Many of us know how lucky we are to be training with Sensei Don sharp, because of his great teaching ability, his character, his enthusiasm and tremendous expertise of our art…. But I think many of our members have no clue how truly accomplished our instructor is. Don Sharp being so modest we just don’t often hear of his own accomplishments. So I am writing this biography in hopes that our members will know a little more of our instructor and really get a feel for how fortunate we are.
Don Sharp started training in JUDO at the age of 9. He had already fallen in love with the martial arts and that was his option at the time. He trained very hard and even at that age was noticed by his Sensei’s , Ken Earhart and Dave Jones. Unfortunately the club folded after Don had trained there for a couple of years and had gotten his 3rd Kyu. He continued training under Ken Earhart and still keeps a relationship with Mr. Earhart to this day, over 30 years later. Don saw a Karate club training at the local “Y” and was instantly captured!!! He started right way, under his first Sensei Rob Gale. He trained hard and got to 4th kyu very quickly for a young boy, and then he met Sakurai Sensei!!! Don still talks about that first meeting and training with Sakurai Sensei as a remarkable time of his life and eye opener on what martial arts had to offer. Not just how to kick and punch, but a way of life, a balance of physical, mental, technical and even spiritual way of developing ones growth.
He continued to train under Rob Gale until Sensei Rob Gale turned to Don and asked him if he would take over the Dojo! He was only 18 at the time and had just passed his Shodan a couple of months before under Nishiyama Sensei and Sakurai Sensei. He, of course accepted and he then became the chief instructor of the Chilliwack club. He knew he needed to continue his training as much as he had always even though he was now responsible for teaching the members of the club, so he would drive to Abbotsford to train with Rob Sidoli and all the way to Vancouver to train with Sakurai Sensei. He would always say, ”one who wishes to be a worthy teacher must always continue to be a student. I don’t want to be one of those Sensei’s with my fingers in my belt pointing to my students to do this better or that faster, without making a move myself”. His Dojo quickly gained respect and notoriety with Don going on to Nidan at only 20 years of age, and himself and many of his Dojo members already showing signs of success at tournaments. He was one of the founding fathers of NASKA as a brown belt at 16 year old, and throughout his career has always been a great advocate of Sakurai Sensei’s and of NASKA. He is considered by many to be the most well rounded Karate instructor in Canada. As a competitor he is considered one of the most successful Canadian athletes of all time in Karate.
- Over 45 medals in provincial competition, including 29 gold medals
- A total of approx. 200 medals from local, Provincial, National and International tournaments. Awarded provincial athlete of the year 4 times!
- 11 times national Kumite champion, 5 NKA titles and 6 JKA titles.
- 5 times medallist in national level kata competition
- *Awarded Canadian athlete of the year twice!
Highlights of national level
- 1995 Nationals- Gold medal open weight kumite, Silver Heavy weight kumite, Gold medal team kumite, ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD, NATIONAL, and SPIRIT OF KARATE-DO AWARD.
- 1997 Nationals- Heavy weight Kumite Gold medal, open weight bronze, Kata silver, and team kumite silver ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD NATIONAL
- 1999 Nationals- Heavy weight kumite Gold, Kata silver, team kumite Bronze, (open weight injury, DNF)
- 1996- JKA nationals Gold kumite, Silver Kata, bronze team kata, and Gold team kumite.
- 1996- JKA WORLD CHAMPION, Gold medallist kumite, Osaka Japan
- 1995- WKF silver medallist Pan Am Championships, Lima Peru
- 1999- Pan Am Games- fourth place
- 5 other top 5, or better finishes in world level events
- Captain of 2 WKF world cup teams, and 3 World JKA Shoto Cup teams
- B.C. Team Coach 3 times.
- World Shoto Cup team assistant coach once
- Don Sharp has received a ‘LETTER OF ACCOMPLISHMENT “, from the Prime Minister of Canada, and 3 letters from provincial premiers
- He received the B.C. premieres Award of excellence in athletics, and was in the B.C sports hall of fame for the year of 2000.
- He is presently the PRESIDENT of JKA-SKD, Vice president of JKA Canada, Technical chairman of JKA-BC, Technical committee member of JKA-SKD Canada
- Don Sharp has gotten his JKA instructors course level “B” in international refereeing, “B” instructing and level “C” examining.
He passed his GODAN (5th degree black belt) in April of 2005. He did this at the World JKA headquarters (honbu Dojo) in Tokyo Japan. (A very rare occurrence for a foreigner even being allowed to grade let alone passing at the prestigious headquarters grading. He was graded under the most senior ranked instructors in the world, including the JKA World chief instructor, Sugiura Sensei)
Received 3 National Athlete of the year awards and 4 Provincial awards.