Karate fan proud to fight as a Kiwi
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.
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.