Between August 31 and September 1, 2018, the AIKO Romanian Camp seminar, organized by LC Ashihara Budokai Sport Club, led by sensei Cristi Luculescu, took place in Târgu Neamţ, in the polyvalent hall of Ştefan cel Mare National College. At this event attended more than 70 athletes, Shihan Dave Jonkers (founder of the Ashihara International Karate Organisation), Sensei Marcel van den Berg (4 Dan AIKO black belt) and Niels Wilmink, a professional Kickboxing fighter. For the small community in this city, the AIKO Romanian Camp represented a spectacular demonstration, also fueling the interest of Kyokushin, Jujutsu and Enshin-Karate practitioners.
Kristina Arsić, from Belgrade (Serbia), member of NIKO organization, first entered a karate dojo in 2001, at the age of 6. Her beginnings were the traditional martial arts, but because she liked more full-contact sports, the coach of that time recommended her Ashihara-Karate. Over time, the Serbian athlete has won many medals in national and international championships, both Ashihara and Kyokushin. She also takes part in Kickboxing training sessions.
The AK MASTERS blog enters in its second year of activity. We have accumulated many experiences during this period and have come into contact with many Ashihara-Karate enthusiasts. At first, for me – as for most practitioners in Romania – the NIKO organization was almost the whole “universe” of the martial arts style under which I practiced my entire sporting career. Along the way, I have met people belonging to other international structures (AIKO, AKI, IAKA and TSG), which has greatly increased my perception of this world. I want to thank everyone for their collaborations and for supporting free expression beyond structural barriers and state borders.
The Tsu Shin Gen International Budo Association (TSG) is a non-political martial art association in which members from various countries can exchange ideas and experience for the benefit of all. The organization is teaching five systems: TSG-Combat Karate, TSG-Mix Fight, TSG-Kyokushin Karate, TSG-Ashihara International Karate and TSG-Grappling. Although being a small organization, TSG has branches in Sweden, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, United Kingdom, Sri Lanka, India and Chile. To tell more about this association, AK MASTERS blog interviewed Soke David C. Cook, 10th Dan. He has over 40 years experience of teaching Kyokushin Karate, Ashihara-Karate, Ashihara International Karate and, more recently, his own TSG-Combat Karate and TSG-Mix Fight styles. During this time, he has studied in Japan and other countries under various karate and grappling masters. He also spent some time studying the Wing Chun style of Kung Fu at the Chinese Legation, in London, in the early 1970.
Vsevolod Lebedev is the International Association of Karate Ashiharakyokai (IAKA) organization Branch Chief in Latvia. He started practicing karate in 2008, being an active athlete until 2016. During this time he was member of NIKO and Josui-Karate organizations. He participated five times (2011-2015) in Sabaki Challenge Spirit international championship (Denmark). Also, he was the winner of Eurasian and European competitions (Turkey and Latvia) and of many Kyokushin, Ashihara-Karate and Josui-Karate local tournaments. In 2010, he opened his own dojo, where he’s working as a coach with almost 50 sportsmen.