If you're interested in learning Shotokan, you can do no better than to join ASKA, where you’ll get expert tuition, the dedication of a man who truly loves the art, and the backing of a wonderful team of Senseis and Sempais who have been taught only the best of what Shotokan has to offer.
For readers thinking about joining the club, or sending their kids, don’t hesitate to join in. You will learn new skills, meet new friends and acquire a quiet confidence that only those already in training can truly understand. Humility, caring, sharing and learning new skills are all a part of life’s journey, but nowhere are they experienced better than in Karate and in particular, with ASKA.
Letter of Recommendation
Our son Jack was bullied in Kindergarten and throughout primary school. Jack started training aged 5 years with ASKA in 2000. The confidence he has gained from karate has influenced other areas of his life. At 12 years old, Jack has over 50 trophies, and is a Second Dan Black Belt. He doesn't have fights. If he did, he would know what to do to protect himself. As parents, we are very happy.
Alan Bainbridge has worked diligently with Jack over the years to overcome his fears, not just in a physical sense, but in a spiritual sense.
We invite the reader to contact us if they need to discuss the benefits of joining the ASKA. It's the least we can do for a club which has helped our son to gain the confidence and inner strength to remain independent and achieve, in a world that is competitive.
My name is Rochelle Peyrac and I have been attending the Australian Shotokan Karate Club for five years and I am currently a First Dan Black Belt.
Throughout the years, I have learnt a lot about the Martial Art 'Karate', in particular, the style, 'Shotokan'. Karate has taught me to be able to defend myself by using strong techniques. Techniques such as kicks, punches, blocks and other skills that are not commonly known. Karate has also taught me discipline and patience, in addition to wanting to reach perfection in all areas. I have also developed a high sense of respect for Karate, as I perceive it not only a self-defence class, but as an Art. For me this is particularly emphasised through the teachings and learning of Katas.
Every year I have done Karate, my confidence and self esteem as a woman has become stronger. I feel safer when I go out at night/day, as I know I can look after myself or others if need be.
I have also learnt how to make strong and close friendships, as well as trusting people. I believe through 'sparring' and group work, a sense of trust is being developed, as you trust the other person to not hurt you intentionally. Through these kinds of activities, I have learnt control over my techniques.
I have also learnt what it would be like to fight other styles of Karate, in addition to different levels of students through competitions.
Currently I am working on 'Kime', or the ability to effectively transfer power from the body to techniques. In addition to perfecting my techniques and helping others to perfect theirs. I am now fortunate enough to teach Katas and share my knowledge of Shotokan Karate, which can at times be surprising, for until you teach you don't realise how much you have learnt.
Lastly, Karate has given me the feeling of success and achievement. By being a part of such a strong club with a brilliant instructor, in addition to strong Black Belt students and other eager students, we are able to be taught something new each class, as well as receive help and genuine support from others.
First Dan Black Belt
To Whom It May Concern,
My name is Mikako Naito, and I am writing this letter as a black-belt student of Kancho Alan Bainbridge and also as a parent of one of his young students.
I started karate in Japan 23 years ago and trained under some of the top instructors/competitors at Japan Karate Association. I held a 1-kyu brown belt when I left Japan to undertake a postgraduate program in America, where I obtained my 1st degree black belt from the Philadelphia branch of Japan Karate Association. I then migrated to Australia and sought training at a few different schools, but the experience was not satisfying. I chose to test for my 2nd degree black belt in Japan while I was there on holiday, and I stopped training in Australia.
Several years later, a year after I had my daughter, I stumbled into Kancho Alan Bainbridge’s Australian Shotokan Karate Academy (ASKA). I was glad to find a Shotokan school in a suburb nearby, but I was sceptical as to whether it would be a genuine Shotokan school because I had seen, both in America and in Australia, great many so-called karate schools that did not have much to do with ‘karate’ as I knew.
To my excitement, as soon as I walked in, it was evident that the teachings at ASKA were very similar to the ones I was taught in Japan. The students were respectful and humble. The emphases on the techniques and the fighting spirit were well-balanced. I started training at ASKA regularly and obtained my 3rd degree black belt in the first year I joined.
Kancho Bainbridge has a strong personality (because he needed to be strong to defy his predicament), and it took me a while to fully appreciate him as a person. But once I did, I soon realised that he was also a great master. He has a profound understanding of karate as a way of life. His power, speed, and focus are simply amazing even though he is in his sixties. And he teaches all he knows to others enthusiastically and very effectively. His classes are interesting and full of variety. The training is usually hard but simply to help students get faster and stronger ? not for the sake of being hard and breaking spirit. Kancho Bainbridge may shout when students are disrespectful or lazy, but he never gets frustrated when students are slow in learning ? he is patient and openly shows his joy when the students finally ‘get it.’ He is a dedicated teacher, and it is clear that he just loves all his students ? male or female, young or old, very good or not so good. My daughter Ky, who has been training since a week before her 3rd birthday, can see all these with her innocent and intuitive eyes and adores Kancho Bainbridge.
Karate is a short-lived hobby for most of the people who ever start it. Only a fraction of them stick to it long enough to make it to the 1st degree black belt. This general trend, however, does not seem to apply to ASKA, where there are many brown- and black-belt students and most of whom have trained only at ASKA. Sure, the tuitions are much cheaper at ASKA than any other karate schools. Sure, you don’t have to sign a year-contract but just pay weekly. But I am certain that these are not the main reason these brown- and black-belts have stayed with ASKA. It is my hope that my letter has described the real reasons.
To Shihan Julie Lennon and the Australian Shotokan Karate Academy,
Our daughter, Laura, has been attending the Reedy Creek dojo for a year now. We have seen her confidence and balance improve dramatically over that time. She loves coming to the classes to meet up with friends as well as for training, and never tries to avoid going to the Monday sessions even when she is tired. Something good must be happening to cause this, and we think it is the way the classes are run. Kancho Alan cares passionately about what he is doing, especially training the younger kids. Why else would a seventh-Dan black belt bother taking “little kicker” classes? We have seen Alan deal compassionately with mildly disabled kids, as well as encourage those more able, and he always encourages each child to fully participate to the best of their ability. One thing that particularly impresses us is that Alan quickly learns the name of each child, and addresses them by name. This gives the kids a sense of being in a caring group situation, while also fostering self discipline.
There are many other reasons why we can recommend the Australian Shotokan Karate Academy for young kids. The “little kicker” classes usually have about 20 students under the care of up to four senior black belt instructors. We don’t think this would be common in many (or any) of the more commercial karate training schools that have profit as the bottom line. Our son has been to one of these for over 5 years, and sure, he now has a black belt in Taekwon-Do, but the chief instructor at the school doesn’t have the same personal caring attitude of Kancho Alan. And what a difference in training costs! Compare ASKA fees of about $8 a week to the commercial fees of about $130 a month. But better still, the Australian Shotokan Karate Academy donate nearly all of their fees to charities! What a fantastic, unselfish attitude.
When we consider the other things that go along with ASKA, such as the huge competition that the Academy organises each year, with the profits going to charity, and the fantastic Christmas party and award night in December, we are a bit sorry that we didn’t find out about your Academy earlier. Sure, the classes are held in halls and not in a fancy purpose built gym, but this is more than compensated for by the friendly and caring culture, where everyone is important, and kids can learn in a supportive environment.
Well done Kancho Alan, Shihan Julie and the black belt team for being so dedicated! If we were in a position to give you an award, we surely would.
Ron & Kerryn Hayman
Dana Hinton, 2nd Dan
My experience with the ASKA and Kancho Alan began when I was 4 years of age back in 2000. Back then there was no such thing as a Little Kickers Club so I was straight into training in the adult class. I was quite a shy, young girl, so this was quite intimidating for me. However, every week I attended training with my mum and older sister, and this became a little bonding activity for our family. The karate club was so incredibly warm and welcoming from the beginning - I felt a part of the karate family straightaway.
Each year I progressed through the coloured belts and became better and better. Kancho was always strict, but also patient with his students and made us work incredibly hard. He made us put in our greatest efforts to achieve the best we could to then be rewarded with a word or two of praise.
Fast forward a few years, and in 2011 I received my Second Dan Black Belt. It took me 11 years, and throughout those years I became a strong, confident young woman. As a quiet, shy 4 year old, I never thought that I would reach this level in karate. I also never thought that I would have the confidence that I now do. The fact that I earned this level of belt can simply be put down to the dedication and constant hard work of Kancho, without which I would never have learned the skills I now have today.
Training with the ASKA is one of the most rewarding experiences. The club is full of dedicated students who are all motivated to work as hard as they can to achieve greatness in the art of Shotokan. Not only do you get the commitment and enthusiasm of Kancho, but also of the amazing team of Sensei’s and Semi’s that support him every week. I can now happily say that Kancho is not just my karate instructor, but also a close friend, whom has taught me many life skills that I will keep with me for the rest of my life.
KARATE FOR EVERYONE
Hi, my name is Colin Atkinson and I would like to tell everyone about the Australian Karate Shotokan Karate
Academy, or A.S.K.A.
change the Karate School she started with on the Gold Coast and I was looking around for another School for
her; luckily I found the A.S.K.A
Since she started with the A.S.K.A. on the Gold Coast she has improved immensely and I put this down to their
7th Dan Black Belt Instructor, Alan Bainbridge and his 39 years of experience in Karate, his personal hobby.
Alan has a great rapport with everyone, especially the kids, he also has quite a few black belts who he has
taught over the years and who obviously show their support for him by still being part of the club. These black
belts also give further support each week by helping the different grades from beginners to the advanced as part
of their hobby.
I said earlier on that Karate is for everyone and it is, because it would not matter if you are 3 years old or 63, as I
know you will be able to enjoy Karate and get a lot out of it.
I have to tell you that it is cheap too, unlike so many other clubs there are no joining or membership fees at the
A.S.K.A. The joining fees with other clubs run into the hundreds of dollars.
You only pay a small fee for insurance and the instruction fees are paid weekly. You can train several times a
week for this weekly fee and therefore again unlike other clubs, this is a great saving as other clubs charge much
more than this for a week of Karate training and instruction, and mostly a monthly fee and a yearly contract.
I know a lot of people who are reading this will not believe that the A.S.K.A. is so cheap, but this is only because
of the generosity of our 7th Dan Black Belt Instructor Alan Bainbridge as apart from giving his time to Karate, he
also finds time to do different kinds of charity work, so I am sure you can see for yourselves what kind of a man
They also say behind every good man there is a woman and the woman behind Alan is his wonderful wife
Annette who also gives a lot of time to be along side Alan and his hobby, apart from the Karate and charity work
of the A.S.K.A., they also sponsor underprivileged children in Africa and Cancer Research each year and every
I hope I have given you some insight to the A.S.K.A. Gold Coast and therefore I would like to ask you to come
along for yourselves and find out what the A.S.K.A. Gold Coast is all about and I for one hope to see you there.
Since joining ASKA Gold Coast in March 2012 my twin daughters Bettina and Scarlett have developed into two very confident and competent little kickers, with karate having very positive effects on their everyday lives.
They attend classes every Tuesday night at the Labrador dojo without fail. This has meant training when feeling sick and unwell, carrying injuries but still attending and doing what they can (all under the careful watch of Kancho). This included training with a hairline fracture in the hand (not from karate but from playing with a hoola-hoop), eight stitches in the hand (not from karate but from a broken umbrella), stomach bugs and fevers. This attitude of NOT making excuses but instead getting in there and giving it a go, no matter what, is what ASKA is about. Encouraging the kids to be mentally tough. This has been conveyed through to their school life and through to other sports they participate in - a “don't give up” attitude.
They have competed in five competitions held by three different clubs, winning combined 17 trophies and 6 medals along with 6 annual club trophies (I keep telling them they've won more trophies than I won in my entire life!). This has given them a sense of achievement and proudness that they can show friends and family. Their hard work pays off, it spurs them on to keep achieving in all areas of their life. They want the big trophies now! All the time! Competitiveness and striving to do better. Seeing the older kids and adults do their karate at such a high level in competition also gives them something to strive for.
They have come from being unsure and shy little girls that feared getting up in front of groups of people to now being able to get up in front of a hall full of people (most of them being strangers and / or karate experts) and being able to perform their karate with such confidence. Their punching and blocking is strong with purpose, their "kiyahs!" loud and their "ous Kanchos" consistent. They have competed against yellow belts in kata and kumite and won being white belts! They have also competed against green belts in group-kata and beaten them being white belts! That is testament to ASKA's tag grading system that ensures belts are earned through hard work and perseverance - not handed out.
This confidence and ability to get up in front of large groups of people and perform has definitely helped in other parts of their lives like school choir and school musicals.
They have also learnt to give greater respect and carry out self-discipline, mainly through the fear of going to "jail" in Kancho's class if they don't!
Their composure and ability to work under pressure has improved considerably by continually being tested at training, during grading and at competition. When they first started if Kancho would bail them up in front of the class for doing something that was wrong or wasn't perfect they would go into their shell, now it doesn't effect them, they can have a smile after and see it's just making them better. It shows them they can make mistakes, it's not the end of the world and they keep going regardless.
My girls enjoy the chance to keep learning new things and bettering themselves. Sticking with karate to get their black belts and take over from where the other junior black belts are now is motivation to keep going. The group of junior black belts are exceptionally good role models for the little kickers.
ASKA Gold Coast has a great bunch of people involved in making the club what it is - a very positive, giving and caring place that makes a difference in the lives of its students, families and communities through training and mentoring but also through donations to numerous charities.
We feel very privileged to be part of such an amazing club that Kancho has created.
Sponsors of children at World Vision, Plan 13, Queensland Cancer Research Council, Ovarian Cancer Research, Multiple Sclerosis Research, Breast Cancer Research,
5 Seeing Eye Dogs and other charities.
To See All the Charities We Support Click Below:
CHARITIES WE SUPPORT
No other man has the same level of passion towards Shotokan Karate and helping improve people like Kancho Alan. Through out his entire life he had faced many struggles and yet pushed on just for the sake of his passion. He has dedicated his life to mastering the arts of Karate and teaching others the pure authentic form of Shotokan. As he teaches others the different values that karate can provide like discipline and confidence, he also helps people by giving to countless charities and community work.
As a boy of age 13, I first met Kancho through my friends at school. At the time I suffered bullying and I took the chance to learn self-defense. Through the process of learning, I learned that I didn’t need to fight back to protect myself but to think of ways in order to remain safe. I struggled with confidence and to communicate with other on what I felt. Karate helped me be more confident of what I am and who I am. I learned that through discipline my character was improving thus creating a new confidence I never had before.
Bit by bit I enjoyed coming to classes and always regretting missing a lesson as every lesson there was something new to learn. Some say that it’s always the same but they didn’t see what the purpose of each technique was meant for. Utilizing each technique and expounding on each movement causes different ways for that particular technique to be used. A punch is not just a punch; a block is not just a block.
Training was hard because each technique has a purpose; a kata makes sense because each movement is useful. A kata is not a dance to show off moves but to demonstrate where each movement can be done. That is what Kancho Alan wants everyone to learn. Every student is taken care off; from young to old everyone can start karate. Kancho’s way provides anyone to be able to just start and learn more.
As a real life applicable situation, now 18, I was walking home from the university I was in. Went through short cuts for a faster way to get home. Two lads decided that they would like to take my bag and ran towards me. One grabbed my bag and instantly I moved and ripped my bag out of his hand. In split seconds, the next guy came in and tried to hit me with a skateboard. With one good rising block the skateboard came of his hands and I managed to get a hold of it as I swing it towards his legs. Those two guys ran as fast as they could.
None of that would have been possible if I never trained in karate. I thank Kancho Alan Bainbridge for changing my mentality and giving me important values I will forever keep and never forget.
Student of ASKA Shotokan Karate
Garry (Laneeka & Cadence's Dad)
Thanks for your dedication to the art of Karate and the timeless principles of honour that are so much a part of it. I am most grateful that both my littlies are learning from you; the likelihood of anyone learning from a 7th Degree Shotokan Instructor is both unique and fortunate. I also find it heart-warming that your noble humility takes the time to impart knowledge and skill of a lifetime to small children. I hope everyone realizes what they have in you as their Teacher.
With respect and regards,