In 1975, 21 years old, I gingerly entered Sensei Stan Schmidt’s Orange Grove dojo in Johannesburg, South Africa filled with enthusiasm and apprehension. What if my application was not accepted!? The budo spirit was palpable and the karateka, especially the black belts, were strong and proud. There I came into contact with instructors whose influence shaped my path especially the Germiston based Geyer brothers, Derrick and Keith who continues as my teacher to this day. The passion and fearlessness of my seniors paved a pathway that has become a lifelong road of learning, commitment, elation and sometimes frustration as the art imitates life.
In this environment kumite skills where honed, survival demanded this, and it’s not surprising my favourite techniques, kizami zuki, ushiro geri, ashibarai were Sensei Stan’s favourites as well. True kumite, as I have learned over time, is in the performance of our treasured kata and kihon essential for practising delivery of the basic techniques accurately and powerfully.
Over the years I have been fortunate to train under many of JKA’s most well-known names of the “Golden Era” including the late Senseis Nakayama, Miazaki, Kase and Enoeda whose Marshall street dojo in Soho was my karate home for 12 months.
I practice karate first thing every morning. At the moment I am experimenting with how body torque can multiply the effectiveness and power of a technique when correctly applied with a combination of relaxation and tension.
Watching the younger karateka improve and sharing their journey is a motivator for me as is the example and knowledge of my seniors. I will strive to improve for as long as I can step onto the dojo floor.Posted on: May 30, 2015, by : admin