World Karate Association in Okinawa, Japan Promotes Brevard County Karate Black Belts
By Space Coast Daily // December 3, 2016
Brevardians Make 8,000 mile journey
BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA BEACH, FLORIDA – Earlier this month three karate black belts at Cocoa Beach Karate made the long trip to Okinawa, Japan, the birthplace of modern day karate to train with high ranking karate masters and to be tested by the World Matsubayashi-Ryu (Shorin-Ryu)) Karate-Do Association (WMKA).
Sensei Des Chaskelson, Stu Warren and Jason Christian made the over 8,000 mile journey to Naha, Okinawa to train with the 9th and 10th degree karate masters (highest ranks) in their dojos and to also get ready for the strict testing for dan level (black belt level) promotion.
The three local karate black belts trained twice a day at the various dojo in Naha in preparation for the testing which included karate black belts from all over the world as well as Okinawa and mainland Japan.
Sensei Chaskelson, the owner of the Cocoa Beach Karate School, was promoted to the rank of roky-dan (6th degree) black belts and awarded the title of Renshi.
Renshi (錬士) is a title awarded to senior karateka of no less than 6th Dan and is the first in the ‘Shogo’ titles (others being Kyoshi & Hanshi). Renshi translates as ‘polished expert’. Chaskelson had previously been promoted to 5th dan in Okinawa in 2010 at the 75th Anniversary of the WMKA.
Jason Christian, who was promoted to 1st degree black belt in Okinawa in 2014 at the WMKA World Seminar, successfully completed the requirements for promotion to ni-dan (2nd dgree) black belt on this trip.
Stu Warren, who was promoted to ni-dan (2nd degree black belt) in Okinawa in 2014 made the trip to engage in the strenuous training and to support the other two Cocoa Beach black belts. He participated in the testing in the bunkai (kata applications) and kumite (fighting).
The Board of Judges included these karate Masters: World Matsubayashi-Ryu (Shorin-Ryu) Karate-Do Association (WMKA) President Yoshitaka Taira, Hanshi, 10th Dan; Higa Sensei, 9th Dan, Hanshi; Toshimitsu Arakaki, Hanshi, 10th Dan; Iwao Tome, Hanshi, 9th Dan
“I am honored and humbled to have had the opportunity to train with these esteemed Karate Masters” said Chaskelson.
“Rank is as much a responsibility as it is an honor and we (Cocoa Beach black belts) will strive to continue our strenuous training and pass on what we have been so freely given”.
Cocoa Beach Karate School was founded by Chaskelson Sensei in 2002 and offers authentic karate classes for kids, teens and adults and beginners are welcomed and considered the most important students in the dojo.
The school has two locations: The Ciry of Cocoa Beach Recreation Center and the Cocoa Beach Health & Fitness Center.
For more information visit www.CocoaBeachKarate.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 321.693.7831.
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