Saturday, January 13, 2007

Shotokan Karate-Do Upper Harbour Dojo

Originally from the UK, Sensei Frank began studying karate in 1974 under Mr Paul Masters at his Rush Green dojo. Paul Masters, former Chief Instructor of the British Karate Federation, is ranked 6th Dan by the European Ju-Jutsu Union, holder of the Menkyo license in Tenjin Shinyo Ryu (only the second non-Japanese to do so), and head of the Tenyokai UK.

Paul Masters was a student of Vernon Bell, who was the first Briton to hold a black belt in karate (1957), and trained under legendary Sensei's Tetsugi Murakami and Hirokazu Kanazawa at the Legion Hall in Upminster, Essex.

Sensei Frank graded to 1st Dan under Sensei Ray Fuller (8th Dan Chief Instructor of Thames Karate International), then graded to 2nd Dan and 3rd Dan in New Zealand under Sensei Mudjit and Sensei Shahab (both 6th Dan JKA accredited instructors).

"I feel somewhat compelled to teach karate out of a desire to extend the lineage that flows from my teacher, Sensei Paul Masters, and from his teachers in turn. This lineage, I have only recently discovered through an exchange of letters, is far broader and much closer to the origins of modern day karate in the UK than I had previuosly realized.

"So there is now a degree of obligation to forge a new link in the lineage chain by way of transmission to others. I would never have learnt karate if my teacher had not set up a class and taught me, so it would be remiss of me if I did not offer the same opportunity to others.

"There are many martial arts available for study, so it's important to choose one that you are going to enjoy; and a teacher you can trust. Karate is a good foundation martial art, and Shotokan is a traditional style that is recognized around the world. I am not currently affiliated to any particular organization (other than the Shotokan Institute of New Zealand, which serves as our head dojo) and my key agenda is simply to teach those who want to learn. It's the student that seeks out the teacher, so the quality of teaching is paramount. Therefore, I can but only stand on my own merits, and hope to set a good example for my students.

"My challenge is not to put the martial art into the student, but to help the student find the martial artist within themselves. We all have it in us to some degree ... we just have to be shown how to look for it, unleash it, and then tame it. It is very satisfying to see students improve over the course of time, and to share in those moments when, after many hours of trying to master a difficult technique, they finally 'get it'. It's a transformation of mind, body and spirit that is truly fascinating to watch. I consider it an honour and a privilege to be able to contribute, in some small way, to a student's growth and development."

So ... Why would YOU start learning karate?

There are plenty of magazines, books and websites that can outline numerous benefits to be gained from taking up a martial art. Chances are, if you look hard enough, someone has already thought of a good reason why YOU should start learning. But, when all's said and done, and you've taken everything into consideration, you will start learning karate simply because you CHOOSE to, regardless of anything anyone says. However, as you know, it's easy to start things, much harder to see them through to a satisfactory conclusion. The more important question then becomes;

Why would you continue learning karate once you've started?

Every practicing martial artist has their own answer to this question. You are sincerely invited to come along and discover yours.

Shotokan Karate Dō
Upper Harbour Dojo

Herald Island Domain
(Entry opp. Fire Station)
Ferry Parade
Herald Island
Training Times:
Monday 7.00-8.00pm
Thursday 7.00-8.00pm
Ph: 413 9397
Mob: 0274 814 285