Bethea's Karate Studio
Volume 1, Issue 1 September 2016
Sensei Speaks—What A Month!
August was as busy as any other month for all of us and everybody carried a full load. First of all, school began on the second and the kids were filled with excitement. They were off and running with new clothes and school supplies ready to begin learning with their new teachers.
However, most of the students were still in the Dojo trying to get ready for the Phil and Judy Wade Memorial tournament. Some of the kids are carrying a much bigger load in homework and studies. I have already noticed the impact on their training. Never the less, the students did well at the tournament and I was well pleased with their effort in the competition. Overall, the tournament went very well but we thought that it would have been a larger turnout. The firedragons have been very supportive to all PKC tournaments.
The Michigan Mini Camp hosted by Mr. Wilson and Mr. Merritt was lots of fun. It was unfortunate that we could not have more students attend the event.. The training was good and we had some Black Belt testing. Two went to the rank of Shodan and one for the rank of Nidan.
Finally I ended the month in Washington, DC with Kyoshi Welch’s Kobudo Gasshuku. Another exciting time in the month for me and the people attending the event. Kyoshi Williams, Kyoshi Creamer, and I worked very well together covering various concepts using the different weapons. As said, we had a most enjoyable time.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Kick-A-Thon
We did the Kick-A-Thon in April after I returned from Japan. Of course that is a time when we get very busy and things begin to get set aside. That is exactly what happened but we are finally back on track.
All of the funds have been sent in and we have received the prizes already. I must say that for the small number of people we had participating we did very well.. Mr. Solomon, Mr. Sylvester, and Sensei turned in $200 each. Ms. Woodard, Mr. Kearney, and Mr. Clark turned $100 or more. Thanks to all of you.
Revamping The Promotion Standards
Well, we have been having graduations every other month. However, we have come to a point where that needs to be changed. Wait a minute, that doesn’t need to be changed! What needs to be changed is the amount of material that a student is looking at in his Training Manual/Record. Every since my trip to Okinawa I have been comparing what I’m doing with my counterparts in Shorinkan. Do you use your Training Record/Training Manual to determine what the requirements are for that next promotion? If so, it is probable that you have been a bit overwhelmed with all that is currently listed for your next promotion.
This is where we will be making the adjustment. Since it is too costly to redo all of the Training Records/Manuals, you will begin to see the changes on the Evaluation Sheets. As we have done in the past, the Evaluation Sheet will be given to the student in advance of the test date. I have done that normally the week before testing. This will allow students time to get questions answered before the test date.
At Bethea’s Karate Studio students have always had to earn their rank. That will never change Everyone who has earned a Black Belt is proud of it. That will remain a part of this school’s heritage. You must pay attention to the information that has been given to you for your help.
Martial discipline is an interesting subject but one that requires commitment from those who fall under it. Let us first look at our military service members and all that they go through to preserve our freedoms. They are so disciplined that they will give up their lives in order that American citizens can continuously enjoy the freedoms that we have. This is the ultimate in discipline and it is what each of us long for.
We say that karate is the military art of self defense to protect and preserve your life and never to attack others on your own initiative. If this is true we should be working hard to develop the same kind of discipline that military men and women have. I have watched many students grow over the years and the most successful of them were disciplined.
Sensei constantly imposes discipline on students in the Dojo. No, they don’t like it but they submit themselves to that authority. Pushing for discipline is key to every students growth in karate. That is, imposed discipline brings about self discipline. Martial discipline is initially imposed until the recruit becomes that self disciplined machine.
Student Of The Month
It is always that I am watching all of the students to make the S.O.M. selection. Once a student has been selected I am curious to his/her thoughts about their selection. We are hoping that those who have received it are grateful and wear the patch with pride.
I have made a selection and it is one in which I am proud to have made. This student has been giving his best in training and he tries very hard to always make the next step. My selection as Student Of The Month is Mr. Evan Kearney. Mr. Kearney has distinguished himself through class attendance and hard training. He took a short break at the beginning of summer and came back with a new attitude. He is more attentive to instruction and very compliant to the rules and standards of Bethea’s Karate Studio. Mr. Keatney’s determination will be an attribute to his success. Congratulations Mr. Evan Kearney on your selection.
2016 PKC International Karate Championships
I am truly proud of all of the students training a Bethea’s Karate Studio. One of the most exciting things for me is to watch students grow in their training. It is even more exciting if they become competitors and they begin to understand the ins and outs of competing.
We are preparing to attend the 2016 PKC International Karate Championships. We will be well represented with the following students as competitors: Emma LaMons, Wyatt LaMons, Omari Solomon, Collin Earl, and Derek Brading. As I am completing the newsletter, I am confident that they will do well in their respective divisions. These students have been competing all year and I must say that they have a real challenge before them.
All of these students are rated among the top competitors in the country in their respective divisions/age groups. That is an accomplishment in itself.
All of the previously mentioned students will hopefully receive awards at the banquet on Saturday evening. All of them have done well and have been at this point before. However, as previously said, I am truly proud of all of the students. As your Sensei, I only want to see you grow and become successful at your life’s passion as I have. Your life is always where you want it to be with God’ guidance.
Becoming A Champion
How many of us really want to be a champion? Soon some of us will become involved in other sports. As we involve ourselves in these sports, we will note that the coaches are saying some of the same things that Sensei says. No, it will not be punching and kicking but it will be the same goal.
That goal will be the championship in whatever the sport may be. It is certain that all of us want to be a champion. Becoming a champion is not easy unless you want it.
Champions are passionate about their training and they go all out to prepare. They are disciplined to train on their weaknesses. No, they do not neglect their strengths but they give extra to developing weaknesses. Those who want to be champions will manage their time. This ensures that there are few, if any, distractions. You can not use school as an excuse because that is always a key element in becoming a champion.
We already have champions in the Dojo but I want more. Most of you have already watched them evolve.
Loss of A Legend
On Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at approximately 10:00p.m. God in His time called Sensei Shugoro Nakazato home. Yes, all of us who were in anyway touched by him will certainly miss him. As soon as social media got this information the world went into mourning.
It was God who placed him in my life first to help me find myself and then to help others to find themselves. He was Sensei, teacher, leader, mentor and even a father. Even though there was a language barrier he always knew what to say to pick you up.. I needed that quite a bit when I first began my study.
Sensei was always on top of Shorinkan affairs and maintained that leadership role
Karate History—Your Sensei
Born December 20, 1943, the second of eight children. There were five girls and three boys. Mother, father, five girls and one boy have passed leaving two boys. A brother still lives in the hometown of Wilmington, NC where Sensei grew up. Sensei’s parents grew up in Dillon, SC and moved to Wilmington after they were married.
As a youth, Mr. Bethea was fascinated with Judo because of the stories he had heard from the men returning from WWII and Korea. His youthful aspirations were to be a preacher and later an airplane pilot. Those aspirations have basically guided him through his life in many ways. That is, he got closer to airplanes by enlisting in the US Air Force where he spent 20 years. His retirement from the USAF has allowed him to extend himself into the earlier youthful aspiration, the preacher. Today, we use the word “minister” who is normally involved in ministry. Karate is a ministry which allows Sensei and many others to become involved in helping to change people’s lives. More often than not people who get into karate and listen to Sensei will change. All of us have a desire to be something better than we are and Sensei through karate gets us there. There have been many who have changed for the better. Yes, we have lost a few but that is how life is. We don’t get upset over one loss, we just have to go on with what we have. There are those who will never change because they have no desire for change. Sensei is hopeful that all will want to change for the better.