4 Steps to Effective Planning in Karate

I am one of the luckiest ones who live out of karate. As an owner of the dojo I learned that planning in karate is one of the most important things in order to make training run efficiently, get the results you are looking for, attract other people and of course make it profitable.

First: Set your goals

If you know that an important event is coming up, plan step by step what you need to do in order to have success. Make sure your goals are reachable. It’s impossible to think that I can produce a world champion in one year. Take it step by step. Start at an appropriate level. If you start your students in competitions your goal should be to dominate on a regional level, then national level and so on. If you want to teach karate for a living, your goal is already set. You want to start your own dojo or teach karate some other way.

Second: Find out what are the requirements

You must think strategically. When you have a student who has a potential to make the team for the World, European or Pan-American Championships, you have to see the whole picture. What are the criterias to get on a team? When I know what I have to do in order to get somewhere, my job is much easier. Each country is different and they have a different qualifying system. For instance, in Slovakia, our qualifying system for the World Championships is based on multiple national and international tournaments and whoever has the best results from all of them would get to go. They use a different system in USA. The National Championships is what basically determines who will go to the World Championships.  Depending on your country’s team selection process, it is very important to be well prepared because in some places you may have a few chances, but like the USA, you may only have one.

Let’s look at this through the eyes of a potential dojo owner. Everybody who wants to start a dojo needs to consider their own skills. Research what you need to do to start. Many countries require education and based on that you will get a permit to run a karate school. Find a place where you want to be located. Think strategically! Look at the competition around you and try to do things better than them.

Third: Make a plan

According to what you already researched write down your “action” plan. Plan your preparation and keep track of everything important. What you see at the tournaments, what are your student’s weak points you need to work on, what you are good at and try to build on that. For new dojo owners, write your plan on how you want to expand and what kind of events you want to organize, what kind of things you want to do to make your school grow.

Fourth: Feedback

In my coaching career I’ve met hundreds of other coaches and we talked about different things. Many of them especially after the tournament complained that their students didn’t perform very well. When I ask them what do they think what went wrong, many times I get the same answer. I don’t know… Of course I am not successful with my students every single time but I always try to find a reason why. As for myself, I look at my plan and try to see what we worked on and what way we worked on it. If something we planned was a success, then I repeat it; if it was not, then I try to do things differently.
Same goes for when you are trying to expand and grow your school. If you have many students like you planned, then great for you. If not, you can easily look at your plan and start to plan things differently.

Good luck and don’t forget to plan everything in advance.

Karate, My Passion…My Life


Hi, my name is Robert Koncal and I am very happy to have this opportunity to blog and share my experiences with you about aspects of karate:  such as preparation, training and competition.

I am the owner and chief instructor of Kachi Karate Schools, which is a part of the Seiwakai group. Our dojo is located in Europe, Slovakia and most recently (a year ago) we opened up several dojos on the island of Oahu in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

I started to practice karate at the age of seven and most of my training was aimed for sport karate. I was very active and competed in many national and international competitions around the world. Unfortunately, at the age of 22, I had a bad injury which ended my career. Since then, I directed my love, energy and passion of karate and competitions to coaching. During the same time I established and founded Kachi Karate Dojo in Nitra, Slovakia. It took a few years to build my competition team but my students and I all worked very hard where we captured many titles and received outstanding results. After four years, my dojo became the most successful dojo in Slovakia. With the exceptional results of my students (results from top championships are listed below), I was asked to become a National Coach for the Slovak Junior and Senior National Teams. In 2006~2008, I was honored and presented as the “Most Successful Coach” and also awarded “Coach of the Year” because of my dojo being ranked #1. In 2011, I relocated to Honolulu, Hawaii and expanded the Kachi Karate Schools and opened a few dojos there.

My first contact with Shihan Leo Lipinski and Seiwakai was in 1993 in Slovakia where he taught a seminar. Since then, I have become a member of the Seiwakai Organization and I am very excited to see all the progress this organization has made and the direction that it is going.

In my blog I would like to write more about sport karate, my experiences in preparing for elite competitions and all other aspects of karate and tips for dojos. If you have any ideas or questions about karate, preparation or performance, please feel free to contact me.



Results of my students

Monika Visnovska, European Champion kumite (senior division)
Monika Visnovska, World University Champion kumite
Matej Urik, World University Championship medalist kata
Matej Urik, European University Champion kata
Alexandra Chovancova, World Championship kumite medalist (cadet division)
Monika Visnovska, European Championship kumite medalist (senior division)
Alexandra Chovancova, European Championship kumite medalist (cadet divison)
Ivana Visnovska, World Championship kumite medalist (junior division)
Ivana Visnovska, European Championship kumite 4th place (senior division)
Matej Urik, European Championship kata 4th place (senior division)

Blogging for Goju Ryu Karate do Seiwakai

G’Day fellow Karateka!

If anyone is interested in writing on the Karate do Seiwakai website please contact me at [email protected] whilst I love reading all the great stuff on the Facebook Group it makes it hard for anyone else to read it when it is a couple of months down the track. I am doing my best to cross post what Shihan Leo Lipinski has been saying onto the blog but some of the comments people make are absolute gold, especially for students looking to research more about Seiwakai.

So, I encourage you all to check out the blog part of the Seiwakai website and create a dialogue over there or in the forums, in saying this, it would be great if there was more stuff being written. If you are interested in writing about Seiwakai in your part of the world or how you are growing through your karate journey please email me and I can arrange the access levels to the site to allow you to do this.

It would also be awesome if we had these posts from the Shihan Kai members too so we have a good mix of ‘experienced learning’ posts from the masters and the posts from people learning as the ‘beginners mind’ is sometimes the untainted mind ;)

I will cross post this on the Seiwakai site aswell and any blog posts wil be cross posted on this page and the Facebook Page.

Arigato Gozaimasu!

JKF London 2012

I would like to give you up to date information (see the the attachment) for our JKF GOJUKAI EUROPE LONDON SEMINAR which will be taking place in October 2012. As always England SEIWAKAI is the host and as always I pre-sponsor the seminar.

So far we are having a very good response from outside England, with for example 13 coming from Russia, at least 10 from Poland and I believe a good number from Hungary. I would like all our SEIWAKIA INTERNATIONAL members to support this. It will be a great learning opportunity.

Some of you have already been taught by Sato Sensei. He came to England a number of years ago teaching at Bisham Abbey. For those who were in Japan this July he was also teaching at the JKF GOJUKAI Seminar. Takagawa Sensei will be new for most of you but I can assure you he is a very capable teacher.I believe 2 of his sons are in the Japan National Kumite team. Of course you all know our own Sensei, Fujiwara Seiichi.

Some of you may ask why Fujiwara Sensei is not noted as an official of the Kata Instructing Committee. I will explain. He was a member of the Kata Instructing Committee. In fact was on that committee before either of the other two teachers. When he was appointed Chairman of the Overseas Committe for JKF GOJUKAI he was unfortunately not able to be on both committees. This is a GOJUKAI rule. A great pity I would say.

Those of you who are planning to attend the seminar, from England or Europe or elsewhere, please post your intention to attend on the events section of our Facebook Group that has been in place a long time. See Events and JKF GOJUKAI EUROPE SEMINAR.

Also please email me that you will be attending as I will open a special file for this. Finally please let me know if you wish to attend the dinner on the Saturday night (6th October) at the Artista Resaurant. BOOK EARLY as spaces will be limited.

I am looking forward to seeing many of you in London.

Click JKF London 2012 to download the pdf for more information.

KwaZulu Natal August Update

Well done to those who obtained their KZN colours and good luck for August.

For those of you who dont know, KZN is KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. Vassie Naidoo and Des Tuck, two of our senior instructors who live in the USA and I, all grew up in Durban, South Africa. This is the largest city in KZN.

Ben Mare has a fantastic club there with many students including juniors and seniors. Over his teaching history Ben has produced some seriously competent fighters in the way of the old style Goju kumite–which meant much contact–today he is also teaching sports karate to his juniors to a very good level.

Attending Karate Seminars and Etiquette

Somebody wrote to me today telling me that he had heard from another that they needed the teacher’s permission to attend a seminar.

He asked me what is correct. I dont know all the answers to this question and I dont interfere in the running of clubs or organisations. What they do is their business. However I will make the following comments. Firstly, Seiwakai seminars are open to all who wish to learn our karate. Secondly we do not own our students. Mostly they have been paying customers. They pay for our services.

Karate should not be a fiefdom. Karate should also not be political–training is training for the improvement of us all including me. Yes we have hierarchies, we also have manners and etiquette to our seniors. I would not attend a seminar or training without first obtaining the consent of my Sensei. However I doubt he would ever consider saying no.

Goju Ryu Karate do Seiwakai Website Launch

Welcome to the Goju Ryu Karate do Seiwakai international homepage. Your presence here as a member of Seiwakai, a future student or a friend or family is greatly appreciated.

Over the coming months this site will continue to grow with great content about Goju Ryu Karate do Seiwakai and the great work that our students and instructors are performing worldwide. This site has been developed by me, Jay Killeen, a senior student to James Duggan Shihan inAustralia, under the guidance of Leo Lipinski Shihan. Whilst I have given my best effort to bring a site busting with great news and information, this is a community driven site for Seiwakai. I don’t know everything there is to know, I don’t think you can know everything there is to know even if we all put our heads together and wrote it down, but hopefully this website can become a resource along that path to knowing, discussing, being involved and growing as an International Seiwakai.

So if you have something that you would like to contribute please email me on [email protected] and I will find a way to use it on the site. Over the next coming months I hope to build upon the directory of karate dojos out there in the world that are training in Goju Ryu Karate do Seiwakai and also allowing this website to be a resource for this karate dojos out there that currently do not have an online presence for new students to discover them through.

This is a very important goal as there are great instructors out there that are teaching excellent karate, but as a conductor is to the orchestra, they must face their back to the audience. This can make it difficult to find new students to teach and as a junior instructor I have found that training new people is an exhilarating experience. So if you know an instructor in Seiwakai that could do with their space on the internet please email me with the details and I will do my best to get them online and have new students in the area knocking on their dojo door.

Arigato Gozaimasu

Jay Killeen


Lineage from Yamaguchi Gogen Sensei to Shuji Tasaki Sensei

I was asked by Fernando Mahamud about the lineage from Yamaguchi Gogen Sensei to Shuji Tasaki Sensei. To be very honest I cannot say from personal experience. I was with the Yamaguchi group for 20 or so years and was never personally taught by Yamaguchi Gogen Sensei. I have read that many claim to have been ‘personal students’ of Yamaguchi Gogen Sensei when in fact they were not.

Possibly in the very early years such was the case. Tasaki Sensei told me that Gogen Sensei handed over the teaching a long time before I arrived for the first time. So I was never fortunate enough to be taught by the Cat. In 1970, my 3rd visit to Japan, when I arrived for training in Tokyo, Gogen Sensei and Tasaki Sensei had just returned from teaching in Australia. A few of us went to meet Gogen Sensei at the airport. Tasaki Sensei, I was told, did the physical teaching and demonstrating. He was a young 37 then. Classes whenever I was in Japan were taught by either Hoshi Sensei, his youngest son or by Tasaki Sensei and others. Sakamoto Sensei when he lived in Tokyo was one who came after much later (1974?).

What I can say about the famous Cat Gogen Yamaguchi Sensei is that he created some seriously superior kumite exponents. Tasaki Sensei, Yamamoto Sensei was the founder of the Ritsumeikan University Karate club in 1930 or so and the OLD BOYS (OB’s) from Ritsumeikan University are many of them famous in their own right. Ujita Sensei, founder of Kenbukan for one. Shiomi Sensei known to many of us and countless others. Okinawa (Miyagi Sensei) was the source of Kata for the students at Ritsumeikan in those early years but the kumite tradition was something unique to the members of Ritsumeikan and was started by Gogen Sensei. I will try over time to find more information and more names to give you. Hope this isn’t all too boring.

Doug Silversten

I thought it would be an idea to write about some individuls in the Seiwakai group.

We are about people–people in Karate and especially in Seiwakai. One of the first people who comes to mind is my friend Doug Silversten who lives in Perth, Australia. Australia is a great country with many natural resources. Hidden resources that need to be brought to the surface.

Doug is another such resource and I hope Australia Seiwakai will learn to value him. Doug was 5th Dan in Seiwakai, possibly 12 years ago. I may have my dates wrong. Which makes him very senior indeed. I wont go into his complete background because this is private to him. What I would say if I had to choose someone to cover my back in the street Doug would be that person. Enough said.

He also has a great track record as a teacher and I can attest to his many good students. So I hope in the future Doug gets more involved with the karate in his new homeland. I forgot to tell you Doug is originally from South Africa and was a student of the late Rudi Strydom, another heavyweight in Seiwakai.

I know he has been attending Fujiwara Sensei’s seminars. Thanks for being involved again Doug Silversten. They can use you to their advantage down under.

Joe Estrada Joins Seiwakai

Great news. Joe Estrada, ex Zone Director for GKR in the UK has joined Seiwakai. Joe has been my friend for many years and we have constant contact.

Welcome aboard Joe.

I will do all possible to support your MADMA programme.