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Council Meeting

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Earlier this year, we created the NHPC Karate Ministry Council, consisting of myself and four invited sempais (brown belts or higher) who are not only mature in wisdom (and age), but have consistently been with the ministry for several years, one of whom – Rodney – has been with the ministry since its inception. The council (sempais James, Doreen, Robert, Rodney and myself) discusses the health, direction and goals of the ministry informally, and in addition, conduct meetings every several months. Some highlights from the meeting: —Sempais James and Wes have agreed to give 1/2 hour seminars in the near future. James will talk about interesting correlations between aikido and karate-do (In addition to his shodan from NHPC, sempai owns a shodan from the JIKC and a sandan – 3rd degree black belt – in aikido). Wes will be talking about self-defense awareness (apart from NHPC, sempai studied karate at the KAH, Kajukembo, Okinawan Shorin-Ryu, was formerly a HPD officer and is currently a federal law enforcement officer). We also plan to invite Senseis Wayne and Peter to give unique seminars in the future. —At least once a month, we intend to do training that emphasizes maai…distance and focus training. [...]

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The Goal

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A normal thing is the believe that when one trains in karate, the end goal and focus is on oneself…”I want to be…stronger/faster/better-conditioned/able to defend myself/a color belt one day, a brown belt one day, a black belt one day…and on and on. These are certainly great objectives to strive for and I am amazed daily, by the progress everyone makes in their journey. I was no different from anyone else…I joined up, then trained daily (36 years ago) for the very same reasons. Guess what?…I did, indeed, get stronger/faster/better-conditioned, and earned my first black belt over thirty years ago. I don’t know how it happened, but along the way, my original focus (all of them, self-centered), began to be supplanted by a desire to better understand the history of this art, to penetrate the depth of knowledge that lies within the most basic technique, to appreciate the beauty and essence of centuries-old kata, and most important of all…to give back and share some of this knowledge with others. I have said many times, that whether we know it or not, we are continuously being prepared and equipped to serve others. The joy, fun, discipline and exercise you take for [...]

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Hot Summer

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Well, being in the midst of summer is certainly a blessing. The higher humidity and warm temperatures add to the efficiency of the time spent in training…resulting in more perspiration, more exercise, and basically, more bang for each moment spent in training. Also, for some reason, there seems to be less rubbish to sweep up at the beginning of training. Being able to train in an open environment gives each of us the opportunity to better appreciate the changing seasons of the year, albeit with Hawaiian subtleties. This is a part of what I’m so grateful for and give thanks for whenever we open in prayer. Today, we practiced certain alternative hand/fist techniques that are useful for specific applications and targets. The ippon ken fist, the tiger’s claw, the ridgehand, the mawashi-zuki, and the shuto-uchi are just some of the twenty-odd hand position/strike delivery options that are a part of the more exotic Shotokan pantheon of techniques. These are fun and interesting to learn and can be very effective in real-life application…however, as with everything else, these are only truly useful when supported by a strong foundation of basics. Strong legs, hip rotation and thrust, and coordination/timing…are key and gradually [...]