Alan Kazuta stood outside of the University of B.C. dojo in September of 1971, waiting for two friends to join him for their first practice. If Alan had waited for those friends, he never would have entered. However, he did go in by himself, and started on a lifetime’s worth of practice. The first thing he learned was backstance, and legend has it that he was the only true 8th kyu that the club ever saw. Yet dedication to practice, and willing help from his seniors Don Gee, Don Jurchuk, and Norman Welch led Alan quickly through the ranks and into an increasing role of leadership. Alan was quickly appointed to be the secretary of the club at the University of B.C., so he felt that he had to attend class regularly, to show his dedication and to take responsibility.
Alan remembers attending the first special training at the University of B.C. dojo, where they ran on frozen pavement, and years of trips to Cate school special training, where his feet became raw on Hamburger Hill. However, the discipline involved in the runs and the regular jogging he did with Norman had a big influence on his practice. At one time, Alan could claim that he was the only one who had attended every special training in Western Canada, and to this day, he was missed very few. He also co-led special trainings from 1990-1995 at Camp Casey and Camp Elphinstone.
Alan continued to practice at the University of B.C. dojo for many years, no matter where he moved or how far the drive was. In 1983, he opened the North Delta dojo, which grew into a sizable group with a children’s class as well, which he still leads with the help of some other black belts. In 1991, Alan was promoted to yodan.
For many years, Alan has been the Western Canada Regional Director. He handles the administrative matters of Canada Shotokan, and the communications with SKA. Largely due to his efforts, Canada has instituted an east-west exchange programme, which many people have had the chance to experience over the years. Alan’s dedication to the karate group has been shown for many years through his hard practice and through his willingness to help with the administrative duties that go along with the organization.
In October 2001, Alan was among the ones from Canada Shotokan to attend the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the karate club at Waseda University.
In July 2004, Alan was promoted to godan at the 40th anniversary celebration of France Shotokan in Mulhouse, France.