Bethea's Karate Studio

119 West Sycamore Street
Kokomo, IN 46901


 Bethea's Karate Studio

Sensei Speaks

Volume 1, Issue 1      July 2018


Sensei Speaks - What's Up

This has been a very interesting and exciting year. The LaMons kids and Mr. Brading have been very competitive and done really well. I made my annual trip to Okinawa in April and it was a very good trip. We had our camp in May  and that was a great success. This was followed up by the Kobayashi Nationals in June and that went well.

On June 30th we have the Haynes-Apperson Battle of Independence. This is an event (normally occurring over the 4th of July weekend) which we do in conjunction with the city and it has been exciting in past years. There are no special prizes given as in the Kobayashi Nationals, just the trophies. We are going to need lots of help for the event just as we did for the Kobayashi Nationals. Let me thank all of you now for what you will do in support of the event.

Immediately after that I will be going to the USKA World Championships in Phoenix, Az to serve as Chief Referee. I am anticipating that this will be an exciting trip. I will be going to Florida from Arizona to teach at Kyoshi Williamson’s camp which will last for a week. My plans are to be back for Mr. Ables tournament on July 28th and leave on Monday for Okinawa.

Mr. Brading and Mr. Culpepper are competing in the 1st International Okinawan Tournament August 1st thru August 8th. That should prove to be very interesting. Good Luck to the two of them and I will be there for them.







Kobudo or weapons, as it is called by most, is an interesting and exciting study. The basic translation for kobudo is ancient warrior way. It teaches us much about the ingenuity of the Okinawans during times of struggle and oppression. Especially, this was a time when they were not allowed to have any kind of weapons. So, that creative genius  in them sparked the use of their everyday farm implements and boating/fishing gear to protect themselves. We have learned many of their kata from karate but there are still unknown techniques in kobudo. Some of which we will never know because those who know are dying fast. 






Kobayashi Nationals

First, I want to thank all of you for your support and assistance with the tournament.  I am especially proud of all of you who competed in the tournament. I realize that it is never easy when competing in a tournament or anything, for that matter. No matter how good you are, you may get nervous just before you are  ready to compete. There could be any number of things that will happen before you compete. However, it is my thrust to help you learn to overcome these obstacles.

We did have several students competing and did well in the tournament. Ms. Emma LaMons was fortunate enough to win a bicycle. Mr. Brading was the shining star in the cash payout Black Belt Kata Grand Champion.. Girls seem to really stand out this year.  I was quite impressed with Ms. LaMons’ weapons presentation with the Bo. She really did an excellent kata as I watched her compete for the Grand Champion. She has a rare talent but there is still a lot that she has to learn in nurturing that talent and ability.  The remaining bicycles went to students from outside our area. However, I must say that I was especially pleased to have students from our dojo to win a bicycle and cash. Now we will just have to sit back and see what the future holds for us. There will be much if we train to win but that requires a deep sense of motivation.







Karate From A Western View

Most of us know that karate came to America and spread throughout the world by military men and women. The military is the basis for all of the disciplines that we practice in the martial arts in general. The instructors call the class to attention prior to passing out instructions to ensure that everybody gets the message. He allows them to relax if the information is extensive and detailed. However, they must remain attentive to what is being said. This is precisely how our military functions. There is a rank structure which receives different levels of information based upon a need to know. In karate information is given according to one’s ability to handle that information. This is also how businesses operate.

Instructors/Senseis push the same disciplines that most parents emphasize with their kids. This ensures that a certain level of discipline is maintained throughout society. This does not exclude law enforcement. Law enforcement’s work load is cut by our actions.





Student Of The Month

Well, school is out and everybody is trying to get vacations in during this wonderful summer. I must say that students are trying to manage their time and attend karate class on a regular basis.

At any rate, I am still tasked with the responsibility of selecting a student of the month. I have done that and I am well pleased with my selection. That selection is Wyatt LaMons. Mr. LaMons has distinguished himself through his never give up attitude and a tenacity to learn his material. He is regularly in class and doing his best to get to the next level. Sometimes I forget how young he is and my push on him is hard. No matter what he continues to keep his mind on his goal.

My special congratulations to Mr. Wyatt LaMons on his selection as Student Of The Month. He has become a good and strong and a great black belt. Keep working hard and never give up.







2018 Warrior Gasshuku

The camp began, for us, in the morning on Friday at 9:00a.m. We got ourselves started with a good warm up. All of students were eager to get started and were very supportive.

Right away we began reviewing Shorinkan. By now everyone is aware that there are some adjustments to some minor things in kata. Nothing has  changed in the kata but the way some of the moves are done. For some of the students who have been around for a long time it is difficult to adapt to the changes. However, junior students or those who have not been working the kata very long are not having any problems. Kyoshi Stolsmark and I did a thorough review of all kata including Gorin. All of the Shorinkan Kyoshi attending the camp have been to Okinawa since the beginning of the year.

Kyoshi Stolsmark did sessions on the Matayoshi Kobudo System. Kyoshi is the first American to be so fortunate to inherit a pure Okinawan System and in this case Kobudo. He has many followers from across the United States and around the world. As time passes, there will be much more to be said about his system. He has done an excellent job with the task that has been placed on him. Those who will continue to train will hear much about Kyoshi Stolsmark in years to come. I have known him since he was about sixteen and his growth in martial arts is great.







Lil Dragons

This is a class where very little is said about them but they are very much a part of karate. We have an excellent group of Lil Dragons and they are trying to learn karate just as anyone else would. Their names are as follows: Mr. Duke and Mr. Clarkson. This group of kids is very unique in that they have excellent motor skills and their attention span is excellent. Mr. Clarkson is the newest member of the group and he has done well in adapting to the class. We have just had one student to move into the Beginner Kids class because he has advanced really well. That is Mr. Duke. I am amazed at how well he is grasping material.  This class is currently learning Kihon Kata along with other basic fundamentals of karate. We are not overly indulging in kumite at this time. First we want them to overcome the fear factor. It will really be a credit to karate to have these little ones grow  up and keep with their training. Part of this lies with me as their teacher and their leader. 






Training To Win!

Immediately when you see the title of this article your mind goes to tournaments. However, there are many who train in different venues and they have never considered competing. If I don’t compete, how can I win?

Let’s get real! All of us want to win at this game of life. That is, as kids in school we want to get the best grades and we are even more inspired when our parents are happy with us. That is a win. We want to go to college, maintain good grades, graduate and get a really good job. There are two more wins. Then we want to rise to the top of our chosen career fields. In the meantime, we have taken on a family and want to be a good successful spouse and parent. Failing in any of the areas mentioned is a loss. So, training to win is about developing discipline and ethics that move us to the highest levels of life. All of us must win at the game of life. So, learn to train now and grow healthy.





Karate History - Shugoro Nakazato - Sensei

One would wonder how much more could be said about this man. He has been featured in this Article numerous time but never have we been able to be totally inclusive and conclusive about him. I can only say that this is what you have when it is one like Hanshi Shugoro Nakazato Sensei.

Sensei was born August 14, 1921 on Okinawa. During his youth he began his study of karate at approximately age 14 (1935). His karate study began with Seiichi Iju with whom he trained for quite a few years.  It is interesting to note that this was a critical period in history. That is, many of the earlier masters had already begun passing away. This precisely what happened with Nakazato Sensei’s first teacher.

Nakazato Sensei studied kobudo form around 1936—1940 with Seru Tonaki. It was during this same period that he began his training with the premier master of the time, Chosin Chibana. He immediately began a right arm to Chibana Sensei and in 1950 he opened the Chibana Dai Ichi Dojo. In 1955 he was commissioned to open his Shorinryu Shorinkan Dojo which was headed by Chibana Sensei until his death. It is important to note that Nakazato Sensei maintained his kobudo training under Masami Chinen who was founder of the Yamane-Ryu system.

Nakazato Sensei was very active and close to Chibana Sensei. In 1967 Chibana Sensei promoted Nakazato to Ku-Dan. It is unfortunate that Chibana Sensei passed in 1969. Since that time Nakazato Sensei has maintained a close and very cohesive group.







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