About Thomas

My name is Thomas Buchi. I first started Karate-Do training in Switzerland in 1986. I trained with Paul and Juanita Baumann till the end of 1987 when I left for South Africa to train full time at the Karate-Do Institute.

The Kancho Hugh St John Thompson was ouer Head of the System and Teacher at Honbu Dojo in Stilbaai South Africa. His wife Renshi Alana van Rensburg was mainly running the Farm at the time.

Around 1985 I also started to learn Meditation. I find that meditation helps me find the quiet in myself. My teacher, Henry von Schumacher, is an outstanding man of great integrity. I am very grateful for all he has thought me.

My first contact with Tai-Chi Quan was at the Karate School in Kapstadt, South Africa. My teacher was Hanshi Denis St. John Thompson. I loved Tai-Chi at first sight.

I stayed in South Africa at the Karate-Do headquarters in Stilbaai until 1998. During this time the Systems name was changed to its present name of Kushido Karate –Do.

We had many Shihans in the Karate School. I trained with most of them and they are too many to name here. However, Renshi Nico Bester is worth mentioning. He currently heads the main Dojo, Honbu, in Cape Town, South Africa. He is a great store of knowledge and an inspiration to train with.

I left South Africa and returned to Switzerland and trained again with Renshi Paul Baumann and Shihan Juanita Baumann. They are great friends and Martial Artists.

I also trained with Hanshi Patrick McCarthy in Australia, and with Kancho Rony Kluger from Karate-Do Israel.

In 1996 I was awarded the Kushido Karate-Do title of “Senior Koshi” (fulltime student teacher). This award is of similar level to a 4th Dan.

I left Switzerland and came to Wales where I opened my own Martial Arts School which I called So-Pa. I am a Shihan (Master) of my School.

So-Pa is affiliated to Kushido Karate-Do Switzerland, South Africa, Israel, Alderney, Hungary, Australia, America and Holland where I still have very strong bonds with many old friends. I train with them on Gashukus and other occasions whenever possible.

So-Pa Karate is basically derived from Okinawen Goju Ryu Karate and Shotokan Karate with elements of Judo and Aikido.

So-Pa Tai-Chi Chuan is mainly Yang style and will give you smoothness of movement. Internal energy is learned here.

In 2003 I started training with Raymond Towers and his son Gavin. They are a breath of fresh air and their knowledge of Chinese Martial Arts is legendary. They teach Tai-Chi Quan (Chen Style, Li and Sun Style), Bagua Quan and Xingyi Quan and many more Qigong and Health Exercises. Their knowledge comes from hard training and studying with the cream of Chinese Martial arts teachers. I am honored to be accepted as their student and friend.

Bagua Quan helps you understand spiralling in Tai-Chi Quan, Xingyi Quan will give you spirit and direction.

I continually strive to perfect my skills in the arts. As I always say “the more I know, the more I realize I know nothing”. It is like going up a mountain, the higher up you go, the more you can see what you don’t know! This is exciting to me and challenging too.

There are  many “Ways” and no one way is the right way. We have to find “The Way” that suits us so we can become better people and stay healthy. To protect our health is the most important reason for doing Martial Arts.

To be able to protect ourselves is great; however it is secondary to keeping healthy since you can not fight if you are not healthy!

An important aspect of training is learning how to focus. If you train hard you learn to focus your mind and self. This will help in all areas of your life. Training helps us prepare for old age by keeping us fit and healthy. And can lead to a life in harmony with others and our environment.