KyokuKankuAni - Kyokushin Karate Africa Shihan Paulsen

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In Memory
Sosai Oyama
1923 -1994

Shihan Dai

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Neville Paulsen Shihan

Neville Paulsen started his karate training in the mid sixties as a 25 year old. He started training with Sensei Eric Smith in Shukokai progressing to Shihan Len Barnes and was then graded to brown belt by Sensei Abe Appolis.

He continued his training and in 1974, opened his dojo "Kuzuri-Zen" in a church hall in Retreat. Around 1978, he formed an association with Isgak Cassim who had by then also left Len Barnes's organisation and together the two travelled to Durban to form an association with Shihan AK Ismail who headed the Shihon Karate Organisation Kyokushinkai. Paulsen and Cassim's group was then called Toshima-Ku Karate  - named after the district in which the Honbu is located in JAPAN.

In 1982, he rejoined Len Barnes's South African Kyokushinkai Karate Association (SAKKA) and in January of 1984, travelled to JAPAN to attend the 3rd World Tournament. He managed to fit in a few training sessions at the IKO Honbu in Toshima-Ku.

During the time period 1982 to the nineties, Sensei Paulsen proved himself an outstanding referee and in that capacity, he travelled all over the country to officiate at SAKKA tournaments. He obtained his Yondan in 1987, but only received the certificate in 1995 (signed by Matsui) after the visit of Matsui to South Africa. After Sosai Oyama died, Kyokushin in South Africa for a while was with Matsui, but after his visit here, people learnt that things were not as he said and the organisation started splintering.

When Shihan Barnes heard that Matsu's group had lots of irregularities, he separated and for a time being, was involved with Hanshi Steve Arneil's group. Shihan Barnes promoted Sensei Paulsen to 5th Dan Shihan. A few years later, he received his Rokudan (6th Dan).

In 1997, Shihan John Taylor of Australia visited South Africa to promote a new Kyokushin group headed by Kancho Matsushima. He also visited Shihan Paulsen's dojo and had lengthy meetings with him after which Shihan Paulsen decided to become a member of the Matsushima group. For a number of years, he ad an association with Shihan Alpheous Sabela, the country representative for Matsushima.

Due to ill health, he was forced to close his dojo and many of his seniors of sandan ranking went elsewhere to continue their training. Some of whom are now with the Kyokushin Rengokai or Matsui group. His senior student at the time, Sensei Abubakr Petersen could not continue with the dojo due to work commitments which had him travelling all over the country.

Despite being ill, Shihan Paulsen would often attend various tournaments and assist with the refereeing.

In 2007, Kancho Matsushima visited Cape Town and Shihan Paulsen who was recuperating attended training with him. The two also had a meeting to plot the way forward. In that same year, Abubakr Petersen started training in earnest. Shihan Paulsen slowly started his comeback. He currently has two of his Dan grades back into action - Sensei Abubakr Petersen (yondan) and Senpai Lionel Booysen (shodan) Abubakr has now opened two small dojo and Shihan travels once a week to Macassar to teach.

At 70, Shihan Paulsen has a new purpose in life and that is to help his students promote the ideology of the late Sosai Oyama as such, he is very optimistic about the future.

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Abubakr Petersen Sensei

Born in 1971 in Claremont, Cape Town.

Abubakr started karate in August 1985, age 14, at Surrey Estate Kyokushin dojo under Sensei Nazeem Flowers. [He lived in Hanover Park at the time, notorious for its gangsterism, added to that the political and civil unrest of the time and it was quite a challenge just getting to the dojo for training sessions. He was arrested once in 1986 on his way to training and locked up for a week in Philippi police stations, and again in 1988, this time locked up for three days; exciting times!] Abubakr was too poor to afford a dogi so he trained in pyjama pants for the first six months!

He moved to Grassy Park in October 1988 as a first kyu brown belt and started training with Sensei Neville Paulsen. He also taught my first classes that same year.  He was graded to black belt/shodan in December 1989 under Shihan Kenny Uitenbogaardt et al. He supplemented his training by joining Sifu Walleed Williams of Grassy Park for some Mantis fist kung fu training during 1990.

Abubakr moved to Durban in 1991 to study at the then University of Durban Westville. He joined the university karate club which was a mixture of full contact and non contact styles and trained with them sporadically. He won and placed favourably in a medley of tournaments over the next five years, including the underground bare knuckle fighting circuit in the greater Durban. (Illegal at the time). He lived in Leiden, Amsterdam for six months during 1995 on an academic exchange program, training with Henk Storm, a jiu jitsu and Muay Thai instructor.  He completed studies in February 1996 and moved back to Cape Town.

He was graded to Nidan under Shihan Len Barnes in 1997. Had a break in training between 1998 and 2002 due to work (spent five years travelling the country working for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission). He resumed his training in 2002, had an extended grading that lasted 6 months for his Sandan in 2003.

Since 2004 he has trained with and under various Kyokushin instructors, as well as NHB and UFC instructors. He also had a year long stint under Sifu Suleiman of Cape Town in Tai Chi.  Since 2006 have been training under Kaicho Hoosain Narker, the International Director of Ashihara Karate, while still training under Shihan Neville Paulsen. His exploits in competition include participation in the World Martial Arts Bravery Games in Kayseri, Turkey where he captained the South African team, which finished third in the competition and he personally had a top six finish and received the award for the Best Technical Fighter of the tournament award; as well as participation in the World Kumite Championships in Thailand in 2008.

Extra-karate activities include racing, repairing and restoring motorcycles. Academically he has an Honours degree in Languages; a postgraduate diploma in Business Management Studies, a postgraduate diploma in Project Management and he completed his MBA in 2008.

In 2009, he participated in the Kyokushin Kan World Tournament held in Budapest, Hungary. In 2010, he attended the World Kumite Championships as the coach of the South Africa team.

Web site designed and maintained by © AshiharaOnline September 2008

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Classes now at

Boys Scout Hall
Cecil Road, Plumstead
Wednesdays: 6.00-8.00pm
Saturdays - 10-12.30pm
Call Sensei Abubakr Petersen 082 931 9623

Sonskyn Creche
Soekmekaar Street, Macassar
Saturdays - 4-5.30pm
Call Shihan Neville Paulsen 021 712 4855

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