2012 Curaçao Special Training
Courtesy Shotokan Karate of America
The first Curaçao Special Training was held on the weekend of October 5–7, 2012. There were 15 participants: six black belts, seven brown belts, and two white belts. Seven of the participants were first-timers and two were 16 years old. Three participants were from the USA—two from Simi Valley, CA, and one from Amherst, MA. The leader of the training was yodan Lee Quintanar from the Simi Valley dojo.
It was an excellent start for a new Special Training tradition, and we included quotes from Don DePree and Mr. Ohshima to inspire us to push for a strong spirit. Curaçao is the largest of Netherlands Antilles islands in the Caribbean. Mr. Ohshima visited five years ago for our 30th anniversary celebration, and designated Curaçao Shotokan as an international affiliate. Curaçao is a beautiful location, and karateka are encouraged to visit for strong practices, rich history, warm oceans, and the welcoming people who speak English, Spanish, Dutch, and Papiamento.
Shotokan Karate of Curaçao Exchange Practice 2009
The first notice appeared in Shotokan online News in early 2009. Some time before, the wheels had been set in motion to open the door for my chance to visit. Marion Taylor, a senior member from SKA-East had been there many times, and always praised the people, the city, the festivities and the practices. Two years ago Curaçao Shotokan celebrated 25 years, and invited Ohshima Sensei for a very special event orchestrated by dedicated members; it was a total success. Now it was time for me to experience firsthand the character and the spirit of the island and its people!
My wife and I had never been to the Caribbean, the annual exchange practice with Shotokan Karate of Curaçao members was the perfect reason to make this our “winter escape.” From our first contact with the organizing committee and the numerous net searches for the best accommodations and flights, I knew that this trip would be remembered and cherished. We decided to vacation on the island prior to the event, with our stay culminating in the exchange practice.
Special Training The Netherlands 2009
On 13-15 of March the 3rd Holland Special Training in Enschede took place. Paul Tabe (Yodan) from Belgium and Danny Morales (Yodan) from the US did lead the special training. They did a brilliant job in constantly motivating us to push ourselves to the limits and remind us that this is the reason why we take part. "Go right through the pain and get out of it with a big, strong feeling!!"
The group consisted of 21 people from various Dojos in Enschede, Den Haag, Antwerp, Berlin, Haan and Curacao. It was a special honour for us to have two guests from far away: Danny from California and Eric from Curacao! For 5 people it was their first Special Training and they all performed pretty well! Oliver (8. Kyu) from Dojo Haan almost completely lost his voice because of doing such strong kiais!