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We are saddened at the news of the passing of Soke Sensei's mother at the age of 96.  I have fond memories of her and in particular my first visit to Japan.  I travelled to Japan after the world championships in Malaysia.  Somehow I managed to become sick with food poisoning and Soke's Mom took it upon herself to look after me.  Can you imagine how fun it must have been for this Japanese woman looking after a crazy Canadian who couldn't speak Japanese and her not knowing any English?  But, that's the way she was.  When I think of Japan I always think about her.  Please keep Soke Sensei, his mother, and his entire family in your thoughts and prayers.


 

The debate rages – should you make a New Year’s resolution or not?  Experts agree that the reason people fail at resolutions – and therefore why you might not want to make one – is because they are too vague.  Lose weight.  Be more active.  Be more positive.  It’s pretty hard to measure success if you don’t define what success is and, more importantly, if you don’t identify the steps you are going to take to get there.

As we start our next karate training session, now might be a good time to think about what you would like to achieve in the coming months.  Your goal doesn’t have to be competition or grading-driven.  There are lots of ways to progress that don’t include a new belt color.  For example maybe you want to make an effort to attend more regularly; practice a challenging technique outside of class; increase your flexibility or review the technique and etiquette guide now and then.  The important thing is to make your goal specific and achievable.  Another key is to allow yourself to focus on your goal – put aside the other skills you have mastered for the time being so that you can concentrate solely on your chosen technique.  If you need help deciding what to focus on, please contact me. 

Announcements

  • The Karate Canada National Championships will take place in Richmond, BC, January 30 to February 1.  Mariah Blunt and Joseph Workman have been selected to the Alberta provincial team and will compete among Canada’s best.  Good luck to both of them and best wishes for an excellent competition! 
  • In the next few weeks before Nationals, our Friday night classes will be open to athletes from several dojos who are preparing for the competition. Our final two classes in December were a great example of how beneficial this kind of training can be for all levels and abilities.  Don’t be shy about coming to the training and please make the other students and Senseis feel welcome. 

 

“It’s not who you are that holds you back.  It’s who you think you’re not.” Denis Waitley

 “Your best teacher is your last mistake.” Ralph Nader

Enjoy your training!

Sensei Gary Sabean

Head Instructor


Karate Etiquette

 

We recently welcomed Sensei Masayoshi Nishiuchi to our dojo for kumite training on December 12 and 19.  Nishiuchi Sensei introduced us to a range of new drills and practice techniques.  He also reinforced some key aspects of etiquette:

  • We sometimes forget that our Senseis – who are all fun and personable people – have earned a specific and respectful response from all class members.  Quick reactions to commands and thoughtful responses to questions are important to enhance learning for everyone.
  • When your Sensei gives instructions – either after a short review of concepts or on their own – respond with a sharp and loud Hai! Hai means yes – but it also has several other connotations: Yes I understand, Yes, I respect you, Yes, I will do as instructed.  It is also very important for the senior and older belts to provide a good example by responding Hai! when Sensei’s instructions are complete.  From a western perspective, it may seem unusual to shout a response to instructions, but that is what is expected in karate. 
  • When your Sensei provides instruction for a drill or technique, try to understand the objective of it and complete it as best you can.  No half-efforts.