Congratulations Sensei Mike Coombes
I hope you'll join me in congratulating one of my Canadian students, Sensei Mike Coombes, who has just received his Renshi-level instructor's accreditation in Koryu Uchinadi and joins the ranks of other senior KU instructors around the world.
A career professional, Coombes Renshi works as a full-time instructor at his own dojo, Hatsuun Jindo Martial Arts, in Courtice, Ontario, Canada. He has been involved in the martial arts for much of his adult life starting with Goju Ryu in 1994 and came on board with KU twelve years ago, in 2004. In 2010, and after embracing KU for six years, Mike made Yudansha and also received his Shidoin licence in the same year. Honing his skills for another two years of study he enrolled into the Instructor's Training Program, in 2012.
Reaching out and working closely with his international KU family, Mike's established unshakable bonds of friendship with senior instructors like Damien Costello, Paul Lopresti and Darrin Johnson, ete., and enjoyed a widespread camaraderie with these mentors that dates back to his early beginnings with KU. Closest to him is his longtime friendship and respect for Helen and Brian Sakamoto, who started him on this pathway more than a decade ago.
For years, he’s enthusiastically participated in a wide variety of training opportunities in several different fighting arts and attended seminars and Gasshuku in the USA and throughout Canada. Learning from the best has resulted in improving both his standard of karate and that of his teaching skills. An inspirational martial artist in both his training and teaching, he is known for being honest, fair, tolerant, encouraging and driven. His efforts and important contributions have not gone unrecognised either as he received IRKRS Special recognition in 2011, our Dojo Award in 2013, become the Yudansha of the Year in 2014 and in 2015 he was named the IRKRS' "Person of the Year." Few, if any, can make such a boast in the organisation ~ Mike Coombes can, but his modesty would most certainly prevent him from ever doing so ... it's just the kind of person he truly is.
He constantly endeavours to get the very best from his students by giving completely of himself and holding nothing back; giving is getting according to this instructor and he believes very strongly about contributing in a positive way to his community and is equally committed to bringing the holistic benefits of the physical and mental aspects of the fighting arts to those within his field of influence.
One of the most well respected members of the IRKRS, Mike san lost his beautiful wife, Camille, in January of 2015 after her long battle with Cancer. The father of two wonderful boys, Stuart and Logan, Mike remains fully committed to guiding his sons along this wonderful path of discovery and to keep strong the loving memory of their mom.
Having only recently stepped into the new position as co-director of our Toronto-based movement, together with KU Shidoin, Josh Stewart, I would like to say, as the director of the IRKRS, how very proud I am of Mike's accomplishments and wish him the very best of luck with the many challenges, which lay ahead.
As the recipient of this accreditation Coombes Renshi now joins the ranks of an impressive alumni, such as Dirk Thesenvitz and Olaf Krey [Germany], Per-Ivar Andersson [Sweden], Ante Brännbacka [Finland], Damien Costello [Ireland], Christopher Mazzali, Phyllis Chalmers and Bill Johansen [all of Australia], Verlin Koch [of Canada], Danny Spletter and Paul Lopresti [both from the USA], Marco Forti [Italy], Erin Gamble and Johnny Kennedy [both of New Zealand], etc.
Koryu Uchinadi conditions the body, cultivates the mind and nurtures the spirit, in an effort to improve health, the holistic purpose; be better prepared to protect oneself, the defensive application; build moral character, the social aim; discover and overcome the source human weakness; the philosophical nature; and finally, to know inner-peace, the spiritual essence. These traditions are also provocative alternatives to conventional methods of physical fitness and stress management. Learning how to respond dispassionately to unwarranted aggression requires self-empowerment. Such training promotes an inner-calm and, where conflict exists, helps restore balance to personal and professional relationships.
Deep roots strengthen the foundation of this art and yet wings provide the means to continue forth on the journey of discovery. Practicing the fighting arts link us inconspicuously to its past; through discipline and sacrifice we discover our inner-self; by training together we forge important bonds of friendship and by living the art we honour its heritage. Adorning the training costume, embracing physical training with earnest dedication, studying its philosophy and performing the esoteric rituals has transformed and empowered our lives in such a way that our lives have become as much a product of the art as the art has become equally a product of our lives. Your dedication and ongoing effort to study, preserve and promote the history, evolution and value of the fighting arts is exemplary.
Mike san, today the IRKRS salutes you my friend.
PS Interested parties can find out more about Mike Coombes and Hatsuun Jindo here http://hatsuunjindomartialarts.perfectmind.com
and on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/groups/HatsuunJindo/
or contact him c/o firstname.lastname@example.org