Daryl Rappold was only 10 years old when he started training in Johnny Caluda’s youth class at the original LKA dojo on Metairie Road. As he advanced up the ranks and began to train with Sensei Mikami, he gained insights that went beyond karate. “I always remember Sensei saying that improvement requires 100% effort,” said Daryl, “and you know, I’ve found that can be applied to anything in life.”
He always felt drawn to karate and continued to be very involved throughout his college years where he served as an officer in the LSU karate club. “There was a healthy rivalry with the Tulane team that made competitions a lot of fun,” Daryl shared after a recent advanced class, “Steve Robichaux was the senior instructor at LSU back then and we sent a team to Nationals three years in a row!”
He continued to make progress through the ranks making shodan in ‘99, nidan in ‘09 and sandan this past summer (‘17) at the JKA/AF camp lead by our very own Sensei Takayuki Mikami and a visiting instructor Sensei Takenori Imura, who came in especially for the occasion from the JKA Headquarters in Tokyo.
I asked Daryl what had contributed to his decision to try for his sandan when he did and he came up with a number of factors, “I had recently lost weight and my physical ability especially my speed had improved. I felt I was ready to take it to a new level. I had had some personal challenges in my life. Karate has always been such a huge part of my life. I felt I needed a win. And I thought to myself, why am I coming if not to get better.” And the examiners also must felt he was ready to take it to the next level because he was awarded his sandan on his first try.
And what advice does Daryl have for beginners? “Effort. Commitment. Dedication to the goal. You will get out of karate what you put in.”