Instructor Profile: Sensei John Nunez, 5th Dan - Chief Instructor Belize Shotokan Karate Association (BSKA)
Karateka’s Journey From Belize to Massachusetts
By Christina Fong, 6 Kyu, Age 19. Written May, 2008.

Image of Christina Fong
Image of Christina Fong
Photo by Dru Abrams.


image of Sensei John Nunez

John Nunez received his Bachelor’s Degree in physical education at Minnesota State University, Mankato (formerly Mankato State University). While there he was able to train and teach karate as well. He later received his Master’s Degree in Education Leadership in Belize and currently is completing a doctoral program in Education with a focus on Social Justice at the University of Massachusetts, in Amherst (USA).

For the past 24 years, Nunez has received most of his training at ISKF Headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania under Teruyuki Okazaki, who is a 10th degree black belt and head of the ISKF. The sessions were “fierce and intense” as expected”, he said.

“One thing that keeps resonating in my mind from Okazaki Sensei is training to be the best person I can be—not only physically but spiritually as well; building character,” he said about his training.

There are many aspects of training he appreciates and is able to draw new lessons out of. He comments, “It is very technical, exact, scientific I think.” Training itself pays a lot of attention to details. A kick is not just a kick and a punch is not just a punch. The use of hips in karate is highly important. It acts as a fulcrum. The use of total body behind each technique is what helps generate power.

With over 100 students under him in Belize and over 30 black belts to assist him, his duties are numerous. His main one however, is to maintain the ideals of karate itself. Nunez said, “I make sure the quality and the karate and the standards are in line with those of ISKF.”

When asked whether or not he sees himself continuing karate in the future, he replied, “I never stopped karate since I began over 30 years ago and I don’t see myself stopping in the next 30. It’s a way of life.”

Click here to read the original full article written by Christina Fong, Journalism Major at the University of Massachusetts and 6th kyu Karate student of John Nunez.

Updates -- Since the article was written, the author, Christina Fong, has been promoted to the rank of 4th Kyu (purple belt). John Nunez has returned to Belize full-time and has reassumed his role as the BSKA's Chief Instructor. rev. August 30, 2009.