Bhutanese Shito-Ryu-Karate in the US Revives


Refresher training was organized by Druk American Shito Ryu Karate Do (DASRKD), Columbus chapter on December 31, 2016 through January 1, 2017 headed by the two Bhutanese karate founders Sensei Ran Rai and Sensei Tika Rai.

Senseis (instructors), senpais (seniors), and well-wishers from nine different states participated in the event.

The sensei Rai duo formally opened the program with a welcome speech and observe a minute silence to tribute to former karatekas, late Rupa Subba, late Ramesh Rai, late Raju Rai, late Tara Rai, late Rita Gurung and late Arthik Subba, for their untimely demise and their contribution to Bhutanese karate.

During two-day training, the duo focused on the latest changes on kata on the first day. They engaged officials in referee training on the second day. Participants took part in demonstration and refereeing practices according to new rules. Senpai Moni Rai, another sensei based at Columbus, conducted the program throughout the event. The second day meeting discussed around modernizing karate, adopting collective leadership, and developing community based karate in Bhutanese communities in United States and beyond.One of the Karatekas and the community leader at Columbus, Bhuwan Pyakurel appreciated the initiative taken by the Columbus Dojo to conduct the program.

Similarly, president of Bhutanese Nepali Community of Columbus (BNCC), Bhim Bastola appreciated for bringing youths together and helping them engaged for healthy activities strengthening them physical and mentally. “Through the games sports, it is expected to help many youths who otherwise could easily get indulged into drug and alcohol abuse”, Bastola added.
Since its establishment in the Fall of 1992 at Beldangi I camp (Nepal), Shito-Ryu Karate has attracted thousands of Bhutanese youths. Transition to a new country posed a challenge for a while.

This event, however, remained a historic one in a way that the sensei duos continue to work to bring all the karatekas together in a new country that gave hope for future of karate in United States.

The participants believe the revival of Bhutanese Shito-Ryu Karate brings hope in development of Karate in Bhutanese community while they are learning to live in a new country. A meeting was called on the first day to bring all dojos (clubs) and players to one umbrella organization, “Druk American Shito-Ryu-Karate Do”, so that karatekas trained in refugee camps and who are currenly in different US states could work together. A core committee and sub-committee were formed to work on bylaws gearing toward developing community based Karate and formulating rules and regulations to manage the organization. For the time being, DASRKD headquarter is based in Georgia.

Sensei Ran Rai was nominated as the chairperson of the core working committee and Sensei Tika Rai as the chairperson of the sub-committee. Other core committee members include Sensei Hemant Ghising(Secretary/Spokesperson), Sensei Shiva Jogi, Senpai Bahadur Subba, Senpai Sarman Samal, Senpai Tek N. Nepal, Senpai Moni Rai (Assistant Secretary), Senpai Ashok Gurung, Senpai Maya Lepcha (Treasurer), Senpai Yam Bista and Senpai Madan Rai were nominated as coordinator and assistant coordinator of sub-committee respectively.

“It is just the beginning of another chapter of Bhutanese Shito Ryu Karate. I invite all karatekas in and outside of United States to join us to develop a concept of community based karate that could support youth development to some extent” said Sensei Ran Rai.

The participants appreciated the initiative taken by Columbus dojo under the moderation of Sensei Hemant Ghising and Senpai Moni Rai for the whole process to bring the event as a successful one.

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