MASTER KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS
JAN / 2012
We had a choice: Bleed, faint, or quit.
My name is Franklin Puello and since 1974, I among thousand of others, have followed the Martial Arts path. During that era the Martial Arts, while proliferating throughout the Nation had given birth to a new breed of Martial Artists. These Martial Artist demonstrated abilities and determination in learning philosophy, history, teaching the principles and not just the techniques, reaching an Evolution in their particular styles. The Martial Arts were being practiced by a diverse group, and a great number of Female members of communities at all levels and with all different interests. In continuing with the introduction of great Martial Artists making an immense impact in Communities all around, I am about to introduce a friend for three decades who in the spirit of Budo has applied Martial Arts principles, which have taken her to higher levels in different facets of her professional and personal life. The Martial Arts continues to be part of her solid foundation as a productive member of society. A Role Model who continues to impact other lives with whom she comes in contact with, a person of fame and a humble individual; most of all: a Teacher.
Domo Arigato, Sensei.
Interview by Franklin Puello
Online Martial Arts Magazine
Martialforce.com: What is your Full Name?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: My name is Katherine Loukopoulos. My name in Greek is Aikaterini Loukopoulou. Everyone tends to call me ‘Katerina’.
Martialforce.com: Where were you born?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I was born in Stolon, Kinourias, in Southern Greece. It was, and still is, a small village in the Province of Arkadia, in Central Peloponnese.
Martialforce.com: Where were you originally from, and where did you grow up?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: My father was a Police Officer, and therefore, every few years we traveled to a new place due to his assignments. I visited the United States several times with my mother, and I stayed permanently at the age of 14 and a half.
Martialforce.com: Where did you attend School?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I worked during the days and attended evening High School at Louis D. Brandeis. I obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from CCNY, and a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of criminal justice.
Martialforce.com: Please provide our readers with some of your Scholastic achievements?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: My scholastic achievement each time is that I managed to graduate… smile… Working full time, and training in all of my spare time did not allow room for anything else. My objective was to graduate, and to pursue a descent career.
Martialforce.com: Describe how important a sound scholastic preparation was in reading you for Life?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: When one is an immigrant, that person does not have time to analyze and to think deeply; however, it is certain that education could be a key factor towards a better future. However, this is not true for all; many immigrants became successful in trade jobs. They worked hard, saved, and provided for their families whether they were with them, or they were ‘back home’. Their children were the ones that acquired excellent education and became engineers, doctors and lawyers…
Martialforce.com: Who were your greater sources of educational motivation? Describe your relationship with them?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: My motivation came from history and philosophy books. I had very little free time for a social life as I was either working or training. There were two people in my life that made a difference during those early years. One was Dr. Ethel Geller who inspired me in wanting to become a Psychologist, and the other person was a former supervisor, Mr. Thomas McCormack, who inspired me towards excellence.
Martialforce.com: What is your current occupation?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I am a Forensic Psychologist. At this time, I instruct crime prevention seminars throughout Greece. Crime of opportunity has risen due to the many poverty stricken people in this country. As an outcome of the strict economic measures the government has posed combined with loss of employment and employment opportunities, the people have become desperate.
Martialforce.com: When did you enter your present Field of Expertise?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I finished John Jay College of criminal justice and my first job was as Confidential Investigator for the Inspector General of Housing Preservation and Development in New York City.
Martialforce.com: Did the Martial Arts help you enter this Field of Expertise?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I don’t think that the martial arts helped me enter in this field. I believe that my education helped and the timing was right because they were hiring female investigators at that time.
Martialforce.com: What Style of Karate/ Kung Fu?
· Matsubayshi Shorin Ryu and Ryu Kyu Kobudo – Roku Dan
Nagamine Shoshin Sensei, Nakamura Seigi Sensei, Shiroma Katsuo Sensei, Heshiki Zenko Sensei, and Carbonara Joseph Sensei.
· Jundokan Goju Ryu – Go Dan
Miyazato Eiichi Sensei, Yasuda Tetsunosuke Sensei, Uehara Ko Sensei, and Uehara Yonekazu Sensei.
· Tai Ho Jitsu – Godan
Ogimi Chokaku Sensei.
· Ryu Kyu Kobudo – Sandan
Akamine Eisuke Sensei, Uehara Ko Sensei, and Shiroma Sensei. Since Akamine Eisuke sensei’s death, his son, Akamine Hiroshi Sensei continues the work of this father.
· Kobayashi Shorin Ryu – Roku Dan – Honorary rank for my contribution while on Okinawa.
Kikukawa Masanobu Sensei.
· In 1997, the Prefectural Government of Okinawa, Japan hosted a World Karate and Kobudo Tournament. The competitors could select to compete in only one event. I chose Bo Kata. I finished first place, and this time I took the Gold Medal for Greece.
AKAMINE DOJO DEMO
Martialforce.com: Who was/ were your instructor/s?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: My first instructor was Zenko Heshiki Sensei of Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu. His teacher was Ansei Ueshiro, and both of these men had Nagamine Shoshin Sensei as their teacher. I studied with Heshiki sensei for eleven years before studying with another teacher.
Martialforce.com: Which instructor has influenced you the most?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: There are too many to mention. I will be writing a book regarding the important men and women who taught me, influence me, and helped me be the person that I am today.
I would like to mention a student, however, James Thompson, who stayed with me through thick and thin. Because of his devotion and assistance, I was able to freely train, to travel throughout the world, and to have a headquarters dojo in Brooklyn, New York City. This dojo was called Bubishi Karate Do Organization and it was not-for-profit. Two years ago the dojo closed as the building was sold. It was open for 28 years.
When I competed in the United States National Karate Team, I met Toyotaro Miyazaki sensei. He provided tremendous assistance and support. He offered me his dojo for training, and often gave me donations for my many trips in order to represent the country.
Thomas La Puppet sensei provided tremendous training in kumite. I was a product of a traditional Okinawa Karate dojo; I did not have exposure to tournaments. I did not know about tournament rules, and winning fights with points. I remember the first time I entered a kumite event. I picked up my opponent and through her out of the ring. I was immediately disqualified, and I felt confused as to why this happened. Mr. Thomas La Puppet asked me to give him three dollars, and when I gave him the three dollars, he gave me an AAU Kumite Rules Book! Imagine that! A Rules Book for fighting! This was unheard of in the traditional karate dojo. A winner was the fighter who still stood after the fight! Now I think back at those days and smile…
Tournaments became fun for me because I perceived them as a means to demonstrate my karate kata, and to show off Okinawa Karate. For this reason, I never performed for the judges. I performed for the Audiences.
Martialforce.com: How would you describe this influence?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: Nothing too deep: “Do your best!”
Martialforce.com: Can you tell our readers what a typical day of training was like back when you were training towards your Black Belt?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: A technique was repeated 1000 times before moving onto another technique. Basic techniques were drilled day after day for years... We had a choice: Bleed, faint, or quit.
NAKAMURA SEIGI SENSEI
Martialforce.com: Did you enter the Martial Arts competition Arena?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: Yes. I served in the US National Karate Team for Kata 1979 – 1985, and 1980 – 1985 and for Lightweight and Open Kumite Categories.
Martialforce.com: Why? What motivated you?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I perceived competition as just another form of karate demonstration. I looked at it as a social event, and I thought it would be fun. Mr. Terry Maccarrone saw my Kata Rohai, and he said that I should compete. I did not know what to say at the competition, so I said everything: My name, my style, my teacher, and the name of the kata. I took a 2nd place to Ms. Lorna Peterson in that first event. After I finished the kata I thanked all the judges. They thought this was too funny, and they started calling me “The Arigato Girl”…
The second time I competed I won the AAU Metropolitan Tournament and that qualified me to go to the Nationals in 1979. I made the National Team that summer.
In the fall of 1979 I had my first International Competition against South Africa. The South African Team came to the United States, and there were several competitions. I competed in Kata and won my first Gold Medal.
Martialforce.com: What was tournament competition like when you were first introduced?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I believe I explained that earlier.
Martialforce.com: Please Compare Competition back when you started to the present?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I am in a different location now. So I only see straight up and down karate competition. To see anything flamboyant I would have to come to the States. There is one fantastically huge event in Italy that takes place once a year, which draws thousands of competitors. Everything that is on this planet even remotely resembling martial arts, it takes place in Italy. Everyone from all over the world comes to this event. (World Traditional Karate Association.) It is the most amazing Gala!
COACH USMC DRAGON RACE 1995
Martialforce.com: Who were some of the noted Martial Artists you had competed against?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: Cynthia Rothrock comes to mind. There were many others. I would have to go back in my files to see… have you seen the Video to Bermuda’s Best of the Best? There you will see everybody…I will try to send it you. It is in black and white… In the Open circuit the few females competed with the men in the empty hand and Kobudo events. Many years later when enough females joined the tournaments, separate divisions were formed.
Martialforce.com: Could you tell us about the toughest competitors facing you during that time?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I never focused on my competitors. Everyone was tough. If not, why would they be there to compete?
Martialforce.com: What made them tough?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I don’t know. Maybe some had a longer reach than me, but I perceived that as their handicap. I did not focus on my opponents; I did not even look at them.
Martialforce.com: Who helped you develop your teaching Philosophy?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I have been influenced on both sides of the scale and adopted or aborted accordingly. Credit goes to all the people with whom I came into contact over the years.
Martialforce.com: What Principles of the Martial Arts do you emphasize?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: Do your best each and every time in and out of the dojo. Expect nothing, and do everything. When the time is right, fruits will manifest by themselves. When we expect some things, then we are training with a motive; when the motive is not fulfilled or it seems as though it is not being fulfilled, many students lose heart, and they often abort their training.
The teacher is important as an inspiring role model. Students will admire or copy a behavior. For this reason, teachers need to be careful of what they say, and what they do. Their words need to match their actions.
Martialforce.com: Which of these Principles do you teach as Life Skills?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: Everything is a Life Skill. We simply do not know when we might use it.
Being from the "Old" School we train Kata and bring it to Kumite.
Martialforce.com: With that in mind, please share with our readers your thoughts in regards to being a complete Karateka?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: A complete karateka is a person who completes the class training. Each time we go to the dojo and take a class, we are a complete karateka. Smile, the topic is very long; it is a book in itself.
Martialforce.com: "Kata is the Essence of Karate. It contains Many Secrets", this phrase has become a Cliché. Do you believe the practice of Kata is useful and important?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: More than ever I believe Kata is the most important aspect of Karate Do. As we get older, and the joints kind of grind and the speed seems to go slower, and the power seems to wind down, we can still perform kata. As our natural abilities depart with age, kata has become ripe through time of practice. And at an old age we can perform with elegance.
1996 JUNDO KAN
Martialforce.com: Why should a Martial Artist pay attention to Kata?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: Kata has all the secrets! Smile… Kata is exciting because it requires us to think, to imagine, to search, to perceive… in other words, it exercises our brain cells… smile…
Martialforce.com: What specific training for Kata excellence would you recommend?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: Repeat - Repeat – Repeat! And, pay attention to detail. Execute each move in exceptional slow motion. Utilize the full extension of each muscle. Believe me this builds stamina, and one can learn to execute each technique with precision.
1982 HAGAMINE HOMBU DOJO
Martialforce.com: What is your Most Favorite Kata?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I don’t have a favorite Kata. On Okinawa, it depended on which teacher invited me to a demonstration event; he would also tell me which kata to perform. Also, we received guests at the dojo. At any given moment the teacher could ask us to perform, and he would tell us on the spot which kata to do. We trained all the kata equally. Luckily, Matsubayshi Shorin Ryu has only 18 kata, and Jundokan Goju Ryu has 12 Kata.
Martialforce.com: What makes it so Special?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I don’t have a favorite Kata.
Martialforce.com: What are some of the weapons you have mastered?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I have not mastered anything in my life… smile… I understand the Bo, Sai, Tunfa, Nunchaku, Eiku (Oar), and Timbe.
Martialforce.com: What is your favorite Traditional Weapon?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I prefer the wooden weapons over the metal weapons, but this preference is not taken into consideration when a teacher wants to see a specific weapon kata.
Martialforce.com: Do you Teach Weapons? Please tell us about your contributions in teaching?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: Yes, I do teach weapons. In fact, I introduced Ryu Kyu Kobudo to various parts of the former Soviet Union, and taught throughout for a span of 12 years. Morio Higaonna sensei introduced Goju Ryu to the same people I introduced Kobudo. I am responsible for all of Kobudo instructed in Ukraine, and also, their progress in Goju Ryu. I introduced Kobudo in India, taught in Australia, and introduced Matsubayshi Shorin Ryu and Ryu Kyu Kobudo in Germany. Of course, all those students are now connected directly with Okinawa.
Nopel Fritz sensei of Kamen, Germany, gave me the opportunity to teach at his camp for many consecutive years. We culminated by having the first Kyu test for Kobudo, and also, we held a Bo Tournament Event.
What usually happens is that I bring students to Shodan level, and connect them directly to Okinawa. After that, they are direct students to Okinawa teachers. I leave, or they leave, and we continue on our paths. At this moment I am trying to develop Kobudo in Greece.
Europe was not strong in Kobudo and had little to none knowledge on Okinawa Karate Styles. This of course has changed over the years…
When I lived on Okinawa (Jan 1986 – Dec 2000) I served as a bridge for anyone who wanted something out of Okinawa. I would connect them to the sources they were seeking. As you know, in Japan and on Okinawa, it is easier to be accepted into a dojo (this is also true for employment) via someone’s recommendation.
Martialforce.com: At what stage or when are students taught Weapons?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: At European seminars I had students who were not martial arts practitioners. Somehow, they were asked to participate, and they came. In my classes I have many such cases. In the beginning it really does not matter. An advance student and a true beginner if they are holding a Bo for the first time they will have similar difficulties. The advance martial arts student, however, will progress faster as he understands the stances.
In my dojo I teach Kobudo along side with Karate. I have learned over the years that students will excel to the point that a teacher believes they will excel. So I like to keep the measuring stick high, and my expectations are met. Students are happy to excel rapidly.
Martialforce.com: Are you presently training others in the Art of Self Defense? When did you make the transition, and why?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I have not made a transition. I have always instructed self defense. As a Confidential Investigator I instructed twice a week the other Investigators on matters of self defense. We did not carry firearms; therefore, survival tactics were necessary.
On Okinawa I taught apprehending procedures to Law Enforcement students at the Central Texas College, Pacific Region. I had several contracts with various US Marine Corps Units to instruct Hand-to-hand Combat classes as part of their physical fitness training. I instructed Hand-to-hand Combat to US Army Special Forces First of the First, Torii Station, on Okinawa. I taught a Medical Korean Unit in Kuwait, a Police Academy in Ukraine, a Military Academy in Kaliningrad, and a Military Academy for Officer Cadets in Greece.
Hand-to-hand Combat programs do not substitute my karate training in Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu, Goju Ryu, and Ryu Kyu Kobudo. It contains Tai Ho Jitsu information, training and techniques, and it is only material for Law Enforcement and Military Personnel.
Martialforce.com: What do you teach those who want to learn Survival Skills?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I can’t tell you. Come to class… Smile...
Martialforce.com: What is your view of the present evolution of the Martial Arts and Tournament Competition of the present and compare to the past?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I can’t compare. Each phase in a person’s development has plus and minus aspects. I cannot criticize the current tournament scene because I am not in it. I can say, however, that I have seen great athletes, fantastic demonstrations, and super performances. Martial Arts have evolved, but then, this is how a species guarantees its survival… smile… Surely, now more people throughout the globe are more familiar about Okinawa Karate, than when I started.
Martialforce.com: I have known you for many years learning as I watched you while training and attending competitions. Can you tell us about your relationship with some of the Masters and Grand Masters of the Past and Present?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I am writing a book about teachers who never made it into magazines, and who never left the country… meaning Japan. What makes a teacher is not the two hours he or she is in the dojo, but the other 22 hours.
A teacher is a mentor, a guide, a tutor, a person who offers solutions, and guides a person to success. I met many teachers who could not fit this description, and although they were great performers, I will not be writing about them… I would like to tell stories of events I witnessed while I lived on Okinawa…
Martialforce.com: How was training with any of them?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: Did you read the article written in 1983 in Black Belt Magazine called “The Journey”? There I described how I climbed the walls of the Nakijin Castle at night and performed Naihanchi Kata… smile… I was young and flexible back then… The other stories I am saving for my book…
Martialforce.com: I know you have traveled extensively and completed training with many distinguished teachers; can you tell us about it?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I can say one thing only: I could not leave them, and I did not leave them until each one of them died.
Martialforce.com: What principles have you learned from him/ them?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I will write about them, my book will contain all the details.
Martialforce.com: How have his friendship and teachings helped/ influenced you?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I will write about them, in my upcoming book.
Martialforce.com: Do you feel that Martial Arts played an important role with who you are today?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I am 59 years old and have practiced karate since I was 16-17 years old. I have always done this. I have seen the world through the eyes of martial arts. I have learned everything in the dojo. I experienced all that is good and all that is bad, in the dojo. I had some very good teachers, and I will honor them by writing about them.
Martialforce.com: What have you gained from your travels and cultural exchanges?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I don’t know how to answer this question. This is what I have done. I have instructed in 47 countries. I was a guest in many homes in various parts of the world. I gained first-hand knowledge on their cultures, their thinking, their dining and wining… smile…
Martialforce.com: How have the Martial Arts training help you achieve Goals?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I don’t know how to answer this question. Martial Arts were my goal.
Martialforce.com: Do you believe the Martial Arts training would be beneficial for any youngster or adult? How would Martial Arts training benefit them?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: Martial Arts training does not have age limits. The very young, however, require a responsible, knowledgeable professional. Young students benefit because they acquire the tools for success early in life. The older students are able to maintain good fitness and good health. Everybody wins!
Martialforce.com: What are your thoughts on cross training in regards to other styles of Martial Arts?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: Cross training is good only after one person has learned one Martial Arts style really well. We tend to cross train in order to improve what we are learning. We can cross train by playing a sport, going to the gym, swim, and off course, dance. Dance lessons improve our Kata abilities.
Martialforce.com: Have you trained with Family members, and/ or any family members?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: No, but all of my family members are extroverts, dancers, singers and party goers. Greeks as a whole are the envy of Europeans because they do party regardless of the difficulties. It is our national trait. In fact, tourists observe Greeks sitting with friends, sipping FRAPPE coffee, and talking for hours. I must say that as a nation we are 'social'.
Martialforce.com: Who do you feel was your biggest influence in Karate or life in general and why?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: My formative years were in Greece, and as a child in school we learn our history. I wanted to be strong as the Spartan women of ancient Greece. When I was a young girl, Greece did not have equal standards for boys and girls. Boys played soccer and girls washed dishes. I was able to change this for myself by coming to the United States.
This took place many decades ago, and the laws of Greece have changed. Now both genders enjoy equality in sports, law enforcement, military, and in private sector employment. But this was not true in my time. Therefore, I only had my role models jumping out of the book pages and they were real in my fantasies.
Martialforce.com: What are your Thoughts on Tradition Karate? Do you think Tradition is important?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: Traditional Karate is the foundation of martial arts. It is here to stay. The Pyramids and Acropolis are standing because they had good foundations!
Martialforce.com: What are your thoughts on evolution in The Martial Arts?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: Martial Arts have always evolved because humans are just that way… they want bigger, faster, and more spectacular exhibitions and demonstrations. It is food for the young. Anything is good and healthy if it allows a child to imagine, to create, and to develop his abilities. Remember that youth is only once!
Martialforce.com: What do you think about rank in Martial Arts, and the present practice of fast and advanced promotions? Do you believe youngsters (12-20 Yrs.) could/ should be holders of Rank above Sandman? Why?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: Ranks have more meaning for the Japanese society than anywhere else in the world. Rank does not measure knowledge. Ranks often are given for various reasons besides expertise. Ranks can be offered in exchange for lucrative opportunities. Ranks sometimes are given due to friendship. Ranks are denied as punishment to some… ranks are taken back, or have students test for the same rank again and again… I have seen it all!
Martialforce.com: In order to belong to an organization a students will send money and receive rank from people they have never seen or have trained with… does that rank have meaning?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I don’t know; perhaps, for the recipient it has meaning. Rank has meaning for those who have diligently worked with the person whose signature in on that rank certificate. When I lived on Okinawa, I had a very busy martial arts life. I also taught in the Japanese school system, and later at the Ryu Kyu University. At the same time, I also worked for the American Military.
During those years, I saw students from all over the world come alone or in groups, study anywhere from one week to a month, pay the fee, and be promoted. I have students who were white belts when I was teaching them as Yondan. They are now Nana Dan (7th). The reason is that they continued going to Okinawa every year or every other year. I, on the other hand, followed the rules of the Okinawan students. Therefore, my students now hold higher ranks than me.
What that means? It means that I will line up after my advanced students… now please smile… Does it change anything? No, they still address me as “sensei”…
Martialforce.com: What would you say is your greatest achievement?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: My greatest achievement is that I did not listen to my parents, to my friends, to my colleagues, and I followed my dreams. I am the perfect example of the immigrant who attained the “American Dream”. I don’t have a house, I don’t have a dog, and I don’t have a white fence, but I did all that I set out to do, and I did it without language, without money, and without family. I was in the United States alone.
I stayed in school regardless the difficulties for survival. I hung in there by my teeth! As a student I worked but the money was never enough! But I hung in there because education and training were two ingredients that would get me out of the “Immigrant Status”. Over the years I continued to attend classes, take seminars, and learn languages.
I am finished with my course work for my doctoral degree in Victimology and Victim Assistance. But I still have a bit to go...
Martialforce.com: What are your Long Term Goals?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I don’t have any. I live each day to the fullest and I feel grateful that I can still do the things I like. I am free. I am free to write, to think, to train, to travel, and to be who I want to be without restrictions. Every day I am “out of the box”. I have current projects which I need publishers! Can you help me with this?
I have finished a Book in English regarding a rare Bo Kata, which is heading for extinction if it is not documented, and it will also have the DVD of the performance. I am trying to find a reputable publisher…
Next, I am in the process of publishing a Guide on Crime Prevention and Awareness. This is in the Greek language, and I am seeking a publisher for this as well, but in Greece… smile…
I am finishing up a project that presents my teaching career since I left from Okinawa. It will be somewhere 150 pages long with photos… Okinawans like photos… smile…
I have already completed my research, and it is next in line, a book again about weapons, but I cannot say more… you can understand… smile...
Martialforce.com: Are you involved with any Martial Arts Association?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: Yes, I have inducted Greece in the World Karate Confederation (WKC). The reason I have done that it is because they recognize Kobudo, and they also recognize Okinawa Karate Styles.
Martialforce.com: Do you continue to train and teach? Where is your Dojo?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: My dojo is everywhere and anywhere always. Even in New York City when I had a very nice dojo in Brooklyn I had more training in Central Park, in Brooklyn College Football Field, and in the park in Brooklyn.
Training outdoors is wonderful. We get fresh air, we are one with nature, and also, we train with difficulties. The terrain is not even, maybe it is raining or snowing, and the ground is wet. Perfect conditions for kata training…
In Greece, students come to my home. I have an outdoors garden space, and there we enjoy training together. Otherwise, I travel to their dojo. I am spreading Kobudo regardless of their Karate styles…
Martialforce.com: What would you share with other Martial Artists, especially younger Martial Artists?
KATHERINE LOUKOPOULOS: I have not yet grown up!
Martialforce.com: Thank you Aikatherini Lokoulopoulou, Master, for the wonderfully illustrating answers to our simple questions, which provided us with a clear panorama window to your personal and Martial Arts life. Your great educational accomplishments along with your numerous professional achievements and accolades. Your vast experiences and your generous sharing with, me personally, and with the Martial Arts World are greatly recognized and appreciated. You are truly a great Inspiration to one and all; I thank you for being you, and for all you do in sharing, teaching, and the propagation of The Martial Arts.
To a True Master of Life and specially The Martial Arts,
My Most Respectful Domo Arigato Gozamaishita.