Measuring the Immeasurable
Like many of you, traditional karate has completely changed my life. In addition to this, I have seen firsthand for decades the positive changes that traditional karate has had on its practitioners. It is this reason I have dedicated my life to expose traditional karate to as many kids as possible in the state of Arizona.
To accomplish this mission I have formed a couple of nonprofit organizations, one on the state level and the other at my dojo level. Both programs, through various ways and means, are to promote and pass on to our youth the life skills that are learned from traditional karate instruction with an emphasis to those kids in need.
To expose traditional karate to every kid in Arizona will require large sums of money. Now the process of fund raising begins.
To raise funds from philanthropists, three questions must be answered. First, is there a need? Second, does your program work to solve or help this need? And third, how do you track and measure it?
The first two questions are relatively easy. First, there is a desperate need for youth to develop the skills to manage life's problems and encounters. Second, martial art instruction is one of the best tools to teach life skills. But it is this third question "how to you measure the results?" that is the problem. How do you measure the life skill benefits that martial arts give its students?
If this question can be answered, then this could lead to many successful traditional nonprofit martial art projects and programs.
In next month's issue I will expand more into what exactly the need or problem is; how martial arts can help with this problem; and end with how we can measure the results.
Please think about this issue between now and next month. Then after reading next month's article, maybe you'll have some answers or input that can solve this dilemma. Your input is greatly needed.
Until next month....
Welcome to the world of "Wado"and other Martial Art Information
Dear Wado Enthusiast and other karate practitioners;
This newsletter is to help keep Wado enthusiasts and others 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 information that may be of interest to Wado or other karate enthusiast. Please send a photo of the author with the article.
Instructors, please forward to a Wado enthusiast or other karate practitioners, thank you.
Volunteer Wado Staff
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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
Wado Books & Information
Editor's note: There are many Wado practitioners in the world that do not have access to Wado books and literature for one reason or another. In this section we will publish key parts of Wado books and direct the reader to where they can be purchased. We will publish the author's introductions and philosophies but not the technical components of the book.
We are continuing with another writing from Master Otsuka's book Wado Ryu Karate, published by Masters Publication. This book can be purchased at Amazon.com.
The Purpose of Training for Martial Arts
by Master Otsuka
Every person thinks differently for themselves.
There are those who seek to strengthen their mind, those who seek to strengthen the body, those who seek a method of self-defense, those who require martial arts due to their occupation, those who have an interest in it leisurely, those who may have a combination of the above or just other reasons why.
It is inevitably true that each person has his own objectives for training in the martial arts. However, those who learn and those who instruct must act with the notion of learning the true essence of that martial art. For many, if they do not believe in the above to begin with, they will see that as time progresses, a feeling of "incompleteness" will become apparent and hold true. Eventually, this incomplete feeling begins to affect the mind as well. This is the point at which one's character becomes essential.
However, if one's objective is to improve his mind and character there must be numerous methods other than martial arts to do so. Similarly, if one's objective is for the body, there must be other methods as well. Correct mental training is extremely difficult. To surpass this discrepancy, training that allows one to compete by matching strength to strength, body to body with another person is very effective. However, the strictness of such a competitive form of training, unfortunately, is similar to a violent, effective medicine.
If a correct method is utilized in application, amazing benefits will result; however, if incorrect, grave damage may result as well. Those who seek to train their mind must keep in perspective of their goals; by not being led astray towards evil, while simultaneously requiring the strict, but righteous teaching form the instructor and friendship and support from his fellow students.
To learn any martial art, one must constantly bear in his mind both intelligence and wisdom. He must possess a strong, endurable mental strength as well as the physical ability in equal proportion, in order to not quit his training before it is complete. Therefore, the objective of martial arts training is to train and improve the "path" of the martial arts mentality of an individual.
Going All In
by Doug Jepperson
Last month I wrote an article about motivation, the newsletter received a number of compliments on the article, enough that I thought I should write a follow up and discuss what motivation means to practice. Then the Gods smiled on me and Jeff Fink sent me a link to an article he wrote about mediation or whatever "pool you jump into."
Jeff is a black belt from Chicago who now lives in Park City and trains with us each Monday and Wednesday. He also organizes and guides a meditation group that meets at our dojo Monday evenings.
Jeff began his article explaining he had previously written about his motivation around mediation. He has just returned from Karme Choling, the Shambhala meditation center in Barnett Varmont. The founder of Shambhala, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, was cremated there upon his death and lay in state in the shrine room where we practiced. So you can imagine how motivating a place like that would be.
Now the full text of the article, so if this is applicable to your training.
First, it seems like diving in, to whatever pool your working with, involves one big decision ("JUMP IN!"), immediately followed a thousand smaller decisions ("stay in.") Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche used to talk about what he called the BIG NO, cutting directly through habitual patterns (which, of course, is also a BIG YES to whatever comes next.) This is what I was reaching for with the notion of going "all in," - cutting through "holding back" or, as Acharya Pema Chodron puts it - renouncing "holding back." This is the cold wind, the sharp blade, the step into space.
To read the rest of this article click HERE.
Park City Karate
Uke no Go Gensoku
The Five Blocking Principles of Mabuni Kenwa
Sparring and competition currently laying claim to a generous portion of my limited capacity for attention these days, the thought worked its way through the sludge of my pea brain that a peek at ideas from one of the designers of modern karate might just help groove a couple new channels in my aged gray matter and free up a few avenues of enlightenment. (But don't get your hopes up.)
Mabuni Kenwa handed down the Shi-To Ryu style of karate, an encyclopedic amalgamation of Okinawan Shorin and Goju techniques, katas and fighting methods, sorted out in one of those quiet, far-from-danger dojos in Okinawa and later a farther-from-danger one in Osaka, Japan.
Seemingly not satisfied with the dozens of kata that he scraped together or invented for his system, Mabuni created his "
Uke no Go Gensoku
" or "Five Blocking Principles" to further organize offensive and defensive strategies and keep me alert. These exist to some extent in all styles, but Mabuni took the time to organize and explain them, apparently knowing that the brain capacity of people like me fills up quickly and we need all the help we can get.
The five techniques are:
- body shifting
- attack as defense
To read the rest of this article click
Sensei Hunt holds Dan ranks in Wado Ryu, Shito Ryu and Shotokan.
Robert Hunt 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor's note: I picked this up on a Wado WIKF Linked In conversation. I'm not sure where it originally came from but I had to put it in this newsletter. It's humorous, but has some validity.
Here is the first 30 of:
93 Warning Signs Your Dojo is a McDojo
1. You wear multicolored uniforms.
2. The dojo advertises as "Non-Contact Karate".
3. You wear a thousand badges/patches on your gi.
4. You are awarded black belt in 1-2 years.
5. Advancement to the next rank is an expense (and a hefty one at that), instead of anhonorful achievement.
6. Prospective students are required to become a member/subscribe before eventrying a lesson.
7. Your sensei is a "grandmaster" with 7th dan or above, yet is 30 years or younger.
8. There is a "special course" that'll get you black belt in 6 months or less.
9. (And yes, that course is super expensive.)
10. Your sensei won't spar/fight with you because he "doesn't want to hurt you".
11. Individual development and personal expression is virtually non-existant. Instead, a strong conformist mentality is encouraged, since this inflexible mindset is what makes it easy for a sensei to rule the dojo.
12. You are never taught bunkai (applications) to moves.
13. If you are taught bunkai, they never work - except when your sensei does them.
14. Instructors wear special 'instructor belts' rather than regular belts reflecting their true ranking.
15. There are many claims of being an "award winning dojo", with little or no solid evidence to back this up.
16. Your sensei studied marketing longer than Karate.
17. Instructors are required to have the dojo's decals on their car.
18. You never practise low kicks.
19. There is a sign that says "Guaranteed Black Belt".
20. There are 11th dan, 12th dan, 13th dan or even higher grades.
21. Your sensei has one of those grades.
22. ...and he "got it in Japan".
23. Your style was created by your sensei, yet it's still "traditional" - and it has several "special advantages" over all other styles. Oh, and most likely, the name of the style is absurdly long.
24. There are camouflage belts.
25. You have stripes on your belt that signify how much you have paid (rather than what rank you have)
26. Gradings are fifteen minutes long.
27. There are 7-year old black belts.
28. The dojo sign has the words 'traditional', 'commando', 'classical', 'effective', '100%', 'original', 'Okinawan', 'dragon', 'Japanese', 'secret' and 'elite' in the same sentence.
29. Between belt grades you get colored tabs on your belt to denote 'half' or 'quarter' ranks.
30. You can grade via mail order.
MARTIAL ARTS HUMOR
Empty Your Cup
A university professor went to visit a famous Zen master. While the master quietly served tea, the professor talked about Zen. The master poured the visitor's cup to the brim, and then kept pouring. The professor watched the overflowing cup until he could no longer restrain himself. "It's overfull! No more will go in!" the professor blurted. "You are like this cup," the master replied, "How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup."
We all need a little Zen in our Lives. If you have a story, please send it in.
New Wado Book Release
Karate Is Self-Defense
by Wado practitioner Mathew C. Matson
Karate is Self-Defense; Karate was developed as a civilian form of self-defense. It is more than just physical techniques, it is a way of life, a way of thinking about the safety of you and your loved ones. Karate develops a mindset that will help over come obstacles and achieve goals. The habits and mindset developed in karate apply to all aspects of life including practical application for real world situations. "Karate is Self-Defense" contains over 350 photographs displaying technique, a brief history of martial arts focusing on Japanese Karate, non-fighting aspects of self-protection,responsibilities when dealing with a, physical conflict and the aftermath as well as physical techniques and drills that can aid in training for physical defense. Soft cover and kindle versions available. http://www.amazon.com/Karate-Is-Self-Defense-Matthew-Matson/dp/1481034901/
WIKF Wado Karate Seminars
Sensei Jon Wicks
WIKF World Chief Instructor
For More Information click HERE
USA-NKF National Qualifier & Tennessee State Championships
Saturday, June 1, 2013
Volunteer State Community College
Pickel Field House
1480 Nashville Pike, Gallatin TN 37066
for more information
Tournament Flier click HERE
Divisions & Itinerary click HERE
Tournament Letter click HERE
International Wado Summer Karate Open Course 2013
Instructor - Yoshihiko Iwasaki Shihan
Venue; Gyomaendrod, Hungary
Date; Sunday 4th - Friday 9th August 2013
Events will be included as below
Traditional Wado Karata inc Kumite, Kata and Ohyo Waza (Application arts), Refree course, Kumite Competition and Dan grading,
Early morning training 6.30am includes Taichi (Ki exercise)
For additional information:
Additional Information and Application click HERE
Irish Karate Association
Irish Karate Association Wado-Ryu have great pleasure in inviting your club/students to Our International Open Karate Competition, on Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th of October 2013 in the Dolmen Hotel, Kilkenny Road, Carlow.
For more information click HERE
Never judge people- don't type them too quickly. But in a pinch, never first assume that a man is bad; first assume that he is good and that, at worst, he is in the grey area between bad and good.