Bethea's Karate Studio

119 West Sycamore Street
Kokomo, IN 46901


 Bethea's Karate Studio

Sensei Speaks

Volume 1, Issue 1      January 2017


Sensei Speaks—Happy New Year

Here we are ready to embark upon a new year and desires to accomplish new and exciting goals. What are some of the goals that we would like to accomplish this year? I can imagine that the first thing that comes to mind is promotions. There are some who would like to go to Okinawa. Some of our most desired goals may not necessarily be karate related and there is nothing wrong with that as long as we are being progressive.

My goal is to try to grow the Dojo this year. Since 2008 our student base has been low. Now the time has come and I am confident we can grow our numbers in students. 2017 will be a great year for Bethea’s Karate Studio and all of its students. I encourage all of you to talk to your friends and share your karate with them.

As we reflect on the past year , I must say that we made some great strides. I am well pleased with those who competed. They held their on in all divisions and several will be receiving awards. My thrust will be to push them to even higher standards for themselves. I want all students to move forward and reach for something more than what they have had. I am also reaching for a higher goal.

That goal is for me to find more improved ways to teach my younger students. As I grow older it has become more apparent that kids speak and learn differently. I to have adjust.  



Something Old - Something New

Students are reminded that they must wear a white Gi on Monday. That Gi must have the Shorinkan patch on the left breast. Other patches that have been given out in the Dojo, may also be worn on the Gi as instructed by Sensei. They must be in place on the Gi as instructed.

There are specific guidelines in the Training Manual/Record on the wearing of the Karate-Do Gi. Some students may wear different color Gi.

Nakazato Sensei initially had the brown Gi as the Kobudo Gi. However, Shureido no longer makes the brown Gi and I have not seen any in the U.S. I have designated the black Gi as the Kobudo Gi for our Dojo.

Kobudo testing has begun and only a few have tested. This testing will not occur as frequently as the karate testing. Currently, there are weapons listed, in the Training Manual/Record, with each rank. This is what will be used to determine the rank and the test for upgrade. I know that there will be questions about this. Please don’t be afraid to ask questions if there is something that is not clear. Black Belts will wear a brown belt.



December Promotions

On December 3rd we held our annual Black Belt promotions and was very impressed with the results. There were 14 students total who upgraded from Shodan thru Godan . There were two students who tested in Kobudo with one for Nidan and one for Sandan.


Justin Fleetwood

Zane Green

Clark, Brayden

Solomon, Omari

Boruff, Kara

Yin, Yi


Anderson, Alex

Sylvester, Robert


Ling, Sharon

Lake Weeks


Anderson, Michael

Hendershot, Joe

Lesko, Robert

Ling, Zichao


Sylvester, Robert—Nidan

Ling, Sharon—Sandan

We are extremely proud of each individual who tested. The number was a true testament of those who are willing to train and take the next step. My special congratulations to all of these individuals. I encourage you to continue the journey because it further defines you. Don’t waste the steps that have been taken!



Take A Look At Me

I was just a small boy when I began taking karate. My parents would bring me to class and drop me off for an hour and then they would pick me up and take me home. They would always make sure that I would get my homework done for school.

Some days I thought that Karate was a lot of fun, especially when we do the kumite. We would go really hard it seemed but nobody ever got hurt. We didn’t have head gear so we had to control our punches and kicks to the head. Some of the students did not have any sparring gear but they had to spar just as everyone else did.

Sensei used to be really hard on us but we would never think of quitting or giving up. He used to say that it would pay off later in life and it has for me. When I interviewed for my job I was asked lots about my karate training including competition. I wondered how my karate could play a part in my job or getting a job. Now that I have found out I encourage students to be as aggressive as you can. Your success could be the result of your training in karate.



Tribute to Nakazato, Shugoro Sensei

We were saddened August 24th on the passing of Nakazato, Shugoro Sensei. It is ironic that he celebrated his 96th birthday o the 14th and passed 10 days later. In his passing we lost a true legend and if you never met him you missed an honor.

Over the years Sensei said things to me that I will never forget. The most important that he said is that I must always study. He an his wife talked with me for a long time the day before I left Okinawa ending my tour of duty over there. He placed heavy emphasis on the fact that I was never to change anything. That is, unless it was directed by him. It was his thrust to keep his karate pure as he had learned it from Chibana Sensei. Today we continue to tweak things as they are given by his son. These are not changes.

I know that I can never fill Sensei’s shoes but I will work hard to carry on his legend through teaching his karate as I learned it. I will say to my students, “never change anything.”



Remembering The Black Belts

Frank Ramirez,

George Swain,

Luther Triplett,

Nathan Shallenberger,

Dan Minor (Deceased),

Eugene Talbott, Tom Ward, Donnie Michael,

Jeanne Dunne,

Robert Kearney,

William Overstreet,

Marie Guyer,

Teresa Bowling—Rassega,

Derek Brading, Phil Notaro, Aaron Barnes,

Skip Heffernan,

Howard Lawson, Teng Lee,

Chad Wysong, Sandyjo Cole,

Vicky Wood, Shon Belcher,

Mark Pugh,

Cameron Notaro,

Robert Prescott,

Sam Colbert, Mike Garro, Andrew Wert,

Demetrius Williams,

Ted Sutton, Joseph Meiring,

Marlon Pugh, Steve Cowan

Matt Van Aken,

James Parker,

Jim Arsenault,

Tom Cleaver, Dennis Anglin,

Randy Krakora,

Greg Townsend

Emily Wuertemberger

Jim Arsenault

Joan & Gary Caldwell

All of these men and women trained very hard to achieve their Black Belts.



The Year Begins With Travel

We are off to visit Mrs. Sutton and her students in Texas as we get the year started. I will be leaving on Thursday January 5th and returning on Monday January 9th. This is their third year in operation and Mrs. Sutton is doing and she is doing an excellent job.

Following this we have a tournament in Marion on January 21st. This will be the Central Indiana Karate Championships Hosted by Kyoshi Curt Jones. Mr. Jones has been working hard to grow his tournament and I am anxious to see the progress.

The next weekend I will be traveling to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Mr. McElwee will be doing a Mini Camp. This will include students from Michigan and Canada. It is always exciting to visit eh other dojo and interact with their people. Last year there were several of the Canadians who came down to train.

Each month I am scheduled to visit other dojo until I am ready for the Okinawa trip. This year I am going to Okinawa on March 24th and returning on April 7th. This the same as in the past except for going in March.



Christmas Basket Brings Joy

I have to take some time to thank everyone of the students and parents for contributing to the Christmas Basket. You can not imagine the joy that the family must have experienced unless you have walked a mile in their shoes. We have done this for many years now and this has been one of the worse families that we have been able to service.

When you walk into a home and see no furniture it becomes obvious right away that there is a problem. Please understand that the mother is working but it is not enough when working for minimum wage. I can’t begin to imagine how she pays her rent, utilities, and buy groceries for four. There can be nothing left for anything else.

When we arrived with the basket, the families’ eyes lit up. Thanks to all of you there was something for each of them. They were really over-joyed with the gifts that were included. The food certainly was a welcome sight. God will bless all of you just as He has them


Karate History - Shorinkan Beginnings

Yasutsune “Ankoh” Itosu (1830 – 1915)

A student of Sokon Matsumura.

Introduced karate to Okinawan public schools in 1901-02.

Passed on Naihanchi and Kusanku kata and created the Pinan kata.

His students included Gichin Funakoshi, Chotoku Kyan, Chosin Chibana, Kentsu Yabu, Chomo Hanashiro, Anbun Yokuda, Kenwa Mabuni, Moden Yabiku, and Shinpan Gusukuma.

Choshin Chibana (1887 – 1969)

A student of Sokon Matsumura, Kentsu Yabu, Chotoku Kyan, and Yasutsune Itosu.

Assumed command upon Yabu’s retirement and in 1928 was first to name his style Shorin-ryu karate (Kobayashi-ryu).

Decorated by the emperor in 1967 as a great karate master.

Passed down the Kusanku-dai and gojushiho kata.

His students include Chozo Naka, Katsuya Miyahira, and Shugoro Nakazato.

Once you have studied the history, you will see the development of Shorin ryu and Shorinkan. I have visited the tombs of Itosu and Chibana Sensei while traveling to Okinawa. I currently have some charts that maybe interesting to some if not all of you.


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January 2017 Newsletter