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Spirit meets Quality: The Shotokan Times and Saiko-Sports have partnered up

The picture shows the banner for the "Spirit meets Quality" series.

“Spirit meets Quality” is the motto of the newly forged partnership between German karate gi and equipment supplier SaikoSports and The Shotokan Times. Together both companies will offer karate gis and other equipment to the international karate community through The Shotokan Times Shop.

With “Spirit meets Quality” the partnership expresses its desire to reach perfection in its operations and products. Dr. Philipp Lang, owner and managing director of SaikoSports, commented on the partnership: “The Shotokan Times is the right partner for us to bring our products to the global market. It fosters the highest ideals of the karate spirit: seeking perfection, honesty, effort, and humility. And: to serve their readers is of utmost importance for The Shotokan Times.”

“Spirit meets Quality” also means Tradition and Innovation

Both companies agree that a combined approach of constant tradition and innovation puts “Spirit meets Quality” into practice. Dr. Christian Tribowski, owner and managing director of The Shotokan Times, on his decision to partner up with SaikoSports: “Dr. Lang has shown a strong focus on tradition and innovation. For instance, the YAMA karate gi has a traditional cut but is made from organic cotton. To maintain what has proven excellent and to innovate when new solutions improve products is part of the SaikoSports DNA. With their strong focus on highest quality they are the right partner for us.”

“Spirit meets Quality”: Bring Japan Closer to the West

“Spirit meets Quality” stands also for the will of both companies to bring Japan closer to Western karatekas. All SaikoSports products are inspired by Japanese karate masters like Tadashi Ishikawa. Thus, they fit perfectly into the program of The Shotokan Times, which constantly reports about Japanese karate masters, karate activities in Japan, and works as a facilitator between Japan and the West.

Both companies will be supported by TuWaBo, a marketing agency run by three karatekas from Magdeburg, Germany. TuWaBo will be responsibly for the marketing campaign and the brand communication.

“Spirit meets Quality” Products

The first products we offer you in our “Spirit meets Quality” series are the TAKE karate gi, the FUSO karate gi, the YAMA karate gi, and the Karate Bag, a must have bag with an individual embroidery.

  • The picture shows the TAKE karate gi in the "Spirit meets Quality" series.
  • The picture shows the TAKE karate gi in the "Spirit meets Quality" series.
  • The picture shows the TAKE karate gi in the "Spirit meets Quality" series.

„TAKE“ (竹) is the Japanese word for bamboo. Thus, this karate gi is suitable for all training conditions: kihon, kata, and kumite.

  • The picture shows the FUSO karate gi in the "Spirit meets Quality" series.

The FUSO (扶桑) karate gi is the king of snap. “Fuso” is the ancient name of Japan. Thus, this karate gi combines innovation and tradition.

  • The picture shows the YAMA karate gi in the "Spirit meets Quality" series.
  • The picture shows the YAMA karate gi in the "Spirit meets Quality" series.

“YAMA” (山), the mountain: The first „organic-karate gi“ ever. With a YAMA you have an excellent karate gi for your training and you also contribute to a more sustainable world.

  • The picture shows the KARATE BAG in the "Spirit meets Quality" series.

The new KARATE BAG is the ideal companion for every Karateka: Sporty, robust, and perfectly organized. Upon request it can be individually embroidered with your own name, club logo, or symbol.

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Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Herbert joins Editorial Board of The Shotokan Times

The picture shows Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Herbert.

We are delighted to announced that Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Herbert has joined our editorial board. Prof. Herbert is going to be senior editor and will reinforce pro bono Dr. Jeff Christian (senior editor) and Dr. Christian Tribowski (managing director & chief editor).

“This is a great day for the readers of The Shotokan Times and the editorial board. We are very fortunate”, says Dr. Tribowski. Wolfgang Herbert hold a 5th dan and has closely followed the teaching of Soke Hirokazu Kanazawa for decades. An extensive karate CV of Wolfgang Herbert can be found here. Today, he lives and teaches karate in Tokushima, Japan. Here he also serves as professor for comparative cultural studies at the University of Tokushima.

The picture shows Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Herbert on the left and Hirokazu Kanazawa on the right.
Sôke Kanazawa and Wolf Herbert in Bregenz, Austria. Wolf translates the explanations of Hirokazu Kanazawa in 1984.

“His academic and scientific background are invaluable for our readers. Since 1988, Prof. Wolfgang Herbert lives, teaches, and researches in Japan. His deep knowledge about the country and its culture will help the readers of The Shotokan Times to understand what Japan and Shotokan karate are really about”, says Dr Tribowski.

Prof. Herbert´s present fields of specialization are comparative sociology, social deviance, (Zen) Buddhism, Martial Arts and Meditation.

Academic Career of Prof. Wolfgang Herbert

Wolfgang Herbert was born in Bludenz, Austria in 1960. From 1979-83, he studied philosophy and theology at the University of Vienna. After that he moved on to enroll in Japanese studies (major) and studies in comparative religion. In 1988 he received his Mag.phil. (M.A.) with a thesis on: Yakuza. Self-image, subculture and ideology, University of Vienna. Between 1988-90, he worked as a lecturer for the German language in the Kansai region (Kônan University/Kôbe, Osaka University of Economics Osaka, Goethe Institut Osaka) and conducted field work on “illegal” migrant workers, Yakuza and day laborers.

In 1991/92, he became an assistant at the Institute for Japanese Studies at the University of Vienna. He taught courses in extra-European history (labour migration). During that time, he also became a guest lecturer at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg/Germany and enrolled in their Doctoral program on Japanese studies and (criminal) sociology. In 1993, he received his Dr. phil. (Ph.D) with a thesis on: The delinquency of foreigners in Japan as an argument in the discussion concerning foreign ‘illegal’ migrant workers. From 1994 until 2013, he taught at Tokushima University, Free University Berlin, University of Innsbruck, and Sapientia University.

Since 2013, Wolfgang Herbert has been holding the position as Professor for Comparative Cultural Studies at the University in Tokushima. In 2015, he was on leave to become a visiting professor at the University of Vienna Department of East Asian Studies. In 2017, he held a position as visiting professor at Cambridge University.

Publications of Prof. Wolfgang Herbert

Prof. Herbert has extensively published about Japan. Especially, Yakuza and illegal labor migration to the peninsula have been part of his research. Beside that he also published some books about Buddhism and culture of East Asia. A list of his available books can be found in his amazon profile.

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Support Board: Karateka help Karateka in Times of Corona

The picture shows Okuma Sensei with a some participating karateka of the seminar.

The Corona virus has spread over the whole globe. Many people are directly and indirectly affected. Some countries have been hit very hard by the virus. Other countries enforce strict measure on their citizens like social distancing etc.

Karateka also Affected by Corona

Among the victims are also karateka. Some have been infected by Corona virus. Others have already lost family members, friends, colleagues, and dojo members and friends to the disease. Some have or might lose their job because the economy in their country has also been shut down. Others might lose their dojo because students cannot come to classes due to the curfew but they still have to pay rent etc. And most of us many of us must stay at home in isolation and cannot join most favorite group activity: Karate keiko in a dojo.

Support Board – Karateka Help Each Other

Therefore, we want to organize some help. Because karatekas worldwide are one big solidary community and we support each other in times of crisis.

Below in the comment section (NOT IN THE FACEBOOK COMMENT SECTION) we offer you a Support Board. If you need something or want to give something, just post it with your name and email address and the conditions to receive it. You can post everything from chicken soup, toilet paper, money donations, legal advise or just a nice chat via Skype or Hangouts.

We will have an eye on the post so that no shady stuff gets offered or requested. Thus, it will take a bit for a post to become approved.

Home Dojo: Best Online Karate Lessons and Videos

In the meantime, everyone, who has to stay at home due to curfews and shut downs, might find some pleasure in a good online karate lesson and videos how to set up your home dojo or something similar. Please, post your favorite and most inspirational lessons or videos in the comment section below, too, so, that others can get a little bit distracted from Corona and stay fit and healthy. We will all collect them and put them in one post later.

We begin with three videos/channels we deem as valuable.

John Ngai Teaching Karate Online to Children

John is the head of SKIF South China. Thus, he was confronted much earlier with the ramifications of the Corona virus. However, he took the initiative and organized karate online courses for children. Here some footage. Let yourself become inspired.

JKA News: Exercises You can do Alone

On their Facebook news channel the JKA offer some technical explanatory videos to bridge the time until we all can go back to the dojo. Great service: English subtitles.

Jeff Christian: The Quarantine Home Dojo

Our senior editor, Dr. Jeff Christian, has turned his Instagram Channel into a window to his quarantine home dojo. Like many Jeff strictly follows the social distancing rules. However, he also likes to train. Therefore, he uses his garage as a dojo and conducts several karate and yoga exercises. Let yourself become inspire. You can also have your home dojo!

Feel free to post more videos, requests and offerings in the comment section. We will all go through this together and nobody will be left alone. Oss!

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Dr. Jeff Christian joins Editorial Board of The Shotokan Times

The picture shows Jeff Christian, who has become the new senior editor of The Shotokan Times.

We are happy to announce that Dr. Jeff Christian has joined the editorial board of The Shotokan Times. Dr. Christian will reinforce the website team and contribute as senior editor and regular author.

Dr. Christian Tribowski, managing director and chief editor, said about this decision: “I am more than happy that Jeff offered to support us. He brings an unusual mix of traits and enthusiasm to our website that we appreciate. On the one hand, he is an excellent karateka. On the other hand, he has an excellent academic record. That qualifies him perfectly for the position of the senior editor.”

Originally from Texas, USA, Dr. Christian started early with Kyokushin karate and moved later on to Shotokan. Today, he trains up to five times per week in Houston, Texas. In addition, he runs the Instagram channel @JEFFSHOTOKAN that has attracted more than 5,500 followers.

The picture shows Jeff Christian during a Shotokan karate motion called Shuto Uke.

Educated as a philosopher and theologian he serves as a guest lecturer at universities and seminaries, and has taught through the years as an adjunct professor at Abilene Christian University where he supervises graduate students. He regularly conducts ministerial service.

Among his degrees and experience at academic institutions:

  • 2007 Doctor of Ministry, Abilene Christian University, Aristotelian Philosophy and Ethics
  • 2002 Ph.D. work at Texas A&M University, Rhetoric and Hermeneutics
  • 1999 Institute of Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary
  • 1999 Master of Divinity, Abilene Christian University
  • 1994 Bachelor of Arts, Abilene Christian University, Greek

Furthermore, Dr. Christian has written multiple publications in the field of theology and practical ministry.


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Shotokan Tiger Sneaker for Tatsuya Naka and Keigo Shimizu

The Shotokan Times always searches for the best and unique products for Shotokan karateka out there. With the Ft One Shotokan Tiger Sneaker by Better Brands House we found the item for karateka, who want to wear their passion also in their spare time in order to show what they love.

Among our first testers of the shoe were Shihan Tatsuya Naka and Sensei Keigo Shimizu. While Naka Shihan received the his white Tiger Sneakers during a seminar in Munich in November, Sensei Shimizu had to wait until the beginning of February. Because the black edition had to be designed first.

Keigo Shimizu overhanded Tatsuya Naka his brand new Ft One Tiger Sneaker.
Keigo Shimizu overhanded Tatsuya Naka his brand new Ft One Tiger Sneaker.

The Better Brands House offers the shoe in four different versions:

The new owner, Tatsuya Naka, presented the Tiger Sneaker to the attendees of the seminar in Munich.
The new owner, Tatsuya Naka, presented the shoe to the attendees of the seminar in Munich.

The amazing looking shoe comes with an elegant stitched Shotokan Tora logo. Therefore, it is a must-have for every Shotokan karateka in their leisure time.

The Tiger Sneaker made Tatsuya Naka very happy.
The shoes made Tatsuya Naka very happy.

Every shoes has been hand made from finest leather on demand. A SBR sock padding and a rubber sole gives a comfortable walking feeling.

Shimizu Sensei likes his new Tiger Sneaker Black Edition.
Shimizu Sensei likes his new Black Edition.

In addition, Shotokan karateka run the Better Brands House. Thus, they know the design demands and the requirements of elegance karatekas have. As an extraordinary service they deliver the shoe worldwide and for free.

According to Shimizu Sensei, the shoes fit perfectly and are very comfortable.
According to Shimizu Sensei, the shoes fit perfectly and are very comfortable.

The best, however: Every pair costs only $89.99. Therefore, the Ft One Tiger Sneakers is a real bargain.

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Tatsuya Naka Likes The Shotokan Times

This weekend, our board member, Keigo Shimizu, and our managing director and chief editor, Dr. Christian Tribowski, took part in a seminar with Tatsuya Naka sensei in Munich, Germany. After the last class on Saturday, both overhanded Naka sensei a gift of gratitude: Our famous black The Shotokan Times hoodie.

Naka sensei was very surprise and expressed how much he likes the hoodie. He is also fond of The Shotokan Times. He said that The Shotokan Times should keep going with good work.

The Shotokan Times overhanded him another special gift. We will reveal what it is beginning of November 2019.

Everybody, who wants our black The Shotokan Times hoodie, can order it here in our shop or press on the picture below.

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The Shotokan Times Supports UNICEF

The Shotokan Times proudly announces its support for UNICEF. From today onward, it is going to donate 10 percent from every item it sells in its newly opened shop to the United Nations Children’s Fund.

Managing director and chief editor Dr. Christian Tribowski commented this step as follows:

“Shotokan Karate has the paramount aim to civilize mankind and to make the world a better place. Physical, mental, and ethical education, equality and justice are its core values. We at The Shotokan Times are highly committed to these values and to turning them into practice in our daily work.

However, a huge number of children worldwide live in poverty, under constant threat of war and crime, as daily victims of abuse, neglect, and discrimination. Children are also the weakest group of society and cannot protect themselves. To provide them with an appropriate education and to fight for the enforcement of their rights we are going to support UNICEF.

As Gichin Funakoshi wrote in his 20 Precepts of Karate Do: “Karate is an assistance to justice”. Therefore, we assist UNICEF in its endeavor to serve justice to children worldwide.”

The Shotokan Times opened an online shop in partnership with spreadshirts this week. It offers Shotokan clothing and merchandise. From every item it sells The Shotokan Times is going to donate 1 Euro to the German UNICEF branch. The branch supports child protection, support, and education projects world wide.

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Keigo Shimizu joins Advisory Board of The Shotokan Times

The Shotokan Times is happy to announce that Sensei Keigo Shimizu, 5th Dan, has joined its Advisory Board.

Practicing Shotokan Karate since 1987, Keigo was educated at the Dokkyo University. Here, he received his Masters degree in economics and was Captain of the Karate Club. For many years, he was a student of Sensei Tatsuya Naka and Sempai of Sensei Koichiro Okuma.

Since 2014 he is Chief Instructor of  Dojo Yamato in Düsseldorf, Germany. He is also a regular guest instructor at national and international seminars.

Picture: Dokkyo University Karate Club in 2017

Picture: Sensei Okuma at Dojo Yamato in Düsseldorf, Germany

Although he lives in Germany since 1999, he still maintains strong ties to Japan and the JKA. In Germany, he has mainly been trained and educated by Shihan Hideo Ochi. His style of Karate is coined by the very dynamic but also straight forward JKA school. The center of his teaching is the most efficient and fast transmission of power over long distances. Like Naka Sensei, he also emphasizes the whiplash effect, that is created by a refined hip-rotation.

Picture: Gyaku-Zuki by Keigo Shimizu

“I am very proud to join the Advisory Board of The Shotokan Times. The platform has proven that it constantly produces unique and educative content about traditional Shotokan. It fosters exchange and discourse among international Shotokanka. I am happy to support and advise the management and the editor with my experience and knowledge” says Keigo Shimizu. Beside his role as member of the advisory board, he will also create own content for the platform in the near future.

Picture: Keigo Shimizu together with Koichiro Okuma and Tatsuya Naka 

“I am very honored that Keigo is going to advise The Shotokan Times. He has lived in Germany for 20 years now and still has strong connections to Japan and fosters the tradition of the JKA. Thus, he is an excellent bridge builder who helps us to understand Japan and the Japanese way of Shotokan better. He is also always informed about the latest developments in Japan.  The Shotokan Times and the global Shotokan community will benefit immensely from his invaluable advice”, says Dr. Christian Tribowski, Managing Director and Chief Editor of The Shotokan Times.

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Thomas Prediger joins Advisory Board

The Shotokan Times is happy to announce that Sensei Thomas Prediger, 5th Dan, has joined its Advisory Board.

Practicing Shotokan Karate since 1981, Thomas has been making a remarkable carrier as a competitor and trainer. For many years, he was member of the German national Kumite team. Among his many victories is the win of the Shotokan World-Cup.

The picture shows Thomas Prediger during Kumite.
Thomas Prediger during Kumite

Since 1990 he has been teaching Karate to children, youth, and adult classes. Between 1990 and 2015 he was head coach of the Karate association of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. In this position he was also consultant for competitive sports and trainer education. His students won several titles on the national and international level.

Today, he is manager and head coach at the Sportcenter Taisho in Siegburg, Germany. Every Sunday, he holds an open Kumite training session in Düsseldorf, Germany, called: Kumite Boot Camp.

“I am very happy to join the Advisory Board of The Shotokan Times. The platform offers plenty opportunities for exchange and discourse among Shotokan Karateka on a global scale. I see a bright future for The Shotokan Times. An high quality online media was overdue in Shotokan Karate”, says Thomas Prediger. He will also become chair of the Advisory Board. In the near future, the board will be extended with further experts in the field of Shotokan Karate.

“It makes me very proud to have Thomas Prediger onboard. His almost 40 years of experience in Karate have gained him incredible insights into the field of Shotokan. Above all, The Shotokan Times and the international Shotokan community will benefit immensely from his invaluable advice”, says Dr. Christian Tribowski, Managing Director and Chief Editor of The Shotokan Times.

Beside his task as an advisor to the management of The Shotokan Times, Thomas will also contribute a regularly column called “Kumite Boot Camp with Thomas Prediger” to The Shotokan Times.