Feb 26, 2024

Karate, an art with a rich history, is much more than physical combat; it’s a journey of self-discovery and discipline. Originating from Okinawa, Japan, it has evolved into a global phenomenon, emphasising not only physical strength but mental and spiritual fortitude.

Karate’s benefits extend far beyond physical fitness. It cultivates mental resilience, boosts confidence, and instils a sense of discipline. Practitioners often report improved focus, self-control, and stress management. As a form of self-expression, karate offers a unique blend of physical and psychological growth.

At the heart of this narrative is Bernard Buys, a 6th Dan black belt in karate. His journey began in 1978, at the age of four, under the guidance of Ed Dorey sensei and Stan Schmidt sensei. From achieving his 1st Dan in 1991 to his 6th Dan in 2022, Bernard’s progression is a testament to his dedication and skill.

His training at the Honbu Dojo in Japan under the instruction of revered senseis like Ueki, Ochi, and Osaka, among others, has deeply influenced his approach to karate. Bernard’s role in the International Japan Karate-Do Association (IJKA) is multifaceted. As a full-time teacher, he imparts his knowledge to around 300 students in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs, including the prestigious Dainfern Golf Estate, Blair Atholl Golf Estate, breeding grounds for South African champions and black belts under his tutelage.

Bernard’s influence extends beyond teaching. As the Chief Instructor of IJKA SA and the country representative, he conducts seminars and gradings across South Africa. His role as the head coach for the IJKA South Africa National Team further highlights his commitment to nurturing talent at the national and international levels.

The success of IJKA in integrating karate into school curriculums, like in Japan and recently in the Fourways area, is a testament to its educational value. Karate’s emphasis on discipline, respect, and physical well-being aligns perfectly with the holistic development of students.

The impact of Bernard and IJKA is best captured in the words of the parents. One parent remarked, “My child’s transformation since starting karate is remarkable. Their confidence and focus have soared.” Another shared, “Watching my child advance to a black belt under Bernard’s mentorship was not just an achievement in karate but a milestone in personal growth.”

Karate under the guidance of Bernard Buys and IJKA is more than learning a martial art; it’s about embracing a way of life that
values discipline, respect, and continuous self improvement. As these parental testimonials and Bernard’s journey illustrate, the essence of karate lies in its ability to shape character and empower individuals, both young and old.