Sensei Leo Cossetto

My View on Karate

I began my study of Karate-Do in the first week of September 1965. For me the experience was exotic, wonderful, often overwhelming, and always magical to this very day.

Years later at the University of Waterloo, I was teaching Karate to a group of over 400 students. Many students came from different countries with different martial art backgrounds. We exchanged martial art knowledge. That was a joyous time because of the strong bonding among the Karate-ka. It was this people-interaction that led me directly to my professional career as a Science Teacher. The martial arts were quickly getting established all over Canada. My own Karate teachers were great; all of them left permanent impressions on me. Their knowledge and influences are the most valued gifts that were passed on to me. Now I was prepared for my own journey to learn the meaning of "Michi" or "Do".

All Karate-ka should attain first hand knowledge in competition both kata and kumite, summer and winter training camps, seminars that are given by many different visiting senseis, tournament judging, makiwara training, some weapon training as well as some exploration of other combatives. With certainty the primary Karate-Do training must remain uninterrupted. With training we all grow and we all learn every day. This remains a constant from the beginner student to the most senior level instructor. Every day brings new experiences; the longer we train the more we "see" the more we "understand". We must deepen our knowledge, ponder our ways, analyse, reflect and train diligently. The Karate practice with correct attitude will bring delight to all participants. The answer to any Karate question lies on the Dojo floor. In our society the ultimate long-term aim is to maintain our health though physical activity, self-defence will follow. All these things must be researched well and appreciated deeply.

Now, I can show and teach a given principle from many different points of view. I am hoping to pass on my knowledge of "strategy" and "Kata" to anyone who wants it. I favour dedication to Karate over natural ability. After 40 years of Karate-Do, I am trying to sort out the concept of "Giri to Ninjo" as it applies to us at the present. I have a very strong feeling that my true Karate-Do teachers would have wanted my journey to happen in this way ...

Leo Cossetto 
Spring 2005

Affiliated with:

Ontario Karate Federation
Karate Canada
Japan Karate Association
Canadian Olympic Committee