Russia has always been famous for its individuals who like to live life to its limits. It therefor goes without saying that if it's a question of Karate, then it must be full-contact, without protective equipment or rules.The Moscow "Sindo Ryu" school, spreading and advancing the Okinawa Te style, is led by Sensei Valeri Maystrovoy (6th Dan in Okinawa Te and Kobudo).He is also President of the International Federation of Okinawa Karate in Russia, member of the Counsel of Directors of the World-wide Okinawa Te Federation and Head Instructor for the European region.Valeri Maystrovoy,a legend in the world of karate, student of Meitoki Yagi (10th Dan), Takayoshi Nagamine, (9th Dan), Hanashiro Naito (6th Dan) is the only Russian to have been offered a seat on the Board of Directors of the Japanese Federation.He stubbornly avoids any contact with the karateka circle in Moscow and does absolutely no advertising whatsoever for his own school "Shorin Ryu".Here below we publish the exclusive interview of Valeri Maystrovoy that appeared in the Russian magazine "Medved".
Valeri, how did you first get involved in karate?
It was at the beginning of the 1980's. The end of the epoch of late decline in Russia. Karate was strictly forbidden. We trained in sort-of clubs,in gym on the outskirts of the city, disguising ourselves as basketball or volleyball players and as God only knows what else. Naturally there were no exercises with weapons, no kimonos or belts. The sign of the karate master was black pants, and a black tee-shirt. At the door of the gym we placed two guys with a basketball, who in case of danger would give the signal. In addition to this I would work out a few hours a day at home. In those days I was one of the top ten karateka in Moscow.