Practice Makes Perfect

Actually, I’m sending this short note and videos with the white belts in mind, although it certainly applies to all of us. Being able to perform kihon and kata well is the product of practice, practice, practice. Training with a focus on improvement is the best one can expect of oneself. Here’s a clip of a young Mahiro Takano (6 years old at the time) performing Heian Shodan (along with her brother): watch She’s good eh? As a youth, she won the kids JKA kata championship something like six times. The immediate thought is, she must have been doing this right after she climbed out of her crib, haha. She has trained consistently since she started as a four-year old. By contrast, see what Mahiro looked like, performing Heian Shodan when she was four: watch Cute yeah? Looks like any white belt kid just beginning to learn Heian Shodan, though I must say that she had a nice deep stance, even then. Today, Mahiro is about 14 years old and still practicing her katas. Here she is, practicing Kanku Dai recently: watch Now, you don’t have to spend all of your free time training in karate. And a young white [...]

The Energy of Youth and Power of Music

For Sensei Peter, Sensei Trisha and myself, one of our greatest joys in Karate-Do has been learning and practicing the various katas. Many folks practice kata just so they can pass the next promotion exam. For us, it’s always been practicing something we love. When we are performing a kata, we actually become immersed in it. We feel doubly blessed when we can share and teach kata with all of you. I hate to admit it, but another thing that I enjoy, is watching Kdramas and listening to some of the South Korean singers (So Hyang and Lee Hi are among my favorites). I know I’m getting pretty old, but I even enjoy the music videos of certain KPOP groups for their energy and catchy dance moves. Anyways, the reason I mention this, is that I recently came across a number of YouTube videos which feature a KPOP random dance game. Hundreds of teens will line up outside of a large rectangular space and the speakers will play about 20-30 seconds of random KPOP dance songs. The kids are all waiting to see if they can identify the song. As soon as they do, they go rushing into the dance [...]

Wakai-pedia

I first met Sensei Allen Wakai some dozen years ago when he visited our club as one of several long-time black belts Sensei Ed had brought along with him on a joint training session at HISkarate.  Although he had begun training many decades before, I recall that he insisted on wearing a white belt for the purpose of attending our class. Then, about a year later, a bunch of our brown and black belts attended a training seminar given by Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa, head of the SKIF world-wide.  Sensei Peter and I had a great time working out during the several-hours long session with many senior karateka from other dojos.  I remember mentally comparing my speed/power in technique to the younger black belts around me and feeling pretty good about myself, haha.  Big, big mistake!  In all of my life, I had never encountered any difficulties with any long training session.  Then the Kancho called a short break with 15 minutes to go…and as I walked back for some water, both of my 60 year-old legs suddenly surprised me by cramping up, haha.  As I stiffly limped back to the bleachers, I found Sensei Peter already there – his 60 [...]