Shotosha Denmark has in the period of November 21st to 23rd 2014 held a seminar with the world famous karate master and karate instructor Shihan Masahiko Tanaka 8th Dan JKA.
Shihan Tanaka previously lived in Denmark from 1975-1978, where he was the chief instructor of the JKA Denmark. During that period most Shotokan instructors trained under him, and the standard of Shotokan karate in Denmark was lifted tremendously. Shihan Tanaka became world champion in karate during his stay in Denmark.
Many Danish karatekas have in the period submitted themselves to Shihan Tanaka during his extreme training. A historical period when Shotokan karate was trained under much tougher conditions than today.
Since then, Shihan Tanaka has visited Denmark many times as head instructor at various summer camps and instructor summits. Many Shotokan practitioners in Denmark over the years have been graduated by Shihan Tanaka.
Shihan Tanaka receives many offers from around the world to teach and it was therefore with great pleasure that Shotosha this year could present a seminar with Shihan Tanaka. This was possible not least to Shihan Tanaka’s close relationship with Frank Starck Sabroe Sensei, who Shihan Tanaka has taught since Frank Sensei was a child.
There were 152 enrolled for the seminar, which was held in Virum halls. There were participants from 11 nations in Europe and a few had come all the way from Iran. Participants came from Shotosha, JKA Shotokan, JKS Shotokan and Shotokan SKIF.
Shihan Tanaka is 8th dan and 74 years old. He is, by many described as the last living samurai. When you experience him teach you understand why.
Shihan Tanaka has a special charisma, and his approach to karate is influenced strongly by Budo and the warrior’s way to train and think.
During the seminar he told about the teachings of his own master Masatoshi Nakayama sensei, and of the importance of holding on to the traditions that are the foundation of traditional karate.
Shihan Tanaka has through a long life in karate been a major factor in the development of JKA Shotokan karate worldwide.
It is completely unique to experience Shihan Tanaka describe his own experiences in karate since he belongs to a particular generation of great masters of Shotokan karate. The participants of the seminar all got, besides the karate training, an invaluable first-hand account of Shihan Tanaka, which they can take with them, and make use of in their future karate life.
Shihan Tanaka was until recently the assistant chief instructor of the JKA. For political reasons he is no longer in this position, which has attracted great amazement in the karate society worldwide.
Politics cannot beat a real samurai, which Shihan Tanaka is a living proof of, as he continues his extremely high level and his passion for communicating karate, which Shotosha are very grateful of and honoured by.
On Sunday Shihan Tanaka taught the participants, among other things, in some of the techniques that he has often done for demonstrations through the years. It was almost supernatural to see
Shihan Tanaka at 74 years showing techniques that many of the young participants had difficulty or inability to perform. To demonstrate the techniques performed by Shihan Tanaka without the slightest form of warm up or stretching, must be a special “Shihan Tanaka” feature.
Sunday ended with a show tournament and reception in honour of Shihan Tanaka. Many karatekas from several different styles showed up to greet Shihan Tanaka.
There were held fine speeches from Danish Karate Federation by Thomas Bjurring, President of Shotosha Tim Skov, representative of former students Erik Holmey and not least by Frank Starck Sabroe sensei.
Shihan Tanaka also held a speech in which he presented two of those present, Erik Holmey and Carsten Ravn, who both attended the World Cup team in Los Angeles in 1978.
Then he called Frank Starck Sabroe sensei forward and introduced him as his karate son – “Frank Tanaka”.
Both received a deserved applause for their great work for Shotokan karate both internationally and in Denmark. . Strong personalities who have been a driving force in karate for decades.
Many karatekas from the old days had showed up to greet Shihan Tanaka
Next year it is 40 years ago, since Shihan Tanaka was in Denmark for the first time. Shotosha say they will mark this anniversary with an exclusive instructor seminar with Shihan Tanaka, which
is held in November 2015.
Photos: Tino Snedevig Larsen, Hans Kristian Laubel, Lars Borresen Fabrin.
TV og video: TV 2 Lorry and Ketilstadir
Text: Jesper F. Andersen, editor KarateNews
Translation: Ole B. Schrøder, reporter KarateNews