Training in Shotokan Karate with Sensei Joseph Rodrigues from GOA INDIA
I am a student of Shotokan Karate training with Sensei Joseph Rodrigues from Goa.
We have been training at Basilio’s gym at Santa Inez Panaji Goa for almost Two years now. Our batch comprises women and men but adults only who are professionals in their own fields. Classes start at 6.15 am and end at 7.30 am. We are being tutored well in Shotokan Karate style by Sensei Joseph Rodrigues (Black Belt 5th Dan) Classes is held three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. There are about 13 students, all adults in the batch.
For the past two months the Gym is undergoing renovation and hence we have shifted to a temporary open air location. We are now practicing at Miramar beach. Practically at the edge of the water where the river Mandovi and Zuari flow together into the Arabian sea which in turn amalgamates the Trinity into the great Indian Ocean some Nautical miles away. As the sampai starts our warm-up exercises, the initial grunts and snaps or aching bones give way to welcome sweat and inter-play of muscles and tendons and is like a self-massage to ones physique. The early morning beach experience has been really invigorating and we are feeling fresh all day after our exercises. For morning walkers and joggers on the beach, our classes are interesting to watch and with initially amused but later awed faces they watch the small army in white Gi’s dancing the katas in synchronized momentum to the Sensei’s body as shades of Yellow, Orange, Purple and Browns and Black-Belts bend-air in slow-interspersed with quick moves, speedy punches and matching blocks, hands and feet cutting across, replying to the rhythm of the waves of the Sea, tilted beach but sure-footing when manipulating a Mayagiri front kick, Mavashigiri or a yokogiri kick though quite a feat to achieve in stability in the moving sands whilst shadow-fighting. Kumite follows later as shrill cries of demons of sickness-expelling ‘Kyeeeahhhh’ fill the atmosphere…relieving tensed minds and tired bodies, rebuilding tissue anew and giving a new meaning to life when all that one has been holding inside in silent anger, anguish and sorrow is vented our harmlessly giving total relief from worldly troubles and diseases. ..Freeing the mind…so it can focus on working out new successful pathways for life and its surprises. The class ends with a quick line up and fast final set of punches and salutations to the Sensei, sampai and each other. We go about our daily routine with a sense of well-being and tension-free mindset. Sensei Joseph also has an evening batch at Pharmacy College Courtyard Panjim Goa for students of all ages and grades. That is his main Dojo. Earlier Sensei Joseph Rodrigues has been training students at Don Bosco’s High School Gym Panaji Goa since 1984. Sensei Joe (fondly called by Goans) is also a professional Master of Ceremonies and Compeers a host of events in Goa and abroad. His hobbies include singing Karaoke and he was instrumental in starting the Cycling Club of Goa which has set a trend of using bicycles on Goan roads to improve health, ensure safety and de-congest traffic. The club holds regular outings to distant places even to neighboring Karwar in Karnataka State.
Sensei Joseph Rodrigues has trained a huge number of Goans in Karate and most of his Black Belts have won numerous awards in India and internationally. (He himself has won international awards and is invited frequently to referee matches). Some of his Gold medalists are now independent Instructors on their own, having their own Dojos affiliated to his own and others affiliated to various International Karate Federations. He has organized many tournaments himself and some even at international level in Goa.
Our students actively participate in competitions all over the country and the World and always come home with smiles, medals, certificates and make us feel proud of them and inspire in the rest the desire to carry on this unique martial arts style forward. Sensei Joe had trained initially with Sensei Choudary from Calcutta 6th Dan Black Belt who comes down to Goa occasionally to give master-classes and grace tournaments. His short but precious visits too generate great enthusiasm among our karate students and it helps boosts our self-esteem and art. International tournaments are a joy to behold as we get to meet karatekas, sensei’s and sampais from all over the country and the world who share our passion for Shotokan style. Sensei Joe is always ready to encourage anyone who is keen to join his classes and gives great guidance for those seeking self-defense tips.
Write in to know more. His contact is: +91 9049915164
The writer is a professional musician and enthusiastic amateur karateka who has just passed his 7th Kyu Orange Belt exam in May 2013 and hopes to take it to its logical ending. Roque Lazarus +91 9970061060