Bethea's Karate Studio

119 West Sycamore Street
Kokomo, IN 46901


 Bethea's Karate Studio

Sensei Speaks

Volume 1, Issue 1      May 2018


Okinawa - A Wonderful Trip

In 2018 it is truly an amazing thing to have social media. Its availability to you any where in the world keeps family and friends at your finger tips day and night. You can share your adventures, your ups and downs as they occur. I know that I don’t have to tell you all of that but it is an opportunity  to make a point.

Since we have been here I can’t imagine that there is anyone who has not looked to see what we have done during our day. There is a 13 hour time differential between here and the eastern daylight time folks. Then there are the other time zones. In our group we have people from both EDT, CDT, MPT. It is amazing to me how fast everybody is posting information and how fast everybody is responding to it.

I spent a night and a day in Tokyo as planned and it was an interesting experience. I arrived on Okinawa Sunday night. There were a few others who were there and others would trickle in  over the next few days. I proceeded to set up my meeting with Sensei and do business as usual
After the meeting the trip had truly begun. Genka and Asato started right away to take me touring various sights including Sensei’s tomb. I learned lots about the tombs and their cost. I can’t begin to tell you how hospitable Genka and Asato were to me.




Kick-A-Thon Schedule

Over the years Bethea’s Karate Studio has endeavored to raise funds to support St. Jude Childrens’ Research Hospital. We have done this in the way of a joint fundraiser. Fortunately we have raised thousands of dollars over the years and we have been blessed as a result of it.

It has been that we have had a goal of two thousand kicks for each student. The monetary goal is two hundred dollars per student. The goal for the Dojo is $3000 this year and I am confident that we can do it.

Students are encouraged to contact family, friends and neighbors in efforts to meet their goals. I urge you to only contact people you know. We don’t want to jeopardize the safety of any student.  




We Must See It All!

This trip was exciting with Mr. Michael, Mr. Franz, Kyoshi Stolsmark, Kyoshi Stolsmark—Rocky, Ms. Kara Boruff, Kyoshi Williamson, Mr. Michael Routhier, Mr. Jim Dorman, Kyoshi. Theo Belle from Canada, Mr Jermaine Ward,and Mr, Trangh Nguyen.  There were things that we did together but we were independent of each other except training.

The first thing that everybody does is go to Shureido and place orders for all that we wanted. Rarely will they  have the orders ready before we leave. Shureido is a short walk from the hotel and the people in there are so warm, friendly, and anxious to serve you. Mr. Nakasone, the owner, is almost always there and he is a very friendly man.

Everywhere that you go you are always in a friendly atmosphere. I made my first stop at the bank and no one there speaks English. However, they are very accommodating. They do all that they can to make you comfortable and ready to do business.

On our walk back to the hotel we stopped at the Sogenji Temple which is usual.  There is so much to learn about Okinawa. We tend to get caught up in karate but there is so much more than that. It is all inter-connected in some kind of way. One can not exist without the other. I dare not leave out the fact that we could learn so much about customer service from the Okinawans. They are excellent at it.




Refining Yakusoko Kumite

Minoru Sensei has, since becoming the lead in Shorinkan, introduced several  new sets of Yakusoku Kumite. They are all very interesting. Some of them relate to movements in kata and that is how I have chosen to remember them.

The most recent set are for beginners. They are very simple and most should have no difficulty in learning them. The first sets introduced seemed difficult. I have learned them and I consider them to be very simple. There are several that you can easily relate to kata or moves that are in the first set of yakusoku.

It is rather interesting as to how the yakusoku are evolving in the Shorin ryu Shorinkan system. Nakazato Shugoro Sensei had the foresight to develop the initial set which will be a key part of his legacy. Minoru Sensei has developed the second set to usher in his reign as leader and head of Shorinkan.

As we have looked at the Yakusoku we have learned that we have, perhaps, overlooked some small things that are in them. That is the most important about study. Always look closely.




Student Of The Month

You will recall that we are looking at things differently when selecting the Student Of The Month. It is still a challenge for me but it is a task that must be completed.

Unfortunately, there are not many to choose from this month because the weather has been terrible.  However, I will make a selection based upon the attendance of the students who came in regularly.

Mr. Drew Fisher is my selection for S.O.M. He has been very aggressive towards hix training and readily adheres to the rules and procedures of Bethea’s Karate Studio. This young student tries very hard with all that he has been shown and never backs down. Mr. Fisher works very hard at becoming the best that he can be. I am looking forward to the day when he is ready to become a black belt. He is destined to be a great student and Black belt.

Congratulations Mr. Drew Fisher on your selection as Student Of The Month.    




Prepare For Graduation

It is each students responsibility to decide when they are to graduate. There was a time when we held graduations each month. During that time the enrollment was  huge and it was necessary to keep from falling behind. Regardless, times have changed and we go from there.

Now, there aren’t as many students in the school but we are still just as progressive. Have you familiarized yourself with your Training Manual/Record? If you have not, it is time you did that. The Manual/Record is your guide to successful training and progress in your karate. I must say that it requires that you do some reading. One thing I know is that many of you have no idea what that book is about.

The second half of the book is a guide to your growth in karate. As you progress from belt to belt you can keep up with the things that you have learned. As time passes you can go back and review your training. Certainly there will be times when you might question some of the things you did or didn’t do. Most important is being able to know where you are in your karate and what it will take for you to achieve your next goal in karate.

You will note that you will progress much faster if you set goals for yourself. Short term goals are always easiest to achieve. All of you are capable of being Black Belts and I would love see each of you as a Black Belt. Go for it and prove it to yourself.   




Amazing Sites

This trip was much different in visiting various sites around Okinawa. Hanshi Genka and Kyoshi Asato began right away to take us to visit sites I had never seen before. These sites were all relative to the history of Okinawa. They were not necessarily relative the karate history but to the regions as they were divided in the early history.

We began by going to some different scenic areas. One of the areas I have pictures of when I was there 50 years ago.

We went from there to a park where there was a museum.  For the short visit it was interesting.

From there we went to one of the other of the many parks located on Okinawa. If I am correct the name of the place where it was located was Maeda Jo. This was a very scenic area The last stop was “Fukushaen.” At this place we looked at some of the various plants and the beautiful butterflies that were pollinating. This place was a Chinese Park and it was very beautiful with a beach area located there. This area was visited by lots of Chinese tourists.




New Students

Many of you may not be aware but we have had several new students to enroll at Bethea’s Karate Studio. We welcome them and encourage each of you to take the opportunity to meet them as you pass in the Dojo. They have all shown a great interest in karate and are working hard.

These are the names of our new students: Mr. dante Wright, Mr. Andrew Watson, Mr. Ayden Shaffer, Mr. Trenton Smith, and Mr. Evan Clarkson. Some of these students have been with us long enough that they have promoted once already.

One of our Li’l Dragons who is a yellow belt has already moved to the advanced kids class because of his maturity and advancement. He is very progressive had no problems moving into the other class. This is Mr. Elias Duke and he is a very sharp little guy and he gets very serious about his karate.

Black Belt should be the goal of every student and it does require some work. I encourage you all.




Karate History - Sensei

Born December 20, 1943, the second of eight children. There were five girls and three boys. Mother, father, five girls and one boy have passed leaving two boys. One brother  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. During his 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. There are those who will never change because they have no desire for change. Sensei is hopeful that all will want to change. I have changed, even though late in life. It does not make up for anything that I did in the past but I have changed for the better. 




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