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Interview with Dan Stuparu Junior

10/08 2015

When did you start to practise karate?
When I started practicing karate? Well, here is a lot to debate... Theoretically I started with karate from my very first days of my life, after I was born, my parents dressed me up in a kimono on which sensei Nishiyama, sensei Shirai and sensei Watanabe wrote some traditional japanese blessing messages. Slowly, step by step, my father took me to many of his karate events and he introduced me to the karate world. Practically, I started with karate at the age of 7 years old when I went to school. From that moment, I used to go every week at least 4 times to trainings. Since 2001 I have been going to trainings to one of my father’s student’s club. 2001 was the year of my practical beginning, so I have 14 years of practice.

Can you tell us about your father, karate legend Sensei Dan Stuparu? How did he influence your karate life?
My father, sensei Dan Stuparu, was the man who truely introduced karate to Romania. At that moment when he started to practice this martial art, he was 19 years old. At that time, karate was forbbiden to practice in Romania and my father had to hide and to perform his activity together with his students in secret. That were very hard times for him but he managed to survive and to save the romanian karate world in the same time. He was Romania’s greatest karate master. He achived what nobody else could do, he attracted the people and made them to follow him and to practice karate. He represented the ‘’zero moment’’ in romanian karate history. Well, after this point a lot of stories appeared and lots of masters of various kinds of martial arts which have a questionable credibility. My father met sensei Ilija Jorga in his early karate years and he helped my father to evolve, being his first master. Taking a small lesson of history, after the fall of the Socialist Republic of Romania which was a truly comunist state like North Korea, the borders were opened and people had the chance to travel. My father hadn’t lost any second and he went in 1990 to San Diego, USA, to meet sensei Nishiyama who became his mentor. In 2005, sensei Nishiyama released the final form of Traditional Karate which goes back to it’s roots and corrects the mistakes done after WW2 when Traditional Karate was destroyed by the war and all the turbulence caused by it’s transformation into an training method of the japanese army. My father became aware of the value of this scientific Traditional Karate and he trained a lot and spent a lot of time to understand and to implement it on his students. At the end, he took us to the next level in karate which looks like to be very hard to be achived by others who remained sticked in the past. The Imperial Japanese Army turned karate into a body developing sport like aerobics, destroying the characteristic of martial art. My father was one of the very few who understood this and tried to redescover the real Traditional Karate with the help of sensei Nishiyama. My father haven’t influenced my karate life, I was already from the very first moments in the right hands...

Historical photos of Sensei Dan Stuparu  

How does your training look like? How many times per week do you practise karate?
Unfortunately we can’t be professional karatekas so we have to give our best in the free time left for karate. My training schedule mostly had 4 trainings per week of which 2 were during week days(Tuesday and Thursday) 90 minutes each and the other 2 in the weekend 150 minutes each. During the weekend training, the first part (1 hour) was performed outdoor and it had a lot of physical exercises like running, jumping and strenght exercises.

During your karate career which medals are the most important for you?
During my karate career, my most precious medal is the gold medal won at the World Fudokan Karate Championship in 2013 which took place in Prague, Czech Republic. That moment was one of my greatest achivements! 2013 was my hardest and darkest year and during that dark days I proved to myself that I can be World Champion at the end. At the same time I showed to the people that I can win on my own, without having “special help” of which I was acused of most of them. Being Dan Stuparu-Junior wasn’t an easy mission. I felt the pressure of my duty and I also knew the opinion of the people who were questioning my achivements. Now, there was the proof! After being World Champion in 2013, I felt released of pressure and I proved that everything was fair before also.


What are your leisure time activities?
My leisure time activities are related to aviation, cooking, football and skiing. My biggest passion is the world of aviation, I wanted to become a pilot but my destiny showed me that it is better to stay close to airplanes without getting envolved to much, so I became an artist and I choosed to build airplanes for display. I have a huge collection of aircrafts built by me. I will show you only the last one.

Dan Stuparu Junior with Sensei Marta Stuparu

Thank you very much for the interview. We wish you all the best in the future. Karate Live