ST JOHN’S, Antigua - Martin Laville, a committed and devoted karateka for many years, earned his third degree black belt after being examined by Master Takayuki Mikami (ninth Dan) recently.
Laville is one of the instructors at Antigua Shotokan Karate Club (JKA Antigua), and when he is not training in karate, he is flying one of the LIAT Dash 8’s as a captain.
Antigua Shotokan Karate Club again hosted Master Mikami, a ninth degree karate master posted in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Master Mikami was in Antigua on a training and testing exercise. The karate sessions were held at the ASKC dojo (gym) at the corner of Cross and Nevis streets.
The students of the club took up the unique opportunity of being graded and trained by a ninth degree black belt from the Japanese Karate Association.
It was a weekend of karate with Master Mikami holding training sessions in November.
When grading was complete, all the kyu students passed their examination. The highlight of the grading was the (Dan) black belt test.
Stephen Butters, originally from Guyana but now settled in Antigua, tested for first degree black belt (Shodan), while Laville tested for third degree black belt (Sandan).
Butters, an open enthusiast of karate and devoted to training, earned his black belt through training consistently hard.
He is an archivist at Antigua Archives.
Chief Instructor of ASKC Sensei Sir Clare Roberts Godan (fifth degree black belt) said that he was happy to have Master Mikami return to Antigua to train and examine, which he said would lead to improving karate in Antigua & Barbuda.
He also commended the karate students who participated and had a special word for the parents who saw the wisdom of sending their boys and girls to learn karate, thus developing their discipline and capacity to work.
“It is very important that young people keep active, that they take part in positive and beneficial physical and mental activities whether it be karate or football, or pan or chess, etc,” Sir Clare said.
Sir Clare invited both adults and children to join Antigua Shotokan Karate Club, which just commenced its new schedule this month.
For more information, call 764-2576 or 770-2263.