- WELCOME TO
- THE 6th
ANNUAL FSKA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
- held in Las
Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.
- NOVEMBER 20th
- 21st, 2004
Kenneth Funakoshi, 9th Dan, (FSKA)
Instructor, Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association
- (photo courtesy of Sensei
Omar Vera, FSKA Puerto Rico)
- A gathering
of friends from all over the world
- Once again
the Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association held it's
Annual FSKA World Championship Tournament in Las Vegas,
in the 40,000 square foot Pavilion at the Stardust Hotel,
located on the famous Las Vegas strip. Previous locations
for this prestige's tournament have included: Crawley,
England, Lisbon, Portugal, and Latvia, in the former
students, family, and friends, as usual came from a great
many countries. This year they included, the U.S.A.,
Canada, France, England, Ireland, Mexico, Czech Republic,
South Africa, Macedonia, and Puerto Rico, just to name a
few. As always this event is a great opportunity for all
of us to renew old friendships, to make new ones, and to
practice the art of karate-do.
- The day
- On the afternoon and
evening of November 20th, the day before the tournament
was to begin, many students took the opportunity to join
Shihan Funakoshi and his two son's Sensei Kevin
Funakoshi, and Sensei Kyle Funakoshi, for the pre-event
seminars that they hold each year. These seminars afford
those students looking for pointers on how to improve
their kata, as well as their basics, the rare opportunity
to get the knowledge first hand from the very best the
FSKA has to offer.
- This year
Sensei Kyle Funakoshi once again taught a seminar on
advanced kata while Sensei Kevin Funakoshi taught kata to
the kyu ranks. Students of all ages always take the
opportunity each year at this event to sharpen their
skills, and fine tune their katas, under the watchful eye
of these two very talented instructors.
- (photo courtesy of Sensei
Omar Vera, FSKA Puerto Rico)
- No one does
- Saving the best for last
here we see Sensei Kyle caught in full flight as he
performs the jump in his favorite kata, Unsu. Few karate-ka
can match his style or his technique. I can be seen in
the middle of the photograph in my black and gold team
jacket taking a video of the demonstration.
- A long way
- Before the
Friday evening seminar Shihan Funakoshi meet with many
senior instructors, to his right, Sensei Eric Govender,
Go Dan, Sensei Wiehahn Eksteen, Go Dan, and Sensei Selvan
Govendar, Yon Dan, all of whom travelled for almost 34
hours from South Africa to attend this year FSKA World
Championship. All three took part in the Dan grading
later that evening which started right after the two hour
kihon seminar given by Shihan Funakoshi, this in spite of
also having to deal with a 10 hour time difference. Now
that is dedication.
- Prior to
the kihon seminar with Shihan Funakoshi those senior
students who knew what to expect, arrived early and took
the time to warm up and do a little extra stretching
before the start of training. Sempai Amy Barnes, Sho Dan,
of FSKA Canada, who is attending her second FSKA World
Championship is on the left hand side of the photo.
- On the
Friday evening almost all of the senior instructors
attending this years event took the opportunity to go
over basic FSKA kihon with Shihan Funakoshi. The two hour
event covered a wide range of hand techniques, kicks, as
well as combinations, and the tremendous amount of space
afforded by the Stardust Hotel's 40,000 square foot
Pavilion Convention Centre, gave each individual plenty
of room to practice.
- Waiting for
the next set
Funakoshi knew what he wanted and explained each set
clearly. By the half way mark of this two hour seminar
every one appreciated even the smallest opportunity to
rest and catch their breath. The seminar was followed
immediately by a Dan grading with students from various
countries seeking to advance in rank. This year they
included students trying for Sho Dan and San Dan, as well
as very senior Sensei's looking to advance to both Go
Dan, and Roku Dan.
- Day one
- As for the
tournament it's self, day one as in the past, was devoted
entirely to kata.
- From first
thing in the morning to well into the early evening
referees, judges, time keepers, and score keepers alike
in every one of the rings, were kept busy with a
seemingly endless steam of competitors of all ranks and
ages. The katas were good, and the scores were close, in
many cases the margin of victory between those who
received a medal and those who did not could be measured
in a matter of tenths.
- In all
cases good sportsmanship was the order of the day and all
of the competitors, regardless of their country of
origin, were shown the appreciation of a very
knowledgeable audience. Since the amount of dedication
and hard work that went into preparing for this event by
all of the competitors in each category was evident for
all to see.
- Men's brown
- Uwe Bartley of Canada
stands patiently with students from several different
countries as they all await the start of the men's over
fourty brown belt division. The scores were close with
many of the competitors electing to do the katas Bassai
Dai and Jion.
in his second FSKA World Championship Uwe awaits the
results. Having moved up a division since last year, when
he won a Bronze medal as a blue belt, Uwe still posted an
excellent 4th place finish in this very competitive group.
As was the case last year it was interesting to notice
subtle differences in the performance of each of the
students kata depending on which country, and dojo they
came from, as always this makes judging interesting to
say the least.
for the third time at the FSKA World Championships, this
year I took first place in the Senior Men's kata
division, performing one of my favourite katas, Ji'in. On
my left is David Elson of the U.S.A who finished in
second place, a real gentlemen and a strong supporter of
every FSKA event David holds the rank of San Dan and
trains out of the Honbu dojo in Milpitas, California. On
my left is Robert Nielsen of Cedaridge Karate who took
- The Judges
- It is customary to thank
each of the judges personally at the end of your event.
Here I have the privilege of shaking hands with Sensei
Roger St. Pierre, Yon Dan, and thanking him for his time
and consideration. Sensei St. Pierre is the Chief
Instructor at New England Shotokan Karate-Ko, in
Woonsocket, Rhode Island. His son Marc was to later earn
a bronze medal in his kata division.
- The Senior
Men's medal winners with Shihan Funakoshi
- After our
event the medal winners had a chance to pose for a
photograph with Shihan Funakoshi who always makes a point
of watching and filming all of the senior events in both
kata and kumite.
- Day two
- Day two as
always was devoted entirely to kumite.
- Sensei Miriam Garnica , Yon
Dan, of FSKA Hollister, California, was the centre judge
in the ring for this very spirited division. Seen here on
the right Sempai Amy Barnes is about to move in to close
the gap between her and her opponent.
- A rear leg mawashi geri
drew a block from her opponent, then moving forward
quickly the moment she put her front foot on the floor
Sempai Amy scored a half point by following up
immediately with a chudan mae geri.
- A Bronze
medal for Canada
- Also taking
part in her second FSKA World Championship Sempai Amy
Barnes this year earned a Bronze medal in her age group
in women's sparring. Each of the rings over the two day
event had a large following of spectators and this
division was no exception.
- Ring one
- A large
part of an event like this centers around having enough
judges to fill all of the rings at any one time.
Fortunately at an FSKA event this is seldom a problem,
due to the large number of senior Sensei's in attendance.
In ring number one on my right is Sensei Omar Vera, Yon
Dan, FSKA San Sebastian, Puerto Rico, on my left Sensei
Garry Cross, Shichidan, FSKA Honbu dojo Milpita),
California, Sensei Chet Kawashige, Roku Dan, (FSKA), and
Sensei Kevin Sheehan, Yon Dan, (FSKA). Here he five of us
pose for a photograph with the medal winners in women's
under twenty-five back belt sparring division.
- The men's
team sparring event was once again one of the highlights
of the tournament. This year saw the United States up
against France in the final. The five man teams were very
evenly matched which made for a very exciting competition
indeed. Sensei Kevin Funakoshi of FSKA Hawaii seen in the
right hand corner was one of the principal judges for
- Team U.S.A
here is the men's team from the U.S.A. who won the Silver
medal at this year's "B" event. Once again this
year the matches were close.
- Gold medal
in team sparring
- This year
saw the team from France win the Gold medal in the Men's
Team Sparring event, which was the last event to be held
at this year's tournament. Seen here with team France is
the Chief Referee for this years final, Sensei Kyle
Funakoshi. Congratulations to all of the participants,
the sparring and the sportsmanship were both excellent.
- Meeting old
friends again and making new ones
- Marc St.
- On the far right is Sensei
Roger St. Pierre, Yon Dan, and Chief Instructor at New
England Shotokan Karate-Ko in Woonsocket, Rhode Island,
and next to me is his son Marc (FSKA, Ni Dan) who won a
bronze medal in his kata division. A strong supporter of
FSKA events Sensei St. Pierre and his family are a fine
example of what makes the FSKA such a great organization
to be associated with.
- One of the
highest ranking members of the FSKA, Sensei Lafferty
holds the rank of Shichi Dan, and has been with Shihan
Funakoshi for 35 years. I have been going to the United
States for the past 5 years to compete and judge at
either the FSKA Fall Invitational Tournament, or the FSKA
World Championship, and I have always enjoyed Sensei
Lafferty's company and I greatly appreciated his advice
and support. Sensei Lafferty has his dojo in Vacaville,
California, where he trains with his wife Jan Homer, a
retired U.S. Air Force Captain, who is currently ranked
Yon Dan in the FSKA.
- Sensei Omar
- This year I
had the pleasure of finally meeting Sensei Omar Vera,
Chief Instructor for FSKA Puerto Rico. During Sensei Kyle
Funakoshi's visit this past summer to his dojo in San
Sebastian, Sensei Vera graded, and was promoted to the
rank of Yon Dan. A strong competitor Sensei Vera also
attended, the Shotokan Cup 2004 tournament, as well as
the Kinseki Shotokan Karate Do 2004 tournament, both of
which were held in Cidra, Puerto Rico.
- Ireland and
- Seen here
on my right is Sensei Niall Wright, Ni Dan, (FSKA) from
Castletown, Ireland. Sensei Wright will be hosting the
Five Continents World Championship in Ireland in October
12th - 16th, 2005 which will be held at Ireland's
National Events Centre Gleneagle, Killarney, in County
Kerry. This is the largest multi-purpose events centre in
Ireland, with seating for up to three thousand spectators.
At this time over 175 dojos have already committed to
send students to this event, and it has the full support
of Shihan Funakoshi and the Funakoshi Shotokan Karate
Association. Sempai Jan Homer, Yon Dan, of FSKA
Vacaville, California, can be seen behind me talking with
one of the competitors.
Africa and Canada
- On my right
are Sensei Eric Govender, Go Dan, and Sensei Wiehahn
Eksteen, Go Dan, both from FSKA South Africa. It was a
pleasure spending time with them during this years event
and I hope I have the chance to meet them again in the
future, perhaps in Ireland in 2005.
- On the left Sensei Andre
Dulce, Roku Dan, of FSKA Washington State, U.S.A. and on
the right, Sensei Ron Silverthorn, of FSKA Crawley,
England, where the very first FSKA World Championship was
held six years ago. Both are familiar sights at any major
- A former FSKA and
International kata and kumite Champion, Sensei Kevin
Funakoshi seen here on my right heads up the FSKA
organization in Hawaii. At the end of this years event
each of the visiting instructors once again received a
hand drawn calligraphy done by his wife. Sensei Ron
Silverthorn on my left, still takes part each year in
Shihan Funakoshi's kihon seminar given prior to the start
of the FSKA World Championship even though he is 70 years
of age. True dedication indeed.
- At the end
of this year's tournament one of the last orders of
business was for Shihan Funakoshi to give out the results
of the Dan grading that took place Friday evening. Here
Shihan Funakoshi is seen here speaking with Sensei Eric
Govender, and Sensei Selvan both from South Africa. Also
due to meet with Shihan Funakoshi is Sensei Wiehahn who
also graded. The results of the grading will be made
public in the near future.
- Sensei Kyle
- Uwe and I
are seen here with Sensei Kyle Funakoshi, Roku Dan,
former FSKA World and Invitational Kumite, and Kata
Champion. We have been privileged to have Sensei Kyle
visit our dojo on several occasions, most recently this
past June for our Annual Summer Camp and Dan grading.
Funakoshi is a Master of the art of Shotokan Karate, and
whether it is training with him at the Honbu dojo, having
him visit our dojo in Victoria, or attending one his
seminars at the FSKA World Championships, I always come
away with a greater appreciation of all that Shotokan
Karate-do has to offer. Thank you Shihan.
Karate, Victoria, B.C.
- Sempai Amy,
Uwe, and I once again had a wonderful time in Las Vegas,
and all three of us are already looking forward to next
- Our dojo is
proud to be affiliated with the Funakoshi Shotokan Karate
Association, and to support the Funakoshi Shotokan Karate
Association's World Championship Tournament. On behalf of all of the students
from Westshore Karate Inc. who took part in this years
FSKA World Championship, I would like to take this
opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to Shihan
Kenneth Funakoshi, his son's, Sensei Kevin Funakoshi, and
Sensei Kyle Funakoshi, as well as all of the other FSKA
instructors, judges, time keepers, score keepers,
volunteers, and supporters, who helped to make this years
tournament another truly excellent event.
- We look forward to seeing
all of you again in Las Vegas in 2005.