At my karate club people call me Sensei, and my friends just call me Richard.


Richard Sensei's Corner: LTAD! リチャード先生'sコーナー:長期選手育成

JKFan karate magazine 2010 #3

The third article in the monthly Richard Sensei's Corner series is about long-term athlete development (LTAD). The LTAD training philosophy has become a famous approach towards athlete development.

Since my main topic is only printed in Japanese in the magazine, the English version may be read here on my blog - just scroll down!

My bilingual interview this month is with Antonio Oliva Seba. Oliva Sensei of Spain is the most sought after kumite coach in the world, as 29 national karate federations follow his teaching.

To order this month's magazine go to JKFan's order page!


今月のバイリンガル・インタビューはアントニオ・オリバ・セバ氏です。スペインのオリバ先生は世界にもっとも必要とさ れている組手コーチで、なんと29 カ国の空手道連盟が先生の指導法を採用しています。

JKFan Karate Magazine Article #3 Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD)

Richard Sensei’s Corner

What does it take to become a world karate champion? In the last two decades, sport scientific research has discovered that an athlete requires 10 years, or 10,000 hours, of specific training to reach the highest level in any sport. That’s 1000 hours a year, about 3 hours daily. For beginners, this is 1 hour per day while for advanced athletes this is up to 6 hours per day six days a week. Called the ‘10 year rule’, national sporting associations around the world for different sports now abide by it.

To properly place athletes into this training philosophy, a framework called the Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) concept was first created by Professor Istvan Balyi. 7 stages focus on training, competition and recovery based on athlete’s maturation levels instead of just chronological age. It’s athlete-centered and coach driven instead of a one-plan-fits-all approach.

Active Start (any age, but ideally under 6 years): A fun introduction to any sport where there is no emphasis on competition or serious development. Creating a positive experience and a good impression of the sport is most important.

FUNdamentals (ages 6-9 boys, 6-8 girls): Athletes learn the fundamental movements in an enjoyable environment. Competition is introduced as a fun part of training, not the most important part. The ABCs (agility, balance, coordination and speed) specific to the sport are taught. Cross-training in other sports is encouraged because another sport’s physical movement learning will help young athletes to develop complimentary skills.

Learn to Train (ages 9-12 boys, 8-11 girls): This phase is about learning a sport’s fine motor skills for competition, but there is no specialization yet. For karate athletes, this would mean continuing to compete in both kata and kumite.

Train to Train (ages 12-16 boys, 11-15 girls): This stage maximizes the physiological changes in the body due to puberty, emphasizing aerobic and flexibility training, while increasing competition experiences. Coaches must be aware of an athlete’s stress level due to the physical and mental challenges of competition, training and life.

Train to Compete (ages 16-23+ boys, 15-21+ girls): This stage starts tailored training for individual athletes through year-round high intensity schedules. Athletes specialize inside their sport (kata or kumite) and stop playing other sports.

Train to Win (ages 19+ boys, 18+ girls): World champions emerge in this stage as the training is high intensity and high volume for athletes to peak for major competitions. Short breaks are also included to allow physical recovery and to avoid mental burnout.

Active for life (enter at any age): Athletes move to recreational-only training, as well as becoming coaches, officials and/or sport administrators. They are able to begin enjoying other sports too. Age-appropriate Master’s competitions become important. This is not considered the final stage, but more of a parallel stream… recreation vs. competition… art vs. sport.

LTAD is about the proper physically literacy and mental training development for all athletes not just for becoming tournament champions, but to live a long, healthy life while also being able to participate in other activities. Truly, the 10 year rule applies to being “great” at anything.

Click here for the Canadian Sport For Life English website's explanation!

For my birthday, I have a favor to ask everyone... 僕の誕生日にお願いを聞いてくれますか?

It's my birthday today. Hello 38!

My 2 year year old daughter Ema was able to say 'Happy Birthday' for the first time, ever, this morning.
Lucky me, what a perfect present.

But I do have one favor to ask everyone. May I suggest all of us help the children of Haiti? There could be one million orphans due to the terrible earthquake.

今日は僕の誕生日です。 ハロー、38!

私の2年歳の娘, えまちゃんは今朝、「ハッピーバースデー」と初めて言ってくれました。

幸運な僕, なんてパーフェクトなプレゼントでしょう。

でも、僕は皆さんにお願いがあります。 ハイチの子供を助けるということをどう思いますか? ひどい地震が原因で孤児になった子供が100万人にのぼったかもしれないのです。

Like this little boy. He lost both parents.

Every government in the world can not give enough money to keep 1,000,000 orphans alive.
You, me, all our friends and family, we can keep them alive.

May I recommend giving to the Red Cross through iTunes.
It can just be today's snack money, today's drinking money, whatever.

In Japan, click here!
International Red Cross, click here!

この小さい少年のように。 彼は両親を亡くしました。





We've decided on the new karate intern! 次期空手研修生決まる!

Last Friday Shiramizu Karate's Arakawa Sensei and I selected the next karate intern. His name is Pete Williams from the UK. Please visit the internship website to read more about him.

Sensei came to my school so we could talk about who to choose. Of course, he was positive and enthusiastic, which always motivates me.

Arakawa Sensei in the Seiritsu High School Karate Dojo
白水修養会の荒川先生 〜成立学園の道場にて

There are two types of people, those who give energy and those who take it. Arakawa Sensei could sell the positive energy he gives off!

先週の金曜日、白水修養会の荒川先生と私は、次の空手研修生を選びました。 彼はイギリス人でピート・ウィリアムズ君といいます。 彼についての詳しい情報は研修生ウェブサイトをご覧ください。


人には2つのタイプがいると思います。エネルギーを与える人と、取る人。 荒川先生は自身が発する前向きなエネルギーを販売するビジネスが出来る位です!


Where are the karate publications? 空手の書籍はどこに?

When I left Canada many years ago, karate books were popular. But not now it seems.


Here are Japanese martial arts magazines in the local book store. The popular karate magazines like JKFan are stocked in the bottom shelf, but normally I see them on the top. Mixed martial arts, boxing, Sumo and kendo are the main magazines on display. Hmm.

これは近所の本屋さんに並ぶ日本の武道関連雑誌です。 JKFanのような人気がある空手雑誌が下の棚に並べられていますが、通常は上の方の目につきやすいところに置いてあります。 ここでは総合格闘技、ボクシング、相撲、そして剣道の雑誌がメインで並んでいます。 ふーむ。

It's very similar in Canada. There was only one karate magazine, but many MMA and pro-wrestling.

カナダでもよく似た状況です。 空手雑誌は一冊しかなくて、あとは総合格闘技とプロレスが大半です。

For martial arts books in the Japanese store, out of the two pictures above, karate books take up half a shelf with about 25 titles, explaining several different styles. The rest of the books are mainly Judo, Aikido, MMA and Kyudo.


The real unfortunate thing is in Canada, only one karate book was for sale out of the three pictures above. Of course, or has many karate books for sale. Perhaps we need a new karate movie to make karate popular again, hmm...

もちろん、Amazon.comやAmazon.jpでは多くの空手の本が手に入りますけど。 どうやら、新しい空手映画を作って再び空手の人気を上げる必要であるのかもしれませんね。ふーむ。

Thanks to Johnny and Lawrence for sending me the pictures from Canada!


Shinpan-Ryu! 審判流

Shiramizu Taikai 2008 白水大会

Last September the Kanto Kotairen (high school karate student association for the Kanto region) held an official's course and testing. I attended and received a B rank. One thing the examiners said in a pre-test speech was being an official meant one must study a new karate style, a new ryuha, and this one is called Shinpan-ryu (Official's style)!

But coaching also requires a person to study how-to-coach on an ongoing basis, so one could also say there is Coaching-Ryu perhaps!




Fun Karate video! 楽しい空手ビデオ!

Here is a fun dojo video from when I owned the Kenzen Karate Vancouver club.
It was just for fun, nothing serious.



Happy New Year! Have a cookie! ハッピーニューイヤー!クッキーをどうぞ!

Happy New Year! Have a cookie!


Kumite cookies! 組手クッキー!

Shitei Kata cookies! 指定形クッキー!

Shitei Kata 2nd series (the 2nd series is only used in Japan).

To order, go to: