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Harada Sensei MBE

Harada’s practise began to evolve into a relaxed and flowing style with dynamic penetrative power. The KDS organisation grew, to a point where there were 3 courses being held on any one weekend, in different parts of the country.

Disaster struck again in 1988, the KDS suffered another major split at the height of its growth. The organisation halved its numbers. Many senior grades were lost after investing years of intensive training and time on them. Bitterly disappointed, Master Harada considered returning to Japan. But, he persevered with his faithful group of KDS students and again invested his time energy. Now, Master Harada’s beloved KDS was developing into, an organisation free of politics and power chasers, those that remained were in there for the good of Karate, there to train and improve, with no hidden agendas. With energy rejuvenated, spurred on by the enthusiasm of his group Master Harada researched his Karate with new and innovative approaches to training, pushing the boundaries of his practise to new levels.

In today’s KDS Organisation, Master Harada teaches his students body language and perception through the variety of exercises that his research has produced. Constant practices of movement, keeping the correct distance and finely tuning the students body reactions in regard to an opponents movements

Correct structure and form within movement is adhered to, whilst relaxation is paramount to a mobile body condition. From this natural and relaxed state, Master Harada can produce dynamic speed and power; even now in his mid-70’s, he seems still to be pushing his own boundaries back with each practise. He is a true testament to his own research and life’s work. “Age and size should be no barrier in Karate”, as many younger and larger opponents will testify to, as being very true, where Master Harada is concerned!

Indeed, at long last, Master Harada had the opportunity to show the product of his life’s work at the Shotokan in October 1998. After many years of resistance, to his developments from the home of Karate, Master Harada received an invitation from Nihon Karate-do Shotokai, to demonstrate at the famous dojo. The celebration, to commemorate 60 years since conception of the Shotokan, and the 130th anniversary of Gichin Funakoshi’s birth; would allow for an international meeting to take place in Tokyo. Master Harada took a select group of his KDS students and made “a huge impact” at the display attended by, all of the Japanese groups and visiting parties from Europe and South America. Master Harada had come full circle, after beginning his Karate training at the Shotokan back in 1943; he was now back with his own group the KDS, wholly being accepted as being as an undisputed Master of Karate by his peers and mentors some 60 years on.

In the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2007, Harada Sensei received an MBE for services to karate.

Story by Jonathan de’ Claire BSc (Hons) – with the assistance of Master Harada and the references of Karate Master and Reminiscences by Dr. Clive Layton.

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