Bethea's Karate Studio

119 West Sycamore Street
Kokomo, IN 46901


 Bethea's Karate Studio

Sensei Speaks

Volume 1, Issue 1      April 2016


Sensei Speaks - Here We Go!

Most of you know that I have talked about going to Okinawa and I will be leaving on April 2nd. It is always an exciting trip especially being able to see my Sensei. Each time I see Nakazato Sensei I realize how blessed we all are to have him still with us at age 95.  That is the work of an awesome God whose grace, mercies, and blessings avail so much to us.

I have returned from a trip to New Mexico and it was really a very good trip. I am president of the USAMA Hawkes International Society and each year we meet and induct new members into the society. Of course, there is always The USAMA Nationals going on during that weekend. The induction process is always interesting along with the inductee. Currently, Mr. Ward and Mr. Michael are PKC Elites and/or Hall of Fame Members. They have made me very proud  and I will be even happier to see others inducted into a Society/ Hall Of Fame.

Upon my return from Okinawa we will prepare for the Kick-A-Thon. Most of you have already received envelopes to be collecting your donations. Again we will do 2,000 kicks and each student is asked to collect $200. I will ensure that I get the kicks and the $200 also.

We have a karate tournament scheduled for the day after I return from Okinawa. That is another challenge because I would like to have all of the students there and ready to win. The tournament will be in Indianapolis.



St. Jude Children's Research Hospital's Kick-A-Thon

You know about the Kick-A-Thon and my feelings about it.  I can not over emphasize the importance of the event and what it means. First, for many years my sister lived with M.S. and I had always hoped that there would be a cure for it. Since she passed I am still in hopes that they will find a cure. St. Jude shares its research with the world medical community which is great for all of us. We have no idea what we may be stricken with and we would want a cure for it. There have been people in our community who have received treatment from St. Jude. It does not concern itself with whether or not there is insurance or any means for payment. This is a blessing for many people who are without health insurance or any means to pay.



Getting the Next Belt

All of you know that we have graduations every other month. What else do I need to know to get the next belt.? Do you use your Training Record/Training Manual to determine what the requirements are for that next promotion? You should be using the book for the purpose of guiding you from one rank to the next. It specifically informs you of what you need for promotion. The number of required stripes are also listed with what has to be done to acquire the stripes. There is really no simpler way to keep the student informed than what we do with the Record/Manual. In the military we referred to it as an On-The-Job Training record. So, you should take advantage of what you have with you on a daily basis to achieve your rank goals.

There is one other thing that we do to make testing a bit simpler. That is, the student is given the evaluation sheet that is used to review him/her during graduation. What more is there to do to help you prepare for graduation. The only thing that could be done is to take all honor, and respect for rank and toss it in the trash can. That is something that will never be done at Bethea?s Karate Studio.. Everyone who has earned a Black Belt is proud of it. That will remain a part of this school?s heritage forever. You must  pay attention to the tools that have been given to you for your help.



Martial Discipline 

Martial discipline is an interesting subject but one that requires commitment from those who fall under it. Let us first look at our military service members and all that they go through to preserve our freedoms. They are so disciplined that they will give up their lives in order that American citizens can continuously enjoy the freedoms that we have. This is the ultimate in discipline and it is what each of us long for.

We say that karate is the military art of self defense to protect and preserve your life and never to attack others on your own initiative. If this is true we should be working hard to develop the same kind of discipline that military men and women have. I have watched many students grow over the years and the most successful of them were disciplined.

Discipline is constantly imposed on students. No one likes it but we submit ourselves to that authority. Pushing for discipline is key to our growth as a society. That is, imposed discipline brings about self discipline. Martial discipline is initially imposed until the individual becomes that self disciplined machine.


Student Of The Month

Selecting a Student Of The Month is and has always been a challenge for me. I try to look at each of them as objectively as I can and if you watch class often enough your results would most likely be the same as mine. As you see there are only a few students who get that distinction. That is, you will note that they have several patches on their Gi.

However, being as objective as I can be I have made a selection for this month and I believe it is a good one, This month I have selected Garrette Fahrmann. Mr. Fahrmann has distinguished himself through his hard work in growing himself in understanding and practicing as he is instructed. He is diligent in trying to ensure that he understands exactly what was expressed and demonstrated. This student is in class on a regular basis and adheres to Dojo rules and procedures.  He will be an outstanding Black Belt if he continues his present path. I will always be watching.


Congratulations To Our Graduates

We had several students to upgrade during this period. I am well pleased at the students progress but we continue to push harder. It is a given that nothing is ever accomplished without some hard work and that is in all things. Our graduates are as follows:


  • Ms. Woodard
  • Mr. Gifford
  • Mr. Pugh


  • Mr. Fahrmann


  • Mr. Santos


  • Mr. Rockeymoore

Unfortunately, there were a couple of students who became sick early in the graduation and could not finish the process. They were doing well but they could not hang on for the duration. I must say that they gave their best effort in trying to stay. We have enter that period of the year when there are bugs that get the best of us.

More importantly, I look at all students as future Black Belts and some of you will, hopefully, take my place. Significantly, I will continue to push and encourage you to move to the next level. All are extremely capable and you should be willing to make that next step. It is for you to have! 


Becoming A Champion 

How many of us really want to be a champion? Soon some of us will become involved in other sports. As we involve ourselves in these sports, we will note that the coaches are saying some of the same things that Sensei says. No, it will not be punching and kicking but it will be the same goal.

That goal will be the championship in whatever the sport may be. It is certain that all of us want to be a champion. Becoming a champion is not easy unless you want it.

Champions are passionate about their training and they go all out to prepare. They are disciplined to train on their weaknesses. No, they do not neglect their strengths but they give extra to developing weaknesses. Those who want to be champions will manage their time. This ensures that there are few, if any, distractions. You can not use school as an excuse because that is always a key element in becoming a champion.

We already have champions in the Dojo but I want more. Most of you have already watched them evolve.


Japanese Terminologies

We have been sharing Japanese terminologies with you over the past few months and I wonder how many of you even look at them. However, we don?t want to stop now.

  • Kamae - posture
  • Dachi - stance
  • Kubi - neck
  • Te - hand
  • Onaka - stomach
  • Me - eyes
  • Te-kubi - wrist
  • Ken - fist
  • Seiken - forefist
  • Uraken - backfist

These are just a few terms that you will want to become familiar with and at times use them. Only one or two may ever become fluent in the language but this is a start.  Good luck and ask questions.



Karate History - Your Sensei

Born December 20, 1943, the second of eight children. There were five girls and three boys. Mother, father, and five girls and one boy have passed leaving two boys. A brother still lives in the hometown of Wilmington, NC where Sensei grew up. Sensei?s parents grew up in Dillon, SC and moved to Wilmington after they were married.

As a youth, Mr. Bethea was fascinated with Judo because of the stories he had heard from the men returning from WWII and Korea. His youthful aspirations were to be a preacher and later an airplane pilot. Those aspirations have basically guided him through his life in many ways. That is, he got closer to airplanes by enlisting in the US Air Force where he spent 20 years. His retirement from the USAF has allowed him to extend himself into the earlier youthful aspiration, the preacher. Today, we use the word ?minister? who is normally involved in ministry. Karate is a ministry which allows Sensei and many others to become involved in helping to change people?s lives. More often than not people who get into karate and listen to Sensei will change. All of us have a desire to be something better than we are and Sensei through karate gets us there. Over the years there have been many who have changed for the better. Yes, we have lost a few but that is how life is.  We don?t get upset over one loss, we just have to go on with what we have. I have not always been this person you now know. I have changed and I know that many of you will also.

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April 2016