Alan Kazuta (Godan, 5th degree black belt)
Alan Kazuta stood outside of the University of B.C. dojo in September of 1971, waiting for two friends to join him for their first practice. If Alan had waited for those friends, he never would have entered. However, he did go in by himself, and started on a lifetime’s worth of practice. The first thing he learned was backstance, and legend has it that he was the only true 8th kyu that the club ever saw. Yet dedication to practice, and willing help from his seniors Don Gee, Don Jurchuk, and Norman Welch led Alan quickly through the ranks and into an increasing role of leadership. Alan was quickly appointed to be the secretary of the club at the University of B.C., so he felt that he had to attend class regularly, to show his dedication and to take responsibility.
Alan remembers attending the first special training at the University of B.C. dojo, where they ran on frozen pavement, and years of trips to Cate school special training, where his feet became raw on Hamburger Hill. However, the discipline involved in the runs and the regular jogging he did with Norman had a big influence on his practice. At one time, Alan could claim that he was the only one who had attended every special training in Western Canada, and to this day, he was missed very few. He also co-led special trainings from 1990-1995 at Camp Casey and Camp Elphinstone.
Alan continued to practice at the University of B.C. dojo for many years, no matter where he moved or how far the drive was. In 1983, he opened the North Delta dojo, which grew into a sizable group with a children’s class as well, which he still leads with the help of some other black belts. In 1991, Alan was promoted to yodan.
For many years, Alan has been the Western Canada Regional Director. He handles the administrative matters of Canada Shotokan, and the communications with SKA. Largely due to his efforts, Canada has instituted an east-west exchange programme, which many people have had the chance to experience over the years. Alan’s dedication to the karate group has been shown for many years through his hard practice and through his willingness to help with the administrative duties that go along with the organization.
In October 2001, Alan was among the ones from Canada Shotokan to attend the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the karate club at Waseda University.
In July 2004, Alan was promoted to godan at the 40th anniversary celebration of France Shotokan in Mulhouse, France.
Gurmail Gill (Godan, 5th Degree Black Belt)
Gurmail Gill was introduced to karate in September 1977 during his student years at the University of British Columbia.
Practices were very challenging, both physically and mentally. Then came the experience of his first special training, in January of 1978, which really opened his eyes to the idea of human potential and it cemented his commitment to a lifetime of practice. He continued practicing at the university dojo and assisting in club administration, and in 1980 was awarded the rank of Shodan.
In the years following, Gurmail practiced at the North Delta dojo, was the lead instructor at the Burnaby dojo and eventually returned to the North Delta dojo where he currently assists in leading classes from time to time. He has had numerous opportunities to practice under the direct tutelage and inspiration of Ohshima Sensei.
Over the years Gurmail has participated in numerous special trainings as well as a number of International Shotokan gatherings and practices, including in Santa Barbara, Tokyo, Jerusalem and Paris.
Gurmail was awarded the rank of Godan by Ohshima Sensei following an examination at the 40th anniversary celebration of Canada Shotokan, held in August 2012 in Vancouver. He is grateful to his direct seniors for their lessons and their example.
Ching Wee, Dojo Leader (Godan, 5th Degree Black Belt)
Ching, who was born in Brunei Darussalam, has had a life-long interest in the martial arts. In 1990, after moving with his family to Delta, BC and spending a month looking through the Yellow Pages for karate dojos, he discovered the North Delta Shotokan Karate Club, part of Canada Shotokan Karate. Three years later he began helping Alan Kazuta, who created the dojo, to lead both youth and adult practices.
In 2009, Ohshima Sensei promoted Ching to Yodan. Later that year Ching became the leader of the North Delta dojo.
Ching has participated and been a referee in many SKA (Nisei Week) and CSK (Goodwill Cup) tournaments. He was invited to demonstrate Nagewaza (throwing techniques) at the 53rd Nisei Week festival in California.
Ohshima Sensei promoted Ching to Godan in 2018 and then invited Ching to demonstrate his favourite kata the next day at the 62nd Nisei Week festival.
Ching continues to practice Shotokan Karate as a way to strengthen himself mentally and physically, improving as much as possible the focus and mental clarity he finds essential in his everyday life.
Daniel Su (Sandan, 3rd Degree Black Belt)
- Started practicing karate in 1982
- Began practicing under Alan Kazuta in 2001
- Has assisted with the instruction of youth classes since 2005
- Promoted to Shodan in 2013
- Promoted to Nidan in 2017
- Promoted to Sandan July 2022
Don Marcellus (Nidan, 2nd Degree Black Belt)
- Began practicing under Alan Kazuta in 2003.
- Has assisted with the instruction of youth classes since 2007.
- Promoted to Shodan in 2008
- Promoted to Nidan in 2017
Maurice Jacob (Shodan, 1st Degree Black Belt)
Colter Breadner (Nidan, 2nd Degree Black Belt)
- Began practicing under Alan Kazuta and Ching Wee since 2010
- Helping instructors and leading Adult and Kids Class since 2013
- Promoted to Shodan in 2015
- Represented Canada Shotokan at international events in Montreal, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Tokyo
- Organized, Refereed and Participated in the Goodwill Cup and Fall Tournaments
- 2 time Black Belt Tournament Champion
- Promoted to Nidan July 2022
Derek Johnson (Nidan, 2nd Degree Black Belt)
- Started practicing Karate in 1986.
- Began practicing under Alan Kazuta and Ching Wee since May of 2014.
- Participated in kata demonstration at Shotokan Karate of America 60th Anniversary in 2016.
- Has assisted with instruction of youth class since 2016
- Promoted to Shodan June 26th 2018
- Promoted to Nidan July 2022