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The Karate Life of Assistant Chief Instructor Mr. Chen Hsin-koei    

Nickname: “Keibo”
49 years ago, when Master Asai was in Taiwan before his term in Hawaii, Mr. Chen Hsin Koei, or Keibo, was only about two and a half years old. Master Asai stayed in Taiwan for one month before going to Hawaii for five years to teach karate. During the five years, Mr. Chen’s father, Mr. Chen Hung-tsung, taught the White Crane Fist until 4 am everyday, slept for 2 hours, and would take Keibo and his siblings to school where Mr. Chen was teaching. Keibo was the youngest and he and the second youngest brother would ride on Mr. Chen’s bike, while the sister and the oldest brother walked. Mr. Chen would make them watch the karate training from 6 to 7 am.

When Master Asai returned from Hawaii, Keibo was in the first grade. Watching his father practice Asai karate, wearing his own dogi he also started practicing. This led to the formation of a kid’s karate class.

Keibo was a very devoted learner and highly respected Master Asai. He practiced karate intensely and progressed noticeably. Soon he was outperforming his peers and he took the Shodan Dan test two years later. That time he failed and he was failed six more times. When he failed on his third try Master Asai called him over, as Keibo could not hide his tears. Master Asai told him: “Your karate is the best in the class. Your performance was the best at the test, and you are the best student ? yet I continue to fail you. Do you know why?”

As Keibo did not know the answer he kept silent. Master Asai continued: “That’s because you are the son of my wife’s brother ? you are my nephew.”

Keibo failed the test 6 times in all, but encouraged by Master’s words he did not give up and practiced only harder. His father, being an educator and a strict father himself, was very impressed by this. When Keibo finally obtained his first Dan, he was already 14 years old. This experience became an important karate lesson.

Whenever students become despondent over failing a Dan test he would yell: “One failed test is nothing! Keibo failed 6 times!” The students were somehow cheered up by this, and would go back to their training.

Keibo often participated in the instructor training at the main dojo in Tokyo, where he broke his two front teeth by a Tsuki from a rough instructor.

He made short stays in Japan, where he was given a tough training by Master Asai and even practiced naked in the snow.

During the 45 years of his karate life, he has participated in all the classes taught by Master Asai and interpreted by Mr. Chen. He has been training hard right beside Mr. Chen and Master Asai.

Keibo (on the left) won the All Taiwan Karate Competition at the age of 17 pictured here with the present Chair of Taiwan Kaohsiung Karatedo Commission (on the right)

22 years old