Below is a BLOG which has received some high traffic on our Facebook "group Page" and overviews some elements of my 2011 visit to the Kotaka Dojo and Hawaii. Hawaii has a very rich karate heritage stretching back to the early 1900s and Kotaka (9th Dan) is an ex-all Japan champion of the 1960s who has produced numerous recent world champs. The BLOG is of note given we have some good general karate history postings by Young senei (7th Dan), Bartholomay sensei (7th Dan), McDonald sensei (7th dan) & even manages to weave Chuck Norris into a discussion on traditional Japanese karate!
Photo: George Kotaka teaching at his dojo in Oct 2011
Jason Armstrong - posted October 2011
I visited the Kotaka dojo today in Hawaii - an amazing club in that one place has produced a number of World Karate Federation medalists in recent years - most famously son George Kotaka (son of the head shihan who was All Japan Champion in 1962) and Elisa Au. Both of these individuals have won at muilple WKF champs over an 8 year period. It is the best point oriented dojo I have seen in my travels with both kata and kumite being very sharp, fast and strong...
Wayne MacDonald (7th
Dan, Budokan, Shotokan) - posted October 2011
Jason Armstrong - posted October 2011
John Bartholomay (7th
Dan Shito-ryu) - posted October 2011
Jason Armstrong Thanks for the comments and history kyoshi. Yes given Chuzo Kotaka sensei had been trained by Tani and Kuniba sensei over 50 years ago I thought I may see a dojo style very close to the Tani line I trained with in Himeji. However the dojo has migrated over the years to the WKF shito-ryu way. Regardless, their standard is as good as it gets!- posted October 2011
David Krieger Sensei was a student of Tani Sensei in Japan. After Krieger Sensei left Hawaii and moved to Santa Barbara, he started his own dojo, the Pacific Karate-Do Institute in 1974. I remember when Krieger Sensei went back to Hawaii for one of his yearly visits with family and the IKF, he returned and we had to change all kata to conform to the Kotaka-ha kata. Shortly after that we relinquished our affiliation with IKF. Miguel Villalobos and I inherited PKI by default of outlasting everyone else! Villalobos Shihan runs PKI in Santa Maria, California and I have the Santa Barbara Dojo.
- posted October 2011
As a follow-on to the Traditional Japanese Karate Network's Facebook page re comments on Kotaka & ties to Tani Shito by Sensei Jason & Kyoshi Bartholomay:
Back in the late 60's, Kotaka Sensei had to return to Japan for a short visit so he made arrangements with our Sensei (Tetsuhiko Asai) to have his students train at our HQ dojo on Kaheka Ln. in his absence. There were two students that stood out and one was David Krieger and the other was Shigeru Narikawa. They gave our students a run for their money...
When we had the "Mainland vs Hawaii" tournament, all the top guns from the mainland came like Mike Stone, Tony Tulleners, Chuck Norris, Tom Lapuppet, Skipper Mullins, Arnold Urquidez, to name a few. Dave Krieger faced Chuck Norris and beat Chuck 2-0 with two mawashi geris (if I remember correctly). Krieger Sensei was a formidable opponent in his younger days. Our dojo (JKA Hawaii) was forbidden to compete in that tournament because it was an open tournament and head honcho (Nishiyama Sensei) told our sensei our dojo couldn't participate. Mainland beat Hawaii but I remember Black Belt Magazine covered that event and the writer saying that "the claws of the tiger were removed" (meaning some of Hawaii's toughest fighters - Ken Funakoshi, Eugene Watanabe, George Sasano, etc. weren't allow to compete on the Hawaii team) which minimized the Hawaii team's chances of winning.
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