Good End to 2016 and Start of 2017

Well, finally finding time to update my web page.

2016, What a year it was.

In April I got the clearance to get back into training, being two years (April 2014) since getting two vertebrae fused together (L4 and L5).  I have slowly been increasing training, just wasn’t allowed to twist or bend forward too vigorously. This wasn’t a big issue doing karate as I very rarely have my wheelchair brakes on.  Whereas when I play table tennis I have one wheel locked so the twist was too vigorous and so had to put table tennis on hold for nearly two years.

I celebrated my 60th birthday in July then two days later traveled to Naha, Okinawa for the 7th World Budosai. I travelled with Adele Sinclair, Lee Hart and Brendon Rae from my karate club and Chris Rae from the Queenstown karate club.

What a great event this was.  The Budosai started on 25th July and finished on the 31st July. Over 1200 karateka attended representing clubs from all parts of the world.

When we first arrived we did visited and trained at Higaonna Sensei’s dojo.  This is always something special.  We also called into the Shureido shop to pick up gi’s etc.  and visited Shuri castle, Fukushu-en gardens and the nearby Chojun Miyagi memorial.

The training event was held in the impressive Okinawa Budokan.

While at the Budosai, Lee and Chris passed their grading to 2nd dan and Brendon to shodan.  It was also an honour to present myself for 6th dan under the watchful eyes of Higaonna Sensei and Bakkies Sensei.

2016 ended with me teaching at the annual Karyuka Karate club in Melbourne. Sensei Natsuko Mineghishi, a Japanese female Shotokan Karate-ka and a renowned soprano, had invited me to be their guest instructor when we had met in 2016. She is an excellent karate-ka,teacher and singer and has trained numerous times with the head of IOGKF karate.


The year started with our National training camp in Auckland, training under Nakamura Sensei.  As usual the training under Nakamura Sensei was excellent.


Good End to 2015

The end of 2015 was much better than earlier in the year. I was invited to be one of the guest instructors at the Australian Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate Federation’s Gasshuku held 30 October to 1 November in Canberra, Australia.

It was a great honour to be invited and again train under the IOGKF World Chief Instructor Sensei Tetsuji Nakamura.

Alongside Sensei Tetsuji Nakamura other instructors were:
Sensei Joe Roses – 7th Dan – Australia
Sensei Joseph Tait – 5th Dan – Japan
Sensei Kevin Nash – 5th Dan – Australia
Sensei Brent Pawlik – 4th Dan – Okinawa/Australia
Sensei Gary Adams – 4th Dan – Scotland
Sensei David Lambert – 3rd Dan – Australia

It was really good catching up with everyone and especially seeing Sensei Gary from Scotland. Last time I saw Sensei Garry was in Stirling, Scotland in 2014 at the European Gasshuku.

Training under Sensei Nakamura was as always excellent and inspiring.

This was the first test on how well my back was recovering after the April surgery. Good news was that there was no ill effects so I have started back into my training.

Body Recovering

What a year 2015 it has been.

February attended a great karate camp in Australia and trained under the IOGKF Chief Instructor Sensei Tetsuji Nakamura.

Before leaving for the Camp I had taken our dog, Mika, a keeshond, to the vets. She had been off her food and it looked like a tooth was causing her problems. On my return from the camp her health was getting worse and we learnt that she had tumors on her liver and one kidney. It was with great sadness that we had to say goodbye to our girl on the 13 February. Mika had given us nearly 12 years of happiness and love.

I then learnt that I had a collapsed disc between L4 and L5 and that I would have to stop table tennis. I was working towards qualifying for the 2016 Paralympics.
I got my back operated on in April and the operation was a success but NO training for at least three months.

Then 3rd June our house got flooded. nearly 10cm of water through the house.

Things started to change for the best when I was offered a full time job with Barrier Free New Zealand Trust. I will be reporting on building plans and physical buildings with regards to compliance to Building Standards for Accessibility.

I went for my 3 month check with the back surgeon the other day and he is pleased with the progress but no twisting yet. I am not even allowed to put my chair in my chair yet.

I have started back at karate teaching and am starting to do sanchin regularly. I am also pushing as much as I can to get my fitness up.

All going well I will do regular updates on this site on my progress. I am heading to Canberra end of October and my goal is to be as fit as possible by then.

Wheelchair Self Defence Course, Perth Western Australia, 1st and 2nd June 2013

I have just returned from Perth Western Australia where I facilitated a wheelchair self defence course.

Karen Harvey from Spinal Injuries Chatter in Perth was looking at arranging a self defence course but could not find anyone in Perth qualified to teach it.  Enquiries led Karen to Deb Mitchell from Connecting People Coordinator at the NZ Spinal Trust who had organised a similar course in 2012.

That course was taken by Eddie Yee an instructor with the Todd Group and myself.

Debz put Karen on to me and subsequently I went to Perth and took two courses, the first on Saturday 1st June and the second on Sunday 2nd June.

The courses were just for persons in wheelchairs and saw 6 people attend the Saturday course and 8 on the Sunday. Some in power wheelchairs.

On the Friday before the course I got together with Karen, her son Corey (who has trained in ju-jitsu and Brett Ukich, a local first degree black belt and personal trainer. Corey and Brett were going to assist me in taking the course.

The course followed the Wheelchair Self Defence manual written by Geoff ‘Tank’ Todd, with myself adding in karate kata applications that I have modified to work from a wheelchair.  Each participant received a copy of the manual.

The course covered :

  • Wheelchair mobility and evasion techniques
  • Ramming
  • Cover guard
  • Striking
  • Improvised weapons
  • Escapes from various grabs
  • Weapon threats
  • Home and car security

Corey, Brett and Terry (Karen’s brother) assisted at the course by being attackers.

Terry was really good getting into the participants faces with life like aggression.

Comments received via Facebook were:

Symon Still “A great day thanks Karen, Corey, Terry (academy awards for you), Michael and John. Really useful stuff I’ll rehearse and practice for if the time ever comes to use it. Really relevant thanks for your organisation Karen”.

Douglas Milne “Yes it was a very relaxed training environment with lots of encouragement from our attackers…..thanks Corey and Terrence awesome work. and of course Karen”

Molly MacBlackas “Great! I hope you have a successful second day!”

Chelsey Phillips: “The wheelchair Self Defence Course today has been fantastic! Thanks to Karen Harvey, Brett, Terry and Cody for holding a fantasic & very important day. And especially thank you Karen for bringing the amazing Mr John Marrable 5th degree black belt (from NZ), to show us some empowering techniques to use in our own defence”.

For further information on wheelchair self defence or to arrange a course contact me on

Phone +6434561021 (home) +64212313887 (mobile) or email