Bethea's Karate Studio

119 West Sycamore Street
Kokomo, IN 46901


 Bethea's Karate Studio

Sensei Speaks

Volume 1, Issue 1      March 2016


What's Happening

We have already attended the Cabin Fever event which is the first event of Region 1 each year. It was a successful event that was encouraging for competition this year. Region II's banquet is normally about twice the size of theirs. However, Hanshi Venson has done an excellent job at growing the region.

The weather has been very unseasonable thus far and winter is almost over.  Other areas of the country have suffered but we have had it rather well. It that the kids have only had a few delays and an early dismissal.

Region II begins its tournament season on March 5th. It will be recognizing the year's point champions and all others who have excelled during the year. Bethea's Karate Studio does have some students who will be recognized  during the banquet. Some of those to be recognized are: Mr. Kemper, Adam, Mr. Earl, Collin, Ms. LaMons, Emma; Mr. Lamons, Wyatt; and Mr. Brading, Derek. I will say again I am proud of all of the students who have gone out and competed.

Our camp is scheduled for May 20th, 21st and 22nd. I have just gotten confirmation from Okinawa that we will be able to have two Okinawans attend. At this point, I know that it is Hanshi Genka and Kyoshi Asato. The event will be held at the Wyndham West Hotel in Indianapolis.

For the next few months it will be very busy with tournaments and travel. I know that the kids will also have spring break during that time frame.



St. Jude Kick-A-Thon

The St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Kick-A-Thon is just around the corner. This has been an annual event for many years. This is a joint fundraiser for St Jude and KKI. Eighty percent of all monies raised/collected will go to St. Jude unless the donor objects. If that is the case 100% of that donors money will go to St. Jude. 

This project has been one that is near and dear to my heart. There are so many people to benefit from the research that St. Jude does. They share their research results with medical communities/facilities. They do all they can to accommodate patients and their families whether or not they are insured or have the means to cover medical costs.

The Kick-A-Thon will be scheduled in April.



2016 Trip to Okinawa

Well, I do get a little excited about my annual trip to Okinawa. First, I am always anxious to see Nakazato Sensei and that he is in good health. Sensei is 95 years of age and was very strong when I was there last year. At this point, I can't imagine that very much has changed since last year. He does have a device that amplifies your voice when  spoken into directly. However, it allows his son and others the opportunity to speak with him as often as needed. More importantly, he is blessed to be with us for as many years as he has.

It is always a good time when you begin seeing old friends  at the Dojo. The Okinawans are always eager to help us to enjoy our stay. They always offer a ride back to the hotel. Last year we had the occasion to visit Hanshi Kinjo's Dojo and had a great time. After the workout, he fed all of us and his students who attended the class.

Kyoshi Saijo took us out on his boat for some fishing, swimming, and tour of the Kerama islands. We spent quite some time out and it was very scenic and a most enjoyable time. He had gotten lunches for all of us before going out but we did not know it. That is the nature of these people  and they think and give freely from their heart. I am looking forward to the trip.



Self Defense Is For Real


The "Morality Code" says that karate is the military art of self defense to protect yourself and never to attack others on your own initiative. That is really a tall order for the average individual.

I say that it is a tall order because the majority of practitioners don't have the initiative nor the incentive to first learn the kata and then to study them. All junior students and many seniors fail to realize that kata is self defense. Any one kata is filled with volumes of self defense techniques. The kata is so unique that it is like a road map to ensure that you reach your destination. By this I mean that the kata directs your punches and kicks to target which is most effective for the situation at hand. The practitioner must not overlook any movements in the kata. As this is written it would seem simple enough. However, this is when training really begins. As in, I will train until a firm unshaking spirit has been developed.

Know yourself and know the enemy for in a thousand battles you will never be in peril.

Can you defend yourself?


Message To Our Youth


In the previous article we talked about "self defense." However, we know that there are circumstances /situations our kids can get into and there is seemingly no way out. Kids must learn to listen closely and pay attention to what is going on.

Most kids who are in karate are not prepared to deal with an adult -youth confrontation. Parents are generally trying to keep them aware but it is a fruitless endeavor.  This world is filled with predators and our youth must be aware.  So often that predator could be a family member or other trusted adult. Regardless, our youth must be made aware so that they react in a positive manner. That is, they should tell their parents immediately. Lately, there seems to be more accounts of teachers as predators. Boys and girls have to be careful and let parents know. Todays' children have to be alert to internet enticements and other approaches by predators. The internet and social media is great but very dangerous for our youths. Be Aware!




What's Going On


Let's just begin this by saying that Ms. Woodard was promoted to White Belt - Ju-Kyu. She has been in the beginner class for a couple of months and has done very well in learning basics. There are two others remaining in that class and I have one in the Li'l Dragon beginner class.

Bethea's Karate Studio has been doing the beginner class a couple of years for the kids seven and up. We have just begun the Li'l Dragon's at the beginning of February. This affords an opportunity to get beginners in without slowing the senior students down.

Our next goal is to enhance our kumite. In doing so I have decided that we will make periodic visits to Mr. Michael's Dojo. Our kumite classes are normally on Friday night and his are on Wednesday night. Of course we will compromise and alternate with each other. I understand that some may have friends at the other Dojo but that will just be an opportunity for you to workout together.

By now you all know that Mr. Earl and Mr. Brading did very well when PKC Region 2 took a team down to Dallas to compete in The Galvan Cup tournament. I would say that Mr. Earl took his karate to another level. Mr. Brading  performed excellent in weapons and kata. He ran for a Grand Championship in weapons.


Learning Japanese

I have been trying to give you some terminologies that introduces you to the Japanese language. I am not fluent but I am sure you can be better than I am. So, here we go

Days Of The Week

  • Sunday - nichi-yobi
  • Monday - getsu-yobi
  • Tuesday - ka-yobi
  • Wednesday - sui-yobi
  • Thursday - moku-yobi
  • Friday - kin-yobi
  • Saturday - do-yobi

Months Of The Year

  • January - ichi-gatsu
  • February - ni-gatsu
  • March - san-gatsu
  • April - shi-gatsu
  • May - go-gatsu
  • June - roku-gatsu
  • July - shichi-gatsu
  • August - hachi-gatsu
  • September - ku-gatsu
  • October - ju-gatsu
  • November - juichi-gatsu
  • December - juni-gatsu

Good to remember these.  

Student Of The Month

I am amazed at the students and how they have been attending class during this winter. I have never seen a winter as severe as this one even though they occur in many places. Regardless, I want to recognize one of the students as Student Of The Month. There are several students who have worked very hard and attended as many classes as there parents could get them here. My selection for  S.O.M. is Mr. Collin Earl. I have most impressed with his desire to learn and his courage to step up. Mr. Earl is very attentive in class and does extremely well in following instructions. He is normally in class early and well prepared to begin class when told to lineup. He has done well at learning new material whether it is weapons or empty hand. He is very easy to teach and it immediately becomes a part of his practice.

 Mr. Earl is a very good competitor. Congratulations on your selection as Student Of The Month. I am so proud of you.



Karate History - Your Sensei

I don't know why I feel that I should revisit my karate history again but I do. This is my 50th year in the martial arts and so many wonderful people have come in and out of my life creating some sincere and dear memories.

First, was Nakazato, Shugoro Sensei founder of Shorinkan Karate-Do. I won't labor the point but he will always be my Sensei, even after life. I met his son while training in the dojo. Minoru Sensei is nine years my junior but I remember many things in training with him. However, Frank Hargrove was my mentor in the dojo. He was a Black Belt when I began my training and I learned lots about sparring from him. Sensei would seemingly always have Jiro Shiroma begin teaching me new kata. Shiroma was Sensei's top student and he spoke excellent English. While training on Okinawa I would read about  Glenn Keeney, Parker Shelton, Robert Bowles, Phillip Koeppel, and Bob Yarnall, in Black Belt Magazine. Little did I know that I would ever get to Indiana; meet these men; and become their friend. I have competed against all of them except Bob Yarnall. I must mention men with whom I became friends with as I competed such as: Robert Trias, Jim Hawkes, Herb Johnson, James Kennedy, Rocky Rollins, Sugar Bear Parrish, Joe Lewis,  Paul Bridges (all deceased), Doug Perry, Ron Lindsey, Chuck Norris, Sho Kusugi, Bill Wallace, John Venson, Larry Davenport ,  Ron White, and Joe Corley. All have contributed to my growth in the martial arts. I am sure that there are some I have not listed but I thank God for all of them. It has been our purpose to help others to reach a higher level in life. I pray that we have done that. Thanks to all of my students.

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March 2016