Moyle part of international karate tourney

Deborah Prescott | Daily Press Escanaba native Dave Moyle has come out of retirement from competing in martial arts to lead his students to the Ozawa Cup International Karate Tournament. Moyle has been appointed assistant coach to Albert Doorlag, coach of the United States Specialty Sports Association-Karate. He is training athletes in preparation for the Ozawa Cup being held at Las Vegas, Nev., in April 2019.

ESCANABA — Dave Moyle, a lifetime resident of Escanaba, has been appointed the assistant coach to the United States Specialty Sports Association-Karate (USSSA-K). Moyle will assist Al Doorlag, current coach of the Karate division of the USSSA. Together they will train martial arts athletes for an international event known as the Ozawa Cup International Karate Tournament. The event will be held at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., April 18 to 21, 2019.

“The Ozawa Cup is a very prestigious event,” said Moyle. “I was tickled they brought me on. There will be 70 separate countries attending and with the Olympics coming up in Tokyo (2020), the Ozawa Cup has become a more highlighted event.”

The only other competition that is more prestigious than the Ozawa Cup is the Olympics Moyle said. The Olympic coach will be at the Ozawa Cup reviewing talented competitors.

“I tell my people not to worry about the Olympics, worry about one competition at a time,” Moyle said. “Worry about beating your competition, the rest will come into place.”

Moyle was chosen due to his 35 years of experience in coaching and teaching martial arts, plus the certifications he has achieved. He has a 7th degree black belt in karate (empty hand), 6th in Iaido (blade drawing), and 5th degree black belt in kobudo (kobudo-literally meaning “ancient martial way,” refers to the weapons art of the Okinawan people who adapted anything they could into a weapon from farm tools and household items). Moyle has produced 275 state champions in the Michigan division of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).

All of Moyle’s certifications are from Okinawa, Japan.

Moyle said there are three divisions in fighting, Kata – forms, which is like a gymnastic floor routine, Kobudo – weapons, forms, and Kumite – fighting.

“There are two types of kumite — samponshobu, which means three-point match — how many points you have after two or three points,” said Moyle “and ipponshobu, which is a one point match. This one gets brutal, one point match you have to score a perfect ipponshobu, not uncommon to see someone get knocked out.”

“Knock-outs are not the objective, it’s a very physical form of combat, with very little padding on the hands, and a mouth piece. I encourage head gear.”

Doorlag wanted to round out the coaching staff and add a weapons coach, according to Moyle. The president of the USSSA-K and Doorlag discussed it and made the announcement.

“I was delighted and humbled. As far as weapons go, I think he (Albert Doorlag) brought on the right guy,” said Moyle. “I’ve got six separate black belts in six separate weapon systems, three of them are weapon-based systems. I’m an expert with ancient weapons. There’s a lot to learn. When you’re in competition you don’t want a weapon flying over the judges’ heads. I’ve seen it…none of my students.”

A big contingency of athletes Moyle will assist in coaching are coming from Virginia, a group out of Florida and eight from Upper Peninsula.

“Those people will hook up with the downstate group, which forms the Michigan contingent of the USA team,” said Moyle.

Moyle is coming out of retirement from competing in martial arts. He didn’t plan on it, but when he was announced as the assistant he decided to. Moyle leads by example.

“Not do as I say, but do as I do..try to follow me,” said Moyle.

The last time Moyle retired, he came out of retirement in 2002, to prove to his students that he could compete. After taking a gold medal at the state championships, he went right back into retirement.

“This time I’ll show my daughter and this team I’m 54, got a bad back, and I can still move,” said Moyle.

“One thing as a society that we are sorely missing today is the ability to set goals, and strive to achieve those goals. Short range, mid-range and long range. I really think it’s become replaced by social media, immediate satisfaction. Instant…and there’s no such thing in life.”

Moyle likes to see development in a person as they prepare. His senior student is a young lady about 22 years old, Tonilyn Gorshe. She will be going for her first world championship in black belt. Gorshe will use a woman’s weapon, a sword put on the end of a pole, fighting and doing forms.

“She’s got her work cut out for her. She’s not afraid of a challenge,” Moyle said.

The martial arts, if done properly, can be done in the ages of 70s or 80s, according to Moyle.

Moyle teach kids braille for a living and is a county commissioner, that’s his public service.

“Because I’m visually impaired I had a very negative self-image in high school, and I got into martial arts to learn how to be a bad-ass,” said Moyle. “I found the kind of instructor that ended up showing me, you can be a bad-ass in so many ways spiritually, emotionally.”

With that inspiration Moyle was taught how to like himself and stayed in martial arts for all the right reasons.

“Got in for all the wrong reasons, stayed in for all the right reasons,” said Moyle.

Moyle is always teaching, always learning.

“I’ll always take anybody in, I will take in students by appointment only,” said Moyle.

He only teaches one day a week, Monday, 6 p.m.

“There was a group of us at the athletic field working out at the crack of dawn, and someone called the cops on us,” said Moyle. “Someone I train was having a physically hard time and I hollered ‘don’t die on me’…cops came and asked if there was a shooting out there…I’m just trying to motivate people on the squad.”

Moyle has always been a resident in Escanaba, except for college years and some time spent in the Orient.

“Definitely a place to raise my daughter, because I believe in the community,” he said.

Moyle is married to Anastasia for eight years. They met in California and she encourages Moyle to do his own thing, and gives him the space to do it.

“She’s always been supportive of this. I’ve just been blessed. If you don’t have your better half supporting what you’re doing, it’s not gonna work,” said Moyle. “She’s never seen me compete before, so it will be interesting. She’s seen me practice, but never turn it on in a room in a front of a couple of thousand people. I hope there’s a side of her that wants to see me do that.”

He is continuously working on the Dojo in his studio. Moyle says it should be something that looks like 17th century Japan. Moyle’s Dojo is about 1,000 square foot. Everything in there has a purpose and he teaches a balance of mind, body and spirit in there.

“I’m the only guy I know that does the martial arts and collects tea pots. Real tough guy.”

In his Dojo Moyle proudly displays items given to him.

“These were written for me specifically, “keep the heart of the beginner, always stay as a beginner because you’ll always be hungry, always want more“, “stay a tiger, but make sure you enjoy the smell of the roses in the garden”, Moyle read.

“I’m looking forward to see what happens. We’ll set goals, fight to achieve those goals, shrug off the adversity…it’s going to hurt a lot, but we’ll hit those goals,” Moyle noted. “I hope in April, on the 21, I will be staring at seven or eight world champions from Escanaba. That would be a hell of a way to go back into retirement.”