OKJ History & Philosophy

ORIGINS

The original circle and tiger symbol of our club derived from the instructors’ early training in the modified Chito Ryu Karate that was introduced to Ottawa by the late Andre Langelier (Godan) in the 1960’s. The symbol has since been changed to reflect our broader interesets. Mr. Langelier was a student of the Father of Canadian Karate, Masami Tsuruoka (Kudan). As well, Langelier was original instructor to many of the current Chito Ryu teachers in the Ottawa-Gatineau area. Tsurouka Sensei added the Shotokan versions of various kata to his Karate and taught these to his students. He felt that the more linear Shotokan kata would present less of a challenge for Western learners. Sensei Duchesney still practices the core Chito Ryu kata he learned from Sensei Alberto Bernabo.

INFLUENCES

Our club started in 1996 after Mr. Duchesney received his first Black Belt from Sensei Alberto Bernabo (Sandan), of Bernabo’s Institute of Karate. Sensei Bernabo, a former professional kick-boxer, taught us the basics of hard-contact Karate and its associated training methods. We operated from 1996 to 2003 at St. Peter’s Anglican Church on Merivale Road in Ottawa. Since April 2003 we have been teaching at the Dalhousie Community Centre at 755 Somerset St. West. Part of our mission has always been to make Karate instruction available to low income earners and the physically and mentally challenged. We are dedicated to empowering people. Sensei Duchesney has been heavily influenced by the strong foundation provided by Sensei Alberto Bernabo (Sandan) and his current Sensei Richard Ouellette (Godan). Further, we are deeply influenced by the Koryu Uchinadi Kenpo Jutsu of Hanshi Patrick McCarthy. McCarthy promotes his martial arts thinking and technical expertise through the International Ryukyu Karate Research Society.
 
OLD SCHOOL OKINAWAN KARATE

Expatriate Canadian Karate pioneer Hanshi Patrick McCarthy (Hachidan) of Brisbane, Australia, has done excellent research into the original nature and purpose of Karate techniques. His research indicates that before its gradual introduction to the Japanese mainland in the 1920s and 1930s, Old School Okinawan Karate was strictly a martial art of self-defence with no sporting connotations. Old School Okinawan Karate was comprehensive in nature, and included a plethora of techniques for dealing with myriad acts of violence, including prone grappling.
 
Hanshi McCarthy teaches that each traditional kata is mainly a memory tool and that the longer kata can actually represent entire self-defence systems in and of themselves. This is true because Old School Okinawan Karate practice revolved around learning numerous two-person self-defence drills called bunkai before learning their symbolic re-enactment in the geometrical choreography of the related kata. Thus the self-defence drills (bunkai) were reinforced by the memory tool of the kata. Since some kata represented as many as 100 self-defence scenarios it is easy to see why Old School Okinawan Sensei did not include many kata in their syllabus. Today, most Karate schools teach kata for a number of reasons: to reinforce basic technique, as a physical exercise or as a competitive sport. These approaches are certainly legitimate but they are not the original purpose of kata.
 
Hanshi McCarthy also created solo (waza) and two person (futarigeiko) drills designed to inprove basics and reinforce “functional spontaneity”. These unique drills are designed to address a particular category of technique and its "associated practices" in a manner similar to secretive pre-WWII Okinawan practice. Waza and futari geiko also serve to compliment bunkai jutsu and thus complete the technical circle. This increasingly popular practice is still rare in the Karate world.
 
AFFILIATIONS
 
In addition to operating Okuden Karate Jutsu, Sensei Duchesney also teaches at Ouellette’s Karate and Self-Defence and attends frequent instructional seminars to enhance and broaden the scope of his martial arts training. Sensei Duchesney understands the value of strong relationships and is active in a number of national and international martial arts organizations.

As a senior instructor at Ouellette's Karate, Sensei Duchesney is also a member of the World Congress of Shintani Wado Kai Karate under Hanshi Paul Leonard (Kudan), Hanshi Patrick McCarthy's International Karate Research Society/Koryu Uchinadi Kenpo Jutsu and serves as Ottawa South Director for the Canadian Karate Association.

This multidisciplinary organization welcomes devotees of Karate, Kenpo and Jujutsu while providing master-level seminars and and a generalized forum for evaluation and rank promotion. 
 
WOMEN'S SELF-DEFENCE
 
Sensei Duchesney also conducts periodic women's self-defence seminars and has taught women's self-defence at community centres,  the YMCA and for the federal government. He is currently conducting longitudinal research to determine the most common violent scenarios that occur in the Ottawa area including man against man, man against woman, "swarming" and various armed attacks. The goal of this research is to prioritize training methods by establishing a predictive model of the most common acts of physical violence.
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