Paul Dacosta, 5th Dan – International Karate Daigaku of Jamaica and Florida
Sensei Paul DaCosta, 5th Dan, is from Jamaica. He hold a Degree of Bachelor Of Physical Education.
Sensei Paul’s family are all martial artist. His wife, Philippa is a Nidan, his daughter Raina is a 1st kyu and his son Jion-Paul is also a 1st kyu.
Sensei DaCosta’s attraction to the martial arts materialized while watching martial arts movies in the 1970s.
” I wanted to be as agile as the participants in the films were.”
He began his training at the dojo at the Arts, Science and Technology under Senseis Chang, Gary Turnbull and Dexter Shim in 1975.
” I saw them achieve shodan with Dexter grading with a broken arm stabilized in a cast.”
The late Sensei Anthony Gomes who was originally from Guyana also came into the picture at this time.
The governing board of Shotokan in Jamaica at that time, lured a young fire brand Nidan from Guyana to Jamaica to be our Sensei. Frank with the surname of Woon-A-Tai, came to Jamaica with his wife Sensei Maureen and changed the entire Jamaican Shotokan karate training culture. His coming saw an uptick in fund raisers which allowed teams to compete in Trinidad, Guyana, ,Mexico Barbados and of course the U.S.A. On each trip to Master Camp, Sensei Frank would return to Jamaica bearing gifts of volumes of the Best Karate series by Master Masatoshi Nakayama and T shirts for students who had worked diligently to meet fundraising goals. His demonstrations were breath taking incorporating music, wood, ice and stone. Of course Sensei Maureen would be involved in ways only she could be, marshaling the females for all girl demonstrations or in defeating gangs of ruffians with the greatest of ease.
Sensei Paul’s first trip to Master Camp in Philadelphia came at this time. He competed in the international camp tournament which was won by a young Hiro Okazaki. Sensei DaCostaI placed third in his division.
He achieved Shodan in 1978 under Sensei Woon-A-Tai who had training experience in Japan so he was quite a catch. In 1988 Mr. Woon-a-tai had migrated to Canada but before he left he assigned dojos to various black belts to oversee. Sensei Paul was fortunate to be assigned the Campion College Dojo.
His progress to Nidan was completed in 1988 training under Sensei Turnbull, grading conducted by Sensei Shigeru Takashina. With the background of the work and memory of Sensei Woon-A-Tai’s training. But not before experiencing visits and training under Sensei Masatoshi Nakayama, Sensei Teruyuki Okazaki, Sensei Shigeru Takashina, Sensei Masahiko Tanaka, and other awesome senior karateka who visited the Jamaican dojo.
After Sensei Woon-A-Tai left Jamaica, Sensei Nakyama had died and a contingent of Jamaicans including Sensei Paul attended the memorial service and tournament in Colorado marking his passing. This was 1987. His death brought Sensei Paul to reflections on his visit and especially on his humble nature.
“Of course I will not mention Master Nakayama’s encounter with a certain orange Volkswagen while visiting us in Jamaica but let it be sufficient to say it demonstrated his humility, strength and grace.”
He would achieve his Sandan on 26 November 2004 under Sensei Turnbull with the grading conducted by Master Shigeru Takashina.
At this time, Paul was sensei to the Portmore Dojo which at its high point was well over one hundred strong.
He served as Captain of College of Arts, Science and Technology winning kumite team in Nationals 2005 at the Jamaica National Arena.
In March 2007, the dojo represented by a team of fifteen and Sensei Paul, visited Master Takashinas invitational S.A.K.A. tournament held at the University of Miami. They would win a number of medals in the youth division in which they competed.
In April 2007, The Portmore Shotokan Dojo hosted 8th Annual National Youth Tournament at the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport and placed first in a field of seven Shotokan dojos from all across Jamaica.
Sensei Paul taught the sport karate course at the G.C.Foster College of Physical Education and Sport from 2009 to 2015.
Sensei DaCosta earned his Yondan on 20th March 2009 in a grading administered by Master Teruyuki Okazaki. He was promoted to Godan on 28th March 2015 grading by Sensei David Richards 7th Dan and Dr Sensei Annette Alexis 6th Dan, I.K.D.
Sensei Paul DaCosta is currently working on building the I.K.D. brand in Jamaica and South Florida with a total of just over fifty students.