I started Karate seriously in 1974 while based in Singapore with the New Zealand Army. After making some enquiries I was directed to the Singapore Metropolitan YMCA where Sensei Horiuchi was teaching and was impressed by his coaching skills and welcoming manner. Training was available 5 to 6 days a week and I made full use of the time available and graduated to Shodan (first dan black belt). After returning to New Zealand I was encouraged to start a club here and promote the style of Goju-Ryu Karate.
Over the years I made numerous trips to Japan to continue training, attend seminars and competitions with the top Goju-Ryu masters under the Japan Karate Federation Goju-Kai. This is the recognised body for Goju-Ryu in Japan. All my dan grade examinations have been under the Masters of this organization.
Within Karate New Zealand there have been many roles which I have filled over the years from being a New Zealand representative to National Coach, National Referee former President of our National Body. Recently I have joined the National Dan Grade Council. Today my efforts concentrate on the clubs established by myself in Christchurch which have produced some of New Zealand’s top Karate athletes and current national representatives.
The traditional focus of Karate as a martial art is as important in the dojo as in the Karate sport. Many people feel that sport karate and traditional karate are two different entities but I believe both have a beneficial effect on each other.
The traditional aspect gives a sound foundation of skill development and an understanding of Karate as a true Martial Art. The sport gives athletes the zest and desire to develop their skills to a high level and to pit their skills against other athletes in a safe and dynamic sporting event.
There are of course people who do not wish to enter into the sporting avenue and this is where the traditional side of Karate offers another area for them to enhance their well being by an active program of training and development of skills in the Martial Art of Karate-Do.