Open Letter to Dojo Members

Dear Dojo Members and Families,

I am writing this open letter to explain some recent events in my life and to ask for your cooperation and understanding.  I typically keep my personal life to myself, but I have had several absences from the dojo over the past few months due to some circumstances beyond my control but which directly affect me and my family.  I feel that I owe it to all of you, my valued members, to explain what is happening.

In November 2011, my brother-in-law John was found to have a brain tumor.  John was my only sister Nicola’s husband.  On January 3, 2012, doctors performed brain surgery on John and removed the brain tumor.  It was found to be malignant, and he was diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer.  He began a series of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments which unfortunately were not successful.  By June of last year the tumor had grown back and was twice the size.  He was told to get his affairs in order.

I went to visit John and my sister Nicola in October to say my “goodbyes” during his last weeks.  While I was there, the two of them were thrilled to learn that Nicola was pregnant through an in-vitro fertilization procedure.  A couple of weeks later we were told that Nicola was expecting twins.  She and John were both overjoyed.  It was a sign of hope during a time of despair.  On November 4, 2012, John Mansfield lost his valiant battle against brain cancer.  We were all of course devastated but knew it was coming.  He was 35 years old.

As if that was not enough, the next part of the story belongs to the type of stuff that you couldn’t make up if you tried.  For the past year Nicola has been having some trouble with her hearing in her left ear and then later some facial numbness.  Several tests revealed nothing…until this January when an MRI scan unbelievably found that she had a brain tumor of her own.  The good news is that hers is benign; it is called an acoustic neuroma.  Her tumor was just over an inch in size – a large tumor.

It was hoped that her surgery could be postponed until after the birth of the twins in early June.  That was not to be as last weekend, the weekend of February 9 and 10, she was having significant headaches, dizziness and pain in her ear.  The doctor ordered her into hospital immediately.  On Thursday, February 14, 2013 (yes, Valentine’s Day) my sister Nicola underwent a seven hour surgery to remove the tumor.

The doctor was able to remove about 95% of the tumor, and the babies were kept safe throughout the surgery.  Nicola is doing as well as can be expected.  She is suffering from facial palsy on one side of her face and is having trouble closing one of her eyes.  She is also experiencing some headaches that should ease in the coming weeks.

We both lost our mother to Multiple Myeloma just over ten years ago after a seven year battle that defied all odds, and our father is in a home for late stage Alzheimer’s.  This makes me her only blood relative with any ability to help.  She, of course, has many good friends who are extremely supportive, but it is once again necessary for me to make the trip to England, as she will be released from hospital and will need 24/7 care for the first week of being home.

I leave for England this Thursday February 21st and will come back on Sunday March 3rd.  I am asking for everyone’s support and understanding over the coming weeks, as several lessons will be taught by Sensei Andrew, Sensei Brandon, my wife Erin, and other assistant instructors.  Testing is coming up soon in March, so the instructors and assistants will cover testing material in class.  I have postponed testing from the first week of March until the second week to give students one more week to prepare.  Additionally, students need to take an initiative of their own to prepare adequately.  It is always hard for me to miss class, as I take my position as Chief Instructor very seriously, but at the same time I am very thankful to have talented and competent assistant instructors to help me when needed.

Our hope as a family is to be able to all go to England this summer once the babies have been born, as Nicola will be requiring radiation at that time to complete the final stage of her brain tumor treatment.  Obviously, with the challenges of her medical condition, and having to care for two newborns as a single mother, she is going to need our support both physically and emotionally. Naturally, it is very expensive to fly in the month of June, when the babies are due, presenting a financial challenge of its own.

In the meantime, I ask for your understanding during this difficult time.  I also ask for your continued support for our dojo and for what we are trying to achieve with all of our students.

Thank you in advance.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Paul Walker

Chief Instructor

Seishin Shotokan Karate

Awards Presentation will be held on Saturday January 26, 2013

Our annual awards presentation and New Year’s Training will be held on Saturday January 26, 2013.  During the event training sessions for Shotokan students and Tiny Tigers will be offered followed by a pot luck lunch and the awards presentation for the Most Improved students of 2012.

Please join us for this fun event.  For full details please see the flyer below:

www.seishinshotokan.com/index_files/2012awards.pdf

 

 

Holiday Schedule – December 2012/January 2013

Dear Members,

Here is our holiday schedule for the coming weeks:

Saturday December 22: Last day of classes for 2012

Tuesday December 25 – Wednesday January 2: Closed for the holidays

Thursday January 3: First day of classes for 2013

Saturday January 19: Special New Year’s Training and Annual Awards Presentation (exact schedule TBA)

Happy Holidays to all of you!  Thank you for all of your efforts and support throughout 2012.  Be safe and come back stronger than ever in 2013!

Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Paul Walker, Chief Instructor, Seishin Shotokan Karate

 

Final Brown Belt Curriculum

First Kyu to (Shodan) First Dan (final Brown to first degree Black Belt)

 

Kihon: Basics

  • From zenkutsu-dachi (front stance), gedan-barai (downward block)
  1. Sanbon zuki—Oizuki (three punches—head, body, body)
  2. Sanbon zuki—Gyakuzuki (three punches—body, head, body)
  3. Age-uke, gedan-barai, gyakuzuki (rising block, downward block, reverse punch)
  4. Soto-uke, enpi-uchi, uraken, gyakuzuki (outer block, elbow strike, back fist, reverse punch)
  5. Uchi-uke, kizami-zuki, maegeri, gyakuzuki (inner block, front snap punch, front kick, reverse punch)
  • From kokutsu-dachi (back stance)

6.   Shuto-uke, kizami-geri, zenkutsu-dachi nukite (knife hand block, front snap kick, into front stance spear hand strike)

  • From zenkutsu-dachi (front stance)

7.   Maegeri, mawashigeri, gyakuzuki, gedan-barai (front kick, roundhouse kick, reverse punch, downward block)

8.   Maegeri, yokogeri-kekomi, gyakuzuki, gedan-barai (front kick, side thrust kick, reverse punch, downward block)

  • From kiba-dachi (horse-riding stance)

9.   Yokogeri-keage, yokogeri-kekomi (side snap kick, side thrust kick—different legs)

All basic movements are done to count on examiner’s command.  Be prepared to demonstrate all of the above blocking combinations moving forwards and backwards.

Kime-Waza: Point focus technique—Gyakuzuki (reverse punch)

Kata: Forms

  • Tokui kata (favorite kata—choose one of the “optional” sentei kata)
  • Shitei kata (compulsory kata—examiner chooses one kata from the basic Shotokan kata)

Compulsory kata are Heian Shodan, Heian Nidan, Heian Sandan, Heian Yondan, Heian Godan and Tekki Shodan. Optional kata are Bassai-dai, Kanku-dai, Jion, Enpi, and Jitte.

Kumite: Sparring

  • Jiyu ippon-kumite (free one-step sparring)

1. Jodan (head level) (Choose one out of four set defenses.)

2. Chudan (middle level) (Choose one out of four set defenses.)

3. Maegeri (front kick) (Choose one out of four set defenses.)

4. Yokogeri (side kick) (Choose one out of three set defenses.)

5. Mawashigeri (roundhouse kick) (Choose one out of three set defenses.)

6. Ushirogeri (back kick) (Choose one out of three set defenses.)

7. Kizami-zuki (front snap punch) (Choose one out of three set defenses.)

8. Gyakuzuki (reverse punch) (Choose one out of three set defenses.)

All defenses must be performed from left and right sides.

 

Additional content: Spirit Test

On a date prior to the actual test, the examinee will be asked to participate in a “Spirit test”.  This test consists of nine 1-minute rounds of free sparring against different opponents for a total time of 9 minutes.  The examinee is expected to show their stamina, fighting skill and their spirit during this test.

 

Note: For all black belt gradings, examinee must present all records of previous gradings up to and including examinee’s present level and the dates on which those gradings were taken and with whom. Failure to do so may result in examinee not being accepted for testing.

Second Brown Belt Curriculum

Second to First Kyu (second Brown to final Brown Belt)

 

Kihon: Basics

  • From zenkutsu-dachi (front stance), gedan-barai (downward block)
  1. Maegeri, junzuki (front kick, front punch)
  2. Mawashigeri, gyakuzuki (roundhouse kick, reverse punch)
  3. Gyakuzuki, maegeri, junzuki, gedan-barai (reverse punch, front kick, front punch, downward block)
  • From zenkutsu-dachi (front stance)

4.   Maegeri, mawashigeri (front kick, roundhouse kick)

5.   Kizami yokogeri-kekomi, ushirogeri (front leg side thrust kick, back kick)

  • From kiba-dachi (horse-riding stance)

6.   Yokogeri-keage, yokogeri-kekomi (side snap kick, side thrust kick, using same leg)

All basic movements are done to count on examiner’s command.  Examiner may add additional basic techniques to this list.

 

Kata: Forms

  • Tekki Shodan
  • Tokui kata (favorite kata—choose one of ‘optional’ sentei kata)

Optional kata are Bassai-dai, Kanku-dai, Jion, and Enpi.  You must choose a different kata to your previous test.

 

Kumite: Sparring

  • Jiyu ippon-kumite (free one-step sparring)

1. Jodan (head level) (Choose two out of four set defenses.)

2. Chudan (middle level) (Choose two out of four set defenses.)

3. Maegeri (front kick) (Choose two out of four set defenses.)

4. Yokogeri (side kick) (Choose one out of three set defenses.)

5. Mawashigeri (roundhouse kick) (Choose one out of three set defenses.)

 

For this grading, examinees will be expected to perform all techniques from the left and right sides.

First Brown Belt Curriculum

Third to Second Kyu (first Brown to second Brown Belt)

 

Kihon: Basics

  • From zenkutsu-dachi (front stance), gedan-barai (downward block)
  1. Maegeri, junzuki (front kick, front punch)
  2. Mawashigeri, gyakuzuki (roundhouse kick, reverse punch)
  3. Gyakuzuki, maegeri, junzuki, gedan-barai (reverse punch, front kick, front punch, downward block)
  • From zenkutsu-dachi (front stance)

4.   Maegeri, mawashigeri (front kick, roundhouse kick)

5.   Kizami yokogeri-kekomi, ushirogeri (front leg side thrust kick, back kick)

  • From kiba-dachi (horse-riding stance)

6.   Yokogeri-keage, yokogeri-kekomi (side snap kick, side thrust kick, using same leg)

All basic movements are done to count on examiner’s command.

 

Kata: Forms

  • Tekki Shodan
  • Tokui kata (favorite kata—choose one of ‘optional’ sentei kata)

Optional kata are Bassai-dai, Kanku-dai, Jion, and Enpi.

 

Kumite: Sparring

  • Jiyu ippon-kumite (free one-step sparring)

1. Jodan (head level) (Choose two out of four set defenses.)

2. Chudan (middle level) (Choose two out of four set defenses.)

3. Maegeri (front kick) (Choose two out of four set defenses.)

4. Yokogeri (side kick) (Choose one out of three set defenses.)

5. Mawashigeri (roundhouse kick) (Choose one out of three set defenses.)

 

For this grading, examinees will be expected to perform all techniques from the left side only.