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The Wrist of the Story – Kotegaeshi

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I’ve mentioned before that none of the HISKF sensei’s ever entered the dojo with the dream or goal of becoming a sensei one day – each was called to it by circumstances.  By happenstance, the 1970’s would find Sensei Peter heading up a dojo in Michigan, Sensei Wayne heading one up in Oregon, and me teaching a group in VAFB California.  This was several years before Sensei Trish was born, however, by the early 2000’s, she was teaching a group of college students in Pasadena, California. No one sought this out.  Sensei Wayne was assigned by the KAH to establish a dojo in Oregon.  Sensei Peter took over the reins of a dojo in Michigan when the original instructor PCS’d away.  Sensei Trish was asked by fellow students at Bible College to establish and lead a dojo.  I was similarly asked by a group of my airmen to teach them karate, but there is a backstory to this. My first real teaching experience was due to an inadvertent (and embarrassing) display of kotegaeshi.  Imagine a very cold Air Force office (on the second floor of an old barracks) where the “hot” water radiator is barely working and the mid-morning temperature in my office is [...]

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Rikki Tikki Tavi Reflexes

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Just a quick note about a quick little childhood hero of mine. I remember, as a child, reading the story of Rikki Tikki Tavi, the brave (and very fast) mongoose who defended an English family’s home (in Indian) against deadly cobra snakes. At the young age of four, I only knew mongooses to be rather large rat/weasel/squirrel – looking pests I would occasionally see running into the bushes or across the street. They looked rather furtive and furry like their distant cousins, the cats. In the story, little Rikki was supposed to be able to fight and win his battles with the poisonous and blindingly fast snakes. I thought that Rikki made for a cute and incongruent little hero, kind of like Disney’s Mickey Mouse as a heroic musketeer. The mongoose you might spy in your neighborhood was introduced from Jamaica to Hawaii in the 1880’s to control rodents in the sugar plantations. Anyways, when I was a little older, I found out that Rikki’s battles were based upon fact – mongooses and snakes are mortal enemies and such fights do happen, with the mongoose winning more often than not. The mongoose is somewhat immune to the cobra’s poisonous bite. [...]

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A Plethora of Lanterns…And Ryu’s

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Today’s title is based on an “enlightening” conversation I was having with my 8-year-old grandson. At dinner the other night, he was seated next to me and was “talking story” with his old Papa. In between chews of his dinner bun, he began talking about his favorite superheroes. By the time the sampler platter arrived, he had begun to focus on a particularly interesting superhero – the Red Lantern. I shared that as a kid, my favorite superhero happened to be the Green Lantern, but I had never heard of the Red Lantern. Upon discovering that we shared an interest in the powerful lanterns, protectors of the universe, I made a quick inquiry on my smartphone and located his Red Lantern…along with a whole bunch of other lanterns – where had these all come from? It was upsetting my understanding of the DC universe! The Green Lantern Corps was a large group of space law enforcement officers, each one responsible for a sector of the galaxy. They were like marshals or Jedi, patrolling assigned sectors of the galaxy. I liked the lanterns because their power (emanating from their rings that were recharged by a lantern) was only limited by their [...]