Dan 6 I was born in 1969, here in Israel, and became interested in the martial arts as a result of the generation of violent martial arts movies that played in the 1970’s, such as Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, etc. When I began training I realized very quickly how poorly those movies represented the true path of traditional martial arts. I studied Judo from age 14-18, then stopped when I entered the Israeli Army. After I finished my army service , I decided to go back to training. I believed that the philosophy behind all martial arts was pretty much the same; what matters more is the teacher, the student, and the relationship between the two. If the teacher is good and the student serious and interested in progressing, then it is possible to achieve any goal together. So when I started to look for a place to train, what mattered most to me was the professionalism of the teacher and the interaction between him and the students. It wouldn’t be exaggerating to say that I investigated more than ten different dojo in various styles, including karate, kung-fu, jujitsu, aikido, Tai boxing and tae kwon do. When I finally arrived at Sensei Shlomo Dahan’s dojo, I was deeply impressed by his personal professionalism, his warm relationships with the students, and mainly his fighting spirit. Then and there I decided that this was for me. The training was hard and demanding, but the satisfaction at the end, and the feeling that I was slowly and steadily improving, motivated me to continue. Sensei Shlomo’s professional teaching was, for me, always the ideal model and succeeded to extract the maximum from me and the other students. A short time after I began training it was explained to me that I was learning Goju-Ryu, a traditional style of karate, organized and ordered like the best of the Japanese martial arts, headed by Sensei Yehuda Pantanowitz who brought the style to Israel and spearheaded its flourishing for some thirty years. In 1993 I traveled to Eastern Asia and was charmed by the culture, the customs, and most of all the people. I spent a good portion of my trip, almost six months training on the island of Okinawa, which is part of Japan. For me it was a dream come true to train in the birthplace of karate. I trained for about two hours in the morning and two hours at night everyday and felt complete satisfaction at the leaps of progress I made. My stay in Okinawa taught me a lot about the culture, customs and art of karate as a way of life among the local people. To quench my thirst for additional knowledge, upon my return to Israel I enrolled at the University of Tel Aviv, where I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in East Asian Studies. This deepened my understanding of the culture and the martial arts. I also attended the Ministry of Education course to become a certified karate instructor. A few years later I went to South America to travel and work. Because there were no Goju-Ryu teachers, I took up Shotokan and learned additional, interesting techniques. I noticed that with the passage of time, karate was taking more of a central role in my life and that the more that I learned and succeeded to understand, and utilize, the more my thirst for knowledge grew. The training, and the many hours spent with Sensei Leon, Sensei Shlomo, where a central part of my life and molded me into the mature person that I am today; to my teachers I will be ever grateful. I will always be grateful to Sensei Leon for pushing be to instruct Karate and to open a Dojo, He told me few times : “As 3th Dan you have to produce your own students and not only think of yourself training, your students will improve your Karate”. I’m grateful to my students whom choose to spend their precious time with me, in an effort to meet the challenges that confront them. Each student is different, and each presents a personal challenge to me. Sometimes I wonder who is the student and who is the teacher because I learn so much from each one. I say to them: Be strong, be courageous and be persistent in this marvelous path that you’ve chosen for yourself, the path of karate.