Sensei Velibor Dimitrijevic

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Members of the Oxford club have been training regularly with Sensei Vebo since 2005, attending his summer camp in Loutraki, Greece each June. Also attending courses in Sweden, Portugal, Serbia, Finland and England.

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Sensei Vebo was one of the close assistants to the late Taiji Kase Sensei and a member of Instructors Academy Shihankai. He is Serbian, born in 1953 and is a Graduate of Mechanical Engineering. He began to practice karate in 1969 and for all his DAN grading Taiji Kase had examined him. During a 15 years period from 1974 he was a member of the national team of Former Yugoslavia and took part in 3 World, 11 European Championships and 2 World Cups, while winning 15 medals.

He was a two-time European kata champion in 1981 and 1982. He took second place three times in 1979, 1983, 1984, and twice third place 1977, 1978. As a member of the kumite team he won two silver medals in 1979 and 1982, and two bronze medals as a member of kata team 1981 and 1986. He also won two bronze medals during the World Championships with the national kata team in 1980 and 1986, and individually he was 5th in 1980 and 7th in 1983.
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In Yugoslavia he won 22 medals. He was eight times the kata champion and took second place four times in the same category. In his personal weight category, kumite, he was a two-time champion and took second place twice. Furthermore, in the open category kumite he took second place once and twice third.

In his native Serbia he was Champion in the open category kumite, and more than 10 times kata champion consecutively.

Such a successful sports career did not affect his determination to achieve higher goals then sport’s medals. Sensei Dimitrijevic considers a sports career as an unavoidable stage towards the search of the real essence of KarateDo. The ultimate goal should be reaching a level beyond technique and physical power.

At the time when Sensei Dimitrijevic began to practice karate, Shihan Taiji Kase was the Technical Advisor of the Karate Association of Yugoslavia up until 1980. It was his choice to select Sensei Dimitrijevic in the national kumite team to debut in the 1974 European Championship in London. However Sensei Dimitrijevic was greatly influenced by the creation of a karate attitude and technical development by one of Kase Sensei’s assistants, Sensei Takashi Tokuhisa, who at that time was probably the most technically advanced young Japanese instructor in Europe.

In 1988 Sensei Dimitrijevic came to Greece. Contacts with A. Panayotopoulos, Director of the private High School in Athens, proved that both men shared an almost identical karate approach and this led to a mutual understanding. The next step was the establishment of the Shotokan Karate Club “Ippon” within the Athletic Association of the Panayotopoulos’s School.

Sensei Dimtitrijevic became a member of the WorldKarate-DoShotokanAcademy soon after its foundation in 1989. Many seminars in Europe and personal contacts followed during which Sensei Kase acknowledged the extraordinary qualities of Sensei Velibor Dimitrijevic, appointing him as one of his assistants. It seemed like destiny had reunited them after so many years.

This time the contact with Kase Sensei was crucial for Sensei Dimitrijevic in order to adopt Budo karate as his life’s philosophy. Today the following may sound like an anecdote but after one of the first seminars Sensei Kase told his assistant Sensei Dimitrijevic: “You were champion, you have excellent technique and exceptional kime, now it’s time for you to start practicing karate”. Sensei Dimitrijevic was almost forty years old at the time.

Led by his insticts and fascination with the Kase’s Budo approach sensei Dimitrijevic could not resist the challenge. He began a new circle of his karate way, this time searchig for qualities beyond medals, technique and physical power. He is devoted to the idea and the concept of Kase Ha Shotokan Ryu Karate-Do.

Sensei Dimitrijevic lives in Athens where he teaches in his Hobu Dojo. Further more he is the President of Shotokan Karate-Do Academy of Serbia.

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