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Senpai | An Pham

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My Story

My martial arts journey started when I joined my high school’s Taekwondo club. I trained hard in the art of Taekwondo and archived my first-degree black belt and became a part of the Vietnam National team after four years. Hoping to expand my martial arts skill and knowledge, I began to research Karate and later learned Suzucho Karate for a while. One day while doing research on Suzucho Karate, I stumbled upon a clip of Kyokushin Karate. I was completely fascinated by the art and even more fascinated to learn about the legendary “God hand” Sosai Oyama. I remember telling myself “I will seek out and practice this style no matter what” and I did. 


I was lucky enough to find the one and only Kyokushin Karate dojo in Vietnam, run by Kotani Sensei and Sakaki Sensei. My first day was very exciting and even more so when I got to spar with Sakaki Sensei. That was the first time in my life I got to experience what it means to fall down after one punch and how to stand back up for more. My body was completely wrecked and riddled with bruises after that day. But, I was satisfied like never before. I came to training every day for a month. Then I moved to Ellensburg for college. Here I discovered Shihan Ian Quitadamo’s dojo after two months of searching. And here I am, still dedicated to my Kyokushin training under Shihan Ian Quitadamo and now writing about how it all started. 


For me, Kyokushin is a lifetime adventure, and the more you go the less you know. Kyokushin Karate has become my life passion and has influenced many aspects of my life. I wish to be able to train for as long as I can. One day, I will be able to bring Kyokushin Karate to my home country. I want every Vietnamese to know, train and respect “The strongest Karate”. Osu! 

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