Headmaster – Kaicho Hoosain Narker

Hoosain Narker, the International Director for Ashihara Karate, a black belt martial artist with over forty five years” experience, has a vast knowledge of many major styles of Martial Arts. He started his Martial Arts career in 1974 at age 10 and holds Dan Ranking in Ashihara Karate, Kyokushin, Goju Ryu and Taekwondo.

Kaicho has travelled the world in training and teaching this unique brand of Karate. He was a finalist in the U.S. Open Championships in 1988. He has taught Self-defence to members of the US Army Home Guard and whilst not tournament oriented, succeeded in becoming the Grand Champion at the 1994 S.A. Taekwondo Championships, after which he represented South Africa at the World Championships. Since then he has competed in several other tournaments around the world.

Since 1990, he has served as an Executive Member on the Provincial  and National Karate Structures, being a founder member of the governing body for Karate in South Africa. He currently serves on several macro-sports structures as an administrator. Kaicho is a certified Exercise Teacher as well as a University accredited Sports Coach and he has been teaching professionally since 1985. He continues to teach classes on a full time basis in Cape Town, South Africa.

Dragon Festival

Ashihara Karate World Cup

The Dragon Festival with noted artists like Don Wilson, Cynthia Rothrock, Art Camacho and others is tentatively scheduled to be held in Cape Town in September. Featuring various martial arts activities including the Ashihara Karate, seminars and others and meet and greet with the “attractions” – it promises to be a bumper event.

Cape Town as the Mother City is arguably one of the most beautiful in the world with the famed Table Mountain, Cape Point, two oceans and many other wonderful attractions all in and around the City.

So lots of excitement abound.

Street Fight Karate – Ashihara Style

Street Fight Karate – Ashihara Style
Karate with a difference?

Are Japanese karate teachers afraid of imparting the original art of karate to practitioners outside of Japan? Or more to the point, is Japan itself now becoming a major exporter of non-traditional martial arts? Has the time arrived for an abbreviated karate, different in intent and emphasis from that taught by the masters? Is there a need in South Africa for a style taught with pleasant vestiges of traditionalism and a boiled-down number of techniques to make the learning go quicker?

In some ways, of course, South African karate teachers have been asserting and teaching such an approach. In fact, what’s new about the approach taken by Hoosain Narker, a Black Belt with more than 40 years of experience and International Director for Ashihara Karate, is largely that it is being employed by a martial artist trained and educated primarily in South Africa.

According to Narker, the main concept behind Ashihara Karate is “Karate without Tears.” Narker took pains to point out that his karate does not believe in combating force with force. Instead it believes in capitalising on the opponents strength. “The aim is to punch without being punched”, said Narker smashing his fist against an imaginary opponent after side-stepping the blow. “Never meet an opponent head-on. Always move around him and attack from the side or back where he is the most vulnerable. This way you will avoid injury to yourself.”

In some styles of karate, confrontation with an opponent is a relatively rare occurrence. Not so in the Ashihara Karate schools directed by Hoosain Narker. Indeed, it would seem that the heart of this system is built around the idea of facing at least the simulated hostility of another student.

In explaining how his system differed, he stressed the importance of lateral movement, teaching the student to handle himself at three different ranges, the use of the knees and elbows, use of the legs to block kicks and the importance of punching through the intended target.

Ashihara Karate has been influenced by Aikido evasive techniques and this has lead to the development of Ashihara’s Sabaki principles. Narker stated “That in this style of karate you never come straight in. You angle, get in a position where you can do harm but he cannot”. Some styles do some Tai Sabaki, but with Ashihara total emphasis is placed on it as everything revolves around it. Most combinations, etc. are done by the stepping out or absorbing principles. So important is the concept of angling that the Ashihara logo illustrates it.

The Ashihara reverse punch is another difference to traditional Japanese Karate. With Ashihara stylists, the rear heel is lifted off the floor, for one thing, and the punching shoulder is allowed to rotate towards the target. When you are hitting, you want to punch through the target to penetrate.

You do not, for instance, see a lot of back fists or ridge hands , and certainly no showy blocks. Instead you have the relatively high, short stances of the professional kick boxer – along with the kick boxer’s fondness for elbow and knee strikes. Whilst the Ashihara punches show a clear boxing influence, the style itself prefers a hooking elbow smash to the standard boxing hook.

At close range, the Ashihara style inevitably proceeds towards a take down. And whilst there are a variety of trips and sweeps employed for getting the man down, once he is down he is finished off with punches and stomps. At a medium range, the adept makes use of shorter kicks and longer punches. At long range, the emphasis shifts to roundhouse kicks and evasive and gap closing counters.

Anyone wanting more information on Ashihara Karate or in wanting to join a branch school, may contact the Headquarters at +27 21-7011701 or contact any of the branch instructors listed under “branch information