Senior Black Belts: Leaders in Our Club

There’s no place like home. That’s why long-time members continue training at UTKC. Many of them assist with teaching duties or advisory roles as well, which makes these high-ranking black belts (or yudansha) essential to the club. We look up to our senior senpai for feedback, instruction, and mentoring.

You’ll find more information about our senior black belts below. Whether you’re new to our club or a martial arts veteran, our yudansha are here to help and give their best insights.

  • Name:Steven Yap
  • Rank:5th Degree Black Belt (Godan 2005), conferred by National Karate Association and Jinbukai Canada
  • Member since:1981

Competitive Achievements:

  • 1998 World Championships, Men's Team Kata
  • 1998 Nationals 1st Men's Team Kata, 3rd Men's Individual Kata
  • 1997 Nationals 1st Men's Team Kata, 3rd Men's Individual Kata
  • 1996 Nationals 2nd Men's Team Kata, 3rd Individual Kata
  • 1995 Pan-Am Games, Men's Individual Kumite (Lightweight)
  • 1995 Nationals 3rd Men's Individual Kata
  • 1994 World Championships, Men Individual Kumite (-60kg)
  • 1994 Pan-Ams, Men's Individual Kumite (-60kg)
  • 1994 Nationals 1st Men's Individual Kumite (-60kg), 2nd Men's Individual Kata
  • 1992 Nationals 3rd Men's Individual Kumite (-60kg)
  • 1991 Nationals 1st Men's Team Kumite
  • 1991 Top 8 placement in Pan-Ams, Men's Individual Kumite (-65kg)
  • 1990 Nationals 3rd Men's Individual Kumite (Lightweight), 3rd Men's Team Kumite
  • 1989 Nationals 3rd Men's Individual Kumite (Lightweight), 3rd Men's Individual Kumite (Open weight)

Occupation:

  • Engineer

Other Achievements:

  • UTKC President
  • 1995 Masuko Cup - Karate Ontario Sportsmanship Award

Hobbies:

  • Biking
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Soccer
  • Hockey

Known for:

  • Being fast and fearless
  • Name:Steve Watanabe
  • Rank:5th Degree Black Belt (Godan 2011)
  • Member since:1990

Competitive Achievements:

  • 2001 Nationals - 6th, Men's Individual Kata
  • 2000 Nationals - Men's Individual Kata
  • 1999 Nationals - Men's Individual Kata
  • 1998 Worlds - Men's Team Kata
  • 1998 Nationals - Men's Individual Kata; 1st, Men's Team Kata
  • 1997 Nationals - 1st, Men's Team Kata
  • 1996 Nationals - 2nd, Men's Team Kata

Occupation:

  • Software Engineer

Other Achievements:

  • UTKC President
  • UTKC Vice President
  • Karate Ontario Director/Secretary

Enjoys:

  • Raising his daughters Kira and Misa
  • Running marathons

Known for:

  • Speed drills

Favourite Quote:

  • "Train hard."
  • Name:Chris Achong
  • Rank:4th Degree Black Belt (Yondan 2004)
  • Member since:1992

Occupation:

  • High School Teacher

Other Achievements:

  • UTKC President
  • UTKC Vice President
  • UTKC Membership Director
  • UTKC Banner Boy

Hobbies:

  • Motorcycling
  • Inline skating
  • Road trips to tournaments

Known for:

  • Pure, clean basics, powerful kicks and punches with good lines, and a loud laugh

Favourite quote:

  • If you think you're training hard, train harder!
  • Name:Josephine Chen
  • Rank:4th Degree Black Belt (Yondan) conferred by Karate Canada
  • Member since:2001

Occupation:

  • Engineer

Competitive Achievements:

  • 2009 NKA Canada National Championship, 2nd Women's Team Kata
  • 2008 WKF World Championship, Women Team Kata
  • 2008 NKA Canada National Championship, Women Team Kata, 3rd place
  • 2008 Pan-American Championship, Women Team Kata

Hobbies:

  • Travelling
  • cycling
  • playing piano
  • trying different cuisines

Known for:

  • Being meticulous in detail and having a good sense of humor

Favourite quote:

  • Execute the details, even when you are doing the techniques fast.
  • Name:Shazam Williams
  • Rank:4th Degree Black Belt (Yondan) conferred by Karate Canada
  • Member since:1995

Occupation:

  • Engineer

Other Achievements:

  • UTKC treasurer
  • Current treasurer of Jinbukai Canada

Hobbies:

  • Cuisine
  • cycling
  • Scotch

Known for:

  • Being surly, having a keen eye and effective Kumite techniques

Favourite quote:

  • When you go...you go
  • Name:Moyo Williams
  • Rank:3rd Degree Black Belt (Sandan)
  • Member since:2003

Occupation:

  • Scientist

Other Achievements:

  • UTKC treasurer
  • Current treasurer of Jinbukai Canada

Hobbies:

  • Politics
  • Science Fiction

Known for:

  • Teaching fun and interesting classes

Favourite quote:

  • There is no right or wrong way, just more or less effective ways depending on your goals.
  • Never fear answers, only fear running out of questions.
  • Mathematics, science, war, politics and martial arts are all the same thing, ways of manipulating the world around you and bending it to your will.