So Kyokushin

10th October, 2018

I am pleased to announce that in order for the dojo to progress in the way I would like, and also for my personal Karate journey, Eltham Martial Arts Academy’s Kyokushin contingent will be joining So Kyokushin. Over many years I have built up a wonderful relationship with Shihan Cameron Quinn and his guidance both on and off the mats has been both needed and appreciated. I will work with him as my branch chief. I also hope to work closely with other Senior representatives in the So Kyokushin organisations in Melbourne such as Shihan Billy Poly and Sensei Patrick Pinto. I look forward to developing a closer relationship with the possibility of some cross training and a nice big contingent at tournaments etc.

This decision has not been taken lightly. I have many friends and mentors within the Kyokushin group whom I still intend on working with and supporting wherever possible. Of course I have already personally thanked Shihan George Kolovos for all his guidance and opportunities thus far. I will always think of him as my Sensei, and much of my martial arts and teaching ability would not exist if not for his instruction. There are many to mention – too many for this post. Just know that I have always tried to stay very neutral and support those that have supported me And my dojo. At the end of the day, after much introspection on myself and my Karate, and also on the needs of my dojo – I really wanted to go back to the roots of Kyokushin. I really needed a tie to Japan and a link to the source which I am scared is being lost today in many ways. I also wanted a branch chief who’s path was aligned with my own ….especially with the nature of my dojo….my wishes to find a way to tie in my Jiu Jitsu, and the other arts that we offer etc.

Along with this announcement, It’s time to reveal that the dojo will now have a a new name. We will still have Eltham Martial Arts Academy as our Sub- heading so to speak as our history is tied there. But ….to properly encompass what we do at EMAA and to give us a recognisable name…..I have chosen the name ‘Musubi Dojo‘. There are different translations of the word Musubi. The specific meaning and Kanji that we have chosen is that which means a union or joining – a coming together. And that’s what the dojo is to me. It’s where people of all ages, races, genders , families etc come together. It’s where we all find our differences and our commonalities together. At our dojo…it’s where different Martial Arts Styles work together and learn from each other. It’s where hearts and bodies meet minds.

Many Thanks to Shihan Todd Reeves from Shin Atemi, who is also a talented graphic designer – for understanding my visions and designing our new logo. I hope you like it, and can see the meaning in it which I tried to convey as I explained tonight.

Well…that was a long post. I hope you know I always have the dojo at heart……and any decisions i make are made with the best intentions for everyone. Osu.

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Willem van Zanten