By ASHLEY INGE
STEPHENVILLE (August 30, 2018) – Fudoshin Dojo, a karate school in Stephenville, currently has around 18 to 21 students who are potentially qualified for the A.O.K (Texas Amateur Organization of Karate) state championships in Galveston on Dec. 14-15.
Fudoshin Dojo was founded in 2002 by Sensei Robi Kunkel and offers classes in Nippon Kenpo Karate.
Students learn self-defense techniques with an emphasis on punching, blocking, kicking, throwing, joint locks, chokes, and ground combat. Ultimately, the student acquires a great sense of discipline and self-confidence. Fudoshin Dojo aims to instill in students a sense of self-confidence, mental and physical strength, and strong character. Students are taught to set good examples, display good sportsmanship, enthusiasm, spirit, courage, responsibility and humility.
Kunkel is an executive board member on the A.O.K and he has a black belt in three styles (Nippon Kenpo Karate, American Karate, and Tang Soo Do) and a brown belt in judo.
The competitions are divided by divisions. For each age division, there is a: beginner, intermediate, advanced and black belt division. There are several events, like sparring, where the students get two points for a kick, one point for a punch. At the end of the two minutes, the person with the most points wins the event.
There are also four regions: north, west, east and central. Stephenville is in the western region. The top five places qualify for state. At the end of the year, the judges look at the points and the top five in each division, qualifies and goes to state.
“Because some regions are more competitive than others, we like to go to all the regions because sometimes if there‘s nobody in your division, you just show up and you’ll get ranked, but we don’t like that. We actually compete and fight for it,” Kunkel said.
Fudoshin Dojo has between 18 to 21 potential students who are qualified for state. However, those numbers could change before the state championship.
“Qualifying is not over. There’s still four or five tournaments to go, so people who are saying they’re qualified right now, might get knocked out if they don’t keep going and keep winning. By the time we get done with our tournaments, there may be more or it may be less. We don’t give them anything; they have to work for all of it,” Kunkel said.
Every year, Fudoshin Dojo has around 15 to 25 students who qualify for state.
“We’ve had many state champions,” Kunkel said. “From our school that size, it’s really awesome so we do this full circuit of all the regions and we host a tournament ourselves in Stephenville every August.”
Fudoshin Dojo has classes for self-defense, children’s classes, adult classes and women’s only classes. The classes are $45 a month Monday’s and Wednesday’s, Tuesday’s and Thursday’s and then Friday is open-mat. They also have family, student and teacher discounts. The classes are open for all ages with the youngest student at 4-years-old and the oldest student in their late 70s.
Kunkel encourages anyone who is interested in joining a class to contact him.
“We offer free classes to start so you can try it out. We’re going to do a women’s self-defense seminar probably towards the end of September, so we’ll be putting up information about that on our Facebook. We have an awesome group of students and [would] love to have anybody just to come look or check it out,” Kunkel said.
Fudoshin Dojo is located at 810 FM 205 in the old Flamingo Building across from Texas Twisters. For more information, contact Sensei Robi Kunkel at 254-967-1165.