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8 I West Coast Wrap-up


He’s a forgotten pioneer of karate in America.

10 I Taika Seiyu Oyata


Hanshi Albert O. Geraldi shares his rememberences of his late teacher.

16 I Where did “degrees” of black belt come from?

Hanshi Dan Tosh explores the history of the black belt.

20 I American Masters in Ireland

Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Matsubayashi ShorinRuy in Athlone, Ireland.

23 I Karate Kids Korner


What Taekwondo means to one young lady.

24 I Wisdom from a Grandmaster

Keith D. Yates discusses injuries to growth plates in children.

26 I MAGI® Benefits Expanding

Why you should be a member of MAGI®.

28 I Favorite Fighting Techniques from the Masters TM

Fighting techniques from Ishmael Robles.

30 I Canadian Connection


The Canadian Black Belt Hall of Fame.

32 I Kung Fu Korner Sifu Karen Schlachter says we need “Chopstick TM

Stories” for our students.




summer 2012

32 I An American Samurai Prof. Gary Lee talks about Dr. Manung Gyi. 38 I Sport Karate Roundup


Grandmaster Joe Corley has an article.

40 I Jim Mather’s Karate Life


There is a moral to this story.

42 I Nutritional Self Defense Dr. Craig Rubenstein gives you a complete rundown TM

on vitamins.


48 I The Highs, Lows and Plateaus of Training


Be sure to “Like” us at

From Grandmaster Gene Perceval.


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summer 2012


Official Karate Magazine™ is the “official” publication of Martial Arts Grandmasters International®. It is a 21st Century version of the original Official Karate that was published from June 1969 to Winter 1995 by founding editor Al Weiss and Charlton Publications. We are published quarterly in digital format with a printed “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: Tony Annesi, Ric Black, Cezar Borkowski, Joe Corley, Linda Denley, Emil Farkas, 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



Sound Off! Ahh, the good ole days are back. —James Cook Grandmaster Yates, great articles and thanks for the mention. It is always nice to be remembered. —Grandmaster Pat Worley We distributed the 2012 Annual Issue to officials at our Battle of Atlanta after-party hosted by Andy Horne. It was well received by all. —Grandmaster Joe Corley I remember reading Official Karate back in the early seventies. It never went “glossy,” it stayed true to the art, good reporting, real people, a mag you could relate to. I am so glad it is back. —Al Case Wow! That is so cool! To be able to read Official Karate on my ipad or computer or iphone is so cool! [editor’s note: view it via our website]. Thanks for the gift. GMs Linick and Yates, you going to get me hooked! I wish I could find early editions of Official Karate’s Yearbook, maybe 1978 to 1981, that had a featured picture of me in the Stars of the Martial Arts. Be cool for my students and son to see what we did back in the day of full-contact karate­—I mean light contact. —Master Danny McCall Keith, a splendid article on Martial Arts wisdom, and all it entails. I genuinely enjoyed it. —Grandmaster Richard Jenkins Thanks for the link to Official Karate magazine. The Spring issue was very informative. —Master Greg Harris

EDITORIAL Reflecting Back and Looking Forward From the Publisher


received a call today from a long-time friend and fellow Board of Advisor member of Martial Arts Grandmasters International® ( about grandmaster Taika Seiyu Oyata’s passing and after I hung up I got to thinking. Suppose you learned you only had one month to live… how would you spend that time and with whom? And, how would you want to be remembered by the martial arts community? Post your remarks on the Tribute Page at our website at Our next Annual issue (Winter 2013) will contain a section in memory of martial artists we are aware of who passed away in the past year. You can help by sending us names of those you know, along with their rank and association, photos—and anything you wish to write about them (short bios/contributions/milestones). We’ll edit them and put them in a special section in the printed editon. And in this edition we are introducing a new column (Karate Kid’s Korner™) written by kids for kids. We plan columns and interviews such as: How to handle a bully on and off the mat (in or outside the dojo), Resolving conflict peacefully, Exploring children’s ideas, feelings and Aspects of training, learning, and practicing. We are also planning on starting a photo/art contest where

contributing young people can win prizes. Our desire is to offer entertaining and informative stories for young people in the martial arts that can help them to live with sensitivity and intelligence in their daily lives. Go to the new Karate Kid’s Korner™ on the magazine website ( We also want to add a book and DVD review section to the magazine. If you have a new book or instructional video, please send it to our managing editor, Keith D. Yates, and we’ll consider it for a full review in a future issue. Finally, our next issue (Fall) will feature more tribute to Oyata, O’Sensei. Those who knew him or who were influenced in some way by him, please share your memories whether humorous or serious to pass along to the martial arts community. With your help and contributions we can once again make Official Karate Magazine™ the best source for inspiration and information for the world martial arts community. Thank you for your continuing support. Andrew Linick, Hanshi

Martial Arts Grandmasters International TM


western Wrapup TM

Sensei Emil Farkas

Bruce Tegner: A MA Pioneer


t a recent martial arts conference, I had the opportunity to sit down with a group of old-time karate instructors, and the topic of the early karate pioneers came up. We began discussing who were some of the people most responsible for the growth and popularity of karate in the U.S. We threw names around including Ed Parker, Hidetaka Nishiyama, Peter Urban, Robert Trias, Jhoon Rhee, Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, etc. I suddenly tossed out the name of Bruce Tegner. Everyone at the table knew of him, yet no one saw him as a major influence in the karate world. As a historian, I am amazed at how the karate community has shunned Tegner when he, more then anyone in my opinion, helped to popularize karate, as well as other martial arts at a time when there were few dojos and little available information on the subject. Tegner, who was born in Chicago in 1929, began his martial arts training at a very young age. Both his mother and father were professional judo and ju jitsu instructors. His mother, June, was among the first female judo experts in the U.S. and was one of the few women to train at the Kodokan in Japan. By the 1930s, she was running the Chicago School of Judo, one of the largest dojos in the U.S. From an early age, Tegner received training from some of the leading oriental martial arts experts at the time. The Tegner family moved to Southern California in the 1940s where they continued to teach the martial arts. By the late 1940s, Bruce was working with numerous Hollywood celebrities,



choreographing fight scenes for various films. In 1952 he opened a large dojo on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood. Soon he had a large following and among his students were numerous Hollywood stars such s Ricky Nelson, James Coburn and Steve Reeves (of Superman fame). Tegner, who specialized in teaching selfdefense, had one of the first dojos with a large student body of women and children. He was also one of the first black belts to teach courses to the blind and disabled. Unknown to most, it was Tegner who published the first martial arts magazine in the country. Entitled “Judo” it appeared on newsstands in 1952, years before any other martial arts publication made an appearance. It was Tegner who first exposed karate to American TV viewers when in 1959 he played a karate instructor on the “Detectives” television series starring Robert Taylor. Two years later, he gave karate even more exposure when his student Ricky Nelson performed an extensive karate fight sequence on the famous “Adventures of Ozzi and Harriet” TV show. With the goal of exposing martial arts to the general public, Tegner began to author a number of soft covered martial arts books on karate, savate, kung fu, aikido, judo, stick fighting, etc. These books, published in the early 1960s and distributed by Bantam Books, had a great influence on the growth of martial arts. Published in 1959, his book, “Karate: The Open Hand and Foot Fighting,” led thousands of readers to seek instruction in this little heard of fighting system. I was personally told by such well-known karate

instructors as Ed Parker, Peter Urban and Robert Trias how potential students would come to their dojos with a Bruce Tegner book in their hand. Mr. Parker one day said to me that Tegner was by far the most influential man in the growth of early karate in the U.S. At the time few books, if any, were available on the subject and, due to its soft cover, had great distribution. Tegner’s books were found everywhere – from bookstores to libraries and some were even sold at newsstands. It is interesting to note that in the last 10 years reality-based martial arts have become very popular, yet Bruce Tegner was teaching his Jukado self defense system as early as 1952. Combining elements of judo, ju jitsu, karate and aikido, he was among the first to realize that most people who came to a dojo to learn simple, basic self-defense techniques that were applicable on the street. It was this concept that in the early days made him unpopular with the majority of traditional senseis. By the time he died in 1985, Tegner had authored over 30 books on the various martial arts. His influence in the growth of martial arts, especially karate, cannot be over looked. I met Tegner in 1966 and remember him saying to me that if karate is to grow in the world it must loose its secrecy and mystique. He said that karate must be presented as a martial art that anyone can learn – men, women and children – and that all the different system and styles must learn to live in harmony. Bruce Tegner was a martial arts pioneer – a man ahead of his time.

Ricky Nelson was the Justin Bieber of his day and he was a martial arts student of Bruce Tegner as seen in this photo from the 1950s.

Master Emil Farkas is a prolific author and has established himself as top historian on the martial arts. He founded the Beverly Hills Karate Academy where he teaches many celebrities as well as training and coaching several champions. He was one of the original columnists for Official Karate magazine. Martial Arts Grandmasters International TM


Profile of a Grandmaster™

Honoring My Teacher, Taika Seiyu Oyata


aika Seiyu Oyata, Master of Classical Okinawan Karate and founder of Oyata Shin Shu Ho (Oyata’s Truthful Hands Method), passed away on June 18, 2012. His memory, art and skill will continue to live on in many martial artists throughout the world for decades to come. In his book, “Ryu-Te No Michi” (“The Way of the Ryu Kyu Hands”) Taika referred to his art as being a “life protection art” and that “the ultimate

goal for Ryukyu Hands practitioners of any time is to understand the true contents of life protection arts and use their knowledge and wisdom for the benefit of human lives.” His life quest was to continue perfecting his art for this very purpose. Even during his last few days, while practicing a particular move, he turned to one of his senior instructors, Gary Shull, and said, “Never quit, right.” The man as well as the teacher was, for all of us, a testimony for strength of the human spirit. Taika Seiyu Oyata with Hanshi Albert O. Geraldi, Founder and Director of Zenkoku Ryukyu Kempo Karate-Do Renmei, Inc.



By Hanshi Albert O. Geraldi

a Legend During World War II, Taika was recruited at a fairly young age (born 1928) into the Japanese Navy. Conno Oyata, his father, had already lost two sons to the War so Taika’s true age was kept secret. During his military career, Taika learned Jujitsu, Kendo and other military arts, attained the rank of lieutenant, and was assigned a one-man submarine detail, but because the war abruptly ended he never had to serve in that capacity. In 1957, Taika started studying karate under Master Shigeru Nakamura and continued his relationship with him until his death in 1969. In the early 1960s, at a Special Forces Okinawan base, Taika began teaching a karate program to promote fitness which he seemed to be very proud of because I remember him saying to me, “I teach Special Forces, I number one, this okay.� Yes, sensei, you are number one. Continued on next page



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I began my relationship as a student with Taika in 1963 at his Makiminato Dojo while stationed in Okinawa during my tour as a Special Forces Green Beret during the Vietnam War and studied several years under him attaining Nidan black belt before returning to the United States. Around that same time, the U.S. Marine Corp on Okinawa sponsored a Karate Invitational at Camp Hansen. The who’s who of karate masters from Shorinryu, Gojuryu Kempo, Isshinryu, and Uieichiryu were seated at the main table. Taika was the center-ring referee. The announcer, obviously distracted, called a point out of order. Taika abruptly stopped the match and waved his flags above his head and said, (a friend 12


translated for me) “I know what a point is, if anyone wants to see, come out here, I will show you.” After he had said that, I saw the corner referees eyes glance down at the floor and Master Nakamura looked off to the side with his head held high. Finally, Mr. Uieichi rose from his seat, placed both hands flat on the table, and in a humble voice said in Okinawan, “Mr. Oyata, you know that this is a Marine invitational and we are guests. We have to understand.” That was my instructor, the man I knew. About this same time, I accompanied Taika to an Okinawan wedding. At dinner, an Okinawan school teacher took advantage of my presence to practice his English. During our conversation, he said something I have, to this day, never forgotten. He said, “You know Master Nakamura’s katas are most accurate and relatively unaffected by modern change.” I understood this to be not only his opinion, but to be the general understanding of the Okinawan karateka. Taika proved to be a loyal, Old World warrior to Master Nakamura as both a student and 5th Dan teacher. His influence contributed much toward Nakamura’s 1964 break from the All-Japan Karate Association and the formation of the All-Okinawa Kenpo Karate Association. I remember driving Taika to a meeting with other Okinawan instructors. The meeting was held in a house situated behind a military prison compound. The owner of the house, an elderly Okinawan gentleman, greeted us at the foot of the hill and guided us up a steep slope toward his home. During the meeting, I heard Nakamura’s voice announce the official split, then say somewhat jokingly to the effect of having just seven cents in the treasury which relieved much the building tension. In 1968, Taika participated as captain of a five-man team in a full contact

All-Okinawa All-Japan Karate Tournament and won first, second and third place trophies. Of the 276 invitations Master Nakamura sent, only 17 schools attended. I’ll never forget Taika telling me that those fighters were the “largest Japanese” he had ever seen. Then soon after, Taika came to America and taught for about a year; but returned to Okinawa upon hearing the death of Master Nakamura around 1969. As the years passed, overseas communication with Taika became increasingly difficult, so he decided to pay us a visit in 1974. Two of his other American students, Jim Logue (recently deceased), Bill Wiswell, and myself had just held the first organization meeting. While walking through LaGuardia airport with Taika, he asked us in broken English, “What you call your style?” Quickly, I responded, “Ryukyu Kempo, Sensei.” He nodded and said, “Ah, this okay!” He then placed the edge of his hand up to his neck and said, “I now under the Ketana.” In other words, this time he was committed to living and succeeding in the United States. After a few weeks of training with him and making promotions, he returned to live in Okinawa for the very last time. To this day, I have in my possession four letters of character reference for Taika’s affidavits for U.S. visa dated October 1977, written by Masters Seitoku Higa, Kentoku Kaneshiro, Shihan Toma stating their “familiarity with Mr. Oyata’s abilities not only as one of the best martial artists on Okinawa, but also as a teacher of this knowledge.” Each letter is written in

Japanese and translated into English on a separate document. Master Ueihara’s letter states: “I have taught and known Mr. Oyata since he was a teenager, however, he has had other teachers in other of the martial arts, but they are all dead at this time. He is undoubtedly, one of the last four or five Okinawan kempo masters living. He has proved his powers by winning the most prestigious tournament in the Orient and his exceptional teaching abilities by teaching some of the best kempo people on Okinawa.” Yes, this is my teacher. In October 16, 1993, Taika was awarded a masters grade by the New York and Washington, D.C. branches of the U.S. Okinawan Cultural Society. Over the past few decades, he and his organization have given much, not only to his students, but to others within his community through his charitable works. We all knew Taika Seiyu Oyata in different ways. He was a complex, multifaceted individual. In much the same way as the old fable of the five blind men describing an elephant, people who knew and loved Taika would describe the part of the man and teacher they knew best. Continued on next page

Martial Arts Grandmasters International TM


The Canon of Ryukyu Kempo – Black Belt Guide Book is a culmination of a lifelong study of the Okinawan martial art system, known as Ryukyu Kempo, by Master Albert O. Geraldi. It reveals the vital aspects of the arts that will help motivate all students to achieve their personal goals and attain their black belt. Contact Information: Zenkoku Ryukyu Kempo Karate-Do Renmei, Inc. 7300 NW 162nd Court Morriston, FL 32668

Albert O. Geraldi training with Mr. Oyata.

As a teacher, he was recognized throughout Okinawa and for his contribution to the martial arts in the United States. As a successful business man, he was respected by his students and esteemed by other teachers around the world. As a loving husband and father, he dedicated his time and attention on the other important things in life, like teaching his daughter how to throw a softball. In my own martial arts journey, I have always kept faithful the teachings of the way of Ryukyu Hands, and I will always remain so in memory of a great man­—my teacher.



Hanshi Albert O. Geraldi is the Founder and Director of Zenkoku Ryukyu Kempo Karate-Do Renmei, Inc.

In closing, I’d like to share with you Taika’s quote from his book Ryu-Te No Michi: “I’m intending to leave Oyata

Shin Shu Ho Oyata’s Truthful Hand Method, which will be my hand print and footsteps, so that the way of Ryukyu Hands will be remembered, and continue to be studied, by future practitioners, without deviation from the true way of Ryukyu Hands, for the benefit of mankind.”

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voice of tradition


Hanshi Dan Tosh

Where did “degrees” of black belt come from?


Part One

here is much discussion about levels original Chinese character, spelled duàn in Pinyin, of proficiency in the world of martial was used to mean “phase.” Dan rank is usually arts. So, after much research both used along with the lower rank system, Kyū (級) from personal interviews and online rank. There are other methods of assessing rank in sources, I’ll share with you what I Japanese martial systems, of particular note is the found. older menkyo system. Since almost nobody could or should The dan grading system for Go was study every style from every part of the world, it devised by Honinbo Dosaku (1645–1702), a is a good idea to have some perspective on this professional Go player in the Edo period. At matter. that time Dosaku valued the highest title holder, The dan (段) ranking system is a Japanese Meijin at 9 Dan. He was probably inspired by an mark of level used in modern fine arts and the ancient Chinese Go ranking system (9 Pin Zhi) martial arts. Originally invented for the game of and an earlier court ranking system (nine-rank Go during the Edo period, system), although lower this grading system was numbers are more senior applied to martial arts by in those systems. Kanō Jigorō, the founder of Dan ranks were judo and later introduced incorporated into martial to other East Asia countries. arts by Kanō Jigorō In the modern (1860–1938). Kano started Japanese martial arts, the modern rank system holders of dan ranks often in 1883 when he awarded wear a black belt, those of shodan (the lowest dan high-level ranks may also rank) to two of his senior wear red-and-white and students (Shiro Saigo solid red belts. Dan ranks and Tsunejiro Tomita). are still given in activities Prior to this, martial such as the strategy board arts schools awarded game Go, Renju, the art advanced progress with of flower arrangement less frequent “menkyo” (ikebana); and the tea licenses or secret scrolls. ceremony. There was still no The character of dan external differentiation (段) is used in Japanese to between yūdansha (dan mean step or grade, and is ranks) and mudansha commonly equated with (those who had not yet Japanese women playing the game of Go. a degree. However, the attained a dan grade).



Different athletic departments within the Japanese school system were already using markers of rank, most notably in swimming where advanced swimmers wore a black ribbon around their waists. Kano adopted the custom of having his yūdansha wear black obi (belts) in 1886. At that time, these obis were not the belts karateka and jūdōka wear today; the students were still practicing in kimono. They wore the wide obi still worn with formal kimono. In 1907, Kano invented the modern keikogi (practice uniform in the color), and belts in white for mudansha and black for yudansha. The system of colored junior belts was introduced by Mikonosuke Kawaishi in Europe in 1935. The basic progression of the colors and tip colors (e.g., white → yellow → green → blue → brown → black) was accomplished by dyeing the same belt.

translate across different martial arts styles. In fact, dan ranks do not necessarily indicate one wears a black belt. In martial arts such as iaidō, kendō or jōdō, no external signifier of rank is worn, though a black belt is by far the most recognizable symbol to the general public. The highest dan ranks are sometimes reserved for the founder or leaders of a style and only the most advanced practitioners can be promoted to them. For example, only seven living people have a tenth dan in judo and only nineteen have been promoted to the rank since its inception This has led to upper level ranks becoming extinct in some arts. In other styles, the dan ranks are not the highest level that might be attained, with instructor certification and judge/judgment authorization being understood as higher-level or more sophisticated designations. Many arts use between one and ten dan Japanese Martial Arts: ranks. In some schools, black belts are worn at all In modern times, a dan-ranked practitioner dan levels. In other arts, the highest rank (10th of a style is recognized as a martial artist who has dan) wears a solid red belt. In Judo, 6th to 8th dan surpassed the kyū, or basic, ranks. They are also wear a red and white patterned belt, 9th and 10th eligible to become a licensed instructor wear a solid red belt. in their art. In most styles, however, As mentioned shodan (1st dan) achieving a dan rank means that, implies that all the basics of the style while one is no longer considered have been mastered. At sandan (3rd a beginner, one is not yet an dan), the student is deemed expert. Rather it means capable of teaching that one has learned the independently as a basics. teacher or instructor, A first degree black belt is The total number often called sensei. At not an “expert.” of dan ranks is styleGodan (5th dan), the specific (1st through 5th and 1st through 10th budōka may receive certification as a master level are common in Japanese martial arts). The lower practitioner (Shidōin). Generally, the lower dan dan grades can normally be attained through ranks are validated on the basis of knowledge a grading examination or sometimes through and physical skill. The higher the dan rank, the competition. The higher dan grades usually more leadership ability, teaching experience, and require years of experience and contribution to service to the style play a role in promotion. the relevant martial art. This may be through In British judo, to gain promotion from instruction or research and publication. These 1st to 5th dan, judo players must demonstrate grades can only be awarded by a higher-ranked theoretical technique and competitive skill in representative of the principal dojo or sometimes graded competitions. Promotions from 6th to 10th by a steering committee. dan are awarded for services to the sport of judo. There is no set achievement level that In modern Kendo, the dan system was is universal. Ranking systems are specific to recently changed so that 8th dan is the highest the school or style, so ranks do not necessarily attainable rank. Unlike Judo, all dan promotion


Martial Arts Grandmasters International TM



1.Shodan (初段): first-degree black belt 2.Nidan (段/弐段): second-degree black belt 3.Sandan (段/参段): third-degree black belt 4.Yodan (四段): fourth-degree black belt 5.Godan (五段): fifth-degree black belt 6.Rokudan (六段): sixth-degree black belt 7.Nanadan (七段): seventh-degree black belt (sometimes Shichidan) 8.Hachidan (八段): eighth-degree black belt 9.Kyudan (九段): ninth-degree black belt 10. Judan (十段): tenth-degree black belt

within the ZNKR, IKF and its member countries is by examination. Whereas dan grades are awarded for technical ability, there is a parallel Shogo system awarding Renshi, Kyoshi, Hanshi, against suitability as a role model to some members of the Kodansha ranks of 6th, 7th and 8th dan. Renshi and Kyoshi are awarded on written examination and Hanshi by election. There is some debate amongst some kendoka about the fairness of the Kyoshi test which — unlike the equivalent for Renshi — must be written in Japanese. Although the dan system is distinctly Japanese, it has been adopted by many other martial arts styles. The dan system and the well-known symbol of a black-belt have been absorbed into common usage to represent highly trained skills in a particular discipline. A unique variation is Okinawan Isshinryu Karate. The oldest practitioners are Americans who have taught thousands of people in the US since 1957. Consequently, there are over 10 Isshinryu associations and several legitimate 10th dans in the Isshinryu system world wide all with 40–50 years’ experience as instructors. In the Chinese martial arts since 1998, the Chinese Wushu Association together with the National Sport Commission and the Chinese Wushu Research Institute has established a graduation system based on nine Duan levels: Symbol: Duan Wei (level) Beginning Level: basic duans for students with some years of experience. 1. Qingying—yi duan: Blue Eagle 2. Yinying—er duan: Silver Eagle 3. Jinying—san duan: Gold Eagle 18


Intermediate Level: Middle-level duans for wushu students who are able to teach and have approximately 10 years wushu experience. Starting from 5th Duan, there has to be proof of a scientific work in wushu research, i.e. publications. 4. Qinghu—si duan: Blue Tiger 5. Yinhu—wu duan: Silver Tiger 6. Jinhu—liu duan: Gold Tiger Advanced Level: Advanced level is only awarded to very experienced masters with excellent reputation in Wushu. The person awarded such a Duan is officially allowed to call himself “Grand Master”. 7. Qinglong—qi duan: Blue Dragon 8. Yinlong—ba duan: Silver Dragon 9. Jinlong—jiu duan: Gold Dragon For international standardization, the Chinese Wushu Association has decided to use the Japanese word Dan instead of the Chinese Duan. [citation needed] This graduation system is not totally new in Chinese wushu. In older days, there have been graduations as mentioned in the Chinese WushuEncyclopedia (Zhongguo Wushu baike quanshu) or later at the Emperor’s court. Watch for Part Two of this facinating look at martial arts black belt ranks in the Fall issue of Official Karate MagazineTM. Dan Tosh is on the Board of Advisors of Martial Arts Grandmasters International® as well as the Karate Masters Hall of Fame®. Hanshi Tosh has been training in Shorin-ryu karate-do since 1958. You can contact him at

MARTIAL MARKETPLACE™ The OK Magazine staff recently met a software innovator named John Howell through connections in the MAGI® Network. John was the founder and CEO of a aircraft technology company when the 9/11 attacks caused a slowdown in that industry. But John never gave up. His newest venture is staged to make a mark in the world of martial arts. In conjuction with grandmaster J. Pat Burleson, John has developed a LIVE & archived streaming-video technology that not only enhances classroom learning but will cost-efficiently broadcast your karate events to followers all over the world. Check out how “WatchMeDad” can benefit you.

Samurai Sword Supply has a great selection of high-quality katana. Right now they are having a contest where the winner will receive a Musashi Tsunami Hoi-Ru sword, the one Professor Gary Lee uses. The drawing will be held on October 1, 2012. See the ad on page 6, or for more details go to Martial Arts Grandmasters International TM




hree karate masters from the United States attended the 25th Anniversary celebration of Matsubayashi Shorinryu in April, 2012, at the dojo of Patrick Beaumont, in Athlone, Ireland. Hanshi Robert Yarnall, of St. Louis, Missouri; Kancho Terry Maccarrone, of Westhampton Beach, New York; and Hanshi Dan Smith, of Coal Mountain, Georgia, traveled to the Hombu Dojo in Athlone, located in the center of Ireland, for an intensive weekend of teaching and sharing with owners and students of dojos from all around Ireland and England. Hanshi Patrick Beaumont met the three American masters at Dublin airport, and chauffeured them about an hour and a half to his historic town of Athlone, located on the Shannon River in County Westmeath. He has had his downtown dojo since 1986, located in St Mary’s Hall, a former workhouse used to house people during the famine. In 1986, Beaumont founded the Shorinryu Karate Association of Ireland. As chief instructor of the Association, Beaumont was also one of the founding members of the Martial Arts Commission, the only government recognized governing body for all



martial arts in Ireland. He has held positions on the National Executive Committee from its inception until its split in 1993. Beaumont is Ireland’s sole representative to the World Matsubayashi Ryu Karate Do Association, the U.S. Karate-Do Kai, and the USKK Europe. “Street effective, combative hand to hand self-defense is a priority in my teaching,” he told his students during the weekend-long events. Beaumont has designed special programs for school and college students, nurses, and the armed forces. Hanshi Beaumont joined Hanshi Yarnall, Kancho Maccarrone, and Hanshi Smith in leading all-day workshops with the many students and dojo owners. Hanshi Yarnall taught a class on breaking the Makiwara board, as he instructed his students

At the historic St. Mary’s Hall Dojo in Athlone, Ireland.


By Debbie Tuma Terry Maccarrone, a Board member of the Karate Masters Hall of Fame® (center) presented Robert Yarnell and Patrick Beaumont with their induction certificates.

to first get their fists and wrists in position. “When I hit something, I want to hit it with the strongest part of my hand,” he said, demonstrating on the board. “Drop your shoulders in, and use the hip-snap—it’s the alignment, a 45-degree angle, and use the whole body.” Kancho Maccarrone, the New York Director of the USKK, taught a staff (bo) class, saying, “The more you are able to manipulate the bo, the better control you’ll have.” He also taught his class how to “feel the opponent.” Hanshi Smith taught a class on kata, and Hanshi Beaumont taught a class on mental prepartion and the strategy of karate. Several students said they found the workshops quite inspirational. Mick Quinn, 40, of Ballybofey, County Donegal, said he enjoyed seeing the views of the various teachers. “Each one has a unique view, and I tried to take the best one from each teacher,” he said. “For example, Sensei Dan Smith had a unique approach to the Kata that I was looking for.” On Friday night over 200 people attended the opening ceremony and Matsubayashi Shorinryu International Demonstration at the Longford Arms Hotel in County Longford. The different dojos did demonstrations with their students, and led the children in kata. Black belts and other students performed demonstrations, before

a panel of judges, that included Beaumont, Yarnall, Maccarrone, Dan Smith, Bill Creasey, of the Saint Saviours Karate Club in Dublin, and Paul Stouchbury, owner of the South Hall Shotokan Karate Club in London, and the England Director of the USKK. Following the two-hour demonstrations with over 100 students, Simon Murphy, a long-time black belt student of Beaumont’s, and a local police officer, said, “All the students did a great job tonight, and you should be proud.” Robert Yarnall commented that everyone should continue to work together to “get their moves down.” Paul Stouchbury praised Beaumont for having a “worldclass organization,” and Terry Maccarone announced he would be presenting Beaumont with a special award signed by nine of the top Sensei of the world, the continued on next page Martial Arts Grandmasters International TM


Paul Stouchbury, Patrick Beaumont, Robert Yarnall, Sean Donohoe prestigious Karate Masters Hall of Fame® Induction. Sinead O’Connor, another long-time black belt student of Beaumont’s, thanked him for “exposing us to these great international teachers.” Bill Creasey said he always comes to support Beaumont’s causes, and “he’s been an inspiration to me over the years— we share the same philosophy in the development of karate.” The panel gave their autographs to a long line of waiting children who told the masters why they wanted to take karate. “I wanted to defend myself against my older teenage sisters,” said Keisha, 7, of Lanesboro, Ireland. Owen Murray, 7, of County Westmeath, said, “I like the moves and learning the karate routines.” On Sunday night several other awards were presented at a dinner at the Rustic Inn Lounge and Sports Bar in Abbey Shrule, County Longford.



Terry Maccarrone presented an award to Hanshi Patrick Beaumont in honor of his 25th Anniversary, and inducted him as the first Irishman to be in the Long Island Hall of Fame. Maccarrone also presented an achievement award to Hanshi Robert Yarnall, for his over 45 years in the field of Karate. Sean Donohoe, a longtime student of Beaumont’s who owns the Legan Dojo in County Longford, said, “This anniversary is a huge milestone for our organization. We’ve come a long way in the past 25 years, and we hope to continue in the next 25. In Ireland, it’s very rural and there’s not much recreation because of a lack of infrastructure, so Karate helps to promote self-confidence in our young people.” Beaumont said his club received congratulatory messages from karate people all over the world, including Romania, Spain, Germany and France. “The whole essence of what we do is to try and develop people’s character,” he said. “Over the years, police, doctors, and Army officers have trained in my dojo, and they still come back here when they’re in the country.”

Story and photos by Debbie Tuma

karate Kids Korner TM

From My Perspective


s a 13 year old student studying under Master Keith Yates, I have found that martial arts is a way to forget about the worries of the day, and focus on something that means a lot to me. It pulls together my mind and body in a connection that I want to flourish for a lifetime. Through this discipline, I have become more confident in myself and how I go about my daily life. I am more self-assured in defending myself and my faith against whatever might come my way. My name is Rachel Clinger and I am currently working toward green belt in the study of Tae Kwon Do. This experience has helped me in unique ways. For example, my father and I grow closer together as we practice kata and sparing throughout the week. Although we both have bruises to show from it, we have enjoyed this opportunity to develop our relationship with each other. When I first heard about karate, I had thought it was an amazing skill to have, but was too busy with other things to think that it was even possible for me to study. However, a couple of years later, I was faced with a decision. Although my dad encouraged me to take karate for defense, I was set on taking volleyball. Finally I decided to try out a self defense class at a nearby community college and fell in love immediately. Once school started, I signed up for classes at a YMCA where my friend was also taking karate, and I have been there ever since. A couple of months later, I decided to compete in a tournament. Leading up to

Rachel Clinger the competition, I was extremely nervous; however, I later realized it was all for naught. I was a little disappointed that there was not much competition for my level and age group, but I got second place in kata with a one point difference between me and the winner. After it was all over, I realized that I had been way too nervous about it! It turned out to be very exiting and informative on how I was doing compared to the other martial art schools in my area. As I hone my skill and focus in Tae Kwon Do, I have realized that my life has been affected for the better through this experience. I am proud of who I am and what I am going to become. My confidence to succeed is greater than ever, and no matter what happens I will never forget what has helped me along the way: the discipline of Tae Kwon Do and the efforts of Master Yates and my other instructors. I highly encourage anyone thinking about karate to try it out. This experience will enrich your life in so many ways, just as it has mine. It will give you a joy in discovering new things, and a confidence to be more outgoing in what you do. Again, I invite anyone and everyone to take part in this life changing experience and find the assurance in yourself that I have found. Martial Arts Grandmasters International TM


Wisdom from a grand master



Keith D. Yates 24


Growth in

hat is a growth plate? No, It’s not that mold growing on an old dinner dish in your refrigerator—it’s the area of living, growing tissue at the end of bones in the body of an adolescent or child. Each long bone has at least a couple of growth plates (called physis), one at each end. This growth plate will determine the final shape and length of the mature bone. Sometimes during adolescence, the body’s bones stop growing and these growth plates are replaced by solid bone. Why is is important for you to know about growth plates? Because they are a common site of injury for kids and teenagers. In fact, almost 20% of all childhood fractures occur in this area. You see, the growth plate is the weakest part of the skeleton for children. A serious injury to this area could damage a growth plate and cause future problems. Girls tend to reach skeletal maturity earlier than boys. Their growth plates usually close around ages 14 to 15, while boys’ growth plates close later, at around ages 16 to 17. Before this growth is complete, the growth plates are susceptible to breaks or fractures. An adult whose bones have finished growing might simply pull a muscle or a tendon after a fall. But in a

Plate Injuries Children child, that same fall could not only injure the muscle and tendon, but also the growth plate. According to the National Institute of Health about half of all growth plate injuries occur in the lower end of the outer bone of the forearm (radius) at the wrist. Fractures can also occur in the lower bones of the leg and the upper bones of the ankle or foot. Imagine a fall in your martial arts class (either accidental or caused by a deliberate takedown). If a young person does not know how to fall properly or if he or she is just caught off-guard, a wrist fracture is a common result. Because growth plate injuries are serious in kids you should always refer them to a medical professional. How do you know when there really is a fracture and not just a jammed wrist or ankle? Severe pain (I know children often exaggerate the pain but you have to take them at their word when they say it hurts), an inability to continue activity, and visible deformity or swelling are all signs that you should head to the doctor. Only an x-ray is going to determine the extent of the injury. Usually growth plate injuries are treated with ice, pain medicine and a cast. In the worst cases surgery may be required. The good news is that most growth plate fractures (about 85%) heal with any lasting effects. But

in those few cases a premature arrest of bone growth could be caused. That’s why injuries in kids are something you must pay attention to. By the way, growth plate injuries can occur in martial arts classes in more ways that the obvious fall to the ground. For example, what about knuckle pushups or punches on a heavy bag or makawara? First off, you should not have kids hitting a makawara board. There isn’t enough give to protect their young, immature joints. Board breaking with the knuckles is also probably not a good idea for the same reason. Kids can hammer-fist a single thin board with minimal danger but stay away from punching techniques. As far as knuckle pushups are concerned they are fine as long as you don’t have kids (or even adults for that matter) do “bounce” pushups on the knuckles. We used to do that in the 1960s along with other various types of knuckles torture and many old martial artists I know have the beginnings of arthritis of the hands because of it. Fortunately, times have changed.

How can you know when there really is a fracture and not just a jammed wrist or ankle?

OK Magazine managing editor Keith D. Yates has been teaching the martial arts for almost five decades. He is a former adjunct professor of physical fitness at Southern Methodist University and a current adjunct professor at Dallas Theological Seminary. He can be reached at Martial Arts Grandmasters International TM



Worth it at twice the price! S ince 1994 Martial Arts Grandmasters International® (MAGI®) has strived to fulfill their mission to recognize and register students, instructors, and grandmasters of various martial arts styles and associations. They are recognized as a legitimate governing authority by several other international organizations. MAGI® is also the sanctioning body for the prestigious Karate Masters Hall of Fame®. But what does this mean to you?

Membership in MAGI® will afford you the opportunity to have an affiliation with many of the firstgeneration pioneers. Members can take advantage of a direct dialogue with the grandmasters through the MAGI® website and facebook page. But it isn’t all long distance. You can join seminars and clinics with some of the best instructors in the world. You can proudly display the impressive MAGI® membership certificates, colorful uniform patches, and even window decals that proclaim you are an “accredited” MAGI® school. You’ll receive discounts on high-quality Asian weapons, books and videos, ebooks, t-shirts, equipment bags, and even professional custom framing for MAGI® certificates and for your own school certificates. We have arrangements with industry printers meaning you will receive wholesale prices on your brochures and flyers as well as embroidered patches. And, of course, a subscription to the new Official Karate magazine is included (we’ll mail the printed, “Annual” issue directly to you—the other three of the quarterly issues are available online). We are adding new features and benefits all the time. 26


Our Board of Advisors are not only martial arts experts but also leaders in the business world. They can help you promote and grow your school through professional marketing techniques and even the latest in social media. And, of course, because we sanction the Karate Masters Hall of Fame®, MAGI® members are eligible for induction into what is perhaps the first and most prestigious Hall for traditional Karate Masters in the world. And did we mention that with our unique “rebate” program you will receive back a portion of the membership fees from all of your student and instructor members? In fact, with as few as two instructors and 20 students you’ll totally cover the cost of your school or organizational affiliation with MAGI®.

A free subscription to the new Official Karate Magazine is a part of your membership, which includes the printed “Annual” issue mailed directly to you!

From custom membership certificates to sharp looking apparel to dojo certifications, the MAGI ® benefits package offers one of the best deals around for martial arts practitioners.

With additional students or instructors you will actually MAKE money from your affiliation with us. This is on top of all the other benefits and discounts you receive. By the way, we won’t tell you how to teach, what to teach, or how to run your school. We’re only here to help you do better in all these areas by providing resources (via ebooks, videos and even personal seminars). Your affiliation with us will help you network with a much larger martial arts community than you ever could on your own. Membership is open to all serious martial artists with a desire to learn and grow in both the arts and in life. But simply stating such and sending in membership dues is not enough. The world, even the martial arts world, is full of people who would misrepresent their qualifications for financial (or other) gain. So we have set up an application process that requires verification of martial experience and skill as well as character references. We are committed to being an organization you’ll be proud to be affiliated with. So what are you waiting for? Contact us for more information now. Martial Arts Grandmasters International TM


Favorite fighting techniques from the



Ishmael Robles’s favorite fighting techniques. 1




1. Master Robles (right) squares off against Master WIlliam Shelton. 2. Robles starts by grabbing his opponent’s front hand and shoots out a reverse punch. 3. As his opponent steps back to avoid the punch, Robles shuffles in. 4. He snaps a front round kick into the retreating opponent.



Go to to see more Favorite Fighting Techniques from the MastersTM.

Ishmael Robles is one of the pioneers of full contact

Robles believes in misdirection when facing an opponent in the ring. Here he demonstrates a high punch to the face followed by a quick low punch to the ribs which were left vulnerable because of the initial high block by the opponent.

karate. A life-long Galvestonian (Texas), Grandmaster Robles is a 8th Degree black belt. He is a two-time United States Lightweight Champion and was rated the #1 World Lightweight. As a professional kickboxer he won 2 (PKA/WKA) U.S. Welterweight Championships and in 1983 won the KICK World Welterweight Title featured on ABC’s Wide World of Entertainment. Ishmael retired in 1985 with a professional record of 27—3, including 19 KOs. Although he has trained under many great instructors and coaches including Demetrius Havanas and Larry Caster, he considers the “Father of American Tae Kwon Do,” Jhoon Rhee, to be his instructor. He has trained many international champions including Golden Greek award winner Al Garza, 7-time World Kick Boxing Champion Cliff “Magic” Thomas, 21 time NBL World Champion Regina Thompson and Roy Moore (a former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court). He served on the board and as president of the Amateur Organization of Karate (AOK) and was a national promoter for the National Black Belt League. He currently serves on the High-Dan Board of the American Karate Black Belt Association / Chin Sook Hage Kwan and runs his own school in Galveston.

Martial Arts Grandmasters International TM


candadian connection

Cezar Borkowski

Canadian Black Belt Hall of Fame


he martial arts An avid community “north competitor, famous for of the boarder” shifting from Mr. Nice has celebrated many Guy to a fierce fighter memorable moments over once inside the ring, the years, culminating Timmerman dominated with the annual Canadian tournaments north and Black Belt Hall of Fame south of the border inductions. during the 1960s and The 2012 event, 1970s. CBBHOF directors and 2012 hall of fame inductees. held at the Olympic Park In 1973, he in Calgary Alberta and established his first hosted by Bruce Winstanley, was no school in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, exception and marked the achievements training and collaborating with of several extraordinary budoka: the late Bob Dalgleish. Master Yas Inaba – Aikido Timmerman broadened his practice to Frank Lee – Kung Fu Korean arts, studying Kuk Sool Hap Joon Jae Lee – Tae Kwon Do Ki Do and Tae Kwon Do with Grandmasters Mike Miles – Muay Thai Pak In Shyuk and Pak Sung Bok. Pat McCarthy – Karate & Kobudo After more than 60 years of devoted Dwight Scheer – Karate martial arts practice, he travelled to Korea Rudy Timmerman – Hapkido in 2004 where he was promoted to 9th Dan Ki C. Yoon – Hapkido by Grandmaster Seo In Sun (Han Min Jok While all are recognised as pioneers of their respective disciplines, I’ve highlighted three of this year’s honorees: RUDY TIMMERMAN, Canada’s Gentle Giant, began his martial arts training at age ten studying Jujitsu in his native Holland, before his family immigrated to Canada in 1958. In 1963, Master Timmerman received Shodan and later, was promoted to Masters Level in Nihon Jujtsu by Hanshi Shinsaku Hogen (Tokyo). Rudy Timmerman launches his patented hook kick. 30


Hap Ki Do). Master Timmerman’s senior students include Chief Master Kevin Janisse, Master Doug Custer, Master Dusty Miner, Master Christopher Demanaeus and Master Jeremy Tillman. PATRICK McCARTHY’S thirst for martial arts knowledge began in 1965 after watching the documentary Judoka (featuring legendary Canadian judo expert Doug Rogers) and training with Carl ‘Dutchie’ Schell. After receiving Shodan (Karate) from Adrian Gomes, he visited Toronto where he studied a variety of systems, including Kung Fu, Jujitsu, Chito Ryu, Goju Ryu and Shorinji Ryu. His instructors represent the who’s who of Canadian and American martial arts: Masami Tsuruoka, Paul Chan, Jimmy Lore, Monty Guest, Tony Chong, Wally Slocki, Tony Facetti, Ron Forrester, Wally Jay and Richard Kim. After a successful tournament carrer, winning national and world titles, he began teaching in London, Ontario in 1973. A year later, he established his first school in Toronto and in 1979, relocated in Vancouver. From 1985 to 1995, his budo journey continued in Asia, India and Africa where he lived, trained, taught and conducted extensive research. While in Japan, McCarthy earned 9th Dan and the Hanshilevel instructor’s license and became the highest ranked student of Kinjo Hiroshi, and Yudansha in Jujitsu, Yamaneryu Kobudo and Japanese swordsmanship. Beyond his impressive technical expertise, Master McCarthy is a highly regarded martial historian and writer/ translator of The Bubishi, Classical Kata of Okinawan Karate, Okinawa’s Greatest Masters, My Karate, Tanpenshu and the two-volume

Ancient Martial Arts of Okinawa. Additionally, he played an instrumental role in the katabunkai trend of the 1980s. Currently McCarthy travels the world conducting his popular Masters Class Series and oversees the IRKRS with membership of over 20,000 worldwide. Among his senior students are Richard Ouellette, Dudley Driscoll, Cody Stewart, Brian Sakamoto and Helen Sakamoto. Frank Lee is a Kung-Fu Legend from Edmonton, Alberta. He began his martial arts training in Hong Kong under the famous White Crane Master Lok Chi Fu in the 1950s. Frank immigrated to Canada during the early 1960s at the request of the Chinese Free Masons in Canada who were being abused by bigger, stronger and highly organized European immigrants across western Canada. Frank’s job was to even the playing field, and return the respect, jobs, and higher wages to the Chinese community. He succeeded, partly due to his intellect, partly due to his fighting ability. During the 1960s he taught his Chinese White Crane. He was one of the few Chinese who also believed in adapting what was good to his own training. He used martial art weight training to the level of a competitive bodybuilder. He also adapted western boxing and Muay Thai into his combative arsenal. In the 1970s, he decided to test his skills in the ring himself and entered a full contact competitive career. Among some of his opponents were dynamic Benny “The Jet” Urquidez, who remembers Lee as one of his toughest opponents. Frank continues to teach his own form of fighting, which includes a blend of Kung Fu, Western boxing, Greco Roman wrestling, Jujitsu, and Muay Thai kickboxing. Martial Arts Grandmasters International TM



Sifu Karen Schlachter


Teaching with Authority and Confidence


oday I had the great pleasure of attending the annual Sword Seminar given by my friend and colleague Hanshi Anthony Lingo. Every year he celebrates the birthday and death day of Miyamoto Musashi by giving a 3-4 hour seminar on the Japanese Samuari and their swords. It is a brilliant presentation and Hanshi Lingo shines like the sun when he speaks. It’s his passion and he is at his best when he describes the life of the great swordsman, Miyamoto Musashi. Hanshi Lingo then tells the story of the 47 Ronin and has all of the students scream “oishe!” like the Ronin did when they alerted each other that it was time to gather for the last battle. It is so cute watching a group of children trying to hold their bokkens in their belts as they snap to attention and scream “OISHE!!” So serious! The lesson really comes through and the students remember it forever. I have been to at least 5 of these “Birthday Parties” and can truthfully say that I learn something every time. One of the things that he did this time was to pass out a booklet that he called his “Cliff Notes” for his black belts to use for teaching about the sword from now on. He said it is so important to speak with authority and confidence. He is adamant that the history and tradition of the Samauri and Musashi be taught and passed on to all the Japanese and Okinawan stylists.



I’ve been thinking about that all evening. It is so important to study our history, record it and teach with authority and confidence. What do you know about your style’s history? Have you spent time with the elders of your system and listened to the stories? The world spins fast and the old timers are dropping their bodies with their stories still in them. My Sifu, Peter Pernigotti, died with deep regret that he didn’t take advantage of the miracle of the videocassette recorder and put his forms and weapons on tape for the future. He thought if he taught a different form to several students that they would teach each other if anything ever happened to him. He died, they didn’t stay together and the forms were never shared. I doubt if they are even practiced by the students who learned them. How sad. He loved to tell us about his teacher Cheung Shao Ling. He told us that his teacher taught him a beautiful long fist form that ended with throwing a set of chopsticks at a target. His teacher always was able to embed them in the heavy wooden door that closed off the training area in the Cheung’s basement. He said that Sifu Cheung was so strong and so fast that the chopsticks were stuck deep in the wood of the door. Sifu Pete would laugh and shake his head as he told us that he was never able to do it. The chopsticks would bounce off the door every time he tried. I can only imagine how many doors

of Sifu Pete’s house was scarred by the many practice attempts made at home between classes. Sifu was a perfectionist and excelled at everything he did. Surely the fact that he was not able to throw a set of chopsticks into a door drove him crazy for a long time! He admitted to a few disasters at home and that he practiced for years with no luck! And I thought Daniel-san was funny chasing that fly with the chopsticks! Of course I tried and even the hollow closet doors proved to be too hard for me. I still try every once in awhile, too. These are the stories that make the history and experiences of our various arts so rich and timeless. So all you Sifus and Sensei, young and old, how many “chopstick stories” do you have? Do you take the time to stay after class with your senior students just talking? Who is your school scribe? Do you record your forms and weapons? Don’t put it off. The summer is a great time for class picnics and barbeques and filming in the back yard. If you can use this time to share some of your training snags, like the chopsticks, your students will love it and realize that you had to struggle like they do. Record your history and your style’s story. Make sure it stays with the school so it is passed on to your grateful successor. Master Urban said writing it down makes your story immortal. Our ancestors deserve the effort you give to keep their teachings and stories alive.

Record your history and your style’s story.

Sifu Karen Schlachter has studied many arts including Kodokan Judo, Okinawan 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 the Master Instructor at The Sun Moon Tao Institute. She is a Master Instructor in Karuna and Usui Reiki and An De Divine Healing. You can contact her at

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american samuari ™

Prof. Gary Lee

Dr. Maung Gyi: A Living Legend


n the martial arts world we have seen many great men and women rise to (almost) perfection and become legendary figures in the ring, in film and television, and many other ventures. Martial arts may be a journey of ego—but controlled ego if under the right teachers. Even the legends learned their lessons from great teachers. One of them is Bando’s Dr. Maung Gyi. He has touched many lives, including mine, and so, this is the legacy of Dr. Maung Gyi.

Teacher of Champions My first exposure to Dr.Maung Gyi’s influence was when I fought some Bando practitioners in Ohio. They wore all black and they were animals, wining everything in kata, weapons and fighting (most of all, I remember they hit very, very hard!). I actually got knocked out by one of them at the Official Karate Magazine regional event in Ohio. Then I got beat by Tokey Hill. Now Tokey was from Sensei Don Madden’s dojo in Ohio, and was a pure animal, although a gentleman outside the ring. Because of his efforts and hard work we will surely have Karate in the Olympics—his dream, our dream! My second exposure was in 1982 in Houston with Sensei Larry



Lunn. He came into my life as a instructor and friend. He trained under Grandmaster George Anderson but had also learned under the Bando system. He taught me the “Eagle Kata” from Bando and, to this day, it is part of my black belt requirements. With it I won Grand Championship titles, state titles, and a National Black Belt League World Championship—not a bad journey for a kata from Bando in the hands of a young Hawaiian. In 1992, I met Zulfi Amed and his Bushiban system. The “Bushido” came from his training in Okinawan styles and the “Ban” was for Bando. Thus enters into my life, once again, Dr Maung Gyi. I tuned my young son over to Master Amed, Grandmaster Matshibushi Ward and Dr. Gyi, and they are the main reason he wins many championships with his immaculate Japanese kata. Dr. Gyi would often come for seminars and share his knowledge and wisdom. I remember one time when my son, Garett, was performing a sword routine with me and afterwards Dr. Gyi remarked, “Garett, I predict great things for you, here is something for you to help you on your journey, I have carried this everywhere with

He put his hand on my knee and looked me in the eyes.

me, but now it is for you It’s heavier than normal for I filled it with sand, so I can do more damage.” It was a black, bamboo walking Jo, filled with sand. Dr. Gyi had just used it in his seminar, showing his beautiful motion and technique. We were so grateful and proud. An Inspiration In 1997, I had just received the Golden Greek Award from the legends of Texas Sport Karate and I was at the big, annual Bushiban celebration when Dr.Gyi called me into the office. I thought I had done something wrong, but again it was a just another lesson on the journey. He put his hand on my knee and

looked me in the eyes. It was a special moment. He said, “You have spent your life knocking down things and being a warrior, but now it is a time of healing. Now, reverse momentum and put it to good. Build your museum, always tell the truth, put your energy to raising your son, I believe in you.” That moment changed me, knowing a great man beloved in me. It was motivating and now you understand why I am so passionate about the visionary project of the Museum of Sport Karate. Dr. Maung Gyi taught me, not so much the art of combat (although I have learned many effective skills from him) but the art of healing and of walking the path and mentoring others. It is a special gift to pass on in today’s world.

Martial Arts Grandmasters International TM


cyberspace comments ™

From our web presence.

What was your biggest martial arts mistake and what did you learn from the experience? Business wise, I moved my school to the local university. I thought it would be great because they would handle the business side and all I would have to do is teach. But my students had to sign up every semester, paper work and all. The students answering the phones were often rude and just told prospective students my class didn’t exist. I went from having a nice sized class for my area, 15 regular students and constant waves of new students to 3 regular students. I have since left the University and moved my program off campus where I am in charge of everything. I learned [that] I needed to develop systems to handle the aspects of business.

My biggest mistake (to this point) in martial arts was in a sparring match when I was just starting out. I forgot to pivot during a roundhouse kick and “exploded” my knee. Tore my ACL, MCL and was laid up for months. It’s amazing what screws will hold together. I stayed with it though and at 50 was recently awarded with my 2nd Degree Black Belt. I’ve learned that with a little persistence, and a lot of perseverance, you can do anything you want no matter what your age. My biggest (and costliest) mistake was to put too much belief and trust in my first Instructor. I believed in him as a Sensei, and loved him like a father and, as a result, I subordinated my own judgment, instinct and intuition. He wasn’t a good guy. It took me years to get over it. But I guess that period of my life has been hugely impactful on the man, father, husband, friend and Instructor I am (or try to be) now. My biggest mistake was stopping to train for seven years. When I quit I had to, because of work, but I could probably have re-started about a year later. Since then I have learned that if you don’t have time, you make time.



Martial Arts Grandmasters International TM


One More round TM

GM Joe Corley

Lessons from Atlanta


e just wrapped up “One More while their team mates and fans yelled their Round--number 44” at Battle of approval. Atlanta in the Renaissance Waverly The techniques were generally led by Hotel and the attached Cobb open, extended, front hand Galleria Centre. blitzes that were off balance, The center piece of the the head and hands way out event was the $5,000 Winnerin front of the feet and if this Takes-All purse. The four top extended technique touched seeds would face the four the opponent somewhere, the winners of the eight seeded officials were pressured to call quarter finalists against the points. eight wild card winners. I personally resisted These last eight would face these pressures for the first 10 off against each other on the years they were exerted, but I broadcast. too finally capitulated to the Carried live by outside forces and also called UNATION, we sent a high “you’re it” points so as not to definition HD signal around be branded as a blind dinosaur the world to say “we’ve got who just couldn’t “get it.” some phenomenal athletes in When asked, I would say our sport, and even though Tag, you’re it! I’d rather dig out my eye with the fighting has not been a screwdriver than judge these stellar these past 10 years, it kinds of bouts, but judge them has not been the fault of the fighters!” I had to. I felt like Jack Nicholson in “One Flew Say what? Please explain. Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” and a lobotomy was “K.” Here’s the deal. to be forthcoming. At some point, our open tournament So when Truth Entertainment signed on culture, quite unofficially, opted for for the Battle 2012, we agreed to put GREAT “efficiency” in judging and began neglecting ATHLETES and GREAT FIGHTING front and “effectiveness” in calling points. center and to show the world what it could be Matches evolved into human “cock like if you harness and focus on the spectacular fights,” where as soon as the official said “Go,” speed our fighters possess. the athletes would spring at each other and To work, we had to have a great center collide and the center ref would yell, “Stop” referee with the eyes and fortitude to see and and in almost every encounter the officials defend good calls. Battle of Atlanta Centurion would feel compelled to call points for the Club member Terry Creamer of St. Louis fighters, both of whom would be holding graciously accepted the challenge. He was their hands up indicating they had scored, supported in the corners by World Champion 38


I personally resisted these pressure for the first 10 years…

Jeff Smith, Keith Vitali, Ray Bryant and Canada’s John Palitti. Master Creamer set the high standard we knew he would. Good eyes, decisive calls and a solid understanding of the mission yielded an easy-to-understand display of great techniques for the fans at ringside and around the globe. Not a single flaky, off balance, front hand was called, and the athletes showed the world their speed, power and determination. Take away the cheap point and they performed at the world class level we knew they could and would. They truly did the Battle of Atlanta and the sport proud. Special kudos are in order for the gentleman who is Trevor Nash (pictured above right), the quiet confidence and drive of the new Iceman, Jack Felton, and the giant heart of the “Little Big Man” Chris Walker. In the semifinal match, Trevor Nash’s never-say-die match with speedster Jack Felton yield an 11-10 victory at the two minute bell that was beautiful to see. While the score was lopsided in the Grand Champion match for the $5,000 between defending champ Chris Walker and Trevor Nash, the fighting heart of Walker against the near-perfect execution by Nash were especially moving, in the ring and on-screen. In our post fight interviews, Nash praised the heart and determination of Chris Walker who then explained that the Warrior Spirit dictates that you fight to the end, regardless of the score. The most moving part of the evening came in our tribute for Joe Lewis, our original Battle of Atlanta winner now locked in a fierce struggle with a brain tumor. My iconic ring warrior hero, his passion and contributions moved everyone in the arena, and they all showed how much he means to all of us with an extended standing ovation.

We all came away from this Battle of Atlanta week-end, very proud of our Extreme Warriors. Cloaked in the knowledge that we are in an ultra competitive fight world, and we are more than confident we have the physical talent and the personalities to take back our fans from MMA. We are ultra-ready for ONE MORE ROUND. Join us by going to www. TheBattleNation. com and see all the action on UNATION today!

9th dan black belt Joe Corley is founder of the Battle of Atlanta and an inductee into the Karate Masters Hall of Fame®. You can reach him at

Martial Arts Grandmasters International TM


jim mather’s Karate life ™

Jim Mather

And the Moral of the Story is...


n the mid-60s, I opened a branch dojo in Santa Cruz, a beachside town about 30 miles from San Jose. I had opened one not long before in San Jose. But signups were slow. I attributed it to the fact that there were two other schools in the valley, which must have had a population of around 300,000 at the town. I thought there were too many schools in San Jose – three, counting mine. Now, there’s one on every corner and we do fine. Santa Cruz, at the time, was a small town, with a very conservative attitude – almost like you would find in small towns in the Midwest. We once tried to rent their civic auditorium so we could hold a tournament on a Sunday and they refused. They told us that decent people were in church on Sundays. (They had no problems, however, hosting the Miss California pageant there each year on a Sunday. I guess decent folks were either in church on Sundays or watching beautiful women in bathing suits.) After the University of California, Santa Cruz, opened its sprawling, very liberal campus there a few years later, the area made a drastic change of directions politically. Before opening the branch dojo, I wanted to test the area. So I rented a junior high

gym for the night and ran an ad in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, their top newspaper, offering a free karate class. When I got to the gym, I found 85 people waiting to be taught. Only around 20 stayed with it and became regular students. I had some great fighters come out of that small group. Santa Cruz, counter to its very conservative population core in the early days, was long one of the surfing capitals of the world. So there were always a bunch of non-conservative surfers who trained on occasion. One offered to swap me marijuana for instruction. I passed and his own liking of the substance made him an occasional student at best. But he was one of the top surfers at the time. One of my best students from the Santa Cruz group was Bill Burja. His family owned a mushroom farm in the area and Bill had lived there all his life. Bill was a handsome, muscular, nice guy, who the ladies absolutely LOVED. While he was training, women would leave photos of themselves under the windshield wipers of his car with their telephone numbers. Problem was he was married to a woman called Tony. (I don’t know if I am spelling it right or what her full name may have been.) But she was very watchful of him. When all the photos started appearing, she

One offered to swap me marijuana for instruction. I passed.



began driving him to the dojo and picking him up after class. (There’s a great story about the night she didn’t show up and I drove him home that I may tell one of these days.) After we relocated the dojo from the junior high, which was on one of the main streets of town, she let him drive in again. I received a call at the dojo one night from Tony. She asked to speak with Bill. I hadn’t seen him. So I looked around to make sure he hadn’t just come in without me seeing him. But I came up empty. I struggled a bit over what to tell her. I had a personal policy of always telling the truth. That was how I was raised. But the truth could end in a divorce. I couldn’t lie, however, so I told her I hadn’t seen him. “He’s not there!” she screamed, angrily. “Ah, no,” I said. Then, she laughed. “I just called to tell you he wouldn’t be coming in tonight. I wanted to see if you would lie for him or not.” I was glad I had been raised as I had and honesty was held in high esteem. So the moral is this story is always tell the truth.

Jim Mather (right) and Bill Burja, with his trophy for winning Brown Belt Division at Grandmaster’s Ed Parker’s Internationals in Long Beach, California.

This column is taken from Jim Mather’s Karate Life Blog. Mr. Mather is a well known traditional karate master and historian. His blog traces his over 55 years in the arts including friendships with many icons and celebrities. He is working on a new novel titled Arrow Catcher. He is on the Board of MAGI® and the Karate Masters Hall of Fame® (

Martial Arts Grandmasters International TM


Nutritional self defense

™ Craig Rubenstein

A Strong Foundation: Do You Really Need a Multi-Vitamin?


hat is optimal nutrition? Can we get it from our diet alone? Do I really need to take a multi vitamin? We have heard the basics for years: eat your fruits and vegetables, cut down on fried fatty foods and foods loaded with sugar, watch your calories, increase your fiber intake, drink plenty of water, etc…. Although all of this advice is great, some of us listen and others do not. Even some of those who think that they are eating healthily, are not. I have seen this over and over again while reviewing patient’s diet diaries. Chances are, you could be doing a whole lot more to ensure that your basic nutritional needs are being met. For example, most people do not even eat the recommended five servings of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables every day. This negligence increases our need for extra antioxidant supplementation, and because most of us are also guilty of some unhealthy lifestyle choices this leads to our cells being damaged by oxidative stress and vital nutrients being depleted. Oxidative stress in our bodies inflicts damage to every one of our cells and DNA in a way that is similar to a piece of metal when it rusts. And even if we did eat our five servings every day, many nutrition experts agree that due to the poor state of our current food supply, a multiple vitamin-mineral formulation should be taken daily. Another surprise to most people is that engagement in regular physical exercise produces an increased demand for numerous vitamins and minerals, especially extra antioxidants to counter the oxidative stress that is caused



by training. On top of all of this, the sad reality is that few doctors are even aware of how deficient most humans are in many essential nutrients. The vast majority of us don’t obtain even the tiny amount of nutrients from our diets that the medical establishment says we need. Nutritional surveys have confirmed that most of us do not even meet the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) of certain essential nutrients. You may ask, what’s the big deal? I feel fine. Why are all these nutrients so important? Nutrients are of utmost importance because optimal nutrition is essential for the healthy functioning of your body. Without it, subtle changes start to occur that could lead you down a slippery slope to injuries and both acute and chronic conditions. You may not think you are having any symptoms relating to a lack of nutrition, but I‘d bet that you are. Getting a better understanding of the roles nutrients play in our health may allow you to see that your health may already be suffering from suboptimal nutrition. Are your Nutritional Needs being Met? What are some of the signs and symptoms that you are not getting optimal nutrition? A few of the most common can be fatigue, chronic or frequent injuries, frequent colds or infections, cloudy mental functioning, insomnia, depression, weakness, poor exercise recovery, blood sugar issues constipation and more. If any of these conditions ring a bell, you may be in need of dietary changes and vitamin supplementation. Optimal nutrition relates to both macronutrients and micronutrients.

What are Macronutrients and Micronutrients? Both macronutrients and micronutrients are needed for a healthy body and mind. Macronutrients consist of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats that are essential to life. That’s right; even certain fats are essential! In fact, fats, good fats that is, are extremely important for everything from energy and hormone production to mental health and inflammation. On the other hand, micronutrients are vitamins and minerals that are also critical for optimal health. 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 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. Why is it so vitally important to furnish our bodies with an optimal and consistent intake of micronutrients? The reasoning is simple, ample amounts of vitamins and minerals are essential for every process in our body. Everything from energy production, growth, bone strength, immune system function, brain function, hormone production and regulation, detoxification; the list could go on forever. Since each micronutrient plays such a crucial role, even deficiency of just one can have serious consequences. Some micronutrients have achieved great fame, such as calcium for being essential for strong bones, B 12 for being a great source of energy, and vitamin C for being of great benefit to our immune systems. But do you know why we need vitamin D, zinc, or magnesium? The chart on the next page will provide you with the basic roles that numerous nutrients play in your body:

continued on page 48

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Vitamin A


Needed for eyesight (night vision); immune system response; new cell growth; hair and skin; teeth; bones; mucous membranes and hip flexor strength. Vitamin B1 Vital in the conversion of protein, carbohydrate and fat into energy. Needed for detoxification, (Thiamin) heart function and the nervous system. Often helps with bladder weakness along with calcium. Depleted by alcohol consumption and birth control pills. Vitamin B2 Essential for cellular energy production. Supports hormone production, growth, nervous system (Riboflavin) communication, healthy eyes and skin and red blood cell formation. The best form is Riboflavin5-Phosphate. Depleted by alcohol consumption and birth control pills. Vitamin B6 Important in making proteins and hormones, red blood cells and enzymes. Plays a role in the nervous system, water balance, skin health and is crucial for immune system antibodies. Can be helpful in some cases of carpal tunnel syndrome and nausea. The best form in Pyridoxal-5- Phosphate or P-5-P. Destroyed by alcohol consumption and birth control pills. Vitamin B12 Important for the nervous system and the development of red blood cells. Needed for replication of our genetic code. Great for immune function, energy and certain anemia’s. The best form is methyl-cobalamine. Depleted by alcohol consumption and birth control pills. Vitamin C An important antioxidant, protecting cells from oxidative stress. Helps the immune system for both illness and allergies. Essential for collagen formation which is a basic protein making up your tendons, ligaments, bones and more. Great for colds, allergies, injury/surgery repair, healthy gums, skin, vision and more. Destroyed by alcohol consumption and depleted by birth control pills. Vitamin D3 Critical for bone formation, teeth health, immune system function and equilibrium/balance. Low levels have been implicated in over ten cancers including prostate, colon and breast Called the sunshine vitamin because our bodies make vitamin D when our skin is exposed to the sun. Unfortunately, due to the risk of skin cancer most people do not get enough sun and are low in vitamin D. Get a 25-hydroxy vitamin D test on your next blood test. Vitamin E An antioxidant that protects Vitamin A and C and also helps Vitamin K function. Protects the health and function of the nervous system, cardiovascular system and supports healthy skin and wound healing. Best to be taken as mixed tocopherol’s. Vitamin K Vital for normal blood clotting, the health and flexibility of our arteries and bone health. Supplemental K should be avoided while on any blood thinning medications and in people that clot too easily. Beta-Carotene and Mixed Carotenoids Antioxidants preventing damage to our cells by oxidative stress. Used to form vitamin A. Biotin Supports energy production via protein and carbohydrate metabolism, blood sugar balance and fatty acid metabolism, Promotes healthy skin, hair, nails and mucous membranes. Calcium Essential for healthy bones and teeth (helping to prevent osteoporosis). Critical for muscle function, including your heart. Helps support normal sleep patterns, blood clotting, and helps maintain healthy cell membrane function. Depleted by alcohol consumption. Chromium Plays a major role in the uptake of blood sugar (glucose) into the cells, including muscle cells and is therefore best known for its effect on the regulation of blood sugar levels. Copper Plays a role in the development and maintenance of the cardiovascular and skeletal systems. Is involved in the absorption, storage and metabolism of iron and red blood cell formation. Is involved in the production of collagen, elastin (elastic type of connective tissue) and melanin (a skin pigment responsible for taning). The symptoms of a copper deficiency are similar to those of an iron-deficiency anemia and can be depleted by excess zinc intake. Folic acid Involved in the ability of cells to replicate and the transfer of inherited traits from one cell to another and is therefore crucial for the development of a fetus (low levels during pregnancy cause serious birth defects) and the production of red blood cells. It supports healthy gums, skin, and gastrointestinal tract lining as well as supporting the immune system. Depleted by alcohol consumption and birth control pills. 44


ts 101 Iodine




Molybdenum Niacin

Pantothenic Acid Phosphorus Potassium Selenium Vanadium Zinc

A component of the thyroid hormones which regulate body temperature, metabolism (impacting weight), menstrual and bowel regularity, heart rate, breast health, growth, reproduction, nerve and muscle function, protein synthesis, the growth of skin and hair, the use of oxygen by cells and energy production. The major player in carrying oxygen in the blood and therefore determines how much oxygen reaches your brain, muscles, heart, liver and every other organ, gland and tissue in your body. It also supports the immune system. Most men do not need to supplement iron except during long periods (months) of intense exercise. Menstruating females typically do need to take small amounts of supplemental iron. Plays an important role in healthy muscle function including a major role in heart function, nerve transmission, in the conversion of carbohydrates, protein, and fats to energy It is needed for healthy bones, making new cells, activating B vitamins, clotting blood, and for insulin. It also assists in the calcium, vitamin C and potassium. Best as a citrate, citratemalate, glycinate or amino acid chelate but not an oxide. Depleted by alcohol consumption and birth control pills. Has an important role in the formation of connective tissue, particularly ligaments and is therefore vital for healing injuries to the ligaments and also is needed for healthy bones. Supports healthy brain function and reproduction, while also functioning in energy production, blood sugar balance, metabolism and thyroid and adrenal activity hormone production. It is important for cellular energy creation, kidney function, in the mobilization of stored iron (ferritin), and is necessary for normal growth and development including nervous system development. Helps with the breakdown of protein and fats, in the creation of fats and certain hormones and maintaining healthy skin and nerves. It plays a critical role in energy release from carbohydrates and in the formation of red blood cells. It has significant cholesterol-lowering effects. If using in high doses for cholesterol lowering the No-Flush formula may be best (inositol hexaniacinate). Is converted coenzyme A, speeding up the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates and protein for energy production. It plays a role in the production of bile for fat digestion, red blood cells, adrenal gland hormones and neurotransmitters. In combination with calcium, phosphorus is essential for the formation of bones and teeth and nerve cells. Helps regulate your blood pH and also helps make your B vitamins active. Has an important function in muscle contraction and relaxation (is critical for proper heart function), nerve conduction, production of energy and protein synthesis. Deficiency may cause muscular cramps, twitching and weakness, irregular heartbeat and insomnia. Plays an important role as a component of the antioxidant working in conjunction with vitamin E. Is particularly good for certain chemical exposures. Depleted by birth control pills. Most noted for supporting healthy blood sugar metabolism. Has a broad effect in our bodies, ranging from protein and carbohydrate metabolism to immune system function and wound healing and brain function. Deficiency can sometimes be seen in white spots on the fingernails. There is a simple “taste test� for this essential mineral called the Zinc Tally. Depleted by alcohol consumption and birth control pills.

continued on page 50

Martial Arts Grandmasters International TM


Nutritional self defense continued

The Bottom Line As you can see, each and every nutrient that is typically found in a multi vitamin/mineral supplement play critical roles in the development and functioning of our bodies. Since very few of us can boast of a diet consisting of nutrient rich, organically grown, wild caught, free range, grass fed, whole grain, high fiber, mostly raw, antibiotic, preservative, pesticide, herbicide, and insecticide free food, most of us need a little bit of help ensuring that we have a strong nutritional foundation. Then, if need be, we can build on this foundation to help support our own unique individual needs with other supplements or higher doses of particular vitamins and minerals. Remember that without a strong foundation, your balance will be off, and there is a good chance you’ll get knocked out or have to tap out. *Consult with your doctor before beginning

to take any new supplement. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Craig Rubenstein was a team Chiropractor to the US Freestyle Ski Team in 1990. He is also a certified clinical nutritionist and a Fellow and Diplomate of the International Academy of Clinical Acupuncture. He operates his Park Avenue practice in NY and a satellite office in Suffolk County, Long Island.


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Photos in the NEWS

Grandmaster Lineup

Geoff Booth, Rudy Timmerman, Jimm McMurray, Michael De Alba and Abe Villareal were the master instructors at the 2012 Military Martial Arts Camp and Seminars in Killen, Texas in July, 2012. —Photo by Nelson Pinto

USTKDGMS Hall of Fame

Allen Steen received his Hall of Fame induction from the United States Taekwondo Grandmasters Society in April, 2012. Pictured are Keith Yates, Roy Kurban, Won Chik Park, Jhoon Rhee, Allen Steen, and Pat Burleson. —Photo by David Higgs Martial Arts Grandmasters International TM


Your Martial Arts Journey

Highs, lows


uring our martial arts careers, whether beginner or advanced master, many of us are faced with outside influences that cause us to suspend our involvement in the martial arts for a period of time, or even to quit permanently. Events such as moving, marriage, finances, work, schooling, health issues, conflict in our daily lives and other personal reasons may cause us to suspend or to stop training. For the younger martial artist, parents may control some of the factors. Each of us must decide the importance and the order in which we prioritize our choices. Some people quit the martial arts because they do not see satisfactory results within a certain time period. Some of those time periods are arbitrary and self-imposed. Sometimes, seeing other students pass you, leaving you behind and struggling, can be frustrating and cause the feeling that you are not progressing as fast as you should. Most of us have been faced with giving up, not only once, but many times over the



course of our martial arts careers. I want to let you in on a secret: this is common and you are not alone. The other part of the secret is that feeling of sliding backwards or not progressing at a satisfactory pace, can actually be a good thing. In fact, it is a beginning of understanding what the martial arts is about. Making Mistakes Can Help Your Growth As you progress, you become aware of mistakes you are making and see new subtleties in the movements. It is during this period of growth that the feeling of stagnation manifests itself. This frustration is actually a sign that growth is occurring. However, your mind (rather than ego) must process this information and integrate it into your training. You may think that your awareness of your mistakes is a step backwards, but you are actually learning and making progress. As we travel through our martial arts careers, our instructors constantly feed us new information. How we analyze this data

By GM Gene Perceval

& p lateaus and integrate it is very important. Learning the martial arts in the proper way is a logical process but, no matter how logical you may think you are, you must be taught the correct concepts in the correct order. Your Turning Point To Keep Going When you feel that you are getting nowhere or believe you are sliding backwards, that may be the time when you decide to leave the martial arts. However, this is the wrong response. Your plateau is actually a great thing. It is your turning point, providing you have the mental focus to realize that it will last only for a short time, from a few weeks to a few months, and see it through. Then, seemingly overnight, you will begin to improve again, and advance to a new level of understanding and ability as a martial artist. You are now on the road to many more advanced plateaus and breakthroughs. As you pass through the trying times, the plateaus and the progress, you will find that you are not making the same mistakes

as frequently. I guarantee that you will see improvement, better performance and deeper understanding at each higher level. New Breakthroughs Conquers Temporary Letdowns With each of your breakthroughs you progress to a new level in the martial arts and you will be happy that you overcame your periodic frustrations. You will have a better understanding of the martial arts, and you will become a better student or instructor. You are now aware that your frustrations are temporary, and that you will be rewarded for continuing on your path. Be certain that there is a bright light at the end of each tunnel. I wish for you many plateaus, for each is a step on your path to becoming a true martial artist.

Grandmaster Gene Perceval has been in the arts since 1955.

Martial Arts Grandmasters International TM


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Official Karate Magazine Summer 2012