Cougars kick off semester with karate
For over 30 years, the UH Shotokan Karate-Do club has trained Cougars in traditional Japanese Shotokan under the direction of the chief instructor, Sensei Deddy Mansyur.
The club was founded by Mansyur in 1978 when he enrolled at UH to pursue his degree in Industrial Distribution Technology, starting the Shotokan Karate-Do Club while he attended class.
Mansyur has continued to maintain the Shotokan Club and has taught many students the art of karate-do. He decided to fund the club to share his knowledge with other people, providing service to the community and training together.
“I founded the club when pursuing my degree at University of Houston,” Mansyur said. “The purpose of the club is to train together, serve the community and share my knowledge with other students.”
Mansyur has more than 48 years of martial arts teaching experience. He began his karate-do training in the ’60s as a child and later enrolled in a local Shotokan Dojo in Jakarta, Indonesia, led by Chief Instructor of the Karate-Do Institute of Indonesia, Sensei Sabeth Muchsin.
The club has been around for over 30 years and each semester Mansyur is the sensei of the freshman students that join the club. Even though so much time has passed, Mansyur says that the essence of the club continues to be the same.
“I teach consistently, and that is why I am still here. My karateka (students) always know I am here. I have trained so many from white to black belt, who have gone on to successful professional careers, and those who are still in the Houston area have come back to train because they know I am consistent,” Mansyur said.
“Karate-do is my life, no matter my age. Since beginning this club 33 years ago, things have changed; I have some grey hair now and am obviously older, but one thing remains the same: I will continue to educate students on the teachings of traditional Japanese Shotokan Karate-do.”
The club runs each semester with practices held at the World Affairs Lounge in the University Center. Times are from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays and 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays.
After the first introductory session, the classes will have a cost of $75 for UH students per semester and $100 for UH faculty and staff. He also teaches private lessons; many of his advanced black belts prefer this because of the complex structure of the higher dan, or degree, techniques.
The club is part of the Shotokan Karate International Federation, which is headquartered in Japan, and each student who earns a black belt with the UH Shotokan dojo is a SKIF certified black belt and has his or her record from Japan, and are eligible to compete in SKIF organized championships.