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Exam Thoughts

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Thoughts about the purpose of exams I wanted to make a few personal observations about exams and promotions, especially as these apply to HIS Karate-Do.  As you know, we try not to place any undue emphasis on exams/promotions or preparing for these.  In certain dojos, exams are a major source of income (exam fees are substantial and can run into hundreds of dollars for black belt testing for various organizations).  The exams and promotions can also be a method of keeping students enrolled, in a carrot-on-a-stick marketing strategy.  Some schools will actually add on extra color ranks and striping within the same color belt, which actually increases the number of steps (and exams) enroute to a black belt.  I’ve even heard of places where one must keep on showing up for training/teaching and paying dues in order to keep one’s black belt – sort of like paying to keep one’s license active.  I know of dojos that spend a large part of their training between exams…training solely for the next exam.  I know it’s hard to believe, but those are the extremes that exams and rank promotion can evolve into – taking on a life of their own. Obviously, HIS Karate-Do doesn’t [...]

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A Faded Photograph – A Fond Memory

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Recently, I was in one of our bedrooms that we use to store various items – paperwork, old videotapes, cassettes, photo albums, files, my guitar that I haven’t played for like, 10 years…well, you get the idea.  Anyways, I turned over a photo frame that was lying on a shelf and found it contained an old black and white (sepia-like) photo.  It took me a second to recognize when and where this was from.  It was from the early 1980’s and I was staring at a long-forgotten moment in time.  The blue belt boy executing the familiar opening move from Heian Nidan is my son, Matt.  Way back, some 35 years ago, he was the same age and rank as my grandson, performing the same kata that Noah does today. Talk about Deja Vu!  I recall that the pic was taken by a professional newspaper photographer at a community event where Matt and others from the KAH were demonstrating karate.  The pic made it into the local community paper and we were eventually able to get a copy of it. I am blessed in that all three of my grandchildren, my daughter, and my daughter-in-law, all currently train in our [...]

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Gichin Funakoshi

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Thought you might find interesting, this article of our Founder, Gichin Funakoshi.  Much of it is about how much effort it took to make it to training in the old days (er, nights) and some of his sacrifices during that era of change throughout the country.  Anyways, about three-quarters of the way down the article, there’s a recollection of a Mr. Togawa during the many typhoons (hurricanes) that occur in Okinawa.  I think you might find it hard to believe how Master Funakoshi rode out the storm. http://legacy.ymaa.com/articles/2014/12/gichin-funakoshi