable is more suited to mine.

So I am pretty much a newbie belt-wise in Karate, though I have practiced various styles over the past 6 years (I have done little bits of Kyokushin, Ashihara, Goju, Ryukyu Kempo, and Daido Juku), but have throughout that time studied Yoshinkan Aikido, and which I continue to do. I also practice Gracie Jujutsu.

Tom Cauley - USA
I am 56 years old, an American born in Ireland and naturalized when I was 2 1/2 years old. I was raised in the mountains of Virginia and when I was 14 years old we moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia. There, I started the study of Sakugawa Koshiki Shorinjiryu Karatedo and Yuishinkai Kobudo under Masayuki Asaki, Sandan. I continued from June 1957 until June 1961 when I graduated from High school. I had been promoted by Asaki Sensei to Sankyu (3rd Class Brown belt) and joined the United States Air Force.
During 1962, I was sent to Fuchu Air Station, Japan. I studied Shotokan Karatedo under Masaaki Ueki of the old JKA. Shortly, thereafter, I was introduced to Jiro Okada, 5th Dan, Sakugawa Koshiki Shorinjiryu Karatedo and Kanto area Director. I stayed with him until his death in 1967 and after two tours with the USAF in Southeast Asia with an AF Commando outfit, I returned to Japan to Misawa Air Base in the North. I immediately sought out the Director of Sakugawa Koshiki Shorinjiryu Karatedo, Jiro Ogasawara. He died in 1969 and I studied from his son Tokushiro Ogasawara and the Chief Instructor; Masanao Yamazaki, Roshi, Kogokyo Zen Sect. When Tokushiro Ogasawara passed away in 1986, I realized the Headmaster of Masanao Yamazaki, who is still the Director.

I was promoted to 7th Dan on l5 June 1976 and finally to 8th Dan on 14 March 1999. I had almost 23 years as a 7th Dan...
I presently serve the All Japan Karatedo Kempo Federation and the All Northern Japan Karatedo Kempo Teachers Guild as their Chief Instructor, International division.  I am chiefly responsible for all English speaking karateka in our system (Adminstratively). I presently have students in several foreign countries.

Ken Charlton - USA
Hello everyone, I just subscribed to the list. I've been training in martial arts since 1988, when I began training in Moo Duk Kwon. Shortly after that I began the study of Kyokushin, under my Sensei, Jose Garcia. I receive my Shodan in 1997. Currently, I train alone, my Sensei had to leave the area . He received his training from the Tenri Seiunkan under Mr. Akihiro Fujimoto, in Tenri, Japan, he also studied Judo under Tenri University's Judo program..
By the way, if anyone knows of any Kyokushin or Kyokushin splinter group, instructors that plan on moving (or visiting) to Northern California (on the coast by Oregon), let me know, I would like to further my training. I would also like any info about the Tenri Seiunkan, I really don't know to much about it.

Leon Currier - USA
My name is Leon Currier. I am one of three owners of a small martial arts program in Littleton, NH  USA. Our school is named White Mountain Martial Arts. Our style is an eclectic Shotokan called Tae-Sho Karate-Do. I am 35 years old. I have been training for almost 7 years. I am a recent 2nd. dan. My instructor is Sensei Mark Aldridge 5th. dan. Sensei Aldridge through some job changes is moving away and for lack of anyone more qualified I am being thrust into the Chief Instructor position. At my level I may not be able to add much input to your discussion format, but I hope to learn from reading the comments of all who are more experienced than I.

Keyvan Dehnad - Switzerland (Iran)
My name is Keyvan Dehnad and I live in Zurich. I was born in Iran and I have been living a long time in Switzerland, USA, Japan... I am a specialist in general sports and my major sport is martial arts,7th Dan Judo,5th Dan Karate-do
International referee and highest rank as Iranian in Judo.
I complet my study (Ph.D) in Physical Education. and I continue my second major in Human Behavior, graduated,master of Arts in Human Behavior (Education). Now, I pursue my second Ph.D.
Chairman of International Devision of Iran Seishinkai Shito-Ryo Karate Union
& DC Member iran karate federation&Iran Judo federation

Koen de Backker - Belgium
My name is Koen De Backker f0rom Belgium and I'm training Kyokushinkai-Karate-Do since the beginning of 1980.
Before I trained Judo for about 5 years.
I've got a dojo of my own. We are affiliated with the IKO group of shihan Matsushima.

Chris de Wet - USA (South Africa)
My name is Chris de Wet, a South African living and training in the USA. I am a member of Higaonna Morio Sensei's organisation, the IOGKF. In addition to my karate training (I love to train with anyone, so there is an open invite to visit me) I train in Matayoshi kobudo with Kimo Wall Sensei's org., the Kodokan.

I have enjoyed the heck out of the posts I've received so far, and I hope to add something to the discussions. (To Blair in Kiwiland: Rugby is coming too ;-) mate. Do you ever see Sensei Terry Hill?)

John Diweshek - USA
My name is John Diwishek, I've been training in the arts for 15 years (traditional: taekwondo, shotokan, shorin ryu, FMAs, jujutsu  and eclectic/modern:  chanshoudo, buryudo, boxing, kickboxing) I'm currently preparing to test for sandan in taekwondo, shotokan, & shorinryu.

My present system/instructor is koncho Shigeki Umemoto w/ Toushikan martial arts institute, based out of Great Falls, Montana. I teach for a youth organization called Young Olympians (have about 350-400 kids/students) and periodically do seminars or classes with my old schools in Minnesota.

I haven't competed since the early 1990's but will be getting back into things next year as toushikan will be competing internationally again. Even though I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 250-300 fights under my belt (never really counted or kept track as they were in so many different formats/organizations), I've only switched over to training with Koncho Umemoto about a year ago. I will say that I have the utmost respect for him and for giving me the opportunity to train in his organization.

As a side note: I was at this years sabaki in Denver and was a little dissapointed to the lack of turnout/participation (6 middle weights and only 2 heavy weights) I was very impressed with, and glad to see, the womans division.  Hisako Nomura fought incredibly well considering that she gave up so much height,weight, and reach.

Looking forward to some good discussions,

John Diwishek

Niel du Toit - South Africa
I am Niel du Toit from East London in South Africa. I have been practising Martial arts for about 10 years now and as they say still going strong.
In my martial arts career I have studied various styles but my main style is Tae Kwon-do in which I have attained my black belt. I have been very successful so far being awarded Springbok colours twice once in 1994 and then again in 1995.
Other styles I have practised in Aikido, Genbukan Ninpo,Kokusai Ju-jitsu renmei and Koga ryu Ninjutsu. I have attained various gradings in all of these styles but have not been able to practise them fullu due to the scarcity of instructors.

Keng Ee - Seychelles
My name is Keng  Ee, please call me Keng. I'm from Malaysia (together with Indonesia, the origin of silat martial art). I'm currently working as a journalist in Seychelles (group of islands in Indian Ocean).

I now train with a locally-originated school called Aikendo, named after the founder Dr Henry Naiken. It is not a new art, but an amalgam of traditional karate, tiger kung fu, tai chi, JKD, kickboxing, metaphysics and whatever else we can lay our hands on. Occasionally, I also train with the local kickboxing group. I have also very brief stints with Ashihara and Praying Mantis.

I consider myself very inexperienced in martial arts, and am just a beginner. I'm learning quite a lot from this discussion list. Thanks, Hoosain, for including me. If I don't contribute much, please excuse me due to my inexperience compared to you heavyweights. But I'm reading your contributions, and just wish to say Great Going, Guys (& Gals)!

Mike Flounders - Saudi Arabia (England)
My name is Mik Flounders and I am an UK expat currently residing in Saudi Arabia. I have been shodan for about four years now and teach a small group of fellow expats.
I first started corresponding with Hoosain some months ago after having found his web page in one of my early internet excursions. (By the way Hoosain many thanks for the information. I have just returned from leave to find it waiting. We are reviewing for "local" differences.

Harry Gorter - Netherlands
I am 38 years old and having a wife and 2 children (sons). In my profession  I am running my own IT Company.

I practice karate since I was 16 years of age. In 1977 I started with  Kyokushin Karate and in 1984 I became an instructor. I gave lessons in  Kyokushin till I migrated to Ashihare Karate (IAKO, IBK)in the years  1990/1991. Since 1991 I give lessons im my dojo in Ashihara Karate. Besides Ashihara karate I am also an instructor in Kyokushin BudoKai (this is the allround fighting system from grandmaster Jon Bluming) and in Pancrase (Bas Rutten style). Futhermore I am very interested in other styles of martial arts. I have practiced Judo, Ju-Jutsu, Tai-Chi, Teakwondo and Kick-boxing and currently I take private lessons in Wing Tsun (Leung Ting style).

So this was my short introduction to you and I am looking forward to hear from you a lot in the future.

Buddy Govender - South Africa
My name is Buddy Govender and I am from Durban. I started my training in Goju Kai Karate under Stan Hart and Leo Lapinski in 1969 in the now burnt-down Radio House Building in Gardener Street.  I was 9 years old when I started.  I graded to Shodan under Yamaguchi Goshi Shihan when I was 16 years old (my Shodan certificate is signed by Yamaguchi Gogen Hanshi himself!).

I continued my Goju Kai training under Vasi Naidoo. I was also fortunate to have played 1st division professional football in the NSL for Amazulu F.C. for 10 years. In 1997, I trained at the Jundokan in Naha, Okinawa under Miyazato Ei'ichi Hanshi- 10th dan (a direct long-term student of Miyagi Chojun O'Sensei). He graded me to my current grade of Yondan (4th dan) and appointed as his official Southern Africa representative.  I am blessed to represent and be taught by Miyazato Sensei who is a direct link to the founder of Goju Ryu Karate-Doh.

I also serve on various committees of the Karate Association of Natal. My Dojo is situated on the 1st floor of a 100 year old building - the Cathedral Parish Centre, which is in the Durban City Centre.  I am fortunate to have a number of wonderful and sincere Karate-ka/people, like Mark Appolos and Chantal Govender Sempai, train at my dojo. I am also Japanese graded in Iaido (Seite) and am fortunate to have also studied Katori Shinto Ryu Iaido (as shown on the Way of the Warrior video), however not as much as I would have loved too have studied.

Rene Grobler - South Africa
My name is Rene, I live and work in Sedgefield (South Africa), I am 34, and in the construction trade.  I began Karate nearly a year ago, so haven't even learned to crawl yet.  I started in Goju Ryu.... Then I spent 5 weeks training with our Senpai Hoosain at his Honbu Dojo in Retreat and my MA horizons suddenly broadened!  I have learned one thing in the last year of training - that no one style is "best"... they all offer something of value and the more one learns the more one realises that there is MUCH more TO learn.  I can deeply sympathise with Rinka Singh with the struggle to find a class and Sensei that suits you..... I am currently training privately on my own with two other MA in Sedgefield, a 1st Dan in Shotokan and a Tae Kwon Do MA, after having tried the only two schools in the area and found something lacking.  I am using Senpai's Ashihara study material and am dreading the day he actually sees the way we have interpreted the "words" into "deeds".

Sunit Kumar Gupta - USA

Jason Hansen - USA
I have been training in the martial arts since 1987. I currently live in Madison, Wisconsin (USA).  I did my training in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Aysha Harnekar - South Africa
My name is Aysha, I am 22yrs old and live in Retreat(South Africa). I am training Ashihara Karate for the past eight years. I started doing it to keep fit and think that I still do it for that purpose and probably for the physical and mental stimulation that the dojo environment provides.

George Hauffe - Canada
My full name is George Richard Hauffe, my parents landed in Canada, instead of Austrailia after WW2 from Germany. 2nd born in Montreal in 1963, and have lived on the North shore ever since. We live in a typical ethnic neighborhood of Italian, French and the rest were mainly Jewish.

Now, being the only German kids in about 5 miles, my older sister and my life, was shall we say cautious. Everywhere we went, we were tormented.  School was difficult, friends were few and far between, beatings were always around the next corner. Junior High wasn't any better!

When I was 14, I saw a Karate demonstration inside the local shopping Mall. I was amazed by what I had seen, and I saw my chance to learn to protect myself. But despite my efforts, my parents could not allow it due to my Asthmatic condition, I knew it was more a case of money, or lack of it! I saved and saved to pay my own way, but it wasn't enough. No sports, no Karate, just School.

One day, in the School Library, a new shipment of books came in, I found amoung them a strange coloured green book, called  "The Plum Sugared Fist". It was a detailed descriptive hand book for a Chinese Martial Art. Oh, I read it every day, over & over again. Covering first the human body, presure points, hand and foot positions, striking, joint manipulation. I kept it all a secret! I used my dog as a training partner, he was very well trained so I was able to play fight, just to learn avoidence if you will, like a Matadore avoids the bull.  That book prepared me for a fight I could not avoid. It was with a very arrogant neighbor, every year on my birthday, he would come over to wish me well, my parents always said to be polite. He'd shake my hand, then kick me between the legs. For once I was ready, but he didn't even reach out this time, he just wanted to dish out some punishment. Up came his leg, down went my cross block, knuckles together. Our bones made contact, to my surprize, and his disbelief, his shin bone shattered. That was the last time anyone bothered me or our family.

Since then, I've read several books, and studied many cultures. When I finshed High School, I joined the Army for some adventure, ended up in an Armour Division. That was when I started my formal Martial-Arts training. Despite my Asthma, which was controlled to the best of my ability, I pushed on. Savate, French Boxing was what was taught at the time. I excelled in hand techniques, but lacked flexibility making high kicks impossible. I ended my service in the Forces in 84, and also never trained again due to poor health.

When I turned 30, I was already a father, Husband, Engineer, Saleman. My best friend at that time was bored and desperate to try something different.
One day I was in a bank, had his tall slim gentleman behind me. He made comments about a weird acting guy in the mall, just in front of the bank and we watched him pace back and forth until he entered the bank. He started towards the front of the line, pushing his way past waiting clients. His hand reached into his jacket, he was 5 feet from me. The man behind me yelled "He's got a gun" while he jumped high in the air spinning backwards, landing his heel on the guys chest, sending him flying backwards. I was amazed, and told him so. He said "with some hard work, I could learn" Needless to say he became my first Sensei In a style called Kyokushin Karate.

Well, it has been an interesting 6 years since that day. 3 Kyu in Kyokushin, but have since eased off due to too many injuries. I now train more often with my children as a Blue Belt in TKD & Yoseikan Karate. To further push myself I've begun in the art of Iaido. I still have severe asthma, which makes even the best days training difficult. But as I have learnt, to compete against myself, no matter what, is to gain further wisdom as to what I can accomplish.

I've really learnt to focus, and what strength can flow from you when you do. I've recently experienced an event in which my Ki, my spirit controlled my motion, it was like a dream, a sense of perfection. My fellow Karateka's still question me about it, still not understanding of it.

It has given me the desire to try even harder. My dreams in childhood of being rewarded with a blackbelt for all my efforts, my losses, my achievements, and struggles with my health, is only around the corner, but that day will mark only a new beginning. I understand now, going full circle. To get to the next level, only to start again from scratch.

I have been hurt, I have felt joy, seen crimes against humanity. I do my best everyday to remain polite even in the worst of times, and have been humbled by the recent birth of my 3rd child, my second son that almost never was.

Jere Hilland - USA
I have never taken what is called a karate class in my life. New students to my school often ask me how long I have been studying karate. Never have. But I am familar with the Japanese arts as a sword collector (ancient Japanese swords), a sword practicioner and a bonsai nursery owner. It was interesting to note how my bonsai teacher often commented about zen and ki when I first studied the art of bonsai. He never used the term meditation interestingly enough. He often used the term 'reflection of the past in contrast to being in the  present'.

Paul Hucul - Canada

Xavier Inglis - South Africa
Hi, my name is Xavier Inglis, I live in Cape Town, South Africa and am 25 yrs old. I am currently training with Ashihara karate under Shihan Hoosain Narker. I obtained shodan in 1997. Graduated from University in 1996, where I majored in Psychology. I enjoy studying and learning new things, I guess that I have a thirst for knowledge.

I am a active participant in many different sports, including, soccer, rugby, baseball and volleyball, my first love of course being karate. Before Ashihara karate, I trained with Karate Zen, which is a combination of Goju Ryu and Shotokan and then also at Bushido, but am not really sure of what style they do, because I was still too young.

I started at Ashihara Karate in 1992, and I really liked the full contact, realistic nature and sabaki concepts and principles.  I have learnt lots under Shihan Narker. His understanding is excellent, I have also learnt a lot about Martial arts in general as well as admin skills, etc.

I would like to hear from and exchange ideas and opinions from all Martial artists.

Toughedah Jacobs - South Africa
I'm 17 years old. I live in the most beautiful City in the World, the one and only, Cape Town!!!! Why am I so biased, well we have the Mountain and two Oceans and so many other great places, can you blame me?
I started with my karate training when I joined the Ashihara dojo in  1991. After some years of training, I obtained my Shodan with five others in 1996 - that was after we were beaten up in the 35 fights or so we had to do. I was only 13 at the time!
There is some pictures of me on the Ashihara Web Site. One is on theproducts page - that's me next to Senpai Aysha with my hair all over my face...................:-) Another one is where I teach on one of our gasshukus and that's on the Camps page.
At the moment, I am in standard 8 at Bergvliet High School. I used to play both the Recorder and the Violin. I love talking, hanging out with my friends, going out, partying and believe it or not - cooking. That's not forgetting reading and watching tv. Throughout that, I try to fit in going to the dojo at least twice a week. Haven't started attending the Friday Black Belt class yet, due to having to go for Maths classes which is now at the same time.
When I grow up, which is only in another two years, I want to study child psychology or journalism. I recently visited Mecca for a Umrah (like a small pilgrimage) and now I have been caught by the travelling bug. I don't particularly believe in horoscopes and stuff like that, but I think it is so cool and funny when things really happen.

Christine Kay -USA
My name is Christine Kay I am 21 and live in Chicago IL.  I have been training in Ashihara Kai Kan for about 4 1/2 years under Sensei Scott Maczuga.  I recieved my Blackbelt in June and would love to hear from anyone.
 If there is anyone in the Chicago area who trains in Ashihara please contact me.  I currently train at the Shido-Kan headquaters in the Chicago Fitness Center.

Bryson Keenan - Australia
My name is Bryson Keenan, I am in Australian, but lived in Indonesia (Yogyakarta) a few years ago and travel over there a couple of times a year (this year in April and October) with my work in the Australian Defence Force.Just a short note of introduction to everyone on the list.  My name is Bryson Keenan, this is my 31st year of training in Karate (mostly of the Goju ryu).  I am headquartered in Australia, but we have some dojos internationally as well.  You can get to know us a little better on our website at: .
I am one of the founder members of the Shinbudokai, which you can find more about on Hoosain Narker's AKI site.  I would like to thank Hoosain for this opportunity to meet you all and congratulate him on yet another great effort to bring martial artists together for a common goal.

André Kelinski  -Germany
I live in Berlin Germany and i am 37 years young and  have practiced martial arts since 1982. I started with Ju-Jutsu and have changed to Karate (Wado-Ryu Style) in 1987. I obtained my nidan of wado-ryu karate in 1996 by T. Kono. In ju-jutsu i have the first kyu. Last year i have gotten contact with ashihara karate and i have fallen in love with. Now i am looking for all information and material about it.

Blair Kennedy -New Zealand
I am a Goju Ryu sandan and have been training since 1982.   My club is a University based club and we are affiliated to Morio Higoanna's IOGKF and the University of Otago.
We are traditional in our approach with emphasis on continuing the traditions of Goju Ryu as prescribed by our lineage through Chojun Miyagi and Higoanna sensei. My students compete in our national University tournament and also in our own National tournament which is coming up in Christchurch soon.  The Asia Pacific Karate championships are also on this year in New Zealand in Wellington in October with Higoanna Sensei in attendance.

Zabih Khanmohammadi - Iran
My name is zabih khanmohammadi . I am 30 years old and try in ASHIHARA karate. I have a karate-club in TEHRAN/IRAN.Loving karate makes me try and try not only in training it but also in studying and thinking about its improvement.
I have a 17 years experience i.e 14 years in KYUKOSHIN and 3 years in ASHIHARA and took part in world competition in denmark on 1997. Now i have black belt dan 3 from new international organization ASHIHARA karate japan.

Peter  Klipfel - South Africa
I  am Chief  Instructor  for  Goshu Kan JKF Goju Kai  Karate - Do   Western  Province. I  also  serve  on  the  National  Technical  Panel  for  JKF Goju  Kai  South  Africa. At  present I  am  getting ready to attempt  my  5th Dan  Grading, before  the  Japanese  panel.
I  started off  in  1966  with  a green  belt  teaching me  Shotokan  karate in  a  town  Upington. Moving to Natal in  1968  I  Joined the  local  Judo  club  and stuck  that  out  for  till  1976, receiving  both  my  Nidan  and  Natal  Colours.
In  1974  I  also  joined  Shotokan  karate  again  under  Sensei  Rob  Ferrier (At  that  time  a  very tough  Dude) who had his  dojo  in  Durban . We  lived in Newcastle - Natal.
In  1977  I  joined  the  Navy (Submarine Squadron) and during  that  period  to 1979 did Shukokai (Samurai) karate  and  graded  to Green Belt. It was  during the navy days  that  I  became  acquainted with  Sensei Peter Brandon , The  acquintance  lasted  about  10 seconds  in  a  dojo  kumite  session , all I  remember  was hitting  the deck  so  hard, first  from  a maegeri , ashibarai  then a kakato geri onto  my chest.
After the  navy  I  trained for  3 years  with  Sensei  Nigel  Jackson  in  the  Strand street  dojo. After a  while I  decided to  try Goju  and joined  sensei  Harry Pieterkosky   for  4  years  starting from  scratch  again and reaching  2nd  dan.
At this time  I  had made  up  my mind to  Affiliate  to a traditional  Japanese  Organisation  and  chose  Goju Kai, for their hard fighting  and  kata, and I  marvelled  at the  bunkai  they  did.
The  first  3  years  was  sheer  hell  for  me, as  they would  take delight  in kicking and punching  me to pieces, never saying they were sorry.  However  being the bullterrier  type  I  fought back  and learned their ways. At this time I  am glad they did  that to me for  I  understand  the Japanese  way  now.
I  have  my own dojo  of  96  students  in Tableview  and teach  5  classes  a  night  every  tuesday  and thursday. To  me  karate  is a way of life  and I take  the  ups with  the downs  and there  are  more  of those, but  my  love of teaching  never  dies , for I  love  my students , and  in turn  they  perform  well  at  tournaments  for  me.
To  date  I  have  made  38  black belts, 21 National  Goju Champions, 7 National  All style  Champions, One  Asian  champion  and one  World  All Style  Kata  Champion.

Malcolm Lamour -South Africa
I started of with Kung fu (for about 5 years) many moons ago (with an organization called LOGRA - Hoosain will probably know about them ?).

I subsequently went on to join Chris Thompson's Samurai dojo and then Thierry Simon's Budoshin where I obtained my Shodan. I taught at Budoshin for 2 years and also participated in a couple of tournaments. I left Budoshin and have been practicing Aikido for the past year which required a major mindset change for me. I am still stuggling to adjust to the aikido way, but that's ok as I'm in no hurry.

I also recently attended the seminar given by Alfred Plath in the Modern Arnis system of Remy Presas and I must say that it was a very educational experience for me. There were a couple of techniques which was very  similar to basic aikido and karate techniques and to see it being applied with and against weapons made to seminar very valuable.

Henry Low - Singapore
I started Martial Arts training since 1963 and don't know how to stop. It must be the "DO".
My CREDENTIALS are as follow:

*  6th. Dan Black Belt in TaeKwon-Do
   - Singapore TaeKwon-Do Academy.
*  Black Belt Certificates from :
   - International TKD Federation
   - World TKD Federation
   - Global TKD Federation
   - Chang Moo Kwan TKD (Thailand)
* Shaolin  (Wushu - Tiger Style)
* Karate (KeiShinKan)

- Chief Instructor - BLCC TKD Club
- Dy. Chief Instructor - STA
- Chief Judge - STA and Inter-Varsity Tournaments.
- Chairman - STA TKD Technical Committee.

My 3 main Hobbies are:
1. All Martial Arts.
2. Everything on Martial Arts
3. Anything to do with Martial Arts.

Joanne Madrid - USA
A brief introduction.  My name is Joanne Madrid and I am a student of  Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate Do.  I train under Sensei Chris de Wet in Cheyenne,  Wyoming.  My rank is 1st kyu with the IOGKF.   I am 37 years old, a mother of three, and am employed as a Social Worker.  I have actually been a list member for about one month but could lurk no longer.  ;)

Sandile Mathangwane - Swaziland
My name is Sandile Mathangwane. I am a Swazi by birth and have been staying in Swaziland for as long as I can remember.

I started in martial arts by doing TaeKwonDo, which I've done for about seven years now (ever since I was 14 yrs.) Only two years ago I got seduced into trying Ashihara and enjoyed it so much that I carried on training and eventually grading (breaking many constitutional rules in the process). I've got Senpai Hoosain and the late Shodan Mathokoza to thank for that.

To echo another persons' words, "This is going to be a learning experience for me and I hope you guys out there will always be there to answer my questions, of which I surely have many."

Illona McKinzie - USA
I am 50 years old and have been training in the arts since I was 21.
I have my own dojo here in So. California and have belts in TKD, Ryu Kyu Kempo, Dai Shin Do and am now studying Aikido/Iaido.
I have studied various other arts but have no black belt in them.  Only a burning desire to learn more but not enough hours in the day to do it all !

Cathy Melanson - USA
My name is Sensei Cathy Melanson, a Yondan, in the Phoenix Karatedo Association (a Kyokushin based group) and I instruct at our dojo in Rockville Maryland, USA.

Dave Morley - South Africa
My name is Dave Morley, I live in Bothasig which is a small suburb of Cape Town not to far from Hoosain.I work for a company called Marine Electrical Supplies in Cape Town and teach karate after hours in Bothasig. I started my karate in 1987 at the age of 25 with Sensei George Rawson, Goju Kai. In 1994 Sensei George formed Karate Confederation teaching Goju style, we now have three Dojo's in the Cape Town area.

Mark Morrison -Canada
I would like to introduce myself.  My name is Mark Morrison and have been involved in Karate around 22 years.  I have trained with some of the most traditional masters of our time.  Hanshi Katsuya Miyahira 10th dan Shidokan, Hanshi Seikich Iha 9th dan Shidokan, Hanshi Shoei Miyazato 10th dan Shidokan(separate organization from Miyahira's), Hanshi Shugoro Nakazato 10th dan Shorinkan, Hanshi Seikichi Odo, 10th dan Okinawa Kempo, Master George Alexander 9th dan Matsumura, Hanshi Ken Penland 10th dan Shorinji ryu jui jitsu, Renshi Germain Garcia 6th dan and many more.  Hopefully I will be in Orlando on the 9th of May for the Okinawan masters tour.   I have run dojo's in Mississauga under the name of Morrison's Okinawan Karate International and  in Guelph the Hakutsuru Karate Dojo.  I don't believe in learning just one system from one master.  Karate is a blend of all styles in one form or another.  I keep a traditional base in Shorin ryu but train with several other masters in this system.  Currently I have a base in three shorin ryu styles.  4th degree in Shidokan(Miyazato), 3rd degree in Matsumura(Alexander, Yuichi Kuda), and a 6th degree in Matsubana Kobayshi ryu (Morrison, Porter).

Paul Montgomery - USA
My name is Paul Montgomery and I'm from the USA (New York State) I have been studying karate for three years. This is the first time writing and I hope to hear from you all soon

Egbert Moustache - Seychelles
I am Egbert Moustache, the branch chief instructor for Ashihara Karate in Seychelles.  I have been in the Martial arts from 1980 on and off. My experience includes Kime Ryu, Kyokushin, Tae Kwon Do, MooYea Do, Ryobu Kai and now Ashihara with Shihan Narker.
I am presently the treasurer of the Seychlles KArate Federation and the Manager of the National Semi-contact team (WKF). I am an Accountant by profession.

Denise Mziyako - Swaziland
I come from Mbabane, Swaziland in Southern Africa.  I am a new member of this forum.  About two months ago I started doing Ashihara Karate.  As I am a beginner in martial arts I look forward to learning and gaining experience from the members of this group.

Hoosain Narker -South Africa
I'm Hoosain Narker, founder of the list. My students at the Main dojo call me Senpai. I feel comfortable with that. I am a South African but of Indian origin. Our dojo is called Ashihara Karate.

I live in Retreat (a historic place -  a battle between the Boers and the Red Necks took place here so many years ago -that was at the turn of the 20th Century) Retreat is a suburb of Cape Town, South Africa. Some great pics of Cape Town can be viewed on my site.

I started with Ashihara Karate in December of 1984, obtaining Branch Chief status in March of 1985. I opened the original  dojo in 1980 as a 17 year old and by April of this year, I will have been training for 25 years. What I am particularly proud of is that I have been training continuously without stopping other than the small breaks.
Since 1990, I have been involved as a Administrator on a Macro level. In the past, I have written articles, etc. for many of the top International M.A. magazines, but I have been lazy for some time. Hopefully I should get going again soon.

Last year I competed in our Annual Championships - performing a combination of Shoshin Kata Ichi & Ni and managed to obtain third place in the Open Kata Division against some expert kata competitors. I also fought in the Semi-Contact Continuous doing quite well. I would still like to compete - the only problem is that I am so involved with organising, etc. that I don't always get the chance. Let's see what the future holds in for me. :-)
I tend to write a lot, so sometimes I can blabber on and on - forgive me for that. For a more detailed background of myself, have a look at my web site at - under Kaicho Hoosain Narker - that should be self explanatory.

Geoff Olive - USA
Just a quick introduction although I have been posting to Hoosain and others directly for quite some time.
 started martial arts training in the UK in 1965. I have attended large schools and small schools of many different styles such as gojo-ryu, shotokan, ashihara, and shuri-te over the years. I have trained in aikido, kendo, and Chinese styles, but always return to karate.
At present I am enjoying shuri-te, iaido, kobudo, and tuite-jutsu under Sensei Michael Graves in Delaware, USA. Prior to this I spent seven years in Singapore training in Ashihara under Shihan Chee and Sensei Tong.

Jorge Bustos Padilla -Panama
I am a Shihan from Kyokushinkaikan and official Branch chief from 1975 in the Republic of Panama, if I could be util for any thing please don't esitate in contact me,  here in Panama you have a grate Ashihara Karate Shihan is  Shihan Zenon Cortez B.

Bob Perry -USA
I am 51 years old have a lot of grandchildren and have been training in the arts since I was 32.
I have my own dojo here in So. Ohio, "The Kick Jazz Co." we offer Taekwondo and Spardo(a non contact blend of boxing aerobics and Taekwondo).

I am a Fifth Dan Kukkiwon Taekwondo Black Belt, have taken several USNTF instructor course and am a certified Master level instructor, as well as an A-1 USTU Taekwondo referee certificate (one of a select few to have refereed 10,000 rounds of competition over the past 13 years).

I have studied boxing, and ballet, but prefer Jazz, party music, rhythm and blues. My hobbies are computer assisted large paintings (murals), dancing and mailing lists like this one.

In October I will be a volunteer helping  Celebrate South Africa We hope to help in bringing  South African Martial arts to this two city blocks of exhibits and are currently working with a brain storming team of Elite instructors in South Africa. We hope to help them tell their own story with seminars, demos, or possibly a Karate or combined Martial art tournament.

Martin Petrovich - USA
I started my Kyokushin training in 1985 under Sensei Jame Swanson of Orlando Florida, USA.  I received my Shodan from him in 1988.  I received my Nidan and Sandan from Shihan Henri-Oh of Queens New York.  I currently have a dojo with 200 students in Norway, Maine USA.  I have been teaching here for over four years.  I promote the annual United States Kyokushin Open, which is open to all styles and affiliations.  My next tournament is in October 1999.  I am a member of the International Karate Organization under Kancho Matsushima an serve as a United States Branch Chief.

Rana Priya - Saudi Arabia (Sri Lanka)
I am Rana Priya from Sri Lanka. I started karate training in Master Masutatsu Oyama's Kyokushin style. Also had the complete "un-armed Combat" training in the military for several years. Later changed the style to Ashihara Karate - founded by Master Ashihara. With this "full contact" style, under the guidance of the Sri Lanka branch chief, developed skills upto 2nd Kyu - brown. Presently employed in a German Government owned company in Saudi Arabia as the financial controller. Because Saudi has not much of karate practitioners and not any full contact styles, I am continuing practices with the guidance of valuable books written by Master Ashihara. During July next year, I will be attending Sho Dan test in Ashihara headquarters in Matsuyama - Japan.

I cherish reading all valuable articles appearing in SABAKI list. Most liked topic is new member introductions. I feel that I am meeting new friends everyday. Not just average men and women but hard headed, strong bodied but rationally thinking individuals sharing a common ideology on a unique sport. (Sorry, karate is not just a sport but that is a topic too big for my small knowledge to handle - help needed from all of you and Kaicho Hussain!). I am a "brand loyalist" of Ashihara karate not only because I am thinking Ashihara karate is a good style but because I am miserably failing to by-hart many different katas of different styles. I was amazed with Steven Resell San's long list of styles. Osz to you Steven San! Also I love to correspond with list members off list mainly because I enjoy studying behavioral & psychological attitudes of individuals from our diverse universe. (just curiosity, not a research please). A big vote of thanks to Kaicho Hussain for providing this valuable opportunity. (I first met him in the Cyber Dojo and then he amazed me with names of small towns of my small country - he has visited many of them). Finally beg your pardon for the long mail, I was a member from inception but it took me "all that long" to compile this letter.

Rembrandt Redelijkheid - Netherlands
My name is Rembrandt Redelijkheid and I am 24 years old, male and live in Holland. I've been training Judo since the age of 6. Just like my father I started at a local school called "Tromp" (teachers name) in Sliedrecht near Rotterdam.
When I got 12 years old I started to train wado-karate (semi-contact) besides Judo. After a while, 5 years or so, I wanted to focus on karate. So I did. I stopped the Judotraining. In these days I did some local tournaments. And even won some too!!!

After a while I got bored by the way the sensei teached his students. He only focussed on technical moves. I know this is very important, but I also wanted to fight (sparring = maybe only dutch).There was no talking to him, so I quit. After a few weeks I started to train Ashihara Karate in Dordrecht at a dojo called "Kyoto-gym". This style and dojo was what I was looking for. The sensei John (oops forgot his backname) and Cor van den Adel where very focussed on kumité. At first it was very dificult for me to switch from "scintouch" to "full-contact", but within a half year I got the hang of it.

I usually train 2/3 times a week and got the 3 kyu grade. Next month I'll do an examen for second kyu. Last time I only trained the kata. After that I'm going for a year to Australia, so that's not gonna help me to get to the first dan grade soon. No tournaments coming up.

I already told I'm going to Australia. Maybe I can get some information about location in the OZ about Ashihara karate training?

Steven Resell - USA
My name is Steven Resell and I have been following the threads on this list since it's inception and thought it is about time to get out of lurking mode and finally introduce myself. I currently live in Southern California and have lived in the United States for the past nine years.

I have been involved off and on in the Martial Arts since the age of six. Starting with Kendo and Jujutsu, which took place in Japan (I was born and raised there until I was eight years old). I remember not being allowed in the regular childrens classes and was taught separately by my Sensei along with his son who was a friend from elementary school.

Anyway, since then I have trained in several different arts such as (not in order): Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, Kyokushinkai, Shotokan, Goju Ryu, American Freestyle Karate,  Ba Gua, American Kenpo, Chinese Kenpo, Hawaiian Kempo as well as Daito Ryu Aikijutsu and Hakko Ryu Jujutsu. (I hold Dan ranking in Chinese Kenpo, Tae Kwon Do and also received my Ikkyu in Daito Ryu Aikijutsu, Hakko Ryu Jujutsu, American Freestyle Karate and Hawaiian Kempo.) The reason I have trained in so many styles is because I have been moving a lot and they never have the same styles available in the areas I have moved.
However, I have not trained actively in a dojo the last three years due to an injury I sustained to my lower back during a Daito Ryu demonstration. I am extremely thankful to my teacher in Ba Gua who also does Chinese Medicine for getting me healthy again.
I would also like to add that I have just now become a member of Senpai Narker's AKI and will be attending his long distance learning program.

Donatello Rizzo - Italy
I'm Donatello Rizzo from Italy. I started Karate six years ago, but continuously only by two years.
In the last ten years, I have trained in different style: Shotokan Karate, Ju-Jutsu Hontai Yoshin-Ryu, Muay Thai, Kung Fu Wing-Tsun Leung Ting Faction, KyokushinKai Karate.
I hope to learn Karate as a life style and self defence, not only sport, Kyokushin is Budo Karate!

Eduardo Sanchez M. - Costa Rica
Hi everybody...I'm from Costa Rica a small country in central America....Hoosain the list administrator of the list told me that post something about me in the here I am....

I practice Ashihara Karate since one month ago.....with sensei Fabian Merino....he is very young but know enough to teach 15 of us..... I also practiced Okinawa Te three years and proudly obtained a brown belt  but I left to practice that style for personal reasons....

I also practice a few months Tae-Kwon_do and obtained a yellow belt...but  didn't learn enough as I wanted....

Now that I'm practicing Ashihara......I expect learn all I can of the  style.....The Ashihara of Panama Invited us to a Tournament in May 2.000.....I hope we will do great perfomance....

Well...I don't know what else to say.....if anyone have another question I  will answer....thanxk to Hossain the list Adm and the rest of people...your comments are very userful.... thanx...

Rinka Singh - India
To introduce myself.  My name is Rinka Singh.  I live in Bangalore, India and work in an IT company here.  I have practised various styles on & off mainly because my job took me all over.  But my first love has been Kan-Zen-Ryu and this is the style I've practised the most (6 years).
Kan-Zen-Ryu is an application style and is a hard-soft style.  We participate in non-contact, semi-contact and full-contact competitions and are quite competition oriented.  The other style I've liked is Kyokyushinkai.  I've practised for a little while.  I guess my total experience would be about 10 years - this includes Shotokan and Wado-ryu other than Kan-Zen-Ryu and Kyokyushin.  :-] Quite a commentary on how much I've moved around.

The problem of having practised with good seniors and teachers is that, one finds it very easy to find problems most classes.  And so for the last 6 years I have been drifting in and out of classes.  I'd join, practise for 2 weeks and quit - to the extent that it became a standing joke in my family that I was just conning myself that I loved the art and I wasn't fooling anyone else.  My biggest problem has been the atmosphere of the dojo.  The classes would have an unwelcoming atmosphere and most of the students
(especially the seniors) were more interested in proving a point and/or starting their own classes.  Also, I'm still not at the point where I can practise all by myself.

And so, I've ended up joining tae-kwon-do (just 3 weeks ago) - It's the state team and they'd won the nationals last year.  The spirit of the class feels quiet and peaceful and more importantly I feel at home.  The students are there because they love the art - they're good fighters and enjoy practising.  :-) Normal aches and pains of starting up - old and a familiar friend.  But this is the first time in these six long years I feel good about waking up at 0530 to practise.  Zero stamina, no speed, reaction time is totally shot - I'm happy putting on my old white belt and starting again. But there're small signs that it'll come back one of these days.  Let's see how it goes.

Sanette Smit - South Africa
My name is Sanette Smit and I live in Cape Town, South Africa.

I have been training karate (Funakoshi Style - based upon Shotokan) for more than 25 years.  I am very involved in karate at a Regional aswell as National level.  I run two components:  Karate and Self Defence Workshops. Self Defence Workshops cc is seperate from karate, aswell as its image.
I did a workstudy on rape many years ago and am continually researching this subject.  Self Defence Workshops does not only teach the women self defence techniques, but we also educate them on rape prevention.  My book on rape prevention and Self Defence for Women will be launched in April/May this year. Please visit my website:

Very nice meeting all of you, I have been reading some of your communications, and thanks to Hoosain - this is a wonderful opportunity in gaining more knowledge and making new friends.

Volodymyr Snyegir'ov - Ukraine
Brief resume:
Name and surname: Volodymyr Snyegir'ov
The country and city: Ukraine, Nikopol '
Style karate: Phoenix Karatedo
Rank: Sensei, Sandan, Branch Chief and the Official Representative of the Ukraine in The Phoenix Karatedo Association
Post: Chairman of The Phoenix Karatedo Association, Ukraine
My Master: Shihan Dan Soller, Nanadan, Chief Instructor of The Phoenix Karatedo Association
The experience of training Karate/Budo: 18 years

Dan Soller -USA
Dan Soller began studying karate at the age of sixteen. Trained in the Japanese Oyama-Ryu Kyokushin philosophy, Soller has been a long time student of Shihan Raymond Elmore, the Chairman of the Phoenix Karatedo Association.

Soller is the founder and Chief Instructor of Phoenix Karatedo Association and the La Roche College Karatedo Club. Until 1994, he served as the Chief Instructor of the Mount Saint Mary's College Karatedo Club, which he founded in 1981. The highly successful organisations promote the traditional and educational values of Karate by emphasising an individual's development and human potential. Soller's classes are taught in a disciplined atmosphere which incorporates a hard style of karate, and direct, proactive movements. He was the All Breaking Champion under Elmore and his only student to reach Shihan rank.

In 1979, Soller was awarded a full teaching scholarship to develop the martial arts program at Southern Illinois University. While there, he trained hundreds of students and redesigned the curriculum to better reflect karate's aims and goals and meet students' needs. Having served as Chief Instructor for Elmore before teaching in Illinois, Soller has also organised and developed karate clubs in Virginia, New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. He is the author of "Teaching in the College Dojo"  (1983), and the "Club Guidebook" (1984), as well as the latest edition of "The Phoenix  Karatedo Guidebook" (1995). He is currently holder of the seventh dan.

A college administrator by profession, Soller holds academic degrees from The Richard Bland College of The College of William and Mary, James Madison University, and Southern Illinois University. He serves as a Vice President and Adjunct Professor at La Roche College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He resides in Pennsylvania with his family and two Labrador Retrievers.

Greg Solomon -UK (South Africa)

Keiji Suzuki - Japan (Zambia)
My name is KG Suzuki, from Japan. I've been learning Ashihara Karate for 10years, since I graduated high school. I have a brown belt(1-kyu) now. I am a JOCV (Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers) employee and I am assigned to the government of Zambia as a market researcher in April.

It's nice to know that many  people are learning Karate all over the world. I will try to keep brushing up my sabaki skill in Zambia. I'm thinking about visiting S.A., especially the Senpai Narker's head dojo, but we are not allowed to visit other countries except Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe.  I don't know the reason why(maybe some political reason, like Apartheid they use to have), but the situation is improving,  actually one coordinator told me that the Japanese govt.. would change the regulation shortly, so I still have chance to visit S.A.

Shariefa Thebus - Trinidad (South Africa)
I am Shariefa Thebus. I reside in a suburb of Cape Town and, besides a brief sojourn in England, have spent all my life here.I am 32 years of age and started my karate training in 1994, so it was quite an adjustment. I am training with Senpai Hoosain Narker at Ashihara Karate. I am currently at 3rd kyu level. Unfortunately I have had a one year interruption in my training, but I plan to restart in the near future. I initially started training purely for the sake of self-defense and ended up continuing with
karate.Training at karate, in addition to the physical benefits, has given me a sense of inner confidence so that even though I am not able to defend myself effectively yet, I feel more in control.

Paul Thoresen  -USA
I have been training in a Kyokushin based style since 1987, which is currently called Seishin Ryu Karate.  My instructor is Kancho Lee Dawson out of North East Iowa in the U.S. which is where I had lived until this last fall.  I recently re-located to Northwest Ohio in the U.S. I have always trained with this same instructor, and his primary instructor was master Miyuki Miura then of Kyokushinkai.

I am very much looking forward to being a member of this list. Having recently moved away from a Honbu I had trained at for many years,  I like the virtual community of the listserve. Being in a small town does not allow for a great number of opportunities.  I prefer contact sparring (lets you know you are alive) although that is not the primary emphasis of my instructor these days. Favorite Katas are:   Seienchin,  Garyu, and Seipai.  I had taken a break from training last year with my geographic move and finishing a masters degree, but now training with renewed motivation. Mostly working on my Heavy bag, sparring combos and Kata.

I am in the middle of a career transition and  working as a Research Analyst for a Market Research company. Also, I am a part-time graduate student at Bowling Green State University.

Paul Thwaites - Jamaica
"Jui Fushin Kai" karate which is break away from Seido in Jamaica is a Japanese art.  Quite nicely, there appears to be no hard feelings between the two school as one of their black belts has just started training at our dojo.

As I said before, I am actually quite new to this even though I have followed the martial arts intellectually for some years.  I did my first grading for a coloured belt not too long ago and could not quite believe the feeling of accomplishment that I felt in hearing unofficially that I had been successful and will be awarded my blue belt.
In Fushin Kai we go as follows:  White - Blue - Yellow - Green - Brown - Black.
You must understand that at age forty three I kind of got tired of the doctors telling me that I needed to get fit or face serious grief!!  I have five children and so far I have four of them in the dojo, so it was an easy step to joining them.  With me in there and getting my wife to join, I have had to negotiate a group rate on my membership fees!!!
Having gotten involved, I have already organized and put on our first tournament earlier this year.  Having learnt from our mistakes (of which there were many) we have plans to make it into an international tournament within the next two or three years.  Without ambition, there is nothing, eh...

Without overstating the case, it has been the best thing that I have done for myself in a long while.

Des Tuck - USA

1954        Born in Durban, South Africa
1978        Immigrated to San Francisco, USA
1983        Graduated from San Francisco Law School
1984        Admitted to California Bar
1985-present    Sole practitioner - Law Offices of Desmond B. Tuck, San Mateo, California

Married with two children. Resident of Palo Alto, California.


1964-65               Kodokwai Institute, Durban, South Africa, judo and karate
1970-present        Student of Shihan Leo Lipinski, present head of Goju Ryu Karate-do Seiwa Kai,
                           England and JKF Goju Kai, Europe
1972-74               Student of Shihan Stuart Booth, present head of Goju Ryu Kenwa-Kai, South Africa
1973-74               Student of Shihan Stan Schmidt, Shotokan, South Africa
1974                    Graded to Shodan - Karate-do Goju Kai, Durban, South Africa
1976                    Graded to Nidan by Shihan Goshi Yamaguchi. Appointed by him as Authorized
                           Instructor and Authorized Branch Head, Karate-do Goju Kai, South Africa.
1977                    Graded to Sandan-Ho - Karate-do Goju Kai, Johannesburg, South Africa
1985                    Graded to Sandan - Karate-do Goju Kai, South Africa
1992                    Sandan confirmed in both Goju Ryu Karate-do Seiwa Kai and under JKF Goju
                           Kai, London, England.
1996                    Graded to Yondan - Goju Ryu Karate-do Seiwa Kai, England
1997                    Graded to Yondan - JKF Goju Kai in London, England


1974        South African Championships, Durban, South Africa
1987        USA Team member, Pan American Maccabiah, Caracas, Venezuela
1993        Manager, USA karate team to World Maccabiah, Israel
1995        Coach of San Francisco Bay Area karate team to Youth Maccabiah, Long Island, New York.
1997        Coach of San Francisco Bay Area karate team to Youth Maccabiah, Seattle, Washington.
1999        Coach of San Francisco Bay Area karate team to Youth Maccabiah, Rochester, New York.


1973-1978       Instructor, Karate-do Goju Kai, South Africa.
1977-1978       Chief Instructor, Transvaal province, Karate-do Goju Kai, South Africa.
1990-present    Chief Instructor, JCC Maccabi Karate Club, Palo Alto, California
1992                Formed Goju Ryu Karate-do Seiwa Kai, USA with Vassie Naidoo, Chief Instructor.
1992-present    President, Goju Ryu Karate-do Seiwa Kai, USA


1976        Shihan Goshi Yamaguchi, Johannesburg, South Africa
1990        IOGKF Seminar, San Diego, California with Shihan Morio Higaonna
1992        JKF Goju Kai Seminar, London, England - Shihan Shuji Tasaki, Shihan Takeo
               Ohga, Shihan Seiichi Fujiwara, Shihan Leo Lipinski,
1996        Goju Ryu Karate-do Seiwa Kai Seminars in London, England,  Budapest,
               Hungary, St. Pölten, Austria, and Bratislava, Slovakia, with Shihan Seiichi Fujiwara,
               Shihan Leo Lipinski.
1997        JKF Goju Kai seminars in Nitra, Slovakia and London, England, with Shihan Shuji
               Tasaki, Shihan Takeo Ohga, Shihan Akira Shiomi, Shihan Seiichi Fujiwara, Shihan
               Leo Lipinski.
               Karate-do Seiwa Kai Seminar, Santa Monica, California with Shihan Leo Lipinski.
1998        Goju Ryu Karate-do Seiwa Kai Seminar, Santa Monica, California with Shihan Leo Lipinski
               Tibon's Goju Ryu Seminar, Lodi, California 1999
                Goju Ryu Karate-do Seiwa Kai Seminar, Santa Monica, California with Shihan Leo Lipinski.


1999        President of JKF Goju Kai, California branch (sole authorized US branch)

Marcel Vanderschaeghe - Germany
I live in Cologne/Germany and I am 26 years old. I started in the age of 14 with Ju-Jitsu, EVS and AKS
(allround-selfdefense systems). 1994 I started with studying Ashihara International Karate under my Shihan Dave Jonkers, NL. Since 1996 I practise combat hapkido also.
I think nobody cares about degrees (and its correct because there are more important things in life), so I don't write them here. I teach since 1992 in a Club in Bonn and before that I taught in Cologne.

Sjaak van der Velde - Netherlands
He was born in May, 1957 in Rotterdam, Kralingen. When he was one-and-a-half his parents moved to Bloemhof in Rotterdam South. He first came into contact with budo at the age of 6 when his parents enrolled him at the judo school Van de Velde (no relation). He gained his blue-belt after 3 and-a-half years of judo training but stopped doing judo because at that time he preferred playing football. The interest in the Eastern fighting sport began when his father Gerard vd Velde came home one evening and announced that a Shaolin Kempo-club had started at his firm. After a tria lesson Sjaak v.d. Velde decided to start practicing Kempo.

He practiced Kempo between the ages of 14 and 19 under the guidance of Sensei Jim Strik (2nd Dan Kempo). After the club was disbanded he started to do kick boxing under the guidance of Jeflrey v Es. When he was 21 he returned to his fist budo love Kempo with Sensei Peter van Velzen (4th Dan Kempo) and at this point he reached 2nd kyu.

When he was 24 he moved to Spijkenisse where he came into contact with Kyokushinkai Karate and, after 8 years of Kempo, he decided to switch schools. His first teacher was Sensei Peter Meerburg (2nd Dan Kyokushin) at the Delta Sports School. However, several changes of teacher impaired the quality of the training so he decided to change to sports school Murumachi under the leadership of Sensei v Wijngaarden, 4th Dan, and Sensei Eikmans, 4th Dan. After this move he became really interested in Kyokushin Karate and he started to help by teaching children. Soon after that he started giving lessons to adults as well. After much hard training and teaching he was promoted by Shihan Jon Bluming to 1st Dan Kyokushin on the 5th of May 1993. You can rest assurec that both Senseis had an enormous influence on building his character

In January 1994 he moved to Strijen in the Hoeksche Waard. ln August 1995 he decided to leave the Senseis after an amicable disagreement regarding style and performance. 7 (happy) years later in 1995, he decided to open his own sports school in Strijen called 'Kyokushinkai Musashi'. At the same time he moved to the dojo of Shihan Middelman and Shihan Verschoof (both 6th Dan Kyokushin). The demand for Kyokushin Karate in the Hoeksche Waard was enormous and within 3 months the 100th member was enrolled. On the 1st of April 1996 the second step was taken to Westmaas, and on 1/1/98 Numannsdorp became the third location. Recently 1-11-98
the fourth dojo was open in Oud Beijerland.

Sensei v d Velde broke all links with Shihan Verschoof after a serious disagreement in May 1997, and decided from then on to go his own way. Shihan Middelman and Sensei Goedegebuur also broke all former links, and these three decided to go further together. Shihan Middelman promoted him to 2nd Dan Kyokushin and recently in november 1998 he was promoted to 3th Dan after completed the 50 man kumite. At this moment the membership number varies between 170 and 200 which means that Kyokushinkai Musashi is one of the biggest schools of its sort in The Netherlands.

Steve Will - USA
I study both Shorin ryu karate and Yamani-Chinen ryu kobudo in the United States.  I dabbled in both judo and aikido in college.  I started my study of karate in Washin ryu as a form of exercise in the winter.  I changed to Shorin ryu when I relocated because of work.  One of the first things I noticed when I changed was that there was a lot more movement and parry in Shorin ryu instead of the harder blocks of Washin ryu.  While both were effective, I have come to appreciate the movement.

George Yanase - USA
Hello, My name is George Yanase. I currently train in Okinawan Goju Ryu in Los Angeles, California. I had begun training in karate when I was much younger, I'm 42 now. I began in Shudokan, then with Isshinryu after leaving the military. I injured my knee and stopped training for 13 years, but, two and a half years ago, I started my daughter in Goju and couldn't resist the call of the art. I was recently promoted to Shodan by my sensei Kent Moyer, 7th Dan, Head instructor of the USA branch of Tetsuhiro Hokamas' Kenshi Kai in Okinawa.

Shaharin Yussof - Australia


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