We are now an international organization!
We are now an International Organization!
I moved to Puerto Peñasco for several reasons, but one reason was a paramount in my mind:
to work with orphans at the Esperanza Children’s home, a great place with top notch management and a great support base. I was encouraged to work with this place from an old karate friend of mine, Arnold Aguirre. Arnold and his corvette club have done amazing work to improve this place for many years. After one year in Peñasco, I’m still striving to work with the Orphanage. We have all seen amazing changes and enjoyment as a result of these karate programs.
My local church has a fantastic program for special needs children; I have approached my church pastor and the head of their special needs program about implementing a karate program for these young ones. The suggestion was to begin by volunteering with equine therapy. This entails leading the kids on horseback at a walk, down to the beach. I wish everyone could experience the joy these people feel and the courage they must have to get on a horse. They ride without a saddle, just a blanket. My experiences with this form of therapy, as well as swimming, has become something I love very much. Unfortunately, due to a myriad of circumstances, there has not been a way to yet start a karate program. As I have been on this journey, I have come to the conclusion that the “thing” I was missing was a location. I needed a place where the orphans could come for training, a place where I could teach the special needs population, and serve as an outreach to many impoverished children: a place to learn the great lessons and life skills karate teaches. In so many ways, this is overwhelming. There are so many children in need and so few resources; however, I found a spot. Beginning October 1st, I will offer Wado Karate Classes, twice a week.
I am excited about this and the many opportunities it offers me to improve lives through Wado Karate in my new community. I’m also excited to host anyone from our dojos by offering a dojo to train in when they visit Peñasco, and the opportunity for friendships between our countries and dojos.
Mexico is welcoming their newest Dojo, Peñasco Wado Karate.
Take a look at my website and see all that we are doing. www.RSVPMEX.com.
Ojii-san Batta (Grandpa Grasshopper)
It is my hope to share my thoughts, experiences and ideas in this blog. Blogging is new to me, and I don’t consider myself to be much of a writer; however, I do have thoughts, experiences and ideas. I will do my best to share them.
I have spent most of my adult life training and teaching Japanese martial arts. Now, I hope to communicate the many positives that have resulted from my life’s dedication to these arts.
I don’t know why, but I have always possessed a great passion for Japanese martial arts, architecture, customs and all that these entail. My passion continues still today. I mean, who has a dojo in their house? For me, this is a lifelong dream!
This is a list, in no particular order, of some of my up-coming topics:
- What is a founder?
- What is my role as founder?
- What do we add, change or modify, if anything, from our style and the way we were taught?
- How important is Japanese martial arts customs and manners?
- Bushido in today’s times
- Should we try to manage our emotions?
- If perception is everything, can we manage this thought?
- Grandpa Grasshopper
My overall goal and objective:
To use ancient Asian martial arts training of the body, mind and spirit, and apply it to learning today’s important life skills.
Topic 1: What is a founder?
“Founders begin with a thought or idea and then take an active interest in getting the enterprise off the ground, finding and investing resources to form the company and helping it succeed.
Founders are also entrepreneurs.”
Once a founder always a founder.
In 1975, I moved to Mesa Arizona. I then founded Arizona Wado Karate in Mesa, Arizona in 1976.
Sensei Ray was one of my first students. (Sensei Ray will be part of many of my up-coming blogs.)
I am very proud to say that this group of passionate, dedicated students, starting with Sensei Ray, have kept our dojos open continuously to this day and will continue onward. I believe we have helped thousands of people develop important life skills thus far and will continue to do so into the future. I am extremely proud that we have kept our goal, “the student comes first”, at the forefront of our decision making.
Throughout the years, we have had many highs and lows, but we have always survived and conquered challenges.
Topic 2: What is my role as founder?
Staying in my lane
Sensei Ray and I have spent many hours discussing this. Together we came up with this as a starting point:
- Advise leadership on:
- Courtesy and dojo manners
- Establishing a broader training plan for 3rd degree black belts and up
- Write a blog expressing my thoughts, ideas, and experiences. (In no particular order.)
Together we have spent so many hours discussing our curriculum. I am very pleased at the direction we are taking and the overall organization we are undertaking.
Topic 3: What do we add, change or modify, if anything, from our style and the way we were taught?
This topic will always be under review. What is good? Who am I to decide? This seems to be a moving target. My basic thought on this has always been. Never change technique and kata. Change the way we teach as we learn new things. Stretching, for example, has changed dramatically in my lifetime as science has learned about our bodies. Look at all the records being broken in all athletics due to better teachers through science. We need to always look to improve our teaching skills.
Topic 4: How Important is Japanese Martial Arts Courtesy and manners?
For me this is such an important role in our dojos. It is easy however, to forget and become lax in this area.
It’s through courtesy and manners we learn about respect of everyone and everything. We need so much more of this today. I don’t like calling people names. I feel name calling is another form of bullying. I have lived through both calling kids names that stuck. I feel so bad about it now. Luckily, I have had the opportunity to apologize to most of them. I have also been called names. Especially about being short. Very few things got me angrier than “short” nicknames.
We should all try harder to listen more and speak positively whenever we can.
Our words can make or break some one’s day.
Topic 5: Bushido in today’s times?
How do we use some old fighting philosophy and use it today? Most martial arts schools are not using them as they say, “it doesn’t apply to today’s society” I disagree. When you look at most of the samurai tenants in bushido, they all apply.
Topic 6: Should we try to manage our emotions?
I was always taught and have taught myself that we never show our emotions. Never show pain, happy, sad, upset, out of control etc. Nothing more than a blank stare. I still believe this.
Topic 7: If perception is everything, can we manage this thought?
I have often thought about our perception verses reality and is there a difference?
I think we can learn to use our minds to change our perception to reinforce a good life skill.
Topic 8: Grandpa Grasshopper – Ojii-san Batta?
You will have to know about the old TV program Kung-Fu, with David Carradine, to understand the grasshopper reference. I believe the main connotation was “a young grasshopper has so much more to learn from the old blind master. At this point in my life I have so much more to learn (grasshopper) but I’m old but caring like a grandpa. I would recommend everyone watch this old TV program, a little corny but mostly some very good philosophy.
I look forward to your thoughts and comments.
May all your tomorrows be better than today!
Ojii-san Batta. (Grandpa Grasshopper)
Your issues are in your tissues
You bump up against the body and feelings any time you are in a yoga class. And there are times in life when you want to be anywhere except where you are. It’s a natural part of the human experience. And yet, if you can learn to stay with discomfort, the next moment often yields something new and sweet—release, emotional relief, or transitional personal growth. What brings you to the yoga mat over and over is that wonderful feeling of completeness and peace when you stay present with whatever arises during practice, and also when you bring what is present in your daily life to the mat.
Journaling after yoga practice can help you to find clarity in the mire of feeling and emotions. It can feel like talking to a good friend — only that compassionate, wise person on the other side of the dialogue is you. A journaling practice can be done in a form of specific questions and answers. Do whatever works for you.
Combining yoga and journaling can help with self-understanding. Yin yoga, combined with journaling is beneficial for acknowledging, “digesting” and “sorting” emotions that arise for you on and off the yoga mat. This practice includes longer holds of postures (one to three minutes) because that allows space for emotions to bubble to the surface. Consider using the old-fashioned, manual art of putting pen to paper instead of typing your notes—studies show that the mere presence of computers or smartphones alters the way you think.