Friday afternoon at Keurboom Park and the Claremont Warriors have gathered for a very special field session.

The atmosphere is charged with an excitement so palpable that it’s  electric. With Senpai Liam at the helm they immediately get into their lines and intently  listen to the instructions and practice the Kion Kata. From 5 years old to 17, this  large group of kids led by a teenager are looking like an army and not the crazy shambles that one would expect. Why? Because they are Bruce’s Claremont  Warriors and have been honing their Discipline, listening and Kata skills for years.

They wait patiently for Bruce to arrive. There is great drama as Bruce is blindfolded  by his girls and led to the field. The blindfold is lifted and what a breathtaking sight it is.  The Warriors perform their Kata and Birthday tribute with the fierceness and passion only rivaled by the All Black’s Haka!! It is goosebumps stuff, as you can see from  white to black belt every warrior really wants to show their Sensei their appreciation and respect.

The definition of sensei is teacher/master and ‘the one that comes before us’ and  Bruce  epitomizes the word Sensei. He has traveled the karate Road for a lifetime and so he’s able to guide his students with such gems of wisdom. He sees the individual and helps them on their own individual karate journey and invests in each one of his students not just as part of a business, you are part of his karate family and inner Circle.

Flashback to the birthday surprise and through my camera I see Bruce’s reaction is his one of warmth, emotion and complete humbleness. We wrap up with a a stunning cake that reflects sensei’s karate made with great skill and effort by one of the Karate mums. It was a real Family Affair and effort for that’s how we roll at the Claremont Dojo – We are Karateka family!!

RITU VAN VELDEN | 2nd Kyu Brown Belt

Master Ken - Ameridote Black Belt 11th Dan - honours Sensei Bruce on his 50th