Bethea's Karate Studio

119 West Sycamore Street
Kokomo, IN 46901


 Bethea's Karate Studio

Sensei Speaks

September 2019


Sensei Speaks - What A Month!

As always we did our thing in August and I kept us busy . It began with the Phil and Judy Wade Memorial tournament at the South Campus Gym. Unfortunately we only had two students competing in the tournament and they did very well.. It is surprising that we don’t have more students competing but our numbers are small and we are growing.

Our competing students right now are Derek Brading, Xavyn Pugh and Emma LaMons.  I am glad to say that they are real standouts at all of the tournaments in which they compete. Normally, That number would include Wyatt LaMons but he has busy with his band practice since he has been in high school.  Mr. LaMons is a very dedicated individual who gives himself to whatever it is that he is trying to do. He has been a shining example to all of those who are coming behind. He has demonstrated that he will be a black belt in life.

We also went to Sparta, Mi for Mr. Wilson’s Mini Camp which was conducted during mid-month. The camp went very well and had good attendance. The students from Canada came down and they are always ready to train. During the camp we took time out to do a Memorial  Tribute to Kyoshi Theo Belle and Renshi Jeff Allred who passed during the two weeks prior to the camp. We  all grieved the loss of them but we know that they are now in a better place. We will miss them and their contributions to the lives of all those they worked with in karate and life. God bless their families and friends.




New Mats On The Dojo Floor

At last we have gotten the new mats down on the floor and we have been using them for a while. It is so nice to see that students are not getting their uniforms discolored when sitting on the floor. I can imagine the relief that the parents are feeling when they wash those white Gi’s. I was also disappointed often seeing how the uniforms were looking as some of the kids left class. Well, I am thankful that we have the new mats and enjoying the training on them. Now we can enjoy the training.




Revamping The Promotion Standards

Well, we have been having graduations  every other month. That will be changing to every three months. Often I ask students if they know what is required for promotion and their answer is “no”.  Therefore students should begin to take advantage of using their Training Manual/Record. Every since my trip to Okinawa I have been comparing what I’m doing with my counterparts in Shorinkan. Do you use your Training Record/Training Manual to determine what the requirements are for that next promotion? If so, it is probable that you have been a bit overwhelmed with all that is currently listed for your next promotion.

 This is where we will be making the adjustment.  Since it is too costly to redo all of the Training Records/Manuals, you will begin to see the changes on the Evaluation Sheets. As we have done in the past, the Evaluation Sheet will be given to the student in advance of the test date. I have done that normally the week before testing. This will allow students time to get questions answered before the test date.

At Bethea’s Karate Studio students have always had to earn their rank. That will never change  Everyone who has earned a Black Belt is proud of it. That will remain a part of this school’s heritage. You must  pay attention to the information that has been given to you for your help.




Martial Disciplines

Martial discipline is an interesting subject but one that requires commitment from those who fall under it. Let us first look at our military service members and all that they go through to preserve our freedoms. They are so disciplined that they will give up their lives in order that American citizens can continuously enjoy the freedoms that we have. This is the ultimate in discipline and it is what each of us long for.

We say that karate is the military art of self defense to protect and preserve your life and never to attack others on your own initiative. If this is true we should be working hard to develop the same kind of discipline that military men and women have. I have watched many students grow over the years and the most successful of them were disciplined.

Sensei constantly imposes discipline on students in the Dojo. No, they don’t like it but they submit themselves to that authority. Pushing for discipline is key to every students growth in karate. That is, imposed discipline brings about self discipline. Martial discipline is initially imposed until the recruit becomes that self disciplined machine.




Student Of The Month

It is always that I am watching all of the students to make the S.O.M. selection. Once a student has been selected I am curious to his/her  thoughts about their selection. We are hoping that those who have received it are grateful and wear the patch with pride.

I have made a selection and it  is one in which I am proud to have made. This student has been giving his best in training and he tries very hard to always make the next step. My selection as Student Of  The Month is Mr. Ayden Miles. Mr. Miles has distinguished himself through class attendance and hard training. Normally taking a break at the beginning of summer, he did not. He is more attentive to instruction and very compliant to the rules and standards of Bethea’s Karate Studio. Mr. Miles’ determination will be an attribute to his success. Congratulations Mr. Ayden Miles on your selection.




2019 PKC International Karate Championships

I am truly proud of all of the students training a Bethea’s Karate Studio. One of the most exciting things for me is to watch students grow in their training. It is even more exciting if they become competitors and they begin to understand the ins and outs of competing.

We prepared to attend the 2019 PKC International Karate Championships. We were well represented with the following students as competitors: Emma LaMons,  Xavyn Pugh, and Derek Brading.  These students have been competing all year and I must say that they had a real challenge before them.

All of these students are rated among the top competitors in the country in their respective divisions/age groups. That is an accomplishment in itself. 

All of the previously mentioned students received awards at the banquet on Saturday evening.  All of them have done well and have been at this point before.  However, as previously said, I am truly proud of all of the students. As your Sensei, I only want to see you grow and become successful at your life’s passion as I have. Your life is always where you want it to be with God’ guidance.

Derek Brading celebrated his 27th year with me on Saturday. He began karate as a 7 year old.  He finished out the weekend by winning two Grand Championship titles. One in kata and one in weapons.  He delivered stellar performances to conquer both of those titles. Congratulations!




Becoming A Champion

How many of us really want to be a champion? Soon some of us will become involved in other sports. As we involve ourselves in these sports, we will note that the coaches are saying some of the same things that Sensei says. No, it will not be punching and kicking but it will be the same goal.

That goal will be the championship in whatever the sport may be. It is certain that all of us want to be a champion. Becoming a champion is not easy unless you want it.

Champions are passionate about their training and they go all out to prepare. They are disciplined to train on their weaknesses. No, they do not neglect their strengths but they give extra to developing weaknesses. Those who want to be champions will manage their time. This ensures that there are few, if any, distractions. You can not use school as an excuse because that is always a key element in becoming a champion.

We already have champions in the Dojo but I want more. Some of you have already watched them evolve.



Loss Of A Legend

On Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at approximately 10:00p.m. God in His time called Sensei Shugoro Nakazato home. Yes, all of us who were in anyway touched by him will certainly miss him. As soon as social media got this information the world went into mourning.

It was God who placed him in my life first to help me find myself and then to help others to find themselves. He was Sensei, teacher, leader, mentor and even a father. Even though there was a language barrier he always knew what to say to pick you up.. I needed that quite a bit when I first began my study.

Sensei was always on top of Shorinkan affairs and maintained that leadership role.

This article commemorates his birthday which was August 14th.




Karate History - Your 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. A brother still 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.

As a 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. 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 for the better.




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