ak masters, ashihara, karate, ashihara karate, ashihara-karate, martial arts, full-contact, sport, raul rucarean, tsg, tsu shin gen
Foto: Raul Rucărean

Raul Rucărean is a supporting person of AK MASTERS blog since the beginning, helping me last year to publish an interview with Soke David C. Cook (10th Dan), the founder and grandmaster of Tsu Shin Gen International Budo Association (TSG) – click here. In 1999 he opened three dojos in Romania (two in Brașov and one in Sighișoara), but in 2002 he left the country and his work towards Ashihara had ended. He settled in the UK in 2005 and nowadays he is the Country Representative for TSG Combat Karate, being part of this organization since 2012.

Pentru varianta în limba română, click aici!

“The first time I set foot in a dojo was in 1990, where I began my training in Shotokan under Sensei Simion Tudorel’s guidance. A few years later, on the recommendation of a friend who is still active today in Ashihara-Karate, I joined Shihan Mircea Cârloganu’s dojo. Brașov is «the heart» of Ashihara-Karate in Romania and, in the early days, the training was brutal, realistic and the gradings were truly memorable with lasting effect. That was more of a reflection of the instructor rather than the style. You had a chance to discover who you really were and what you were made of. In the end, the hardship endured throughout the journey was character building, teaching you to become stronger in body and mind”, remembers the 4th Dan black belt Sensei.

In the UK, there are very few Ashihara-Karate dojos, not being a very widely known martial arts style, but he found in TSG what he needed and he is looking forward to the future. “Within our organization, we recognise the importance of continuously developing it and «embracing» new ideas which can further enhance our methods of training. Keeping an open mind teaches you that you always have something new to learn no matter what grade you are. During my time as part of the TSG organization, I’ve been very lucky to have had the opportunity to contribute towards producing four new books on the different TSG styles we teach; this includes TSG-Combat Karate, TSG-Mix Fight, TSG Ashihara Karate International and TSG-Kyokushin Karate. In addition to this, we also have Instructional DVDs to help the instructors and the students. For the instructors, we have produced an Instructors Manual which provides the tools they need to further enhance their role. To be able to give all of this to your students and instructors is priceless and simply demonstrates the never-ending work and the level of dedication that Soke Cook has put into TSG”, said Raul.

He thinks that every person has a different reason for entering a dojo and that every style is different and unique in its own way. Also, the training can differ from one dojo to the other, within the same organization, and it is important that each individual chooses a style that suits best. “My message to the students is: «Be honest in your training and respect your instructors» and for the instructors: «Inspire the younger generations, because without them there’s no future»”, concluded Raul Rucărean.