May 252018
 

By Charlie Abel.

Aberdeen’s own National Karate Institute had more than just the luck of the Irish behind them on their recent trip to the Emerald Isle. Dedication and perseverance paid off.

They were representing the city on the world stage during the Belfast Open World Karate Championships held in Northern Ireland, on 29th of April 2018.

While many of us folks back home were tucking into our Sunday lunches and firing up the barbecues the Aberdeen athletes were burning off the calories and fighting their way through some really tough competition to win a staggering 34 medals.

The self-funded NKI enjoyed some great results bringing home 12 gold medals against fierce competition from the Irish and other countries. There were 16 different Karate Federations taking part.

Team coach and chief NKI instructor Ronnie Watt (9th Dan) (O.B.E. & Order of The Rising Sun) said:

“Our team were outstanding. I’m absolutely delighted! It’s a fantastic result. All the team have been training really hard, some since the age of 7. To get so many medals against such fierce and overwhelming competition from around the world is remarkable.

“We were heavily outnumbered and underfunded, but these results show we were not out-classed.

“For such a small club from a small country we proved we have what it takes, against all odds, and I am so proud we can deliver for Aberdeen and Scotland.

“It goes to show that Karate training really brings the best out of people. All our students were first class in my eyes. Medals or not. ”

Invitations for the NKI squad to perform and teach Karate have been coming in from around the world.

The NKF squad are back in training now and are aiming for success at the next festival, The International Karate Festival, which they will host themselves in Aberdeen this Summer.

Anyone interested in training Karate should call Aberdeen 734607 for more information.

The club meet in Aberdeen, Cults and Inverurie.

Ronnie Watt adds:

“We are always keen to attract new members of all ages.”

RESULTS:

Gold    12           Silver   15          Bronze  7         Total  34 Medals!!
 
Individual Senior Kata, Br/Black:
3rd – Grant Conroy.
 
Team Kata U14 Male Female Mixed:
1st – Kai Dark, Sophie Johnston, Nikita Kevra. 
 
Individual Kumite, 14-U16, -57kg:
3rd – Benedict Bruce.
 
Individual Kumite Cadets, Male 16-U18, 65kg+ :
2nd – Connor Davidson.
 
Team Kumite Men Seniors:
2nd – Stuart Odell, Curtis Thornton, Ian Wallace.
 
Individual Senior Women Kata, Br/Black:
1st – Nissara Kirk.
2nd – Chloe Calder.
 
Team Kata Cadets Female:
1st – Yasmin Parsa, Leah Provan, Charlotte Walker.
 
Individual Kumite Cadets, Female 14-U16, -55kg:
1st – Yasmin Parsa.
3rd – Keira Cormack.
 
Individual Kumite Cadets, Female 16-U18, -57kg:
2nd – Leah Provan.
 
Team Kumite Female Cadets:
2nd – Yasmin Parsa, Leah Provan, Charlotte Walker:
 
Individual Kata, 5-U14, Br/Blk:
3rd – Kai Dark.
 
Team Kumite Seniors Female:
2nd – Chloe Calder, Nissara Kirk, Emma Stuart.

Senior Women Team Kata:
1st – Nissara Kirk, Chloe Calder, Emma Stewart.

Senior Female Ippon:
2nd – Chloe Calder.
3rd – Nissara Kirk.
 
Individual Cadet Kata, 14-U18, White – Orange:
2nd – Keira Cormack.
 
Individual Kata, 5-U10, Green – Purple:
1st – Cameron Smith.
3rd – Harry proud.
 
Individual Kumite Female Seniors, +63kg:
2nd – Emma Stuart.
 
Individual Kumite Female Seniors, -63Kg:
3rd – Nissara Kirk.

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Jan 192017
 

With thanks to Charlie Abel.

Joanna Lumley has become the first award recipients of the 2017 Scottish Samurai
awards.

Besides being a well known BAFTA TV award winning actress, former model, author and voice over artist, Joanna has been a great advocate for human rights for Survival International and the Ghurka Justice
Campaign. 

She is also a great supporter of Animal welfare charities such as Compassion in World Farming and Vegetarians International Voice for Animals.

Her recent documentary ‘Joanna Lumley’s Japan’ was a great hit with the Samurai Award’s membership and U.K. audience. 

The Scottish Samurai awards were founded in Aberdeen by Culter resident and international 9th Dan Karate instructor Ronnie Watt OBE, ORS to celebrate those who serve and excel. The award of Great Shogun recognises those who have reached the ultimate achievement in their field.

Joanna Lumley has said she is very proud and very humbled to receive the honour and she is:

“thrilled to be a Scottish Samurai.”

Ronnie Watt is delighted to add Joanna to the ever-growing list of Samurai.

Some of the previous award winners include Sean Connery, Billy Connolly, Alex Salmond, Aberdeen City Council, Sir Ian Wood, Lord Charles Bruce, Compton Ross, Tommy Dreelan and the current and former Japanese Consul Generals of Japan in Edinburgh.

Each year the Scottish Samurai awards grow and continues to encourage and recognise people from different walks of life for their positive contributions to society and those around them.

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Oct 032016
 
ronnie-watt-painting

Ronnie Watt (left) as depicted by celebrated Aberdeen painter, Eric Auld.

By Charlie Abel.

Aberdeen’s famous Karate man Ronnie Watt (9th Dan) will be flying off to Japan on Frday (Oct 7) at the invitation of the Japanese through a fellow martial artist. A Kendo instructor from Japan, Kazuo Yamazaki, who is well known in Aberdeen for setting up the Aberdeen Kendo Club a number of years ago, has invited Ronnie and his wife Gail to accompany him on a tour of Japan.

The highlight of the tour for Ronnie will be visiting the Karate Dojo’s where they have organised displays of three of the traditional Japanese karate styles.

They will also visit Nagasaki where they have been invited by Tomishisa Taue, the Mayor of Nagasaki and some of the most prominent Karate Masters in their area to attend a dinner in his honour.

Ronnie is no stranger to Japan having visited six times to date and training in the world famous Takushoku Dojo, where modern Shotokan Karate was brought to the world by the Japan Karate Association.

Ronnie’s connections with Japan go back a long way. When he started Karate 50 years ago, after being inspired by James Bond movies, very little was known about Karate in Scotland. Few people knew anything other than simple basics and even that was of a questionable standard. The only way to learn was to go to Japan or attend some courses the Japanese masters were running down at Crystal Palace in London. Ronnie did both.

After years of training with the visiting Japanese instructors and visiting the source of knowledge in Japan Ronnie became well known as an instructor and an international competitor. Leading the Scottish Karate team and Teaching over 20,000 people karate.

In his Karate career Ronnie has brought many Japanese Instructors to the UK, Germany and Norway. He became good friends with many legendary karate masters such as Nakayama, Kase, Shirai, Enoeda and Ochi. Many would stay at his home in Aberdeen. Ronnie brought a team over from Japan to compete in a friendship tournament and in 2001 organised the WKC World Karate Championships at the Aberdeen Exhibition and conference centre.

His work with the Japanese and the good work Ronnie has contributed to Karate, not only in the UK but in many countries he visits to teach Karate, has not gone unrecognised.

Ronnie is one of the few people to be honoured by the Japanese outside of Japan, with an Order of the Rising Sun – an award not to be taken lightly. He has also since been recognised by the Queen with an OBE and named ‘Sports personality of the year’ by Aberdeen City Council.

the Scottish Samurai Awards have grown into something really special

He also has honours from the government of Slovakia and from other Karate Clubs in Europe. Last year he was entered into the ‘European Hall of Fame for Martial Artists’.

In 2015, in tribute to ‘Scottish Samurai’, Thomas Blake Glover, Ronnie helped to organise the hosting of 22 Japanese students and school children who were doing a pilgrimage visit from Kagoshima to Aberdeen and London. After his arrival in Japan, Glover had sent 22 students to be educated in the ‘modern world’ and is credited with modernising Japan. Glover is also credited with reviving The Order of the Rising Sun.

During the student’s tour of Aberdeen and London, Aberdeen was very proud to be able to host every person with a family including Ronnie and some of his friends. Ronnie is looking forward to seeing some of Kagoshima on his visit. Ronnie was recently awarded his 9th Dan making him one of the highest graded Karateka in the world and one of the worlds most experienced.

As if all this wasn’t already enough to keep him busy, 22 years ago Ronnie Founded a small awards event to help recognise and encourage people in different aspects of life. Initially it was centred round sports but now the Scottish Samurai Awards have grown into something really special. Each year they have grown into a more prestigious date in the Aberdeen social event calendar.

Names like Alex Salmond, Sean Connery, Sir Ian Wood, Tommy Dreelan, Martin Gilbert, Dr Joseph Morrow (Lord Lyon of Scotland) and The Very Reverend Professor Ian Torrance, have added Kudos to the broad spectrum of recipients who are recognised for being ‘people of spirit’ – Scottish Samurai.

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Dec 032015
 

By Charlie Abel.

Ronnie Watt 11Aberdonian karate students will have great cause to celebrate this week with the news that their very own Ronnie Watt OBE ORS, chief instructor of the NKF (national karate federation) and director of Shotokan for the WKC (world karate confederation) has been awarded a 9th Dan black belt (Kudan). It is believed to be the highest ever Dan grade awarded to an Aberdonian or a Scotsman.

This is a major achievement for Ronnie and for karate in Scotland.

Ronnie Watt’s name is already famous and well respected throughout the city of Aberdeen and the karate world. Being graded a 9th Dan Ronnie joins the elite ranks of the worlds most repected Karate masters.

Obtaining a black belt is very difficult, very few people manage to train hard enough, it takes at least three years and most people give up, perhaps one in a hundred achieve a black belt. Some will go on and get a 2nd Dan or higher. However, it is almost unheard of to achieve a 9th Dan in karate. Very few manage to reach this level, most are Japanese and it takes a lifetime of training.

This is a first for Scottish Shotokan Karate and it’s a great honour for the city having a home grown 9th Dan teaching and training karate, here in Aberdeen, Ronnie’s home town.

The 9th Dan will be presented to Ronnie by the International Shotokan-ryu Karate–do Shihankai (ISKS). The ISKS was set up in 2004 by an international group of world karate masters to protect and maintain the tradition of karate, which they see is sadly being diluted by many outside ‘fashionable’ influences. The ISKS is one of the most respected orders in the world of Karate today.

Karate has been a way of life for Ronnie and his family. He has won many competitions both home and internationally. To date he has trained over 25,000 students in his 50 years, many of them achieving black belt and going on to higher Dan grades, his students are well known for returning from World Championship tournaments laden with medals and golden trophies.

His wife Gail has been indispensible in running Ronnie’s NKF Karate Academy and his children, now adults are also very much following in his footsteps with Son Reeve (5th Dan) and Daughter Roxy (5th Dan) training karate regularly and teaching classes. Grandson Cooper (age 4) has also recently started training, keen to join his grandpa in the dojo.

Ronnie who has trained karate ‘religiously’ as a way of life for 50 years was recently entered into the European Hall of fame for Martial Arts (November 2015).

Ronnie has previously been awarded an OBE from the Queen. In 2010 was recognised by the Emperor of Japan with an Order of the Rising Sun – a very special award rarely given to foreigners. Ronnie joins good company with famous people such as Clint Eastwood, Gustav Eiffel of France, George Takei (Sulu, Helmsman of the Starship enterprise on Star Trek) Bobby Charlton, and ex UK Prime minister Sir John Major.

In 2014, Ronnie was awarded a Commemorative Medal of the Trnava Self-Governing Region (TSGR) of Slovakia by the TSGR’s president, Tibor Mikus for promotion of friendship between Scotland and Slovakia. Ronnie is also a Free Burgess of Guild member of the city of Aberdeen, (Freedom of the city) and is a banner bearer to the Knights of the Most Holy Trinity, who are a heraldic based charity organisation raising funds for good causes.

When asked about his 50 years in Karate and his 9th Dan Ronnie says,

“I’ve just loved karate, being karate. It’s what I’ve always done.

“I see a lot of people and see what it can do for them.  The discipline, the training, the Budo (the way) it changes them. It changed me. Karate improves people. It’s beautiful….My 50 years have not been easy, but I’d do it again tomorrow..”

“ I’m very happy and really humbled to receive the 9th Dan. It’s amazing…I’m still learning!”

Having one of the worlds most decorated and respected Karate masters living and teaching in Aberdeen is a massive advantage to anyone wishing to learn more about Karate-do.

Visit www.karate-scotland.info for more info.

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Oct 032014
 

Ronnie WattWith thanks to Charlie Abel.

Aberdeen’s famous Karate Instructor Ronnie Watt will be looking for a bigger  cabinet to display his medals after receiving yet another award, this time from the Slovakian government for ‘promotion of understanding, tolerance and friendship among nations and regions’

The commemorative medal of Trnava Self-governing region (TSGR) was awarded to Ronnie on the 5th of September by the TSGR president Tibor Mikus. The award has an important place in the chivalry of the TSGR.

Jurai Staffa, the assistant to the President commented:

“It only belongs to those whose contributions to society and human values are extraordinary. It is not only awarded to residents of the region but to other outstanding personalities from other parts of the world. Its prestige and moral credit are unquestionable.

The president of the TSGR in Slovakia ( Tibor Mikos) has added

“TSGR is proud that the medal is in good hands in your case.”

Ronnie first met with President Mikos through Karate back in 2001 when Aberdeen was host to the WKC World Karate Championships at AECC, where thousands of competitors from all over the world came to compete. The competition which had been organised by Ronnie and his team in Aberdeen was praised as a huge success by the WKC who said that it was one of the best competitions they had ever attended and that the hospitality of Aberdonians was second to none.

President Mikos is a keen Karate man himself, and at 8th Dan is greatly respected throughout the Karate world as a former champion fighter and member of the WKC board. He had attended the Championships and was so impressed that he invited Ronnie to Slovakia to train his students.

Ronnie has now made several trips to Slovakia to help with teaching Karate alongside President Mikos, and Jurai Staffa, (a former treasurer and secretary to the WKC, assistant to president Mikos and author.)

This September Ronnie flew to Germany and travelled to Slovakia  with the President of the WKC and good friend Dr. Fritz Wendland from Germany where a surprise ceremony was organised during a 2000 mile European road trip on Dr. Fritz’s World War 2 motorcycle and side car.  The pair had been talking about the road trip for years and Ronnie knew nothing about the award that was in store for him during the journey.

Ronnie has previously received recognition from the Emperor of Japan for his life’s work in karate with an ‘order of the rising sun’  an award seldom given to people outside Japan. This followed recently an OBE from her majesty the Queen and previously Ronnie has been recognised by Aberdeen City Council as their ‘Sports Personality of the Year’ on more than one occasion.

Now aged 67 years young,  8th Dan Black Belt Ronnie Watt still trains karate every day and teaches adults and children the traditional Shotokan karate discipline which has helped shape the karate that Aberdeen is becoming famous for in the karate world. Ronnie has helped tens of thousands of people progress through karate, and some of his students have gone on to win many competition medals including gold in world karate championships.

Anyone wishing to learn Karate please visit www.karate-scotland.info

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Mar 062014
 
Mathias Jung 2014

John McInnes – Silver kumite

By Charlie Abel.

Aberdeen’s own National Karate Federation have done it again.

They represented NKF Scotland on the world stage during the open World Karate Confederation (WKC) Championships held in Munich, Germany on 24th and 25th January.

While many of us folks back home were tucking into their traditional Burns haggis, the Aberdonian athletes were burning off the calories and fighting their way through some really tough competition.

Facing over 400 competitors from 14 countries the self-funded NKF had some great results, against giant competition from the USA (who had some 400,000 karate students and government funding to draw from) and Russia who even had members of their military taking part.

Participants travelled from Norway, Lithuania, Northern Ireland, Italy, Serbia, Germany, France and many more. Team coach and chief NKF instructor Ronnie Watt 8th Dan (O.B.E. & order of the rising sun) said:

“The team were outstanding. I’m absolutely delighted! It’s one of the best results we ever had. All the team have been training really hard, some since the age of 7. To get so many medals against such fierce and overwhelming competition from around the world is remarkable. We were vastly outnumbered but these results show we were not out-classed. For such a small club from a small country we proved we have big hearts, brave hearts and dedication to our Karate.”

 Invitations for the NKF squad to perform and teach Karate have been coming in from around the world. 25 MSP’s at the Scottish Parliament have signed a motion to formally thank the NKF. Many letters of congratulations from politicians and diplomats have been arriving on Ronnie’s door step.

RESULTS:

Mathias Jung 2014

Nissara Kirk – Bronze kumite

Aberdeen based NKF managed to bag an incredible 16 medals for Scotland.

John McInnes (18) won silver in male Kumite (sparring) narrowly missing out on a gold due to being forced by judges to withdraw during the fight due to the blood flowing from his brow after a punch struck him, needing several stitches.

Three sisters from Inverurie, Sara, Chloe and Lisa Calder took home an incredible 8 medals between them.

Their father Jock Calder, (Senior NKF squad coach, 5th Dan) is very proud of them and after their hard training they have now taken a total of 18 medals at world championships, one being a Gold for Lisa Calder in 2006.

Sara (14) won a bronze medal in the kumite (sparring). Chloe (18) reached the finals for Kata winning a bronze medal and faced the Serbian champion in kumite where she won Silver. Lisa (21) reached fourth place in the seniors kata and faced the Lithuanian WKC world champion in the final and won silver.

The two older sisters also took part in the team event for Kata along with Nissara Kirk, the team winning bronze in the kata and silver in the kumite.

Hamish Barclay, John Willis, Mike Smialowski and Kai Thompson all performed well reaching the semi-finals in the individuals and fourth in the team events.

In the examinations section, congratulations to Paddy Jamieson who was promoted to senior referee, Chris Davidson to Judge, Jock Calder 5th Dan and Roxy Watt 4th Dan who were promoted to senior coach.

The NKF squad are back in training now and are aiming for success at the next festival. One which they will host themselves in Aberdeen in May. The International Karate Festival.

Anyone interested in training Karate should call Aberdeen 734607 for more information. The club meet in Aberdeen, Cults, Kintore and Inverurie.

Ronnie Watt adds:

“ We are always keen to attract new members of all ages.”

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Dec 062013
 

Karate Parachutists - Credit: Julie ThompsonBy Charlie Abel.

Aberdeen’s National Karate Federation (NKF) will compete in the International Open World Karate Confederation (WKC) Championships in Munich in January, and two members of the squad will take part in a daring fundraising event to help the club to pay for flights and accommodation.

Kai Thomson and John Willis (pictured right) will jump out of a perfectly good airplane at 10,000 feet wearing only Kamikaze Bandanas… and jump suits!

Aberdeen is famous for many things. The first thing that springs to mind is usually the Oil Industry. Add to that CAT scans, the development of insulin, the invention of partition chromatography, The Dons, Denis Law, Mary Slessor, the list goes on.

Relatively few, however, are aware that Aberdeen is world famous for Karate and has produced its very own 8th Dan master, Ronnie Watt.

Under Ronnie’s guidance and instruction, the NKF Elite squad from Aberdeen, and the surrounding area, have been training hard in preparation for this prestigious Karate competition and will do Aberdeen and Scotland proud.

The NKF are no strangers to the International Karate community. They have won medals in the past and in 2000 they hosted the WKC world championships in Aberdeen at the Beach Ballroom, bringing thousands of visitors, competitors and their families to the City.

Karate Training 181 - Credit: Julie ThompsonBeing a private organisation receiving no funding from any government source, the success of the club shows great testament to the leadership of the NKF and the canny resolve and determination of its Aberdonian Karate-ka.

The flights, accommodation, entry fees and extra equipment are all paid for by its members, and flying a squad over to Germany for the competition is no easy task, which is why Kai and John have volunteered to raise funds by way of a sponsored parachute jump.

Asked if he had ever done a parachute jump before, Kai replied:

“No, Never. But I’m prepared to take one for the team’

John added:

“It’s a crazy thing to do but I like it.”

The daring spectacle will take place in Errol, on Saturday the 18th of January 2014, where the two Kamikaze Aberdonian parachutists are hoping to raise £5000.

Any offers of sponsorship or donations from members of the public would be very welcome.

Donations can be made via our PayPal account, or by cash or cheque ( made payable to NKF ) sent to:

Ronnie Watt OBE,
Order of the Rising Sun; 8th Dan.
Hadley House, Culter House Road,
Milltimber, Aberdeen, AB13 0EN

Tel: 01224 734607
Mobile: 07511 406556

All donations will be entered into a free prize draw. The winner may choose from either an exclusive self defence lesson with Ronnie Watt…

Or… a special bespoke black NKF jacket, worn only by Black Belt NKF squad members with very special embroidered writing with their name on it and a special message.

As one of the world’s highest awarded Karate teachers Ronnie is widely respected for his expertise in the Karate-do discipline and its way of life having trained Karate almost every day for nearly 50 years.

Ronnie Watt ( Third from left ) at Norway Karate Festival, Nov 2013

Ronnie Watt ( Third from left ) at Norway Karate Festival, Nov 2013

Still training hard at 66, he is an inspiration to all who train Karate with him.

Ronnie is one of only a handful of Scottish people ever to be awarded the ‘Order of the Rising Sun’ by the Japanese government since Thomas Blake Glover. This is an award which is seldom given to people outside Japan. The award was quickly followed by an OBE from the Queen.

There is a high demand for Ronnie’s Karate experience and he is often seen on the top billing of many Karate courses worldwide.

Anyone wishing to train Karate with Ronnie at the National Karate Institute can call 01224 734607 or visit the website http://www.karate-scotland.info/ for more information.

Further Info:

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May 312013
 

With thanks to Jon Ruszka, press officer, National Karate Federation.

The Aberdeen based National Karate Federation (NKF) of Scotland are preparing to attend the World Karate Championships being held this May in Australia, followed by the Children’s World Championships in Argentina in 2014.

In addition, preparations are well underway for the now annual International Karate Festival being held on 8th and 9th June, 2013, at the International School of Aberdeen.

Five karate masters Ronnie Watt OBE, 8th Dan (Scotland), Alain Verbeek, 6th Dan (France), Dr Fritz Wendland, WKC Founding President (Germany), Paul Kee, 7th Dan (Sweden) and Alf Ronny Fagerland, 6th Dan (Norway) will attend with their national squads.

These masters will assist all attendees on their technique, from beginners to black belt 5th Dans.

The course will culminate in an International Festival of Karate which will be attended by a number of VIPs that will include Mr Masataka Tarahara, the Japanese Consul General in Edinburgh, and Lord Charles Bruce.

The Aberdeen based NKF of Scotland is an internationally recognised karate institute dedicated to the tuition, practice and advancement of traditional Karate-do.

The NKF President is Aberdeen born, 8th Dan Karate Master, Ronnie Watt OBE who was recently awarded the Order of the Rising Sun by the Emperor of Japan and the OBE by HM Queen for services to international karate.

With over 47 years of experience under his belt, Ronnie (65) assisted by senior instructors, teaches karate in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and further afield.

Of the International festival, Ronnie said:

“We’ve been very busy introducing karate to youngsters across Aberdeen and preparing the squad for international tournaments.

“Compared to many National Federations across the world, we’re a small self-funded organisation representing Scotland on the international stage.

“The International Festival will be a fantastic event for all taking part. 

“ I’m truly honoured that such esteemed masters, squads, and guests will travelling to Aberdeen to join us.”

Recent NKF activities have included helping over 1,000 local youngsters to experience, for the first time, the discipline and fitness which traditional karate brings to people’s lives.

These efforts have been recognised in a personal letter from Shona Robison MSP, the Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport.

So, if you are looking for something special in your life, why not take up one on the finest Japanese disciplines?

There is nothing better than Karate-do for fitness, health, self-confidence and self-defence.

Anyone interested in taking up Karate-do, please call us for details on 01224 734607

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