Karate for Life News July 2022

Welcome to our midyear term windup newsletter. In this edition we talk about gradings, upcoming training and events. Remember to keep up to date with events, make sure that you are registered to received email notifications from Kofukan Karate Australia, and that you follow both the KKA facebook page and that you are a member of the Karate for Life members only pages. Links are at the bottom of this newsletter.

Big news from the United Kingdom – our Head of Style, Shihan Tomiyama has been recognised as a living master by the English Karate Federation, and was awarded a 9th Dan in recognition of his dedication and commitment to Karate.

View the presentation here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/7361728361/permalink/10161772007658362/

Last month, our own Alfred Koenig graded to 1st Kyu at the Association wide panel grading held in Mandurah in June. He did a fantastic job at show casing his knowledge and understanding of Kofukan Karate.

At Karate for Life our end of term grading saw some fantastic skills demonstrated. Congratulations to the following students: Jack Dodd; Zoya Ali; Charly Dobb; Charlie Potts; Olivia Street; Mikayla Van Der Waarden; Aurora Peterson; Sam Sapina; Ben Dodd; Ollie Potts; Johrdan Behl; Thomas Collidge; Victor Brookes; Sadie Smithson; Koby Joy; Scarlett McDonald; Max Geale; Max Tether; Shayleen Shrestha; Lucan Heales; Jax Tether; Jacob Oates; Alex Hales; Emily Sawford; Isla Collidge; Evan Bullock; Lucas Gross; Jayden Yates; William Hales; Jaxon Dickson; Ella Glendenning; Lotus Tamatea; Naman Bhangu; Luke Georgiou; Havish Gobikrishnan; William Butchart; Annika Butchart; Evan Johnson; Sumona Ganghas; Jessica Winatapradja; Luigi Chau; Nicholas Winatapradja; Ethan Barbatano; Reyna Rei Riksman; Elise Chan Fook; Kenji Snellin; Mehnaz Elahi; Bentley Ray; Aiden Heath; Codey Vinn Riksman; Dhyey Patel; Veer Shah; Ethan Noronha; Aurora Tamatea; Blake Brooke; Brayden Van Der Waarden – well done everyone!! Belts and certificates will be presented within the first two weeks of term at your dojo.

A special mention goes out to our newest brown belts – Blake Brooke, Max Geale and Kenji Snellin.

Grading contracts were introduced by Sensei Don last term. This will be continued into term three. The aim of the contracts is to have students take on some of the responsibility of their own karate journey. Students are encouraged to train at home, utilise the available online resources and understand that karate standards exists both inside and outside the dojo.


With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions the Western Australia Karate Federation (WAKF) have revamped their tournament schedule for 2022. The venue has changed from ECU Joondalup to the WA Netball Association’s headquarters in Joliment. Our small team of competitors have enjoyed some success to date, with our very own Sensei Lindon, taking out Gold in the men’s veteran kata.

If you would like to join our Tournament Team, please register here. Entry is open to all members, kata competitors will need to learn a Pin’an kata to compete but this can be done at the dojo and with the assistance of online training. Please note that this form in not a registration to compete in any particular tournament it is just to inform your Sensei that you would like to compete, and enable them to direct your training accordingly. A tournament training guide is available here: KIC Training Passport

Our Kofukan Inter-club will be November 6th and will be held at Kwinana Requatic Centre, located in Kwinana Town Centre. All students are encouraged to enter. This is a economical, entry level tournament suitable for all members. (Students are not required to enter the above KFL Tournament Team form) Entry forms will be released in the next few weeks.

Kofukan International Competition will be held in Slovenia in 2023. If you are interested in attending please let Sensei Don know as soon as possible as there are a lot of arrangements and training preparations to be taken care of. Please see the KIC Training Passport for more information on what is expected of all competitors.

Class timetable – please note the new descriptions and specialty classes from next term

Baldivis Dojo
Kwinana Dojo
Kwinana Dojo
Baldivis Dojo
Harrisdale Dojo
Tiger Cubs4:30pm4:30pm10:00am
Orange belt and up
Brown and up/ seniors &
by invitation
Fight Skills
Tournament Skills
If you know someone that would like to come and try a specialty classes on a casual basis please invite them along, casual rates are $20 per class, martial arts practitioners from other styles are welcome to attend.

Walking Group

Feel like stepping out into the great outdoors? Join us for our walking group, we will meet once a month for a reasonable hike of 8-15 km. Children are welcome when accompanied with an adult. Bring a picnic and enjoy the scenery. Registration is open to members, non members and their family. There is no associated cost, every walker is responsible for their own transport, equipment and picnic lunch. Join Here.

Dream of winning the big one?

From week one of term three register and pay your $5 entry fee at the dojo to be part of our KFL Lotto Syndicate. To join, simply make sure that each week you register(sign your name in the lotto book) and pay $5 in cash to Vanessa no later than 12pm each Saturday to be included in that weeks draw.

Club information:

Kofukan Karate Australia – make sure that you have signed up to receive the events information from our Kofukan Karate Association. Check your membership here : https://kofukankarateaustralia.com/member-area/ to see that you have signed up or to sign up if you haven’t.

Our Karate for Life Members Page is a useful link to other members, feel free to add training tips, karate items for sale, event information, and all other relevant karate information here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/427511971264581

If you need equipment or a new karate uniform, you can order here: https://karateforlife.net/dojo-shop/ items will be delivered to you at the dojo as soon as they arrive.

Online training is available here: https://karateforlife.net/kfl-online-learning/ (KFL specific syllabus training) and here https://kofukankarateaustralia.com/member-area/ (Kofukan Karate Training katas and combinations)

December 2021 Wind Up Newsletter

It has been a very busy year at Karate for Life, we finished the term four with a grading held at both our Kwinana and Forrestdale Dojos. Congratulations to the following successful grading candidates: Nicholas Winatapradja; Jessica Winatapradja; Lucas Gross; Kushaan Sisodia; Rishaan Sisodia; Tania Jeyavarthna; Varishvan Jeyavarthna; Reyna Rai Riksman; Codey Vinn Riksman; Bentley Ray; Dhyey Patel; Charlie Smith; Leia Lanigan; Om Bodakhe; Aurora Tamatea; Lotus Tamatea; Param Patel; Soham Patel; Ethan Noronha; Bryan Noronha; Charlie Blake; Elise Chan Fook; Isabelle Lanigan; Brayden Van Der Waarden; Isla Pickard; Oliver Pickard; Steven Pickard; Martin Russell; Mikayla Van Der Waarden; Kezia Berveling; Scarlett McDonald; Chanya Youngyuen; Aiden Heath; Caroline Winkler; Sahib Sihag; Kaaviyaa Subramanian; Rui Akamatsu; Lisa Doomen; Jennifer Swift; Talon Johnston; Rafael CurraNagasawa; Sadie Smithson; Alexander Hales; William Hales; Jacob Oates; Shayleen Shrestha; Naysha Shrestha; Jade Hutton; Sofie Heales; Lucan Heales; Tumelo Zulu; Annika Butchart; Jax Tether; Max Tether; Cameron McDonald; Victor Brookes; Blake Brookes; Jensen Owen; Evan Johnson; Ethan Barbatano; Jaxon Dickson; Liam Barnard; Max Bizzintino; Zack Bizzintino; Ollie Potts; Evan Bullock; Mary McKay(2nd Kyu). Well done everyone, we are looking forward to seeing your progress even further in the new year.

Occasionally we have the opportunity to witness a long time member of our club achieve a major milestone on their Karate journey, please join us in passing on a huge congratulations and well done to Curt Moss, he did us all proud when he graded to Shodan in November.

Sensei Dave Hatte; Curt Moss; Sensei Don McKay; Sensei Lindon McKenna – Kofukan Inter-club Panel Grading, Mandurah Dojo 28th November 2021.


This year saw many new students compete in our Kofukan Inter-club Tournament held in October. We are always inspired by every student that has the courage to step on to the tatami and display their developing karate skills. A big thank you to everyone from Kofukan Kalgoorlie that made the long journey to come Kwinana and compete with us on the day – you guys are amazing and deserved your medal haul. Thank you to Rob Sage and Sensei Brian Chambers for their awesome demonstration and to John Jenkins who provided us with the wood for the students to ’tile break’.

Thank you also goes to our valuable volunteers that give up their Sundays to help us run these events. They would not be possible without you. Thank you to our instructors that dedicate their time to training our students in preparation for the tournament and in manning the tatamis as referees, judges and coaches on the day.

2022 Kick-Off Parties!

After much discussion it was decided that our windup party shall be our kick off party. Join us on 9am Sunday, January 23rd. In Rockingham. Students are to wear their Gi’s (Karate uniform) with bathers underneath (Gi’s become sheer when wet) a hat and sunscreen. Following training there is a sausage sizzle and juice for brunch on the grass area for all students and their families. A registration email will be sent to you shortly.

For our senior students/members (18 years and over) we have a special event planned on January 15th from 7pm, involving Sake and Sushi at our place. Partners are welcome to attend. A registration email will be sent to you shortly.

Association & Membership Registration

There are important changes going on behind the scenes that are designed to help our Kofukan Karate Australia Association run smoothly. While everything will pretty much stay the same in the dojo two important changes are taking place that will affect everyone:

  1. In the new year you will be sent a link from our new Kofukan Karate Australia Association asking you to complete the online registration form for the 2022 training year. You will be asked to pay your membership directly to our association membership pool to cover the costs of insurance, affiliation links and fees to Kofukan International and Shihan Tomiyama. This amount is currently set to $25 per student and is payable once a year. This amount replaces the current membership fee you usually pay on joining and at the start of each training year. You will still receive your term one training fee invoice from Kofukan Karate for Life in January.
  2. The aim of our new association is to promote events amongst our members which includes but is not limited to: WAKF tournaments; inter-club tournaments; inter-club tournament training sessions; inter-club training sessions; beach trainings; inter-club social events; inter-club senior and dojo gradings.

Please note that if have not notified us in writing of your intentions to cease training in 2022 (as per our terms and condition of membership) it will be assumed that you will continue to attend karate classes and be a part of our new association in 2022.

If you have any questions regarding your membership, training fees or classes please contact us here.

Looking for something to watch over the holidays (besides Sensei Don’s training videos?)

Our new term starts on January 31st – all class times are the same as in 2021 and can be found here.

Training videos are here. Password is Bushido. Please note that the password will change in January once the term invoices have been sent, it will be displayed on your receipt for your reference.

Sensei Don’s challenges are here. With everything going a bit haywire for Sensei Don in November, we will give everyone until our Kick Off Beach Training on January 23rd to email or screen shot a copy of their completed challenge sheet. We will announce the winner on the 23rd January after training. So there is still plenty of time to enter. There may even be some new challenges going up after Xmas.

Exciting Training Opportunity…

Our first training event of the year – is a fantastic training opportunity with the WAKF in Kalgoorlie – save the date and we will be sending out registration information as soon as it becomes available. Please note at this stage students will be responsible for arranging their own transport and accommodation. (Junior students must be accompanied by an parent/guardian)

Thank you for being a part of our wonderful club, we are looking forward to a wonderful 2022, but for now, from our family to yours we wish you a safe and happy Christmas and the happiest of all new years!

Karate for Life News October 2021

The end of term three brought grading week. Sensei Don was very pleased with standard of students grading this term. The extra work that students are putting in via online learning really helped them to stand out on the day. Keep up the good work!

Congratulations to the following students :

Rafael Curra Nagasawa; Max Geale; Nicholas Winatapradja; Jessica Winatapradja; Aurora Tamatea; Lotus Tamatea; Nathan Barco;  Luke Georgiou;  Leia Canigan; Sahib Sihag; Dhyey Patel; Kenji Snellin; Isabella Kezic; Saxon Ashley Danger Tilley; Evan Johnson; Param Patel; Soham Patel; Veer Shah; Havish Gobikrishnan;  Om Bodakhe; Hadi Mirza; Arvi Moosani; Kaaviyaa Subramanian; Sumona Ghangas; Roberto Louw; John Jenkin;  Lucan Heales; Mitchel Wood; Blake Brookes; Thomas Collidge; Scarlett McDonald; Jade Hutton; Emily Sawford; Paige Nella; Chanya Youngyuen; Jayden Yates; Shayleen Shrestha; Tyson Sawford; Aisha David; Alexander Hales; Aurora Peterson; Isla Collidge; Jacob Oates; Sofie Heales; Ivan Firsov; Caed Prentice; Alex McKee;

You can access our online learning videos here – https://karateforlife.net/kfl-online-learning/ Password is: Bushido.

Sensei Don’s home challenge project…

Sensei Don has asked students to locate a piece of cardboard (big enough to accommodate their biggest, widest stance), or a yoga mat (Big W and Kmart have cheap mats at around $5). Students are asked to bring these into the dojo during Week One of next term. The plan is for markers to be placed on the mat or board during class as indicators of each students perfect stance position. The board/mat will serve as a reminder to where their feet need to be when practicing the online challenges that Sensei Don is busy cooking up. Remember every term, a winner will be chosen to receive a $50 voucher to spend at The Karate for Life Shop on any product that they choose.

Another opportunity to attend Kalgoorlie Dojo will be coming up in February, when the West Australian Karate Federation will be sending a delegate to Kalgoorlie to conduct a Tournament training Camp. More details to come as they are finalised, but do alert Sensei Don if you are interested in attending.

Kofukan Association Tournament

As you know, we will be holding our annual tournament this October 31st, at Kwinana Requatic. If you have not already done so please remember to complete your tournament entry form here: Tournament Entry Form

We strongly encourage anyone with even the slightest curiosity of what a Karate Tournament entails to attend. This is an event for all students, from our white belted tiger cubs to our most experienced senior students. This is a friendly and accessible competition as opposed to the West Australian Karate Federation Tournaments, that requires a bigger commitment to training, specialised equipment, travel to Joondalup and a larger entry fee.

All students should be entering in both Kata and Kumite (students competing in Kumite will only need a mouth guard, if they do not have gloves a pair can be borrowed on the day (that said all students yellow-belt and above should have their own WKF approved sparring gloves and bring them to every training session). Gloves can be purchased on our equipment page.


Throughout term four – All students must bring their own Tonfa.

Sensei Don has been busy in garden, with the warmer weather coming soon we have had new life sprouting up in every corner, currently we have zucchini, corn, tomatoes, capsicum and water lilies.

important Dates

First week of term four begins on October 11th

Kofukan Inter-club Tournament – October 31st

Preliminary Black Belt Grading – Kwinana Dojo 6:30pm November 9th

Panel Grading – Brown Belts to Shodan – November 21st (Mandurah)

Dojo gradings – December 9th and 11th

Junior Wind Up – Beach Training & BBQ – December 12th

Kick Off Seniors Party – Sushi & Sake – January 15th

Enjoy the rest of your school holidays, we look forward to seeing you all back in the dojo soon.

Karate for Life News August 2021

Spring is a week away and soon the warmer weather will be here. It makes training nicer, the joints bend easier and toes are more supple when warm. Term three has been fantastic, following on from a strong grading at the end of term two Sensei Don has been testing a few new ideas in the dojo.

Harrisdale Dojo

We are yet to have any good news regarding our lease at Harrisdale Senior High School, it looks like Forrestdale Hall will remain our new home in that area. One advantage is that it is air conditioned and when the football and soccer games end in the ovals next door parking will improve too. We are actively seeking a new location in the Harrisdale/ Piara Waters area for Wednesday night training, so watch this space, you know I will be shouting it from the roof tops when a new venue is secured.


There is a distinct difference between kata for tournament and kata in the dojo. Tournament kata is a performance- competitors are judged on their speed, athleticism, grace, timing and presentation. A kata taught in the dojo is often for the purpose of grading as well as training and deepening a students understanding of the karate techniques being unpacked. Tournament karate in general is often criticized as not being authentic, and of being a misrepresentation of the art, I argue that tournament karate and traditional karate are two sides of the same coin, and need to be addressed as such. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Below is some excellent footage of tournament kata at the 2020 Olympics, just held. I sincerely hope that the petitions being put forth to the Olympic Committee to have Karate re-instated in 2024 will be successful. If you missed the games and want to catch up – 7plus coverage on catch up tv for the next three months.

We are working towards holding a Kofukan Australia Tournament on October 31st 2021 – the venue is to be confirmed, but now is the time to begin training!! This competition is open to all students – from tiger cubs to shodans. Let Sensei Don know that you want to sign up and keep an eye out for registration information on our Facebook page.

How to tie a Karate Belt.

Brown and Black belt seminars – on Sunday a brown belt seminar was held at Baldivis dojo, one of many that run this year. If you are a Shodan or Brown belt there is still time to take advantage of these great training seminars in 2021. There is no cost to members, and you will have the opportunity to train with students and Instructors from our neighboring Kofukan dojos. Bring along your syllabus and get the help you need for your next grading. You can register here to attend the next session.


Sensei Don is planning an expedition to Mera Peak, Nepal in January 2023 or 2024 depending on when it is safe to travel there. You can find more information about the climb here. Talk to Sensei Don if you are interested in going and you willing to undertake the necessary training and conditioning to get you there.

Grading and end of term dates

Kwinana – Last day of training in term three is 21 September 2021

Baldivis – Last day of training in term three is 24 September 2021

Forrestfield – Last day of training in term three is 25 September 2021

Grading – Kwinana – September 23rd.


Karate Gear Shopping – looking for a gift for that hard to buy karate-ka in your life? Check out our store at Karateforlife.shop

Tips for Learning Karate Online

With the restrictions in place during the COVID-19 crisis we have to change the way that we deliver and receive our learning.  Students are moving into a homeschooling  model with support from their school and their parents. This will continue for the foreseeable future, it could only be weeks but will more than likely be for months.


Shihan Bo 1 2019

How will this affect your karate training?

Learning anything online is hard, but not impossible. Online studies requires both discipline and commitment on your part. In saying that, just because something is hard that does not mean that it cannot become an important part of your karate journey.  Adaptability is the key to successful online learning.


To get the most out of online classes:

  • Be prepared –

    • Ensure that your device is charged, plugged in, has video and sound drink bottlecapabilities and is connected to the internet.
    • Make sure your surroundings are clear of hazards (that there is nothing that you can trip on or come into contact with when you are performing techniques)
    • Allow yourself some time before class for warm up and afterwards for cool down.
    • Have a drink bottle close by.
    • Be ready to start class on time.


  • Speak up –

    • Live classes will give you the opportunity to ask questions just as you would in the dojo. Sometimes you may be muted and have to ‘raise your hand’ or else send a text message using the program hosting the meetings such as Zoom to a live IT assistant who can relay your messages to the instructor.
    • Use feedback opportunities offered by your instructor. Our principal instructor invites you to send in short videos via Facebook messenger of your kata or combinations and will provide you with corrections as required and tips to help you move forward in your training.
    • Use your clubs Facebook page to keep in contact with your training buddies.  At a time when we are self-isolating we will miss the feeling of spending time with our training buddies, the banter and general chat that goes on before and after class will be sorely missed so engage with each other when possible on Facebook and other chat media.
  • Keep a training journal:

    • Keep a note book close by to use straight after class and record anything that you are learning while it is still fresh in your mind following a live class.
    • Use a journal for Kata mapping a kata or combination that you are learning on video use the stop start features on your device.  Try writing out the kata in long hand to help commit the moves to your memory.
  • Get the dojo feel at home-

    • I mentioned above about clearing a space suitable for you to train in, this KK Dojocould be a corner of the family room, your bedroom, carport, garage or in the garden.  Do what you can to make the space suitable for your training.
    • If you can create your own space, bring out your grading certificates, old belts, photos of you and your dojo friends at tournaments, camps or gradings, photos of the past masters of your style,  the logo of your style, bonsai tree, inspirational quotes, your dojo kun and so on.. basically anything that makes you get your karate on.
    • Put your gi and belt on before class, this helps to set your mindset for the class to come.

These are interesting times that we are moving into and there is a lot of speculation on how we will look on the other side.  Let’s uphold our traditions and practices with as much diligence and grace as we can muster.  It won’t be long before we are seeing each other in the dojo again, but until then, do whatever you must to keep your karate spirit alive.

Online Subscription Registration


Keeping normality in our  lives in this uncertain time is important for both our mental and physical health. With so many sports cancelled our children are left with little in the way of physical activity.  Our aim is to keep our students healthy and active at home.

Commencing Term Two – until further notice:

  • All classes will be conducted online.
  • All online learning will be subscription based.
  • Gradings will be by appointment only.

We want to help you stay active and continue your Karate journey without interruptions.

So we will continue to offer all students the following:

1) Access to online curriculum modules via a dedicated Facebook group.
2) Access to LIVE classes via ZOOM. Each class will be offered on Mondays, Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday and Saturdays and will be conducted by Sensei Don. Classes will be begin as per your normal class time.
3) FREE dedicated feedback, simply send in your questions or a short video (up to 5 minutes) for advice on your training.
Once your registration is processed we will send you access to our Facebook page and Upcoming Zoom classes.
Your Principal instructors full-time employment is teaching. He is going to spend his time hard at work putting these classes together and assisting his students.  We appreciate your support in keeping our club alive and well, for its students now and in the future.
The Karate for Life Kofukan Team believe that these measures are important to keep both your training and our club alive.


Subscription Fees:
        • 1 x Family Member            $100 (per school term)
        • 2 x Family Members          $175 (Per School Term)
        • 3 x Family Members          $200 (Per School Term)

What you receive:

  1. Unlimited access to our syllabus videos on a dedicated Facebook Page.
  2. Unlimited attendance to our LIVE online classes.
  3. Individual critique from Sensei Don on your training techniques and performance.

Registrations for our online learning is now closed.   If you are looking to register for our live classes you can do so here: Class Information & Registration

The Meaning of the Kofukan Logo



The Kofukan logo combines three swords and a circle.

Swords have special meaning in Japanese society.  During the samurai era, samurai were the ruling class.  A samurai sword was said to the ‘soul of a samurai’ it represented a code of honour.kofukan-international-logo

The samurai sword represents ‘spiritual purity’.  Its mirror like surface reflects one’s weak mind and improper thoughts. Its razor sharp blade will cut them away.  Many Shinto shrines have swords as their treasure.

The three swords in the logo represent the ‘shin’ (Mind) ‘Gi’ (technique) and ‘tai’ (body).  These are the three main purposes of martial arts training.  Through practice, a martial artist should develop a ‘strong body’, ‘correct techniques’ and ‘correct attitude’ and hopefully attain a high level of spiritual achievement.

The circle represents ‘harmony’ and ‘perfection’.  These three aspects should develop in kofukan-international-logoharmony and into perfection. In the design, the circle of harmony joins the three principles together.

So the Kofukan logo represents the purpose of martial arts training in general and of karate study within our association in particular.

The three Japanese letters within the circle mean ‘Kofukan’ the two larger letters at either side of the circle read ‘shito’ (our style). Also the area inside the circle represents the lower abdomen (tanden) as the linking point of the three aspects that is mind, body and technique.

We chose the colours black and yellow gold for our association badges as they are the colours of the tiger and in order to make a link with the name of Kofukan, which literally means ‘tiger, wind, establishment.

The Meaning of KOFUKAN

  • Ko – is the tiger
  • Fu – is the wind
  • Kan- establishment, group or organization

According to Chinese legend the king of the sky is the dragon and the king of the land is the tiger and when the tiger appears the wind blows and when the dragon appears so do the clouds.


Documentary on Karate-do (1956)



An interesting documentary produced by the Nippon Karate Association in 1956 detailing the history and development of Okinawan Karate.  The show highlights how wide reaching and beneficial Karate training is for children and adults of all ages.

“Karate is an art, one of the most authentic practices and it is also a sport, one of the most rewarding ever devised.”

Documentary Transcription.

About 300 years ago, during the History of China, the victims of attack by bandits in Highland every founded in a rather non-priest like fashion by creating a system of self-defense which is to this day an equal for deadly effectiveness that was born the biggest art of Karate, a form of self-defense in which no weapons of any sort are used. In fact, in Japanese, Karate means empty handed. Through practice and training however, the hands become weapons in themselves and that effective one that no form of offensive attack can overpower them.

The act of Karate as we know it now was developed by the natives of the Okinawa  little or nothing that none of the 50 in development there and it remained a mysterious art well talked about and practiced in other parts of Asia. Until 1922 when the Japanese Ministry of Education invited Ginchin Funakoshi an outstanding exponent of Karate to give an exhibition in Japan, the Japanese showed a keen interest in the development of this unusual art and through the years this interest grew even stronger. At present, its popularity is increasing tremendously to the extent that it is now finding its way into the western world.

documentary 1956 2

Karate uses every striking service of the body both for defense and for attack especially important are the hands and feet which are systematically trained until they become a formidable form of weapon. Since Karate is essentially a defensive art, they become defensive weapon to be used when attacked in which case they are also used for counterattack.

The various have kind of punches used in Karate are the rising forward punch, the side sitting punch, the hook punch, the inverted forward punch, the uke punch and the double forward punch. The basic movement is the ordinary forward punch. Unlike the boxing punch however in Karate, the body does not follow through the movement rather the entire body with emphasis on the hips is different at the moment of impact in each of the relaxed so that balance is never lost.

Just as important in Karate as the punch is the kick. There are various kinds among them the forward kick, the side hitting kick, the side snap kick and the side thrust kick. When properly mastered, these are even more powerful than the punches and maybe used most effectively as a surprise counterattack. Needless to say to be used successfully, this technique required considerable practice.

The basic principle of Karate is that a strong defense is the best possible offense. In deflecting an assault, the block is executed in such a way that the most effective counterattack may be instantly used thus in Karate, the defender paradoxically is almost assured of victory over the attacker. If the block is forcible enough however, there is often no need for any further counterattack. In other cases, the opponent’s attack is both anticipated and prevented by a suitable counterattack.

documentary 1956 1Learning the form of exercise is one of the most important facets of Karate training, for in this art the body must be made into a veritable weapon. These so-called kata or sets of exercises include all the various kinds of punching, kicking and blocking so that all kinds of imaginary attacks are successfully blocked and followed by effective counterattacks. There are more than 50 sets of such exercises most of which were long ago developed by Karate masters so that the students practice by themselves. Some kata empathize elaborate movement while others specialize in speed.

Sparring with another student comes only after one is thoroughly familiar with the basic movement of Karate in these mock fights the attack is pre-arranged and the defender is required to apply the block proper to the mode of attack following with the counter-attack.

Karate is also most effective in any kind of weapons attack for example in defending oneself against an attacker with a knife.

Boxing and Karate share some common elements but are actually quite different. In this earlier filmed comparison between the two, it will be noted that while agility and speed are most important in boxing in Karate, it is the combination of various kinds of punches and kicks plus speed and agility which make the Karate expert by far the more formidable opponent.

More recently, the art has been gaining popularity among women since brute strength is not required and since Karate is more an art than a sport, one may become adept at learning a fundamental by constant practice and master of the control and body coordination that even the most slightly built women may learn a very sure means of self-defense.

It is training however which is the most important single part of becoming a Karate expert. For it is by training alone that the body can develop the skill and strength needed in practice of this art. That’s one of the tests of proficiency consists of breaking three one inch boards with fists or feet or cracking 10 pieces of slate.

Another way of increasing one’s strength is by using weight on hands and feet, a practice which is now used in various kind of body building as well.

After mastering the fundamentals, the student is ready for freestyle practice. Unlike the sparring practice, here the attack is not pre-arranged. By this time, the Karate student is able to stop his kicks and pull his punches just short of contact this he must do or very shortly, he would have no one to practice with. This freestyle practice can be quite dangerous if the contestants are careless or overaggressive but it does add an element of competition and gives excellent training and accuracy and confidence.

As more and more people realize that Karate may not be deadly but may rather be a controlled and exercise sport giving the students absolute body control, it is expected that the freestyle matches will transform Karate into an accepted sport.

Karate as a most effective scientific technique of self-defense is gaining popularity not only with specialized institutes teaching it but also in offices, in homes, in the country and in schools. It is also becoming a part of the regular training of the American air police station in Japan. There’s every prospect that Karate will soon seize being a purely Japanese art and will gradually spread throughout all the countries in the world becoming both a sport and a superb means of self-defense.

Credit for Karate’s stage pf  high development is due to Mr Ginchin Funakoshi, the man who gave Karate its first Japanese exhibition and who has devoted his life to teaching and perfecting of this art.  Formally regarded as somewhat esoteric, it fundamentally protects secret that are passed on from master to selected students. Now, it is on its way to becoming a worldwide art.

In emphasis on successful defense, Karate is based on the highest principle of sportsmanship and fair play. Its practice is excellent all round exercise and aids in muscular development. It also teaches courage and self-confidence. Because of its deep devotion to the principle of the self-defense, Karate is obviously not a sport which will appeal to those who want to use it as an instrument of attack or who are merely interested in the amount of damage then may inflict if used. Since it does not teach how to harm other but rather, how to protect oneself it will therefore attract only those who wish to combine clean sport with a tangible accomplishment. In this way, Karate is an art, one of the most authentic practice and it is also a sport, one of the most rewarding ever devised.

Ageing Well With Karate…

“Population ageing is a triumph of humanity, but also a challenge to society”   

Ageing Well with Karate 3

It is generally accepted that we suffer a decline in physical and cognitive abilities as we age. The study that inspired this article undertook to prove that Karate training can assist in improving our declining cognitive abilities, strength, balance and flexibility.


The Benefits of Movement

Improved physicality will lower the risk of falls and so lessen the occurrence, if not cease the risk of associated injuries. Additionally I believe that the act of participating in a group activity brings many psychological and emotional benefits such as decreasing loneliness, isolation and depression.

About the Study

The study itself comprised of 89 men and women with an average age of 70 years old.  The participants were generally in good health when they started.

The controlled group where tested at 5-month  and 10-month intervals.  Results showed an improvement at the five-month stage, and further increased improvements were noted at the 10-month mark. Researchers suggest that continued practice would continue to show benefits in minimizing the general aging decline found in non-practicing  people.



“Active ageing is the process of optimizing opportunities for health participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age. Active ageing depends on a variety of influences or determinants that surround individuals, families and communities” 

Why Karate?

Karate training by its nature is wide and varied and so the benefits are far reaching.  Young people are often brought to karate classes for reasons revolving around discipline, attention building, anti-bullying strategy formation, self-defense, and finally fitness.  Fitness, strength building or flexibility are usually not the reasons that young people start karate training. Physical strength and flexibility are often a given for the young.  As we age the table turns, mentally we become stronger, less afraid of confrontation and more suited to stand up for ourselves, but we see a physical decline as we age, regardless of our exercise prowess.

My Karate

After over 20 years of training Karate ( I started at the age of thirty) I am glad to say that even while I am not an outstanding talent, I am if nothing else diligent in my practice. I attend regular training at our dojo and participate as much as possible in the warm up, drills, kata. The result of this training means that I can do many things that other woman my age can find difficult.  I am strong, in both body and mind, most of the time. Sometimes inflammatory arthritis takes over and robs me of the best of myself.  But even in these times I find a more refined practice to be beneficial in lessening my recovery time and generally keeping down times to a minimum. I believe that continuing to practice Karate will help me to stay active into a ripe old age.


What does Karate Training involve?

A typical class will involves a short meditation, a warm up, stretching, drills, partner work, kata, more stretching, a final short meditation.

Six improvements to be by Karate training for all participants.

  1. Balance – strength and improvement of cognitive ability.
  2. Flexibility – repetition of movements to extension through warmup and cool down
  3. Strength – gained from stances, and joint repetition of movements
  4. Learning a new skill –  builds memory and learning muscles.
  5. Co-ordination – kata and drills
  6. Cognitive improvement – kata and drills.

Age is not a barrier to participation, Karate training by its nature can be tailored to suit any age group, health condition, size of body, and general physical and mental abilities.  Karate is not a team sport, it is self-paced and your journey is not dependent on someone else’s progression just as theirs is not dependent on yours.

A tailored made training program can easily be made to suit an older student without diminishing the heart of Karate.  Karate itself is about the art of self-defense, the first line of self-defense is against your own body’s dis-ease and decline.  Karate by design is suited to assist with many issues brought about by aging and this will probably be easier for a new student over fifty years old to accept than a student that trained in a dynamic style when they were younger.  If you are coming to karate as a new student in an older body you soon learn to let go of any ego that demands you perform beyond your capabilities.

How old is too old to start?

You are never too old to start learning Karate.  Karate will meet you where you are.

Contact us here to find out about our classes at the dojo, private classes or if you would like us to tailor a program for your group.


Material References and Quote Sources.

    1. (WHO 2002 Active Aging: A policy Framework. Geneva)
    1. WHO 2002 Active Ageing
    1.  WHO Global Report on Falls Prevention in Older Age; By World Health Organization
    1. WHO 2002 Active Aging.
    1. Journal of Sport and Health Science, Volume 5, issue 4, Dec 2016, p484-490 KerstinWitteaSiegfriedKropfbSabineDariuscPeterEmmermacheraIrinaBöckelmann
    1. S.M. Gregory, B. Parker, P.D. ThompsonPhysical activity, cognitive function, and brain health: what is the role of exercise training in the prevention of dementia?Brain Sci, 2 (2012), pp. 684-708
    1. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095254615000939



“Bowing is an expression of gratitude and respect”

Gichin Funakoshi

JosiahReishiki comes from two Japanese words, the first is ‘Rei’ which can be interpreted as a bow, courtesy, thanks and appreciation.  The second word “Shiki” can be interpreted as a ceremony.  The word Reishiki can therefore be interpreted as ceremonial manners or etiquette.

The Reishiki procedure that is observed at the beginning and the end of the class is as follows:

  • Ritsu rei – standing bow to Sensei.
  • Seiza – Sensei sits (formal sitting position), the class sits in seiza facing shomen and prepares for class.
    • The head student (Sempai) calls out:
    • Mokuso – which means close your eyes and clear your mind  (Silence for approximately 1 minute or more)
    • Kaimokubowing 1meaning open your eyes or “Mokuso Yame” meaning finish meditation.
    • Zarei – next the class performs three zarei or sitting bows when the head student calls out –
    • Shomen ni rei – meaning bow to the front of the dojo.  After this the Sensei will turn around and face the class.
    • Sensei ni rei – meaning bow to the teacher. As the class bows to the teacher the teacher will return the bow.  As a student bows they recite “Onegaishimasu” which can be interpreted to mean please teach me.
    • Otagai ni rei – meaning bow to each other. Both the teacher and the students will bow to each other at the same time.  This is to acknowledge that we are all students of the art of Karate do.
  • At this point the Sensei will indicate that the class should stand up and training will begin.

After the training session is finished, the above procedure is followed again except in the Sensei ni rei section, the students bow and recite “Sensei arigato gozaimasu” which means thank you.

Dave Hatte – Sensei arigato gozaimasu.