A few words about the CRB ( BUDO RESEARCH CENTER )
This non-profit organization was created in 1974. It
still functions like a ryu ( school ) – it is under the direct and only
mastership of Sensei Habersetzer ( 8th Dan from Japan ) but it
has voluntarily reduced its audience and activities to a few dojos and
selected instructors ( KarateDo, Ko-Budo, Tai-Chi, Tai-Jitsu). Joining the
organization is now difficult.
The CRB brings together dojos in France and abroad:
Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Russia. We strongly fight for the
defense of the traditional values of martial arts, refusing for instance
any competitve trend, and staying outside any "official"
If you’re at the head of a dojo and really want to
join us because you have made the same choices, could you please indicate
( C.V. in martial arts ), the dojo concerned, the number of members and
your motivations. Please enclose a stamped envelope for correspondence.
Affiliations as "active member" run from
September to September and they work on a two-level basis: first that of
the dojo who is keen on being taught by Sensei Habersetzer, second, the
compulsory affiliations of all the members of the aforementioned dojo,
WITHOUT ANY EXCEPTION. Affiliation on a personal basis is not possible.
The executive committee of the CRB reserves the right to refuse
applications if we think they are no longer in accordance with the code of
ethics which the organization believes in.
THE BUDO RESEARCH CENTER: How and why.
This is what Ludovic
Mauchien wrote about the CRB, in the March 2000 issue of the Karaté
" Roland Habersetzer’s Budo Research Center (
CRB ), herald of Tradition…
Roland Habersetzer created the CRB in 1974 because he
had been disappointed by the competitive turn karate was taking. The CRB
was meant to teach martial arts as a way of life, and nowadays, it numbers
22 clubs from 6 different countries.
" The CRB is an association created so that all
the budokas concerned by the spiritual future of budos ( threatened by the
exclusively competitive trend they have lately developed ) can have a
meeting point where they are able to evolve on a regular basis, as far as
technique and traditional values are concerned." Those few sentences
accurately sum up the battle which the creator of the CRB has always been
In 1974, Roland Habersetzer, who was once a student of
Henry Plée at the dojo from the rue de la Montagne Sainte-Geneviève
during the years 1956-1957, and was one of the first French black belts (
1961 ), decided to sever the links which tied him to the federal
institutions. He explains: " I realized that the federation had
become a huge business, and that we were paying the price for becoming a
mass institution. That is still my belief today."
He is against competition because "it develops
everything that is bad in man", and that was the reason why he
decided to created the CRB 26 years ago. Absolutely separated from the
French Federation, the organization now numbers 22 affiliated clubs,
"going from Quebec to Russia" as he likes to specify. "
Each dojo is independent, except from the teaching methods, he explains.
If a dojo wants to be part of the CRB, it has to apply for it (
applications are renewed every year). If it does not stick to our ethics,
we do not keep it."
THE CRB numbers more than 800 members.
Ethics are the absence of competition and a traditional
and cultural approach to Budo. " The CRB is not a sect, it is a
traditional school, says its president and founder. The exams for black
belts, for instance, include cultural questions. But of course we do not
expect candidates to have an encyclopaedic knowledge, only to know the names
of ancient styles, old masters…" Another example of this traditional
way chosen by Roland Habersetzer: to be allowed to take the exam to become a
black belt, the candidate’s teacher must have agreed to it I nthe first
place, "old-fashioned like, so to speak". I never compromise with
an exam, he assures, I am adamant on this point. This is what I criticize in
sports. One must not mix up everything and give dans to those who only want
to score points in competitions. Nowadays, there are 5th dan
black belts who are unable to explain what the spirit means to their
Author of 63 books in 30 years, among which the "
Marabout guide to Karate" published in 1969, that was later translated
in several other languages, Roland Habersetzer has always been a fierce
adversary to the idea of competition, through all these years. Of course,
the CRB is the result of this fight. 26 years after its creation, even if he
sounds more diplomatic, R. Habersetzer remains faithful to his options:
"We do not fight anybody, he says. We do not run down anyone. We are
simply about "something else". Competitive karate is a different
logic, a particular approach to karate, but there is something else behind
it, an evolution. In a way, I compliment one who becomes world or olympic
champion in karate, but it is not really a scale of values. Competition is
not a fight for life. The stakes are non-existent; we must therefore
relativize what it means."