Welcome to The Shotokan Chronicles.
My name is Norm Robitza, I have been many things in my life but none of them define me more than being a practitioner of Shotokan karate.
I started my martial arts training at the young age of 4. My grandfather was a boxer. I recall as a young boy wearing his boxing gloves and punching his huge hands. That would not be the extent of my boxing. He “trained” all of the male grand children how to fight. We would have little boxing matches in the kitchen on Sunday afternoons.
As I grew a little older, I was introduced to wrestling and became a huge fan of amateur, greco-roman and professional wrestling. While in high school, I was given the opportunity to train with a wrestling team but again I was not in the right place to commit to the sport.
When I was 10 years old, my sister and I joined the Amherst Karate Club. We trained briefly under the guidance of Sensei David Pyke. However, at that time in my life, I could not dedicate myself to karate. It was too disciplined for me.
I would walk away from karate training for 16 years. I did not return until my daughter came to me after school one day and begged to take karate at the Cumberland YMCA. I told her that I knew the instructors and would definitely take her to a class. Soon she was signed up but Daddy did not go with her. It wasn’t until after her first class when she told me to grab her in a bear hug from behind and she promptly put her father on the ground with and elbow strike to the groin. I am not sure if it was orchestrated by Sensei Janice Pyke to get me to join as well. I can almost her her telling Katilyn exactly what to do.
I would join with my daughter and never look back. We tested for our Black Belts together in 2002 with Master Teruyuki Okazaki. I was the only person in the group testing to pass. The next summer Katilyn would become a black belt too.
Over the years, I have been part of the Japan Karate Association, the International Shotokan Karate Federation and the International Karate Daigaku. I am honored to have had the opportunity to have trained with some of the greatest masters in World including; Teruyuki Okazaki, Yutaka Yaguchi, Shojiro Koyama, Hiroyoshi Okazaki, Frank Woon-A-Tai, and all of the Shihan Kai of the International Karate Daigaku.
Presently, I am a 5th degree Black Belt and I have a C Level IKD Instructor, D Level IKD Examiner and B Level IKD Judge License. I have competed in many tournaments over the years, both Regional, National and International.
I am a former private security officer. When I worked in that industry, I used karate techniques to control dangerous situations while offering security to some of the most famous performers in the World, including Paul McCartney, Prince, Bon Jovi and many many more.
I hope that my writing and videos will open your mind up to many new ideas in karate. Maybe somethings you will disagree with and I understand that. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I just hope you will keep an open mind.