Andre Bertel's Karate-Do
When a genius and pioneer of the karate world passes on, his karate does not die. The lifetime’s work, development, research and study does not end full stop. This body of work is passed on to future students of this beautiful art through his students.
Andre Bertel was a personal student of Tetsuhiko Asai.
In the ‘About Me’ section of his blog ‘Andre Bertel’s Karate-Do’ – a dedication to his late sensei Tetsuhiko Asai 10th dan – Bertel states that ‘Asai Sensei's technique was, and always will be, the 'core objective' of my own karate training.’ Additionally, he states ‘The nucleus of this 'little room on the net' is my personal focus on the Shotokan of the old JKA (Japan Karate Association) and more importantly, the developments made by Sensei’.
I have followed this blog, started in 2007, since it began and like so many eagerly waited for the new additions to appear. The blog quickly grew in popularity and everyone was talking about it. There were clearly many reasons for this, which here in this review I would like to explore.
Sensei Asai is widely regarded by many as one of the most significant figures in the development of karate throughout the world. His work to a huge extent pushed the boundaries of the art and added magic to a sometimes ‘static’ art. His influence is undoubted. I, like probably so many karateka around the world, never had the opportunity to train with him. This blog however is giving us a glimpse into the magic of Asai Sensei, translated excellently throughout the intelligent words of Bertel - who wonderfully expresses the finer points of Asai Karate. For this reason alone, this blog is vital.
Furthermore, and I would guess more important, this blog details the journey of one man and his dedicated practice of the art. Jumping out beyond the written word, the resounding atmosphere of the blog is that of one man’s passion for his art. This passion is quite infectious, and as you read you feel a somewhat kindred spirit…
This blog details so much of Bertel’s training, his research and his current study – narrated perfectly with excellent explanations, stories and anecdotes engineered to give an explicit insight into his life, travels and wonderings.
Littered throughout we have photograph after photograph from his personal album, many with his teacher, but also so many showing his journey in karate and the truck stops along with way. Bertel’s personal skill is quite obvious, and his dedicated practice is quite clearly paying off.
The articles are always thoughtfully written to be educational, anecdotal and usually both. He speaks about his current training regimes, what he is studying and everything that he is continuing to learn. This is without doubt the blog of an ‘eternal student’ something so many will be able to empathise with, and something so many should pay attention to. He strives to continue researching and perfecting that which was given to him by his teacher, but is also researching in his own way to further develop his understanding of the art and his skill.
In his attempt to continue ‘following Sensei’s example’, he is not resting on his laurels, he is pushing forward and developing every day and this blog epitomises the spirit of a true karateka and his life long search for the ‘Way’.
Check it out!!!