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

2017/02/13

My Story



There is no normal day, which is the motto of my daily journey!

I'm learning and then trying to practice what I learn.

First, I'm a father, as my two children are everything.

And I'm lucky in my career because I get to teach what I love to do, which is being like a golf pro or tennis pro, I'm a karate pro.

From Canada to Japan, the main theme for almost four decades has been martial arts, and my ongoing development as a professional karate sensei.

While karate has both traditional and sport aspects, it's truly about challenging oneself to figure out concepts, to unlock one's self-resilience, to become more fit and most importantly to meet amazing people of all ages from all walks of life.

Since 2014 in Victoria, Canada, I've been the chief instructor of Kenzen Sports Karate where my closest friends, family and myself teach karate in recreational programs for different ages all the way through to coaching elite high-performance athletes with national team aspirations.

Karate Clubs
I've built 4 dynamic karate clubs over the past 30 years in both Canada and Japan, the latest being Kenzen Sports Karate in Victoria, BC Canada.

Book
The old Japanese style masters are famous, but who outside of Japan actually knows what is happening in today's Japanese karate?
 
Sonny Leads; a Japanese karate adventure is my fictional 3 volume story of what it is really like to try to succeed training karate in today's 21st century fast-paced and karate-mecca of Tokyo. 

The volume 1 manga was originally illustrated by Genshi Kamobayashi and published by Manga University.

Podcast Karate360
Who doesn't love a great talk about the amazing complexities and stories of karate, especially for instructors! Karate360 takes a global view to everything about karate. Season 1 & 2 was over 100 episode with the fantastic co-host Kalan Anglos (combat sports strength and conditioning coach plus Kenzen sensei). Season 3 is with incredible Eric Masino, chief instructor of American Sports Karate in Naples, Florida.

Events
It's great to offer the karate community various levels of events for athletes, instructors, officials and organizers as a challenge to help them improve and through this challenge to enjoy karate to the fullest.

I've been the founder for landmark karate tournaments including the BC Games, the and the new Canada Open Karate Championships (2017, 2018), the Vancouver Karate Cup (2000-2005), The Victoria Karate Open (2018 2019), the Pacific Karate eChampionships (2020, 2021) and the North American Wadokai Karate Championships (2019) and event organizer for karate at the BC Games (2016, 2018, 2020) and the BC Karate Open (2016).

The early years
From the 1980s until 1995, my journey started in several martial arts, finally focusing on karate, on traveling several times to Japan to learn its deeper roots and on discovering who I was as an adult. How could I be better at karate, especially how could I teach it to others in clear and effective ways became my passion.

In Vancouver from the 1995-2004, I discovered that while being an athlete was challenging, becoming a karate pro was all I truly thought to do everyday when I was chief instructor of Kenzen Karate Vancouver. To broaden my skill sets, I jumped at many experiences including becoming a BC Team athlete, a BC Team coach, a Canadian Sports Institute high-performance coaching student and a Vancouver Film School writer/director/producer student. Day jobs were many normally around being a brand name company marketing & sales rep. 

But when I started to teach PE Karate in 25 schools annually, karate pro had stuck.

By 2004, I really wanted to deepen my understanding of both karate and being a karate pro.

In Tokyo from 2004-2014, I connected with both my best friend in Japan, Takamasa Arakawa Sensei, who runs the amazing Shiramizu Karate Club in Saitama Prefecture, my direct instructor Toshiaki Maeda Sensei, former world champion and Japan national team head coach.

Soon I was the head coach of Seiritsu Gakuen private school's famous karate club, coaching 6 times a week and attending hundreds of karate events.

To better understand the local to global karate journey, I completed a masters in global studies at Sophia University Graduate School and became a phd candidate in peace & conflict studies at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.

Improving as a karate pro means better communicating, so it was wonderful to be one year guest bilingual columnist for JKF Karate Magazine, and to write my first fictional novel, "Sonny Leads, an adventure Japanese karate story", of which volume 1 was published as a manga by Manga University.

Each moment was a new opportunity to learn karate further, to learn how to be a better teacher and to learn that meeting new people brings the greatest experiences for growth and discover.

Again, there is no normal day on this journey.

Richard

Twitter English @MosdellRichard

Karate rankings
6th degree (rokudan) Japan Karatedo Federation, Wadokai
3rd degree (sandan), Japan Karatedo Federation
Coaching Canada certified karate instructor
Karate BC certified official, provincial rank

Karate & community roles
Kenzen Sports Karate, chief instructor
Vancouver Island Karate Society (Zone 6 Sport BC), president
Karate BC high-performance committee, chair
Royal Oak Broadmead Business Improvement Association board member

former JKF Wadokai Canada (CZ) technical committee, member 2014-2020
former Karate BC executive committee, director at large 2015-2018
former Canada Open Karate Championships, original founder & event manager 2017, 2018
former BC Winter Games provincial advisor (karate) 2016-2020
former North American Wadokai Karate Championships, original founder 2019
former viaSport funded Sports on Mats elementary school program, Victoria facilitator

Education
PhD candidate (2013-2017), Peace & Conflict Studies
Graduate School of Global Studies,
Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
東京外国語大学大学院:国際社会専攻
平和構築・紛争予防英語博士課程在学中 (2013~2017)

M.A. in Global Studies
graduated March 2013
Graduate Program in Global Studies
Sophia University, Tokyo
上智大学大学院グローバル・スタディーズ研究科 グローバル社会専攻
修士課程修了(2011-2013)

Self-Employment Program
Douglas College (2001-02)

Diploma, Foundation Film Program
Vancouver Film School (1998-99)

BA, Pacific & Asian Studies
University of Victoria
graduated 1995

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