My initial interest in martial arts commenced, after viewing Bruce Lee’s film Fist of Fury as a child. Growing up in a conservative adoptive Italian family, it was not viable to dedicate my self to the study and practice of martial arts, since I was to focus solely on my academic studies. Then not until I went to Japan in 1996, as an exchange student at the age of 16, that I first encountered Kyokushin Karate. That year I saw one of Kyokushin’s greatest exponents, the late Andy Hug (The Swiss Blue Eyed Samurai), win the 1996 K-1 World Grand Prix, showcasing Kyokushin Karate’s true power and aesthetic flamboyance to the world.

It was not until I graduated from university, then returned to live and work in Japan, that I was able to fulfill my long term ambition and commenced my Kyokushin training, at the end of 2006. Upon my return to Australia, I continued my training at another Kyokushin dojo for two years, until I came across Extreme Kyokushin Karate. I am sincerely fortunate, privileged and grateful to have been accepted as a student at EKK, where Sensei Vaviti and everyone else made me feel welcome from the very first day of training at the dojo. I would like to sincerely express my gratitude to Sensei Vaviti, for patiently and kindly conveying his knowledge to me, often correcting and refining my technique. Of all the instructors that I have encountered, along my martial arts endeavour, only Sensei Vaviti has embodied simultaneously, the spectacular qualities of an outstanding fighter, a flamboyant technician, as well as an excellent teacher. All of these attributes without a doubt, make Sensei Vaviti a formidably outstanding master and an inspiring role model.

Training at EKK is an integral part of my life, because it has assisted me in retaining confidence, discipline and perseverance, in many challenging aspects of my life. Ultimately I hope that I can assist the novice students at EKK, with their training at the dojo, as a token of my gratitude and appreciation, for those who assisted me in getting to where I am right now in my Kyokushin journey. I once again would like to thank Sensei Vaviti, along with everyone at EKK, for making my training at the dojo always worthwhile and memorable, Osu!|

Juan Ferrentino-Iorio.

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