Karate fan proud to fight as a Kiwi

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport - By ABBY BROWN

A Mata­mata karate teacher is thrilled to have rep­re­sented New Zealand for the first time.

Danie van der Linde, from JKA Mata­mata, fought in two team events at the 13th Gichin Fu­nakoshi Karate World Cup in Oc­to­ber. His team lost against Brazil in the kata ( forms) sec­tion and lost against Australia in the ku­mite ( fight­ing sec­tion) in the first round of the knock out com­pe­ti­tion.

Van der Linde, a sec­ond dan (sec­ond de­gree black belt), fought in the open di­vi­sion, which is pop­u­lated by the best karate prac­ti­tion­ers from across the world. The world cup is held only at the pres­ti­gious Bu­dokan venue in Tokyo, Ja­pan ev­ery four years, which van der Linde said made it more of an hon­our to be able to rep­re­sent his adopted coun­try at the com­pe­ti­tion.

Van der Linde has trav­elled the world rep­re­sent­ing his na­tive coun­try of South Africa in karate.

He moved to New Zealand four years ago and has been in Mata­mata for most of that time ex­cept for a few months in Auck­land.

His club is start­ing its fourth year with about 30 stu­dents, in­clud­ing his 8- year- old son Hu­bert, who is a Bay of Plenty cham­pion. The club was also a draw card for an in­ter­na­tional stu­dent who chose to come to Mata­mata solely be­cause of the club’s rep­u­ta­tion. The club mem­bers range in ages from 4 to 60.

Van der Linde is the only Ja­panese graded and qual­i­fied sho­tokan in­struc­tor in the Waikato.

Van der Linde’s qual­i­fi­ca­tions are in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised, mean­ing he can teach or fight any­where as his reg­is­tered Karate New Zealand club is af­fil­i­ated with Ja­pan.

He teaches both sport and budo karate, which is fo­cused more on tra­di­tional fight­ing).

Naka Shi­han, who ref­er­eed van der Linde’s na­tional fight, is the cur­rent Ja­panese ku­mite karate team coach and has trained the club mem­bers at van der Linde’s club and will be com­ing to New Zealand again this Easter.

Van der Linde has been train­ing for 30 years – so long that he said he has forgotten why he started karate at the age of 10.

‘‘It just be­comes part of you. Ev­ery­one has their thing and if you be­come pas­sion­ate about some­thing you can’t ex­plain that pas­sion,’’ he said.

How­ever, he did ac­knowl­edge that he loved kung fu movies star­ring Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan grow­ing up.

He con­tin­ued with the sport be­cause he liked how the phi­los­o­phy of karate is ap­pli­ca­ble to life. ‘‘What karate is . . . at ev­ery level you have to work. It’s just like life, you have to work for the next level and you get re­warded with more knowl­edge at ev­ery level and that is ex­actly what life is about.’’

He also liked that, like life, there was al­ways more to learn, achieve and re­fine in terms of gain­ing belts and skills within the sport.

He trains about 17 hours a week, both in­di­vid­u­ally and train­ing the club mem­bers.

Van der Linde is cur­rently train­ing for the Goyu Ryu World Cup, which will be held in Auck­land from Novem­ber 26-29, with 54 coun­tries com­pet­ing.

Photo: SUP­PLIED

KARATE MAS­TER: Danie van der Linde, right, fights Chris Pap­pas while Naka Shi­han (mean­ing mas­ter) ref­er­ees at the 2014 JKA Na­tional karate com­pe­ti­tion which qual­i­fied him for the Karate World Cup in Ja­pan, where he rep­re­sented New Zealand for the first time.

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