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2014 annual KATA as a Mnemonic Device Master Mark Kline 8th Dan

Living and Training in Korea

Karate Masters Hall of Fame 速 Inductee Cynthia Rothrock

Asia Travel Tips How Do Bullies Pick Their Targets? Also: Vince Morris on the Meaning of Kata


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Martial Grandmasters International 3 Copyright©2013 by Dr. Andrew Linick, The Copyologist®/Creative Dir. KeithArts D. Yates All Worldwide Rights®Reserved!

2014 annual

8 I Karate Masters Hall of Fame® Inductees

Announcing the 2013 “Official” KMHOF® Inductees.

14 I Rising Stars of Karate


Up and coming stars in the martial arts.

16 I Kata as a Mnemonic Device

Master Mark Kline cracks the "Kata Code."

21 I Like Father, Like Son

Robert and Eric Kovaleski carry on the Tang Soo Do traditions.

22 I One More Round


Insights from Grandmaster Joe Corley.

24 I Wing Chun Kug Fu for Kids?

Sifu Craig Heimbichner explains why Kung Fu isn't too complex for children.

26 I Kong Shin Bup: The Ugly Stick


CYNTHIA ROTHROCK with Andrew Linick

KMHOF Inductees TM


GM Rudy Timmerman explains his invention based on an ancient Korean martial weapon.

30 I Favorite Fighting Techniques From the Masters TM

GM Timmerman and Olympic Gold Medalist

Arlene Limas show some of their favorite moves.

32 I Golden Shuto Awards


We reveal the 2013 honorees that were presented with the Official Karate Magazine TM Golden Shuto .

34 I How to Take Great Martial Arts Action Photographs

Rising Stars

36 I Travel Guide for Martial Artists



Professional martial arts photographer Lyman Roark, shares his trade secrets.

Here are tips if you're interested in traveling to Asia for training and for fun.

Photos by Hanshi Andy Horne

CONTENTS 38 I Social Marketing Tips from 22 the Expert

Noted expert Dr. Andrew Linick gives more advice on how to improve your sales and "brand" with LinkedIn.

40 I Look What They've Done to Our Arts Sifu Karen Schlachter discusses the evolution,

both good and bad, of the martial arts over the last few decades.

44 I The Voice of Tradition GM Dan Tosh on his KinderKarate program. TM

Mike Chat, founder of Extreme Martial Arts with his 2013 OK Annual issue.

46 I Ryukyu Mura Bo: The Fountainhead of Modern Kobudo

Hanshi Cezar Borkowsk reveals the history of the Okinawan Bo.

50 I Kata: What Does it Really Mean?

Noted Bunkai expert Kyoshi Vince Morris on the principles of kata.

56 I Keeping the Past from Repeating Itself

Master Guy Larke has lived and trained in Korea since 2000.

58 I My Karate Life


Hanshi Jim Mather on the letter than left him speechless.

60 I Nutritional Self Defense


Dr. Craig Rubenstein reveals his Four Core, Anti-Aging Essentials.

63 I A Karate Pioneer's Destiny

Grandmaster James H. Hawkes was one of the earliest students and teachers of traditional karate not only in New Mexico but in the US. ARLENE LIMAS

31 46 Be sure to “Like” us at

OK R PR EADE Look EMIU R’S M burs for thi t s

Prem to take a gold sta to re iums av dvantag railab e of ader s l Offic of this is e only ial Ka sue rate. of

Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®



Official Karate Magazine™ is the “official” publication of MAGI® Martial Arts Grandmasters International®. It is a 21st Century version of the original Official Karate that was published from June 1968 to Winter 1995 by founding editor Al Weiss and Charlton Publications. We are published quarterly in digital format with a printed Collector's Annual issue. MAGI® is a dynamic association of traditional and modern martial arts practitioners. Since 1994, we have strived to fulfill our mission to recognize and register kyu/gup students, black belts, masters, and grandmasters of various martial arts styles organizations, Asian and Western self-defense systems, and fighting arts. Editor and Publisher: Andrew S. Linick, Ph.D. Managing Editor and Creative Director: Keith D. Yates Editorial Consultant: David Weiss Contributors: Joe Corley, Craig Heimbichner, Mark Kline, Guy Larke, Arlene Limas, Andrew Linick, Jim Mather, Vince Morris, Rick Nathanson, Dr. Craig Rubenstein, Lyman Roark, Karen Schlachter, Rudy Timmerman, Dan Tosh, Keith Vitali MAGI® Member Benefits Membership in MAGI® will afford you the opportunity to have an affiliation with the first-generation pioneers who sit on our Board of Advisors. Of course you can share in their wisdom in the pages of Official Karate magazine (a subscription is included in your membership) but you can also take advantage of a direct dialogue with these Grandmasters through our websites and Facebook pages. You can proudly display the impressive MAGI® membership certificates, colorful uniform patches, and even attention-getting trademark protected four color window decals that proclaim you are an “affiliated” professional MAGI® school. (It’s considered the ‘BBB’ in the MA industry) You will receive big discounts on high-quality Asian weapons, books, videos & DVD’s, e-books, t-shirts, equipment bags, and even professional custom framing for MAGI® certificates and for your own school certificates. We are adding new features and benefits all the time so click on and “LIKE” us at You can also go to



Feedback Hanshi Linick, I wish to congratulate you and managing editor, Keith Yates on such a professional, and well put together publication. I have been studying and teaching martial arts for many years. The Official Karate magazine format and content are easy to read and the action shots are very compelling. I have shared your mag with all my students and will continue to look for the new issues online. Your reputation as a consummate professional, pioneer and great martial artist speaks for themselves. Honored to know you and work with you to spread the word! Oss! —Sho-Dai Soke Mike Andrus Founder / Master Instructor Safe Day Studio Thank you for sending me this link. I was not aware of this magazine before, however I will be reading it in the future. I especially enjoyed the article regarding Soke Nagamine. My teacher, Beaumont, Sensei, was the first person to bring him to Ireland. Again, many thanks. —Donegal Shorin Ryu (via Facebook) As a normal rambunctious kid, Official Karate Magazine was merely a picture interrupted by interwoven paragraphs. I soon realized that by actually reading those articles, they depicted eye-opening and unimaginable talented individuals - people with driven ambition, knowledge and leadership. Official Karate Magazine is insight, a publication of growth infused with martial arts evolution, it's lineage, and history. A top shelf documentary invoking thought and choices. —Phil Rivera

EDITORIAL Let's Hear From You Win prizes!

With this 2014 Annual issue we celebrate the third year of the NEW Official Karate Magazine. In order to continue to provide you, our readers, with the very best product possible, we've put together a brief reader's survey. “Not another survey to fill out?” you might ask. Well, just remember that this will help us determine which parts of the magazine you like best, which writers inspire you the most, and even what features you'd like to see us add in future issues. As an added incentive for you to fill out this online reader's survey, we'll enter all the submissions into a drawing to win some valuable prizes. Do it right now while you are thinking about it http://www.officialkaratemag .com/reader-survey/ We have great plans for 2014 and beyond. We won't be able to do it without you. —Thanks, The Editors

We still have a very few copies of the 2012 and 2013 Annual issues. For a limited time you can order one or both of these collector edition magazines for just $14 each, (or both for $25) plus postage and handling. Go to

ISKA Champions Caitlin Dechelle and Kyle Montagna with their copies of the 2013 OK Annual issue.

How Bullies Choose Their Victims by GM Keith Vitali


hile there is no single common denominator for the type of child targeted by bullies, a bully will typically search out those who are weaker, smaller, anxious, insecure, cautious, and overtly suffer from low self-esteem. Another child who fits the role of the victim almost automatically is the new kid at school, regardless of his or her personality or physical characteristics. Victims often lack social skills, are isolated from their peers, and rarely defend themselves or retaliate when confronted by bullies. One of the most frequent reasons given for why a particular child has been bullies is that they “didn’t fit in.” Choosing Victims Subconsciously Often children choose their victims subconsciously rather than making a conscious decision to target one child over another. Sometimes the victim is broadcasting signs of weakness, which the bully picks up on. Children who display weak body language transmit signals to the control-minded bully that say I am someone you can pick on. Here’s one of the analogies I share with my students to give them a better understanding of the way bullies choose their victims. I ask them, do you think a bully choses their victim in the following way: A young bully wakes up in the morning, brushes his teeth, gets dressed and heads to the kitchen for breakfast. His mother is making oatmeal and asks her precious child who he intends to pick on today. The bully responds, continued on page 12

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Founded by GM Andrew S. Linick, Ph.D. — S

Unlike most other Halls of Fame, there is no charge to be either nominated or inducted into the prestigious KMHOF®. Since its founding in 1972, less than 100 martial arts pioneers have been recognized by this, perhaps the very first Hall to honor the original masters of the arts in the Western world.

Mike Stone on a 1975 cover of Official Karate magazine.

Mike Stone Grandmaster Mike Stone is often considered one of the best, if not "the best" karate champions of the 20th century. Born in Hawaii, his introduction to the martial arts was in High School. He trained in Shorin-ryu karate while in the U.S. Army and earned his black belt under Herbert Peters. Nicknamed the "Animal" he amassed a record of 91 consecutive wins without a single loss in the ring. He has written several books, trained and served as a body guard to celebrities and VIPs, and currently lives in the Philippines.

Billy Blanks, Andrew Linick (presenter), Cynthia Rothrock, Robert Kovaleski and Eric Kovaleski receiving inductions into the KMHOF in Pennsylvania in the summer of 2013.



Nominations The KMHOFT® operates under the auspices of the Martial Arts Grandmasters International®. To nominate someone for this recognition, go to



Since 1972 — Honoring Outstanding Pioneers, Masters and Legends of Traditional Karate-DoTM

Billy Blanks Before he was the founder of the worldwide Tae Bo fitness program phenomenon (named after a combination of Taekwondo and Boxing), Billy Blanks was a wellknown fighting champion. He has appeared on many national television shows as a fitness expert and his DVDs have sold in the millions.

Bill Wallace Cynthia Rothrock Holding multiple earned black belts as well as her five World Forms Championships (between 1981 to 1985), Cynthia is one of the best known female martial artists on the planet. She has starred in or appeared in over 50 films and is an international movie star. She is one of the most skilled weapons experts in the world and says her favorite weapon is the Chinese hook swords. She still travels around the country and the globe doing seminars and special appearances. She is currently doing more movie filming so expect to see more of her in 2014.

Bill "Superfoot" Wallace is one of the most recognized fighting champions that ever stepped into a ring. After a phenomenal point-karate career he won and defended his Professional Karate Association (PKA) middleweight world championships for six years straight retiring undefeated in 1980. A native of Indiana, Grandmaster Wallace earned a masters degree in Kinesiology from Memphis State University which has helped him in his continued training of a new generation of champions. Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®


Emil Farkas Noted historian and author, Emil Farkas, was born in Hungary and had earned his black belts in judo and karate by the time he was 20. He came to the U.S. in 1965 and has distinguished himself as a prolific author writing articles for every major martial arts publication as well as numerous books. The classes at his Beverly Hills Karate Academy often include celebrities as he is active in the Hollywood industry as a screen writer and stunt coordinator.

Troy Dorsey The only man to hold legetimate world titles in point-karate, fullcontact karate (kickboxing) and boxing, Troy Dorsey is a modern day legend. His world titles in karate were for KICK, the ISKA, WAKO, and the PKO. He won the featherweight world championships in the International Boxing Federation (IBF), the International Boxing Organization (IBO), and the North American Boxing Federation (NABF). He was acclaimed by the boxing press as a relentless puncher and for his amazing physical endurance. Master Dorsey continues to instruct in his Texas dojo and is particularly focused on teaching children. Detective Morris receives his induction certificate from GM Keith D. Yates.

Richard Morris Allen R. Steen, the "Father of Texas Blood 'n' Guts Karate" congratulates Troy Dorsey on his induction into the Karate Masters Hall of Fame速. 10


Detective Sargeant Morris has spent decades with the Ft. Worth, Texas Police Department, serving on special task forces in the drug and gang units. He conducts weapons and close quarters combat seminars for police, federal law enforcement agencies, and the U.S. military. Grandmaster Morris is currently collaborating with noted combat expert Lt. Col. Dave Grossman on an upcoming book.

Clermont Poulin

Don Wilson

Clermont Poulin began his martial arts studies in 1970 under the late Nick Cerio. As a former champion himself he sponsors the Ouebec Open International Karate Championships and continues to train black belts and future champions at his Studito-Unis d’Autodéfense in Canada.

Martial arts superstar, Don "the Dragon" Wilson, is an eleventime world kickboxing champion. He scored 47 knockouts in his fighting career which has lasted for almost fifty years. He won titles with the IKF, WKA, KICK, ISKA, STAR, and the PKO. Wilson trained with Chuck Merriman while he was in the U.S. Coast Guard and also studied Kung Fu with his brother and kicking techniques with Bill Wallace. Born to an American father and a Japanese mother he has the good looks that landed him a second career, one in television and movies. He has starred in and even produced over 35 films.

Robert Kovaleski Longtime Tang Soo Do pioneer Robert Kovalesksi began his training in Scranton, PA, under famed master Frank Trojanowicz. He remembers one young, 13 year old female student who showed amazing skills. He thought that girl will go far in the martial arts. Her name was Cynthia Rothrock.

Alex Sternberg

Dr. Sternberg is the chief instructor of Shotokan Karate USA. He earned his black belt in 1968 from Master George Cofield and went on to become of the most noted champions in the 1960s and '70s. He has been a leader in the development of karate in America serving as a coach and referee for the AAU, USAKF and USANKF programs. Through his efforts karate was included in the Maccabiath Games in Israel and he has trained many champions both in the USA and in Israel. He is also heavily involved in scientific research for the physical and mental aspects of martial arts training.

Eric Kovaleski

See page 21 for more on the Kovaleskis.

Following in his father's footsteps Eric Kovaleski is a dedicated Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do master and instructor who has developed an amazing program for special needs students. He also runs the Master Kovaleski Karate USA schools and tournaments.

Billy Brammer Another pioneer of American martial arts, Grandmaster Brammer was one of J. Pat Burleson's earliest black belts. He has taught for decades in the Ft. Worth area and has trained dozens of black belts Keith D. Yates presents a KMHOF certificate to GM Billy Brammer and champions. as George Minshew and J. Pat Burleson look on.

OF®RS H M K MBE you ME 63 on how h the

age s wit See p rder shirt ogo. l can o KMHOF® s only) ee t nduc (for i

Allen Steen (right) wears his KMHOF shirt as he poses with fellow inductee Skipper Mullins.

Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®


Bullies continued from page 7 “I don’t know, I think I’ll just pick on a red headed boy today, mom.” His mom replies, “Oh, that’s nice dear.” Of course my students laugh and say they know that’s not how bullies chose their victims.

A bully sitting in class most likely has no one particular victim in mind until someone sends him signals (usually signs of weakness demonstrated through weak body language).

Shopping for a shirt theory Then how does a bully choose their victims? Here’s one theory I share with my students. A mother takes her young boy to the clothing store to buy some clothes. The child knows he needs a new shirt. He’s basically clueless as to what kind of shirt he’s looking for, but he’s sure he’ll know it when he sees it. This is similar to how a bully chooses his victim. At the store, looks at shirt after shirt until he spots one he likes. Again, he really doesn’t know what he’s looking for until one of the shirts appeals to him. Similarly, a young bully sitting in class most likely has no one particular victim in mind until someone sends him signals. These signals are usually signs of weakness demonstrated through weak body language. For example, the teacher asks the young boy in the back of the room, Paul, to introduce himself to the class. He stands up and begins to speak softly, when the teacher interrupts and invites him to come up to the front of the class. Paul is clearly nervous and uncomfortable about doing so, but he shyly makes his way up front. He begins to stutter, speaking in a low tone, unsure voice. Knowing that he’s blowing it, he begins to fidget, moving side to side unconsciously, then raises a hand to his mouth. His words stop making sense, and kids begin laughing out loud. Somewhere in the class, one of the classmates is starring out the window, bored with everything, until he hears the laughter of the others. The weak traits coming from the speaker in front of the class are picked up by the bully as if by radar. The bully has now subconsciously found his prey. Standing Up to the Bully – Fighting Versus Self-Defense Many years ago, I was a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show. I was introduced as a “marital artist who believes that children should fight.” As I told Oprah’s audience, that is not an accurate assessment of my philosophy. As a father and a martial arts instructor, I teach children never to start a fight, but to be able to defend themselves should a fight become inevitable. I believe there are times when a child must stand up to a bully, and children should know how to defend themselves if a situation arises.



While on the show, a middle school principal from New York disagreed with my method of teaching martial arts to young children as a response to bullying. I asked him what he recommended to his own students that are being bullied, and he said that he tells them to start screaming and crying, act crazy and run away. I explained to him while that would allow the child to avoid the problem for a short period of time, the bully will still be there when the child returns the next day. Children can’t scream and cry their way out of all their problems in life. Of course, teaching a child exactly how to stand up to a bully is an entirely different and complicated issue that requires some basic selfdefense training. There is no one-size fits-all in bullying selfdefense scenarios, but having some idea of a game plan is a better than the alternative, standing there and get beaten up. Basic Self-Defense Moves I have a theory that I’ve incorporated in my own teaching philosophy dealing with bullying issues, 9 out of 10 times a child is picked on, he or she is picked on by someone they know, a friend, a playmate at the park, a classmate, or perhaps even a brother or sister. That is why the emphasis of my training with young children has always been in teaching them how to defend themselves WITHOUT hurting the other child.

GM Keith Vitali was one of the best fighters that American Karate ever produced. He is a noted instructor and coach, author and film star. Find out more at

Mr. Vitali's books are available for $14.95 plus shipping and handling. Please contact him at for information.



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Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®



JACOB GERONIMO LOPEZ is a 20 year-old third degree black belt from Dallas. For ten years he has ranked in the top five in both kata and sparring for the Amatuer Organization of Karate (AOK). Last year he won 6 grand championships plus the “The Golden Greek Award� (named after Demetrius Havanas). He teaches karate every day as well as attends college.



Son of the legendary Richard Plowden, Detroit's AVERY PLOWDEN is a Junior at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. This 20 year-old aspires to a different type of Big Ten championship. Having won most regional grand championships in his area and middleweight grands at the AKA Grand Nationals; US open; Capital Classics and Pan Am Championships he aspires to lead the next generation of great strikers.


JONATHAN VANWEELE, an 11-year-old Shorin Ryu stylist, started his training at East Coast Black Academy in Middle Island, NY and competes in the New York Traditional Karate League. He was their Competitor of the Year in 2012. He‘s won 18 gold medals and has competed in the USA–NKF winning the gold medal in kobudo this past year in Greenville, SC. He is a Honor Roll student with a GPA of 92.

AIMEE HOLLON is a 15 year-old black belt from Richardson, TX. She has won several junior championships with the American Karate and TaeKwonDo Organization (AKATO). She is a straight-A student, an accomplished pianist, and a star volleyball player. She is looking forward to her second missions trip to Central America and envisions a career in interior design or occupational therapy. Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®


When most people think of kata, they think of boring exercises. Without the keys presented here, they ARE boring exercises. Kata was not meant to be a tournament activity. Each one could be a self-defense system unto itself. One that could stand alone or, in conjunction with a specified group of kata, designed to teach principles of where to attack the weak points on the body. All of this is predicated upon understanding this code. In our last discussion about the the Kata Code, we demonstrated how the hand postures in kata are actually grappling techniques using Kyusho-Jitsu (Pressure Points) to affect the body from the inside out. The same points that an acupuncturist uses to heal are what have been encoded within Kata for self defense / self protection purposes. The kata were actually family systems where the oldest son or a designated heir would be given the family “secrets,� which was basically the keys to unlock the code. Within that code are also the methods revealing how one should train the body and the mind in order to take full advantage of these secrets.



by Master Mark Kline

Stances are the foundational elements of our kata. If the stances are done with proper body alignment that will greatly aid in the success of the techniques. Stances have several meanings besides the obvious foundational elements. First look at body alignment. (See Fig A, B). A chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link, and the limbs, hands, and feet, can also be viewed as the links in the chain that make up the body. When the body is in proper alignment, the “chain” can exert considerable strength. Move the rear foot off-line slightly and the whole thing could collapse. When the feet are out of alignment the hips are out of alignment and not locked in. If your upper body has the strength than you can possibly overcome body alignment issues. continued next page


for s E PAGE on M pecial o 3 Klin aster ffers e's v Mar i k boo deos an ks. d Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®


But this changes as one ages. Baseball pitchers immediately go on the disabled list if they have even the slightest strain in any part of their lower extremities because the lower half supports the upper half, mainly their pitching shoulder. This is the beauty of really understanding stances in kata with regards to body alignment. As we age, our bodies obviously change. Constant kata practice helps us to adapt to these changes. Our bodies innately know what to do. This information is imbedded within the kata. Stances can also be used to attack legs. As in the previous examples, proper body alignment will give us that strong foundation. The stances can be used to directly attack the pressure points of your opponent’s legs (See Fig. C, D, E, F & G). Points on the front of the leg that we will attack include Sp 9,10. The stances will aid in the takedown of your opponent. If one does a wrist lock and your opponent falls—great, game over, for the most part. If you need a little more pop in your technique add the stance (see Fig D) and you’ll will have the opponent’s upper and lower halves nuetralized by attacking GB 33, 34. You can break someone’s balance just with your hands and greatly increase the success of your technique when you unbalance the opponent from top to bottom. Another important part of kata is “Indication of Hands.” This portion of the kata code has been extremely misunderstood and maligned. This was not done on purpose. These elements of the kata code, as mentioned earlier, were really only kept for the heir apparent to a style. When I say, “Indication of Hands,” I am referring to places in kata where the hands cross, touch, or meet. Let’s start with the crossing of hands. The X block found in many kata, is actually a reinforced grappling technique. One way to perform this reinforced lock is to do what we call a palm turn. Each hand has a specific job 18


to do by applying proper torque to specific pressure points of the hand, most notably H 8 (See Fig H). This specific technique is designed to be quick and to get the confrontation over with quickly. It relies on speed and proper torque. While applying this technique if one hand does not do its job the technique as a whole will fail. This is where solo kata practice and bunkai practice with a partner literally go hand in hand. There is another way to use this same hand position. The technique is similar but much more powerful and designed to be used on a stronger opponent (See Fig I). You are creating a vice out of your hands and, unlike the previous technique, it is designed to break a wrist or arm, and damage other parts of your opponent’s body as you take them down fast and hard. You can also strike down on LI 10 (See Fig J), when doing this same technique for even more success. In future articles we’ll discuss multiple strikes in kata and the power of the mind and how, coupled with the four principles already discussed, how kata is really an unbelievably complex system of self defense that takes a lifetime of study. Master Mark Kline is a professional martial artist from NJ with schools in NJ and Northern Italy. He is an international Seminar Speaker specializing on the topic of Kyusho Jitsu and Tuite found in Kata and useful for everyday self defense. He currently has over 100 DVDs on the subject of pressure point fighting for kata and self defense. email: 732.742.1777 ext. 225

Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®



JOIN THE REVOLUTION: Official Karate Magazine I really love the "new" Official Karate and, like the rest of the old guard, say it sure does bring back so many old memories.

—Don Warrener, President, Rising Sun Productions, Hollywood, CA

I hope everyone will support the martial arts by subscribing to OK mag and spreading the word. Also consider advertising in Official Karate and help this classic remain in publication.

—Jim Mather, karate pioneer, teacher, author

Your advertisement in OKmag will reach over 350,000 interested readers/viewers. Our publishing and marketing experts will even help you with copywriting and graphics so your ad is guaranteed to be effective. Email us now at to arrange for your successful advertising program. World Champion GM John Chung with his 2013 OK Annual.

Official Karate magazine, brain child of Al Weiss, along with the fantastic promotional abilities of the one and only Aaron Banks were responsible for shining the spotlight on East Coast Karate and the talented fighters and Kata competitors of the early era. All of us who benefited from that alliance owe a debt of gratitude to both of them. I know I do! Linick Sensei, Thanks for reviving such an important piece of Karate history.

—Chuck Merriman, karate legend



View all the past issues of the 21st century version of this classic, award-winning publication at



I cherish the Official Karate Golden ShutoTM Award I received as one of the most treasured awards I have received in my 44 years. I look forward to contributing to the magazine in the future. —Danny Lane, President,

World Martial Arts Federation

Official Karate's annual printed issue & e-zines on social media groups reaches 350,000+ martial artists, students, teachers, schools, masters/GMs, bootcamps, HOFs & major tournaments worldwide.

KMHOF® Inductee Profile™

By Master Guy Edward Larke

Like Father, Like Son: Robert & Eric Kovaleski


See for a more in-depth interview.

d Parker, Chuck Norris and Joe Lewis spring to mind when people think of the pioneers of the martial arts in the West, but there are many unsung, highly skillful, yet humble, instructors who were also there training, fighting and promoting the arts. Robert Kovaleski was one of the earliest practitioners of traditional Tang Soo Do (in those days often called Korean Karate). It became a love affair that would shape his entire life and that of his son Eric. He trained at the Scranton, PA, Karate School under the direction of Frank Trojanowicz in the 1960s. “The philosophy was ‘survival of the fittest,’ says Kovaleski, “and if you were serious about your learning, GM Trojanowicz was serious about your instruction.” GM Kovaleski says he was fortunate to take his black belt exam before such legends as J.C Shin, C.S. Kim, Ki Yun Yi, and Tong In Chang, as well as Trojanowicz. To this day Grandmaster Kovaleski slips on his uniform, ties his belt and teaches students of all ages. “What has kept me going,” he says, “is love for the martial arts that both my son and I share. He has become my continued inspiration. If we did not share this bond, I might have retired. At one stage you stop doing for yourself and start to do for all of the others who need you to teach and guide them.”


n another time and culture it was natural to carry on the family business, but today the idea seems quaint and outdated. But in a few rare cases family traditions and trades are still passed on from parent to child. Eric Kovalesksi is carrying on the martial traditions of his father. “I played baseball, basketball, golf, football and even tried wrestling, but Tang Soo Do had always been my true love,” says Eric. “I really looked up to my father and GM Trojanowicz and considered them my friends as well as mentors as a young student.” Master Kovalesksi says one of his greatest accomplishments is starting a “special needs” Karate program and being able to touch students lives throught the martial arts. He also promotes the USA Karate Championships with all first through fourth place winners earning a spot on the USA National Karate Team. And each year, he and Cynthia Rothrock choose a “Living Legend” for individual martial artists to be awarded at their annual banquet. In the early 1970s Robert was an instructor under GM Trojanowicz and Cynthia Rothrock enrolled as a new student. "I think she was around 13," he says, "and was a natural. Cynthia was extremely flexible and strong and soon became the hardest working student in the school. And the rest is history," he reflects. Martial Arts Grandmasters International ® 21

One More Round

GM Joe Corley


It's Time to Give a Crap…Again! 2014 BRINGS WITH IT NEW RESOLUTIONS AND REVELATIONS. The personal resolution is simple: get into competitive shape been the “lost art” in our tournaments for nearly three decades. again. I’m using Jeff Smith as my role model. As my number two mentor, Stephen Covey, said, “you The revelation is not so simple. Looking at the condition must be effective with people and efficient with things.” The of tournament point-karate gives me pause. people are our competitors, and we must find a way to be And, pardon the clichés that follow, but they seem consistently effective with our competitors. appropriate at this moment in time. They say, “If you are not We have, in these past three decades, become way too part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” Many of efficient with running the matches, getting the tournament our experienced vets can help with the solution, I believe. over in time and so forth—efficiently, all of which are Until the beginning of this millennium, I had categorized important, but we have not kept the standards for points as people into three groups: high as we could have/should have. 1. People that make things happen Let’s quit calling points for techniques that are clearly not 2. People that watch things happen techniques that “would have incapacitated an opponent had 3. People that wonder what happened. it not been controlled.” Pretty simple if you care and will hold Looking around at our country’s declining culture these the line. past 10+ years, I found myself adding a 4th category: people For reference, please see how Terry Creamer has that don’t give a crap what happens. handled our PKA Extreme Warrior So, fast forward to my version $5,000.00 Winner-Takes-All matches at of the solution: Look around and and the way the appreciate and admire the tremendous competitors step up. talent that we have in the martial arts, Back to the clichés: Bad things and that we have had in the martial arts happen when good people do nothing. for the past five decades. The Battle of It is time for the good people to give a Atlanta turns 46 this year, and I have crap again. Just like watching other things always been so impressed with the going bad in society, it is not enough to growing talent in our ranks. wring our hands and just say, “it's out-of Then look around and realize that control.” wrestlers disguised as martial artists now Volunteer your wisdom. are receiving the rewards our athletes Volunteer your time. should have received this whole time. Encourage the new generation to Then ponder where all of our previous understand the responsibility to train for stars came from: the world of karate tournaments. the present and the future. Solution: reorganize and restructure the base so that the Use your reputation. Lead by example. next group of stars can come from this same base of karate Do it for the sport. For the Good of the athletes. tournaments. Raise the bar. Be proactive. Lend a hand to raise Do it for yourself. it. In my humble opinion, today’s phenomenal athletes will Do it for our legacy. do whatever we require of them. GM Joe Corley was a fierce competitor in the early days of American Karate and is a So the bar-raising will start with the enforcement of the respected instructor, broadcaster and promoter who helped the sport of kickboxing rules, including the definition of a “point.” Commensurate acheive world wide recognition. His annual Battle of Atlanta tournament is one of with the enforcement of the rules must be the sincere interest the largest and most prestigious competitions in sport karate. He can be reached at by officials in improving their abilities to officiate. This has

Wrestlers disguised as martial artists are receiving the rewards our athletes should have received this whole time.



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GM J. Pat Burleson, World Champion Troy Dorsey, and GM George Minshew with the 2013 OK Annual issue. Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®


Wing Chun Kun


ncreased confidence, self-discipline, fitness, social values, and, of course, self-defense: these are the benefits of martial arts training for children. Successful schools have a thriving program for kids, including lots of adapted activities to keep training fun as well as challenging. But can a serious, no-nonsense system of Chinese martial art such as Wing Chun also be a success with children? Simply put, “Yes.” Wing Chun CAN benefit children in myriad ways, and is doing so in many kwoons (schools).

Wing Chun Grand Master Samuel Kwok teaches a young student.



First, let’s recognize the dilemma that must be faced when training children in a serious Chinese martial art system: do we keep the training classical and serious and risk losing the children’s (and parents’) enthusiasm, or do we simplify it to keep them interested? For example, Chinese systems traditionally contain much “stanceholding” and posture training that fatigues the legs and builds “root” or stability. There is a dictum that one must “eat bitter,” or pass through the pain of training in order to build important qualities—no pain no gain, or, to quote T’ai Chi Ch’uan Grand Master Benjamin Lo’s variation, “no burn, no learn.” Can such training sustain a child’s willing participation, and be explainable to parents—particularly in training American children, notorious for brief attention spans ? Such training must include an atmosphere of encouragement, praise, and should include an assessment of a student’s capacity. For example, training an elderly student will not be the same as training a serious young adult. Children can be encouraged to undertake rigorous traditional training but are also building their own self-concept while they are developing psychologically and physically. The addition of “fun” in training can be as simple as giving a conceptual name to a technique that makes it seem playful. For example, Master Samuel Kwok, introduces two-hand chi sau (“sticking hands” sensitivity training) with a description of holding a small ball and rotating it, which is immediately understandable to children. The defensive hand “biu sau” is introduced as “saying hi,” since it involves waving the hand in front of the face as if making a friendly gesture. Children pick up on this concept and can use the

ng Fu for Kids?

By Sifu Craig Heimbichner

technique almost immediately. By making a fun, game-like future healthy development. activity out of such exercises, children progress more rapidly. There are successful schools of Wing Chun that have This does not detract from the correctness or seriousness thriving children’s classes. In Long Beach, California, Bryan of their training, but simply takes into account their ageTalbot has a sucessful children’s program where recently these appropriate level. kids were excited to participate in a seminar with Grand A second objection to teaching Wing Chun to children Master Samuel Kwok himself. involves the direct and potentially deadly nature of the art. I have always included my own children in Wing Wing Chun is designed for serious street encounters and Chun, and it has come in handy. At the age of twelve my contains such moves (forbidden in sport martial arts) such as son Max was attacked by an older, larger bully (a rear bear chopping the throat, gouging the eyes, hug). He instantly struck backward The addition of and kicking the knee. How can children with a double lower, back palm strike be taught such techniques? The answer is “fun” in training (double gum sau) to the bully’s groin that training must be taken in stages and and the fight was over before it started. within the context of a constant reminder can be as simple The movement is directly from the first of the Wing Chun Code of Conduct, form of Wing Chun (Siu Lim Tau). as giving a which helps them to understand that In addition, Max showed restraint conceptual name certain techniques are to be reserved for and followed the Wing Chun Code of serious, life-threatening encounters. Conduct, realizing that the fight was to a technique At the same time there is an over and allowing the bully to retreat excellent reason to teach children how and nurse himself and his wounded ego. that makes it to disable an attacker: crime statistics. Max gained respect and was left alone seem playful. Children can be, and all too frequently the rest of the school year—all because are, victims of crime. Teaching children proper Wing Chun of his Wing Chun training. My youngest daughter Mireya skills may save their lives. There is no reason to withhold such also has superb reflexes in chi sau practice. training and many reasons to include it in today’s lamentably Parents should consider the aptitude and personality of violent world. Done properly, and in a good ethical context, their children in choosing a martial art for them—and visit Wing Chun may enable a child to survive that violent the school, do research, and make a thoughtful decision. But encounter which we hope never occurs. if a good Wing Chun program is available, I recommend A third reason to teach children is that successful Wing that it be given serious consideration. Wing Chun Kung Chun does not rely on the acquisition of brute power, and so Fu can truly be a fantastic martial art for children—and a can be learned successfully by children. Whether or not the wonderfully enjoyable one. legend is true that Wing Chun was started by a woman, it Sifu Craig Heimbichner (father of certainly relies on sensitivity of touch and its explosive power Mireya pictured at left) is an awardis built on a foundation of relaxation. Children are naturally winning martial artist and author. relaxed and sensitive, and hence Wing Chun training in An indoor disciple and adopted son childhood makes a lot of sense. of Wing Chun Grand Master Samuel A fourth reason to teach children is the interactive nature Kwok, Sifu Heimbichner runs the of the art. After the first form is learned, training in chi sau Sacramento Ip Man Wing Chun begins. Children pair off and learn touch-based interaction school, and has practiced the martial that imparts tremendous psychological benefits. Not only arts for 40 years, also studying T’ai does confidence increase, but relaxation under pressure. Chi Ch’uan, karate and aikido. Sifu A fifth reason is the benefit to a child’s health. Kids have Craig Heimbichner may be contacted fun while getting a good workout, and learn to be in touch at Sacramento Ip Man Wing Chun at with their own bodies and gain a level of discipline to sustain 916-759-2343. Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®


THE KONG SHIN BUP By GM Rudy Timmerman



The Ugly Stick


A Short Stick in the hands of a skilled practitioner is a formidable weapon. With Kong Shin Bup modifications, it becomes downright ugly. ticks were among the first weapons that early man used to defend himself. A short stick was undoubtedly right up there with throwing sand and stones when it came to defending one’s family and property. In ancient Korea, the “Dan Bong” was the weapon of choice for the Sado Mu Sool (tribal martial arts) as well as Bul Kyo Mu Sool (Buddhist martial arts) practitioners. Bamboo could be found everywhere and it didn’t cost anything! Wood could also be formed into a weapon if bamboo, or rattan*, was not readily available. The Dan Bong was particularly suited for Buddhist Monks to use for self protection, because their doctrine did not allow them to kill, as would probably happen with bladed weapons. Over time the simple stick evolved into a whole range of weapons, such as the Joong Bong (middle staff), and the Jang Bong (long staff). A rope or chain could even be attached to the Dan Bong and flexible weapons like the Juhl Bong (rope staff), and the Ssang Juhl Bong (also known as the Nunchaku) came about. I learned Dan Bong techniques from the late GM Pak In Shyuk. His approach relied heavily on the characteristics of bamboo and rattan. In the art he founded, Kong Shin Bup, the main principle is to cause as much damage as possible, in the shortest time possible. Hence, he used the natural “ridges” of the stick to inflict more pain (and compliance). Alas, the nature of this material had one major drawback—it did not last. Bamboo split when it struck anything harder than soft tissue, and rattan quickly frayed at the ends. Being a wood worker by trade, I sought ways to imitate the natural ridges of rattan and bamboo by

cutting grooves into a piece of wood. After noticing that the fraying ends of rattan caused more damage when thrusting and twisting the weapon (the splinters that found their way into soft tissue were definitely uncomfortable) I cut sharp edges on the end of my Dan Bong. These modifications to a simple Dan Bong turned it into a devastating weapon that could cut or rip your throat as easily as a knife could. The sharp ends can cause deep cuts when slashing and the twisting action of a thrust can easily rip flesh. I use oil to treat the exotic hard woods of my Dan Bong which significantly improves its longevity. And by adding a hole in one end of the weapon it can be converted to a rope staff (Juhl Bong). I call my invention the Kong Shin Bup, or “ugly stick.” Incidentally I would caution you to check with local law enforcement to see if the Juhl Bong or Ssahng Juhl Bong are restricted weapons. Don’t carry around a stick with a rope attached to it in public or you could get a ride in the back seat of a police cruiser. Now while the Juhl Bong (rope staff) was part of our Kong Shin Bup curriculum, I never learned much about that version of the Dan Bong. For this, I must give full credit to my Ozzy friend, GM Geoff Booth. He truly mastered the Juhl Bong and he was gracious enough to share his skills with me. Many martial art practitioners want to learn the flashy double Ssang Dan Bong (Nunchaku) because of film and TV but the single stick Juhl Bong can be just as, if not more devastating. Not having the twin stick on the

Kwang Jang Nim Christopher Demanaeus practices the Juhl Bong. Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®



1) WHEN OPPONENT GRABS YOUR WRIST, CIRCLE COUNTER CLOCK WISE, UNDER AND OVER HIS WRIST, AND PLACE THE END OF THE UGLY STICK ON THE BACK OF HIS HAND. 2) PRESS THE END OF THE UGLY STICK IN BETWEEN THE BONES OF HIS HAND, AND TRAP THE HAND BETWEEN YOUR FORE ARM AND THE UGLY STICK. 3) SUDDENLY, AND VIOLENTLY, PULL YOUR HAND (AND HIS) TOWARD YOU AND DOWN TO BRING HIM TO HIS KNEES AND EXECUTE A KNEE STRIKE. Go to page 38 to see more of GM Timmerman's Ugly Stick techniques. other end of the rope makes it much easier to carry and manipulate. You can place the stick behind your back in your pants with the lanyard (rope) in your pocket. Carried in this manner you don’t have to reach for the weapon and it can be whipped out at a moment’s notice. The Dan Bong, in all its variations, can serve a skilled practitioner in a number of ways, from simple blocks with the wood portion, to short and long distance strikes, trapping, throwing, locking, 28


choking, and crunching. When the rope is attached it can be used for more advanced techniques to trap an incoming punch or kick. Once a hand or foot is caught you can throw your opponent, or apply some excruciating pain by twisting the Juhl Bong like a vise crushing bone. Choking is easily accomplished by wrapping the rope around your opponent’s neck and applying pressure to the carotid artery or trachea. In all techniques liberal use of pressure points is employed.

When using the Juhl Bong to strike long distance make sure that the rope is securely wrapped around the thumb and wrist so as not to lose control of the weapon. It is also essential that the impact area is at the tip of the weapon in order to prevent it from bouncing back to you. Most often the initial strike is a glancing blow quickly followed up by another strike using a compact figure eight pattern. If the Juhl Bong is carried in the waistband at your back, with the rope in your pocket, the initial strike is likely to be an upward blow to the opponents chin or groin. This lightning fast strike can be done before the opponent is even aware that you have a weapon, in fact the altercation can be finished before it even gets started. Of course, it is imperative that you do not initiate an attack unless you are sure that your life is in danger. Still, most people would rather defend such action in court than leave their family grieving their death. To safely learn all about the Kong Shin Bup Dan Bong, or GM Booth’s Ozzy “Soap on a Rope” Juhl Bong, you should attend the Korean Martial Arts Brotherhood seminar series. GM Booth and I also teach these weapons at the KMAF, in Crestview, Florida in April; The NKMAA Summer Camp, in Sault Ste Marie, Canada in August; or the ITS hosted by GM Booth in Amsterdam in September. Like any martial art training, it is essential that you learn how to handle the Dan Bong in stages. First thoroughly familiarize yourself with the Dahn Bong without a rope. From there you can graduate to the Joong Bong (middle staff), and then, when you can handle these rigid weapons without fumbling, you are ready to take on the Juhl Bong itself. The addition of a flexible rope makes working with the Juhl Bong much more difficult and that’s why it should be taken up last. To get you started with the simple Dan Bong I have included a basic come-along technique in this article. However, I must warn you again, that serious damage can be done to yourself or others, unless proper control is first learned.

OK, now let’s take a look at what makes the Kong Shin Bup, or “Ugly Stick,” different than the Dan Bong. First off, it is called an ugly stick because of what it can do, not for what it looks like. In fact, the stick itself is quite beautiful. Each one is made of some of the hardest woods available, and it meets or exceeds 3000 in the “Janka Scale”of hardness (more than twice the hardness of Oak). The Janka hardness test measures the power required to embed a .444-inch steel ball to half its diameter into the wood and it’s one of the best measures of the ability of a wood species to withstand denting and wear. The woods I use are so hard that I can make only about a dozen sticks before my carbide-tipped bits and blades are ruined. The result is that I can strike a Canadian Maple tree and take chunks out of it without doing any damage to my Dan Bong. To enhance the durability of the wood, I soak it in a special blend of oils for three months (the wood is so hard, it takes that long to penetrate). The grooves cut into the wood along the length as well as diameter (imitating the ridges on bamboo) will grab flesh and rip it when twisted. The ends are cut on an angle designed to do the same, when you thrust and twist the end into soft tissue. When striking an object, these sharp ends will cut a person to the bone. The length and diameter of the wood was chosen by design, so it would give me the highest speed vs. impact when measured using a laser. As you can see, there is very little that I did not take into consideration when I developed this Ugly Stick. To be sure, all of this makes the Ugly Stick a bit pricy at $50 each. However this cost is driven by the price of the wood itself as well as the cost of replacing bits and blades. To date, after supplying a LOT of Ugly Sticks to those who appreciate a good weapon, I have not had one single complaint.

Most people would rather defend such action in court than leave their family grieving their death.

GM Rudy W. Timmerman is a freelance writer based in Canada. He is a Master of Korean martial arts with more than 60 years experience and is the founder of the National Korean Martial Arts Association.

Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®


Favorite fighting techniques from the



GM Rudy Timmerman 2




You've read about Grandmaster Rudy TImmerman's so-called "Ugly Stick" on page 22. Here are more techniques you can utilize with just a small stick (Dan Bong) in your hand. 1. Block the opponen'ts incoming push with your left hand. 2. Grab his left wrist, and deliver strike to his elbow using the wood to reinformce the impact. Note the grab and pull with the left hand on the attacker's wrist. 30




3. Follow through with an elbow strike as you pull in with your left. 4. You can use the stick and ram it into his thigh or knee. 5. Reach under his arm, and place the Dan Bong along right side of his neck. 6. Now grab it with your left hand while you squeeze and choke out the opponent.

Favorite fighting techniques from the



Olympic Gold Medalist Arlene Limas 1



1. When your opponent attacks with a round kick, block down while protecting your face with the other hand. 2. Before they can even put their foot down, spin around‌ 3. with a back hook kick.

Arlene Limas made history when she became the first American to win a gold medal at the 24th Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea. She is considered one of the best female fighters ever. She owns Power Kix Tae Kwon Do studio in Stafford, VA.

Martial Arts Grandmasters International ÂŽ



Golden Shu The GSA honorees are nominated by our readers and then voted on by our editorial board. These are the individuals so selected for the year 2013. Each has made significant contributions to the martial arts in their specific categories. The Golden Shuto AwardTM is a separate honor from the Karate Masters Hall of Fame速 (see page 8 ). As such, GSA honorees are still eligible for consideration for that high honor. We are proud to be able to recognize the "unsung heroes" of the martial arts. To nominate someone you think is worthy of consideration, go to http://www.official


GM Bouton is presented his GS Award by Keith Yates

Charles Bouton: Ambassador Executive Director of the American Karate Black Belt Association/Chin Sook Hage Kwan

weapons master Mary Townsley: Legendary MA Photographer

legendary photographer

pioneer Cezar Borkowski: International Weapons Grandmaster Okinawan Kobudo

GM Ola is congratulated on his GSA by World Champ Raymond McCallum Philip Ola: Pioneer (Editor's note: GM Ola unexpectedly passed away in December of 2013. We pass our condolances on to his family.)



uto Awards 2013 TM

The categories listed here are NOT all-inclusive. You might want to create a category of your own such as: the Voice of Karate, Outstanding Author, or Humanitarian. Note: reasons for nomination must be for SIGNIFICANT acheivement (not just for teaching for a number of years and/or winning a few tournaments). Also, you cannot nominate yourself.

pioneer ambassador

Frank Dux and Art Camacho are presented their GS Awards by Andrew Linick (center) Frank Dux: Pioneer Champion / Fight Choreographer

fighting champion

Willie "Bam" Johnson: Fighting Champion Joe Corley: Champion / Promoter of the Battle of Atlanta


Just for G SA honor ees, we have arr anged for cu stom matting and framing for y our handsome a wards. Go to h ttp www.officia lkaratemag.c :// om/ golden-shu to-award/

Master Beasley is presented his GS Award by Keith D. Yates


Art Camacho: Ambassador Instructor / Movie director

Mike Allen: Promoter

Master Allen is presented his GS Award by Andrew S. Linick

Jamie Cashion: Humanitarian

Judge Robert Beasley: Promoter Promoter of the United States Karate Championships Martial Arts Grandmasters International 速



How to Take Great Martial Arts Action Photos.

by Lyman Roark


hat does it take to create great action shots of martial arts techniques? Is it superior equipment? Maybe god-given artistic skills combined with an outstanding knowledge of modern technology? How about just plain good luck? All of these things can contribute to photos that you or your subjects will want to post online and maybe even blow up to wall-sized posters. For most close range pictures such as ringside a flash outdoors. But if you need to fill in some of the of a tournament or the winners on podiums, I use my shadows you can use a reflector panel, or use an external Nikon D200 with a 24–70mm lens that has apertures flash to add detail in those dark areas. Harsh, direct sun, from 2.8 to 22. For longer range photos, such as from by the way, usually leads to unflatering shadows. the sideline of a football game I use a Nikkor 80– Suppose you are shooting indoors and you’re 200mm telephoto zoom. able to get pretty close to ringside. Most venues I’ve been The first thing to consider is lighting—what in don’t actually provide as much light as you might sort of light will be available? think. Have you seen the Will you be shooting in a guys on the sidelines of an stadium or a gymnasium? football game, with the How far away will you be huge white lenses on their from the subject? If outdoors cameras? Those lenses are will it be sunny, cloudy, etc? about $10,000 and there is The light source is a reason professional sports critical. Getting martial arts photographers have them. photos in a studio setting, or They need a lens that even outdoors, is a lot easier will capture a LOT of light, than an indoor gymnasium so they can use a fast shutor stadium. In a studio you ter speed (1/1000 or more) can control the lighting, the to freeze the action. I don’t angle, the background, and have one of those so I use you can try and try until you the fastest shutter speed I get the picture you want— can get away with. even doing “action” shots, But here’s the problem. such as a jumping side kick. At a very fast shutter speed Studio/Controlled Lighting You can try as many times as there isn’t a lot of light that your subject has energy for, until the picture is right. I reaches the camera’s sensor because the lens is open for use big reflector strobes (Novatrons) for studio shooting a tiny fraction of a second. A flash helps, but it will only since that allows for greater control. reach so far (you have to be sitting right at the edge of Outdoor shooting is subject to all sorts of the ring). variations, but you can choose the time of day to get the It also helps a lot that I’ve done martial arts for lighting you want, i.e. direct sun, shade, or clouds. The many years and I can “read” the action and anticipate sun provides plenty of light so you probably won't need when a technique is coming. If you wait until you see 34


somebody score a nice backfist or sidekick, by the time you press the shutter button it’s all over. But even with a flash, if the action is fast-moving, the distance and focusing become critcally important. Auto-focus is great, but it can be hard to keep fast moving contestants in sharp focus if the aperture is wide (note that your aperture WILL be wide if you have set your shutter speed higher). The formula gets kind of complicated but suffice it to say that the wider the aperture the smaller the “depth of field” (the amount of area that remains in focus). So a wide aperture (say, 2.8) means more light for your shot and better ability to “freeze” a picture, but much shorter depth-of-field, so the subjects can easily move out of focus. Using a narrower aperture (such as 22) with your flash allows for greater depth of field, but then whatever is in the background may ALSO be in focus. That means you need to pay attention to what is behind your subjects, as well as what they are doing in the ring. It’s annoying to get a great action shot, but have some bright background item look like it is sprouting out of a competitor’s head. Fixing the picture with “Photoshop” is never quite as good so I squat and move around to get the best background I can. Now podium award photos are easier than photos of competition rounds. I’ll bring in some big strobe flash units with reflector umbrellas, and usually a backdrop as well. That removes background problems and lets me adjust the flash to complement whatever lighting is at the venue. Plain backgrounds can sometimes confuse the autofocus on a lens so I may switch to manual focus. I can get it set up once, leave it on a tripod and not have to readjust everything for each group of awards. I like an aperture of about 5.6 for these, since that puts the winners in focus and starts to blur the background just a bit. Now let’s talk about the actual composition of an action photo. If I want good action shots from a tournament I don’t want to zoom in so close that all the image shows is a padded foot and somebody’s obscured face. Good action shots need to be close enough so you

feel you’re almost there, but far enough back so you can see the name on the uniform, or the other teammates at ringside, etc. It helps if you can get a touch of the surroundings. It brings more of Outside/Natural Light the sense of excitement to see people cheering in the near background. That’s where I like a medium aperture of maybe 8 or 11 so the contestants are in focus, and the people at ringside are nearly in focus, and then the far background is fuzzy and not distracting from the action. A lot of people shoot from so far away however that you have to zoom in a whole bunch when you do your final cropping and then the image becomes pixelated or “grainy.” You can’t sit in the stands fifty feet away and get any kind of usable action shots. In the old days, film and processing was expensive. Today with digital photography there is no excuse for not shooting hundreds of photos at your dojo so you can get the feel for what makes great shots.

Ringside/with Flash

Lyman Roark is a black belt instructor and professional photographer. He can be reached through his website at Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®







Beijing's Forbidden City (pictured at left) is the largest palace complex in the world. It is China's best collection of ancient, preserved buildings. Guided tours are available to foreign visitors at the main entrance at the Meridian Gate. Enter the huge courtyard and prepared to be stunned by the grandour of the home to twenty-four Chinese emperors over almost 500 years. Besides the Forbidden City there are multitudes of wonderful sights and sounds in this city of almost twelve million. Tiananmen Square and the grand venues of the 2008 Olympic games (the Swim Cube and Bird's Nest Stadium) are just a few that you won't want to miss. Martial artists, of course, will want to visit the Shaolin Temple. You can take a high-speed rail train from Beijing to Luoyang and from there it is a hour and a half drive to the Shaolin Temple. There are tours, demonstrations, gift shops, and, of course, a kung fu academy.

SOUTH KOREA From skyscrapers to shanty towns, Seoul is a homogeneous metropolis. Martial artists will obviously want to visit the Kukkiwon, headquarters for the Olympic style of Taekwondo, and see the museum there but here is so much more to do in this facinating city. Take a walking tour of the famous Gyeongbok Palace. Built orginially in the late 1300s, it is the royal palace of Korea’s last dynasty. Then walk along Cheonggyecheon, a canal walk just two blocks south. You can shop for souvenirs at many of the open-air markets and shopping districts in the city. Namdaemun is the most famous and lies near Korea’s number one treasure, the Namdaemun Gate (restored last year after a fire). Bukchon Village is not far away with its beautifully restored traditional Korean wooden homes or hanok. You'll also find art galleries and restaurants scattered throughout. If all that Tae Kwon Do training has you worn out you might want to jump on the City Tour Bus and get a history lesson while you see many of the sites. Just look for the blue bus signs. Gyeongbok Palace

Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®


social marketing tips Secrets for LinkedIn $ucce$$


id you know that you can use LinkedIn for targeted account marketing and to improve your company’s organic search rankings? Get and give professional advice. Build your personal network. Find a job for yourself or find new employees. Learn how to use company pages, product pages, LinkedIn advertising, and LinkedIn groups. You’ll be able to optimize and run your LinkedIn Company page in less than 15 minutes a day. With over 260 million members in over 200 countries, and available in 20 languages, LinkedIn is a must for businesses A—Z (airlines to zoos) from one person entrepreneurs to large size companies worldwide. It’s the most popular social network for professionals and one of the top social media networks overall! Are you using it to its fullest potential? Wikipedia says, “LinkedIn is a social networking website for people in professional occupations.” Quantcast reports LinkedIn has 65.6 million monthly unique U.S. visitors and 184 million globally. So, whatever your profession, salesperson, software developer, or martial arts school owner—building your company page can help your business and brand grow dramatically. Does LinkedIn Help You Generate Leads? 1,000% YES! Studies have found that traffic from LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74%, almost 3 times higher (277%) than both Twitter (.69%) and Facebook (.77%). “LinkedIn is an excellent tool for business and personal networking, but you have to use it to get results,” says Andrew Wood, best-selling author of 20 books in sales and marketing including: Cunningly Clever Selling and Cunningly Clever Marketing. LinkedIn can be used in many ways: How to Create Your Company Profile. Your Company can build a profile on LinkedIn to showcase your products, services, upcoming events, blog posts, hall of fame awards, even networks for employees. First you will need to build your profile. 38


by Andrew S. Linick, Ph.D.

Like Facebook, Google+, and Twitter, users on LinkedIn can follow your profile to discover more about you and your products/services. Posting jobs on LinkedIn makes it a great place for recruiting top candidates too. Creating your LinkedIn page is easy as following these simple guidelines: • Let Your Products Talk For You: The new products page allows you to assign members of your organization to different product offerings so prospects know exactly who to get in touch with. This is a great way to start conversations between top prospects and product managers, sales, and support staff within you organization. • Create Irresistible Offers: The products and services page now has a promo box. Drop in contests, prizes, games, coupons, gift certificates, all types of promotions with a deadline, and offer daily, weekly or monthly discounts too. • Give and Receive Recommendations: After creating your products and services page, begin using recommendations. Ask your present and past customers and employees to recommend your products and services to their associates, vendors, and friends and affiliate networks. • Attract, Educate and Entertain Using Videos: Start posting your compelling videos directly to LinkedIn. To enhance your visibility, place them by the product descriptions. Using “Shared Connections” Helps You Target Companies for Your One-on-One Personal Introduction. Using LinkedIn introductions as a form of target account marketing helps you identify potential clients. By asking your own contacts/vendors/present clients to refer your page you’ll get higher engagement from your followers and group members. LinkedIn helps you connect to a larger network of people using your own connections. You get to see the degrees of separation between you and other LinkedIn users, and by introductions, LinkedIn lets you connect with those outside of your direct network. Make it a point to build three new connections per day to create a large and targeted list of prospects in your area. If you don’t know the contact directly, you can always ask an existing contact to introduce you.

Lend a helping hand to others. The best way to network is to help others succeed in their businesses or careers. By using LinkedIn to help others—you get to promote them, link to them, connect with them, recommend them, answer their questions, give some free advice to newbies and in general be a good business ally. Offer this service to your associates, orgs, acquaintances, suppliers, members, clients and so on. List Your Companies Assets. Describe its major benefits and what your specialties are, and then create a LinkedIn group highlighting that expertise. The groups feature is one avenue to show and demonstrate your leadership ability around a core topic. You’ll learn inside information about your customers and new potential customers. If you can, you want to ask customers to use this as a forum for engagement or have a volunteer monitor your group. Keep the content interesting and flowing by post engaging conversation and responses. B2B firms looking to locate potential customers often visit targeted LinkedIn Groups. After making a list of keywords relating to your targeted prospects/customers/clients or industries, do a search for all LinkedIn groups related to your keywords list. After locating your targeted groups, engage in some meaningful dialogue, share some wisdom of items that make some members say, I didn’t know that! Ask pertinent questions while networking and you’ll make good connections. Ask Your Vendors, Business Associates and most of all—Your Employees to get Involved. When your employees market, advertise and promote your brand on LinkedIn, you’ll get a positive following with your list of targeted firms/people. Employee contributors should actively seek similar groups and join affiliates or subgroups. They should post your company blogs on their LinkedIn status updates too. The more supporters you have on LinkedIn, the higher the visibility, which gives you better opportunities to become top leader in your arena. Why Advertise on LinkedIn? You probably promote tweets on Twitter. You position Facebook ads on key pages and groups. The value behind LinkedIn advertising is you can really target your copy appeals/products/services to a professional and business audience that is more in tune to your offer based on selecting valuable demographic information. LinkedIn ads work like PPC. Each LinkedIn profile has a wealth of information

including specific job titles, role or function, company size, work experience, projects, testimonials etc., and you can use that information to target any segment that matches your customer list. • Target the Right Audience. Use direct response ad copy that demands getting immediate response/results. When creating benefit copy for each Ad on LinkedIn you’ll need to select your demographics based on a variety of criteria; i.e. role, title, industry, geography, company size, etc. Choosing copy from your keyword list will increase your credibility and build your brand. Your ad copy aimed at a Chiropractor will be different than an ad copy aimed towards a CEO prospect or non-profit association. • Attract New Clients/Customers. If you’re advertising to attract new clients who will pay you thousands of dollars, then LinkedIn advertising is a great low-cost way to advertise. If you’re selling a product or service that’s under $100, then this may be way too expensive related to the cost of customer acquisition. • Text Ads Response Rates. The response rate for text ads will be very, very low. Typical response rate for search ads on Google is 1%.  LinkedIn says on their site about their text ads, “good ads have a CTR greater than 0.025%.” The larger more expensive display ads have a higher click through rate but they’re also a lot more expensive and you have to buy an “ad package” and negotiate that through the LinkedIn ad sales team.  • Include a Video Ad.  Good news for those of you who have a YouTube video ad, you can also use it on LinkedIn. Adding a dynamic entertaining how-to or educational video that sells your products/services or org. may add higher visibility for your ad while improving your Google results. Make sure to create an attractive landing (squeeze) page to convert your leads—visitors who viewed the video who want to learn more about your offer. See part two of this article including more LinkedIn advertising tips at Since 1968, Andrew S. Linick, Ph.D. —The Marketing Copyologist® has had an amazing record of success in mail order and direct marketing for himself and major clients. In 1995 he began online marketing campaigns and is recognized as one of the world’s leading Internet Marketing Strategists and Social Web Pioneers. Andrew is in high demand as a master copywriter and social media marketing expert. For a FREE 15 minute phone consultation (Value $250) to increase your company’s online visibility, boost web traffic and persuade people to buy your products/services call The Social Engagement Marketing Experts™ (SEME™) at 631.924.3888 or contact or Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®


Look What They've Done to Our Arts


WAS SINGING IN THE SHOWER THE OTHER DAY! It was the classic Melanie song from the 1960s called “Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma.” My favorite line was: Well its the only thing that I could do half right and they turned it upside down. Oh Mama, look what they've done to my song! I hummed it to myself all day. It wasn’t long before I changed the lyrics to: Look What They've Done To Our Arts, Sensei. We all can sing along to that verse can’t we? I think back to the dojo I started in and what I see now and can’t believe how it has been remanufactured into the Karate and Kung Fu being taught today! I’m not saying it’s all bad. Some wonderful things have happened to the martial arts since I bowed onto the mat in July 1959. When I started there were no dressing rooms for females. We had to wear our homemade gi to class. Now we can buy them anywhere and there is always a space to change into them. May not seem like a big deal to you guys, but to us ladies it’s huge! We no longer have to wear a stripe on our obi (belts) just because we are female. Again, a big deal. The weight classes in judo are more realistic. When I was competing the female heavy-weight division started with 127lbs! No need to discuss that any further! Women students were expected to handle all of the secretarial duties in the dojo and teach the kids classes to boot. I laugh as I write that line because it is the truth and probably still is the norm. Dojos and kwans need the ladies to keep things in line! We love stepping up, so no negatives there. I seriously doubt that the students of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s ever expected to pay the huge monthly fees that many of the McDojos demand now. We didn’t know what a contract was and no one graduated to a new stripe or belt every eight weeks whether we deserved it or not. We tested. We made it on our own merit and not with a huge group of kids at a central location. We didn’t pay for testing at first. Then it made its way into even the most traditional schools. I remember sitting at home one

night and the phone rang. It was GM Peter Urban. He asked me if it was true that students had to pay for testing. I told him yes. He couldn't believe it. He said. “that is outrageous! Why should a student have to pay again to demonstrate to his own teacher what he already paid to learn?” He said that if a good Sensei was paying attention he would know when the student was ready to test and pass it. Why should there be a fee involved? Then he heard about the fee being higher as the rank increased. He never got over that. He would never have understood the idea of graduating not testing like many large schools are doing now. Nobody ever fails a graduation demonstration. No one is ever corrected if they mess up a form or their thumb dangles when they punch. As long as they snap to attention and kiai like they were on fire, it’s all good. Students who start their martial art training today are different in many ways than we were back in the “good old days.” They learn differently and seem to be able to work smart phones as soon as they can hold them in their toddler hands. They are intense in their focus and can play intricate video games that would make us old folk drool in confusion! I’ve seen kids do amazing forms at competition and wield showy weapons. Sometimes I cringe at the performance but sometimes I applaud with admiration. Some tournaments attract competitors that have been pampered and wear expensive costumes and do the same form over and over and over again. They growl and scream and make faces and....well, you know what I’m talking about. But if you asked them the bunkai or the history of the form or their art and they wouldn’t know it. And they wouldn’t look you in the eye or display any level of respectful manners, unless, maybe you were a judge. Their parents are filming everything and keeping score and loudly coaching and are always ready to bluster and mouth off to the judges when their phenom kid loses. Times have definitely changed. The dojo is now air conditioned and heated and clean and full of mirrors and

We didn't know what a "contract" was and we didn't graduate to a new stripe or belt every eight weeks whether we deserved it or not.



Sifu Karen Schlachter

equipment. And expensive. Some schools charge different prices for different levels of training. By that I mean basics, weaponry, and something called “leadership.” The more you agree to pay, the nicer the uniform you get to wear. Seriously? If just want to learn the basics you get a free white uniform. If you want to learn weapons you must pay extra, but you get to buy a black gi. If you really want to learn everything you get to wear an expensive black uniform with huge patches, your name on the back and gold trim. So in a school that is mostly children and teens it is difficult to be a white gi because then everyone knows how cheap your parents are and that you are a basics-student. Kids are mean and it becomes a object of ridicule so the white gi-wearing student soon convinces the parent to upgrade their two-year contract to black gi status. Some people think this is marketing genius and others shake their heads and mumble it is so against the way we were taught. But these schools are thriving and the traditional school is disappearing. Karate classes are now just part of a kid’s childhood activities like Little League and soccer and most of the kids earn a black belt in 2–3 years and then its over and the gi and belts go in the closet. But they are now black belts and confident that they can now defend themselves in any situation. Most have never really sparred much and never been hit hard enough to sustain any bruises. We all know that the martial arts aren’t for everyone. It takes a certain kind of person to stay in a real school and work towards attaining rank and maybe someday open a school. Statistics say that of all of the students starting a martial art only 1 in 10,000 will go on to teach it. So most of them will not stay with it more than a few months. It’s supposed to be that way. Students come and go and hopefully a group develops from the serious students and real training is encouraged. But that means only a few are going to continue to pay monthly dues and that usually isn’t enough revenue to keep a school open. Some schools are now combining two different systems. Tae kwon do on T/ Th, Wing Chun on M/W/F. Then on weekends they divide the time for special events or workshops. This may be the answer in this age of soaring rents and insurance rates. I have been judging tournaments for 30 years and have seen some amazing talent and some crazy students. You can easily judge a teacher by his/her students. It’s easy to spot the winning schools, the traditional schools, the McDojo students. The kids from the traditional schools are usually the most impressive. The best fighters are from schools where the teachers are ringside telling them to get continued on next page

QIGONG Teacher Training Course Sifu Karen Schlachter of the An De Institute of Peaceful Virtues announces a 220 hour course in Qigong and Taiji/Qigong Voorhees, New Jersey. April, 2014 For more information visit the website or email Sifu Karen Schlachter can be reached at 609-560-8300 This course is open to Yoga Teachers and Martial Art Instructors to expand their practice and enhance their classes. It is also open to anyone interested in becoming teachers and have limited experience. Students will receive teacher certification and will be ready to offer classes and CEUs as well as adding the beautiful movements and healing forms in their classes. Classes will cover • Healing • Medical Qigong • Meditation • Taiji/Qigong healing sets • Ancient methods of stress reduction and rejuevenation techniques. Courses will be open to out of town students through weekend immersions Local students will have weekly classes.

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up and get back in there and fight. The mother never runs into the ring to hug her crying child who is having a fit because they lost the fight. I have seen lines of eight places for some kids divisions. Eight places just so that everyone feels good about themselves and they come back. Sounds kinda like the way baseball and soccer has evolved. It won’t be long before they stop keeping score at tournaments for certain age groups. That's when I stay home to do my laundry instead! As I was writing this article I asked a few senseis and sifus their thoughts on the future of the martial arts. Their answers were different than what I expected. One said that he saw most young people switching to MMA and not spending the time to earn mastery in the traditional manner. He said they were taking the easy way out. I don’t agree entirely. I don’t like seeing hypedup, wild-eyed young men being thrown into the octagon without proper training in basics like punching and kicking, but I do have to say that Rhonda Rousey is an amazing fighter and a pleasure to watch in the ring. But look at her background. She has walked the traditional path and done the work. It shows in her techniques and abilities. If we could develop more competitors like her I would say that the future of MMA is bright. I can’t say that for sure right now. I hope to see some of the great martial arts competitors of the ’80s and ’90s step up and show some of the MMA fighters that there is more to winning in the octagon than ground-and-pound and chokes. MMA could be a great venue for real fighters who excelled at full contact karate to develop ground fighting and become more well rounded competitors. But will it happen? I’m thinking it will go the way of full contact kickboxing and peak then disappear. Another teacher friend said he saw a return to traditional training again in the form of the old backyard dojo. People will have to cut their expenses in the future and the big expensive McDojo will disappear. If we weren’t such a litigious culture I would agree that the home dojo is a great idea. But I wouldn’t risk my home by having sparring in the back yard. The liability would be tremendous. So, no I don’t see that really happening. Perhaps the YMCA groups will become popular again. There are YMCAs that produce the most amazing kata and sparring children competitors I have ever seen. When their bus pulls up to the tournament site

the competitors groan with dread. Here come the kids that win everything. They win because they are expected to train, practice on their own and listen to their instructors. These are the schools that make the students run, do 400 jumping jacks, 100 push ups etc. and then start class. These schools may be the salvation of the martial arts. Some churches are even adding martial arts programs for children. These venues may help qualified teachers have classes they can afford to keep and not close because of money and enrollment problems. The future of karate and other arts is in a return to values, history, discipline and working hard to earn your way up the ladder of belts and experience. That takes commitment and inspiration. It’s still there waiting to be dusted off and taught again. So where do I see the martial arts going in the future? Certain arts will always endure. Throughout history, countries and kingdoms rise and fall. There have always been arts that weave their way into every culture. They are great literature, medicine, music, mathematics, art, AND martial arts. We can package the martial arts in pretty uniforms and elaborate training halls or we can suppress them back to the distant mountain monasteries but eventually they will reach the certain ones, the one person in 10,000 who is destined to learn and teach and pass on the wisdom to the next generation. Personally, I will base the rest of my life on the belief the Qigong and Taiji will become the wave of the future. There will always be a time for training in the harder arts but the addition of Qigong and Taiji to the class will change the energies of the school to a positive and powerful level. It brings a peace to the many karateka, kung fu students and even MMA fighters that will balance out the energies of the ring. That is my wish for the future and my goal for my students. I wish all of you a wonderful and expansive “Year of the Wooden Horse 2014.” May you all enjoy this next trip around the sun and ride into the year with abundant health and lofty goals. Be blessed in your training and your teaching. Life is NOT about finding yourself. Life IS about creating yourself. Many bows!

I don't like seeing hyped-up young men being thrown into the octagon without proper training.



Sifu Karen Schlachter has studied Judo, Shorin Ryu, Aikido, Sun Moon Fist Chinese Boxing and Yang Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong. She teaches Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong for Tranquil Seas Retreats, and is Master Instructor at The Sun Moon Tao Institute. She is a Master Instructor in Karuna and Usui Reiki and An De Divine Healing.

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Hanshi Dan Tosh


voice of tradition


KinderKarate: Training Children


wenty six years ago I developed a program for children ages 4 to 8 years old. I called it KinderKarate. The idea was to provide a set of fundamental guides and rules for young children to follow during their impressionable years. We teach kids that fear is a weapon that can be used against them and this emotion has to be respected but controlled. Fear can be immobilizing, bringing about panic and inaction. By controlling fear, a young student is able to stand in front of a group and perhaps become a great orator. A typical young person doesn’t have the attention span to participate in a long karate class, however there is no better time to begin shaping young minds. KinderKarate isn’t about fighting, it’s about awareness and self-control. We begin by asking the little ones what they “own.” Most say that they own toys or clothes. I tell them that they were given those things. Their parents actually own all those things and they haven’t actually earned anything. Then I explain to them that knowledge is earned and they own all the knowledge that they earn. We also work on awareness and our primary focus is “Karate Ni Sente Nashi” (there is no first attack in karate). This is the first step in stopping children from becoming bullies. Even bullies start out as babies and their parents are responsible for their earliest lessons of proper behavior. If we can overturn the notion that bullying is OK when they are very young, we can make a difference in their future behaivor. So our training includes balance, peripheral awareness, good listening techniques, proper stances, blocks, kicks, punches, breathing and strength training all mixed in with a little fun. We do this in such a way that the child doesn’t lose focus and attention. As class begins, we learn to respect others and follow protocol. As we bow in for class we learn to stand still and look straight ahead without wiggling around. 44


Dan Tosh and Harrison Leon

At all times our instructors speak with a smile in their voice and while they are firm in their resolve, they are kind. Young and impressionable children have to want to be there in order to excel or even just to listen. If a child doesn’t want to be there all they can think of is going home. The instructors speak to the level of the student rather than down to the student. Speaking down to an audience is a sure way to lose them. It will also alter the message to one of forced reaction and could be the start of a bullying attitude learned from an authority figure. Each twice a week class is 45 minutes long. After years of teaching young people I’ve discovered that anything longer than 45 minutes has a diminishing return due to children’s limited attention span. As the class begins the instructor welcomes everyone and asks how they are doing and of course waits for a simultaneous response. After bowing-in the stretching starts with a slow and steady progression to promote weekly improvement. Kicking sets, punching, blocking, balance exercises and strength training follow the stretching. For the improvement of awareness, we play lots of games, such as “sensei says.” Walking on balance beams while blocking or kicking and dodging soft nerftype balls thrown by sensei are very popular. If a child is sruck by the nerf-ball they have to move off the floor until the last child is tagged. At least once per week kinder-kata is practiced and this was developed as very simple movements to allow for the young minds to development memory and application. This helps bring the mind and body together in a symphony of action and reaction. The first two kinder-katas start with less than 10 moves that are not based upon any other kata that we have in our system. They include reaction and redirection with a counter and exit. As the students progress, they learn parts of the katas in the system and we call them as kinder-kata 3, 4, 5, 6 and so on. By the

time the child has matured enough to advance to the regular karate class they’ve learned some of the real katas and typically test for orange or purple belt level as they move into the ranks of the real karate classes. The typical time spent in KinderKarate is two to three years and then they have developed far beyond the average child who doesn’t have the benefit of the program. We have discovered that it helps with the rest of their lives including schoolwork. Many of the KinderKarate kids have gone on to college and have other successful achievements. This early training has taught them important lessons about goal setting. Harrison Leon, one of our young black belt instructors, started at 5 years old in KinderKarate and is now 18 years, training each week and helps teach our weapons classes. He is an outstanding athlete in school and is being sought after by several colleges for his baseball prowess. He’s a shining example of why we continue this program after more than 26 years. Another success story comes from one of our youngest every KinderKarate students (besides my own son). Both my son and Christian Wellington started their training at just two years old. Christian’s mother trained as a teenager, his uncle is one of our black belts and his father was always supportive. Suffice it to say, karate was in his blood. Many times he was the only one who came for kumite class and he and I would spar for a full hour. I am so very proud of him, now a young teenager, and he took his test last year for shodan and broke four unspaced bricks. I have every confidence that he will be whatever he chooses in life due to having loving, dedicated parents and a deeply rooted background in karate.

Our KinderKarate instructors include, Kyoshi Chris Sasville, Renshi Leita Stevens, Sensei John Gaudette, Renshi Jorge Martinez, Sensei Craig Sasville, Sensei Steven Chin and Sensei Chris Wellington. It is a Christian great feeling to be Willington able to give a little something back to our community and touch the hearts and minds of our future leaders to make a difference in the world. —Domo Arigato Hanshi Dan Tosh is on the Board of Advisors of Martial Arts Grandmasters InternationalTM as well as the Karate Masters Hall of FameTM. Hanshi Tosh has been training in Shorin-ryu karate-do since 1958. You can contact him at

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Ryukyu Mura Bo

by Hanshi Cezar Borkowski

The Fountain he modern okinawa


Young Okinawan women drilling civildefence stick techniques.

After the battle father and son with their prized bo. 46


HE BATTLE OF OKINAWA saw some of the fiercest and most destructive gunfire and bombing in human history. From March to June of that year the “Tetsu no ame,” or rain of steel, reduced the Island of Okinawa, largest in the Ryukyu archipelago, to a virtual desert of suffering and oblivion. The conflict left some 150,000 Japanese soldiers and Okinawan civilians dead. After the navel and air bombardment shreded the island into a wasteland, the U.S. 10th Army began the “boots on the ground” offensive. After fierce, often suicidal fighting by the Japanese troops it become quite obvious to both sides, that Okinawa would fall, and become the entry to mainland Japan for the American army. The battle, and the war was lost. But while it was clear to the Americans and the mainland based Japanese Imperial Army High command, the commander-in-chief of the Japanese forces on Okinawa, General Mitsuru Ushijima, decided to fight to the very last soldier and at least bring, at least in his mind, a heroic ending to this futile situation. In the last days of the battle, after the ammunition supply was nearly existed, he ordered his soldiers and thousands of Okinawa “slave” soldiers to fight with sticks. In this sad moment many, terrified and despondent Okinawans turned to something which was instinctive from their early history.

ad of n kobudo Although popular martial folklore tells us that the bo, or a long sturdy staff of about six feet long, has been in use in the Ryukyus from ancient times, few records support this claim. It is highly logical that a country with no natural iron deposits would turn to wood as its principal weapon material, with strong flexible hardwoods, such as red oak and resilient palm woods such as betel palm as a highly prized commodity. One of the first accounts of bo training and actual fighting is recorded in the text “Sennen Ryukyu Rekishi, 1000 years of Okinawan history.” It tells of a powerful Lord named Shunten who assumed the title of king and ruled with an iron fist from his Urasoe castle in Okinawa towards the end of 12th century. His missions against other Aji or Lords featured hundreds of bo-wielding men. The popular Ryukyu kobudo kata, Urasoe no kon, is possibly linked to the training method, or at least pays tribute to this historically fertile martial art area of Okinawa. Gusuku Shiro-ni Katarasetai chiiki no Rekishi (Gusuku: Regional History Talk on Castles history, published by the Okinawa Prefectural Museum Society) tells about the use of Bo-jutsu fighting skills at the time of Sanzan or “three kingdoms,” or “three mounts” period 1322–1429. Violent struggles occurred between the “king” of the southern region Osato-aji, the “king” of the northern region Nakajin-aji, and the “king” of the central region Tamagusuku-aji. Long staffs (6 feet) were used as spears, and shorter staffs (3 feet) were used as swords by the foot soldiers of the warlords. Swords, short (Mongolian type) bows and iron tipped spears were also used, by warriors of higher classes. We can only speculate about their martial training methods and strategies, but what is known that they were categorized into “ura” or district schools of wariorship simply called by the castle or Gusuku to which they gave their allegiance, and their secrets were closely guarded.

Warlord Gosemaru The turning point in the struggle came when the Emperor of Ming sent his envoy, Dai Yang, in the year 1372, to recognize Satto as the real King of what was to be widely known as the Rykyus. This establishment of Ming “celestial recognized” Sho dynasty laid the framework for subjugating the remaining lords of Okinawa. Shiso and his Sho Hashi attacked Urasoe castle in 1406, centralizing all power at their Shuri castle. In 1416 Hokuzan’s Nakijin castle fell, and in 1429 the Ozato castle of Nanzan was laid to ruin. As the governmental power based at Shurijo grew and prospered, the other castles fell on lean times. The once proud nobles and battle tested “Bushi,” or warriors, now turned to lives of farming and fishing. The fertile rice farming areas like Maeda village of Urasoe, popular coastal fishing villages and harbor based commercially important areas like Urasoe, Yomitan, Nakagusuku, Katsuren, Sashiki and Nakijin saw numerous “Bushi” seeking a decent wage for a decent day of work. Continued on next page

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Members of Mura-bo preservation groups perform. Along with intellect, and education these new arrivals brought the skills of Ti (empty hand combat) and various weapon arts, with special fondness for bo-jutsu (stick fighting skills). Partly to preserve their fighting skills, partly to integrate, or advance standing with new community they participated in demonstration of “mura-abashi” village theatricals or entertainment in celebration of good harvest. Music, singing, dance, Shisa-mai (lion dancing) and groups of bo wielding “strong-man” became the main stay of entertainment.   Over time Mura-bo (village bo skills) split into two groups, the larger, promoting the bo performance secretive, unique tangible asset of the village. They are as a pure entertainment form, with gongs crashing, still, perhaps now just romantically, viewed as skills of drums blazing, often covered by heavy smoke of fire civil defence, with a deep moral code, and a stringent crackers, the movements become large, exaggerated screening process for the new student. Where the more and more symbolic, then combative. The other group, dance-like Mura-do groups teach mostly local youth also commonly called Mura-bo, including Maeda, (often in preparation for a Village festival), the true Kochinda, Shashiki, Yomitan, hold steadfast to true combative Mura-bo factions, have a careful teacher to a fighting traditions of Bu-jutsu. devoted tradition, that is often hard to breach. The training methods, and skills are a It is easy to recognize the two groups by their costume. The cultural or dance-like (Mekata-bo) Mura-bo groups appears in the various forms of Mumuchi-henta, black or white striped, Chinese inspired costume (much like a modern dogi) tied with bright pieces of cloth (usual purple) and a headdress of same cloth tied as a Hachimaki. Its arresenal includes; Hitoribo, performed by one person and Kumibo performed by two, four or six people. The combat-based Mura-bo (Shinbuchi-bo) is practiced in everyday clothing without much fanfare or special costume, with solo exercises, set Kata (pre-set routines), striking solid object, in order to develop power, and one on one combat drills. Typical training methods can be gleaned from one, highly regarded group. The Maeda Village-bo system of Urasoe is headed by Tomimoto Yuko Discussing the evolution of Bojutsu with Kishaba sensei. sensei. Youthful and highly energetic, 48


Tomimoto who admits to being in his mid-70s, learned his skills from his father Yuye at an early age. One of Yuye’s jobs was to guard the fertile rice fields of his village. His father, in the wake of World War II, like his ancestors before him, saw starvation, not greed as the reason for theft in his prized fields. So the principal strategy of Maeda-bo was to distract (by various spins) and to strike non-lethal areas of the body. According to Tomimoto sensei, “if you badly injured, or killed an assailant, you became responsible for feeding his family.” THE GREAT DEBATE There are two opposing views on Origins of Modern Ryukyu Kobudo. Some notable Okinawan Kobudo masters contend that Ryukyu Kobudo and Mura-bo share the same distant ancestry. But over hundreds of years it developed, through research, travel, and combative testing like Kaki-damashi (a kind of a street fight, empty handed or with weapons), has evolved into a Budo system unto itself, with little resemblance to the prototype of Mura-bo. Others, headed by Hokama Tetsuhiro, Okinawa Kenshikai, Hanshi 10th dan, see Mura-bo and Ryukyu Kobudo as closely related as father and son. Hokama points out that popular kata like Tsukenbo or Shirotoru-bo date back possibly 500 years—long before the kata created by the “recognized’ founders of Ryukyu Kobudo such as Sakugawa, Shuji (Sayoushi), Oshiro. One thing is certain, all senior Okinawan teachers agree that Mura-bo is a rare and precious intangible asset of Okinawa culture and should be protected.

I would like to thank the following Okinawan Kobudo teachers for their teaching, sharing documents, personal insight and often just pointing me in the right direction. Hokama Tetsuhiro, Hanshi 10th dan, Nakamoto Masahiro, Hanshi 10th dan, Kishaba Chogi, Hanshi 10 dan, Kinjo Masakazu, Kyoshi 9th dan, Also now deceised Kobudo greats, Matayoshi Shinpo, Hanshi 10th dan, Akamine Eisuke, Hanshi 10th dan Also I am greatful for the continuing support of my Toronto based Budo research group Ryukyu no Kaze, including senior members; Steve Ouslis, Marion Manzo, Michael Walsh, Tony LaSelva, and Cos Vona. Hanshi Cezar Borkowski, an international Okinawan Kobudo expert, has more than four decades of experience studying, researching and teaching the martial arts. In 1972, he established Northern Karate, one of the most successful karate programs in the world. Hanshi Borkowski was a six-time Canadian Karate Champion. He has published many articles and books and is on the board of the Karate Masters Hall of Fame. Reach him at

The author teaching Bojutsu to children, Okinawa 1993 Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®


KATA: What Does by Master Vince Morris


notable increase in the number of “Masters” of bunkai (application or meaning of the various moves of kata) has manifested itself in recent years. Just do an internet search!

Mr. Morris demonstrates a Nami-gaeshi kick and kage-zuki throw from Tekki Shodan kata. 50


Thirty years ago, I was considered the “odd one” for my insistent research into the real meanings of Kata waza, and their underlying principles. One major UK magazine featured my photo on the cover with the heading: “Vince Morris – Pioneer or Pirate?” Another said many of the so-called “traditional” schools were uneasy about my explanations because they exposed their lack of their knowledge in the use of karate as a real defensive art. The central thrust of their training was merely to popularize the new “sport” karate. I had begun to establish a reputation as an author, with my 1979 book The Karate-Do Manual (published in the USA as The Illustrated Guide to Karate) and I was training with a formidable group of karate-ka which included— though we didn’t know it at the time—several national and world champions in both kata and kumite. As part of the classes in sensei Asano’s dojo we had a continual stream of Japanese 4th Dan junior instructors who were required to spend a few months with sensei, under his guidance and tutelage before becoming instructors in other dojo. Over time, training with them, fighting with them, and

es it Really Mean? getting to know them, it soon became apparent that they were mainly concerned with kihon (basics), kumite (sparring) and just trying to remember the sequences of the various kata. They paid little or no attention to the “meaning” of the techniques, nor had they been taught anything more than the rudimentary moves. Indeed, I remember (and still feel the embarrassment to this day) for one such unfortunate who had been training with us for months but who, one night suffered a “mental block” whilst performing Kanku- Dai in front of sensei and us senior grades, and even after many attempts, couldn’t finish the kata. Asano sensei got progressively more angry with each failure, and the outcome was that the junior instructor was sent out of the dojo. It was not long before he was dismissed altogether as unsuitable! A HISTORY My research revealed the paucity of training in bunkai at the Japanese University Dojo and in the JKA itself. It was no surprise to learn that even if they wanted to spend time studying a particular kata in-depth, there simply wasn’t time. Both the basic and instructor regimes, although fiercely hard and demanding, were directed towards producing karate-ka with strong, indomitable spirit who could more than hold their own against anyone in kumite and in competition. Much later I came to realize that this did not just apply to the junior instructors who lined up with us, but also to the senior instructors who had followed exactly the same pedagogic process. The fact is, there was little or no time given to in-depth study of bunkai, and, at that time, other ancillary areas, such as studying vital points. Neither of these aspects were considered to be of much importance because they had little effect on the winning trophies or championship titles. The standing joke in our dojo was that we always

looked forward to Asano sensei’s regular holiday in Tokyo because we would be soon learning the “new” kata that he would bring back with him. So much for the years of study afforded to each kata by the old Okinawan masters! I have written Vince Morris performs Hangetsu Kata, awarded elsewhere (Kyusho Secrets) highest points of the day by Kanazawa sensei (seated rear) about how it became clear that whenever the subject of bunkai came up with the Japanese sensei, it was given only rudimentary consideration and the explanations in the main were patently combat ineffective. You may remember the “attack by numbers and don’t move until the previous attack has been dealt with” scenarios with four attackers waiting patiently to attack at the designated moment. As if that weren’t silly enough, the attackers had to assume the characteristics of robots and would attack as if they were in the dojo and hold their positions just long enough to allow the defense to work. Nothing even approximating reality was allowed to intrude into this exercise in self-deception. The whole concept of understanding what you were doing was completely overwhelmed by simply trying to remember what move came next—and as long as it looked powerful and well balanced, that was it! The final scales fell from my eyes when after spending hours videotaping Asano sensei going through all the Kata in succession twice, one fast, one slow (a prodigious feat in itself ) he turned to me and one or two other senior grades who been selected to be uke and asked us to devise the bunkai! continued Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®




Reactive or Pre-emptive (Sen–no-sen, go-no-sen)

It is always safer to pre-empt an attacking move – either by simple strike or ‘pulling’ the attack you want. Pre-emptive carries greater legal implications. The rule - ‘Action beats Reaction’

Keep it Simple, Stupid!

Complex or Gross Motor Function Simple techniques will always work better under stress. It is impossible to execute complex waza in situations of great stress, fear or shock. The body reverts to gross motor function.

Correct ma-ai (combat distance)

Does the waza place you in the correct range to defeat the aggressor? Remember that most of the fight will be at very close range!

Speed of completion Depending on severity of situation, select the waza that finishes the attack fastest. End Game

Does the waza leave the opponent unable to continue the attack? This is an important consideration.

Body shift (Tai & Ashi sabaki)

Does the waza take you to the position of advantage where you can best control and defeat the attacker whilst minimizing the danger to you? General rules – never step backwards, go 45º

Unbalance the attacker

Does the waza take away some of the assailant’s power by unbalancing him?

Take the mind - Distraction techniques

Have you distracted, by spit, strike, kick, shout, etc., as a preemptive device?


The most effective waza have predictable results upon the aggressor, either by finishing the encounter or by forcing a reaction which brings his body into the correct position to take the finishing waza.

Vital Points (Kyusho – vulnerable areas)

Every human body has areas which are more susceptible to attack than others, not selecting waza which utilizes this fact is foolhardy and unacceptable. Rule – Always use the vulnerable areas.

In defense of the many fine Japanese instructors, it is not surprising that they had such a lack of knowledge of bunkai. From the moment master Funakoshi introduced this Okinawan art into mainland Japan, it is clear that there was very little, if any, explanation of the application of the techniques other than the most obvious. This was not solely master Funakoshi’s fault however, as we have it on the authority of Shimpan Gusukuma (one of master Itosu’s main students and contemporary of Funakoshi) that master Itosu himself did not know 52


From the moment master Funakoshi introduced this Okinawan art into mainland Japan, it is clear that there was very little, if any, explanation of application.

the bunkai to all the techniques. I will assume he is refering to the older Kata and not those which Itosu himself designed—for which he must necessarily have known the bunkai for. However it is also recorded that master Itosu and other senior sensei taught very different karate in private that they taught in the public school system. Of course, the shift from combat effectiveness to sport karate also vastly increased the number of Kata that the student would be expected to learn. Okinawan master Choki Motobu reflected



Waza is trained instinctive/reflexive

Humans have built-in reflexes which can be used in a positive manner (to train a reflexive defense reaction) or negatively (a reaction forced from the attacker flinch reflex etc.)

Maintains initiative

There is no “Ichi – Ni” type of counter – all blows, kicks, throws etc., flow into one continuous technique until the attack is defeated, thus retaining the initiative and forestalling further attacks.

Simultaneous defense & counter

The simplest & most effective defenses make blocking and/or escaping part of the counter attack.


Even if the unexpected happens, the waza places you in a position from which you can keep the initiative and flow into a follow-up technique without compromising the situation.

Realistic Attack & Defense

The whole scenario must be based only upon what actually happens in common acts of violence, and the reaction of the assailant to the waza must also be realistic. (i.e. – a hard blow to the face moves the head in the direction of the force etc.)

Use of Bodyweight

The waza maximizes the use of the defender’s body weight to impart greater power to the defensive technique. Rule – Always apply body weight to a technique if possible.

Defend against MOST LIKELY form of attack

The ‘Rule’ is – Always train the techniques which defend against the most common forms of assault first.

Both hands are working to a purpose

Rule - Hands only do 2 things in combat – protect you & hurt him! Make sure that at all times the hands are correctly engaged – that means no silly ‘hikite’ withdrawing to the hip, for example.

to his student Shoshin Nagamine, “In Okinawa, in the old days, students spent years meticulously learning a single Kata or two.” That custom in Tokyo (c.1936) has changed to the pointless practice of accumulating many kata without ever understanding their respective applications. TODAY Many modern students are interested in understanding the principles that the kata were designed to impart and to preserve the combat

But how can we know whether any particular defensive waza is any better than another which may “seem” to fit?

effectiveness of their art. But how can we know whether any particular defensive waza is any better than another which may “seem” to fit the outward manifestation of the kata movements? It was only after many years of research that I was able to satisfactorily devise a simple system to help to make such a decision. The culmination of my experimentation over the years was my book Rules of Combat and my various DVDs which cover this topic. continued Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®


These concepts can handily be condensed into a chart, which considers the way in which each bunkai waza fulfills certain criteria. Each element of this chart (and more) can be assessed on a sliding scale of 1–10, with the highest score denoting the higher level of compliance with the chart. Obviously, bunkai waza which scores high on the list is more likely to be effective in a real combat situation It should be inherently simple and straightforward, both to learn and to carry out, compared with those which have a low score. Finally, does it work at speed and under stress? Good bunkai should end with the attacker unable to continue his assault! Now, even before addressing the points on the list, it is important to ensure that the setup for combat training should mimic reality as much as possible. It should certainly never begin from the “dojo position” of Tori, in zenkutsu-dachi stance, attacking Uke, who stands with his hands down by his sides in the wholly inappropriately named ‘Yoi’ (ready) stance. Attacks should be realistic! If you see bunkai taught or demonstrated from this “dojo” position, my advise is to walk away—fights never start like this. The value of deriving waza from kata principles lies in the fact that you practice kata as the old masters always insisted was the correct way, by visualizing the opponent and the attack. Then, as Master Funakoshi would say, “If you understand one kata, you understand them all.” Now kata becomes a tool to aid defensive combat, not simply a dance. With the plethora of so-called “experts” offering bunkai suggestions all over the internet, you should remember “caveat emptor” (buyer beware). Very few of them have actually done much more in the way of research other than to attempt to “reverse engineer” various sequences of techniques without necessarily fully appreciating the principles which underlie them, the historical context, or the circumstances which they were designed to combat. For example, you’ll not find many of the internetexperts spending much time on demonstrating their bunkai against weapons. In a world where we have recently seen the horrific murder of an unarmed young soldier on the streets of England by two terrorist thugs armed with machetes, we are brought up with a sudden jerk, as we become aware of the fact that— if we consider 54


the average karate response— much of the bunkai which is being taught would not have been of great help! Why? Because by far the great majority is not correctly researched and is presented largely as responses to unarmed assailants in line with that of common dojo practice. You might think that all attacks were made with an empty hand and delivered from unrealistic distances with much use of Hikite, the non-striking fist being withdrawn empty to the hip. In fact, my research clearly shows that the old kata were often performed whilst holding a weapon of some sort. Okinawan master Hohan Soken, a student of Matsumura Soken, is known to have incorporated weapons into his regular training. For example, during the practice of the Matsumura Seito version of the kata “Kusanku” the students frequently held Kanzashi (distinctive, frequently sharp-pointed, hairpins). These Kanzashi were not mere symbols of rank or status but a readily available and dangerous weapon so prevalent that they were incorporated into defensive training! The obvious conclusion, when considering the evidence of the ethos and the recorded history of the age in which many of the kata were developed, is that much of the “Okuden,” the “hidden” waza of Kata, were designed to defend against armed as well as unarmed attacks. So look closely at what is offered as “bunkai.” Apply the test of logic and apply the “Rules of Combat.” If the moves look like they wouldn’t really work in the street— the odds are they won’t! Use your best martial arts weapon—your brain. Bunkai MUST work! I hope you find these ideas useful to your own training. Please contact me if you would like to learn more, or receive the regular free email newsletter. Also check out the distance-learning website for those wishing to master Kissaki-Kai Karate. All books and DVDs are available at: (Shotokan Karate a Precise History 2nd Ed. P.37 H. Cook.2009) Vince Morris © December 2013 NJ. Various Kanzashi British Open Championships.

For a limited time only you can get these special “Bundles” to see for yourself what thousands of others martial artists have discovered—the real defensive applications of Kata! Field-tested in the streets by Law Enforcement and Special Forces, you’ll understand the hidden principles underlying Kata Bunkai and you will dramatically increase your effectiveness by adding the “Rules of Combat”—the core fighting principles which make all the difference in real, violent encounters! n Law Enforcement Training Services Manual PLUS double DVD - Cop Combat & Hostage Defense. Regular price - $69. SPECIAL BUNDLE OFFER - only $60 n Gojushiho-Dai Kata & Essential Bunkai DVD PLUS Heian Kata & Bunkai double DVD set Regular price - $100. SPECIAL BUNDLE OFFER - only $80 n Rules of Combat Book PLUS Essential Kissaki-kai Double DVD. Training in the Five levels of Kissaki-Kai Karate. Regular price - $72. SPECIAL BUNDLE OFFER - only $60 Other ‘Bundles’ available on the website DVDs, Books, Double DVD sets, etc.

2014 OK mag EVENT CALENDAR April 3–6 Grand Internationals, Albuquerque, NM April 4–6 Korean Martial Arts Festival, Crestview, Florida June 20–21 The Battle of Atlanta, Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel and Convention Center June 21 The United States Karate Championships, Mesquite, Texas, Convention Center August 2 50th Anniversary Long Beach International Karate Championships, Long Beach, California, Convention Center

Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®


Keeping the Past from

Living and Teachi


UDDHISTS SAY EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON AND EVERYTHING IS IRREVOCABLY TIED TOGETHER. If you change a single tiny moment everything would be affected. I am writing this in my small apartment in Seoul, Korea. My wife Gi-Ryung is reading her paper and our son Alex is sleeping in his room. I reflect on how lucky I am.

My parents, young free thinkers in their twenties, raised my brother Douglas and I to be individuals and to take the world by storm. I grew up in the ’70s and ’80s loving rock music, action movGM Jung Kyoung-Hwa practicing Poom Bakl-Key ies, comic (rhythic stepping). books and…obviously…the martial arts. I think my father had no idea what was going to happen when I sat with him on the sofa as a toddler and watched Chuck Norris compete on cable television. It slowly became my entire life…and I needed it! We mostly lived in small towns and so we often stuck out like neon lights during an eclipse. Life was far from easy and sometimes I thought I’d never survive. The constant bullying nearly broke me. I became a recluse, but luckily, instead of falling into negative outlets for my stress, it pushed me into books, movies, and training. It eventually led me to relocate to South Korea in the year 2000, so I could follow in the footsteps of my childhood inspiration,



Chuck Norris. Because of my experiences I wasn’t apprehensive about starting anew on the other side of the world. Within 90 minutes of arriving at my new apartment, I went out with a English–Korean dictionary and signed up at two martial arts schools. Deciding to take the bull by the horns I attacked it like Mas Oyama. My first year in Korea I saw more, experienced more, and did more than my last 10 years in Canada. A major event was meeting my wife-to-be, Kwon Gi-Ryung. Eight months after that we married in the city of Daegu. Soon we welcomed our son, John Alexander Hun-Min Larke into the world. He was two months premature and while it was touch and go for a while, we brought him home after a few weeks. My wife worried about how he would be treated being only half Korean. We soon moved to a large, but very conservative, city in the country. It seemed you could count the number of non-Koreans on one hand. Gi-Ryung said I had to choose whether I would be the “circus clown” many Koreans wanted, to quietly hide away, or just go in loud and proud. The first one was never my style, and as far as avoiding the world, I did that for too many years already. The only thing left was to try to be the best at what I did. As “expats” we were treated as disposable although I was valuable as an English tutor. I was already a volunteer instructor for most of the gyms I studied at and often brought my four-year old son to just watch and play with the younger students. The next obvious step was to try to make a living at teach-

Repeating Itself

By Master Guy Edward Larke

ng in Korea ing English through my martial arts. I put even more time into training and my son eagerly followed whatever I did. To him it was just playing with Daddy. At the age of 6 he started his own training in the Wushu gym I attended. I was proud he took it so seriously. He even began studying Cheon Ji Muye Do (created by retired Korean Hong Kong action star Casanova Wong). We relocated to a supposed, “better” city so I could teach Taeglish (English martial arts for children), but unfortunately, it was even more backwards socially. By this time Alex had started elementary school and within the first week he was experiencing the same kind of grief I experienced 30 years previously. Many times I saw kids and even teenagers that I knew had martial arts training get pummeled by the most rudimentary techniques. Something was wrong. Traditional training was lost in favor of recreation for children. As martial artists we know that life doesn’t work like the Power Rangers and the bullies are usually bigger, stronger and many cases more skilled (especially in Asia). My Taeglish classes became less formalized sport Taekwondo classes (as most of the people wanted) and more freestyle self-defense. I taught what would not just stop a bully, or even an adult assailant, but a more physically intimidating one. It slowly became a success, but we soon moved on to the area of Seoul, called Boondang (where we have resided for three years now). In part the move was vocational and in part for our child’s well-being. If you are in a multi-racial family, the harsh reality is you need to think big cities, not small towns. Alex was becoming more withdrawn from me in part because his father was not just a foreigner, but a martial arts teacher to boot. At least here in Korea, if you are going to pursue this vocation do it in Busan or Seoul! Another crucial decision was to stop teaching martial arts for a living. The pressure for games, parties, and easy gradings drove my wife and I insane. So I moved into martial arts marketing consulting and writing. It was a little harder to make a living but far more rewarding. Plus the exposure to styles, masters and concepts that I have been blessed with has been overwhelming.


ow teaching my son martial arts has become a joy once more. With two of his closest friends, Ji Hung and Ji-Ah Youn, he studies a condensed version of my martial arts curriculum. All three had previously gotten the quick, Korean children’s black belts and lost interest in it. Perhaps more martial arts will go the way of Jeet Kune Do or Krav Maga (less emphasis on belts). After all, the colored belts system was just designed less than a century ago for Japanese students studying Judo. Whether someone studies a traditional system, a modern one or a martial sport, the uniforms and belts are really just paraphernalia. It’s the content that matters. What I do is not revolutionary but it brought my son closer to me than ever before and reintroduced his friends into something they had grown disenchanted with. All three are happy, healthy, speak better English and they know if they are threatened they can systematically take care of it. What more can you ask as a parent or a teacher?

Korea Taekgyeon Association DoJang

Master Guy Edward Larke has dedicated his life to the pursuit of the martial arts, Asian culture and hopology. He lives in Seongnam city, Korea, with his wife Gi-Ryung and son Alexander. He holds black belts in multiple arts, writes for various magazines and runs KisaDo Muye & Marketing. He can be contacted at kisa_do_muye@ Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®


jim mather’s Karate life ™


Hanshi Jim Mather

A Letter that Left Me Speechless

t wasn’t all that long ago that I posted on why I didn’t want to be a 10th dan. Although my feelings haven’t changed about being qualified, I was persuaded to reconsider. Part was my age and the uncertainty that comes with it. Another was a letter I received last week from an organization and man I greatly respect, Shihan Patrick Hickey, President, USA Karate Federation. I certainly don't feel worthy but, as I said, greatly respect those who awarded it. (I've turned down several similar offers in the past - all from people and organizations who knew nothing about me except what they read.) I have trained with these highly skilled men and the USAKF, which for many years was the official National Governing Body for karate in the USA under the US Olympic Committee. They know me and we have trained together many times, over many years. Hanshi George Anderson, who founded the USAKF, was a great mentor to me as well as a close friend. I not only learned a huge, huge amount from him but he also opened many doors for me around the world, allowing me to train with almost anyone I could name. I equally admire Hanshi Koeppel. He has been a legend for as long as I can remember. So to be placed among these two giants of the martial arts makes me feel very uncomfortable. Here is what it said:



November 1, 2013 USA KARATE FEDERATION The Premier Federation for Karate in the United States of America Historic Founding Member, World Karate Federation & Pan American Karate Federation Dear Hanshi Mather: The recognizing of a 10th dan is a very personal event. In the United States many individuals either rank themselves as 10th dan, stay away from the title as it is considered a retirement, the 10th dan does not come from a group in Japan, or simply use the idea of not being a 10th dan to create notoriety (the individual knows inside he is not a candidate for any senior recognition). The goal of the USA Karate Federation is to recognize senior masters in the United States with equal experience and involvement in the martial arts just as any other nationality or art that recognizes the 10th dan. There are certain individuals, such as yourself, with experience and experiences that many current and upcoming karate masters, both in Japan and the USA, will never have. The United States, in a legitimate forum, needs to step up and give proper recognition to individuals in the United States that have a treasure of knowledge equal to or greater then many recognized karate masters. In this sense, the USA Karate Federation does not “promote” to 10th dan but simply recognize those individuals who are of 10th dan – the most senior and knowledgeable of the karate in America with strong character, integrity and morals.

Karate came to the United States as early as 1945, one generation after karate entered Japan from Okinawa. In the 1930s Karate became part of the Butokukai which was one of two rank and title awarding organizations in Japan. The active karate instructors of the time came together in some fashion and established an order of hierarchy in both major groups. This order became legitimate ranking for karate in Japan and a hierarchical control was established over karate as in other martial arts of the day in Japan. It is my belief that those master’s chosen at the time to be the leaders of the karate movement in Japan were chosen because of their knowledge and influence in karate. Many modern (19301972) masters trained under one or more of these individuals. Hanshi George Anderson once told 1948. Young Jonathan Lusk’s life was perme, “Dan rank means nothing. What really fect. His father a Nobel Prize winning Harvard establishes an hierarchy is who asks who the professor; his mother the beautiful only child question.” You have and continue to be a go to of Boston socialites. Jonathan’s life is turned person influencing many senior masters and yet upside down when he finds himself in Japan, you are available to even the beginning white living with his grandfather, former American belt. You are one of the most senior karate-ka Ambassador and a judge on the Tokyo War in the United States today, still active and yet Crimes Tribunals. American opulence and comvery humble with strong morals that you are not fort is abruptly replaced by subtle Japanese afraid to project. Your experience and wealth of elegance and traditional austerity. The boy is thrust into a life among strangers and forced to knowledge is equaled by few, Americans and navigate his way through a new country, foreign Japanese alike. We at the USA Karate Federation customs, unfamiliar language, and ultimately cannot think of any reason why this organization political intrigue that will threaten his life. should not recognize you as a karate 10th Dan. You join the few individuals that the USA “I enjoyed this very much. It was engrossing Karate Federation has recognized as 10th dan from page one, leading me into a world I haven’t Hanshi George E. Anderson and Hanshi Philip seen before. I’m a huge fan of Kurosawa, W. Koeppel. Shogun and Last Samurai among other works You have our recognition, respect, and on Japan so I was quite surprised that you warm wishes. could find new stops on a well-traveled OK RE A journey.” —Mike Cheda, Former head D E R ’S Yours in Karate and the Martial Arts, of development, Disney & HBO O rder Jim Patrick M. Hickey, President Mathe r new ’s USA Karate Federation www novel at .Amaz on

This article is taken from Hanshi Jim Mather’s Karate Life Blog which traces his over 55 years in the arts including friendships with many icons and celebrities. He is on the Board of MAGI® and the Karate Masters Hall of Fame®


Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®


Nutritional self defense


Four Core Anti-Aging Essentials

Dr. Craig Rubenstein

Your Personal Fountain of Youth


ou’ve heard of all the latest and the greatest supplements from all the anti aging gurus, carnosine, pterostilbene, resveratrol, fisetin, and others, and they may all be great, but without a strong base or strong foundation to build on, many of these cutting edge supplements will fall short of their media hype. Why do you need a strong base you may ask? The answer is simple. Let’s look at the martial arts for an answer. If you are in an actual fight or sparring and you do not have a strong base, what happens? You know the answer; you can be taken down in an instant. The same is true in regard to your health. As you get older, and I mean over 35 not 75 for most people, your system begins to change, we wake up less energized than in our twenties, our digestive systems aren’t so smooth, our stamina is not the same, our workouts are a little tougher and the old injuries start to nag at us. Physiologically we age too; we secrete less digestive enzymes, the antibiotics we’ve taken depleted our good intestinal bacteria, our inflammatory system becomes overactive, our brains are not as sharp as they were and the lack of sun leads to low vitamin D (vitamin D levels should be tested on your next blood test). It is important that we eat a diet rich in life extending nutrients and low in life depleting substances, such as, artificial sweeteners, colors, preservatives, and other crazy chemicals. Next is the need for daily exercise, as much as you can fit in, of all different types. Plenty of clean water, with a bare minimum of 32 ounces, and that doesn’t mean caffeinated coffee or tea, or soda or fruit juice. Meditation or other 60


forms of true relaxation for the body and mind is a must. Finally, a strong nutritional foundation of proper vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to supplement the aforementioned healthy lifestyle choices is essential.


Multivitamins: The most basic form of anti-aging supplementation that is often overlooked is a solid high quality multivitamin. The nutrients in a good multi support everything from the brain and nervous system to the liver, heart, vascular and immune systems. See my previous article on Multi Vitamins in the Spring 2013 issue. These foundational nutrients are a crucial base to build upon, giving you what I call background nutrition. To see the far reaching effects of a multivitamin we can look at a fascinating study from Britain. The study showed that violence in a British prison dropped by 37 percent after vitamins and omega-3 oils were added to the prisoners' diets. Amazing!!! We will get to the Omega 3’s later. Another great study from the Chinese military showed the use of a multivitamin improved the recovery of the adrenal glands, the thyroid, the testicles and the immune system after overtraining. Not too shabby!!! But let’s not forget about one of the most important “nutrients” of all, WATER! Dehydration is prevalent in many people, but more so in athletes. Without proper hydration, all the supplements in the world can’t stop the muscle

Pterost il

ine arnos



Without a strong base or strong Fiset in foundation to build on, many of rol t a r e these cutting edge supplements Resv will fall short of their media hype. cramps, fatigue, constipation, headaches and even kidney stones that are associated with the long-term effects of dehydration. Despite the lack of sophistication, and contrary to popular belief, water is the most effective and least expensive fluid replacement for most types of short duration moderate exercise.


Digestive enzymes: As we age our ability to produce optimal levels of digestive enzymes decreases. This decreases our ability to properly breakdown our food and extract all the life giving nutrients we must have. To counteract this on a nutritional level the simple solution is to take a high quality digestive enzyme product. This will enhance our ability to fully digest our proteins, starches and fats. This helps two-fold. First, we get the benefits of the macronutrients, fats for anti inflammatories and hormones, starches and carbs for quick energy and proteins for everything from muscle development to immune function. Second, we now properly digest our food so we can benefit from all the micronutrients, such as, vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, polyphenols, other antioxidants, amino acids, etc… Without proper digestion we are doomed.


Probiotics: The latest research coming out on the role probiotics and our intestinal flora is just incredible. Researchers actually transplant the stool from a healthy person into someone with a disease like Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune disease of the intestines, and many people have significant improvements. The results in this type of transplant research, most of which is in animals, are impressive so far for numerous conditions. The transplants are even being researched for things like diabetes and obesity. What is being transplanted is the good bacterial flora of the healthy subject into the unhealthy one. For now, and if you’re not ready for putting the stool of someone else into you, then the next best thing is to take as many strains of

good bacteria that are available in capsules or powders. The common names of these probiotics are different forms of lactobacillus and bifidobacteria.


Omega 3’s: Omegas 3’s have been in the news for years now and for good reason. Unfortunately, most people living in industrialized countries with fast food or processed or commercialized food diets are deficient in the health enriching Omega 3 fatty acids. The director of the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia, Dr. Richard Deckelbaum stated, that current omega 3 fatty acid consumption in the U.S. is "about one-third to one-sixth what we would consider the recommended levels." His advice is similar to many other experts. Not only is it suggested to increase your intake of omega 3 oils, but it is suggested that you decrease your intake of its counter-balancer the omega 6 oils. When the ratio of omega 3 and omega 6 oils is off then your whole system is prone to inflammation, hormonal issues and problems in every cell of your body. For more information on this topic please see my article… (The SAD Omega 3 Story-embed link and add issue info since this is the printed issue) Consuming a healthy diet that is full of good organic carbs like non starchy veggies (broccoli, asparagus, kale etc… and low sugar fruits (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and melons) along with high quality free range organic meats and poultry as well as wild caught fish, drinking 32-64 ounces of clean high quality water and exercising and meditating daily is an amazing start. On top of a great lifestyle, the addition of a superior multi vitamin, digestive enzymes, probiotics and the anti-inflammatory omega 3’s puts you on the road to a strong anti-aging foundation. Dr. Craig Rubenstein was a team Chiropractor to the US Freestyle Ski Team in 1990. He is a certified clinical nutritionist and a Fellow and Diplomate of the International Academy of Clinical Acupuncture. His Park Avenue practice is in NY and he has a satellite office in Suffolk County, Long Island. 212-213-9494 Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®




By Rick Nathanson, 8th Dan


hen Grandmaster James H. Hawkes died in 2012, at his Albuquerque home at age 75, we lost a true original and one of the pioneers of karate in America. But his teachings live on in the new United States Association of Martial Artists. This organization, for practioners of all disciplines and levels, was founded by Sensei Hawkes’ widow, Sue Hawkes. It is established on the principles and ideals of GM Hawkes as well as GM Robert A. Trias, and with the blessings of numerous highlyregarded martial artists from across the country. The USAMA provides a venue for martial artists to come together to share ideas, further their knowledge through seminars, receive recognition of individual accomplishments, and to compete in a fair and safe environment. For many who were privileged to know and train under Sensei Hawkes, the association will be seen as an extension of the man who was a teacher extraordinaire and role-model, predestined by genetics.

As the story goes, James’s father, James Hawkes Sr., and his mother, the former Priscilla Chavez, went out on their first chaperoned date in 1935 to a wrestling match in their hometown of Belen, a small community south of Albuquerque. At some point, he excused himself, presumably, she thought, to use the restroom. The next time she saw him, he was up in the ring as one of the competitors. It’s not known if he won the match, but he apparently won Priscilla. They married a short time later in 1936, and nine months after that James Jr. entered the world. As James Jr. got older, his father imparted bits and pieces of his wrestling vocabulary to the boy. There were endurance and breathing exercises, footwork and grappling exercises, exercises that had him running forward, backward and sideways to school. There were takedowns, throws, drop falls, rolling falls, arm bars, kicks and specialized punches. Many of these were later incorporated into the karate workouts and regular student training led by GM Hawkes. A natural athlete, Jim Hawkes attended Belen High School in the 1950s, where he played football, baseball and began boxing. He was a regional Golden Gloves boxing champion in 1955 and 1957, turned

ABOVE: Gary Purdue, Robert Trias, James Hawkes, Dirk Mosig, kneeling: Rob Watson, Lee Kittell. RIGHT: Tenth Dan promotion in March, 2008 in Albuquerque. Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®


down a full-ride baseball scholarship Sensei Hawkes became a regular from Fort Lewis College in Colorado competitor on the USKA tournament (he did play semi-pro baseball in circuit and fought on the highly Albuquerque). regarded USKA national team of the In the late 1950s, Hawkes 1960s, along with teammates Victor worked as a locomotive fireman, Moore, Jim Harrison, Jimmy Johnson engineer and lineman for the Santa and Jim McLain. Sensei Hawkes was Fe Railroad. While stationed in later appointed by Grandmaster Trias as Clovis, he exercised at a gym on the USKA’s Southwest regional director Cannon Air Force Base. and Shorin-Ryu style head.    “At the other end of the gym Hawkes won or placed in more were guys wearing white pajamas,” than 250 local, state, regional, national he later recalled of his first exposure and international tournaments. Black to karate. “They moved in unison, Belt Magazine named him one of the with precise, choreographed fighting top-ten fighters in the country in 1967, techniques. I liked what I saw and 1968 and 1969. Sue and James Hawkes asked the instructor if I could join in.”     He was a member of the elite     That instructor, martial arts Trias International, the Amateur Athletic luminary Ken Funakoshi, awarded Jim Hawkes his first Union president for karate in New Mexico. He was degree black belt in Japanese Shotokan karate in 1960. also a national and state Coach of the Year multiple     When the railroad transferred Hawkes back to times, based on accumulated tournament points of his Albuquerque, he began training under James Kennedy, students. a former Air Force serviceman who had studied in After GM Hawkes’ initial rank certifications from Okinawa under karate Master Fusei Kise. Ken Funakoshi and James Kennedy, all his subsequent Kennedy shared a workout space with Leo Poulin, promotions through 8th Dan were awarded to him another former Air Force serviceman who studied Judo directly by Grandmaster Trias. His 9th Dan was presented at the famous Kodokan in Japan in the early 1950s. to him by Sekichi Odo, head of Okinawa Kenpo Karate Poulin opened the first commercial martial arts school in Kobudo Federation, and his 10th Dan presented to him Albuquerque in 1960, Judo Clubs Inc. When Kennedy by the governing board and senior yudansha of the joined him the name of the school changed to Judo and United States Karate Alliance in conjunction with Phillip Karate Clubs Inc. Jim Hawkes earned his black belt in Koeppel, director of the United States Karate-Do Kai Shorin-Ryu from Sensei Kennedy and in 1963 took over and Glenn Keeney, president of the Professional Karate the karate program. Commission. He also served as a Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Fred Absher, 70, a renowned master of Kojosho deputy from 1977 to 1993. During that time he taught karate, and director of the International Kojosho Karate police defensive tactics to sheriff’s deputies, reserve Federation, competed against Jim Hawkes in the 1960s officers and agents with the federal Drug Enforcement and ’70s. “He was a giant, and one of the originals from Administration. He served as a combative measures karate’s earliest days.” He also called Jim Hawkes “a good instructor for military personnel at Luke Air Force Base friend.” in Arizona and Fort Bliss Army Base in Texas.     “He was the man to beat regionally and in the top     His real love, however, was martial arts. At a 10 nationally—just an awesome opponent and one of tournament in Phoenix in the early 1960s, Sensei those guys you really didn’t look forward to fighting. But Hawkes met Robert Trias, who had founded the United Sensei Hawkes was well respected and always generous, States Karate Association in 1948, the first and largest even with his competitors, offering insights on how international karate organization in the country. The two they could become better at their own game. So he was men became fast friends and had similar life experiences. something of a mentor to me.” Both had worked for the railroad and had boxed when When GM Trias died in 1989, his association they were younger, both were law enforcement officers, fell into disarray. Hawkes was instrumental in helping and both were from the multi-cultural American establish the United States Karate Alliance as a way to Southwest and spoke fluent Spanish. maintain Trias’ principles and organizational framework. 64


Freestyle sparring is where the karateka expands his or her vocabulary of techniques and learns which ones work best and those that still need some refinement.

That ongoing mission has now been taken up by the USAMA One of GM Hawkes’ guiding principles was that the co-mingling of different styles presents opportunities for sharing and improving. “We can all learn from each other,” he used to say. “We want to encourage individual martial artists to find ways to enhance their own style, while at the same time remaining true to the principles of their traditional systems.” Consequently, it’s important for a martial arts organization to GM Hawkes fighting David Moon in the 1960s “offer students the opportunity to further their skills, knowledge, and and techniques. understanding.” Kata also makes Competition is one way to accomplish that. the practitioner “Tournaments teach adaptability, which is useful a better fighter because it is easy to get bogged down with techniques by providing that you work in the dojo all the time and that you are multiple comfortable with. A tournament situation forces you techniques, to be resourceful and respond to the unexpected,” he which, over time, become second-nature responses.” said. With respect to kobudo, Hawkes observed that, Despite the advantages of tournament “Weapons are an extension of the body, and training competition, Hawkes rejected the sports philosophy with weapons raises a martial artist’s awareness to a (often attributed to Green Bay Packers football coach higher level and challenges his or her skills.” Vince Lombardi) that “winning isn’t everything, it’s the One of GM Hawkes’ biggest personal joys was only thing.” guiding students as they advanced through the ranks “That mindset has really screwed up sports,” and achieved great successes as a karate-ka. “But of even he said. “Some of the best lessons and the greater importance and more personally satisfying,” he biggest improvements come out of defeat and said, “is watching these same students blossom into disappointment.” While tournament competition is a intelligent, caring and decent human beings. For the great venue for challenging and improving oneself, he true goal of karate is not to teach the practitioner to be believed the real magic happens in the dojo. a better puncher, a better kicker or a better fighter. The Regarding kumite, GM Hawkes said, “Freestyle true goal is to teach the karate-ka to be a better person. sparring in the dojo is where the karateka expands That is karate-do. That is the way.” his or her vocabulary of techniques and learns as a practical matter which ones work best and those that Rick Nathanson is an 8th Dan and the senior student in the Jim Hawkes Karate still need some refinement, as well as how to control dojo in Albuquerque and a chief instructor. Kyoshi Nathanson began studying what they throw. Not everybody’s physical abilities or karate in the late 1960s in Chicago under Gerald Gillman, then director of the body type is conducive to every offensive or defensive Chicago Midwest Karate Association. In 1979 he moved to Albuquerque and technique. The dojo is where the individual can expand became a student of James H. Hawkes, with whom he was associated for 33 the envelope and learn what things to rely on in in a years, until the Grandmaster’s death in 2012. Kyoshi Nathanson is a long-time real life situation.” reporter/staff writer for the Albuquerque Journal, the largest daily newspaper in On the practice of forms, he noted, “When you New Mexico. do kata, you need to visualize not only your opponent, but also yourself. Picturing how you will use your weapons— your body— against an opponent allows you to improve, polish and refine your capabilities Martial Arts Grandmasters International ®


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Official Karate 2014 Annual  

Official Karate's 2014 Annual features Mark Kline and Vince Morris on Kata applications. Also, Arlene Lima's Favorite Fighting Techniques an...

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