Images from Sensei Omar Campora’s Port Staint Lucie Kyokushin-Kan Dojo in Florida. Belt Test. June 1, 2013.

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Sensei Omar Campora is a Kyokushin-Kan dojo operator in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. He can be seen here (center) overseeing kumite during his June 1st Belt Test.

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And what a feat of endurance! Exactly seven days earlier Sensei Campora was with students at Shihan Marty Petrovich’s Kyokushin-Kan Open Karate Tournament in Maine, having driven all the way from southern Florida to support his students who wanted to compete!

At Budo Karate West, we are just a matter of days away from having an option exist where users, such as any delegated student from Sensei Campora’s dojo (or any other dojo) can publish their own photographs,  video clips, and news stories like this one, right here on Budo Karate West. Please stay tuned. Although these photos were borrowed from Sensei Campora’s facebook page, in the next week or so, you’ll see Budo Karate West’s general appearance change, and with it will be an option by which any user can contribute material about Kyokushin in the world, Kyokushin in America, or any Kyokushin-KAN material that presents Mas Oyama’s karate, or Kyokushin-Kan in a positive light. We look forward to sharing this ablity with others in the Kyokushin Community in the West, or anywhere in the English-speaking world.

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This young gentleman student of Sensei Campora traveled with his teacher, all the way to Maine!

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Sensei’s Campora’s smallest student does a perfect split!

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Medal prepared by Shihan Marty Petrovich at his Kyokushin Open Tournament last weekend.

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Still So Many Mistakes! Help Support Our World Kyokushin-kan Kata Championships US Team.

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At Shihan Petrovich’s Maine Kyokushin Open this weekend. May 25, 2013.

The Budo Karate West reading public should have no doubt that we, in the United States, lag far behind the international norm for kata, and lag WAY behind the Japanese standard within Kyokushin-Kan. Yet the only way to improve is to practice and participate in competitions, so I, personally, laud Ligo Dojo instructors Amy Kaufman and Donald Harris for the spirit and determination they show in their willingness to try. Even when standards differ, bringing those standards together is the only way to improve. In karate, isolation of the weak helps keep karate weak.

Amy and Don will be competing next month in Japan, both in the Kyokushin-kan World Kata Championships, and Donald Harris in the Kyokushin-kan Weight Category Shinken-Shobu Tournament (with legal head punches). It was perfect timing, therefore, that they both had the chance to participate this past weekend in Shihan Marty Petrovich’s Maine Kyokushin-Kan Open Karate Tournament. We are desperately seeking donations if anyone wants to help support their trip, so please Donate Here if you are able. Remember that we are a nonprofit and your donation is tax deductible.

This weekend, Amy took 3rd place in women’s advanced kata with Gekisai-sho, and Don took second place in the men’s division, and then later in the day, both demonstrated Gekisai-sho (the mandatory kata for the Japan tournament’s elimination round) together, this in a country where kata is not unified, so even the judges are often not sure what to judge as correct. All three video clips are here, and we want to make one important point loud and clear:  We make these videos so we can study and see clearly what needs to be improved. Both competitors did better the second time, when performing together, than they did the first time, when competing separately. When they were competing, they made MANY MISTAKES . . . and we are glad to see it, because now they can see, clearly, how much work they still have to do.

Included also here are the clips of two fights that Don Harris had this weekend. There were only 4 fighters in his division, and he lost the first fight against the day’s winner, and then won his second fight in the fight-off for 3rd place. Note that whereas the fighters are trying to kick each other in the head, none of those kicks land. In Japan next month, in this rare tournament with Shinken-Shobu Rules, head punches will also be legal. Good thing Don has a good natural sense for how to protect his head! He already about lost his in this fight . . .

Kyokushin-kan members in the US should keep in mind that Kancho Royama and his instructors in Japan are working furiously to unify kata and bunkai throughout all of Kyokushin-Kan worldwide, and that that work starts in the International Instructors Seminars in Japan. Instructors should all attend. US Kyokshin-Kan members, please take note! Kancho wants us to be able to identify the fine points of kata that will allow all of us to unify our kata worldwide, so that even when we meet for our domestic tournaments, every competitor is working on refining the same points. Here is Don’s second fight, and also the two kata clips.

Nathan Ligo fighting with Japan Champion Masuda Akira in 1991

We chose the order of opponents for Masuda’s 100-man kumite by lots. I drew number 7. By the time he’d fought 60 90-second fights that day, he was pretty spent. Here, right at the beginning, he was just getting warmed up. This fight did a lot to build my confidence because I stood up to a Japan champion for some time . . . before he won by TKO, his famous chudan mawashi geri that completely collapsed my lungs. I was 20 years old. It was 1991.

Video Showing a Young Shihan Fujiwara Kenji in Competition

Shihan Fujiwara Kenji is country representative of Kyokushin-kan in USA. He was an uchi deshi under Sosai Mas Oyama for 3 years, and later trained with Soshu Shigeru Oyama in America. Here he can be seen winning fight after fight. Osu!

Kyokushin-kan Instructor’s Seminars – Concept #1 Head Punches

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This author thought it would be beneficial to the Kyokushin-kan community to summarize, to the best of my ability, some content of Kancho Royama’s Internatinoal Instructors’ Seminars, held every year in Japan. Although I do have the dual advantage of having attended more of Kancho’s seminars than any other American, and of having acted as Japanese-English interpreter for those seminars in many cases, the reader should understand that, still, I can only do the best I can to explain concepts presented by Kancho and other high-level instructors in Japan. I do have the advantage of having been there, but my level of understanding in karate is only just what it is, and I can only explain what Kancho and others explain, through the lens of my own limited understanding. Yet to assist the development of Kyokushin-kan in the West, I will do the best I can.

I thought I would start with  a discussion of the role of head-punch tournaments within Kyokushin-Kan. Continue reading

Kyokushin-kan’s Next Tournament is in Maine, May 25th!

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For non-Ligo Dojo students who are interested, contact contact Shihan Petrovich at the number provided on the flyer. Ligo Dojo students, however, talk to Sensei Ligo or your instructors. Remember that representatives from this dojo in Maine travel south to attend our tournament, so we should do our best to support theirs. Learn Budo karate spirit! If you don’t FEEL a desire to support your dojo, also by competing, something might be missing from your understanding of what’s here to be gained through karate training.

Remember that what’s good for you in the dojo, is also good for the dojo: Continue reading