Ko Poon (Sifu) – JDIATCC-Stratford

It is with great pleasure and happiness to be asked to write a testimony for Azeem Mushtaq. It has been just over twenty years ago that he became one of my first students within the martial arts. At that time Azeem displayed a depth and dedication which made it very easy for me to teach him Karate (the martial art that I was practising at that time). I have vivid memories of him coming to my house and training him either in the garden, at the car park, essentially wherever we could find space that in turn became the ‘dojo’ for us. Azeem was instrumental in the early days of setting up Poon Dojo. He played a key role in helping my brother and I with the running of our School. This led to him becoming one of our senior students. As a Karateka, Azeem always displayed the strong spirit that I expected from all students and this would often permeate amongst the other students. He was committed to his training often training in-between very awkward shift hours at work, sometimes even after a night shift! Nothing at that time became an obstacle to his Karate training.Azeem always sought to research Karate and strived to act as an ambassador for this Art. This in turn led to the creation of one of the earliest Martial Arts online journals entitled ZenKarate, which I must add was completely free to the reader. His quest to grow, naturally led to the formation of his own Karate school – EmptyHands.

EmptyHands echoes much of the values that Azeem had experienced at Poon Dojo. As a Karate School it strives to continue the tradition of traditional Karate Do, allowing students to experience what this Art has to offer within the context of a modern society. At EmptyHands, practice is informed by theory. Azeem has spent much of his time researching coaching within Karate by completing his Masters degree, and in turn has allowed his findings to shape how Karate is taught within EmptyHands but most importantly how pupils can benefit fully from this.

Azeem embodies the spirit of Budo, and it is this spirit and his tenacity that drives him to accomplish all that he puts his mind to. It is this spirit that will continue to foster within EmptyHands. My final words are: if you want a traditional Budo dojo to learn classical Karate Do, this is the place to come.

I wish Azeem and EmptyHands many, many years of success and happiness.

In Budo and Friendship

Posted On: February 5, 2020, Posted by:
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