Sempai Robert Huggins

Robert Huggins

Sempai Robert Huggins - nidan (2nd dan) Instructor

I was born on in Port of Spain Trinidad March 21st 1949. At the age of 9, I left home to go to boarding school where I spent the next 3 years at a Benedictine Monastery. While at Boarding School I took part in scouts, soccer, cricket, competitive swimming and diving. I also obtained my Bronze Medallion in Life Saving. After leaving boarding school at the age of 13 I attended school in Port of Spain where I continued my scouting, soccer, cricket and competitive swimming. That year I also started cycling with my ultimate goal being the Olympic Games. On 31st January 1964 I had a cycling accident resulting in extensive internal damage to the right side of my body including the loss of my right arm. As a part of my therapy I continued my swimming and in November 1964, I swam for Trinidad against Barbados obtaining most outstanding swimmer at the meet. I continued my scouting activities obtaining my Bronze Cross and Award of Merit Life Saving Awards.

In 1965 I started Karate with Gokui Karate Academy, one of the two dojos in Trinidad at the time. Since we were the first karate-kas in Trinidad our “Sensei” Steven Ahing, was also a white belt. In those days, we learned from books written by the masters. For the 1st two years of training our main focus were the basic techniques, punching, blocking, striking and kicking and the 5 Heian katas. I also did a lot of board breaking. In 1968 after returning from a year at the University of Windsor, I joined the Hagakure Karate Academy under David and Michael Chin Leung and had my first grading in 1969 obtaining 4th kyu under Master Kanezawa . Over the next three or 4 years I then went on to obtain 3rd, 2nd and 1st Kyu under Masters Okazaki, and finally in 1974 when Master Nakayama and Sensei Tabata visited the dojo that I was finally graded to Shodan . Shortly after Master Okazaki was appointed the Caribbean representative for Shotokan Karate so I was able to undergo a number of training seminars under his instruction.

Unfortunately shortly after receiving my Shodan, my work in Agriculture, and the severe migraine headaches which would start after training forced me to stop any form of strenuous exercise. In 1992 I went back to University to obtain my BSc in poultry science and was able to resume training with Sensei Dexter Shim before immigrating to Canada in 1996.

In 2012 I joined SKC Calgary NW and in November 2015 I graded to Nidan under Sensei David Jones.

Facts about me

  • I was born and grew up on the Island of Trinidad.
  • I started karate at the age of 15 with one arm loosing it in cycling accident.
  • My disability made me to train harder to be successful.
  • I love wine making.
  • I am an avid gardener.