Otagai Ni Rei NewsletterEdition 1, 2018
This is the first issue of Otagai Ni Rei for 2018 and the first issue for a number of years. The name of the newsletter comes from the ceremony at the start and end of each training session. It means “All together bow!” It is something that we aspire to, working together helping one another improve as karate practitioners, but also as individuals outside the dojo. Teamwork is a key skill for success inside and outside the dojo. Teamwork is important at school, it is important in your job. Learning karate is a great way to develop our teamwork. We will revisit this theme in future issues of the newsletter.
Sensei has written an article about the importance of technique, timing, distance and accuracy. He has emphasised the importance of footwork in getting the distance right. The Pinan katas are for developing our footwork so we can position ourselves to be at the correct distance when we deliver a technique.
Sempai Glenn has written an interview with our oldest member, Cees Vergers 3rd Dan, who is still trains regularly. Sempai Cees will celebrate his 80th birthday in November. Therefore, the editorial team thought it would be a fitting tribute in his 80th year to acknowledge Sempai Cees’ persistence, dedication and motivation to training.
Sensei Trevor has provided us with some information about who officiated and who competed at the National Championships held at Caloundra in August. He has also drawn our attention to the AAMA reunion being held this coming Saturday 20th October.
Sempai Lyndon has provided us with information about the new dojo. Information about the site and some images of the amenities or facilities building is part of the new dojo. There has been an enormous amount of planning that has gone into this project. We are expecting the builder to start constructing the new dojo itself once Brisbane City Council has approved it. Understandably we are excited about moving into our new premises sometime in 2019. It is great that we will have our own home, moreover it is literally just around the corner from where we are now.
Hope you enjoy this issue of the newsletter and we will provide you with additional information about club activities, progress with the building of the new dojo, and aspects of karate for you to consider. In closing, I would like to remind you that karate begins and ends with respect. I thank all those who have contributed in making this issue of the newsletter come to be. They are listed in the editorial team section.
Kees Hulsman [1st Dan]
We are now in the final module of training for 2018. The end of the year approaches with tournament season finished, athletes recovering but shortly to again start training for the next year. The next year will be of considerable significance to AAMA. 2019 will see us in our new Dojo at Carson Lane.
The kata for Level 1this module is Pinan Nidan. It is a strong basic kata. It is a Pinan kata and therefore a footwork kata. That means it teaches students about stances and how the lower half of the body (not to forget the upper half of the body) best moves the body and utilises for the effective delivery of karate foot and hand techniques. That applies regardless of whether the techniques are evasive defence or surging attacking movements.
It is not simply a matter of moving feet fast. They have to be moved to best advantage and best advantage requires that not only the movement be effective and fast but the delivery of say, gyaku tsuki chudan (mid-level reverse punch), is not compromised but promoted where possible. Most people, particularly Kyu grades, are fascinated by karate’s powerful hand techniques and kicks but what they do not see (particularly with choreographed movie fight scenes in most action movies today) is the timing and distance components making fighting skills effective. Many people can quickly learn how to throw a fist out. Many people can be taught, if they listen, to develop power in a punch with hip action. But that punch is useless if it misses the target or barely touches the target because the opponent is too far away or the punch cannot generate power because the other person was too close. The answer is distance and accuracy (and timing) and it is footwork that governs that.
When we do kumite (sparring) the essential requirements of timing distance and accuracy must already be ingrained and automatic. There is no time to think about it sparring. Footwork pathways ingrained into muscle memory can only be acquired through their constant repetition in kihon exercise and kata.
So, I commend Pinan Nidan to all of you, from level 1 to Black Belts. Train hard and create those automatic perfect pathways.
Sensei Michael Howe
AAMA’s most senior member celebrates 80 great years of life this November. Born in 1938 in Holland, Sempai Cees Vergers came to Australia in 1982 for a better life – and found it!
He started training at AAMA in February 1983 with Shihan Graham Keleher. In Holland, he trained from the age of 15 in martial arts in both judo and karate. He chose karate training with AAMA when he came to Australia. Sempai Cees would ride his push bike the 12 kilometre round trip from Chandler to the AAMA dojo at Wishart up to 3 times a week to train. From time to time he would ride down to the Gold Coast on weekends for a ‘bit of training’.
In his forties, Sempai Cees competed in some karate tournaments and beat opponents who were up to ten years younger. Later Sempai Cees travelled to Japan with AAMA Members to train at Sensei Fujimoto’s Dojo in Tokyo – Shihan Graham Keleher’s teacher.
Sempai Cees worked at the Brisbane Sheraton as Beverage Manager in the early 80’s. He competed in a number of Cocktail Championships and won the Queensland championship.
He then decided to start his own business in the food industry with his wife Anneke and they still run that successful business today. They take some time to visit Holland and soak up the atmosphere… but they have made Australia their home.
Sempai Cees believes that the training at AAMA with both Shihan Graham Keleher and Sensei Michael has trained him in Mind, Body and Spirit with the discipline not only in the dojo but in his life outside the dojo. Where AAMA’s mission statement has become part of his life and to: Do what has to be done, when it has to be done, to the best of your ability, every time is a core behaviour in his life.
Today, Sempai Cees is 3rd Dan and still trains at AAMA 3 to 4 times a week, but he no longer rides to the dojo on his bike. He now lives near the base of Tamborine Mountain some 43 kilometres away. Instead he travels by car up to 45 minutes to train at AAMA at Upper Mount Gravatt.
Sempai Cees’ dedication to training shows the truth of the saying “You do not stop playing because you get old, you get old because you stop playing”.
Karate has been the vehicle that Sempai Cees has used to train his Body, Mind and Spirit. Karate has enriched his life in many ways. He has kept fit and he has enjoyed the friendships that he has made at the AAMA club.
Happy 80th Birthday Sempai Cees and may you have many Happy and Healthy Years ahead.
On 3-5th August the Australian Karate Federation National Championships were held on the Sunshine Coast. This year AAMA had 3 competitors competing.
- Congratulations to Sensei Michael Goh who won gold in the Veterans Kata 35-45 years. He performed Bassai Dai, Seienshin & Ni Pi Po.
- Sensei Trevor Boddy finished in the middle of the pack in Super Veterans Kata 45 years & over. Sensei performed Oyadomari No Passai & Anunku.
- Tom Forman fought very well against last year’s National champ and finished in the middle of the pack as well (Photo 5).
A special thanks to Sensei Matsunawa who come out from Japan for the tournament and Vesa who Officiated all weekend at a high standard.
On 20th October AAMA is having a Reunion/Social, to be held at the Paddo Tavern from 6pm. Come & catch up with club mates & meet some of the previous members of AAMA. Shihan’s first student will be coming (Tony started 46 years ago). It will be held in a function area and some nibbles will be supplied, but please free to have dinner there if you prefer. We are organising a special slide show highlighting our long history.
Sensei Trevor Boddy
The design of the new Dojo
The new building will be 26m x 12 m which is about twice the size of the current Dojo at Hawks. We will have two full competition-sized mats for training purposes. The wall height will be similar to what we have now, except that we will have two very large slow-moving fans to circulate the air – similar to the ones found in your local Bunnings. These will keep the students cool in the Dojo.
The external walls will be colorbond, whilst the internal walls will be pine plywood. We are hoping to have all the walls insulated for comfortable living. The roof will be a sandwich panel to provide insulation and a bright, relatively smooth interior surface. All the windows will be louvers which enable the building to be passively ventilated. An exercise bike and rowing machine will be near the door, but off the mats. This area will also be where heavy and light punching bags will be installed.
Unlike the current and former Dojo, there will be no spectator seating in the new Dojo, except for Graduations. An area for spectators will be located in the facilities building with sufficient seating for all. The facilities building will also house our change rooms including toilets and showers. When funding later allows it we will install a large screen TV in the spectator’s area so they can watch the students training. Meanwhile, there will be coffee and tea-making facilities, cold drinks and WiFi access. Seating outdoors will also be available.
Next steps on our timeline
We expect to start building this year and complete construction by mid-2019. The club has been fortunate that Manuel Stathis and Steve Williams have volunteered their professional expertise and contacts to develop plans for the project and assist in the preliminary meetings with Council town planners to facilitate the approval of the plans for the building.
Michael Howe 4th Dan
Kees Hulsman 1st Dan
Glenn Weiss 1st Dan
Lyndon Kurth 1st Dan
Alan Burnett 3rd Dan
Kids Head Instructor
Vesa Pekkarinen 3rd Dan
Special Events Editor
Trevor Boddy 4th Dan
Formatting & Publishing
Gabrielle Ingram 1st Dan