Bethea's Karate Studio

119 West Sycamore Street
Kokomo, IN 46901


 Bethea's Karate Studio

Sensei Speaks

Volume 1, Issue 1      December 2016


Sensei Speaks- 2015 Comes To An End

I don’t have any idea how most of you might be feeling about 2015 and what it held for you but I am very tankful. Yes, it seems as though the year went very fast and it was filled with some very good times for most of us. All of us grew in our karate and that was first and foremost when you think of why you have come to class everyday.

As your Sensei, my role was and is always to push you to achieve at the highest levels. All of you seem to have accepted that role and I have been excited to watch the growth. There is not one of you who did not take a step up from where you were at the beginning of the year or when you began taking the lessons. For me that is something extra special.

I realize that some of my ways are a bit antiquated but there are times when the old way is the best way. As we look at today’s societal changes we see things being done differently everyday. Sometimes it may make a difference in how it is received but it does not always mean that it is better. It is not often that I will change but there are times when I do. In the changes that I have made there have been some positive results.

As 2016 approaches I am hoping all of you will keep your current attitude and continue pushing for your goal. I must say thank you to all of you for choosing me to be your Sensei and leader in karate. God granted me this special blessing and I want to share with all of you. 


Safety For The Holidays

Start in your home and ensure that you are not overloading circuits with Christmas decorations. Extension cords can be used but be careful of the load that you put on them. If you have a fire place make sure that you have a screen that contains hot ashes.

Black Friday has passed but it is even more dangerous when shopping. Kids should remain close to parents and not stray off with kids you don’t know even if they are younger. Don’t carry large amounts of cash on you when shopping. Park in well lighted areas when out at night. Look underneath and inside your car before entering. This can be done from a distance. Use only ATMs that are well secured from others while using it.

Your mind is the greater weapon. You are not prepared to fight.



Students Excel In Tournament Competition

As we come to the end of the year and reflect upon our competitiveness, we see that it has been a great year. Our students who competed this year did very well. Following is a list of the names of students who competed in one or more tournaments during the year. Competitors were Evan Kearney, Collin Earl, Adam Kemper, Emma LaMons, Wyatt LaMons, Omari Solomon, and Derek Brading. These students won many awards during the year. Some earned State and National Championships while others were rated in the top ten for their respective divisions.

The PKC Internationals were in September and those who competed there did very well. There is not enough to be said for how well all of those competing in the event did. Unfortunately, as I write this I don’t recall their places in the tournament but  there were pictures in the newsletter that followed that event.

Most recently the LaMons Family traveled with me to Pekin, Il to compete in the Supreme Way. Challenge. As you can see  they did very well at that event. The two of them brought home a total of ten trophies. What is important is that I have been so emphatic about practice and going to other venues. They have been practice oriented and it shows when they go out to compete. I had several instructors comment to me about how well they performed. This could have been any of you and the results would be the same.


Stances Seen In Shorinkan

Do you know the stances that we use in our system? This is an interesting question and one that every student should be able to answer as he/she becomes a Black Belt.

In this article I will only list them all rather than trying to describe each of them. We  begin with Musubi Dachi-feet together, Chokuritsu Fudo Dachi-heels together, toes open, Hachi ji Dachi-feet spread toes pointing outward, Kiba Dachi-knees bent and toes pointing forward, Shiko Dachi-knees bent toes pointing outward, Naihanchi Dachi-knees bent and toes pointing inward, Zenkutsu Dachi-forward leaning with weight over front knee (60/40 weight distribution), Neko Ashi Dachi-perch like a cat(90%on back leg/10% on front leg). The following stances are a part of the system but they appear late in the Pinans. First is the Kake Dachi which comes in Pinan Yondan. Finally, there is the Nanami Dachi which looks a lot like the forward leaning stance. There is also the Ippon Ashi Dachi which is a one legged stance and you see it in Chinto kata. Each stance serves its purpose in your development.


Student Of The Month

The Student Of The Month has always been an interesting challenge for me. Of course, it is certainly one that I enjoy.

This month I have gone way out to select the one student who has done the utmost in filling the role of S.O.M. That student is Ms. Emma LaMons. She has been very aggressive in class and readily prepares herself. She has been doing well in school and has worked to  improve her attitude. There were times that we have had discussions  and she has really grown as a young girl and becoming a young lady. Ms. LaMons continues to grow in her karate and demonstrates this through her competitiveness. She is certainly becoming an example for other kids to follow, both boys and girls.

Our Dojo has some excellent students who are giving their very best. When this happens I look forward to seeing their success in all of life. In this karate walk, you can sometimes be blinded but all of a sudden there is a light at the of the tunnel.



The Graduates

We had several students who graduated during the last Kyu Test. I was impressed that all of the students did well in knowing their material. Following is a list of those who were promoted:

  • Ju-Kyu
  • Mr. Stodgell
  • Mr. Fahrmann
  • Mr. Santos
  • Mr. Romero
  • Hachi-Kyu
  • Ms. Sipes
  • Yon-Kyu
  • Mr. Earl
  • Ik-Kyu
  • Mr. Clark
  • Mr. Solomon

I was especially impressed with the manner in which Mr. Earl expressed his true interest in his training. For the period of time that he has been training he has gone far. Keep your eyes on him.

All of these students are assets to Bethea’s Karate Studio and Shorinkan.

I am proud to announce that Mr. Clark and Mr. Solomon will be entering their Black Belt training program. When students reach their Ik-Kyu I will normally give them their program and a tentative date for the black belt test. There is a written and physical test that must be completed. I applaud them for reaching this point in a long journey. This does not imply that the journey is over or near the end. It is only that you’ve persevered.


Our Thanksgiving

First, I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for your unselfish giving for the Thanksgiving Basket. I, honestly, don’t know if we could have had a better choice of family to service. God takes care of His people and that was truly His blessing  to that family. I am more than confident that He has a miracle in store for the family.

At this point, I know that all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’ll be the first to say that I had a tremendous Thsnksgiving.  I have been saying Thanks-Living because that is everyday. Some of you may have traveled and I pray that you have been safe in travel. Whatever you did I am anxious to see you again.

We will revisit the same family for Christmas. We will have sizes and will post them for you. We will be more than happy to




Tournament Team Uniforms

I am moving forward in identifying those students who have been competing.

This has been brought to mt attention on numerous occasions and we have not acted on it.

So, if you have been a competitor in at least five tournaments in 2014 you may wear the tournament team uniform. You ask, “what is the team uniform?” The team uniform will be a white gi with the school logo printed on the back.

You may wear it on a gi that you already have or you may purchase a new top. Bethea’s Karate Studio will provide the logo and put the transfer on your gi.

I am aware that the following students qualify for wear of the team uniform:

Emma LaMons, Wyatt LaMons, Omari Solomon, Jackie Wiles, Dillon Waggoner, and Derek Brading.

If you have competed in two  tournaments in 2014 and get three more before June  15, 2015 you will qualify for the team uniform.


Karate History- Black Belt Promotions

Black Belt promotions are history but the upcoming promotions will be different. They will be different because this will be the first time that Mr. Michaels’ DMKSSD and Bethea’s Karate Studio have combined to do our testing. We had hoped to also have Mr. Ward’s Dojo combine with us but it is unfortunate that the plan did not come together in a timely manner.

December  6, 2014 is a date for all to remember and the time will be 1:30pm. I am encouraging all of you to come and support all of those who will be testing for their black belts. The testing will be at our Dojo and we are inviting all family, friends, and anyone who might be interested in viewing the test. I am sure that those who are testing would be more than happy to have your support.

Students will be testing for both Karate and Kobudo. Currently, there are five individuals who will be testing for Shodan ; two testing for Nidan; and two for Yondan in Karate. At this point there are three individuals who are testing for Nidan in Kobudo.

For now, I will only list the names of the students from our Dojo who are testing and the rank.  Ms. Jackie Wiles (Shodan) has been training for four years. As she has trained she has also been a very strong competitor winning numerous state, national, and world championships. Ms. Sandyjo Cole (Yondan) has trained for sixteen years. She has trained with Hanshi Nakazato, Minoru and numerous master instructors from Okinawa and the U.S. Mr Loren Copp has been a student for over 30 years and also trained wide and varied. He operates a Dojo in St. Louis, Mo and a dedicated and devoted student.


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