KAICHO HOOSAIN NARKER IS VISITING NORTH AMERICA
During my traveling into the path of the Martial Arts I have the fortune to met personally or by the net some wonderful people, one of then is Shihan Hoosain Narker. He has the vision of what Martial Arts should be, a big family where we can all be friend, get together and learn from each other. To me this should be the vision of the Martial Arts for this new Millennium. I wish him a very successful trip.
For all you interested in learning more about Ashihara Karate International and meet Shihan Hoosain Narker I am posting his itinerary. (Click here to see some pictures from Shihan Hoosain Narker). Also if you want to know more about him and his organization, you can visit his homepage at : http://users.iafrica.com/a/as/ashihara/index2.htm .
I'm excited - on the 29th of this month I will finally be departing South
Africa to cross the "Big Pond" enroute to New York. Below please find an
approximate of my itinerary. It is my intention to visit as many of you as
possible - funds permitting.
29 September - Depart for JFK Airport USA arrive next day.
1 - 3 October - Middfest in Middletown, Ohio
4 - 9 October - Training with Bob Perry in Ohio - free to visit other dojo in greater Ohio.
During this time I will visit with Paul Thoresen in Bowling Green, Ohio
10 - 17 October - To Grand Rapids, Michigan (Jerry Butler) enroute to Chicago.
18 October - US Tae Kwon Do Championships in Franklin Park, Chicago.
19 - 22 October - Enroute to Maine - free to visit other dojo on the way.
23 October - US Kyokushin Open Championships in Norway, Maine.
24 October - Seminar with Kancho Matsushima in Maine.
25 October - from here onwards I have an open program - I have been invited to Massachusetts by Tom Flynn but would like to work my way West to visit with Hank Prohm in Oregon, Lance Barnes in Arizona and some others to get to California.
November 12,13 and 14 - JKF Goju Kai Seminar in L.A. Will visit with Sunit Kumar Gupta either before or after. Would like to visit Miss Illona also.
Thereafter I am pretty free again - so will visit those on the West Coast and surrounding areas.
Dec 13 - 15,1999 - In Panama.
Dec 16 - 19 - In Costa Rica
Dec 20 - 21 - In Panama
Dec 21 - Return to the USA
Once back - I will probably spend time in the New York area visiting down to
I will be traveling on a pretty limited budget. If it is possible that I may visit you to train at your dojo - I would be most appreciative. I would also value it if you could provide me with a berth to unroll my sleeping bag. I will be backpacking so the smallest place would be fine with me.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (October 1, 1999)
September 30-October 1, 1999
Myself and colleague are safe in Middletown, Ohio - having arrived here
yesterday. We arrived in New York on Thursday morning (1.00pm S.A.
Time) after a 18 hour flight and later that same afternoon took the
Greyhound bus to Cincinnati. We were then met by Bob Perry's wife,
Marianna - she is quite lovely in character as is Bob.
Last night we were at the Middfest - just chatting and making ourselves
known. Today we are featuring heavily on the program.
All for now - will keep you advised as to our activities, etc. To those who
have invited me - I'll contact you soon.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (October 7, 1999)
Thanks - I am already having a good time. We are training in
TaeKwonDo with Bob Perry in Middletown, Ohio. Bob is a super guy and Mika-eel is
really getting into refereeing with him. I'm only playing around a little bit.
October 8, 1999
Tomorrow we are training with Kyoshi Anthony Masucci in Cincinnati. He is a 7th Dan student of List Member Tom Cauley (Shihan) and does Shorinji Ryu Karate.
October 9, 1999
On Saturday we are leaving for Bowling Green which is a couple of hours drive from here. We will be hosted by List Member Paul Thoresen for a couple of days, then to Toledo, Ohio to train with Mark Cramer in Goju Ryu Karate.
From there we will move to Michigan - first stop is with Scott Maczuga in Novi (west of Detroit), then to List Member Jerry Butler in Grand Rapids. Will stay with Jerry for a couple of days. Will also train with Paul Babladelis in Okinawan Goju Ryu in the same City. Thereafter off to Chicago to compete in the TaeKwon Do Hanma-Dang organized by the US National TKD Federation.
From there we will make our way to Maine for the championships organized by List Member Martin Petrovich, hopefully stopping over with some others on the way.
All for now - will keep everyone informed of our progress
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (October 15, 1999)
Currently I'm in Geneva, Chicago. On Thursday evening(october 14) I gave a class for a
Kyoki-Do dojang in St. Charles and yesterday(october 13) I visited with Dr Duk Gun Kwon,
a 9th Dan TaeKwonDo Master in Franklin Park.
Tomorrow(october 16) I will be meeting a Karate friend with whom I have corresponded
since 1979 so I am very excited. On Sunday(October 17) myself and colleague, Mika-eel
Taylor will be competing in a TaeKwonDo Hanma-Dang organised by Dr Kwon in
On Monday(october 18) I will be going to Grand Rapids and from there to Detroit then to
Brattleboro, Vermont. I've been invited by Sara Aoyama and her instructor,
Patrick Donahue to visit their dojo. I should be arriving there this coming
Thursday 21 October - that's a special day for me as I will be a wee bit
Sara has asked me to mention being with them. Should any of you be in the
area, please do come along as it would be super to meet with you.
On Saturday 23 October, I will be competing in a Kyokushin championships in
Norway, Maine. From there I will be going down to Massachusetts - will post
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (October 21, 1999)
First of all, my apologies to all for any delay in responding to private
Mail. I am having a problem in accessing my Roaming Server so hopefully by
the time you read this, I should have had some satisfaction in resolving my
Currently I am on my way to Detroit to meet with Scott Maczuga, and Ashihara
Karate Instructor now based in Royal Oak. The last few days have been
particularly hectic and great. We stayed with one of my former students.
Zaahir started training with me when I opened the dojo and since then he has
moved to the USA and he has qualified as an Chiropractic Doctor. He has
promised that he will start training with me when he moves back home, if not
I'll have to come back to beat him up.............. ;-)
I also had the opportunity of meeting Scott Eby. Scott and I started
corresponding exactly 20 years ago as Ikkyu (1st Level) Brown Belts. Scott
was living in Costa Rica then and together with his friend Antonio Gonzalez
(who I also corresponded with), manages Kyokushin in that country. Scott
visits there every second month. It was wonderful in finally get together
The Chicago leg of our trip was also to get Mika-eel to visit with Dr Duk
Gun Kwon, a 9th Dan Kukkiwon certified TaeKwonDo Master. Both Mika-eel and I
had our TKD grades ratified and we also participated in the Hanma-dang
championships of the US National TKD Federation. We competed in Poomse
(Forms), Breaking and Self-Defence and managed to place. Present at the
championships was Master Bob Perry who drove all the way from Middletown,
Ohio. It was nice chatting to him again.
We also took this opportunity to acquire TKD Equipment - which Dr Kwon gave
at discounted prices - it seems as if our bags just cannot empty. We now
have an additional two bags - one BIG one for the gear and the other for the
Grand Championships trophies.
We are now going into our 4th Week and thus far we have been well received
wherever we've been. We are thankful. This coming week we will visit Sara
Aoyama and their dojo in Brattleboro, VT then its the US Kyokushin
Championships for me. Mika-eel has lost something like 8kg - me, sadly it
looks like I've gained weight. Next week Mika-eel will be departing for
home. leaving me all alone. I'll try to make the best of our short time
together. It will be lonely without him.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (October 21, 1999)
The trip thus far has been absolutely wonderful. Currently I
in Methuen, Mass with Larry Giordano, a 7th Dan in Kyokushin. We had
exchanged correspondence some twenty years back to and I was supposed to be
picked up at his place on my way to another State. He refused me to leave
and it seems as if I will be marooned here until at least Friday morning.
It looks like the four months I will be here is too little time to do
justice to my visit.
I look forward to meeting those guys. I have only heard of them - being in
faraway Cape and whenever I visited Durban it was with AK Ismail or Sonny
Pillay so I never got around to meeting them. Also when I did visit more
frequently they were already gone so it will be a pleasure to meet some of
our legends. I will convey your best to them.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (October 25,
" Hello everyone
I just wanted to get a quick note out about the U.S. Kyokushin Open that
was held this weekend in Norway, Maine. I will post all the official
results later in the week. We are still hosting Kancho Matsushima and are
busy with classes and seminars.
It was a great pleasure to meet Hoosain Narker. He had the best knock out
of the night. HE knocked his opponent out, he didnt get knocked out :) !!!
I believe it was with a drop ax kick, maybe Hoosain can explain it better.
But the crowd loved it! He finished second in the lightweight division
behind Joe Addesso from Montreal. Great fighting.
Again, I will be posting all the official results and info from the
tournament later this week. We feel that the tournament was our best yet
and cant wait to get started on next years event."
Maine Kyokushin Karate
U.S. Kyokushin Open
It was great meeting both of you. Liesha is certainly into training and is a
bomb - Martin certainly is lucky to have such a stunning wife and a bonus is
that she is into the Arts herself - can only be of mutual benefit. They have
a lovely, well equipped dojo as well.
Thanks for your kind words - the kick was a Domawashi Kaiten Geri - or
turning rolling kick - something like a forward rolling breakfall - those
having Ninomiya's Sabaki book will see it in the front part of the book.
Hey, all my fights was against Canadians and they were tough - the guy I got
with the rolling kick was immensely strong - he would certainly have beaten
me up if I was not lucky to catch him first.
I was quite weak prior to the start of the event with the flu and all - what
helped was the amount of people that came to me and gave me their support -
a fair amount of people came because of my friend Ken Miarecki, and I am
thankful to him. The last time I fought in the USA - that was at the Sabaki
Challenge in 1988, I did not have the amount of people rooting for me as now
and that did make a difference. I am thankful.
I would suggest that members wait for the official video to be released and
then you an see for yourselves. For those in S.A., Mika-eel Taylor has done
a home video which you can view on my return. Hopefully I can convert the
official tape to PAL once done and then we can see the professional version
The tournament was one of the better ones that I have seen and
attended. I must confess that I enjoyed myself and that I thought it well
run and very professional - only thing which I did not like was the loud
music - but then that is my individual taste. My only regret is that I did
not get one of the T-shirts of the championships.
This is certainly an event which I can recommend and should the opportunity
exist - then I will send of our fighters.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (October 28, 1999)
As mentioned, I visited Brattleboro,VT where myself and colleague , Mika-eel
Taylor, was graciously hosted by Sara Aoyama. Gracious, did I mention that
word - Sara was aware of my liking for Tea and she had more than 20
variety's in stock. That's really gracious and I appreciated that - sorry
that I never got around to sampling them all.
I enjoyed the time spent with her and with their dojo Sensei, Patrick
Donahue. The warmth displayed by both and their students will always remain
part of me. Sara also arranged a surprise Birthday Cake with FOUR candles.
What was quite interesting was that Patrick taught White Crane stuff that
had similarities in what my system espouses. I enjoyed picking up new stuff
which I can incorporate into my regimen.
Patrick was so kind as to take me to Lebanon (New Hampshire) to train with
CD Member Ken Bladyka. I found him a nice guy and I loved his dojo and hope
that someday I too can have something similar.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (October 28, 1999)
Earlier today (24 Oct) I arrived in Methuen, Massachusetts from Maine.
Yesterday I competed in the US Kyokushin Championships organised by List
Member Martin Petrovich. I would like to offer my congratulations to him and
his wife, Liesha for a superb and well organised event.
We travelled from Brattleboro, Vermont in a Yellow Cab which was kindly
sponsored by Kenneth Miarecki, a Judo Shihan based in Springfield, Mass (and
for whom I will be teaching a seminar on Friday evening coming). We arrived
in South Paris in the early hours of the morning and Martin was so kind as
to meet us and to book us into the Inn where we stayed. Thanks for that. I
was a bit down with the onset of Flu and needed to sleep and the Inn
provided that just well.
My performance was not too bad, my stamina was lacking and with the flu - I
felt terrible. Fortunately the "Spirit of Osu" carried me through. I got a
bit roughed up by the tough guys, so today I am limping a bit. My right foot
is slightly damaged - the Canadians are real mean and have Iron Armour Legs
and Heads. My left floating rib is also slightly tender but luckily I have
no marks or bruises other than the one place where I was "accidentally"
kicked a couple of times. Should be totally recovered within the next few
All in all - an excellent event - congratulations also to Jason Tripp of
Endicott, NY, who took a second place in the Middleweight Division.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (October 28, 1999)
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (October 31, 1999)
This past week I spent as a guest of Larry Giordano, a 7th Dan in Kyokushin
from Methuen, Mass. Shihan Giordano has a huge amount of students and has
four classes every evening. He was so kind as to allow me to teach and it
was fun doing so.
As we've known one another for more than 15 years - he did not want me to
leave - even though he was extremely busy as he is standing for Mayor of
Methuen. I enjoyed my stay and Shihan wants me to come back his way on my
return to the East Coast in next year.
On Friday morning (October 29) I left for Springfield, Mass to teach a seminar organised
by Ken Miarecki. I enjoyed interacting with the various styles present and
had the opportunity to work out with some students of Noriyasu Kudo, a Judo
7th Dan and a former Ashihara Representative. His Yudansha were quite clued
up to the Strategy of Sabaki so it was of great interest to see what they
are doing. Ken San has gone out of his way to make my stay enjoyable and I
am thankful to him and his guys for that.
Tomorrow (Monday the 1st November) I will be training with Dan Cohen at
Brandeis University in Waltham, Boston. Dan does Kokondo Karate and Jujutsu
which has a Kyokushin base. Any of you in the area, feel free to come
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (November 9, 1999)
On Monday I left Springfield, Mass for Boston where I was hosted by Dan
Cohen of the Kokondo Karate and Jukido system. Kokondo is one of the early
offshoots from Kyokushin and it is rather interesting to see how others have
evolved or developed.
From the bit of what I've seen - it is very Judo/Ju Jutsu based - maybe that
is the Jukido part and it looks like they are very much into throws and
locks. The kihon is done differently - i.e. the punches look more
Shotokanish/Goju type with a pull back hip twists unlike the standard
Kyokushin way where the hips only rotate with and not back.
We had a nice chance to visit together before classes started and then again
until about 4am. The following morning - seems like we didn't even have time
to sleep, Dan dropped me off at George Donahue who is the Managing Editor of
Charles Tuttle Publishing Company. George was so kind as to put his VERY
busy work schedule aside to discuss a range of topics with me. The evening
we had the chance to explore some stuff - he was so kind as to give me an
intro into the Yamane Ryu Kobudo as well as to demonstrate the "much-talked"
about Koshi principles of Kishaba Juku. That also went into the early
hours of the morning.
The next day I left for New Jersey by way of New York where I visited with
List Member - Brian Wright and that too had a late night. Brian had recently
competed in the Enshin Sabaki Challenge so we had some discussions regarding
his fighting and the skills needed for that type of events.
On Thursday I arrived in Pittsburgh and immediately left with Dan Soller for
Maryland. Had my first early night getting to bed at 1.00am. Dan Soller
(Shihan) is the Chief Instructor of the Phoenix Karate-Do Association, a
Kyokushin based group. I had the opportunity to attend their Fall Gasshuku -
Dan San was so kind as to allow me to teach one session where I imparted the
concept and strategy of Sabaki.
The Phoenix students are quite committed with their training and they put in
a lot of effort - their Kumite is tough and hard - reminded me of my old
Oyama days and my already tender feet took a further beating. Getting much
too old for the rough stuff now.
I made many new friends and once again it was interesting to see what the
Phoenix group does in relation to modern day Kyokushin and even the
Kyokushin that I used to practice. A excellent performance of Sushiho was
performed by "New List Member" Cathy Melanson, a Yondan and also by Stacey
Boyette, a former USA Goju Yondan.
Currently I am in Baltimore with Tom Swiss. This morning I slept until
noon - my first since I arrived in the USA - I WAS really pooped and now
just need to recover and get the traces of flu out of my system as well as
to get the bruises on my foot to disappear.
Earlier this evening I ran through some of my stuff with Tom and we had a
comparative discussion. Tom does the Seido Karate of Tadashi Nakamura and
tomorrow I will be training at their dojo. I should be leaving for Los
Angeles by Tuesday or Wednesday. Will spend some time on the West Coast
before working my way back to New York.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (November 9, 1999)
I would like to apologise for the lateness of my posts - due to travelling
and server problems, my mail usually gets out late - and by then I have
already moved to a new place. Sometimes too it seems as if my posts are off
topic. Please accept my apologies for that.
Last night I trained with Tom Swiss and his Sensei - Kati Stewart, Yondan at
their dojo at the Baltimore YMCA. Really nice people. Tom is on the list now
so maybe he could post his impressions.
I will be leaving for Santa Monica in the morning to attend the JKF Goju Kai
seminar hosted by List Member Des Tuck's group this coming weekend. I will
only be arriving in Santa Monica on Friday morning at 10.00am - so I have a
long three day trip ahead of me - phew, that is something like 2900 miles
(approx 5000km). I hope that I will have the energy to last the seminar
Once on the West Coast I will be visiting with those there, notably Sunit
Kumar Gupta (Sensei) in Pomona and Lance Barnes (Sensei) in Arizona. There
are many others also too numerous to list. Until then I will be quiet
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (November 12, 1999)
On Tuesday (November 9) morning I left Baltimore for Los Angeles California. It was a
three day bus trip that gave me the time to contemplate on various stages of
my life. One of the sadder moments was passing through Tennessee, Arkansas,
Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Many of the names had a familiar ring, i.e.
Mesquite, El Paso, Yuma, Rio Grande, Chihuahua, etc., etc. Why it was sad
for me because my Parents had us reading from an early age. Both my Dad and
I was besotted with Westerns, ala Louis L'Amour et al. Louis L'Amour gave
very graphical descriptions of the Wild West and travelling through and past
some of those places brought a twinge of nostalgia as I remembered how my
Dad and I would discuss the West. How he would have loved to experience and
travel with me. I wish he was still around to be with me.
The long trip was made pleasant by the company I had on the bus. What was
great was meeting Bradley and Elizabeth Webb of Dallas who was so kind as to
meet and whisk me away during a long stopover there on Wednesday night. We
also had the chance of having a brief technical exchange which needs to be
continued on my return there - just for a longer time period naturally. On
Thursday evening I was met by Jim Sullivan, a Tanzenbukan Goju Ryu stylist
at the Phoenix Bus Depot - this was rather short, but we hope to continue
our discussion further when I visit him too.
Arrived this morning in L.A. and then took the bus to Santa Monica where I
will attend the JKF Goju Kai seminar.
Just letting you know how my week has been.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (November 16, 1999)
Am currently in Pomona, California with Sunit Kumar Gupta, the Ashihara
Representative. If I am going to stay here much longer - my weight will
drastically increase. SunitJi's wife is very tough on me ................;-)
I arrived in L.A. on Friday (November 12) and later the same day started training on the
JKF Goju Kai seminar which ran over the weekend. The basic theme of the
seminar was to standardise the kata of the JKF members and thus we did Kata
Gekisai Dai Ichi & Ni, Saifa, Sanchin, Tensho, Seienchin and Sanseiru. Those
testing for senior rank also did Shisochin and Seipai.
It has been a while since I last ran through those kata - personally I felt
good that I was able to do them and not look like a dumbo .............. I'm
sure that for those that had the kata under pat it was good to get it
standardised. For me - well, because I don't do them it was not that
essential. What was good though was that I had the opportunity to train with
some very senior Masters - I particularly wanted to train with Tasaki
To those that are in the seminar business and those teaching a fair sized
class - a pointer to Des - have the front rows sit down when you/the seminar
teacher demonstrates - it makes it easier for those in the back rows to see
and catch on. Just makes learning so much easier when this is done.
I had the opportunity to meeting George Yanase, fellow List member. It was
nice chatting and having the opportunity of demonstrating some Ashihara
stuff to him. I also met his Sensei -Kent Moyer of whom I had only read.
Likewise I met the host of the seminar - Vasi Naidoo for the first time. The
Sunday afternoon - those wanting to test for JKF rank then had the
opportunity of doing so - this was closed to members that tested only.
I will be visiting various dojo in the L.A. area for the next week or so.
From here I will either go up to Oregon to train with Hank Prohm/John Sells,
etc. and or go to Arizona to Lance Barnes in Kingman and then the other way.
Will also visit San Francisco, etc. during this time.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (November 23, 1999)
For the past week I have been spending time with Sunit Kumar Gupta, the AKI
Representative in Pomona. We had the opportunity to do some hands on
training which was beneficial to both. During the week we were joined by
Mark Crescitelli, a Yondan Kyokushin who had joined our group in last year.
Mark used to be Sunit's Sensei in Kyokushin.
An interesting happening was that while training at a Park in Pomona, we
were inundated with requests to start classes - what was good was that even
the Director of the Recreation Centre came over and chatted to us - it is
very possible that Sunit and Mark will jointly run classes there in future.
Yesterday morning I had a workout with Brian Lerner and Anthony Sarabia. The
two run some Goju programs in Fullerton. I was joined by Sunit and George
Yanase and we worked out for slightly more than two hours where I tried to
convey the principles and strategy of Ashihara Karate working specifically
on Punching and Impact theories. We ran through various drills and I also
had the chance to chat to them about contra-indicated exercises, etc.
What was very exciting for me was that I had the opportunity to chat to Paul
Okami, a Goju stylists who wrote some excellent articles in the 80's in
Black Belt. Unfortunately we missed one another - but I will be visiting him
Today I visited a Hindu Temple in Riverside - received blessings - since
starting my trip I have been exposed to a variety of cultures and beliefs
and it has been but a learning experience.
This week I will be going to Kingman, Arizona. If time permits I intend
having a stopover in Hesperia to visit with Miss Illona. Hopefully I will
get the chance to visit Jim Sullivan in Phoenix also. From the 1st to the
5th of December I will be visiting with Hank Prohm in Lebanon, Oregon. Hank
has invited me to attend the seminar of John Sells organized by Myra Noss.
From there I will be going to Chris de Wet in Cheyenne, Wyoming staying
until the 11th and then returning to Los Angeles.
If you are in the area, pop in or let me know - maybe I can visit your dojo?
Until then ..............
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (November 29, 1999)
In a few hours time (2.45am), I will be catching a Bus from Kingman, Arizona
to Corvallis, Oregon via Las Vegas and Los Angeles. I am scheduled to arrive
there on Wednesday morning at 11.25am (December 1, 1999) - another looong trip! I will be
visiting with Hank Prohm for about a week and as mentioned will also be
attending a seminar of John Sells, author of the book "Unante". Will post
details of my visit in Arizona soon.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (December 03, 1999)
First of all my apologies for the delay in posting. Have had some problems
with my Laptop after I loaded Norton System Works. Also lost mail sent to me
on Monday and Tuesday -so if any of you had sent me mail on those days
I left Kingman, Arizona on Tuesday morning (November 30) - thanks to Lance Barnes for
taking me to the Depot at 2.00am. I arrived in Eugene, Oregon on Wednesday
morning after passing through L.A. and Sacramento. Charles Garrett (Shinsi)
was so kind as to meet me at short notice - spent an enjoyable hour in his
company - he is just so enthusiastic as many of the others serious Martial
Artists that I met - at the drop of a hat - he demonstrated White Crane
Kata, etc. for me. I appreciated that and the openness he demonstrated. I
look forward to visiting with him.
On arriving in Eugene, I was met by Hank Prohm - I was still in the bus when
I saw this guy wildly (excitedly) waving to me - that was Hank, as I had no
idea how he looked.
From the depot we went to meet with John Sells - had an interesting chat
with him. Looking forward to further interaction on Saturday. I have been
having fun with Hank - he has been seriously beating me up - and only my
youthful vigour and pride has enabled me to survive.
I will be leaving for Cheyenne on Monday arriving there on Tuesday. Will
spend a week with Chris de Wet before leaving for L.A. again. I am excited
because Chris is a fellow South African and we will be able to gossip in
Afrikaans, our home language.
Until then my very best.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (December 06, 1999)
Another week has passed. As posted, I spent time in Kingman, Arizona with
Lance Barnes. Prior to coming to the USA, Lance has expressed a desire to
convert his group into Ashihara Karate and in last year, actually became a
member of the "ShinBudoKai", an All Styles group which I administer. During
my visit we had the time to work on a number of issues which was
satisfactory to both of us whereafter Lance with his dojo's, formally joined
"Ashihara Karate International".
My time in Oregon has been great (as in visiting all the other places). I
had great fun exchanging ideas and concepts with Hank and his students. What
was super was that Chris Walton of Corvallis, OR, and Bill le Compte (Shorin
Ryu) who drove all the way from Anacortes, Washington also came to meet and
train with me.
Yesterday I met with Myra Noss and her husband Reed (Hayashi Ha Shito Ryu)
as well as John Sells who I met earlier this week. I also met Todd Newton
who teaches Wado Kai. I have been extremely fortunate to meet the calibre of
people that I have.
Whilst not into traditional kata, I gained an understanding of the Bunkai of
the Pinan kata as propagated by John Sells at the seminar organised by the
Noss's. Public thanks to them for having me on the course as well as for
treating me and the gift. I got to learn one of the "old" Shito Ryu forms as
well as another Sai kata. Sells Sensei also went through Tawada no Sai so
that I could get an understanding of the version done by him.
Meeting Hank, an old timer who could tell me about training in the old days
was just wonderful. Just being with him was fun - he is as Jolly as I am
...;-) It is definitely a great experience just to meet and share time with
them all. Everyone thus far has been wonderful. I am thankful. Today was our
off day - we went to an old army base and memorial site and later the
evening we went for supper to John Luman, a CD member.
In the morning I will be leaving for Cheyenne - that's another 30 hours by
bus - it seems as if I will soon qualify for a Black Belt in Greyhound Ryu
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (December 10, 1999)
As most of you are probably aware, I have a Dan grade in Goju Ryu Karate.
Over the years I seem to naturally attend seminars or courses held by
various Goju Sensei. Here I am in Cheyenne, Wyoming with Chris de Wet, a
Sandan in Okinawan Goju Ryu and after training tonight we ran through some
kata that I had learned years ago - some of them I recently practised at the
JKF Goju Kai seminar.
Years ago I had the opportunity to demonstrate Tensho kata for Sosai Mas
Oyama. In those years the kata Tensho and Sanchin was important to me -
since starting Ashihara Karate, I have not kept it up, but after spending
time with Chris (Sensei), I wondered how many of you place importance on it.
Last week in Oregon, I showed Hank Prohm (Sensei) a CD I have which has on
it an excerpt of Saamchin - the forerunner of modern day Sanchin. From what
I can gather, this is one of the oldest kata in karate-do. Loosely
translated Sanchin means "three points" or "three phases," a reference to
the fact that sanchin seeks to develop three elements at a time:
The mind, the body, and the techniques.
The internal organs, the blood circulation and the nervous system.
And the three ki located in the top of the head (tento), the diaphragm
(hara), and the lower abdomen (tanden)
Sanchin is an isometric kata where each motion is performed in a state of
complete tension accompanied by powerful, deep breathing. It is aim at
strengthening, the muscles and developing a strong stance and proper
breathing. Its practice leads to the development of the inner power (ki) and
to the coordination of mind and body. It teaches basic footwork, basic hand
technique, and basic blocking techniques.
TACHI SAN NEN
(To learn to stand properly takes three years)
Stances must be practiced in the same way that kicks, blocks, and punches
Stances have different attributes. some are flexible, some are transitional
(leading to another movement), and some are fixed, or "Rooted".
All stances require:
a dropping of the shoulders;
maintenance of breath and tension in the seika tanden;
keeping centre of gravity in the hips;
proper distribution of weight between the legs
From: The book "Karate Techniques And Spirit", by Tadashi Nakamura
Looking forward to seeing your input.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (December 13, 1999)
For the past few days I have been spending time in Cheyenne with Chris de
Wet, a Okinawan Goju Ryu stylist and a former South African himself. Being
with him helped with alleviating the "home-sickness" as I could chat to him
It seems as if everyone wants me to stay and not return home. Chris has been
trying to convince me also and even at the local Mosque, the congregation
members there too have attempted. Last night they had a communal meal where
the entire Muslim Community of the area (10 families) came together - whilst
it was super, it made me really long for home. But, such is life, I have
committed myself to this trip, so that is it - I have to stick it out - the
warmth of everyone that I have visited has been fantastic - so it helps too.
Chris was so kind as to organise me to teach classes in Cheyenne and in
Boulder, Colorado. Yesterday we had a seminar which went off rather well.
Chris and his seniors have been soaking up the concepts that I teach, so
fast that I had to demonstrate very little - I could use them to do that for
me. Shows the level and skill they have. His "new" power and reach will make
him even stronger.
As usual, I will be sad to leave - I have had fun - what was most enjoying
was chatting to their two year old son and trying to understand what he was
saying. Chris's wife is the Copy Desk Chief for the Wyoming Tribune Eagle
and she took some pictures and wrote a nice story about what I am doing in
today's paper. That should give "locals" a better idea of what Ashihara
Karate is about and should help in creating a greater interest in Karate.
The first few days of the fast has treated me well - I have been managing -
the only bad thing is that it seems as if my flu has returned. My nose is
running, but other than that I am well.
Tomorrow I will be returning to L.A. Will keep you advised of my travels.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (December 28, 1999)
Since leaving Cheyenne nearly two weeks ago, I have been having a pretty
hectic time. The following post is rather long, so please bear with me. I've
tried to recap the good and the bad.
I arrived in Claremont, L.A. via Salt Lake City and Las Vegas and was met by
Sunit Gupta. Sunit, his wife Sarita and their child was suffering from flu
so I was warmly dressed to avoid worsening my own flu which was is still
Throughout the few days - we chatted and did some light technique
comparisons. On the Saturday morning, I was supposed to train with Brian
Lerner and Anthony Sarrabia, Two Goju Kenkyu stylist in Fullerton, but due
to an misunderstanding between them, one forgot to pick me up - so after
having waited for them for more than an hour - they called me and then came
to fetch me. Instead of driving to their dojo - we went to the local Park
and did some training there.
At this point in time, my apologies to George Yanase - I had invited him to
join us again - he arrived late at the Fullerton YMCA - probably just after
the other two left to come to me and so did not train with us. George being
the budoka that he is - then trained on his own. Sorry for the mix-up.
I continued our session by showing the other two further principles of what
I do which they seemed to appreciate (received a thank you note from them
afterwards). Saturday afternoon I went with Sunit and them to a "Christmas
Party". Sunday we spent just loafing around and getting visitors.
On Monday, it was my intention to go to town to apply for a Canadian visa
and I actually got the documentation ready for that - Early the morning I
left - got a local bus that dropped me off right at the Greyhound Depot but
once I got into town I realised that I did not have my Passport with me
(idiot). I have been keeping my passport in my Laptop case for safety.
Feeling rather silly I took the application form at the embassy and seeing
Wilshire Blvd - remembered that Mr Nishiyama was down there somewhere. Found
a phone at Pershing Square and then saw that there was a Kyokushin dojo on
3rd Street. I wrote down the address of both that dojo and the AAKF address
and started walking.
I had walked from the Greyhound Depot on 7th and Alameda to Hope Street and
then to the Kyokushin dojo which was in Little Tokyo (was closed) and then
walked back to go to Wilshire Blvd. I walked to 1930 which is where the AAKF
office was. The lift was not working so I slogged the 12 stories by foot. My
luck was in as Mr Nishiyama, one of the real legends of karate was in. I
spent an enjoyable 30+ minutes with him where he invited me to come and
train with him. I said that I was already committed to train with a dojo
that evening so he said I could come to his noon class the next day and he
gave me directions. Wow - was I thrilled!!
I had probably walked something like ten kilometres or more (six miles
minimum) and then went for training which was in Lomita (Torrance). Prior to
getting on the bus I had called the Metro for exact details - Boy, did I get
the wrong info. I boarded the bus at about 2.30pm and after changing a
couple of times I eventually got dropped off at Hawthorne Blvd and Lomita
Blvd. I had to be on the other side of Crenshaw Blvd - so I ran the distance
there which was about 1.2 miles or so. At 5.00pm I had broken my fast with a
date and having fasted all day - the running really made me thirsty.
I arrived at the dojo (name withheld) at about 6.00pm and after introducing
myself changed into my gi. The dojo was a Full Contact style but when I
arrived the kid's class was in progression and they were doing some sort of
karate with grappling. I asked him if I could take a picture or shoot a
small piece on video - but he said - "top secret" and that he would prefer
me not doing so - I was easy with this. Just before class started, I asked
the instructor if I could be excused for a moment and went to a service
station over the road to get a chocolate and a Gatorade to get some energy
The instructor (he was Japanese) was supposedly ill and had one of his brown
belt girls give class but he was actually on the floor directing and giving
instructions - he killed us all with exercises - my legs were sore for days
afterwards from all the squatting, etc. and I had difficulty in moving
around. The run and all the walking had even given me a blister on one foot.
Later in training we paired up and I got a white belt Japanese student that
tried to polish me - hah ha!! We had to do something like Ippon Kumite - but
the attacker could attack with any attack or combination and this guy really
tried to get me - I am generally a softie and went easy, but during one
particularly strong attack where he tried to nail me kicked him lightly in
the face and after that it was realised that maybe I am not so much a dumbo
or weakling - the instructor said - to me: "go hard on him - he is actually
a black belt"! Aah! that was like the book of revelations! This was one of
the very few times that this has happened to me on this trip where somebody
tried to take advantage.
Overally I still enjoyed myself - I usually would try to do everything that
is given and not show that I am dying - with the exercises - all the
students dropped out first - the instructor did a couple with but I would
not show that I was being worked over - I will rather die than show anything
and then go outside and cry - but never show that in training - all because
of the Spirit of Osu! When I told Sunit this he laughed - he said that I
should not go to such dojo - also he said "why did you not tell the guy you
were observing fasting?" - I am probably just silly.
After training I chatted to some of the students - but as I had a to get a
bus I was pressed - what was interesting was that this was the first dojo
that no one asked me how are you going home, or anything of that kind. I
tried calling home to say that I am on my way, but the only phone there had
money stuck in it so it was out of order. Fortunately the time for the bus
was correct - 9.12pm. The joke was on me in that the connecting bus that I
had to get stopped running at 6.00pm - This was told to me by the driver - a
third generation Japanese who chatted nicely with me. He was into hiking
and we could chat about hikes, equipment, etc. - a past time of mine. I took
a long circular drive with him and he was so kind as to drop me off at a
place where I could get a bus to downtown L.A. Now prior to boarding the
9.12 bus I had bought a packet of chips and a Litre Coke. I had broken my
fast with a chocolate and had a Litre of Gatorade so was looking forward to
getting something decent to eat. Whilst waiting for the next bus, I tried
calling Sunit, but their phone was engaged.
Sometime just before 11.00pm I arrived on the outskirts of the City and
about ten minutes later got a bus to where I had to get the next connecting
bus. After walking around to get to the exact place I then waited for the
bus to Pomona. Now - this was after 11.00pm in downtown L.A. - hey, pretty
scary!!! I had seen movies of crime and certainly did not wish to be
involved in one .............;-) The bus that I had to take arrived at
11.58 - phew what a relief that the information regarding that one was
correct! I arrived at about 1.15am in Pomona and about 2km from home and had
an easy jog from there.
Now, I had no chance afterwards to call home as there was no phones close by
and I was afraid that if I went to look for one - the bus might come. So
arriving home - I knocked and knocked - everybody was fast asleep. After
knocking for about ten minutes - I was now too tired, miserable and hungry
and then resigned myself to sleeping in their car (which fortunately they
don't lock) and made myself comfortable. I actually could have gone and
knocked on their window - but I didn't want to disturb them. (Sunit and his
wife scolded me afterwards for not waking them)
When I got into the car I had taken off my shoes and socks - and soon my
toes started freezing. Pretty soon I had my gi out to cover me - the bright
moment was that I was soooo glad that there was no snow around - I would
have been an ice block otherwise. At about 5.30am I could no longer take it
and then knocked - I knew that Sunit's wife gets up about 6.00am so she
opened the door. By this time too I was starving so she quickly made me some
cheese sandwiches to eat before Sunrise. Boy, that saved my life and I
fasted that day with no problem.
At 7.00 I left again to catch the bus back to town and then went to the
Embassy. Gave in my papers and then at about noon the Visa Officer called me
for an interview - that was yucky - "why do you want to go to Canada? why
did you not apply for a visa in S.A.?, etc., etc." He wanted me to supply
him with papers detailing financial statements, property ownership, etc.
Also something that will show what I have been up to in the USA. I showed
the guy several documents, etc. but he wanted more. What was upsetting was
that this interview took place during the time period that I had to go and
train with Nishiyama Sensei - I couldn't even call him to apologise. Boy,
was I upset at losing that opportunity! I hope to return and to apologise to
him and to see if he will still allow me to train with him.
Going home I took the Greyhound and at El Monte the bus driver said that
some fluid was leaking and we had to return to swop buses - that made
me get home much later. The good is that I met a "nice girl" who is studying
law in New York and she actually had some booklets with on Islam given to
her by her fellow students - so we chatted about the fast, etc. Got to
Claremont late and had to call Sunit to come and fetch me - broke my fast
and had a Hot Chocolate from a 7 Eleven.
I called home that evening asking them to get the bank to fax some
documents, etc. Then printed out all the supporting documents that I thought
would help my application, Also mailed Angel Carrasco, a Kyokushin style
instructor in Winnipeg, Canada for another supporting letter. He had sent me
one so the Officer wanted one specifying that I was not going to be earning
money for teaching in Canada. Angel faxed me the letter as well as one to
the Embassy. I am thankful for his quick response! Thank You. The next
morning got up and timeously made my way to catch a bus to take that
documents in. On Monday there had been two Greyhound buses and on that
particular Wednesday - there was only one - if I took alternative transport
I would only have arrived in town too late - did I somehow irritate the Man
Above - everything seemed to be going wrong for me!! I called the Embassy
and asked if I could bring in the papers but that I will be a bit late -
"sorry sir, we close at ..........." I resigned myself to this and went back
On getting home, I called Anthony Marquez, a Okinawan Goju stylist and
Matayoshi Kobudo teacher based in Glendora. We arranged to meet and I took
two buses to get there. Again broke my fast on the bus - that is not too
good but I hope I will be forgiven ..............;-) After chatting to him
for a while, I then trained in his intermediate class. I had told him about
my legs being "stiff" so he kindly had us doing Shiko Dachi during the Kihon
which was killing - he gleefully tortured me but I have to admit it helped.
After training, I showed him some of my concepts and when he heard that I
was going home by bus again - he refused and took me home - it is such
courtesy that warms me very much. I felt good that at least something was
going right for me. I hope to visit with him again.
The following morning (Thursday) was chaotic - I left even earlier but the
connecting bus that I had to get - zero, there was none on time - they had
changed the schedules due to Christmas - I called Sarita and asked if she
could give me a lift to the Greyhound terminal - by the time we got there
the bus had already left. If I took the normal bus which takes about 2.15
minutes - that would have brought me there to town much too late also. We
then went to the Rail Station (Amtrak) - can you believe it - there was not
one in attendance - by this time, I was feeling pretty gloomy - walking on
the Platform I saw the time schedule and that a train was coming in at
9.00am that would get me to town at 9.50am - the ticket dispenser was there
next to the schedule - I opened my backpack to take out my wallet - it was
not there - a further fright - my brain went blank - did I put it in or was
it at home? Fortunately Sarita had waited for me - unfortunately she did not
have her purse with so I asked her if she would take me home to get my
wallet - when I went around to get into the car -there it was lying on the
ground - when I had gotten out at the Greyhound Depot I had taken it out as
my ticket was in there - getting back into the car I had put it on the seat
and when I got out it fell out.
God really gave me a break then - imagine - it was lying on the ground and I
could have lost it!!! On arriving downtown I grabbed a lift in a "Dash"
bus - the driver was so kind not to charge me - gave me a lift to three
blocks from where I had to be - ran that piece like nothing (probably about
kilometre) and made the embassy with 15 minutes to spare. Submitted my
follow up documents - the lady could not find my file and when I mentioned
that two faxes was sent supporting my application, she went to another
office to get it - around 11.15am I was the only person still left there. I
had seen the same visa officer giving others a hard time and I was near
certain that I would go through the wringer again when she called me and
voila I got it! I nearly jumped with Joy!
At least my luck was starting to turn. During my time in L.A. I had wanted
to meet with Paul Okami, a Goju style instructor who had written some
articles in Black Belt in the eighties. I also had a tape of his. I had
phoned him a number of times, but never got him in. After getting my visa I
took a gamble and called again and lo and behold I got his wife who said
that he would be in after half an hour. I then took a bus to Koreatown - I
have become professional with the different buses and took a short walk to t
he Zen Buddhist Temple where he was residing. Had about 30 minutes to chat
to him and again I had the opportunity to demonstrate some concepts of
Ashihara Karate. A pity that I had to rush also. What is even a greater pity
is that he is no longer training - that is a loss for karate.
Going back was chaotic due to Christmas shopping. Missed the Greyhound then
had to take a slow bus home (to Pomona) - that arrived 30 minutes late and
got home later - had about 30 minutes to pack my bags to get to Greyhound to
catch a bus which would take me to L.A. then from there to San Jose.
I arrived in San Jose on Christmas Day and was met by Des Tuck, a Yondan
Goju Kai stylist, himself a former South African and now a very successful
Barrister (Lawyer) in San Mateo. Des and his wife took me for a walk in one
of the Nature Reserves which I enjoyed immensely. At home, I usually go for
a hike on a Sunday morning after beach training.
Yesterday we had a Randori session - just the two of us whereafter we went
to his office. I then took the opportunity to spend some time with the Mom
of one of my Brown Belts who lives in San Mateo and today gave a class to
his students. As usual, I enjoyed my stay - it is usually sad to leave -
Des's 14 year old daughter made me pizza, tea and gave me the treatment that
I get from my niece at home - that made me feel like I am home - not that
visiting others don't too!! Des's wife made pasta's so mouth watering that I
absolutely had to control myself not to over eat. I am getting such a
variety of meals that when I get home - I will have to instruct my "Cook" to
Due to the lateness of the issuing of my visa - and the fact that my I-94
expires on Wednesday - my travel plans have been quite disrupted. I was
supposed to visit Ken Charlton in Crescent City, John Lehner in San Jose as
well as Charles Garrett in Sacramento. Unfortunately I will not be able to
visit Ken or Shihan Lehner but I will be able to spend a few hours with
Garrett San. I should be arriving in Vancouver on Wednesday as I will leave
I will have to come back and visit those that I promised to come to - I am
sorry that I was not able to come as promised and apologized profusely for
any inconvenience. Today I had to get a visa for Panama - and the Embassy
told me that I have to send my stuff to Panama as they do not issue it here
for South Africans - hey, we don't even have a Panamanian Consul there - it
is things like this that throws out my plans, however as things have
brightened up I will try to use some contacts to assist. Wish me well!
I will be staying in Vancouver for a few days and then go to Winnipeg via
Calgary. From there it seems like I will zap over to Toronto before going
down to Miami. More details later.
All for now.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (January 03,
On Wednesday (December 29, 1999), I arrived in Vancouver, Canada. I say that I am blessed - what else can it be? (no negative pun intended). I arrived slightly after 10.30pm and the first person to see me was our Christine Weltscheff - a Cyber karate friend - she had come to ensure that I would be met by List Member- Paul Hucul who teaches Kyokushin in Vancouver. Christine actually took the bus (two) to see to my welfare. As Sara A wrote on the CyberDojo - the List enables us to learn about each other -and here Christine went out of her way to do that. What else can I feel but to say that I have been blessed on this tour!!!! Christine helped me carry my bags (yep Sara - it has grown to 3 and the laptop) into the terminal where we were met by Paul and his wife Cecilia. Hank P wrote something on the CyberDojo a while back "These are the kind of people I want to be like if I ever get around to growing up" - Paul displayed the same when both he and his wife insisted that they will give Christine a lift home even though it was totally in the opposite direction. I have been so overwhelmed by generosity of Martial Artists that it motivates me to continue spreading karate because without doubt it makes for better human beings and if we can all make that our aim in this New Millennium, we can certainly help make this world a better place for our kids and future kids to grow up into. Unfortunately I have not had the time to go and train at Christine's dojo due to commitment to Paul, however I hope to get around to go there before I leave. I intend leaving here to go to Winnipeg by latest Tuesday evening. I will be able to have a stopover, albeit a brief one day in Calgary, so if anyone of "you Canucks" in the area could have me, I could arrange my plans accordingly. I will probably leave Winnipeg on Sunday to go to Toronto and will be hosted by Darren Lenkorn - who can be contacted at (416)406-1890 firstname.lastname@example.org I should be able to stay there until latest Wednesday morning before I have to hit the road to Miami to catch a flight to Panama. Anyone in the area, especially if you are not too far, please let me know. My contact details in Vancouver is Paul Hucul - Phone: (604) 421-1779 Until then my very best.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (January 04, 2000)
I will be leaving Vancouver at 6.45am to go to Winnipeg via Calgary. Should be arriving in Calgary at around 22.40 and will be going onwards immediately to Winnipeg. Will determine in the morning if Peter Brown (a NKA official) is back from abroad - if he is, I will stopover for a day or so - if not I will continue. Anyone in the area that are free - and if the depot is not too far, do come and say hi!
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (January 06, 2000)
I would like to publicly apologise to Angel Carrasco of Winnipeg, Canada for the inconvenience caused to him yesterday due to my non-arrival in his hometown. Also to all other dojo that I was supposed to visit for not being able to do so now. On Tuesday, I attempted to board the bus in Vancouver for Calgary to go to Winnipeg - to my surprise, Canadian Greyhound indicated that they do not honour the Travel Pass which I bought in the USA. On purchasing my 60 day travel pass - I had experienced some hassles - on the Greyhound web site they offered it at a discounted rate - it could supposedly be bought at either a terminal or online. I opted to buy it from a terminal and then ran into a snag - they were not aware of the special and I went back the next day with a printout. No sir, our system does not allow that - in fairness to the staff at the terminal - they really tried their best. Sent a mail to Greyhound HQ - had already established a rapport with them due to writing about the real bad reception I had in Kingman. They wrote back and apologised - it was only available online and it was a mistake, ......blah blah blah! I then bought the Travel Pass in L.A. at the normal rate. The attendant so kindly worked out my schedule and did a printout with times that I had to get the bus from L.A. to San Jose to..... to Vancouver to Calgary to Winnipeg to Toronto and then to Rapid City, South Dakota. I'm sure that he had no idea that the Pass would not be honoured or he was just not in the know of the exact details. With him not being able to advise me to the contrary, I planned my visit to Canada accordingly So, because of that - I could not do some internal travelling in Canada unless I bought another pass in Canada or if I exchanged my one for a Canadian one which would then have been valid only in Canada. With a pre-planned budget - I am leaving next week for Panama/Costa Rica - I could not go into the expense of doing that - especially as time constraints would have meant that I would not have enjoyed it to the fullest - by then the bus for Calgary had departed and that would have had me running behind schedule which could have affected my making the flight from Miami, so I opted to rather return to the USA. Took the bus to Seattle and then to Pendleton to Salt Lake City where I arrived last night. Had virtually no-incident passing though US Customs/Immigration which admitted me until July 2 ...... The bus was slow - came into Pendleton four hours late at something after midnight - it had virtually no stops and when it did- only for a few minutes and the driver did not want anyone to leave - unlike the normal practise. The bus from there to Salt Lake also ran late - we came in nearly two hours late - thus far, whenever I came into SLC the bus was late - but this can be attributed to Snow. The Greyhound has been my mode of transport and I found it pretty efficient - with the exception of the few hassles I had and which I hope will not continue - at this moment in time I would not recommend its usage - BUT, let me first finish my travels then I will be able to give you the best opinion. Currently I am with Doug Jepperson, a 5th Dan in Wado Karate. Doug has written a nice article on Kumite Preparation which can be found on my site. In the morning I will leave for Cheyenne and spend two days with Chris de Wet. On Saturday, it will in all due probability be Eid-ul-Fitre which signifies the end of Ramadan. Due to circumstances, at least I should be able to spend this important day with the Muslim friends I've made there. On Sunday I will be with Gary Gabelhouse in Lincoln, Nebraska and I will spend a few days with them. Gary's instructor - John Roseberry will be doing a video production on Sunday - so I will be having some front row seats! Apologies once again to all Canadian dojo that I was supposed to visit. I will still come back your way - let me get the Central American thing out of the way!
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (January 11, 2000)
I am currently in Nebraska - haven't slept well these past few days - chatting and travelling to much. Tomorrow morning I am hitting the road again - so it will be tiring still. As mentioned I visited Doug Jepperson in Salt Lake City - had the opportunity to meet his sons who are all involved in karate and they are quite proficient in tournament fighting. We trained various kumite drills whereafter I gave some training on Ashihara concepts. Afterwards Doug showed me their Tanto Dori with specific regard to some of the stuff that I was doing - it is always interesting to see the similarities. Sadly I did not have more time to explore all the differences and similarities such as Wado's Ieyasu and Nagasu concepts. I arrived in Cheyenne on Friday and went to Mosque that evening. The congregation was pleased to see me - also as it was the end of Ramadan (the month of fasting which is obligatory to all Muslims in good health) and the next day Muslim's around the world be celebrating Eid-ul-Fitre. I had a good Eid even though I was far away from my loved ones - I was picked up at Chris's house by Prof. Mo Salih (from Sudan) - he dropped me off at Dr Mazhar's house and then I caught a ride with a American Muslim to Laramie where Eid Salah was held. Cheyenne's Muslims and those of Laramie got together with some others from here and there and Salah (Prayers) was made in one of the halls of the University - the Men in front and Women in the back - small space in-between. We recited Takbeer (Praises to God) - it was a little bit different to the way done at home - everyone was reciting together, but then we are fortunate to have a large Muslim population by comparison. They don't have an Imam (Preacher) - so they take turns leading. After Salah (Prayer), a small Khutbah (lecture) was done in both Arabic and English. We then had breakfast - I had not slept the Friday evening - I was so thankful for knowing that I could spend Eid with Muslims - that I was probably way to excited ..;-) Spoke to the one Indian Doctor about the customs we have at home, for example prior to going to Mosque on Eid we have a milk called "Sierkomir" (milk and nuts and spices, etc.) and he said they too made it - regrettably none was available. There was something like vermicelli but not the same - nice cake and stuff though. Unfortunately I didn't stuff myself as I was already thinking of the next day's fast of Shawaal. Shawaal is the month after Ramadan on the Islamic Calendar and if one fasts for six days it is considered as if one has fasted for another Eleven Months. I have been doing this "extra" fast for years as my Mom did it and she carried it over - now I probably also do it in her memory. After breakfast everyone stayed as they were having communal lunch - various dishes, etc. and once again it was great - again just ate lightly. Prior to lunch we had Thuhr Salah (that is the second prayer Muslims have to do as part of five daily ones) - they have more Hanafi's (a school of thoughts in Islam - I am a Shafi - which is another one out of Five) if not all. When making Wuduh (ablution/cleansing for Prayers) - I took off my socks to wash my feet - we had a discussion at the Mosque at the beginning of Ramadan about differences - most of them just wipe their instep (something like Mathaa?) After filling ourselves (me just a bit) everyone started socialising more. Prior to lunch I was asked some questions regarding karate and those of you knowing me - will know that when I start I can't stop - we continued this well into the afternoon where I demonstrated various things. That kept me busy and at least made me forget the longing for home...........;-) Many of the brothers that I met when I first went to Cheyenne were obviously proud of me and what I was doing. That made me not only feel good but pleased to be a Muslim!! It also helps with motivating me more in continuing my current travels. What was very interesting is that many of the Muslims here are highly qualified - they are either heavily into Education or are Doctors or other type of Professionals. Masha-Allah! (Praise to God) I had the chance to see - mind you, see only - the nice looking young ladies - but I didn't interact with them. Quite a few of them were single and unattached - but as I don't know where I am heading with regard to settling down - I didn't want to chat to them - also it was not becoming of the situation. Maybe I should propose - might make me move over here or alternatively it means I have to come and visit the in-Laws ............;-) on a regular basis - but then who would want an old man who is basically a loafing traveller? During all this chatting I received further invitations to visit. The Chairperson of the Cheyenne Islamic Society's one son is a Doctor in Detroit and another son works for Chase in San Francisco. Both of them wants me to pop in by them as well as others in Salt Lake City, etc. The one guy is a Dean at a College quite close (as distances go) to Yellowstone National Park - that is where they have the "Old Faithful" Geyser! Maybe I should visit him and then go from there to Yellowstone?? To visit them and all the others which I am still getting from the various Cyber Dojo members and others here - wow, I don't know how I can do that without extending my trip for too long. Will have to think about it seriously. I do know that I have lot of work at home too, also that they miss me as I miss them all at home. I left Laramie early enough as I had to catch a bus. Chris's two year old son cried when I left the house with my bags - when I arrived now the other day- he spoke in his baby talk - computer - baby - tiger - kitty. I have shown him the Kung Fu baby and some other animations on my previous visit - and he actually remembered and all he wanted to do was to watch that everytime. I liked him a lot and it made me wish to have of my own. Insha-Allah (with the grace of God), let's see what the future holds in for me. Left Saturday evening and arrived in Lincoln, Nebraska the next morning. The bus was spot-on time at 5.50am and as I got off - Gary Gabelhouse drew up to fetch me. Good timing! Gary is a total Africanophile - he has visited Kenya and other places a number of times climbing all over. He has even named his daughter Malindi after a African Town. At the moment I am listening to Ladysmith Black Mambazo (a top South African band in the class of Ipi Tombi) at his office - makes me feel at home - must just ask him if he has Kwaita (African Hip Hop) ........;-) When I arrived on Sunday we went to a farm herding cattle into a truck - big silly tuff -Moooo! We had some fun with the cows being very recalcitrant and the guys had to really do some extra work to get them loaded - I happily shot all the proceedings on video - the only thing I had to do was to avoid a silly dog that just wanted to taste my fat rolls. After reading so many Westerns, I finally had the chance to act like a Cowboy - but I felt undressed as I did not have Cowboy boots, hat or even a six shooter ........LOL! Sunday afternoon we spent at the dojo as they were busy shooting the second video in their series of Okinawan Goju as propagated by Toguchi Sensei. I was "press-ganged" into serving as a lighting man and gaffer to the Director/Producer/Cameraman (that's Gary). Shihan Roseberry after the shooting said - please teach the class tomorrow - it was said with total openness. Last night I trained in Aikido and then trained with Shihan Roseberry - he is a good and kind-hearted old-timer (don't tell him I said that....) having spent the past forty years or so training in Okinawan Goju Ryu of Seikichi Toguchi. When I first met him he had a smile on his face and during training he smiled continuously - I have a smiling face too so it was pleasing to meet someone similar. There is so much that one can tell about his exploits - but as his biography is on their website (http://www.radiks.net/~srsbk) I'll not go into detail. He is a treasurehouse of stories of Budo in Okinawa during the 50's and 60's. Shihan taught the first segment of class and as they had started with their Kangeiko (Winter Training) - he really meant to push us all - the students loved it and him. Training was fun and enjoyable - the dojo is huge - they also have a tatami area and last night's class had the most students in a dojo that I've seen to date. There was at least 15 Black Belts of various ages. Pretty impressive. After that I had about 45 minutes to teach the principles of Ashihara Karate and I spoke about and demonstrated impact and then sabaki. Finally left the dojo close to 10.00pm. As mentioned I haven't slept that well - Can Gary talk? - he kept me going until 2.00am twice in a row and then wakes me up at the ungodly hour of 7.00am ..............:-) Yesterday and today I communicated with the Panamanian Consul in Washington. I had posted my application for a visa on Tuesday last week, but they had not received it and so yesterday we faxed them all the stuff - spoke to the lady doing it and it seems as if my papers must go to Panama whereafter a visa will be issued. My flight is booked for this Sunday - and she said that she cannot guarantee that the visa will be issued in time. I also need to get my passport to Washington and as I do not want to send it by post - I'll have to go there myself. Rather than take that risk of not getting the visa in time, I've decided to rather postpone my trip there to another time. I've written a letter to Zenon Cortez Becker, the Representative for Central America explaining as much. Hopefully he should agree with me. What I will then try to do is to reschedule and then finish visiting all the dojo on the West Coast, etc. and then work my way across to the East Coast and then go to Panama/Costa Rica. Will keep you informed though but in due probability will take the bus to Cheyenne for a brief stopover and then make my way to San Francisco. All for now.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (January 14, 2000)
Prof. Josh - I will be arriving in Sacramento tomorrow evening and will stay with Charles Garrett (Shihan) . On Sunday (January 16, 2000) I will catch the bus to Crescent City to visit with List member Ken Charlton. Will probably leave him late Tuesday evening or early Wednesday morning. If you can, give me a call at Garrett San's house on (916) 920-8245 or you can call me at Ken's place at (707) 464-2280 From there I will be visiting John Lehner (Shihan) in San Jose. He teaches the World Oyama Karate system. Should time permit, I'll pop in by Des Tuck (Sensei), a JKF Goju Kai stylist who lives and teaches in Palo Alto. Regards HN
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (January 18, 2000)
After leaving Lincoln, I went to "home" - that is
the home of fellow South African Chris de Wet. Had the chance to do some
training with him - this time around, I was crafty - I had him teaching and I
did very little of it myself - enjoying the session more. Chris had taken the
concepts I taught on my first visit to explain some of the techniques of Goju.
He is one hardworking person - on Thursday he started working on his own
website. Gave him a small tip or two and then the guy got glued to the PC -
working at adding elements. Please have a look at what he has done to date with
no prior experience - http://surf.to/nindojo
What is amazing is that he started late on Thursday - definitely an outstanding
ambassador of us "hard-working" South Africans ...;-) As usual when it
was time to leave - his son Kale went into tears. On Saturday I arrived in
Sacramento after spending 20+ hours (I seem to like these long trips) in the bus
from Cheyenne. Had the chance to see Reno as well as travel accross the Great
Salt Lake Desert. That is another place that I have just read about. I had
arranged with Charles Garrett (Shihan) to stay over with him and he once again
obliged by fetching me on arrival. Because it was still early, he gave me a tour
of Sacramento and I shot some video footage and pictures, and of me at the State
Capitol. As usual we went to bed very early - that is in the early hours of the
morning. Garrett San celebrated his 52nd Birthday on Sunday so I had the chance
to wish him well in the wee hours and again at 7.00am when he served me coffee
in bed - I am having an extremely luxurious life - in Lincoln, NE - Gary
Gabelhouse and his wife spoilt me rotten also - all this temptation does not do
good for my resolves to still go home someday. Incidentally Gary and his wife
Cyndi celebrated their 25th Anniversary and still had time for me. Today Garrett
San had arranged training - its a silly person that wants to train on his/her
birthday ............ - but then that is probably what distinguishes Budoka from
the normal person. We were joined in training by Mike Harriman (Jinbukan Goju),
and two SHOKA Yudansha, Hector Roebucks and Michael Jelinek. Garrett Shinshi
kindly handed over training to me and for about two + hours I explained and
taught the principles of my style. We were supposed to be joined by J. Hobbs San
- but he called to apologise as he was "commandeered" to do some work
for the Air Force which prevented him from coming. With this visit, I had the
chance to chat some more to Haruko - Garrett San's Okinawan wife who shared a
bit of Okinawan culture with me. Later the afternoon Harriman San, demonstrated
Shuji no Kon and I showed mine and thereafter we played around with Kobudo with
each demonstrating something. Both Harriman and Garrett San demonstrated their
version of Hakutsuru Kata - most of which I videotaped. I had fun exchanging
ideas with them - my trip has been one wonderful learning experience meeting
with so many diverse persons. Earlier this morning I arrived in Crescent City,
CA and was met by Ken Charlton. That I will post about on another day.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (January 28, 2000)
I'm on my way to Eugene, Oregon from Bakersfield for a get together with John Sells, Hank Prohm, Todd And Chris Walton and others. This will be tomorrow at 12.30pm. For further details contact any of the above members. Will post soon about latest happenings.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (February 02, 2000)
With my last mail I had mentioned of going to Eugene, Oregon. Well prior to that I left Sacramento on Thursday morning to go to Bakersfield to train with Stan O' Hara (Shihan), a Nanadan in Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate. As have been the case, I try to share with you both the good and the bad. In Delano, which is about 30-40 minutes from Bakersfield, the "silly" busdriver had me get out as it was "my stop" and then he drives off with my bags - he was probably a bit Cuckoo. That was one of the first times that I was filled with panic as all my stuff with the exception of my Laptop was on the bus. Fortunately the agent at the depot in Delano was kind and courteous and he called Bakersfield in order to get my bags from the bus, however one bag went for a journey to L.A. and back before I got it late that evening. I got a second bus and arrived in Bakersfield at 4.00pm where I was met by Don Lanier, a Sandan student of O'Hara Sensei. I had mentioned that the largest dojo I've been to date to was the Shorei-Shobukan of John Roseberry (Shihan) in Lincoln, Nebraska. They also had the most Black Belts in a class. Well, the OGRKK dojo was not as big, but much bigger than my dojo and really smartly done, i.e. a Budo shop, big office and a real nice floor space. They had a lot of students - especially Juniors, the most I have seen in any dojo to date. I joined the juniors advanced class - they have quite a few adults that train in that class too. The class focussed on Kumite, so I could get in a number of bouts with both juniors and bigger ones which was real nice. After that class, we took a break and myself and O'Hara Sensei chatted until the start of the senior class. O'Hara Sensei is 64 years old and has been in some bad accidents, but he still leads his students. We did a number of drills and then did Kumite using hands only. Thereafter he handed over class to me - as usual, I taught the principles and concepts of Ashihara Karate which starts off with Impact - then Sabaki. We had fun and time quickly passed. After training, we went out for dinner which ended when we were "chucked" out by the restaurant management - this time honestly it was not me! O'Hara Sensei is impervious to the cold - he still chatted for some time outside the restaurant whilst myself, his wife Catherine and Don got Goosebumps ..............;-) I was staying with Don and we chatted and interacted until about 3.00am when I had to call it a day - we got up at about 9.00am or so and continued our exchange until I had to leave at 3.00am to catch the bus. Don is a tough young guy with lots of potential! In the short time we were together, he soaked up a lot of the stuff that I advocate. I caught the 3.45pm bus to Eugene, Oregon. Was I silly - going down from Sacramento to Bakersfield and then back a day later - but, it would give me the chance to interact with Hank Prohm and John Sells (Shihan), Chris Walton, Todd Newton and others - and hey, that was worth the travels. I arrived in Eugene at about 10.00am and walked to the dojo - with bags and all. My back is certainly getting strong .........;-) Had Pancakes whilst I waited for the dojo to open and then at 12.30pm started training. It was fun. I got to learn some more Wado stuff from the Ohyo Gumite that Todd Newton taught - it is always interesting for me to see the Tai Sabaki of others to compare. That flowed into Hank P teaching his blocking drills which led into me showing them my stuff and then I taught our Shoshinsha Kata (Beginners Kata 1) and the Bunkai - see under "Kata by Pictures" on my site for the kata and application. We did this and that and before we knew it was time to stop - that was really fun -and I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with them all again. Being with them made the trip worth it. Also, it would be the last time that I would see them again as I will now be working my way back to the East Coast. Naturally the conversation over dinner was a cherry on top - I could draw some more info from Hank San and John San. I am very happy that Hank P is much more motivated and that he will be really getting more into karate in future. This can only benefit us all! After dinner, I spent some time with Todd at his dojo, chatting about Management Principles - I have this 70+ page Admin Manual that can be beneficial to those running an organisation or dojo and we spoke about how he could implement some of the stuff into his operations. Then it was back to the Greyhound Depot to catch a bus to Ventura. I arrived here on Sunday evening around 7.10pm - was Steve Wilson pleased - he had time to watch the end of the Super Bowl and still get me in time ........;-) Last night we had training at his home dojo - Steve taught the various methods of Kakie and the techniques which flows from it. That was quite insightful. After we spent time doing various drills, I gave the usual demo and we practised the techniques. Steve got me to do more - that was fun and it is rewarding that others can appreciate what we do. What was of greater interest was chatting to him and getting to learn of his experiences with different Goju teachers and that went on till rather late also. I love hearing stories of how others trained - I also love training. I will be going to L.A. to train with Nishiyama Hidetaka Sensei later today and then go to train with Illona McKinzie in Hesperia. By Thursday I hope to be or go to St. Georges, Utah to visit with Eddy Schumacher for a day or two. Then by the weekend I will be visiting with Lance Barnes in Kingman. Will post my schedule for the remainder of my trip by then.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (February 09, 2000)
With my last post on 1 February, I had mentioned that I was going to train with Hidetaka Nishiyama Sensei. Some of you will recollect that I was supposed to train with him in December, but due to hassles in getting a visa, I simply did not get to him. Well, I asked Bradley Webb (Sensei) to apologise on my behalf and to ask if it was still OK to come and train - well, Nishiyama Sensei understood and so I was geared to finally experience training with one of the legends of Japanese Karate. Alas, it was not to be. I had not slept at all in order to catch the early bus from Ventura to L.A. First of all, the bus ran late and then we ran into traffic jam upon traffic jam. From a 8.20am departure, I arrived in L.A. at about 12.50pm and then I had to catch a local bus to the dojo. I arrived at the dojo well after 1.00pm with the wait and a run of nearly 6 blocks. I was thoroughly disappointed - it was probably meant to be like that but I at least had the chance to catch the tail-end of the class. A Polish team was training so I saw some good stuff being imparted. Afterwards I apologised to Nishiyama Sensei and he asked me to come to the evening session at 7.00pm, but as the last bus leaves at that time for Ventura and as I would have been stranded as all my stuff was there, I had to decline. He understood and was so kind to sign a poster I had of him. That evening Steve picked me up after his training and we had the chance to chat late into the night again. Steve shared his life stories with him and I was honoured with him opening up. I have gained so many new friends and I am pleased to have him as one too. After Steve retired - that was about 2.00am, I once again took the opportunity to stay awake and finish some work. In the morning, his wife dropped me off at the Bus depot as he had an early meeting. I took the bus to L.A. and from there to Claremont. I had called David Wong, a former Ashihara Karate Shodan who was working in Claremont and whilst waiting for my next bus had the chance to update him and to show him what I was doing. David will now start training with Sunit K. Gupta and some other friends and hopefully he should be able to aid their progress in learning more about Ashihara Karate. I was on my way to Hesperia and was collected by a friend of Illona McKinzie. Illona runs a full time dojo under the banner of Positive Karate and I was pleasantly surprised. She is as Hank Prohm say's "in the second third of her life" - (50's +) and just a few years ago decided to go full time into karate. A bold move that must be commended. Illona has a very nice dojo full of knic knacks which the students gives her and one can see that they love her very much. Originally I was only going to spend a day, but after due to enjoying the interaction with her students, I decided to stay another day. I taught some Sabaki principles, did kumite and worked with them on grappling, etc. I also gave her students names and addresses of my students so that they can establish a pen friend relationship. Illona was so kind to teach/show me her two-handed Filipino stick drills which I found very helpful. Prior to that I had only done single stick drills. We also ran through a Nunchaku kata using Taikyoku Shodan which I am bound to pass onto those of my students practising the chucks. She is a lovely person and took me shopping for fruit and other luxuries - she felt that I looked underweight and also took me to an Indian Restaurant to eat more. The music there really made me long for home (didn't tell her that .....;-)) The time spent with her was much too short, but hopefully some of our local members will establish greater interaction with her. She was also open to suggestions as to how to further improve her school - and that tells me a lot. After leaving Hesperia, I went to St. George, Utah to meet with Eddy Schumacher who teaches Seidokan Karate and Kobudo. Usually I don't know how to greet - Eddy just came up and hugged me - my chiropractor has instilled in me the greatness of hugging - so it was fun ..;-) Whilst I did not have that much time to train with him, we did spend some good time together exchanging ideas, etc. I had the chance to workout with him and a private student as well as to train at one of his sub branches. I also had the chance to keep his kids busy with the games on my Laptop. I enjoy kids and hope that someday I can have of my own. What I enjoyed very much is that Eddy has trained in Chuan Fa and Kenpo and he has incorporated a lot of the circular moves of those styles into his Bunkai. With my karate being a soft circular style - we could easily see of the similarities. We also had the time to watch some tapes of Prof Sacharnoski which was real fun and well as my tapes. Sadly the time to leave arrived much too soon and on Sunday I caught the 4.25am bus to Kingman, AZ where I was met by Lance. It was cool visiting with him again. On Monday and last night I visited two of his dojo and tonight will be training at another. At the moment it is 2.05am and once again I am still up and about. In the morning, I will be awarding honorary belts to local dignitaries, but I will post about that soon. Please note that due to my trip winding down, mail from me will be coming at a much slower pace. Also, I will try to visit as many of you as possible, but at this moment, I cannot guarantee. Should I be able to come your way, I will let you know at least a day or two in advance. Some good news is that my visa for Panama has been issued - so by next weekend I will be in Miami. In the evening I will be going to Colorado Springs. I will be visiting with Michael Lorden, a Kyokushin style instructor. If time permits, I will pop in by Terry Bryan (Sensei) also. From there I will either pop in with a friend in Denver and then off to Cheyenne. From there I will zap to New York and then down to Miami. Until then my very best.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (February 13, 2000)
On Wednesday evening I departed from Kingman, Arizona to Colorado Springs. Earlier that morning I had awarded an honorary Black Belt to the former Mayor and currently an active Councillor as well as two other persons very much involved with Child Care and the promotion of activities for the youth and children. This was done with Lance Barnes and both of us and Ms Anderson were photographed for a picture in the local Newspaper. Once again, I had the chance to assist Lance with the administrative development of his structure. I also taught at all three of his locations and it was fun. I really miss teaching on a continuous basis. I arrived in Colorado Springs on Thursday afternoon and was met by Terry Bryan (Kyoshi). Unfortunately I did not get the chance to meet with Michael Lorden, the Kyokushinkai branch chief for the area as he had just undergone a major surgery. All the best in a speedy recovery! Michael san has just written a book on Mas Oyama which will be released later this month by Unique Publications. On Thursday evening I trained at the American Black Belt Association HQ. Terry San has written and lectured on business management for dojo's and I had a look at the stuff he does - having an administrative background myself - I found his material very impressive and we exchanged with one another. On Friday morning at 7.00am, I also had the opportunity to attend a morning session at one of the High Schools where he has classes. A lot of students were training in that session. Later that afternoon, after I returned from Mosque, we spent time doing various kata, etc. The evening before I was taught Wansu - the Shorin Ryu Seibukan way and Terry San then gave me insight into its Bunkai. I also shot him doing various kata, and its Bunkai. He also demonstrated various Chinese Forms for me. Before we knew it - it was time for the evening class - this session focussed on Kumite and we watched a tournament in which the seniors of the dojo competed. I then had everyone in the class try to"see" how to read a fight and how to plan strategy from there. On all occasions, I had the chance to teach my concepts, etc. The students were quite receptive to me and we had some nice workouts. One of the Black Belt instructors, Leonides - took charge of me and took me on a tour of the "night life" of the City. He felt I needed to unwind a bit ...............;-) Yesterday (Saturday) I arrived in Parker, Denver, CO. I had chatted to Chris de Wet who kindly arranged for me to attend a Matayoshi Kobudo seminar with Kimo Wall Sensei. I learnt a new Sai and Tonfa Kata - hope that I will remember all the new stuff and today we will continue with the Nunchaku and Bo. Once again I had the time to spend with Chris and his family. I have so many homes away from home now! Tonight I will take a bus to New York. I will briefly visit Tom Ross and then go down to Miami. Will post again.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (February 16, 2000)
Currently I am in Staten Island with Tom Ross and will leave tomorrow evening for Miami. Will post again later!
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (February 17, 2000)
Arrived on Tuesday in New York and was met by Tom Ross. On leaving Denver, I was pleasantly surprised when I walked to the ticket booth and saw my name on a poster. It was held up by Bradley Ryan who had come to say Hi! It was a pity that I was so rushed, but at least we chatted for a while and he also had the chance to interact with Chris de Wet. Tom R had written about my arrival so I won't go into detail. What was great was that we passed the Statue of Liberty and I could take pictures and video tape New York and the Statue. Yesterday we went to train at his dojo, the ShorinjiRyu Kenzenkai (an offshoot of ShorinjiRyu Kenkokan Karate-do) with Tom Carmelango (Shihan), a 6th Dan. Last night was a Juniors night and kumite time - pretty soon after fighting started, I jumped in. Initially the kids were hesitant to fight this "strange-looking" Black Belt, but after a while, they eased up and really climbed into me. It was fun. After class ended, one of the Junior Brown Belts demonstrated Naihanchin, Happiken and Sankakutobi and Nijushiho. Carmelango Shihan was so kind as to allow me to video tape that and of the kumite. For me it was the first time to see their type of karate in person - I had obtained "Scientific Karate-do" by Masayuki Hisataka about 15 years ago and I was intrigued then already by their stuff. I hope to train with their seniors the next time I am in New York to be able to get an even better idea of what their karate entails. With Tom I had the chance to demonstrate various technique and concepts which I had also shown his Sensei. Tom is also a mean person keeping me awake till the early hours of the morning and then allowing me to sleep in this "Formula One" Racing Car Bed of his son. I was too scared to fall asleep in case the car vroomed away under me ...;-) With all the coffee I have been drinking also, sleep has been extremely difficult. Hopefully I'll be able to catch a nap on the bus!!! Tom has also been pumping me full of Echinacea as I have started to develop a flu - hopefully I will not be hit too hard!!!! Keep your fingers crossed! Today we went to the Airport to change my ticket, my family at home has so graciously consented me to extend once again my trip - this time it will be final as I HAVE to go home. I will now be leaving for home on the 26th of March. Had some hassles in getting the ticket renewed - Tom was so kind as to remind me "that these are the things that strengthen our resolve". We were supposed to meet with Christopher Caille, a Rokudan in Seido, but due to the delay at the Airport, could not do so. Coming home late, I then opted to try to catch up with some Email - only have another 60 to do ...;-) Andy San, will still respond to your last post! I will be catching the 11.30pm bus to Miami and will arrive there on Saturday morning. If things go as planned I should be going to Panama a few days later. In Miami, I will be visiting with Tony Martinez, a Sandan in Ashihara Karate who may be contacted at 305-245-0530 email@example.com. After my return I will be visiting others in the Florida area and then work my way back with a visit to Toronto via Chicago and Detroit.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (February 23, 2000)
I arrived in Miami on Saturday morning and was met by Tony Martinez. I had met Tony in 1988 when he was a Sandan in Ashihara Karate. Tony had followed Joko Ninomiya to Enshin Karate and now holds the rank of Godan. Scarcely had we settled in at his house when he "dragged" me off to a local branch dojo of the Int'l San Ten Shotokan Karate Federation. The dojo was headed by Tony Rosa, a 6th Dan from Puerto Rico. Rosa (Shihan) was so kind as to allow Martinez Sensei and myself to conduct the class. It also enabled me to see what Tony does and it was pleasing to see that we have many similarities. Some differences yes, but nothing that cannot be worked on. The students seemed to enjoy the variety presented by us both and long after class ended, we were still playing around until Shihan Rosa dragged us off to a Mexican Restaurant for Lunch. We had a long chat thereafter and he has invited me back to his dojo. It also gave me the chance to catch up on all the years since we had last seen one another. Tony has retired from the Airforce Reserves and is now into the corporate world. He has not been involved with Ninomiya's Enshin group for quite some time and has agreed to provide some assistance to my group by becoming an Advisor. Hopefully as his program settles, he will have time to get more involved in helping AKI develop on the North American Continent. When I left New York, it was supposed to snow - coming into Miami was sheer bliss - tropical weather and all. Tony lives in Homestead which is more South than Miami. His backyard borders a lagoon and boy, that was extremely relaxing. With his background in Administration, we could discuss the future of Ashihara Karate and I gained a lot from the brainstorming. In two hour's time I will be leaving for Panama. I will also visit our branch in Costa Rica. Getting the visa for Panama was a long story. Getting my ticket was another. Gary Gabelhouse so kindly helped in myself getting both. Special thanks to him. Until then, keep your fingers crossed that my trip is safe and uneventful!
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (March 03, 2000)
I would like to request your kind consideration in providing me with a favour. Many of you that I have visited during the first month of my tour will remember that I was accompanied by my friend and fellow Martial Arts colleague, Mika-eel Taylor. Mika-eel was recently in a motor-vehicle accident and has suffered some serious injuries. For the last month he has been in hospital, but is now safely recovering. His pelvis was fractured amongst other things but he is mending. He'll probably spend another few weeks in hospital before he will be released. If at all possible, could you kindly send him a card or post card to wish him well during this difficult time. His address is: 99 Bluebell Street ,Lentegeur, 7785, South Africa.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (March 03, 2000)
I am currently in San Jose, Costa Rica after having visited
Panama. I am fine and still surviving even though I had some hassles once again
with visa's, etc. I will be returning to Miami tomorrow and should hopefully
then have a bit of time to finish my rather lengthy post. Until then my very
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (March 06, 2000)
I arrived safely back in Miami on Saturday evening and am with Tony Martinez in Homestead. At the moment I am busy with a rather lengthy post which I should be submitting by either tomorrow or Wednesday for the latest. Until then, my very best.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (March 11, 2000)
Life and its experiences are sometimes paradoxical and on this
trip it has certainly affected me. Last week I was in Central America - filled
with UNHAPPINESS, MADLY in LOVE and also SO HAPPY. Where to start - well, let's
start with the hassles I had in obtaining a visa for Panama. Due to not having a
Panamanian Embassy in South Africa, I had to apply for one in the USA. You will
recollect that I had experienced hassles in getting one and after nearly two
months with the dogged help of mostly Gary Gabelhouse but also Scott Eby, Des
Tuck, Lionel Worrell and Tom Ross (who twice faxed me the application form
whilst I was in Canada), I finally got the visa approved. I sent my Passport to
Gary from Omaha and he in turn forwarded it to the Embassy in Washington who in
turn mailed it to Miami. That was it, or so I thought (more later). The next
step was to finalise my flight to Panama. The ticket was paid for in December
but as I had to change the flight to a later date due to not getting the visa in
time, I never collected the actual ticket. A new reservation was made with no
link to the previous pre-paid ticket. After trying for a few days to sort it out
(with no luck), I once again availed myself to Gary Gabelhouse. He spent two
hours on the phone one day and managed to sort it out. Most of the talking was
with staff that could barely speak English. Simultaneously Zenon Cortez B, our
Panamanian Rep had also done similar work in Panama. The Airline wanted me to
pay an extra $100, but Zenon got them to waive it on the condition that I fly
out on a Wednesday. And so I did. I had contacted COPA Airlines the day before
to verify and to collect my ticket. I was assured that it was fine and that
there was no need to go to Miami to collect - that I could have it issued at the
Airport. At 5.00am on Wednesday 23 February, Tony Martinez ensured that I got to
Miami International Airport. At the Copa counter, I asked the lady about my
ticket and she said that I could get it at the check in counter - get into the
line which I did. After Tony had parked the car, I asked him to ask her the same
question in Spanish - he got the same answer. The fun started when I got to the
counter. I was shunted from one person to the next. They said that only a
reservation was made and that the ticket had not been paid for. The supervisor
was called to sort it out. Fortunately I had a print out of both Gary and
Zenon's Email with the Record locators, etc. and I had highlighted the pertinent
information. The supervisor after some dallying said that she could not issue
the ticket and that I had to get it from the office. By now, the flight had
closed - Tony became very officious and was adamant that I would make the flight
and told her as much. It certainly pays to have officious friends - that comes
from being in the Military for so long ......;-) After walking up and down -she
eventually instructed the one clerk to issue the ticket. I had to run with the
one male clerk to make the plane - phew, it was a harrowing experience, but I
had made it!! Unfortunately they had screwed up and no meal was reserved for me
- hey, but I was on my way! The Embassy had attached a stapled page into my
passport opposite the Panama visa with a note that it was not to be removed.
That and maybe the fact that the Immigration Official in Panama had not seen a
S.A. Passport before caused great confusion. She called another official who
called a superior and after much consultation, I was asked to follow another to
somewhere on the other end of the Airport. At that time, even though I had no
worries, my heart was probably thumping madly!! After sitting around, I was
eventually told that it was fine, that I could proceed - now all talking was in
Spanish and I know virtually zero "Espanol". As I had my Laptop, a
video camera and camera with I did not know if I should go through Green
(nothing to declare) or Red (goods to declare) at the Customs counter. I asked
one of the officials there - but they too had no English and he just waved me
through. This was nearly an hour after the flight had landed. I walked into the
Arrivals Hall in my very conspicuous "Green and Gold" blazer with the
Protea logo (the National Sporting Emblem of S.A.) And was eventually spotted by
Zenon and two of his students. They had not been certain if it was me - I had
written some months ago that I had gained weight and Zenon had thought that I
would be very chubby ....;-) It was a joyful meeting. I had known him since 1979
and we were finally united. Other than being a bit heavier, the only difference
I had undergone was that my hair has diminished over that period - Zenon on the
other hand had become more prosperous and had increased in girth ...;-) Also he
had a matching gold tooth ...;-) I was whisked off to Colon - they felt that I
was probably tired and needed to rest. As we drove through Panama City, I saw a
Shotokan dojo (the brother of Lionel Worrell) that I would like to visit before
I leave. Zenon had cancelled training for that day - I was adamant that I was
fine and that we could have the session. He eventually capitulated and realised
that I was not too worried about sight- seeing. Coming into Colon, I saw many
sign-boards advertising the Zona Libre (Free Zone) and I mentioned that I would
like to go there. One such sign was an advert for Victorinox knives and I
mentioned that I would like to go to that store as I have been promising myself
that I would get me the latest Leatherman "Wave" to replace my old
Super Tool which had gone AWOL. I showed them my Swiss Army knife I had on me
which was given to me by one of the sponsors of my tournament - i.e. Mandalay
Coatings, a company specialising in Intumescent and Fire Retardant Paints (http://go.to/mandalay).
We first stopped for lunch at the Dos Mares Restaurant and then I checked into
the Hotel after which we left for training. The session was conducted outdoors
and was at the next to the Panama Canal at the Central Park on First Avenue. The
class lasted two hours after which we had to go to a formal dinner held in my
honour. I was overwhelmed by the warmth displayed - I was a total stranger and
the caring - wow - simply amazing - I received several gifts and they didn't
even know me!!! The dinner was also to honour all those that had sponsored my
stay and it was held at the "Dos Mares" - where I had lunched earlier.
The owner, Leonardo Wood has sponsored all my meals whilst in Colon - the food I
ate at both his branches were absolutely divine - I only had the Sea-Food
variety, but if that is an indicator - then I would certainly recommend anyone
to his establishment. I seldomly eat a lot and suddenly I was "fed"
three meals a day. No amount of complaining helped. This made me very UNHAPPY
............;-) as I was now "forced" to eat and Obligation prevented
me from saying no - I did get them to capitulate by giving me smaller portions!!
At the dinner I was awarded a plaque for my assistance to the Panamanian
organisation and I gave one to Zenon of Table Mountain (a landmark of Cape Town)
also. I had told Zenon that I preferred staying with people than being at a
hotel. After he mentioned that, many of those present invited me to come and
stay at their homes and Zenon said that I would do so after our return from
Costa Rica. Zenon does not have a car of his own and one of his students gave us
a lift back to the hotel. Close to the City the car ran out of gas - were they
in a state - here they had me with. Fortunately, one of the parents of a student
that was also at the dinner came pass and saw us. We got a lift to a gas station
and went back. Having had a "skoro skoro" (Zulu/Xhosa word for
Jalopy), I had sufficient experience to siphon gas and I showed them a more
economical way to do. They didn't know that I could do that - but that made
everyone more at ease as they realised I was just a "normal"
human-being. On Thursday and Friday I was taken to various sights, i.e. Gatun
Locks, the Church at Saint Portobello, etc. Zenon also wanted me to see some
locations as he wanted to organise a gasshuku and wanted to have the choicest
location. On both mornings I taught a kiddies class and in the evening worked
out with the seniors. I was fascinated by Colon and its buildings, graffiti and
all - it reminded me so much of places like Mozambique, etc. I fell in love with
all the mini-skirts - I have not seen so many ladies in mini's on this trip than
what I saw there. Some of the ladies were simply stunning. Friday evening we had
a late session. Training with since my arrival was two TaeKwonDo Black Belts,
Hidalgo and Manuel. During that session they told me that they had decided to
join Zenon's group with immediate effect as they really liked our theories and
concepts. As we were training next to the Canal, there was a hustle and bustle
as people just came to relax - this gave me an even greater opportunity to
"eyeball" some nice senoritas ....;-) A couple in the class of Salma
Hayek! That session lasted for about four hours after which we went for dinner.
I was given a small surprise when Hidalgo and Manuel gave me a small gift, I
usually try not to open gifts immediately - I hang onto them and try to savour
it and build up the anticipation before opening. These guys were saying open it
now! It felt like a knife and I did - it was a Victorinox "Mechanic"
with a pliers - was I overjoyed. Nothing like a knife would appease me that much
.....;-) After dinner, I went with Hidalgo to his flat and we watched the
Ashihara tapes - I could give them some explanation of the finer detail which
seemed to please them. Stayed there until about 1.30am and went back to the
hotel where I took the time to answer some mail - that was the first time that I
actually had some time to do so. Did that until 3.00am and then packed my bags
and retired for the night!
At 8.00am on Saturday morning, Zenon fetched me - whilst walking to the Central Park Road, we met two instructors of the Dai Ichi Karate Dojo to whom I was introduced. Zenon then reminded them of the All Styles session that was scheduled for Tuesday and also invited them to the other sessions also. We took an express bus to Panama City from where we would take one to San Jose, Costa Rica. The clerk at the bus station had to make a number of calls before she was satisfied that I did not need a visa to enter Costa Rica. The bus trip there was to be 18 hours - however this was a super-luxury bus with TV, etc. At the border post - Paso Canoas, the fun started. The Panamanian officials were baffled by my passport and it passed from hand to hand - maybe even intrigued at seeing an "South African" one. They could not find my proof of entry - and with Zenon as my translator, I showed them the stamp. After more deliberation and after I gave the one guy some South African coins (he is a numismatist), my passport was stamped and we were waved through. At the Costa Rican side similar confusion existed. After consulting various documents and other officials, I was eventually admitted. What was both interesting and silly was that at both posts they check people's bags for drugs or illegal substances. The funny thing is that it is so lax that "professionals" and even ordinary people can get through without having that done - however, for some reason - probably to appease someone, ordinary folks bags are messed up to check. Well, after having my bags partly checked - the one official actually had my Laptop out and was going though that in detail - he wanted to switch it on - don't know what he expected to find inside it or on it - some nice juicy pictures? - we passed through and once all the passengers had boarded, we were on our way. On the bus we had watched three movies including Jurassic Park. We arrived in San Jose at 4.30am and were met by Fabian Merino Calvo, the AKI Rep there. He was accompanied by his girlfriend (Evelyn). We were booked into a posh 5 star hotel even though I had advised him of my preference in staying with students. We had the chance to grab a shower and a brief nap before he came to take us to his house which was close by. Fabian had arranged an outing to Guayabo, a National Monument in the forests some two hours drive away. We were accompanied by his Mom, the Senora Calvo, a very fit and nice looking lady of 48 (she didn't mind sharing her age .;-)). Fabian is 22 years old and his Mom looks like his slightly older sister. As we started out, we had to pass the start of the "Maximalta" Marathon. Oh boy, the ladies there was just as lovely as those in Panama if not more. It was eye-boggling - maybe, I'm missing home too much ...;-) The trip was scenic - it gave me the opportunity of seeing various towns and the rural area. It reminded me of some parts of South Africa - also it looked just like the Seychelles and my Paternal home in India. It was interesting to take a walk around the Guayabo Park and to see the ruins of an ancient civilization, more so to see how advanced they were in their building concepts, etc. After a sumptuous lunch, I had the chance to get to grips in giving Fabian some hands on training. Being the "chief", and with my belly full - I "ordered" Zenon to go over things which I had done with him in Panama. This was two fold - it enabled me to see how much he had grasped and also just to take a break ...........;-) The trip home was real fun as we had learned more about one another and we shared jokes and stories. Later the evening we got together again for training. On Monday, I spent most of the day working out with Zenon and Fabian. We were joined by Ricardo Araya, a Shodan student. At 5.00pm, the evening class started. We were joined by some senior Black Belts of the Kodenkan Karate Dojo. Before one could say Aah, four hours had passed and Zenon had to call it a day as we had to catch the bus back to Panama. I tend to forget about time - I'm very absent-minded when busy training and having fun. After exchanging gifts - I was honoured with another plaque, we rushed off to the bus depot. I promised that I would be back as Zenon is arranging a Gasshuku later this year and he wants me to be there. The trip back had us watching Jurassic Park again - in the bus sitting opposite us was two Japanese girls and I started chatting to them in the bits of Nihongo that I know. Fortunately they were from Osaka which I had visited so I could speak to them of some of the places I had been to. Zenon was amazed at how I just started chatting to people. In front of the girls was a German guy and I chatted to him too - my German, whilst rusty, is a bit better as I had done it for four years at University. Sitting behind us was an Indian guy - he had heard me chatting to the others and at the first stop we made asked me if I was a fellow Indian - many Indians chat and move their heads - so I started doing likewise. Zenon did not know how to contain his laughter. I chatted to "Rajan" in the smatterings of Hindi/Urdu that I know - I know more Hindi songs than being able to converse, so we had a quiz where I sang the tunes of various songs, some real Golden Oldies and Rajan identified them. Zenon was in tears by this time. We just had so much fun!!! We had arrived at Paso Canoas at 4.00am and had to wait for two hours for Immigration to open. We walked around during this break and were the first at the counter when they opened. After some confusion again, we were stamped through and we went to the other side and there I ran into serious problems. My visa had only been issued for "Una Sola" - that is one entry - not speaking Spanish, I had no idea and none of us had picked it up prior to leaving. After endless discussions in which I was glad to have a Spanish speaking person with, we realised that I would not be allowed to enter and that we would have to return to San Jose. By the time we arrived back there the Embassy was closed and the next day was advised that I would be able to get a transit visa valid for 7 hours within one day (at considerable cost) or wait for up to ten days for a normal tourist visa to be issued - however the Embassy was closing due to the Carnival that was going to be held in Panama and that would mean a longer wait. With the transit visa only being valid for a few hours, I now had to get a flight from San Jose to Panama. That single flight cost me nearly as much as my return fare from Miami to Panama. However, I had no alternative - it was that or stay for at least another two weeks. The students were overjoyed, because now I could spend more time with them. Over the next few days I worked on getting them more clued up on Ashihara Karate. Fabian soaked up my teachings and he shows great promise. He intends doing Karate as a Profession and his Mom supported his idea of coming to South Africa in next year to spend time on our Uchi Deshi programme. Wednesday's class I went through the requirements of 8 Kyu. One Sandan from the Kodenkan dojo who had trained with on Monday was there again He actually came everyday and by Friday told me that he had decided to join Fabian's group. I am pleased with the people we have and those that have given their support to our representatives. On Thursday we had a marathon 6 hour session. I was also interviewed by the "Al Dia" Newspaper as well as National TV. Zenon left that evening after ensuring that I got my visa and flights sorted out. Throughout my stay, Fabian's slightly older sister, Faviola (sp) prepared meals for me when the Mom wasn't doing so. She personally dished into my plate and once again, no amount of No's could get her to understand that I did not eat a lot. Boy, again I was so unhappy - however, being served meals by nice looking ladies certainly makes me happy ....;-) On Thursday and Friday Faviola surprised me by training with - I did not know she was into training herself. She learnt three kata's from scratch and has definite ability and should she continue would certainly be a mean karateka herself. The two of us, with Randall, the Kodenkan Sandan, played Domino's and Trio-Domino's until about 3.00am two nights in a row. Earlier in training, to demonstrate Zanshin (awareness) whilst bowing, I had slapped her lightly on her cheek - I teach that one should not look down and to maintain Eye Contact as she had looked down so she wanted to get back at me. This she did by keeping me awake. In Domino's I won both of them and then we switched to Tri-Domino's. By that time, I was nearly snoring and both of them refused to let up as they were now beating me. I don't know how many times they trounced me - she speaks very little English and me with no Spanish - it was absolute fun. On Friday morning, Ricardo (the shodan), his girlfriend Arlette, Faviola and myself took a walking tour of San Jose. Whilst walking around, we visited the Budokan dojo of a Edwin Chan, a 5th Dan. He teaches a mixture of Goju and Shorin Kata and after class finished, I gave a brief demonstration of Ashihara Karate and its principles. He seemed to like it and asked me to come back to teach a class. As I was scheduled to leave the next day, I promised him that I would on a future visit. What was of great interest to us all was that he had a blind lady training in that class. In the Interview with the Newspapers, I had talked about Osu No Seishin" - the spirit of Perseverance. That lady demonstrated that so well and the four of us watching was in awe at her determination. Not even bumping into a pillar with considerable force could faze her. It makes me realise that I shouldn't complain about small things. Our afternoon came to an end with a huge Chinese Lunch. Luckily I took half a serving only and that was BIG. I was so glad that I would be leaving soon - I can now understand why some of the Latin-American's develop big Hara. When we got home, we were told that the interview was screened on the morning News but that a more detailed coverage would be shown on TV the next day - a pity as I would be gone - however, Fabian would send me a copy. The evening session lasted for four hours - that gave me a good chance to drill the seniors more into the various aspects of Ashihara Karate. I did Idogeiko (basic moving) in both Zenkutsu and Kiba Dachi, Renraku (Combinations) and Kata and its various applications. They now have enough material to last them for quite a while.
Friday night was another late night - I have started to practise Spanish and my "lessons" continued until 4.00am that morning. It is my intention to learn "Espanol" - the local students had promised to write to me with simple phrases so that I could continue learning. I seem to have an ability to learn foreign languages easily - remembering is another story. Faviola wrote me short sentences which I had to translate into English. Fortunately Arlette had given me a dictionary so I could use that to translate. It reminded me of my time in Turkey when I taught using a dictionary. Saturday morning I was up early - I had barely slept - thanks to Faviola's insistence on wanting me to perfect the few Spanish phrases I had learnt. At 6.00am I started packing my bags - pretty soon everyone was up as they all wanted to share the last bit of remaining time with me. Ricardo had brought a copy of the Al Dia newspaper which had the article of my visit. Everyone seemed to think it was well done. After another quick cup of coffee - I don't drink coffee at home and have probably drunk a lifetime's worth on this trip, it was time to leave. This was another sad moment - I had grown attached to them also and it was difficult to say farewell. We first stopped so that I could get my ticket and then went to the Airport. San Jose Airport was hectic, I had to fork out c6000 (about $17) for Departure Tax. I had used nearly all my cash money to pay for the ticket and had nearly zero on me. I had to use an ATM to draw the necessary money - the machine was only in Spanish - what an experience - fortunately Ricardo could translate and he stayed with me until I was safely checked in - Thank You so Much! Due to the long queue's, I could not get onto the Copa Flight as they had closed by the time I got to the front. I was referred to LACSA Airlines - it took me 45 minutes to get to the check in counter- what was good was that I had Ricardo checking with the clerk that I would not be told - sorry, we have closed by the time I got to the counter. What I found silly is that they had everyone irrespect of destination in the same line. When it was my turn, there was some deliberation - however, I was eventually given my boarding pass and checked in. I'm sure I have shed some more hair .....;-) After a quick farewell to Ricardo I went through the X-Ray machine and then boarded. It was another hungry flight - no veggie meals was reserved. The flight itself was bumpy - I am a little bit edgy now as I was in Boston when the Egypt Air plane crashed and in Ventura when the Alaskan plane also crashed. However we landed safely. At Panama, I again went through a similar process as the first time. The lady at Immigration had me waiting until everyone passed and then she took me to the "chiefs" office. I have no idea whether it is my Passport or just my Picaro (mischievous) looks that puts them on edge ...........;-) At 2.00pm, I eventually passed through customs and then had to face a long wait until my flight departed at 7.10pm. Rather than sit around doing nothing, I consulted the Yellow pages and called the local Kyokushin school. I thought that I was calling Jorge Bustos Padilla Shihan, the former teacher of Zenon and also an old friend, but it was not to be. It was Meloy Mow, a Sandan and himself a former student of Bustos and now representing the IKO 3 group. Fortunately I knew him and after hearing that I had a couple of hours to "waste", he fetched me and I spent time at his house. For about two hours we discussed a wide range of topics as well as exchanges of technique and technical differences between our styles. I didn't realise how hungry I was until I demolished a huge plate of Tuna sandwiches Meloy's wife prepared for me. They wanted to take me out for lunch, but I opted not to as that would have taken away of the time we would have shared. It was so short, but we had the opportunity to really discuss good things and the direction in which he was going. I was able to advise him on matters which will be helpful to him. Pretty soon it was time to leave. This time around I had no hassles in passing though immigration - maybe it was because I had greeted the guy with "Buenos Dias"? The flight to Miami was good - again due to hassles, no meal was reserved - however they did have a Sea Food meal and that was a bonus for a starving person. Arriving in Miami raised my blood levels. On leaving the USA, I had surrendered my I-94 to Copa Airlines who for some reason had failed to hand it to Immigration so they had no record of me leaving the country. "Please follow me Sir", was the commands of the "officer" who was summoned to that counter. And so, into another office I was taken - hey, what's up? was my question! No answer was given, but to follow me - not a nice feeling! I was taken through a barrage of questions: "What do you want to do in the USA?, What have you been doing?, What work do you do?, How much money do you have? Do you have any credit cards? and on it went. Now, to be honest, my finances has been totally depleted - the unexpected flight and expenses coupled to that set me back $300 which I had not budgeted for and for the first time, I had to request a transfer from home into a checking account I had opened here and other than a few bucks I had no idea if the money had come through. After having a look at the various cards (frequent flyer cards, avis, etc.) I have (not that it was worth anything), I was admitted! Phew, that certainly had me on edge and I am sure that I gained a couple of grey hairs.............;-) I had mailed Tony Martinez that I would meet him outside and that he should not park. By the time, I got him - he had driven 17 miles around the Airport. So sorry. We chatted late into the morning as I updated him on all the happenings. At 9.00am I got up as he had arranged a get together at the Shotokan dojo with Tony Bustillo (Enshin), Fernando Aguilar (Kyokushin), Carlos Velez (Kyokushin - and a Martial Arts Journalist who wanted to meet me for an interview), Tony Rosa Sr and Tony Rosa Jr. We started at 11.00am and before we knew, it was well after 3.00pm and all we had done was shown and demonstrated differences in various technique. During this time too we had shown kihon, kata and application. I was lucky that I could demonstrate more. After a photo session, we went to Tony Martinez's house where the discussion continued with socialising until about 8.00pm. What was interesting was that nearly all of them stated that they had questioned Tony M whether I would not be too tired to get together. When it comes to Martial Arts interacting, my tiredness seems to evaporate ....;-) It was fun exchanging techniques with this group. Always it makes me appreciate what I have and that I need to work even more on developing it stronger. The experience to Central America was certainly memorable. I have learnt that it is important that I need to get my papers in order months before the time. What would be an advantage would be to speak Spanish - I don't know how long I will continue learning as every country I visit, I try to soak up their words - it will be impossible to learn all. I'll see - maybe the Senorita's will keep me motivated ......;-) It was fun and I am thankful for the opportunities in meeting new people and seeing different cultures. I am sorry that I did not have the time to go back to Colon to visit everyone again or to continue with classes as promised. However, Zenon has indicated that he wants me to come back in September and that he spoke to a number business people and that they had said that they would sponsor a return visit. That itself is really cool! Until my next post - the very best!
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (March 12, 2000)
I will be leaving Miami for Tallahassee and should be arriving
there late tonight (Monday) evening. I will be visiting with Tim Watkins for at
least two days and hope to see everyone in the area before I leave. From there I
will go to Alabama/Tennessee to see Bob Minner et Al. I have about two weeks
left and will really be rushing and trying to get to see whoever I can. If you
are close to any specific area, please try to come around so that we can have
some interaction. Once I am with Tim, I will post the next stage of my trip. I
hope to be in Chicago by the weekend and will also visit Detroit.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (March 18, 2000)
Since returning from Central America last Sunday, I have been so lazy. I attended a couple of classes at Tony Rosa's dojo in Homestead where I continued teaching various techniques and concepts of Sabaki. With Tony Martinez, we visited Carlos Velez in Tamarac. Carlos had wanted to continue with interviewing me for some articles that he will be writing.
We also went to Fort Lauderdale for a hands-on intro to the Greek Art of "Pyx-Lax Rassein" (A form of Pankration" as taught and developed by "Vasilios Katsaitis". In his demonstration he made reference to ancient Hellenic postures and drawings which so closely resembled modern day Karate. Mr Kratios is also the publisher of "The Karate Voice", a newspaper type Martial Arts tabloid.
Tony M has committed himself totally to Ashihara Karate and in our free time we went through various issues which should aid the further development of AKI as a whole. We also managed to do and upload a website for him - see
When not busy training or discussing, I just loafed around and played with "Pee Wee", Tony's girlfriends Chihuahua. Since returning, I have been very lethargic and have been getting up late - I am probably TOTALLY exhausted. Carlos Velez called everyday even though we saw him a few times during that week - Carlos has been involved in Karate since the 60's and whilst not so active, has decided to get into full swing and he has offered his assistance to us also. I found him very likeable and as the French would say "Il est tres Jollie!"
I left for Tallahassee this past Monday morning and arrived at the ungodly hour of 1.10am - nearly an hour late. I was to be met by Tim Watkins, who I had thought would have left by then. Walking into the depot, there was only a handful of people sitting around and no one looked as if they were waiting for me. I resigned myself to a long night in the depot and put my bags down.
I then had a look at the telephone directory (as I did not have Tim's new number) and went back to my bags with the intention of calling the number I had seen at a more civilized time, i.e. in about 7 hours from then onwards.
I scanned the people in the depot and only one person looked like he didn't belong - he was busy reading. ....... sending out my Haragei (ESP), I willed the guy to look up - which he eventually did after 15 minutes or so .......... It must have been my off night ...;-) I formed the word TIM with my mouth and "Lo and Behold" it was him! Moments like that is certainly very
pleasing - I am always edgy when having to be met as I have no idea of how the person meeting me looks.
The two days spent with Tim was short but rewarding. I had the chance to make friends with his baby son - I speak "gobbledegook" and they (babies and
kids) seem to like me ...;-) Tim is a full time baby-sitter whilst he is
completing his Doctoral thesis in Musicology. As we had some time, he read
through my journal and gave me valuable hints on how to make it more
presentable. Tim suggested that I ask YOU ALL for input as to a title for
the book? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Hopefully, I should be able
to get a Publishing Company interested.
Tim had called around and on Wednesday I had to chance to mix with Danny
Emerick, a Tai Chi practitioner of 20 plus years as well as Bill Lucas, a
Kishaba Juku Yudansha. It was fun as we all had the chance to demonstrate
various technique, etc. We also had the time to play around with the Bo and
On Thursday evening I took the bus to Huntsville via Mobile. The connecting bus at Mobile was an hour late and then we left at about 2.30am. About 60 miles outside Montgomery, near to a place called Georgiana, just as I was falling asleep, BANG, I awoke with a start as I hit the seat in front of me, my pillow went flying, there was a grinding noise, I thought we were going down an embankment and tried to see out of the window - it was nearly impossible and it happened all so fast as things like that do until we came to an eventual stop. The front part of the bus was mashed - fortunately no one was seriously hurt - bruises, a bit of blood, etc. What was just luck also was that it was the right side of the bus that was pushed in. The wreckage came right up until the first seat and the lady that was sitting there was in "God's favour - she escaped with minor cuts and bruises and at this moment, she only has a sore body. I was only three seats behind her. We had hit into a gas carrier and it was a liquid nitrogen one, but empty at the time - hey, I (we) could have been fried like critters and we wouldn't even have known what hit us. I am so thankful - at the hospital in Georgiana we were treated like Royalty. I must commend them for their service and the EMT for their quick response. The accident happened at about 4.50am and by 5.00am the first troopers were on the spot and the EMT soon thereafter. As to me, my back had gotten some whiplash so I was wrapped up and my neck put into a collar - and placed on a "boogie-board" - I was gently manhandled through the window and taken to hospital. I stayed on the board until the doctor was satisfied with the X-Rays. I certainly didn't enjoy being tied up like a Mummy. At the hospital, we heard the radio station reporting erroneously of seven fatalities - I wasn't pleased at all as whoever counted the "stretcher" cases probably thought we were sent away in the "meatwagon". I'm writing this sitting at the hospital - in the crash my Laptop had taken a small flight, but again fortunately it did not suffer any damages - I ensured that it went with me in the ambulance. I couldn't immediately call the guys in Huntsville, but managed to do that later. Veronica, the Greyhound Rep in Montgomery, came to take our statements. She was extremely helpful and courteous. The driver Mr Edwards, must be commended for his skilful handling in getting the bus safely onto the opposite median. The bus had come to a halt metres away from the Pillars of a bridge. If we had knocked that .............phew, then more people would have been seriously hurt. I cannot say though whose fault it was though. Today is Eid-ul-Adha, the day of Sacrifice as observed by Millions of Muslims around the world. How thankful I am not to be seriously hurt or worse. Due to this - I was not able to make it to get together with Chris Button, Howard Upton, et al in Huntsville. I am sure they won't mind. It was my intention to make it to Shogiki but after chatting to him from the depot in Nashville, I continued my journey to Chicago and arrived here this today. Took the Metro to Geneva and am currently with Dr Zaahir Hendricks, Chiropractor, one of my first students, who started filling with some excellent South African Rooibos (Red Bush) Tea. We also spent the afternoon chatting with family in South Africa (that was for a long time). I will be with Zaahir until tomorrow evening when I will continue to Detroit. Anyone in the area who would like to get together tomorrow (Sunday), please give me a call at (630) 443 1137. On Monday I will be with Scott Maczuga, the former NIKO representative. His number is (248) 866-1766. On Tuesday I will be visiting Kevin Scott in Detroit 1-248-777-5154 or 248-543-0684. Hopefully I can get Jim Hofer at the same time. From there I will be going to New York and if time permits, just zap up to Boston (to see George Donahue) and possibly Brattleboro (Sara Aoyama) and then back to New York. In New York, I will be hosted by Tom Ross. Co-incidentally, I called the Airlines with a view of further extending my stay by another ten days. Now, I prefer going home - so all those that I do not get to see, my apologies. Maybe next time.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (March 23, 2000)
I am in New York at the moment. Tonight I will be at the Shihan Tom Carmelengo's Shorinji Ryu Kenzenkai dojo in Staten Island, tel. number (718) 720 0501. On Friday I will be with Shihan Chris Caille of Seido Karate and on Saturday I will be training with George Donahue's dojo at the Ken Zen Institute at 152 W. 26th Street #35, Manhattan. Any of the CD members in the area who would like to get together, feel free to contact me. I would love meeting you. On Sunday afternoon, I will be departing from JFK for home arriving Monday evening at 8.30pm, S.A. time. It will be a long flight, but made pleasurable by the thoughts of being back with my beloved ones.
Latest news from Shihan Hoosain Narker (March 27, 2000)
My last week in the USA had been hectic but filled with the usual fun I had
over the past six months. Whilst in Chicago, I was with one of my first
students, Dr Zaahir Hendricks, now an accomplished Chiropractor. Both Zaahir
and his brothers had qualified as chiropractors - Zaahir staying here (he
will be returning home in 2005) and his brother Ramzie being back at home
for the past few years. It is a great sense of pride when one can see how
ones students progress in life and for me also it is the same.
Zaahir's room-mate plays the trumpet in a Jazz band and insisted that I
needed to relax and unwind from the accident, so on Saturday evening I went
to a Jazz show - it was fun and relaxing - I used to listen to the likes of
Shakatak, Herb Alpert, Dollar Brand and Hugh Masekela but had drifted to
other types of music. That evening slept over at another friends house and
only returned back to Zaahir's Apartment around Lunch Time.
On Sunday, I was visited by Shery Varghese, a former Nidan Ashihara Karate
student from the United Arab Emirates, and now resident in the USA for the
past ten years. Shery is completing a PhD degree and had continued his
training by switching to TaeKwonDo due to the absence of a Karate school or
more specifically, an Ashihara Karate school. He drove 3 hours from
Champaign to spend some time with us and we had the chance to refresh him
on technique and happenings within the style. Hopefully, we will get him
back into the Ashihara fold. He will be interacting more closely with other
Ashihara people in the Midwest. Another person that was going to meet with
us was Rueben Quiroz (he is on a List that I administer - the Sabaki List) -
but as he was leaving his house, his car was totalled and we did not get the
chance to meet. So sorry.
Monday morning I took the train to Chicago from Geneva where I was staying
and from there a cab to the Greyhound Depot - I seem to find my way around
without getting lost ...;-) Took the bus to Detroit where I was picked up by
John Tatar, a brown belt Ashihara student. What was interesting was that he
has been researching the "New World Order" and whilst I was in California,
had briefly scanned the book of David Icke. We had a lengthy chat before
having to go to the dojo.
Scott Maczuga, the former US Representative for the NIKO Ashihara group, had
sold his dojo to a student and had opened a class at a local high school. He
had retained the senior students and it was fun getting together with them
again. I had visited with them early in October and gave a class on Kata and
its applications. My group has developed some unique ways in which to do the
application and we worked on that. Pretty soon time was over and after
fare-wells, myself, Scott and a Senior student went to a late dinner. Scott
had after my first visit decided to align himself with our group and we
finalised the finer detail of that and the Way forward.
Tuesday I stayed at home and took the time to catch up with putting
finishing touches to my travel log. It is nearly done ............. That
evening I met up with Kevin Scott, a CD Member who had invited me to their
dojo. The dojo was run by Jeff McCall, a Tang Soo Do stylist. Kevin himself
is a Wado person, but trains with Jeff. Also joining us was Jim Hofer, a
Shorin Ryu Yudansha. After bowing, I led the class through some exercises
and then gave an introduction into the concepts of Ashihara Karate as well
as some Sabaki drills. This gave Scott the chance to see how I presented
Ashihara Karate, as he will be playing a very active role in the development
of our Organisation in the USA. It was a nice class as everyone was very
receptive to what I taught.
Unfortunately we had to finish as I had a bus to catch. I made the bus with
minutes to spare and arrived in New York the following morning (Wednesday)
by way of Cleveland. At Port Authorities, I was met by Tom Ross and his
wife. He had come into the City with his car as he probably knew that my
luggage had grown ............;-) Wednesday was a rest day as we just caught
up with what's been happening and a chance for me to unwind again.
On Thursday we went shopping and I got myself that Leatherman Wave which I
had so long wanted as well as some gifts for the kids at home. That evening
I trained Shihan Tom Carmelengo's Shorinji Ryu Kenzenkai dojo in Staten
Island. Some other ShorinJiryu Dan grades had travelled from New Jersey to
train with and to meet me. It was a learning experience once again to see
the way in which this system performs its kihon, etc. There are two books
out by Charles Tuttle written by Masayuki Hisataka defining this karate.
After practising various kihon drills we did some kumite which was
enjoyable. Thereafter I gave a demonstration of kata, technique and
On Friday, myself and Tom Ross met with Chris Caille, a 6th Dan Shihan of
Seido Karate. We spent some time discussing history - Chris had trained with
Mas Oyama in the sixties and had lived with Donn Draeger in their famous
house on the hill. He is also training in Pak Mei Kung Fu (White Eyebrow)
and after lunch, we moved to a Park on 23rd Street and then spent a couple
of hours demonstrating and exchanging. Poor Tom was the punching bag for
both of us. Chris is currently busy in putting together an online magazine
called Fighting Arts.Com - details to follow.
In the evening, we went to the Seido Juku Honbu where we were introduced to
Tadashi Nakamura, the Kaicho (Director) of the Organisation. Big dojo and
very organised - that was my impression as we walked in. Students coming in
signed in on a computer with their unique numbers which registered their
training and also told them what they had to practise for their grade, etc.
We were to call Keith Olivares, but just never got around to it. My
apologies - will make a plan to get together with you next time.
On Saturday morning we attended the kids class at the
ShorinjiRyu dojo and
then went to New Jersey to meet up with Gary Alexander. I have been
associated with Shihan Gary since 1980 and he was another person who had
provided me with motivation and encouragement during my formative karate
career and Tom had me blushing when he disclosed all that to Gary. Shihan
Alexander is a warrior and it is evident in his outlook and demeanour. He is
outspoken, but trains real hard - that is the type of person that I would
like to be when I get to his age. He treated us to lunch at the Menlo Park
diner where everyone working there came around to greet him on a first name
basis. One could see that he is a well liked person. He also gave me a copy
of his book - those of you that have met me will know how crazy I am about
From there we went to Manhattan to train with George Donahue's dojo at the
Ken Zen Institute. George unfortunately could not make it, but that did not
deter us from having super inter-action. We started off with various
exercises and drills which gets the koshi moving. We then did some kihon
leading into basic kata. Having exchanged ideas with George D, Chris W and
Bill Lucas, it was great to get a basic build-up of their koshi principles.
Tom then taught the Nahanchi as practised by his Ryuha, whereafter I taught
our koshi principles as well as our Shoshin Kata. Sean Carbury, the dojo
Senpai then demonstrated a Yamane Ryu Bo kata whereafter we retired for
supper - only arrived home well after midnight. Special thanks to Adriana
Coada for arranging everything.
Sunday morning, Tom shot some footage of me demonstrating various technique
which are not so defined on the two tapes I had with. Thereafter it was some
quick last minute shopping and then off to the airport. I enjoyed my stay
with Tom and appreciate him taking me all over.
The journey to the Airport took forever, the upper level of the Verrezanno
(sp) bridge was closed causing traffic to crawl. It took us about two hours,
but I made it in time and checked in with bags considerably overweight.
Luckily I flew on South African Airways and with my Frequent Flyer status,
had no problems with the luggage. Another farewell to Tom and then I stepped
off American soil onto the plane. The 14 hour flight to Johannesburg was
uneventful. I passed through immigration and customs with the merest of
formalities - what a pleasure that was. I had a two hour wait for my next
flight, so to while away the time, I called home and to some friends and
The two hour flight to Cape Town seemed to take forever. Johannesburg
Airport was full of Hujjaaj, the Muslims who had successfully completed
their Pilgrimage to Mecca, the Most Holiest City of Islam. One of the five
Laws of being a Muslim is that one must at least once in your lifetime,
embark on the Hadj - and this is a important event in any Muslim's life. The
Pilgrimage comes to its climax on Eid-ul-Fitre, the day I was in the Bus
accident. It is customary for friends and family to gather at the Airport
when Pilgrims depart and return, and it was the same at Cape Town
International. On the same flight was a fellow "brother" of the local
Mosque - he was now a "Haji" and I wished him warmly. The plane arrived on
time, and whilst waiting for my luggage, I chatted to someone who had
sponsored my tournament some years back - the lady, that was with him I
recognised - she was one of my students when I had taught at an elementary
school some 16 years back - was she amazed that I still remembered her!
The Airport has those automatic doors and looking out I spotted a whole
bunch of my students in gi's formal wear, track suits - all with Ashihara.
My entire family also was there - my silly sister had them chanting my name
and they had a couple of placards - how embarrassing .....;-) It was
wonderful to be back with them all - the young guys "complained" that Senpai
Stanley was too tough - and that I was going to be in trouble because they
were now super fit.
Everyone seemed to think that I had lost weight. At home, refreshments was
served and everyone stayed until late. I had mentioned, that prior to
leaving for the USA, my sister had "forced removed" me to the outbuilding.
My old study has been converted to a room for her son, boy, with the changes
done at home, one can certainly see a Women's touch. I haven't yet changed
to South African time as I am still wide awake.
My arrival home brings to an end the six months of hectic travel accross
North America which included visits to Canada, Costa Rica and San Jose. I
have put all my posts and other together in a travel journal and if things
go to plan, will try to have it published. It should include pictures of all
those that I have visited and possibly even a brief biography of each
person. There are many that I have not been able to visit. It was my
intention also to revisit some of those that I first went to, however this
was not possible. Who knows, maybe I will attempt to do the same again some
other time. What is definite though is that it is not fun being alone.
Should I do so again, I might have someone with me ................;-)
Until the next time, my very best.
This is the end of the coverage of Shihan Hoosain Narker's journey. I am sure we are all going to miss his letters about his trip full of courage, and determination. I am sure this trip would be remember for many years to come by this great family. I hope that the openness and friendships demonstrated to Shihan Hoosain Narker can be also show to others Martial Arts practitioners who pass through our doors. If we can see people for what they are and not for what style they belong to, we can build a strong connection and as a result we can only benefits, because we will be learning from others, improve our skill and at the same time we can build a new circle of friend not based on style, but on friendships. Thank you to Hoosain Narker for showing us that is possible to materialize the true spirit of Martial Arts. OSU!
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