Bethea's Karate Studio
Volume 1, Issue 1 November 2016
Sensei Speaks—What's Happening
We have had a very busy year and it has not come to an end yet. I visited the school in West Plaines, Missouri. Since I was there last, they have relocated and not very far from where they were. They are doing very well and growing. All of the students are attending classes regularly and participating in school activities. I was also told that they all have very good grade point averages. That was exciting because all of the students here are also carrying very good grade point averages. While there, Ms. Admire was presented her Shodan Black Belt belt from Okinawa. She was tested for her Shodan when she came to the PKC Region2 tournament in March. She is one of whom I am sure that she will stay with her karate throughout life. All of the students and their families were very hospitable and did all that they could to ensure that I was comfortable and enjoying myself.. Mr. Culpepper continues to do an excellent job in maintaining the program and the standards that he inherited from Mr. Mann three years ago.
The Warrior Legacy tournament in Auburn, In was an exciting event this year. There were quite a few new competitors attending the event. All seemed interested in attending future events. Thanks to Mr. Franz for a good event.
Finally, I will be headed to Arizona and California. I will be visiting Mr. Hughes’s Dojo in Chandler and Mr. Poage’s Dojo in Scottsdale. Two days in each dojo and on to the Cal South Camp. There, it will be great to fellowship with the Okinawans. I look forward to the time there.
It is that time of the year when we have to reset our clocks again. Certainly we have enjoyed the longer days and the activities that we put into them. Normally we have to go through an adjustment phase to get ourselves ready for the change. Primarily it is just our sleeping that gets disturbed.
Don’t forget to reset your clocks on Sunday, November 6th at 2:00 a.m. Most generally we are sleeping really good at that hour so make sure that you set your clocks Saturday night before you go to sleep.
I should be returning from my trip out west on Monday November 14th. By that time everybody should be well adjusted to the time change. Just remember to set your clocks this weekend.
Helping Someone For Thanksgiving
It has been a part of our tradition at Bethea’s Karate Studio to try helping some needy family at Thanksgiving and Christmas. We are very fortunate to be able to do the things that we do but there is always that chance that we could fall on hard times. There are those out there who have fallen but not doing anything to get themselves back up. While we want to help as many as we can we only want to exhaust our energies on those who are trying to help themselves.
We will have boxes out for the baskets and we are asking students to fill them. If you can just bring in one item from your food pantry it would be greatly appreciated. We asked the students to bring all of the nonperishables and the Dojo will buy all of the meats for the basket. Each year as we have done this we have allowed any student who wishes to accompany me. I think that it is good for them to see some of that experience.
Students are asked to give us the name of a family if you know one who is in need of assistance. We will again service the same family at Christmas time. Then we ask for toys foods and clothing that you may want to part with. What you don’t want may be a treasure to someone else. The boxes will be out real soon. Thanks!
What Does IT Take
This is an odd subject but very important throughout life. This, especially when it seems as if you have already given your best. The martial arts sometime gives a false sense of what it is about. Sometimes, as your Sensei, I am guilty of perpetuating that false sense whether we are in a kata class or a kumite class.
My reasoning is to push you to always be in pursuit of your goals. It makes no difference whether it is a short term or a long term goal.
Whatever the goal is we have, do what it takes to achieve that goal. We have to ensure that our minds and bodies are ready to take on the tasks that move us towards the goal. The goal does not have to be physical but you have to be physically fit to endure the stress. Yes, it does mean that you also have to be mentally fit. Doesn’t karate push you in the direction of mental and physical fitness? We have to stick to the task at hand and get it completed. That is to be disciplined. No goal is too great when we give ourselves to achieving it. We have to dedicate, devote, and sacrifice to get there. Goal achieved!
Student Of The Month
As usual this is one of my biggest challenges. However, I get an excellent chance to review all of the students and their overall behavior. I must say that all of you are growing immensely.
My selection for Student Of The Month is Mr. Wyatt LaMons. Mr. LaMons has distinguished himself through his dedicated and devoted efforts in class. He is constantly in class and readily prepares himself for training. Mr. LaMons listens very closely to all instructions and follows them to the letter. He is regularly in class and normally early to prepare. As a Brown belt he does very well in kumite compared to others of the same rank and higher. My special congratulations to Mr. LaMons and his selection as Student Of The Month. Continue as you have and you will be an excellent martial artist and an asset to the Black Belt rank. Mr. LaMons, you are also an example to those who are coming behind you. I am proud to have you as a student. Keep it up!
In our karate training, no matter what system, in this or other countries you are measured by the progress you make. To determine your progression most will use a belt system commonly described by kyu ranks. Significantly , I am referring to all of the ranks below black belt. Often we use the term Mudansha when referring to Kyu ranks.
Black Belts on the other hand are referred to as Dans or Yudansha. As they progress through the Dan ranking system they are elevated to different titles. Different systems may convey their titles at different levels. I won’t endeavor to go through those titles now but I would certainly explain if you approached me with a question on a title that you have heard. I think that would be fair rather than to put all of you out to guess what title different people are wearing and be wrong in approaching them.
Right now is a time to address some of our new students who have just joined the dojo.
First is Mr. Holden Riddle who has received his white belt; Mr, Ryland Richie who has also received his white belt, and the newest member to join Bethea’s Karate Studio is Mr. Reece Wright. All of these students have become members in the last two months and doing well.
Life Is Passing Us By!
All of you should know by now that Hanshi Judan Shugoro Nakazato, my Sensei made his eternal transition on September 23rd, 2016. It is so unfortunate that all of my students never had the opportunity to meet him or to even see him in person. Yes, he was a legend and I know that it was God who put our lives together and for me to stay for a lifetime. Hanshi was 96 years 0f age and when I saw him last, in April, he was still very strong. His mind was very sharp and his son consulted with him before making any decisions. It is that the world has lost a martial arts legend and all who are Shorinkan have lost a great teacher. I have always been excited to get to Okinawa and see what he would say that gave me something more to think about as time wears on. Even though there was a language barrier we could communicate easily.
I am going to miss Sensei but I will give his son the same allegiance that I maintained with him. May he rest in peace.
How Fit Are You?
One of the major concerns of Americans today is fitness/obesity. When we think in terms of fitness/obesity we have to concern ourselves with both mental and physical conditioning. Much of what we are comes straight from what we think. I am one who sincerely believes that I am what I think I am. No one else has to agree with you as long as you are firm in your belief and satisfied with where you are.
Now, I am only speaking in terms of condition. It has been a little over a year and I have, for the most part, not been eating after 7:00p.m. Often when I am away I have no choice but to eat after 7:00p.m. No Matter where I am I maintain a short exercise regimen that is completed in the mornings before I dress. While at home I will eat in the mornings and in the afternoon. I have managed to stay away from most fast foods. The result has been a little smaller waist and increased fitness. I can never be what I was but still fit.
I only want you to consider yourself and be the best that you can be. How fit are you?
Now is the time to begin preparing for Christmas. Each year Bethea’s Karate Studio does a Holiday Sale for the benefit of all who want to take advantage of it. This year is going to be one of the best yet and I am sure that some of you will want to jump right on it.
As a starter we are going to offer 25% off of all sales of $100 or more. For all sales of $75 to $99 there will be an offer of 15% off. For all sales of $50 to $74 there will be a 10% discount. The sale begins with the release of this newsletter and will last throughout December.
For those who are willing to take advantage of this sale please contact Sensei. You are encouraged to place your orders prior to December 15th to try and get ahead of the heavy Christmas shipping. As said the sale will run throughout the month of December. Catalogs are available and you may take one home with you if necessary. Don’t wait if you want something here before Christmas.
Karate History - Your Sensei
This not enough space to tell all of my history but it is a start. There have been several movies of late that have familiarized you with segregation in the south. They were: The Help, The Jackie Robinson Story (24), and The Butler. These were very good movies and presented some good ideas of what life was like during those years for Blacks living in a segregated society.
While I do say that they were good movies there could have been so much more. Of course, I have no idea of what kinds of tensions and feelings would have come out had there been any more than was in them. I can say that because I grew up during a good part of that era and experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly. I am aware that a number of the white actors and actresses had some difficulty playing their roles.
As you know I grew up in Wilmington, NC. As a kid, I endured the name calling, getting spit on and often times chased for no reasons at all. Naturally I went to segregated schools which were only a few blocks from each. In High school our football practice fields were separated only by a tall block fence. As white and black kids went to school we passed each other daily but I never remember any confrontations between the kids. Most frustrations were initiated by adults. I remember riding the back of the bus; using toilet marked “white and colored”; going to theatres and blacks had to sit in the balcony; only being served from the rear of some restaurants and the list goes on. Today, it is refreshing to look back and see how America has evolved. There is still growth to come and I believe that it will. Feel free to ask me questions.