2015 Canadian National Karate Championships

The 2015 Canadian National Karate Championships were held in Richmond, BC. from January 30 to February 1, 2015.  The tournament consisted of 334 competitors, 59 referees, and 41 coaches from across Canada.  The Karate NL Provincial Team (consisting of members from Avalon Karate and Tsuruoka Karate) took part in this tournament, and we are proud of their efforts and accomplishments.

L-R: Tyson Besso, Jason Ward, Nathaniel Besso, Samantha Au, Chris Coady, Lucas Menard, Coach Ryan

The provincial team brought home 2 gold and 1 bronze medal from this past weekend!

In the Kumite Individual male Cadets +70 division, Christopher Coady took gold, and Jason Ward took bronze.  In the Kumite Individual male Juniors -61 division, Nathaniel Besso took gold!

Congrats to all members of the Karate NL Provincial Team.


A complete list of events and results can be found here.
Tournament Results

O’Sensei Masami Tsuruoka featured in the Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail has published an article on O’Sensei Masami Tsuruoka in the “Lives Lived” section today, Tuesday, January 27, 2015. The link to their site can be found here.

Globe and Mail – Lives Lived

If you are unable to read the article, the contents are re-printed here.

ob-lives-tsuruoka-twoLives Lived: Masami Tsuruoka, 85
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jan. 27 2015, 12:01 AM EST
Last updated Monday, Jan. 26 2015, 4:34 PM EST

Masami Tsuruoka, known internationally as the father of Canadian karate, continued training and teaching, despite his failing health, up to the time of his death. “You can rest when you’re dead,” he always said. He practiced what he preached.Karate master, father, grandfather. Born on Jan. 12, 1929, in Cumberland, B.C.; died on Oct. 10, 2014, in Toronto, of a heart attack, aged 85.

Masami discovered karate as a teenager, in troubled times. He and his siblings, along with their widowed father, were among the thousands of Japanese-Canadians interned during the Second World War. They had to give up their Vancouver Island home and were moved to New Denver, B.C., for the duration of the war. When it ended, his father decided to return to Japan, to Kumamoto, taking his youngest daughter and Masami with him.

Conditions in bombed-out Japanese cities were extremely harsh, with people living in shacks and tents. Young Masami was picked on because he was skinny, and foreign-born. Determined to become stronger, the teenager began to learn judo. But while on a trip to Tokyo, he chanced upon a karate demonstration in a park and was so impressed that he started studying with Tsuyoshi Chitose, founder of Chito-ryu karate.

After a while, Masami found a job as a translator and guide for the American occupation forces, and lived in the U.S. military camp. That’s where he met Kay Fukuda, who was working as a typist at the camp. They soon married and had two sons, David and Kazumi.

By 1956, having attained the rank of 2nd dan in karate and 1st dan in judo, he decided to return to Canada, moving his young family to Toronto. Within two years, while working at two day jobs, he opened his own karate dojo in an old bowling alley in the city’s west end. With Kay running the business side of things, he taught karate seven days a week. Thus began the Tsuruoka Karate School, the country’s first karate dojo.

In 1962, he became the chief representative of Chito-ryu karate in North America. That same year, he organized the First Canadian Karate Championship in Toronto. The 1963 event was so large it was held at Varsity Arena, its venue for many years, attracting competitors from Canada, the United States and Japan. In 1963, he also began teaching karate at the University of Toronto, which became the first university karate club in Canada. He experimented with many styles of karate as well as tai chi and kung fu, incorporating useful techniques into what was becoming his own style of karate.

In 1964, he formed the National Karate Association (now Karate Canada) and 10 years later was instrumental in founding Karate Ontario. In 1995, he created the Tsuruoka Karate Federation (now the Tsuruoka Karate Organization) to unify the various provincial Tsuruoka karate groups. Over the years, he received many honours and awards, among them the 1967 Centennial Medal, the Queen’s 25th Anniversary Medal (1977), the Queen’s Golden Anniversary Medal (1992), the Order of Ontario (1998), and Grandmaster award in the Canadian Black Belt Hall of Fame (2006).

Off the dojo floor Tsuruoka Sensei was friendly, amiable and somewhat quiet. But on the floor, he was a tiger and a master psychologist. Thousands of people from all walks of life trained under his firm hand, and many of his students have been instrumental in the spread and development of karate in Canada.

Tsuruoka Sensei instilled a sense of self-discipline in his students, showing them they were capable of going much further than they ever thought possible. He was always more interested in the development of their character than whether they won trophies in competitions. Perhaps that is why so many studied with him for decades, learning from his spirit and integrity.

Frank Foulkes trained under Masami Tsuruoka for 51 years.

Halloween Pre-teen Dance Fundraiser



Tsuruoka NL would like to remind everyone of our upcoming Halloween Pre-Teen Dance this coming Friday, October 24, 2014 at the Paradise Rotary Youth Community Center from 7:00PM – 9:00PM.  Admission is $5 each, and prizes will be awarded for best costume! Spead the word, and we hope to see you all there!

O’Sensei Masami Tsuruoka (Jan 1929 – Oct 2014)

Tsuruoka Sensei

In it with great sadness that Tsuruoka NL announces the passing of our founder, O’Sensei Masami Tsuruoka, today, October 10, 2014 in his 85th year.  Long known as “the father of Canadian karate”, he spent his life teaching and mentoring students across Canada, and around the world.  His dedication and loyalty to the art was second to none.  As many students can attest, they felt like they were part of one big family, and his passing has had an affect on us all.

On behalf of the entire Tsuruoka NL family, our deepest condolences go out to David Tsuruoka and the Tsuruoka family.  May he rest in peace.

Messages of condolences can be sent to osensei@tsuruokakarate.com.

Cash Prize Fundraiser Winners Announced

On Sunday, June 15, 2014, the Tsuruoka NL group held the draw for its Cash Prize Fundraiser.  The winners are as follows:


  • 1st place – K Nelder – Ticket # 1653  $2500.00
  • 2nd place – F.Fifield – Ticket # 9124  $250.00
  • 3rd Place – C. Wade – Ticket # 0518  $100.00

On behalf of the entire club, we would like to thank everyone who supported the club by purchasing tickets, and as well to all the members and families that worked so hard to sell tickets over the last few months.  All monies raised will go towards the costs of team travel to the 2015 Tsuruoka Nationals that will be held next year in Moncton, New Brunswick.

Yarmouth Cup and Montreal Open Results!

Over the weekend of June 6-8, 2014, members of the Tsuruoka NL club competed in two tournaments in Nova Scotia and Montreal.

On Friday, the group flew to Halifax, and proceeded to drive to Yarmouth to compete in the Yarmouth Cup on June 7.  The club was represented by Christopher Au, James Thorne, and Steve Thorne.

The results of the Yarmouth Cup are as follows:

Christoper Au – competed in the ages 10-11 advanced division.  He received a gold medal first place for kata, and a gold medal first place in kumite.  As he was the only junior competitor who received two first place finishes, he was awarded an additional honor of Junior Athlete of  the Tournament.

James Thorne – competed in both kata and kumite.  He was awarded silver in kata, and won gold in kumite.

Steve Thorne – competed in both kata and kumite.  He was awarded a silver medal in kumite.

A successful tournament results for all three competitors, but their work was not finished.  Once the tournament was over in Yarmouth, it was a quick exit, and long drive back to Halifax, where they boarded a plane, and flew to Montreal to compete in the Montreal Open on Sunday, June 8th.

The three competed again, and the results  of the Montreal Open were as follows:

Christoper Au – won a bronze in kata, and a silver in kumite.  It is important to note that Christopher was tied for first place, but since the Montreal Open uses a points scoring system instead of the WKF flags scoring system, Christopher was dropped to third place as he had the lowest score for kata.  The kumite was single elimination, where he won 3 of his 4 bouts, but lost the gold medal match by a score of 1-0.

James Thorne – did not place, but gained valuable experience for upcoming tournaments.

Steve Thorne – did not place, but gained valuable experience for upcoming tournaments.

On behalf of the entire Tsuruoka NL family, we would like to say congrats on a job well done.  You three represented the club, and the province outstandingly, and we are proud of your accomplishments!  Keep up the great work!

2014 USA Open / Junior International Cup Results

From April 16-20, 2014, the USA Open and the Junior International Cup Karate events where held in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.  The Karate NL Provincial Team, which is comprised of members of the Tsuruoka NL family participated in the events, to which we are proud to share their accomplishments.

James Thorne (Tsuruoka NL) won a silver medal in 13 Boys Intermediate Kumite.

2014 USA Open Results

2014 USA Open Results

Samantha Au (Tsuruoka NL) won bronze in 14-15 Advanced Kumite (+50kg)

2014 USA Open Results

2014 USA Open Results

Steve Thorne (Tsuruoka NL) won bronze in the 35-44 Male Int/Adv Kumite

2014 USA Open Results

2014 USA Open Results

Finally, Tyson Besso (Avalon Karate) won bronze in the 12-13 Advanced Kumite

2014 USA Open Results

2014 USA Open Results

We would also like to congratulate Andrew Au, Christoper Au, Brooke Peyton and Thomas Hiscock, who all competed.  While you did not place in the final medal standings, you represented the Tsuruoka NL organization in fine style.









Karate NL Provincial Tournament, May 3, 2014

The next Karate NL Provincial Tournament will be held Saturday, May 3, 2014 at the Power Plex on Crosbie Road.  All competitors MUST complete and submit the attached form, and fees, and return them to Sempai by no later than Tuesday, April 29, 2014.

As well, please note the time changes for the event.  This event starts at 8:30AM, and not 9:00AM as previous tournaments.  All competitors are asked to be at the Power Plex by 8:00AM.

Provincial Registration May 3