HISTORY

FOUNDER  UMO  KARATE

SENSEI TETSUHIKO ASAI & SENSEI JAN KNOBEL sr Juni 1994

Born May 30th 1950, married and father of 3 sons. Went working on a cruise ship when he was 18 and visited many times the USA, what he still finds his favourite country. This resulted in a 3-week motorcycle trip at the West coast during his 25th wedding     anniversary. After his sailing period and after getting married to his wife Hanny, he went searching for something to do during the evening times. After seeing him play soccer, his father, former soccer coach of Ajax Amsterdam and the Dutch National Soccer team, advised   him to hang his shoes to the tree because to his opinion: “He could not crash an egg with his feet”. So he did and he went to     practice karate.
     His first foreign teacher was sensei Miyazaki and his assistant Sawada. They made such a big impression on him that Jan committed himself fully to Karate. It started for him as a hobby and became a lifestyle and his living. After a period of teaching karate at a local sports school, Jan started his own dojo in 1983. The dojo was and still is called UMO, meaning feather. This crest was a description of Jan’s character and lifestyle, done by his former Japanese teacher sensei Miyazaki, who has passed away. He thought the feather in the air is swift and uncontrolled, attached to an arrow the feather     directs and controls the arrow. This he thought Jan’s character was, happy and fun but straight to the point and honest. Jan himself thought this a great honour sensei Miyazaki described him this way.
     Jan practiced karate in those early days with sensei’s as Nakayama, Kase, Enoeda, Shirai, Ochi, Asai, Yahara, Abe. Sensei Abe he met in 1985 during his first visit to Japan. He practised with sensei Abe during the Gaijin class for several weeks. At that time entering the JKA instructors class or training with the JKA Instructors class was impossible.
     In the early days Jan had a lot of success during competitions. Several times Dutch champion, individual and team. Especially in his specialty Kata . In 1993 he transferred from the National Organization to his old love the JKA. He was sick and tired of politics and only wanted to practice and enjoy karate his way. Also the national organization was an all style organization and being so left a little room for traditional Karate. So he went to the JKA Asai fraction and stayed there until the last split. During his stay with sensei Asai he met sensei Amos and since then always stayed in contact with him. Jan developed his Karate under Asai sensei and became more exited. He still wanted to compete and he became European champion, 2nd in Johannesburg during the World  Championships 1993 and World champion in Greece 1996. This, In his eyes completed his Karate and he devoted himself to coaching his sons and the rest of his team. Until now the successes are hardly to count, several European champions, high      scores during World championships, several 1st – 2nd and 3rd places. Being independent, after the Asai split, Jan and his team competed with all kinds of organizations. He thought of himself as a Ronin, a samurai without a master. He kept contact with all those organisations and finally founded the WJKA, a traditional organization which was and still is in Jan’s blood.  
     Nowadays Jan shares his time between his dojo and courses he is giving throughout Europe. He is a well seen instructor in the Balkan countries and due to his efforts these Karateka’s are now able to travel throughout Europe to compete in several competitions.
     He is founder of JKA the Netherlands and the WJKA.

DE OORSPRONG VAN SHOTOKAN KARATE

Volgens de legende is karate ongeveer 2000 jaar geleden in het Noorden van China ontstaan, waar de Indische Monnik Daruma Taichi zijn boeddhistische leer onderwees in het klooster van Chaolin-Zsu. Om zijn leerlingen lichamelijk en geestelijk te sterken voor zijn strenge onderwijsmethode en tegen gevaren waarmee zij op hun latere reizen zouden worden geconfronteerd, ontwikkelde hij een soort fysiologische techniek, zowel gebaseerd op zware lichamelijke prestaties als op meditatie. Later kregen deze monniken de naam van de geweldigste vechters van China te zijn en werd hun zelfverdediging stijl Chaolin-Zsu tempel boks of Kempo genoemd.
Door de goede handelsbetrekkingen tussen China en het Japanse eiland Okinawa duurde het niet lang vooraleer deze zelfverdediging techniek doordrong naar Okinawa en de technieken vermengd werden met het plaatselijke vuist vechten. Hieruit ontstond het Okinawa-Te, de basis van het huidige karate. Het was grootmeester Gichin Funakoshi (geboren in 1869, Shuri (Okinawa)) die het Okinawa-Te overbracht naar Japan alwaar hij het vermengde met oudere Japanse verdediging’s technieken en alzo het moderne karate (Kara = leeg; Te = hand) vormde. Karate-do betekent dus de weg van de lege hand.
Hij ontwikkelde de Shotokan stijl genaamd naar het gebouw waarin voor het eerst onderricht werd gegeven. deze techniek werd in Japan snel populair en in 1948 werd de Japan Karate associatie (JKA) opgericht met Gichin Funakoshi aan het hoofd, waardoor Karate een snelle technische vooruitgang boekte. Bij zijn dood in 1957 ontwikkelden vele van zijn leerlingen een eigen stijl. Alzo ontstonden Wado Ryu van Sensei Ohama en het Kyokushin KaiKan van sensei Masutatsu Oyama. Toch werd de shotokan stijl behouden door Funakoshi’s naaste leerling, Sensei Nakayama (9°Dan). Masatoshi Nakayama stond jarenlang aan het hoofd van de JKA en leidde wereldberoemde super karateka’s op zoals Nishiyama, Shirai, Myasaki en Kase. Zo werd het door Funakoshi ontwikkelde en door Nakayama voortgezette Shotokan Karate één der grootst verspreide stijlen in de wereld.