Since June 2009 I have been fortune enough to regularly visit the south of France as part of ‘my day job’. With translation help from Kerry & Big Dave’s wife, Barbara a traditional shotokan karate club was identified just outside Aix-en-Provence (Milles). Contact was initially made by email and an invitation soon followed. From my very first visit I was made extremely welcome and between my extremely poor French, their excellent English, intermittent Spanish and Japanese we have managed to communicate with each other.

 

Sensei Claude Marcou 3rd Dan is the Club’s instructor. His lessons are very traditional/self defence orientated and he pointed out to me at a very early stage that they did not take part in competition training or events. 7 hours of lessons occur per week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays in a purpose built dojo that also accommodates Judo and Kung Fu lessons. The building has changing and viewing areas and a fully matted training area of approximately 9m by 15m.

 

The club is a member of the FKTAMAF – Fédération de Karaté Traditionnel et Arts Martiaux Assimiles en France (The Federation of Traditional Karate and Martial Art Clubs in France). Sensei Irahim El Harhomy 7th Dan is the Technical Director of this organisation (based in Paris) and is the French representative of the ITKF. He was one of the founding members of the Egyptian karate scene and has been affiliated with Sensei Nishiyama since 1970. While at the University of Physical Education and Sport in Cairo he was commended for the development of karate in Egypt. In 1979, he left Egypt and settled in France. He founded his dojo in Paris in 1984 which has 500 practicing members. He has coached the national team of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Morocco. He founded his traditional association in 1996 that has nearly 5000 members. He is Chairman of the Commission on Training Instructors and an official representative in international events organized by the ETKF and ITKF. In January 2000, he received the Bronze Medal of Merit awarded by the French Ministry of Youth and Sports for all services rendered. In December 2003 he successfully obtained his 7th Dan awarded by Sensei Nishiyama.

 

Paul Edwards

 

 

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image