Category Archives: Visitors

Sensei Bernard Buys (JKA 5th Dan Instructor)

Solis Ortus has an invited instructor evening, 3 to 4 times a year, in our senior class.  This time around we were invited Sensei Bernard Buys on 7 November 2018.

Just to give a short introduction to this 44 year old sensei, who briefly pursued a lawyer career and soon realized that karate was his true passion, who swapped his suit and tie for his karate gi. Today, he is a full time JKA karate instructor to almost 200 students in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, and declared: “I love what I do and wouldn’t change it for anything. I find it incredibly rewarding to teach JKA karate to students, see them grow and love to pass on my knowledge.”

His motto in life is to maintain a disciplined and focused outlook on life; and his quest is: to become fitter, faster, better, stronger and leaner each year.

Sensei Bernard presented a very traditional, down to the point basic class to teach us how to improve our kicks. Although basic….basics are the foundation of traditional karate….he broke it down into building blocks and then combined it to execute with speed, control and precision.

Sensei Bernard also concentrated how to loosen up the hips and stated that hips play an enormous roll in executing an effective kick. Traditional JKA karate depends on hip movement and that makes our karate more effective and different from other styles.

Hip movement, contraction and expansion was of the basics he concentrated on and made us realized how important it is to grade to higher gradings. In line with sensei Bernard’s training session, Solis Ortus is currently preparing for Shodan and up gradings in 2019.

After a hard session, Solis Ortus stood proud to know that our training in the dojo is on par with our current Veteran South African grand champion in both Kata and Kumite, sensei Bernard Buys. Thank you sensei for a great informative session you have presented. We wish you all the best for all your future endeavours and cannot wait to train with you again.

Thank you to Sensei Eugene who always go the extra mile to help us improve our karate. Thank you to the late class who always absorbs every little bit of extra information to excel and improve themselves. Also no one can make someone feel more welcome than a Solis Ortus Welcome….one way JKA, JKA one way….Solis Ortus!

Written by: Heilethe Calitz

Sensei Marina Valassopoulos

She is an elite athlete, 6th Dan, a Podiatrist, devoted about helping and healing people, a perfectionist and passionate about her karate.

She also had the honour and privilege to grade in Japan.

Solis Ortus had the pleasure to train with Sensei Marina in the beginning of August.

Her focus was plyometric drills, strength, endurance, muscle fatigue, legs and speed. Muscle fatigue is mostly our enemy. She focused on low stances and how to overcome weaknesses and replace it with endurance. Her philosophy is not to give up when your legs are tired but to overcome it with endurance and built strength into your legs. She cleverly combined plyometric and kata training to build strength and speed. Most of her techniques were built around Empi.

Because her passion resides more to kata, she especially helped the older generation to improve their way of applying their kata with more meaning. She indicated that if you are not fast, at least do your kata with feeling….fast is fast and slow is slow…do not rush.

Her patient, methodical, helpful way of teaching was an inspiration to improve ourselves in our karate journey. Class was hard and we definitely received a full body workout. Our senior class really appreciated and enjoyed a well-planned, hard class with Sensei Marina and we look forward to inviting her for another training session.

She admired Sensei Eugene as a top athlete and as an enthusiastic instructor; and complemented Solis Ortus as a well-organised dojo with good vibes.

We, as Solis Ortus karatekaswant to thank Sensei Marina for her dedication and contagious love for karate, and the honour to have trained with her. Thank you to Sensei Eugene for the opportunity to train with such incredible senseis.

Written by: Heilethe Calitz

WSKF – Sensei Stephan visits Solis Ortus

It is always a privilege and honour when people from other Dojo’s visit our Dojo. Last night was no exception on the rule.

Sensei Stephan and two of his students from Steyn Dojo in
Potchefstroom did us the honour to come and train with the best kumite Sensei in South Africa; Sensei Eugene Oosthuizen.

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The Solis Ortus students welcomed them with great expectation and trained hard with them. Sensei Eugene presented an incredible kumite class with lots of defending and attacking techniques. The class was vibrant, enthusiastic and energetic.

After a great class full of new knowledge and hard work, we can just say thank you to Sensei Eugene and wish our guests a save trip back home and an open invitation to visit again.

Written by: Heilethe Calitz