Malibay, Pasay – Sensei Richard Picar delivers his usual reminder before ending the class. This time, Senpai Paul, a former student of Sensei Alberto Baquiran, and newly added member to WKO Shinkyokushin Philippines sits together with the senior members in front. “These children look up on you, their behavior is the reflection of your attitude. I hope you guys would take my words seriously, “Sensei Richard says. According to him, colored belts especially at 9th or 1st Kyu should also take responsibility in handling the class. He added, there are times they have to stop using protective equipment like shin guards and gloves once in a while to let students feel the pain during kumite, though it is necessary to reduce damages and avoid injuries, however, they have to be reminded this is budo karate.
In the early days of kyokushin, the absence of protective equipment in full contact tournaments made this the fiercest of all karate, setting it apart from its traditional okinawan roots. Hence also produced legendary fighters. However, as years goes by, the karate that was once revered by Japanese people because of its bare knuckle full contact tournament slowly changed the rules. Though practitioners of the art have to adapt with the change of time, Sensei Richard would like to instill to their minds the discipline and spirit of budo karate.
“We are not getting any younger, the way we fight changes as we grow old. Compared to our younger days when we can easily flex our legs to do high kicks. Soon you’ll be replacing us (referring to the higher belts). As you age, there are many changes to our body, recovery is slow, belly starts to swell, sometimes you have to maintain some medication, your movements become rusty, what more if you skip training. There are so many masters who have a lot of golden stripes in their black belt, but I don’t want to be that kind of master when I grow old. I still want to train with the younger people,” Sensei Richard says.
Malibay, Pasay City – An unexpected 6th kyu grading for Delfin Albot, a fighter and student of Josuikaikan Philippines was held at Shinkyokushin Philippines temporary headquarters in Stamina Gym on July 09, 2017. The belting came as a surprise since Delfin has no idea that he will be tested for his belt. His instructor, Nikon L. Celis of Josuikaikan Philippines who came late asked Senpai Paul how many times Delfin sparred today before his grading. “I think he already fought five times,” Senpai Paul replied.
Sensei Richard says, they have so many attendees today, so Delfin have already sparred more than five times already. However, his instructor insisted to have another four. Delfin, though already tired is asked to wear his shin guard and gloves again. And shinkyokushin students/fighters: Aila, Clarrise, Tristan and Francis were asked to line up to fight Delfin for his grading. The battles were hardly fought, Richard Picar can’t stop coaching loudly, “Delfin guard up”, but fighters especially Tristan won’t give Delfin a single chance to recover. He thought it’s just another sparring and has no idea he is fighting for his yellow belt and being tested.
A yellow belt was tied on Delfin’s waist after finishing four fights. Though, having a small built, his determination was praised by one of the student’s parent. “I have no idea that I’ll be tested today, I am tired and have no stamina already,” Delfin said while catching his breath.
Pointers were given by black belts after his fight. “You have to keep your guard up,” Alberto Baquiran Sensei said.
Delfin admitted he still lack technique and has a long way to go compared to seasoned fighters. He also mentioned he wants to learn other martial arts like muay thai, and grappling like aikido, wrestling and jiujitsu to compliment his karate skills.
Richard Picar says, we all have to adapt with the change, we can’t always stay in comfort zone of our tournament rules.
Pasay City – Heavy monsoon rains can’t stop knockdown karate fighters of Shinkyokushinkai PH from attending their Sunday afternoon session in Stamina Gym. Students from New Era branch braved the 11.17 kilometer distance travel from Quezon City to Malibay, Pasay.
Training is supervised by WKO Philippine Branch Chief, Sensei Richard Picar, who is also spearheading its operation in the country. “Students are becoming more aggressive after the tournament, even a student from Josuikai, Delfin Albot, who is attending our session here is now showing progress, I wish he used those techniques in his last fight,” Sensei Picar Said.
Mark Palacio spars with Tris Ilay from Quezon City Branch.
Slowly, students are showing different strategy and techniques during kumite session. ”Kailangan tumibay kayo dito, yan ang purpose ng training ninyo dito, sa mga nakikipag-sparring sa mga bata wag kayong kampante, wag ibaba yung kamay. (You have to harden yourselves, that’s the purpose of your training, and don’t be too complacent when you spar with kids, you have to keep your guard up.),” Sensei Picar added before ending the training session.
Delfin Albot from Josuikaikan spars with a student from WKO Shinkyokushinkai Philippines.
According to Sensei Richard Picar, his dojo is open to all martial artist, regardless of style and organization as long they are interested to learn karate, not only their interest and willingness to learn
but also the value of respect.
Group photo after the training session.