Karate School Amsterdam
HEALTH FITNESS STRENGTH & BALANCE
Master Haruka Nakama
Haruka Nakama Sensei was born in Kagoshima prefecture in 1927. When he was a child, he encounters the school of Swordsmanship called Zingen-Ryu and was inspired to become a martial artist.
He started to learn Karate from his older brother and after that became Okuhara Bunei's pupil. The obituary notes that Master Akhara’s martial art was passed down from Chotoku Kian Master. Master Nakama's martial art was dynamic, and his character also was as well. At one time the King of Japanese comic artists, Ikki Kaziwara, said to Nakama. "I'd love to write stories about your life". However, Nakama rejected his offer because he was such a humble person. In January 1998, Nakama told the author of the obituary "Karate is art. If you don't have a beautiful soul or honest mind, you never achieve perfect Karate form."
Nakama had a unique Karate tactic called "Yusuri." It is described in the obituary as, "it's when you kick the opponent, you shake your body just a little bit. Then your Kick would be faster and sharper by the shake. Nakama said, "the most important is, you have to move your toes like drawing a circle."
The author of the obituary (who is unidentified in the text), finished the obit by saying "Master Nakama was a Samurai, He passed on the traditional martial art of Okinawa karate."
Okuhara's student Haruka Nakama (1927-2010) learned Chotoku Kyan's Karate (1870-1945) in the late 1940s and went on to establish a thriving karate school in Japan. One of the senior students from the 1950s, Richard Nilsson would go on to establish a Dojo in Chicago, Illinois which will give birth to Shorin-Ryu Karate with branches in Europe, South America, and in the United States. But who was Haruka Nakama? Nakama passed away on January 10, 2010, at the age of 84, Nakama was described as a Grandmaster of "Japan Karate Shorin-Ryu School"
Shorin Ryu Lineage:
• Bushi Matsumura (1798-1990) Kyan Chotoku (1870-1945)
• Bunei Okuhara (1917-1963)
• Haruka Nakama (1927-2010)
• Richard Nilsson Godan
• Glenn Bechtold (1939-2017)
• Freddy Torres
• Leonardo Gil Beroes
Sensei Leonardo Gil Beroes
I started practicing Karate around 1967 in the city of Maracay, Venezuela. At that time, there was only one school of Shitoryu style under Sensei Isiyama Kuriyama. After many years, I moved to Europe to study French at Bordeaux University. After a while, I then moved to the UK to study interior design at the Art School of London. I also went to Birmingham University to study Chemistry ending in Nantwich Food Technology, to get more involved in organic Chemistry. All these events happened from 1970 until 1979, when I decided to go back to my country. During those 9 or 10 years, I was very involved in football and some sports other than Karate.
I joined The Shorin Ryu Karate Family in 1980, by invitation from my younger brother. At that time, Sensei Glenn Bechtold was in charge, and Sensei Freddy Torres was his Sampai. In 1982 I received my Brown Belt, and by 1985 I attained the degree of Black Belt (Shodan level) or first dan out of five (we only have up to 5th dan.) At that time, I was totally convinced that Shorin Ryu Karate was my life and my path. I went back to Europe in 1995 (Amsterdam-Holland) to open a Shorin Ryu Karate Dojo.
Back then, there was nobody teaching our style. Since it was kind of boring to practice by myself on my private-home Dojo, I decided to open my Dojo to the public at the Pijp Sport Centrum, it was 2009. Then, I got in touch with Sensei Freddy Torres (now Fifth Degree Red Belt).
He lived in Italy, so I decided to go visit him every year in April. My plan was to train with him and learn more about advanced katas. In 2013 I received my Second Degree Black Belt (Nidan) in Comiso, Italy, where Sensei Freddy Torres resides. Soon after, by 2014, in my Amsterdam Dojo, I attained with great honor my Third Dan (Sandan) on our first international event as Federation OSRKF, of which I am one of the founders). Then in October of 2020, I received my Fourth Degree Black-Belt.
I presently have the privilege of owning the biggest Dojo in all Occidental Shorin Ryu Federation with more than 87 students and growing.
Nowadays, the Shorin Ryu Karate Amsterdam Dojo possesses a very strong and solid base. I hope we will continue growing and passing the legacy of Masters: Haruka Nakama, Godan Richard Nilsson, Sensei Glenn Bechtold, and Godan Freddy Torres.