1972 - 2002
Dedicated to the art of Shotokan karate
The photograph above was taken in the early 1970's and it shows Sensei Andre Dulce, 6th Dan, FSKA, Founder and Chief Instructor of the Washington Shotokan Association, and on the right is his sensei, Shihan Kenneth Funakoshi, 9th Dan, FSKA, the Founder and Chief Instructor of the Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association, under whom Sensei Dulce has trained for the past thirty six years.
(Photo courtesy of Sensei Dulce, 6th Dan, FSKA)
After the grading
On the Friday evening a black belt grading was held at the dojo with a large number of students grading for Sho Dan, Ni Dan and San Dan. With friends, family and invited guests in attendance each student made every effort to do their very best. Afterwards Sensei Dulce took all of the sensei's and his invited guests out for a wonderful dinner at a local Thai restaurant, and yes that really was the colour of the table. Joy and I spent the evening in the company of Nelson, Bill, and Jim who made the trip all the way from Boston for this event, great company and great food made for a terrific evening.
Ladies first
Sempai Katharine is all smiles as somehow she managed to be served first, fortunately for her both Joy and Sempai Marilyn got their meal just moments later.
The Washington Shotokan Karate Association Honbu Dojo
The main dojo of the Washington Shotokan Association is without a doubt one of the finest dojos you will find anywhere in the world. With a floating wood floor that covers an area of close to 3000 square feet, spacious change rooms and shower facilities, a reception area, private office space, plus plenty of seating for a large number of spectators it is a truly an impressive dojo indeed.
Our host Sensei Dulce, Shihan Funakoshi, and an impressive group of guest instructors
From left to right: Sensei Les Haraguchi, 5th Dan - Sensei Gary Dunlap, 6th Dan - Sensei Fred Castillo, 5th Dan - Sensei Andre Dulce, 6th Dan - Shihan Kenneth Funakoshi, 9th Dan - Sensei Leonard Lafferty, 7th Dan - Sensei Ron Silverthorne, 6th Dan - Sensei Gary Cross, 7th Dan - Sensei Miriam Garnica, 3rd Dan - Sensei Jim Poli, 4th Dan, and Sensei Cathy Cline, 6th Dan.
Black belt class
Prior to the start of the black belt class Shihan Funakoshi addressed the students. While the quality of a students technique is of course a basic fundamental aspect of Shotokan karate, Shihan Funakoshi always makes a point of stressing the fact, that above all else, the most important thing for a student to demonstrate at all times is a strong spirit.
Paying close attention
All of the black belts in attendance paid close attention to Shihan's comments and while at the same time they enjoying the only rest they all knew they would get for some time to come as the class was now only moments from starting.
A Master of the art of Shotokan karate
Setting the example for all of us to follow Shihan Funakoshi, 9th Dan, FSKA, spent the first part of the class going over proper basic technique, placing a strong emphasis on proper stances, pulling hand, kime, focus, balance, and posture amongst other things.
Black belts wall to wall
Shihan Funakoshi had everyone's undivided attention as he went over in detail the next drill we were about to do. As always Shihan clearly demonstrates the proper method first, and then he goes over many of the more common mistakes all students should try and avoid making, this then leaves no doubt in each students mind as to what they should be doing, and what sort of technique Shihan Funakoshi expects from them. Few masters in the world today have his experience, his ability, or his teaching skills, and as such learning from him is always an enjoyable as well as an educational experience.
With close to 100 students in the dojo as you might expect the energy level was extremely high all night and with the sheer size of the WSKA dojo there was more than plenty of room for everyone to move up and down the dojo floor unimpeded. About a dozen of these students, all from Sensei Dulce's dojo, had the previous evening taken part in the Washington Shotokan Karate Association's annual Dan exam that was administered under the ever watchful eyes of Shihan Funakoshi.
Several students were successfully tested for Sho Dan, Ni Dan, and San Dan, our congratulations to one and all.
Leading by example
Sensei Gary Dunlap, 6th Dan, FSKA is seen here demonstrating the finer points of the kata Heian Godan to his group of WSKA students. Each of the guest instructors was assigned a kata to teach and I know all of the students came away with a much greater appreciation for the many small details contained in their kata.
From coast to coast
Good friends always go the extra mile, in this case all the way from Boston. Seen here with Sensei Dulce are, on his left, Sensei Bill Slyva, 3rd Dan, and on his right, Jim Poli, 4th Dan, and Nelson Osborn, 1st Dan. All three flew in Friday evening from Boston just for this 30th anniversary celebration and then they flew home again to the East coast first thing Sunday morning. Good friends indeed and excellent karateka.
The U.S.A. and England
All the way from Crawley, England to take part in WSKA's 30th anniversary celebration is Sensei Ron Silverthorne, 6th Dan, FSKA.
All smiles
The two senior Sempai's from our dojo who accompanied me on this trip are seen here with our host Sensei Dulce, they are, on his left Sempai Katharine Kaye, 2nd Dan, and on his right Sempai Marilyn Norman, 2nd Dan. Both students agreed that the event was first class from start to finish and from the look on their faces it is a sure bet they will be back again next year.
Another great seminar with one of the best
Shihan Funakoshi travels the world extensively to teach the art of Shotokan karate, and his seminars and tournaments are attended by thousands of karate students each year, many of whom travel over great distances to be there, even if it is just for one day. As affiliates the students at our dojo in Victoria, B.C and those at the Washington Shotokan Karate Association are indeed fortunate that we have Shihan Funakoshi and the Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association Honbu dojo so close at hand.
Time to celebrate thirty years of karate
On the last day after the training, Sensei Dulce hosted a party celebrating the 30th anniversary of his dojo at the Carillon Point Marina in Kirkland. The weather was great and so was the companionship, the food, and the entertainment. There were plenty of door prizes with the Grand Prize being round trip tickets for two on Alaska Airlines, and two nights accommodation at Circus, Circus in Las Vegas, to attend the 4th Annual Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association World Championship which will be taking place there this November 23rd and 24th.
My three companions
Good company, a black belt grading, a hard karate workout, the chance to make new friends, and a party on the waterfront, all added up to a great weekend and I want to thank my wife Joy, and my students Sempai Katharine Kaye and Sempai Marilyn Norman for helping to make the trip such a great success.
A great host and wonderful teacher
Thank you Sensei Dulce for your hospitality
Sensei Dulce was the perfect host going to great lengths to make sure that all of his guests were made to feel right at home. Those of us that were fortunate enough to have been in invited to this very special event came away with great memories and many new found friendships. All of us from the WSKI dojo look forward to the day when we can return Sensei Dulce's hospitality.
Part the clouds - see the way.
"The objective of karate-do is to contribute to the evolution
of the human spirit through physical and mental training."
Sensei Peter Lindsay