Black Belt Ceremony 2013 Mr S. Letchumikanthan
Mr A. Thavarajah
Mr S. Raveendran Mr P. Kirishnananthamoorthy Mr H. Jeyakumar
Mr A. Nadarajalingam
Mr B. Sivaranchan
Mr N. Sivanathan
Miss B. Thavabalasingam
Mr P. Mathiventhan
Mr A. Satheesh
Miss S. Sivaranchan
Mr S. Sivanesan
A message from
Master Kichiro Shimabuku 10th Dan, Hanshi President of IWKA - Japan
About the Teacher
Sensei M. Ramathas 4th Dan, Renshi-go Sensei Ramathas is very dedicated to Karate and teaching. He started to learn Karate (Shotokan Style) in 1989 from Sensei Thangarajah, in Sri Lanka. Unfortunately he had to take a break from Karate due to his migration to UK. In 1994 he started to learn Karate (Shotokan Style) from Sensei Morrison, in Peckam, London again. From 1997 he started to learn Isshin Ryu Karate from Exerkai Isshinryu Karate. His first Dan grade was awarded in Isshin Ryu in 2003. Sensei Ramathas is the first member of Isshin-Ryu World Karate Association, from United Kingdom and he recently has been to U.S for further training and got trained under the great Sensei Michael Calandra, 8th Dan, Kyoshi Go I.W.K.A. His family has a strong connection with teaching as his both parents were teachers and all his siblings are qualified to be teachers in different fields. It was his child hood dream to be a sport teacher just like his father, Mr Thambu Muthusamy, who was also a great Physical Training Instructor, but Ramathas chose to become an instructor in Martial art. Thus, he founded his club, Goshin Isshin Ryu Karate in 2007, and has been conducting it very successfully to date. In addition Ramathas is a good marathon runner, athlete, athlete event organiser and founder of Tamil Youth Sports Club (TYSC), and has a great interest in Foot-ball and has been coaching it for a while too. Apart from sports he takes parts in Short films, TV and stage dramas, and was a presenter in Landon Tamil Radio. Ramathas is an instructor who provides equal opportunities, has no bias, expects well discipline from his students, a very strict instructor but at the same time makes his students laugh by his humorous talk to reduce the gap between him and his students to ease learning process for his students. He is very compassionate about his students’ growth in Martial art as well as their social and academic life. Special Achievements and Awards: • AMA International Runner Up 2002 • Boston Open Grand Champion 2001: European Martial Arts (E.M.A) • Champion 1999: British Open Series. World Karate Martial Arts (WUMA) • Sheffield Open Grand Champion 1999: European Martial Arts (E.M.A) • Champion (Team Kata): International Open 2000 Amateur Martial Association (AMA)
Sensei Michael Calandra 8th Dan, Kyoshi, I.W.K.A Michael Calandra, Hachi Dan- Kyoshi-Go is a very honourable and a versatile martial art instructor who has been practicing Isshin Ryu Karate for over the past thirty years. He is the Chief Instructor of the Seishinkan Martial Arts Dojo in New York, US and the administrator of Isshin Ryu World Karate Association’s web page since 1995. Sensei Calandra is currently producing a DVD series on IsshinRyu at the request of Shimabuku Sensei(Current Headmaster of Isshin-Ryu Karate and Precident of I.W.K.A). Sensei is also the President of the ISJA (International Sosuishtsu-Ryu Jujutsu Association). He became a disciple of master Chen Zhonghua in Chen Style Taiji from 2003. Michael is a certified FBI defensive tactics. He has taught numerous martial art and law enforcement seminars throughout the United States. He worked as a detective in NYPD (New York City Police Department) for 21 years. He is also the founder of the P.C.C.T. (Institute for police control and cuffing techniques). Other Martial Arts Studied: • Feeding Crane Gung-Fu • Yagyu-Shinkage Ryu • Kendo • Judo • Escrima • Aikido • Naginata Do • Qi-Gong Other Achievements: • Police Officer of the Month November 1996, February 2003, April 2004 • N.Y.P.D. Transit Bureau Brooklyn Borough Commander’s Award 1996 &1997 • Graduated N.Y.P..D. Auto Crime School 1997 • Rotary Club Distinguished Service Citation 1996 • Graduated F.B.I. Defensive Tactics Instructor’s School 1990 • Graduated F.B.I. Officer’s Survival School 1991 • F.B.I. Service in the Public Interest Award 1987 • Alumni Achievement Award from New York City Technical College 1984
A message from
Sensei Michael Calandra I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to the following members of the Isshin-Ryu World Karate Association on this their promotion to Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt). • Mr. L. Simsan • Mr. K. Piranavan • Miss T. Bretha • Mr. T. Abishan • Mr. S. Brayan • Mr. M. Praveen • Mr. S. Sivackshan
• Mr. R. Sayanthan • Mr. J. Hari • Mr. S. Ambarish • Mr. M. Arulram • Mr. S. Niruththan • Miss S. Sherome
It is interesting that we have "13" students testing this year. Seisan, the first kata we learn in Isshin-Ryu means "13." The number "13" in Asia is considered a very lucky number. I don't think our "13" students were lucky in achieving their Black Belt. The hard work they had to endure is proof of that. This is my 35th year studying Isshin-Ryu. Isshin-Ryu is a life long journey for those wishing to deeply understand our art. My hope is that this will be the beginning of your journey, and that your journey will be as exciting and rewarding as mine has been. In this the second year of having the Black Belt Ceremony. It is important to remember that a persons ability and character are far more important than any certificate. Many possess a certificate, but not the qualities that the certificate represents. I look forward to seeing the improvement of last years candidates during my visit. Always treat your seniors and juniors with respect. Never think to highly of yourself. We as Black Belt's must always remember. We must train always. We must teach others so that the art may continue, and above all else. We must always lead by example. I look forward to teaching you again this year. Congratulations!
Sensei David ‘Ticky’ Donovan O.B.E, President English Karate Federation Sensei David 'Ticky' Donovan O.B.E. is a renowned British karate competitor and coach. He was the coach and manager of the British and English national karate teams from 1977 until his retirement from that role in 2008 and was renowned as the 'Worlds Most Successful Coach'. He was often heard to say "make it happen". During his tenure as coach Britain won numerous European and World championship team gold medals. It was for his achievements as a coach that he was awarded the OBE in 1991. Sensei Ticky Donovan currently holds a 9th Dan. In 1973 Sensei Ticky formed his own style of Karate known as Ishinryu which means 'All of one Heart'. This style has had significant competition success over the years and continues to be practised at a number of UK clubs as well as in Australia, Canada and New Zealand. • 3 times British Champion • British, European and World Team Champion • British Team Manager / Coach – World Champions Taipei 1982, Holland 1984, Australia 1986, Cairo 1988, Mexico 1990 Sensei Ticky holds an annual summer intensive training course in St Osyth, Clacton-on-Sea during the third week of June. This course gives any Karate-ka from any style of Karate the chance to train solidly for 6 days with some of the best Instructors in the World. Karate can sometimes be turned into big business purely for financial gain and this is at the detriment of the Instructors and Karateka around them and it is never pleasant to see the results of that. Here we see the opposite. This is what happens when someone with a business mind gets passionate about the Art that they love and can afford to invest their time and money into it for the benefit of everyone. This is someone who has made it happen and who is living the dream. Sensei Ticky was an appointed delegate on the interim Board of the English Karate Federation (National Governing Body of Karate) 2007/08. Sensei Ticky was re-elected to the Board of the English Karate Federation (National Governing Body of Karate) 2008/09 and again for 2009/10 & 2011/13.
About Special Guest
Sensei James Waller from USA James Waller is beginning his 10th year studying and practising 6 different martial arts: Isshin-Ryu Karate, Okinawan Kobudo, Seito Sosuishitsu-Ryu Jujutsu, Chen Style Practical Method Taijichuan, Tenshin-Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu and Shindo Muso Ryu Jojutsu, all as a direct student of Sensei Michael Calandra. He has travelled with Sensei Calandra to both Canada & Japan to study under Sensei Yukihiro Sugino in Katori Shinto-Ryu and to China to study under Master Chen Zhongua in Taijichuan. While in China Sensei Waller applied for and was accepted as a Disciple under Master Chen in Chen Style Practical Method. Sensei Waller currently holds the ranks of Sandan in Okinawan Kobudo, Nidan in Isshin-Ryu Karate and Sho-Mukuroku in Seito Sosuishitsu-Ryu Jujutsu. Sensei Waller retired honourably in 2006 as a Lieutenant from the New York City Police Department after a 22 year career in law enforcement where he had a diverse background in front line and middle management supervision, criminal and internal investigations, drug enforcement, community policing, public speaking and arrest and apprehension of wanted and dangerous criminals. Subsequent to retirement from the Police Department he attended Medical School in New York where he studied Traditional Chinese Medicine receiving his graduate degree. He is now licensed and practising Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture & Massage Therapy in New York. He holds the following degrees: MS - Oriental Medicine, BPS - Health Sciences, BS Organizational Management, AOS - Massage Therapy, AS - Criminal Justice.
A mesage from
Sensei M. Ramathas… I would like to wish my students, Simsan, Sayanthan, Piranavan, Hari, Bretha, Ambarish, Abishan, Arulram, Brayan, Niruththan, Praveen, Sherome and Sivackshan only the best for your future. I am very glad for you all. It’s your privilege to be graded and awarded by Sensei Michael Calandra today, and to become the members of Isshin-Ryu World Karate Association. It’s your day to celebrate, it’s your mile stone, but not the destination of martial arts. We all have a very long way to go, which NEVER ENDS, as you all know learning has no end! It is a pleasure of mine to have you as my students, though I sometimes have been little strict and tough with you during your classes and training. But I hope you all understand the reasons behind it. You all are my children who always make me feel proud. I do not only want you all to became good martial artists, but great and successful human beings too. I have tried my best to help you to learn and develop different type of skills such as leadership skills, social skills and interpersonal skills, which will have a great impact where ever you go or whatever you do in the future. I hope you all will use and apply all the skills you learned and developed here and shine in your future. I would like to remind you here again that, never say I can’t, say I can! This positive thinking will build a ladder that you will never fall down. I will always be there for you in your path to success. I wish you all the best for your future.
Sensei M. Ramathas 4th Dan Renshi-go Isshin-Ryu Karate - Do
Mr Abishan Thavarajah The word “karate” comes from the combination of Japanese characters “kara” and “te” meaning “empty hand”. It is an art that ultimately originated from the self-defence methods of ‘Bodhidarma”, a young Buddhist monk from India. He brought his skills to China as he travelled across the Himalayas, building upon his skills by observing the movements of animals and birds as they fought. He essentially developed Shaolin Kung Fu, which broadened out and eventually true karate was developed in the Ryukyu kingdom (now known as Okinawa, Japan). It is an art that can be practised as a combat sport and/or as self-defence training. I began my journey in February of 2007, joining Sensei M.Ramathas in his first class. I took up karate mainly for self-defence and fitness and having watched countless martial arts movies as a child. I was one of his first students, yet I was pushed behind as I regretfully stopped karate a year through in order to practice for my 11+ exams. This has delayed me by one year, however this delayed year has allowed me to reinstate my focus and motivated me to lose more weight and train harder. If you are only expecting certificates, karate is not for you. It’s a life time commitment. I train because I enjoy the art, learning new self-defence techniques and improving my overall health. As Salvador Dali said “Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it”, it is important to understand that this is a life time commitment. If you are not prepared to train karate throughout your life time, you will never experience the true benefits. I can always hear Sensei Ramathas shout “Practice Seisan kata 100 times today; do or die!” in the dojo. As funny as this may seem, he is right; practice is the only way to get anywhere near perfection. The achievements in karate are phenomenal and are helpful on a personal level. In December of 2011 I received my Senpai award, which allows me to teach as an assistant karate instructor. I have been teaching this way at the Sutton branch, and I think this has improved my coaching abilities greatly. The teaching skills I have developed through karate are very useful to me in other parts of my life such as tutoring science and maths. At the time, I did not realise how much dedication karate requires, however having reached black belt definitely has changed me both mentally and physically. Along with the physical benefits, such as improved hand to eye coordination, reflexes, strength, stamina, flexibility and self-defence skills, my self- esteem and morale have risen highly, through the discipline and hard work in karate. We do have to work very hard, but we have a lot of funny moments together especially at black belt training. It is a social club as well, not just full training. It has changed my life forever. The notorious “black belt” is not just a black piece of fabric to be worn around the waist. It symbolises the great dedication, diligence and discipline that I have put into karate. It symbolises change; from white to black. I have gained extensive knowledge about health, fitness and self-defence, which I will endeavour to pass on through the years. I wish to further improve my fitness and keep on practising karate. Furthermore, I would like to attend more martial arts seminars, not only for karate, but also arts such as Taijiquan, which is more focused on breathing techniques and internal power. I will continue studying Isshinryu karate throughout my life and I hope to one day reach the level of Sensei Ramathas and Sensei Michael Calandra. For me, attaining the black belt is just the beginning of a much tougher, yet wonderful martial arts journey. Please enjoy the ceremony today!
Mr Arulram Nadarajalingam I started to learn karate six years ago. I was not really into it at first as mostly we kept repeating the techniques we have previously learnt. However when it came to my grading it was very helpful. From yellow belt to purple two I did not have much interest in karate as I was mainly focussed on my studies. This all changed when I was been graded for my brown one exam. The examiner told me that my performance was not worthy of being rewarded with a brown belt and I was put in for a re-exam. Then I understood how hard I had to work to become a senior student. With a lot of hard work, determination and dedication I earned my third brown belt. By learning karate I have grown in confidence and have achieved many goals which I thought would not be possible. I have run in the 10km marathon which I completed in just less than 2 hours. Karate has given me a lot of opportunities to develop my skills such as teaching; this has helped me see another aspect in to learning karate and reminded me of the many pathways karate can lead to. The black belt training we had in the summer was a real test both mentally and physically. It was a hard, enduring and intensive fifteen days. We had to get up at six in the morning and go home at six in the afternoon. The first few days were very hard to get used to and the training was completely different from any other normal lessons we had in the dojo. We did various different katas and weapons kumite which was really fun; this gave me an insight of what karate is all about. We as a group have had a chance to see the enjoyable and humorous side of Sensei. He has trained us very well and could see the love and passion he has towards martial arts. He is determined to make all his students as great at karate as he is. Sensei has taught me never to give up easily and to give all I have in whatever I do. I would have never gone this far without his guidance.
Miss Bretha Thavabalasingam Hi, my name is Bretha Thavabalasingam; I started karate when I was 8 years old and have been learning karate for 5 years. I had a friend who had gone to the same club. She would me all the wonderful and new defenses she learnt. I had always wanted to go for myself and learn really cool kicks and defenses. So I had asked my dad if I could join the club. He had loved the idea of me learning karate, but he thought it would be a great self-defense for my sister too. She had really bad experience before by joining a different club; therefore she was against the idea of joining another karate club. I had tried my best to make her change her mind, but she was very stubborn on her thought. I asked my friend the address, to show my sister that it wouldn’t be that bad. My dad took us both and I saw some students doing all sorts of techniques. He told me that both my sister and I had to go or neither of us gets to go. My sister somehow ended up agreeing to go to the karate lessons. On the 5th December 2010, I had received my first ever trophy. I was really happy and didn’t even care that I didn’t come first in anything because I’ve never achieved a trophy before for any hard work. I had got 3rd place for kata and 2nd place for kumite. When I started karate I was grouped into the 2nd batch. There are about 13 of us in the batch, who grew up together for the last 5 years. My sister got double promotion and got into the first batch, I was really jealous at first because I was the reason she joined karate, although I began to notice how she had grew to love karate even more than I did. In my sisters black belt ceremony I was really happy for her and couldn’t wait till that one day that I can be a black belt too. Although I never knew how hard those 15 days of training had been for her until it was my turn. However hard it was by doing physical exercises, the breaks that we got, and little jokes that we made recovered our tiredness. I found it really hard but began to get into the routine of waking up to run every day. Sensei Ramathas kept telling me on how I should be better than my sister, which did give me that extra bit of energy. I am very thankful of my parents who had agreed for me to join and my sister who had given karate another go for me. I am also very thankful to Sensei Ramathas and all the other Sensei’s who had helped spend their time to get us this far.
Mr Brayan Sivaranchan I have been learning karate now for six years since I started in 2007 at the Goshin Isshinryu Karate club. I experienced karate first by watching my friend defend himself in fight and began to develop an interest in it. When I discovered that there was a karate club nearby, I joined the club and immediately liked it. The senior students were really welcoming and supportive especially Sensei Ramathas who is my instructor. In my first year I completed my white and yellow belts and by the end of the second year I had achieved my green and blue belts. The following year I attained the two purple belts. I was extremely proud of my accomplishments. This was followed by brown I and II. This year I passed brown III and I am preparing for the black belt. My progress through the increasing difficult levels has given me great confidence and discipline as well as skill and determination. Taking part in karate competitions in front of an audience has also greatly increased my assurance especially when achieving first place. Participating in karate fund-raising charity events has also increased my awareness of other peopleâ€™s problems. Also my instructor, Sensei Ramathas, has been inspirational and motivated me to preserve and carry on with determination-without him, I would not have had the encouragement to do well in life. Apart from physical fitness and skills, karate has taught me many other qualities and given me a more balanced outlook on life. Thank you, Sensei
Mr Hari Jeyakumar I have been attending Goshin Isshin-Ryu Karate for the past 6 years and first joined on 1st February 2007, when the club first opened. Since then I have not only developed myself in karate but have also matured as a person, gained confidence and improved my discipline and physical health. Out of those mentioned, what has been most imminent, is the improvement in my physical health. Before I first joined, there had been warnings from my school highlighting my unhealthy weight and the health implications that could follow. Although there was no instant success, for the first couple of months my fitness level and weight remained poor. Sensei soon noticed the lack of fitness in me and other students and incorporated a compulsory 5km run every Sunday morning. At first, I found these weekly runs dreadful and extremely difficult but once I started to improve, I also started to enjoy running. Karate has also improved my ability to teach, as I am usually given the opportunity to teach younger children under Senseiâ€™s supervision. This was also another example of something that, initially, I didnâ€™t want to do. This was because I thought it was unnecessary and not worth the effort. In hindsight, I am now glad I took this opportunity, as it has not only helped me improve my teaching skills but it has also improved my patience, ability to approach young learners and my leadership skills. While I am teaching, it can also help me see errors in my performance more clearly and can help me remember parts of my syllabus that I learnt years ago. Out of all my experiences in karate, black belt training was the most intense and difficult. Black belt training lasted for two weeks, starting at 7:00am and ended at 6:00pm. Although training was difficult and tiring, Sensei tried his best to lighten the mood with jokes. It was also a productive way to spend my summer holiday and helped me improve aspects of my karate and fitness within a short amount of time. Another important skill I learnt was teamwork, as many of the exercises required a team effort and could go wrong if one person made the slightest mistake. Sensei Ramathas and my other Sensei are not only great martial artists but are all also dedicated and encouraging teachers. They all have no bias, treat all students fairly and provide equal opportunities for everyone. They have inspired me to always improve in karate and to also strive to be a better person. Therefore, before I finish, I would like to thank Sensei Ramathas and my other Sensei for all they have taught me and for being great role models.
Mr Niruththan Sivanathan Karate represents so much more to me than just a form of self-defence. The martial art has taught me discipline, self-control, courage and above all else has stressed the importance of hard work. Karate has played a pivotal role in facilitating my development as a mature, responsible adult and the past 5 years have been a roller coaster ride of emotions, where I have learnt a lot about and refined upon my own character. I am infinitely grateful to myself for having the nerve to re-enter the dojo following a brief lapse in my dedication, where I even considered quitting due to a lack of interest. However, I resumed my training, and from that point on I have gone from strength to strength, building a stable foundation upon which I can further develop my skill set. Admittedly, the training has not been easy, and my goals have not always been clear, but I have learnt to truly value the opportunity of having such an amazingly insightful Sensei. His thoughtful advice and guidance have helped me in the bleakest of times and I am genuinely overjoyed to be under the tutelage of such an awe-inspiring individual. The 15 day black belt training was arduous and mentally exhausting, but the outcome was fruitful. There were a total of thirteen students that undertook the training this year, and the ages of the students ranged from 11-20. As the oldest student in the class, certain responsibilities were pushed onto me, and I invariably found myself needing to perform and lead the way to the younger students. I am thankful that I was blessed with this opportunity as it has helped to develop my leadership and communication skills. As the training came to a close, I was confident that each and every one of my peers approach and attitude to karate has changed, as mine has.
Mr Piranavan Kirishnananthamoorthy Karate is not a sport but an art which interests me. I decided to join karate as it seemed to me as an exotic activity which would help me with my concentration and keeping body fit and Iâ€™ve never regretted a day since 2007 when I first joined Goshin Isshinryu Karate. Karate sessions were physically challenging but I really enjoyed getting stronger and being able to defend myself. The first stepping stone was passing the yellow belt exam. As soon as I had passed, I had instantly become a more much confident person who wanted to achieve more and be able to withstand any obstacles in the way. During my years in karate, I attended various tournaments. The first tournament was the Yorkshire tournament. At first, I was not chosen to go as Sensei Ramathas said that my kata did not consist any power. This made me very upset as I felt left out and there were tears in my eyes. I practised even harder until I proved Sensei Ramathas wrong. I participated in the competition and came second in kata. It is well known that a teacher makes a huge difference to an art and my case is no different. I would like to thank Sensei Ramathas for all his hard work and helping me develop all the various skills that I have acquired all these years. He is a patient and enthusiastic teacher who inputs his passion into his students. We are repeatedly instructed always to be aware of our surroundings and never to let down our guard. This developed into a general attitude of mindfulness where I am always fully engaged in everyday situations. Black belt training was one of the most memorable experiences as it was so intense. The strength and knowledge that I had acquired through hard physical training translated into a confidence I never knew existed. The discipline and respect that I had for my teachers manifest as a newfound respect for my peers and colleagues. Most importantly was that the passion and motivation necessary to attain the level of black belt, transferred to a passion and fire for all my various endeavours. It is very simple to state that my history with karate alone is the cause of who I am, however I can undeniably say that I would not be the same person without it.
Mr Praveen Mathiventhan My name is Praveen Mathiventhan. I am 11 years old and attend Ilford County High School. I started Goshin Isshinryu Karate in April 2008 when I was 6 years old. The reason why I wanted to learn karate was that I really wanted to do something to help boost my confidence. When I first started I found the first few classes really scary and didn't want to go since I was the youngest one there. Then I forgot about my fears and continued to do karate. During my time at karate, many tournaments took place. This was a breathtaking experience as I was really into trophies and medals at the time. My first tournament was in Dulwich and this was a breathtaking experience because there were so many opponents. I did really well in Kumitte and came first. In karate many charity events were held. My first one was in 2009 at the Ilford Town Hall. I performed hand to hand techniques on stage, at the end of the programme I was awarded a certificate by the Mayor of Ilford. Things started to heat up during my brown belt examinations. Using weapons was one of my weak points I started to struggle when it came to using bow. So I started practising at home and soon started getting the hang of using weapons and managed to pass my brown 2 examination to get to brown 3. Our black belt training was for 2 weeks and it started from 7 am in the morning till around 5 pm in the afternoon. It was tough but I knew it was worth it. By learning karate I have become a much more mature and self controlled person. I always feel more confident and am ready to face anyone in real life situations. I am incredibly lucky to have such an amazing sensei. Sensei Ramathas has been very strict to me but I now understand why that is. He motivates me by using his famous saying â€œNO PAIN NO GAIN!â€? and without his guidance I could not have gotten this far. So thank you Sensei!
Mr Sayanthan Raveendran I started karate on 02/06/2008. I never really had any thought to join karate. I was introduced to Henshou Isshinryu Karate Association by my family friend Mr and Mrs Parameswaran. I was very unfit when I started and I was not determined to put in any hard work. As I progressed through the ranks I began to find some interest in karate. Then my cousins who went to Sensei Ramathas went to a tournament and won trophies. I was really upset that I have never taken part in anything similar to it. I did not want to go there anymore; I cried and begged my parents but they forced me to go. As I progressed through the years I gradually improved on my karate skills. I made really nice friends and I went twice a week without taking any days off. In September of 2012, I changed to Sensei Ramathas’ club, Goshin Isshinryu Karate, for personal reasons. I made friends quickly as they were around my age group. It was a new experience as sparring and the syllabus was different. I struggled a lot but I decided to try my best. Sensei noticed it and he entered me for the interclub tournament to do sparring and an individual kata. I won third place for sparring and fourth place for kata. I was thrilled since it was the first time I took part in a competition. I came back home and told my parents I will do better next year as I will take more practice. In February 2013 I took my brown II exam. I practised a lot since it was the first exam which I am being tested on for the first time. I ended up getting double promotion and it was only me so I joined the batch that was going to do their black belt this year. I felt cheerful and felt confidence grow inside me. I knew I had to work hard so that I get to do my black belt as well. We started black belt training and we had intense workout and we learned many different skills and also saw that Sensei had other skills than karate (cooking and gardening). In black belt training there was thirteen of us who were taking black belt. In the 15 days of my black belt training I did not know what to expect but all I knew is that it started at 07:00am to 05:00. We got to know each other in the two weeks we were together. I also understood senior students more, like Sanjiiv Sensei. I was scared of him before but after the period of time I got to know him and I wasn’t scared of him. Sensei used many phrases but the most popular ones are “never say you can’t. Say you can” and “Do or Die”. Each senior black belt helped me throughout in many different ways. Firstly, Sensei Nihithaa was a role model as she got double promotion so then I wanted to get double promotion like her and I did. Secondly, Sensei Ahtheesan showed me how to broaden the techniques and skills in real life situation which was vital to me. But Sensei Ramathas is the greatest role model as he is the fittest and most active man of his age which I know. Sensei Ramathas gave me, Niruthan and Sensei Pirunthaban an opportunity to show a performance to promote our club in the late August of 2013. We went on a parade from Barkingside to Valentines Park. We performed on a moving vehicle along other Tamil Associations. I was delighted that I got chosen to promote my club. When I returned to school, a few classmates told me that they saw me in the parade and they congratulated me for taking part. I felt that I should be very thankful to Sensei for letting me take part. In conclusion, I feel that karate has changed my life in many different ways. I have learnt many skills over the years. I feel that karate is an important sector of my life and I wish to continue and develop my skills for the coming years. I have learnt to teach and how to resolve problems. With all the years of experience I know how to defend myself and what to do in various situations.
Miss Sherome Sivaranchan I have been learning karate now for six years since I started in 2008 at the Goshin Isshinryu Karate club. I experienced karate first by watching my brother and began to develop an interest in it. When I discovered that girls could also train for karate, I joined the club and immediately liked it. The people there were really welcoming and supportive especially Sensei Ramathas, my instructor. In my first year I completed my white and yellow belts and by the end of the second year I had achieved my green and blue belts. The following year I attained the two purple belts. I was extremely proud of my accomplishments. This was followed by brown I and II. This year I passed brown III and I am preparing for the black belt. My progress through the increasing difficult levels has given me great confidence and discipline as well as skill and determination. Taking part in karate competitions in front of an audience has also greatly increased my assurance especially when achieving first place. Participating in karate fund-raising charity events has also increased my awareness of other peopleâ€™s problems. Also my instructor, Sensei Ramathas, has been inspirational and motivated me to preserve and carry on with determinationwithout him, I would not have had the encouragement to do well in life. Apart from physical fitness and skills, karate has taught me many other qualities and given me a more balanced outlook on life. Thank you, Sensei
Mr Simsan Letchumikanthan My name is Simsan Letchumikanthan and I have been learning karate for the past 5 years. The reason I joined karate is because I was interested in it. When I first joined Goshin Isshinryu Karate Club, I was quite nervous but I had the confidence in myself and worked as hard as I could and passed my yellow belt exam. I gradually became involved in karate and this has increased my confidence even more. This has motivated me to carry on with karate throughout my life. I took part in a karate tournament in Yorkshire; my first tournament but sadly I did not win any prizes. This knocked my confidence down. From that day I thought to myself I would never win any prizes at any tournament. No! You should not let yourselves down and it is not the winning that matters itâ€™s the taking part that matters. I kept that saying in my head and started practising really hard. I then took part in the interclub tournament. At first I thought I might lose again but it was worth giving my best shot. I was really astonished when I found out that I came 2nd place for kata performance. This has made me boost my confidence even more and became confident to participate in any other tournaments. During the summer holiday, my group and I had 15 days of black belt training. It started at 7:00am to 5:00pm. We did a different varieties of exercises, kata and weapon kumite. After black belt training I feel like I am a different person with a lot more confidence. These two weeks of black belt training gave me a great experience and has taught me a lot from karate. Furthermore without my great and encouraging teacher Sensei Ramathas I would not have come this far and I am so lucky to have as my karate instructor. Thank you, Simsan Letchumikanthan
Mr Sivackshan Sivanesan I started Goshin Isshinryu karate in 2008 and have continued karate to present. I personally didn’t want to join karate at first but my mum had forced me into starting karate. I disliked karate at start as I found it very boring to memorise katas, but as I had gained my Brown belt, I started to get involved in the kata and started to understand its Art. The first ever karate tournament I took part in was the Dulwich Karate tournament, in which I participated in 2 events which was kata and sparring. Since this was my first tournament I wasn’t very confident in participating and was very nervous. Unfortunately I had panicked in the kata and didn’t win any medals for kata but I had gained 1st place in Sparring. After winning a medal in sparring I was motivated into karate even more. In these 5 years I have gathered many abilities for future careers. Karate has taught me many abilities in various ways such as loyalty, dedication, discipline, selfcontrol and courage. Learning karate has helped me to control my anger and taught me what’s right and wrong. Sensei Ramathas has taught me a lot more than just Karate; he usually says the phrase “No pain No Gain” which has motivated me towards achieving my black belt. Overall I would like to thank Sensei Ramathas in teaching me Karate and discipline. Thank You, Sivackshan Sivanesan
Mr Ambarish Satheesh I began attending Goshin Isshinryu Karate back in late 2007, a time when, if my memory serves me right, there were only a handful of students being taught by Sensei Ramathas â€“ a stark contrast to the sometimes crowded halls that you see today. I was very nervous at that age and didnâ€™t participate in many extra-curricular activities due to a lack of confidence, so joining Karate was a difficult thing to do for me. However, thanks to the efforts of my parents, I persisted and it turned out to be one of the best things I have done. The first year was tough for me in two ways: physically because of the nature of karate training which requires stamina and strength, and mentally due to the new environment I was in and because I needed to stay committed if I wanted to progress further. Despite these hardships, I persevered and I can attribute this to both myself and my sensei. As my confidence and abilities grew, I started to enter tournaments as an attempt to test my newfound skills against other students. In hindsight I can say that I was initially quite overconfident and perhaps this was the reason why I did not have many successes. After a series of tournaments that did not go very well and exams that I struggled to complete, I began to lose the will to continue karate and so I gradually stopped working as hard. This did not last very long though because Sensei Ramathas always had a few words of wisdom to impart. He spoke of a time when he was a student and, like me, did not taste success at tournaments for a long time. It was only by working even harder after each one of his losses that he finally won. I took his advice to keep at it and soon the results followed. Certainly the hardest period in the 5 or 6 years I have been practising karate was the time leading to and during my black belt training. This was when I had to keep on top of my A-level exams while also trying to attend classes regularly. Of course, it wasnâ€™t always possible to maintain this so I started to skip karate lessons out of necessity but tried to make the most out of the lessons that I did attend. The two weeks of black belt training were very intense (and probably the only two weeks in my life where I consistently did something productive) and required all of the knowledge and fitness I had been developing for almost 6 years. After 15 days of bruises, sore muscles and sometimes sleepless nights, I completed the training and the exam. My experience of karate over these years has included its fair share of highs, lows and even long periods of mediocrity. During this time I have grown a lot, physically, but perhaps more important than that is my personal growth. I can say that I have become more mature, confident, productive and disciplined as a result of practising karate and can only hope to continue improving myself in the future. None of this growth would have been possible without my parents, who have supported me over the years (and sometimes gave me the kick up the backside I needed), my fellow students who have grown with me, and my sensei, who has taught me everything I know about karate and much more outside of that as well; for this I thank them from the bottom of my heart.
Black Belt Ceremony 2012
N. Pushpanathan (Programme Co-ordinator), Mr & Mrs Sensei M. Ramathas Sensei Michael Calandra, M. Sripathy (Programme Co-ordinator)
Students of 2012 receiving their Black Belt Certificates
GOSHIN ISSHIN-RYU KARATE ASSOCIATION LONDON - UK SENSEI M. RAMATHAS TRAINED BY MICHAEL CALANDRA
THE FIRST AUTHORISED INSTRUCTOR IN THE UNITED KINGDOM OF
ISSHINRYU WORLD KARATE ASSOCIATION
BRANCHES • Gants Hill • East Ham • Catford • Chadwell Heath • Sutton • Ilford Lane • Ley Street Newbury Park
Instructor Sensei E Sanjiv 3rd Dan Isshin-Ryu Karate - Do LONDON - UK
M Ramathas 4th Dan Isshin-Ryu Karate - Do LONDON - UK +44 (0)7958 010 139 Email: email@example.com www.goshinisshinryukarate.com
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