Shinbun - Aug '04

(shinbun means newspaper in Japanese)
SINCE 2003

No.3                                             AUGUST 2004


Congratulations to Kris Carlson from all the students and Senseiís at Geelong Ashihara. As I have said before the event of some one achieving black belt in Ashihara Karate is a very exciting and rare occasion, Kris finally reached this goal and passed with flying colors. After a long and hard 4 Ĺ hour test Kris was still standing as he has done so many times before on his march to black belt. the black belt test would have to be the toughest grading of them all, as the one being tested is trying to join a very elite group of people, the black belt. The black belt family is a very hard family to join because it is decided by other black belts, and to be true to themselves they will not let you have the honor of tying on a black belt to easily. A person that has no idea about the martial arts knows of the black belt. A person that has no idea about the martial arts does not know that this is just the start of ones martial arts journey. I am sure that Kris is very aware of this fact and will make Ashihara Karate a part of his life and move through the Dan grades for many years to come.


Well done to the students that took part in the one match tournament. You guys showed so much guts and determination - total budo spirit.

The men that made us proud.

Sempai Peter Curypko
Peter gave his all even though in the 2nd round he suffered a broken arm, he fought on and just missed out on the win. Super human effort.

Sempai Tim Malloch
Tim showed total domination right from the start. He kicked butt and did not let his opponent have a chance to get any rhythm.  Tim performed the only TKO of the night with a knee strike to the chin. His opponent could not continue after the 2nd round.

Laird Johnstone
Laird put in a very good show with a text book high kicking display. It was a pleasure to watch his great technique. Laird was unlucky on the night and just missed out on a win.

Luke Bryant
Luke went in like a man on a mission, he pulled off some really good kicks to the head. His opponent was starting to look very worried.  Lukeís strong fighting spirit caused him to foul one to many times, less fouls and he would have won easy.

Chris Bradford
Chris was not going to go home without a win and that was that. His opponent had 10kgs on him and was a very big strong man.  This did not stop Chris, he pounded his opponent into submission, and in the last round took control. Chris suffered a fractured hand & foot in the processes.

Nathan Read
Nathan being the least experienced showed a lot of guts to step out onto the mat and fight full contact. Nathan with his long reach showed great potential. Even though Nathan was unlucky to have a loss on the night, I was very proud of him, he showed that without a lot of training time you can still (with the Ashihara technique) stand up to the tough full contact format.

Thanks Girls

On behalf of Kaicho & Aysha I would like to say domo arigato gozaimasu to Marilyn and all the Mumís that organized the wonderful gifts for them, they were very touched by this, & it made their stay here so much better. & also a big thanks from every one at Geelong Ashihara.

Kaichoís visit

It was an honor to have the head of Ashihara Karate International (AKI) Kaicho Narker & his wife Aysha come and spend some time with us. It was easy to see that when it came to karate Kaicho Narker knew what he was doing. Kaicho showed us a lot of great training ideas that I am sure will help us immensely. Kaicho has showed me a few changes to the katas which I have been slowly implementing. For the 2 weeks Kaicho was here I lived and breathed karate, it was a great experience. I must thank Kaichoís wife Aysha. Aysha & I would go through kata every night, me being a thick head, we would have to go over them many times, she is a woman of great patience. Kaicho was very impressed with the standard of the students training at the Geelong Ashihara Karate School. This made me very proud because when Kaicho is saying this he is talking about our standard internationally. Kaicho also told me that if any one from the Geelong Ashihara Karate School was interested in going to South Africa to train that they would be very welcomed and well cared for. It was also great that every one was able to do their grading under the watchful eyes of Kaicho, its not every day that a Karate student gets the chance to do their grading in the presence of the head of their Karate style. I donít think that this is the last we will see of kaicho, Iím sure he will come back to Australia again some time in the future.

My views on Karate & violence
(by Sensei Mark)

To tell the truth I hate violence. I like Kumite in the safe environment of the Dojo, & I also like to watch Karate tournaments and boxing, & I love Martial Arts movies. The reason being is that fight scenes in movies are not real & tournaments have a referee & participants do this voluntarily. What sickens me is when I have seen some one being attacked in the street or a pub or nightclub or anywhere like that. The thought of some one violently trying to hurt some one else makes me feel ill in my guts. There is no way you will get me into a fight. If I can get out of a fight I will, the only time I will fight is if I have to protect my loved ones friends or myself from harm. Take the shocking death of David Hooks, things can go horrible wrong, its not always the punch or kick that kills its when the person being hit falls to the ground and smashes their head that often kills. I would never say Iím a good fighter, but I would say I am better then I was before I started Karate, its great to know that I have a better chance then before to protect myself, but we must also be mindful of the damage we could cause. I believe it should not matter if some one is small or weak or never been much of a fighter, I truly believe that Karate should be available to every one, & that every one should be able to train in the Dojo & feel safe & be free of fear. We all do Karate for different reasons, it could be to gain confidence, keep fit, self defence, gain focus, to drop a few kg, to compete, to meet new people. there is many reasons why people do Karate and for what ever reason it is we must respect it.          

June 04 grading results



Jordan Carroll               yellow
Jack Heywood Day       2nd orange
Brad Cousins               2nd blue
Alex Krajnc                  orange
Daniel Stirling              blue
Ashley Semianiw          orange
Rachel Vollebregt          blue
Taylor Matthews          orange
Leisha Vollebregt          blue        
Junior Matthews            orange
Jessi Vollebregt             blue       
Mykie OíConnor Castree orange
Achyuta Ellis                red         
Carly Barnett                orange
Erin Cleary                    2nd orange
Chris Barnett                orange
Ben Gauci                    2nd orange
Nathan Semianiw            orange
Zach Read                    2nd orange

Kris Carlson               1st Dan
Matthew Read             blue
Dylan Kayler Thomson   2nd brown
Blake Tonkin               blue
Laird Johnstone            2nd brown
Dave Tonkin                2nd red
Luke Bryant                2nd blue   
Kerry Harris                 red
Nathan Read                blue
Robert Ilsley                blue
Chris Bradford               blue
Ross Hill                      blue
Ben Bliss                      blue
Luke Van Kruijsbergen    blue






Brad Cousins
Erin Cleary
Jack Heywood Day


Kris Carlson
Dylan Kayler Thomson
Laird Johnstone
Robert Ilsley
Chris Bradford
Ross Hill
Blake Tonkin
Luke Van Kruijsbergen 

All these students had 100% attendance for the first half of Ď04. This is a magnificent achievement, and is much appreciated.  Thank you all for your support.


Itís great to see Sampai Leanne Mitchell back at training. Sempai Leanne has been training at the Geelong Ashihara Karate school for many years.
Because of work commitments Sempai Leanne Dylan was absent from training for about one year.  It looks like she never left, her Sabaki looks great, she is moving very good. Sempai Leanne is truly an asset to the school.





The fight-or-flight instinct response is the most basic of human defensive instincts; the urge to stay and fight or to run for your life is ingrained in all of us. But what happens when this self-preservation goes wrong?

(From Blitz martial arts magazine Vol. 18 No. 8)

The fight-or-flight instinct triggers a sudden release of chemicals into the bloodstream (one of the primary ones being adrenaline). This prepares the body physically for decisive action, supplying the body with the extra power it will need to ether stand and fight, or to flee to safety. When we override these instincts, we are left in a state of confusion as the body is flooded with chemicals but is unable to put them to the appropriate use. Last year, I witnessed a dramatic example of this instinct gone awry Ė luckily no one was hurt. As I was about to walk out of a local arcade, a young couple crossed past the entrance. Some shouting started to emanate from the direction from which they had come, followed quickly by the emergence of a young male brandishing half a brick. He was hurling abuse at the couple, who were by now further up the street. As the aggressor passed the arcade, I emerged on to the street a few meters behind him, & from there I was able to watch the incident unfold. Although the first male was quite tall and solidly built, he was young. As he realised that the aggressorís yelling was aimed at him & that it was getting closer, his fight-or-flight instinct kicked in. His first reaction was to make a run for it, but then it seemed as though his bravado interfered. After all, it was happening in front of his girl. So he turned back, presumably to stand his ground. However, by this time, his girlfriend was screaming to run, which he then turned to do. The aggressor then hurled the usual insults, to which the young man reacted by again turning to fight. The girlfriend screamed, he again turned to run, and this flip-flop continued. Although it only lasted a matter of seconds, his confusion was clearly obvious, as were the numerous changes in his facial expression to match each momentary decision. By this time the distance between the two had closed, but so had the distance between myself & the aggressor. At about this point the would-be assailant raised the brick & went to hit the totally unprepared & somewhat confused defender. Enter the Ďheroí (insert occasional fool), me. The situation did not need escalating, so I merely hooked the offenderís arm back & inserted myself between the warring factions, trying to calm the assailant & suggesting to the others that they move on. Obviously the victim now found himself foolishly more confident behind his human shield &, despite his girlfriendís & my insistence, decided that this was a good time to get vocal. If it had not been for the arrival of a large policeman, who I promptly left to sort it out, it may have gotten messy. This was fight-or-flight short-circuited. In nature, an animal faced with a threat will naturally make a run for safety & only stand to fight when cornered or run down (i.e. when no other option is available). Only humans will allow other factors to overpower a logical, primal instinct. We let pride, vanity, ego, or just plain stupidity make us stand & fight when the most sensible thing would be to just get out of there. The problem is that although many reasons to stay & fight are self-centred, others are selfless or unfortunately necessary; the defence of others, for example. This is the same drive that will have someone rush into a burning building to save a child, or take on seemingly impossible odds to protect their family, although this goes against the basic concept of self-preservation. Itís when this instinct is overridden by our own indecision that we freeze & are neither prepared to run or to defend ourselves. We simply stand there, unable to act, while our body & brain debate with each other. This momentary indecision can have deadly consequences. It is through the constant training of our bodies & minds that we can learn to control our reactions, & make the correct decisions at such fateful moments.

Karate kids quiz

Karate big kids quiz

Draw a line to the meaning in Japanese.

Upper block

Kiba dachi

Forward throw

Kake geri



Absorb impact


Shut eyes (meditation)

Jodan uke

Bow to one another

Makikomi nage

Lower block


Turn forwards

Mae mawari

Horse stance

Senpai or Sensei

Hook kick


Stop, finish

Gedan barai

Judging distance

Otagai ni rei

Well itís been a great year so far, I thank every one for their support. Remember the more we train the stronger we will get, and the stronger the Geelong Ashihara Karate school well get. We must try to practice our Kata and our Subaki as much as we can, & that means doing a bit of homework. We must always be trying to seek perfection.

Karate is not just something we do for 3 hours a week, we must make it a part of our lives. The right way to say Karate, is Karate Do, the do meaning your way or your path, same as the word Dojo, the jo in Dojo means place, so Dojo translated is way place, the place where you practice your way.

I must also remind every one to please remove their shoes before stepping over the line onto the Dojo floor. This is a Japanese tradition and it shows respect to the Dojo and to all the students that train on the floor. It is ok to wear shoes on the area around the outside of the line.

Remember what Kancho Ashihara use to say.

Everything you need in life can be worked on in the Dojo. A strong body, a sharp mind, & a vital spirit. 



Sensei Mark.

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