Craig reports up to Sunday 5th December 2010

Living in Vietnam - up to 5th December 2010

Living here is very different to the experience of most Western world people. Regular flooding is a problem but the Vietnamese just carry on. A boat is an essential belonging for every family. 


High street - flooded

Sensei Craig sightseeing


View from Sensei Craig's room in Hoi An

Back to Karate and finding a Dojo

After some searching around I have found a Karate club in Da Nang, which is in the lower half of Vietnam and by the sea. It is a slightly different style of karate but they do some Shotokan Kata's. A big problem here is that because of aggressive and arrogant behaviour by Americans/Europeans in the past. The local Vietnamese are now very reluctant to accept American/Europeans into the Martial Arts clubs. It was only because I have made some good friendships with other Vietnamese durind my other visits that I was given the chance.


Sensei Craig (4th in from right-back line)


After training a few times they asked me to teach the seniors which was a real experience. Very few people speak any English but the common karate background bridges the gap.

For the lesson I decided to stick to the sort of format that we practice at Crookhorn and Portchester. We started off with basic's and then moved on to pair work which they seemed to enjoy. Following this  I did Jyu ippon. That was on thursday and they must have enjoyed the session because I was invited to join the seniors on the following night to practice for a big demonstration.


I thought the demonstration was in the following week but it was that same evening. At the dojo the seniors decided that there demonstration was okay and so asked me to cover some Bassai Dai bunkai (application). Then immediatly after the session we were off to the demonstration which was for the national "Teachers Day" anniversary. It was in a school with around 250 vietnamese spectators.



There were students and teachers performing singing, dancing, fashion and other displays. Our display consisted of 3 of the karate students performed team kata ( Bassai Dai ) then I went on to a loud cheer (which was rather unexpected) and did Unsu kata. When I did the jump there was a tremendous cheer. It made me feel very honoured to be able to join them.

Karate Competition

The karate club invited me to take part in a regional competition to be held in Da Nang and with just a few days warning I went along to join in. Gaining 2nd in the senior kata made me realise that I was becoming accepted.

Sensei Craig (front left)


A competition with no other westerners


Team kata

Speak soon


To return to the top press here




2020 Karate Lessons

All lessons are now back to normal

Wednesday at Castle Primary School. Castle St. PO16 9QQ

Children and adult lower grades: 18.45 to 19.50hr.

Senior grades: 20.05 to 21.15hr

Thursday morning at Castle St day Centre.

Senior citizens, shift workers, etc, etc. 10.00 to 11.15hr

Friday at Portchester Community School, White Hart lane.

PO16 9BD

Under 8s: 18.00 to 18.45hr.

children 8+: 18.50 to 19.50hr.

Adults: 20.05 to 21.15hr.

Saturday at Portchester Community School, White Hart lane.

All grades: 10.15 to 11.30hr

Karate Day time lessons

Daytime Karate lessons are now being held on Thursday mornings at the Castle St, Portchester,  Day Centre. For further information please ring 07713284430 or email

These classes are for a range of people with varying abilities and in particular for the older and fairly active person that would like to benefit from the health aspects of practicing Karate and at the same time exercising their minds in the learning of new skills.

Existing students of Karate are also catered for in the lessons. In particular those on shift work and others that cannot get to their regular training lessons.

Further information

For the Portchester Karate Club and clubs in other areas or different training times, please email or telephone 07713284430.

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