One in a Hundred: Albert Gustis, 3rd Dan
PUBLISHED: 11:31 17 February 2015 | UPDATED: 11:31 17 February 2015
Albert Gustis, 3rd Dan, is the founder and senior instructor of the Alfa Karate Shotokan club based in Harris Academy, Chafford Hundred.
“In the 80’s when I saw movies with Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris I wanted to start karate, but there was no karate club in town back then, instead I took part in some judo and street combat. But after two years of service in the Army I started karate in 1991.
I decided to start my own club when I noticed many clubs losing the true purpose of Martial Arts: to develop in yourself a strong, good and honest person. As a family-run club, we aim to deliver this to every individual that enters our dojo. We teach children from age six, with no upper age limit. I believe Instructors have a huge influence over their students, especially the younger ones, so it’s important to stay honest and humble.
I like to see the progress my students make both physically and mentally through every training session. Those who appear shy at first, become more confident, or even a student struggling to do 10 push ups when they first start training, and seeing their sense of achievement as they gradually improve and are able to eventually do sets of 50.
Our club is affiliated to the Japan Karate Association England and it usually takes six to seven years to be certified a 1st degree black belt in karate. It is a long and excruciating, yet fulfilling, journey for those who choose to take it.
We have been running for five years and already have had a few champions and medal winners at national and regional level. It takes time to build a strong squad, but we now have brown and black belt students who are able to compete at national level. Next year we hope that one of the students will be able to represent England and Thurrock in Europe and World Championships.”