KONDO NO SHOKAI / NOTES AUG./SEPT.1999 - VOL99-001

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

FROM THE DIRECTORíS CHAIR ----------------------------- Mr.Terry Sanders,Hanshi

MORAL OUTRAGE------------------------------------------------------------------------------2

PHOTO EXCHANGE -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------2

 

ASSOCIATION AND STYLE -UPDATES --------------------- The Editor --------2

SO YOU HAVE A BLACK BELT NOW WHAT? --------Mr.Scott Wiseman ----------------------3

KARATE BROTHERS AND SISTERS ------------------Mr.David Richardson----------------3

THE PINAN SERIES (1-5) ----------------------------- Mr.C.Michial Jones----------------------4

COMMENTS ON HOW TO WIN TOURNAMENTS--Mr.Terrance Dunn--------------------5

MY LIFE IN KARATE----------------------------------Mr. Juan Carlos Tapia----------------6

TIGERíS TALE -----------------------------------------Mr.Mike M.Randall (Tiger)-----------7

MY START IN KARATE------------------------------Ms.Tina Lawhorn----------------------7

A LITTLE ABOUT MYSELF ------------------------- Ms.Yvonne Baca------------------------8

KYUíS- KORNER

SOME BENIFITS OF STUDYING KARATE------------------------Ms.Sandy Hernandez-----8

OYA BAKA-------------------------Ms.Robyn Rebecca Bates / Ms.Kelly Elizabeth Bates-----8

OKINAWAN KARATE AND WHAT IT MEANS TO ME-Ms. Alex (Alejandra )Beltran------9

Association Headquarters-KNS -9950 Majestic View Rd.SW-Deming,NM 88030-9537-U.S.A

Web site - www.geocities.com/Coloseeum/Mound/4121/

Publication Address - 665 E.Century Blvd. Los Angeles,Calif. 90002 -U.S.A.

Editor E-mail Address - Shorei-dan@juno.com

KNS - NOTES : Summitals ,the content and emphasis of submissions should deal primarily with karate.Articles pertaining to Shorei-Ryu karate will be given perference in regards to publication. Actual material published will be the decision of the Director.All viewpoints expressed are those of the authors and do not represent those of the KNS.

 

 

 

KONDO NO SHOKAI- NOTES

 

MORAL OUTRAGE

Terry B. Sanders - 9th Dan - Hanshi

Style Head Shorei-Ryu

Director Kondo Shokai

Deming, New Mexico

Robert A. Trias' legacy came to us from his teaching and his publications. Daily, arrogant martial arts web masters around the world are publishing extensive out-takes from his Pinnacle of Karate while neither citing this book as their source, nor providing financial consideration to his heirs. As it now stands, it is possible to read a large portion of this book without even realizing its source. My dictionary (The American Heritage Dictionary, 1991 edition) defines plagiarize as, "to steal and use (the writings of another) as one's own." This practice is wrong. Those interested in purchasing this book are encouraged to visit http://www.angelfire.com/az/shuri/ratrias.html. As we build our organization, keep in mind that effective interpersonal relations are based on mutual respect. Respect stems from self-respect. Self-respect means treating yourself with the same honor and dignity that you extend to others. Arrogance is a personality trait that is ultimately self-defeating and must be avoided.

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Photograph Exchange Proposed

I have asked most of you to send a 5" x 7" photograph of yourself in a gi that we can display on the Kondo No Shokai Wall at Honbu Dojo. If I missed asking you, please consider yourself formally requested to do so now. In return, I will send you one of myself. Hopefully, these photographs will be available by mid-August. News flash! Photos are in, so If you have mailed me a photo already look for yours in the mail soon.

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Training In Deming

Honbu dojo is available for training members of Kondo No Shokai at no cost. A goodly handfull of KNS members have already taken advantage of this opportunity. One dan holder paid for instructional time with a pair of chopsticks. If you can handle the expense of travel and a motel room, the instruction is without charge. Let me know your visitation plans at t144@zianet.com .

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Get Well Shihan!

Our thoughts and prayers are with Charley P. and Cathy R. Contreras (Hachi-dan and San-dan, respectively) as he recovers from heart surgery and she provides care.

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Statement of Promotion- The Editor, John S. Soltis

To all Yundansha and Mudansha of the Kondo No Shokai, this is to inform you of the elevation of Terry B. Sanders , Style Head of Shorei-Ryu Karate and the Director of the Kondo No Shokai to the rank of Ku-dan, 9th Grade Black Belt.

On Saturday July 31,1999 at 2:30 PM in the city of Lynwood, California the Board of the California Federation of Black Belts having a full quorum unanimously approved this promotion. The eight members, all Shorei-Ryu Yudansha, headed by Philip Perales Hanshi signed a proclamation attesting to this fact. This document is now in the possession of Terry B. Sanders, whose title hence forth shall be that of Hanshi. Below are the members who signed and witnessed this proclamation:

Philip Perales - 9th Dan Michael Randall - 2nd Dan

Scott Wiseman - 6th Dan Juan C. Tapia - 2nd Dan

Greg Allison - 6th Dan Louis Moyataya -1st Dan

John Soltis - 6th Dan Rasheedah Polk -1st Dan

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ASSOCIATION AND STYLE PATCH NEWS !

Announcing the creation and availability of the new association patch and the new Shorei-Ryu style patch. Both patches are now viewable at their respective web sites. The Association Mon can be found at: www.Geocities.com/Coloseeum/Mound/4121/

The Style Mon can be viewed at the Shorei-Ryu site: www.angelfire.com/ca2/ShoreiRyu/index/html

For more information or to order these patches please contact, Mr. Terry Sanders, Hanshi at e-mail address - t144@zianet.com

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 KONDO NO SHOKAI- NOTES

 

"So you got your Sho-Dan, now what?"

Scott Wiseman - 6th Dan, Shorei - Ryu

Long Beach, California

I remember back in 1976 when I received my Sho-Dan my sensei asked me: "What will you do with your Black Belt should we choose to promote you?" I being so tired at that point gave one answer and thought another: The answer I gave was eloquent and exactly what I thought the review board wanted to hear. "I will teach and carry on the Shorei-Ryu system of Karate." The answer I thought was " I'll wear it and be a tough guy. Defending the universe against all evil and I'll be invincible." Once reality set in, (a couple years later) when I only had three students, the question came back to haunt me.

Only this time, I was thinking: What am I doing here? This is a waste of time! I have this Black Belt and three students and people want to fight every time they find out I have a Black Belt or they ask me an inane question like: "Can you beat Bruce Lee?" My response to the first question was "No I don't want to fight and yes I can beat Bruce Lee because he is dead". But the question still came back to haunt me: What will you do with your Black Belt if we choose to promote you. I decided to become COMMITTED to the art of Shorei-Ryu. There were times when I wanted rank and there were times when I made poor decisions and there were even times when I did not want anyone to know I was a Black Belt because of my poor behavior.

Now twenty some years later, I still am teaching Shorei-Ryu Karate and still wear a black belt. The rank came and so did some students. We even promoted some to Black Belt. But just like the classes have a high turnover, I found out to my dismay that Black belts have even a higher turnover. I also learned that "Talk is cheap." After 31 years in the Martial Arts, I turn around and look for all the guys that were Black Belts before me when I first entered the dojo. Theyíre gone. Some claim to have "out grown" Karate. I believe they really outgrew their parents and stopped doing that which their parents wanted them to do and began to do something they wanted to do. I look behind me and see that most all of the students that we promoted to Yudansha are gone. Some quit when their parents died, others talked a good game and got what they wanted and disappeared. Others say theyíre committed and really aren't. It can be frustrating from time to time. The "Dinosaurs" sit around and talk about the good old days in Karate when we were loyal. But it comes down to the fact that not everyone that enters Karate does so for the commitment. Some get a Black Belt just to say, " I completed something." Others get a black belt and figure they know everything there is to know. One thing I do know is that I got a Black Belt and I have learned not to have expectations of students or other black belts because the road of expectations leads to disappointments. So fellow Yudansha I pose the Question: Now that you have your Black Belt and Rank, what will you do with it? Will you lord it over others? Will you become rude to others in the dojo? Will you surround yourself with those who grovel and bow down? Or will you learn with it? Will you expand your knowledge? Will you teach the system you learned? Will you be a good example to others in the dojo? Will you remain open to constructive criticism? Will you work out with the white belts? Will you encourage the students to do well in school? Will you? Well, you get the idea. " WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH YOUR BLACK BELT? "

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MY FELLOW KARATE BROTHERS AND SISTERS

David Richardson - 5th Dan, Shuri-Ryu Goshin Jutsu Kempo

Silver City, NM

Dear Fellow Karate Brothers and Sisters:

My name is David Richardson. I would like to bend your ears for a moment with a little portion of my past concerning Karate. First a little about me. I have studied martial arts for 25 years. I've studied a little Tae Kwon Do, some Goju Ryu, got my first black belt in a little known style called Mok Ken Ryu which supposedly had roots stemming from Shorei Ryu. I have my doubts now as to the truth of the origin of that style after having met and exchanged techniques with Kyoshi Terry Sanders who has been the Shorei Ryu Style Head for years.

 

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 KONDO NO SHOKAI- NOTES

 

MY FELLOW KARATE BROTHERS AND SISTERS( Continued )

Never-the-less, I did continue on with my training after Mok Ken Ryu in a style called Shuri Ryu Goshin Jutsu Kempo Karate-Do out of Phoenix, AZ. There I trained with Soke John Simmons for almost 12 years to earn the rank of Godan.

His roots do stem from Grandmaster Robert Trias. Master Trias was Mr. Simmons first instructor. This was back in the fifties. Mr. Simmons went on to train with many American instructors as well as Okinawan instructors. He had great respect for Mr.Trias and his style of Karate. I myself had the privilege of meeting Mr. Trias in a little dojo on Baseline Ave. in Tempe, Az. I heard about a tournament being held there, so my daughter and I attended. At this time I had never heard of Mr. Trias. About three hours into the tournament most of the black belts had left, leaving a need for ring judges and timers, etc. Mr. Trias stood up and asked the crowd for volunteer black belts to come forward and assist in one of these tasks. No one spoke up so he pointed at me and said to come help, please. Wow! How did he know I was a black belt? Anyway, I helped and spent about four hours sitting beside him timing the matches and getting to know the great Grandmaster Robert Trias. What a nice man he was. What a knowledgeable man he was. Incidentally, yes I did ask him how he knew I was a black belt or did he just pick some one out of a crowd. He said my calloused knuckles gave me away. Darnit! I had hoped it was the Glow of wisdom and knowledge! He He!

Well, I've got to tell you that in 25 years of learning and teaching Karate I've seen small miracles come to pass over and over. Karate gives people a brighter future through the development of confidence, perseverance, humility, discipline, and respect not only for themselves but for others as well. I've seen handicapped people remove the mental jail they've lived in for years and go on to develop themselves into successful living, breathing, life-loving people. I've seen stooped shoulders and lowered heads raise when the students realize that they are as important as anyone else. I've also seen higher grades achieved on tests because the student learned how to focus his mind. I could go on and on with this subject because these are the reasons why I love to teach and practice Karate. The benefits are endless and the payment is in the success of the students. Needless to say with this in mind, I am a rich man. If a student has been changed in any way that makes their life better or richer because of the Karate they studied, regardless of the rank they achieved, then I have benefited too.

Thanks for your time,

Shihan Dave Richardson

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The Pinan Series (1-5)

Also known as (Heian/Heinan) "Peaceful Mind," "Serenity," or simply, "Security."

C. Michial Jones- 4th dan, Shorei-Ryu, Shuri-ryu, Goju-Ryu, Shorin-Ryu

Kobudo - Shihan Menkyo

Westfield,Indiana

The Pinan kata series was introduced into the Okinawan School District karate program as gym training from about 1902 to 1907 by Ankoh Itosu. The history of this kata is somewhat controversial - Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu stylists claim that Itosu developed all five kata using either the kata Passai and Kusanku . The Matsumura Seito Shorin-Ryu tradition states that Itosu only developed Pinan 5 by himself. (It is curious to note that Chosin Chibana, Itosuís senior disciple and Kobayashi founder, taught only Pinan 5 and Naihanchi 3 out of respect for Itosuís authorship.) Hohan Soken (family inheritor of Bushi Matsumuraís style) taught only Pinan 1 and 2; saying that Matsumura had devised these two and laid the framework for Pinan 3 and 4.

Gichin Funikoshi revised the order of 1 and 2, changed the kata name to Heian, and initiated deeper stances and higher kicks. He also replaced front kicks with side kicks and altered other moves in the series. Funakoshi was so well known for teaching the Pinan series that he was often referred to as the "Pinan Sensei." Interestingly enough, he did not learn the Pinans from Itosu as he had already finished his training with the great mejin before they were developed.

 

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 KONDO NO SHOKAI- NOTES

 

The Pinan Series (1-5)

Also known as (Heian/Heinan) "Peaceful Mind," "Serenity," or simply, "Security."

According to several sources, Funikoshi was first introduced to the Pinans during a trip to Osaka where he received instruction from Kenwa Mabuni, the founder of Shito-Ryu.

During his subsequent visits he learned a number of the kata from Mabuni that would eventually be taught in the Shotokan system. Regardless of their origin or lineage, there is no doubt that today the Pinan Series is practiced world-wide by Okinawan, Japanese, as well as some Korean styles.

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Comments on how to do well in Tournaments

Tournament History

Terrance Dunn

4th Dan, Trias-Kan (Shorei)

I began my training under ROBERT TRIAS in 1967 and except for a brief six month sabbatical to the local JKA Sensei in the mid-80s, I continued under him until his death in 1989 (a little over 10 years to the day). From this perspective I was able to see how Karate Tournaments evolved from the bare fisted (with real control) to the padding from head to toe that is common today. The overriding reason tournaments have evolved to what they are today is the money motivation.

At one time only 5th kyu and above could do KUMITE, as 6 months minimum was required to train to have power and at the same time control. Since at least 80% of karate students dropped out before green belt this was a market to be tapped into before this was to happen. The question then became how can money be made by tournament fees and at the same time not risk lawsuits since control with power had not been learned, much less mastered. In came the pads. Students never had to learn control. No matter, as long as $$$ was to be made by the promoters. As many green belts progressed to black and brown much of the control factor was still to be mastered. As a result injuries still occurred. In comes the body shields, and more money to be made from the promoters and martial art stores. Before this time tournaments were more of a test of how well one is doing, regardless of who won. Beginning in the late 60's, winning became more important for the student as was the $$$ for the promoters. I guess that's O.K. Winning and making money is the America Way! The last facet of tournament evolution I witnessed was the increasing motivation to commit violence to win. This is why at the age of 24, and as a three year Sho-Dan I all but dropped out of competing. It was not worth giving $40-$50.00 to a promoter to risk injury from a cheap shot. I still attend a lot of tournaments because, quite frankly, there are a lot of pretty girls around.

Rules and Guidelines to Win a Tournament

1. The first rule is not care if you win or lose.

2. The second rule is to avoid injury to yourself.

3. The third rule is to have fun.

4. The fourth rule is to think defense first. The art of blocking and ducking

has all but gone.

5. The fifth rule is to not enter a tournament unless you REALLY know how to

fall. Hitting the ground with your head or shoulder from a sidekick can

cause more injury than the sidekick does.

6. The sixth rule is to determine what the rules are and what organization is promoting

the contest.

There are three basic types of non-full contact tournaments:

a. International World Karate Organization (WKO) rules: Balance and basic punch, front, round kicks.

b. Open tournaments: No balance and flashy techniques.

c. Closed system tournaments open to only one style/organization/school.

 

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 KONDO NO SHOKAI- NOTES

 

Comments on how to do well in Tournaments ( Continued )

For the most part WKO, judges are more competent. Open tournament judges can be competent but not always. That is why rule number one is rule number one.

7. Rule number seven: Bring a book or if you are a student bring your homework, as the boredom of waiting all day for your division will get to you.

8. Rule number eight is bring a six pack of your favorite soft drink, a small BBQ grill, and things to cook for lunch. The snack bar prices at tournaments are very high and the food is...not healthy?

9. Rule number nine is be nice to everybody you meet. Leave any attitude at the door. This will help you with rules two and three.

10. Rule number 10 is the most important rule ( Well for me anyway ): If you see a pretty girl at the next tournament you enter, give her my E-mail address.

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My Life in Karate

Juan Carlos Tapia - 2nd Dan Shorei-Ryu

Kobudo- Roy Oyakawa, Hanshi

South Gate, California

My name is Juan Carlos Tapia , (Charlie). I was born on May 15,1977. I started training in the martial arts at the age six. My first style was Shito-Ryu under Gonzalo Pacheco Ortega Sensei. I trained with him for five years. In April 1988 I was introduced to Shorei-Ryu-Karate-Do by a friend of mine. I had to stop training at the Shito-ryu- dojo, because it was too far and it also got to be expensive. The Shorei-dojo was a lot closer to my home, it was only three blocks away . My father was glad to hear they had a karate school close to our home so that I could walk to class, and it was affordable. So I was enrolled in the class so I could continue to study the art of karate. The reason I was in karate in the first place was for self defense. I was always being picked on by bullies. My father was tired of me coming from school everyday beat up by older kids. So leaving out Kyu rank dates, broken bones, and the blood, Iíll come right to the point and state that I received by Black Belt on July 9,1994. I was seventeen years old at the time of the review. I am now twenty- two years old. That has been one of the biggest accomplisments of my life. Shorei-Ryu Karate has taught me a lot: discipline, courage, self-esteem, self-confidence, self-control, and encouragement. What I like a lot about Shorei-Karate is that the senseis and the students are one family.

My teachers in Shorei-Ryu Karate are Philip Perales , Hanshi-Sensei, Scott Wiseman, Renshi-Sensei, John Soltis, Renshi-Sensei. My teachers have taught me a lot over the years. I thank them for their hard work and dedication. In Shorei-Ryu I hold the rank of Ni-Dan under Philip Perales ( Hanshi ), who is Master Triasí second Black Belt, and founder of the California Federation of Black Belts. I also hold the rank of Ni-Dan under Terry Sanders, Hanshi.

One of my favorite parts of our style of karate is the Kobudo. I have been studying weapons with a Okinawan Kobayashi-Shorin-Ryu instructor, named Roy Oyakawa Hanshi for about a year now.

A few years back I was introduced to the katana, the Japanese sword , this while visiting Sanders Sensei in New Mexico. I asked if he would instruct me in the way of the sword, he agreed to do so. SHINKAGE-RYU-HANGAN-HA KENJUTSU is the style which Sanders sensei practices and teaches. Here again I have found my karate training has help me in learning how to move with the sword. Those of you that have had the privilege of training with Sanders sensei know he is a taskmaster and a masterful teacher, so you do learn.

I have tired to be open minded in my studies, wishing to take in all that I can, with the hope that this will make me a better teacher. Teaching is what I enjoy. At the present I am running four dojos, looking at a fifth, and also assisting Soltis Sensei at two of his schools. So you see I am one motivated young Black Belt.

 

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 KONDO NO SHOKAI- NOTES

 

My Life in Karate ( Continued )

My occupation currently is a driver courier. I am a foster parent to two twelve year old boys, a husband ( wifeís name Frances), and a new father of a baby girl, Stephanie Danae Tapia, born on July 23, 1999.

My hope is to be able to pass Shorei-Ryu Karate on so that it will live forever. For me there is no excuse not to practice and as a Black Belt not to teach. There is always a way.

I myself live KARATE- DO everyday of my life for it is in my heart and in my blood.

I hope I have not bored you and that you have enjoyed reading my autobiography. I leave you with this thought -

"LET YOUR JOUNRNEY BEGIN WITH A SINGLE STEP ON THE PATH OF ENCOURAGEMENT WAY."

BUSHIDO SENSEI,

CHARLIE TAPIA

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TIGERíS TALE

Michael M. Randall

2nd Dan,Shorei-Ryu

1st Dan, Shorin-Ryu

Kobudo- Roy Oyakawa ,Hanshi

Long Beach,California

Greetings, Kondo No Shokai Members. My name is Michael M. Randall. I am by profession an automotive technician and an independent business developer. I am also a volunteer instructor for the Long Beach Police Athletic League karate program. I have been training in the martial arts since 1982. My forte has been Okinawan style Karate-Do. I started with Shorei-Ryu, instructed by Renshi Greg Allison. I then began Shorin Ryu, instructed by Hanshi Shosin Oyakawa. The third style I study is Goju-Ryu, instructed by Sensei Juan Benavides. I have also been training traditional Okinawan style weapons { Bo-staff , Kama-on string, Naginata , Sai , Eiku , Utso Bo , Tonfa }.

When I started on this quest, I didnít intend to learn three styles of karate and seven weapons, it just sort of happened that way. As a young boy when I saw Bruce Lee movies, I was amazed at the fighting skill he possessed. I was equally amazed at how beautifully and effortlessly he executed his techniques. From that point on, I made a promise to myself to one day learn that discipline.

Well, it wasnít until I was an adult that I signed up for karate classes with a man who taught out of his house. During that time, I meet Sensei Allison through this class and thatís how I was introduced to Shorei-Ryu. For me, I love the challenge that karate provides. I find myself always seeking out new challenges. There is always something new to learn, and always something to practice and to perfect. Thatís why I continue to learn itís an endless and life long endeavor. I read self-help book called Five Important Things. The 5 key points are: continue to learn, appreciate people, set goals, attitude, and donít quit. I find these guidelines fall right in sync with what karate teaches. It helps me control myself, and most of all, it gives me honorable values to live my life by. I like many people who study karate, have found that its not just learning how to kick someone's behind, its a way to channel the warrior spirit that lives in me, down a disciplined road in life. For that I am eternally grateful to the masters who have gone before me.

 

 

 

 

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 KONDO NO SHOKAI- NOTES

 

My Start in Karate

Tina Lawhorn

1st Dan Shorei-Ryu

Deming, New Mexico

My brother, uncle and I started Shorei-ryu Karate on April 25, 1994. My age then was thirteen years. I have been a student of karate since then. My mom is the one who encouraged my brother and me to join. At first I didn't enjoy it, but after learning some, there was cause for enjoyment. I've met many interesting people through my participation in karate. I met one of my best friends at the dojo. During my second year, my sensei asked me where I wanted my life to be in ten years. One of my goals was to become a black belt holder and a sensei. After four years, I reached these goals. A classmate and I both received our black belts on January 1, 1998.

Karate has helped me to learn to defend myself and it has also helped me to become more outgoing. It has given me courage, confidence, higher self-esteem and discipline. In addition, it has helped me to be able to express myself accurately in public. Further, karate has helped me to remain in good physical condition through proper stretching methods and strenuous workouts.

As for tournaments, I placed third in weapons kata in my first attempt. In my third tournament I placed second in kumite. For me, kumite success has come though being patient and waiting for the opponents to come to me. I stress speed in counterattacks and study the other fighters during their matches.

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A LITTLE SOMETHING ABOUT ME

 

Yvonne Baca

1st Dan, Shorei-Ryu

Deming, New Mexico

My name is Yvonne Baca. I have been a Black Belt since October 26,1995. My style is Shorei Ryu, and my Sensei is Terry Sanders. I have been studying with him since December of 1989. Our dojo is in Deming, New Mexico.

When I was in high school, I would take a zero on a book report, so I wouldn't have to stand in front of the class and read it. I am glad to say all that has changed. Karate has really taught me alot about self-esteem. I was really shy before karate and had a problem talking to new people, much less crowds. Now I'm glad to say I can talk to a large group, and have taught different groups of women about self-defense. At first it would be hard trying to figure out what to say or teach them, then all of a sudden I've run out of time and still have alot of techniques I want to show them. I never thought I would be able to talk to a group of strangers. Well thatís a little something about me.

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Some Benefits of Studying Karate

 

Sandy Hernandez

Ik-kyu,Shorei-Ryu

Deming, New Mexico

The physical fitness that I gain from studying karate is most important. Being physically fit and healthy makes me feel good. Mental conditioning is a vital part of training in the martial arts. This mental training aids me in increased self-confidence. Self-discipline is also a benefit derived from my training, which allows me to control both my mind and body. Lastly, I appreciate the opportunities for socialization that our classes provide. Karate classes are instructive, fun and allow me to enjoy many new life experiences.

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 KONDO NO SHOKAI- NOTES

 

OYA BAKA

Robyn Rebecca Bates - Ni-Kyu, Isshin-ryu, Kondo no Shokai

Kelly Elizabeth Bates - Shich-Kyu, Isshin-ryu, Kondo no Shokai

Pittsburgh, PA

I have been slumming around the martial arts since the mid '60's. Can we say a very young Chuck Norris taking the Triple Crown? A scarcely known Chinese actor named Bruce Lee co-starring in the TV show The Green Hornet? The early Dave Enslow cartoons in Black Belt Magazine? To paraphrase Tim Allen: "I've got every color of belt ever made" (well...except one of them red-and-white or solid red jobbies....) -- and I probably hold a few world records for the longest time to get some of them.

It took almost seven years of Karate and Judo tournaments before I ever saw my first trophy (very small medallion on what appeared to be a used piece of Christmas ribbon) for third place in the Girl's Division of a regional Judo tournament. The hard truth that there were only three young women in my division at that tournament did not in any way detract from the sheer wonder of the moment. I remember asking if there hadn't been some mistake and if the award was not meant for some yet unnoticed competitor. You older practitioners of the martial arts will remember that this was still in the Dark Old Days when we female warrior wannabes were required to wear belts with a white stripe down the middle.

Perhaps in shedding the culturally suggested yellow-stripe from down our backs when we broke the gender barriers at our suburban dojo, we were required to assume a symbolic surrogate around our hips instead. However, as the years rolled by, I was no longer the only woman in the dojo. Although I recall that, only eight years ago, at a Long Island Kenpo dojo, no one would spar with me because I was the only woman and - somewhat out of character for the rest of the cultural milieu -- none of the male students felt right about trying to hit a woman. The fact that both my fists bear scar tissue from social encounters outside of the dojo did nothing to encourage or challenge them.

It was inevitable that my daughter, Kelly, would get an early exposure to the martial arts. By seven years of age, she could already break out of strong grip around the wrist. The warning to Mom is clear -- keep up that training, or else face the consequences when the teen years threaten!

Last month I enrolled my daughter Kelly in the kid's program at our dojo. For six weeks now I have watched her kick and punch through the class exercises with a seriousness not usual for her age (or for her, for that matter, outside of the dojo).

Within two weeks she had earned her first stripe (the short ones, around the end of the belt -- not that long one that used to go around the entire middle...) Two weeks after that, she participated in her first tournament -- in the board-breaking event of all things. Never mind that Mama had just finished a four-way breaking demo that left splinters all around the dojo, in the hair of the board-holders, and not a few in my fists. There was my little baby punching her fist through a pine-board with a treble soprano kiai...and half an hour later grinning wildly as she held up the trophy (a real trophy...not a medallion) for 2nd place.

The day later, I asked her what she thought of the tournament. She suspended her concentration from her latest computer game and mumbled, "OK." I persisted. "No, come on...how did you like it? Would you do another?"

This time she put forth the effort and I got a grin, "Yeah! It was cool! When's the next tournament?"

"Every day of your life," I thought, but spared her the chicken soup philosophy.

"In several months. Maybe you can do kata then," I replied.

"Sure! Maybe I'll get another trophy!"

"So," I continued, "What does karate mean to you so far?"

She actually took a moment to think out her answer. "That girls can fight as good as boys?"

"Okay...anything else?" I encouraged.

"Ummm....that we learn how not to fight?"

In little more than a month, she had figured out what had taken me years to learn. But, hey, I'm proud as heck! I have a future karate star in the family now!

[Oya Baka: "Parent crazy" A Japanese saying referring to one of those parents who believes that everything their kid does is wonderful. Not strictly an insult, rather an amused observation.]

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 KONDO NO SHOKAI- NOTES

 

OKINAWAN KARATE AND WHAT IT MEANS TO ME!

Alex [Alejandra] Beltran

San-kyu,Shorei-Ryu

Deming, New Mexico

In 1977 my family and I moved from an Air Force Base in Texas where everyone knew everyone else. There it was like family. When we arrived in Deming, New Mexico I didn't know anyone and it made me feel scared, sad, and lost, with no self esteem. Before we moved into our new home we drove around looking to get familiar with the town and also to find something to do. We drove by the karate dojo. I was curious and wanted to see what it was like. So my mom took me in to take a peek and I knew I liked it. Everybody there was very nice and friendly. They made me feel special and I knew that someone cared for me. I worked very hard to get where I am today and had fun. Karate has taught me discipline, respect for others and myself, and how to control what I feel inside. I have also learned to be a good example to others. I love what I do and don't think I will stop for a very long time. My parents are kind of worried though because they might not have bricks to landscape with when I learn how to break them.

My last words I have to say is that I have a family at home and also a family at the dojo, both of which I love very much and I thank them for all of the support that they have given me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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KNS/NOTES- Distribution

665 E.Century Blvd.

Los Angeles, California 90002