Our Old Teacher’s Philosophy on Karate-Do and Life

Holy Smoke!  Two notes from me in a single week!  Actually, since you don’t have class this coming Saturday (Sept 24), I figured you might want to watch some very short videos of Kancho Kenneth Funakoshi teaching classes.  As you all know, he taught Sensei Peter, Wayne, and me for many years (even Sensei Trish began as a 6 year old white belt under Kancho). I’ve mentioned the strong, lasting influence he had on those of us fortunate enough to have trained directly under him, particularly as brown and black belts so many decades ago.  Beyond teaching technique and sharing his philosophy on Karate-Do, I know that he had a great influence on the personal teaching styles and methods that Sensei Peter, Wayne, and I have developed in our turn. Recently on YouTube, I came across a series of short videos (a couple of minutes each) from the FSKA website and thought that you might enjoy getting a glimpse into what his teaching was like.  When he was training us, he was in his late thirties; young and still strong, fast, and powerful. Most of us were in our twenties, and Special Training was focused on conditioning and sparring.  The [...]

Drawing (not drowning) from the Well of Karate-Do

We are very pleased with the attitude and progress being made by all of our members, especially the beginner white and blue belts who started over the past year – our “post-pandemic” generation of trainees.  The intent of HISKF, is to offer a weekly serving of karate-do that, over time, allows busy families in our community pick up a decent understanding of Shotokan Karate-Do, its values, traditions, techniques, and culture while improving their strength, flexibility and balance.  I liken it to drinking several glasses of water a day to keep hydrated and stay healthy.  This low-key regimen can be very beneficial when practiced over a period of years.  By contrast, when your senseis were young, I’d say our training regimen was more like “drinking water out of a firehose”, haha.  Typically, we’d be training at the University Karate Kai several times a week, and we might also be found at the Pearl City Dojo, the Main Dojo, and as brown/black belts, at the late-night Special Training Unit.  Sure, we were crazy for karate – but we were also on a compressed timetable and knew that we’d be leaving the university for our professional careers in just several years.  Sensei Wayne [...]

My First Exposure to Karate – Watching an Examination

When I think about it, the first time I ever visited a karate dojo, an examination was being conducted.  My friend, Dennis, was a black belt in the Karate Association of Hawaii and a member of its best dojo, the University Karate Kai.  Coincidentally, Dennis was also the reason that Sensei Wayne and Sensei Peter became interested in the art.  One day at the university, Dennis invited me to join him in watching a UHKK practice session.  As it turned out, “practice” was a special examination being given by Sensei Funakoshi for only two white belts.  Dennis told me that watching the exam was a good way to view karate techniques and see what might be expected of a trainee.  As I watched the two beginners being tested, I thought to myself, “Wow! These white belts look really good – in fact, they look really great!”  Not knowing any karate at the time, I couldn’t believe what was expected of a white belts taking their first promotion test…and it was a very long one..  It wasn’t until after the exam was over that Dennis revealed that both examinees were previously brown or black belts in other karate schools.  The Karate [...]