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Monday, March 12, 2012

Dojo Review: Torakai Karate

Torakai Karate is a traditional Shotokan Karate club located in Portcoquitlam BC. It is a small family friendly Dojo that has changed hands and locations more than a few times. When I first walked into the Dojo, then hosted at Kwayquitlam Middle School, I was twelve or so years of age and had come upon my mothers request. It was a very large club that spanned two basketball courts. Its mass of students was likely a result of it being one of the very few martial arts clubs in town, likely the only Karate club, and the Power Rangers. This was the 90’s every one loved the Power Rangers.

At that time the club was headed by Andrew Holmes. An old school no nonsense train harder Shotokan Karateka. Who has produced some of the toughest traditional Karateka I know on the west coast. Hailing from Great Britain he came out of a time when Karate tournaments were bare fist, contact rarely got you disqualified and K.O.s were not unusual. (Contact, Shotokan, what? Check out the Art of War)

He passed through some of the same Dojos as Terry O'NeilFrank Brennan and the other British Karate boys who dominated the Karate world circuit through out the 70’s and 80’s. He tells tail of Brennan kicking a heavy bag so hard that it swung towards the ceiling. On its way down Brennan simply kicked it again. 

The club is now hosted at Blakburn Elementary School under the direction of Chuck Julson, arguably one of Mr. Holmes toughest students. The club is a little smaller these days but it still has a lot of spirit. Julson is an x-kick boxer with extensive experience in Japanese Jujutsu, Arnis, and Yoga. He is very hard working and detail orientated making him a great Sensei for any one looking for a genuine hard-line Shotokan experience.

If you are in the Tri-Cities area and are looking for an old school Shotokan Karate club with a good history, solid basics, ferocious torakai spirit and an openness to diversity then visit the Portcoquitlam Karate club. Mr. Julson will be sure to kick you into shape and put your kids in line. Becoming part of the Torakai will give you the courage and guidance needed to develop the ferocious fighting spirit and hard-line techniques that every Shotokan enthusiast desires. 

Torakai Karate
Blakeburn Elementary School
1040 Riverside Drive
Port Coquitlam BC
Instructor Chuck Julson
3rd Dan ShotoCanada


  1. The Torakai are back on Tuesdays and Thursday nights in Port Coquitlam BC. Find out more at

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