"So What Have You Learned?"
While talking to an overseas friend last month about the Wado newsletter, he asked me what I had learned from its distribution (I love people who think and talk philosophically). He said "it's been two years since you guys started this thing, what has jumped out at you?" After thinking about it for a moment, the obvious thing was how positive and nice virtually everyone has been, regardless of organizational ties. Yes, there have been a few that were negative and mean spirited. But by and large everyone has been positive. That's not to say everyone has agreed with everything in the newsletter, it's usually split equally between agree, disagree, and those who are indifferent.
When I mentioned this to him, he seemed surprised at my response. He asked me why I would find that interesting. It would seem to him that most people are polite. Then it occurred to me why I found the politeness and professionalism a surprise. I am actually embarrassed to say why.
I told him my instructor, Marlon Moore, and I came from a dysfunctional karate organization during the first 20 years of my martial arts life. We trained in an environment of negativity, poor organizational structure, and tons of drama. And even though I knew something didn't feel right at that time, I just thought maybe this is what martial arts is all about.
From the first day I joined karate I was a fanatic about reading martial art books on philosophy and history. I wrestled with the "disconnect" from what I was reading and what I was seeing in the organization. I came to believe it was the human condition of organizations.
It was an interesting time trying to figure out why and what was creating the negativity and drama within this group of people. Most of the time I blamed myself; maybe I'm misunderstanding what martial arts is all about; maybe I shouldn't care about what people are doing and how it is negatively affecting others; maybe I just don't fit into the world of martial art hierarchy and obedience. This battle within my mind was killing my soul.
There eventually came a time when Sensei Moore and I decided to go on a different path from that organization. Honestly, I was angry for many years. Eventually I learned to let that go and came to believe those people simply where on a different philosophical path than I. Who am I to judge anything anyway?
I understand there are problems in all organizations. Anytime a group gets together with a leader there is going to be conflict and disagreement. That is the nature of man. There are simply different opinions about everything. But this doesn't mean you have to be completely dysfunctional to the point of anger and abuse.
Believe it or not, that was one of the best experiences in my martial arts development. It showed me firsthand how "not" to handle things. I and my senior students don't demand respect from the juniors. If it's not there, we must be doing something wrong. Also, I respect that white belt as much as my most senior student. In addition, I want to keep my students training versus trying to run off the "weak" so the "tough" can slap each other on the back and say how strong they are. I passionately believe martial arts are for all students, regardless of their mental and physical capabilities. I could list more, but you get the point. My school is relatively drama free.
If you are in a good organization, please appreciate it. You may not understand or know how horrible it is to be in a dysfunctional organization. If you are in a bad organization with anger and drama, get out of it. It will kill your soul. There are just too many great, positive people out there that have their act together. As our mothers have told us, "hang with the positive people". Hmmm, our parents were actually right in most things, go figure.
So what have I learned? I have learned I carried wrong perceptions about groups and organizations from my earlier martial arts life and applied them to present day. I can't make that mistake again with this or other situations. I must always keep reevaluating where I have been, where I am, and where I am going. Those writings from those old philosophical masters were right about the human condition. I must keep trying to apply those tried and true philosophies.
In closing, thank you for your support and friendship. It makes this martial arts journey extremely rewarding, even though you have to experience a bloody nose from time to time.
Please write some of your thoughts down and send them in. One common feeling I get when I talk to people, is they are afraid others will misunderstand them, so they are reluctant to send in their comments. I want to say to them, don't worry. Some may disagree, but most are interested in hearing different views on various topics.
Welcome to the world of "Wado"
Dear Wado Enthusiast
This newsletter is to help keep Wado enthusiasts informed of activities in Wado Ryu, Wado Kai, Wado Kokusai, and independent Wado groups in the United States and abroad. Please send your Wado event or activity with a photo of the instructor and/or event organizer by the 20th of the preceding month to get your information in this newsletter. Please send your text in a Word document and pictures in small jpeg files, thank you.
we will publish editorials, articles, or any other important Wado information that will help the Wado enthusiast. Please send a photo of the author with the article.
Instructors, please forward to a Wado enthusiast, thank you.
Volunteer Wado Staff
View other Newsletters
One of the most difficult areas that this newsletter has to deal with is the use of instructor titles. We are very sensitive to this issue and do not want to offend or insult anyone. To simplify this daunting problem we will use the following guidelines with the use of instructor titles:
a. The correct title of the instructor(s) must be in the article or seminar information submitted by the author or event organizer.
b. All captions that we place under photos will be:
1. Japanese instructors: Last name followed by the title Sensei.
2. Non-Japanese instructors: The title Sensei followed by the last name of the instructor.
c. Any title and name that is placed in this newsletter by newsletter staff will use the title of Sensei.
We consider the title "Sensei" a very prestigious title
by Robert Hunt
At 66 my life found a new path...again.
I shouldn't be surprised, as it has veered off willy-nilly countless times through the years, like a half-crazed Gila monster chasing a talented rodent over hot terrain.
So what's different this time? Well, here's the story.
I started training karate in 1964 at the ripe young age of 18. For the past 48 years I have, at least, rubbed elbows with most of the noteworthy instructors of the modern, post World War II era and spent significant time with a few of them. (I have also, of course, rubbed elbows with the dredges - but that's another, possibly more interesting story.) During that quest, I squeezed a pile of karate information into my little pea-sized, eager brain. For five decades, I taught at colleges and high schools, ran dojos, did push-ups, traveled the globe in search of arcane knowledge and took a more or less active part in the martial arts culture of the latter half of the 20th century.
At what the world would refer to as "retirement" age, however, I had resigned myself to kick back, work out occasionally, slow down on the push-ups, pass as much information as possible on to a few black belt students a couple of days a week during the bit of lifetime left to me, and otherwise step away from group training, like a burned-out karate hermit.
Then Ray Hughes came knocking.
Some people are just a pain in the neck.
"I am putting together a team to compete in national and international level competition and I would like you and Robinto train the kata competitors..." says he.
"No," says I, "I'd rather be boiled in oil."
To read the rest of this article click HERE
Sensei Hunt holds Dan ranks in Wado Ryu, Shito Ryu and Shotokan.
He is the author of the book "The Art and the Way". Click the title to get information about this book. To order the book click HERE.
You can contact Sensei Hunt at email@example.com
Editor's note: When I asked Sensei Rodriquez for permission to publish his article, he requested I correct his English since this was his second language. I decided to leave it as written because I was afraid to alter the feeling this author was trying to convey.
Dear Mr. Hughes we may have met briefly in London 1989 for the Wado cup, I am not sure, but any way i want to congratulate you
for this page and the articles in it, very deep and instructive.
|Sensei Pedro Rodriques (R) and son Alejandro (L)|
I wish to comment on your article about commertial schools, you are right on the money on yor assestments, people theese days are not interested in
a deadly situation because they dont picture themselves in a life or death situation, modern american society simply does not contemplate confrontation for dayly survival, what yor state un your reassonind article is what you are suppose to do.
In Mr. Hunts article is clearly stated the truth, when he says that Funakoshi Sensei and Mabuni Sensei were school teachers, Itosu Sensei took the dangerous techniques from the syllabus in order to teach children( and teachers) that is why Motobu Sensei in his books sayd that karate in Japan was taking a different path from Okinawan karate.
Iam a student of Suzuki Sensei and he allways stated that karate in the hombu dojo changed strongly after the senior students came from war, also the mixture of Jujutsu in wado give us an advantage in bunkai, that by the way it was not easy to get from our masters, in the mayoruty of cases we had to ask and enquire persistently to get a ressonable answer.
In our country Venezuela violence is and death are a dayly issue, My city Caracas is une of the most violent in latin america, a record that we are not proud of, therefore trainig for some people( very few anyway) is serious and you must discard the useless, as you and Mr. hunt stated the time of training is very limited, so the PURPOSE of your training is relevant, if you train for fitness, attitude, spirit, technique or sport tournament varies deep in what you as a teacher must do.
So dont worry about the traditionalist( on their own words ) i am one, purpose chages with the needs of the students, most of those pseudo tradionalist have never been in a true life and death situation as Mr. Hunt stated.
Keep up the good work, tell Mr. Hunt my best regards, and say hello to my very good frien Mr Dough Jepperson. also tell him that un England for
the world championship u will SELL him a copy of the tapes fron the 2 trips to Japan that we were toguether
PARDON MY ENGLISH
The Rules For Being Human
Editor's note: I'm not sure where I got this. But this is similar, though written differently, from some of the writings of Master Ohtsuka.
When you were born, you didn't come with an owner's manual; these
guidelines make life work better.
1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it's the only thing you
are sure to keep for the rest of your life.
2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school
called "Life on Planet Earth". Every person or incident is the Universal Teacher.
3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of
experimentation. "Failures" are as much a part of the process as "success."
4. A lesson is repeated until learned. It is presented to you in various forms until
you learn it -- then you can go on to the next lesson.
5. If you don't learn easy lessons, they get harder. External problems are a
precise reflection of your internal state. When you clear inner obstructions,
your outside world changes. Pain is how the universe gets your attention.
6. You will know you've learned a lesson when your actions change. Wisdom
is practice. A little of something is better than a lot of nothing.
7. "There" is no better than "here". When your "there" becomes a "here" you
will simply obtain another "there" that again looks better than "here."
8. Others are only mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about
another unless it reflects something you love or hate in yourself.
9. Your life is up to you. Life provides the canvas; you do the painting. Take
charge of your life -- or someone else will.
10. You always get what you want. Your subconscious rightfully determines
what energies, experiences, and people you attract -- therefore, the only
foolproof way to know what you want is to see what you have. There are no
victims, only students.
11. There is no right or wrong, but there are consequences. Moralizing doesn't
help. Judgments only hold the patterns in place. Just do your best.
12. Your answers lie inside you. Children need guidance from others; as we
mature, we trust our hearts, where the Laws of Spirit are written. You know
more than you have heard or read or been told. All you need to do is to look,
listen, and trust.
13. You will forget all this.
14. You can remember any time you wish
Response from last month's editorial
I really liked Ray's view in this paper since I , for about 10 years, ran a Wado school with an enrollment between 400-500 active students. Yes, 400-500 active students. Some really look down on those numbers and what we had to do to keep them enrolled and motivated but it worked. Ten years later, I see children I taught that are graduating college from Harvard, Vanderbilt, M.I.T and others.
Some now are doctors , lawyers, and even one became Hannah Montana ! So, even though they didn't get a gold at the Nationals , they used Wado to improve themselves to achieve higher goals in life. I am a proud SENSEI.
Wado means "Way of Harmony." What is more harmonious than going to college, taking care of your parents, helping your community , treating your family with respect, all because you learned LIFE SKILLS in a Wado class? Too many instructors get hung up on THEIR WADO,or THEIR CURRENT way of doing the kata's , tsuke. geri's etc. When we are at the front of the classroom(dojo) we are teaching what Master Instructor David Deaton calls Black Belt Principles to the students. They consist of respect, obey your parents, self discipline , loyalty, honor , confidence and others we add time to time.
The biggest gift I have received lately was a young lady who just graduated from Vanderbilt University's Masters program with Honors. She was a child of a single parent that divorced her spouse because of abuse. She came to our dojo ( Mr Deaton's), asking to be put on a special program since they couldn't pay full tuition due to the divorce. Mr Deaton approved it and the teenager became a Black Belt years later. she told me had it not been for our dojo, she would had not built the confidence much needed to tackle a college program such as Vanderbilt.
Many times in the past, we ran off those who were week, shy, lack confidence and nerdy because we believed they did not deserve karate and it was only for the strong. I think now 35 years later it was a mistake because we could have turned more students into more confident Americans had we throw out our ego's and tried harder working with the C and D students who could have benefited from the leadership and ethics of our Wado Sensei's.
MARTIAL ARTS HUMOR
The Nature of Things
Two monks were washing their bowls in the river when they noticed a scorpion that was drowning. One monk immediately scooped it up and set it upon the bank. In the process he was stung. He went back to washing his bowl and again the scorpion fell in. The monk saved the scorpion and was again stung. The other monk asked him, "Friend, why do you continue to save the scorpion when you know it's nature is to sting?"
"Because," the monk replied, "to save it is my nature."
We all need a little Zen in our Lives. If you have a story, please send it in.
SUMMER CAMP 2012
20-27 July, Netherlands
A.J. van Dijk, Ishikawa Dojo Netherlands
|Sensei AJ van Dijk|
In memoriam of N. Ishikawa Sensei
I am in the UK almost every month to visit Sakagami sensei and Peter sensei so I invited them to join our Summer Camp this year. I also have the time now to join with some friends from the UK regularly, such as Dave Shephard. Peter Sensei kindly asked me to write a review on this years Summer Camp, that we hold annually.
To read the remainder of the article click HERE
Bespoke Karate figurines
Handmade in the U.K. by Karateka
THE FIGURE SHOWN IS CAST IN WHITE RESIN, IT IS AVAILABLE IN A WIDE RANGE OF FINISHES AND COLOURS, THE SIZE OF THE FIGURINE IS 6 ½ INCHES (165MM) LONG,BY 4
¾ HIGH (120 MM ), INDIVIDUALLY PRICED AT £25 plus P&P
figurines are available on Ebay U.K
wado specific figurine for use as a trophy ,award or as you wish,made in the U.K.by martial artists
For additional information contact Paul David Hammond
Annual Wado-Kai Black Belt Seminar and
Sensei Bob Nash, 7th Dan JKF Wado-Kai
Assisted by Sensei Des Bell, 6th Dan JKF Wado-Kai
August 31- September 2, 2012
4770 San Pablo Ave. Unit B (at 48th)
Emeryville, CA 94608
Hosted by Des Bell, JKF Wado-Kai 6th dan & Judy Harte, JKF Wado-Kai 5th dan.
Friday: 6 to 9 pm; Saturday: 1 to 5 pm, Dan tests to follow; Sunday: 10 am to 2:30 pm
Cost: $60 per session or $150 for all three sessions.
For More information: Des Bell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 925-876-1178:
Check us out: http://home.comcast.net/~eastbaywadokai/site
Hilton Garden Inn, San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge, 1800 Powell Street, Emeryville, CA 94608. pHONE (510) 285-1706 and reference "Annual Karate Instructors Seminar"
Wado Kai Masters Seminar &
JKF Dan Grading up to 5th Dan
Sensei Takagi 8th Dan
Sensei Shigeru 7th dan
September 15 and 16, 2012
For additional information click HERE
Sports Karate Gasshuku
Sept 28-30, 2012
For kumite training, US National elite Wado athlete Tom Scott will lead us. As many of you know, he just gave an outstanding performance at the 2012 Pan Am Championships, taking gold medals in both his kilo division as well as open weight. He captained the US Team in this effort. His accomplishments are literally too numerous to count, but notables include 6x USA Karate National Champion, and a 9x member of the US National Team. He is a Wado stylist and has won the Wado World Championships 3x.
For more specific information click HERE
2012 AJari Cup
Oakland Recreation Center, Ira Jennkin Center
Sunday, October 14, 2012.
All styles and disciplines are invited.
All Japanese and Okinawa Karatdo group in San Francisco and Northrn California.
4th Wado UK East Yorkshire (England) Open Championships
October 21st 2012
full details on the website
WIKF Wado Karate Seminars
Sensei Jon Wicks
WIKF World Chief Instructor
Addition Wado Information