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KDA Today Spring 2011 Karate Do Academy, Westlake and Bay Village karatedo.net "The ultimate aim of Karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants." ~ Gichin Funakoshi

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Page 1: spring karate newspaper - Karate Do Academy Westlake

KDA Today Spring 2011

Karate Do Academy, Westlake and Bay Village

karatedo.net "The ultimate aim of Karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its

participants." ~ Gichin Funakoshi

Page 2: spring karate newspaper - Karate Do Academy Westlake

Martial Arts Is For a Life Time

Sensei Jim has said many times that unlike

baseball or soccer, martial arts can be practiced for

the rest of your life. The following indicates the

truth in the statement.

Sensei Sandy and I take private lessons with

Shihan Joe Panaccione, a 9th degree red belt and

founder of Universal Martial Arts Federation. Some

of you may have had the opportunity to meet Shihan

Joe, since he's been a repeat guest instructor during

Shugyo. Shihan invited us to attend an event on

March 26th, at the Shaolin Center in North Olmsted.

Sifu Frank Versagi's promotion to 6th degree black

sash in Kung Fu was being held that day. Shihan was

one of the judges at the demonstration. During the

intermission, the other judges presented Shihan Joe

with an award for participating in the martial arts for

50 years. From left to right in the above picture and

using their proper titles, Hanshi Joe Panaccione,

Shihan Bruno Raynes, Sifu William Duncan, Sifu

Tim Frashure, Shihan Frank Drellishak, and Sifu

Rikk Mayr. On a side note, these judges were all

holders of advanced rank in various systems and

students under Shihan Joe. During a question and

answer period, Shihan was asked about pursuing the

advanced belt ranks. He responded that he did pursue

his first degree black belt, but not the others. His

promotions occurred because his instructors felt he

earned it, not because he actively pursued


Whether a beginning student, intermediate, or

advanced degree, I would recommend adopting this

philosophy. Once you receive your belt rank, start

earning it by improving upon the required

techniques. Don't be in too big a hurry for the next

belt. As one of your instructors, we recognize when

students are ready for their next belt rank and when

you need to continue honing the skills of your

current rank.

Congratulations to Shihan Joe for his involvement

in martial arts for 50 years and also to Sifu Frank

Versagi on his promotion to 6th degree black sash.

Train Hard………. Sensei Randy

Pictured below are Sifu William Duncan, Hanshi

Joe Panaccione, Sifu Frank Versagi, Sifu Tim

Frashure, and Shihan Paul Kasayka.


My Martial Arts Journey.

Many of us have seen, in movies, the typical

journey of a martial artist. He/she starts harsh

training at a very young age, climbs several

mountains a day with his/her sensei, has a chopstick

battle at some point in their training, fights ninjas,

etc. My martial arts journey, on the other hand, is

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rather simple. I, too, started when I was young and

first took up karate in Oman. Unfortunately, my

nomadic life didn't allow me to continue with the art

for very long, as my family moved right after I got

my red belt. (In the system in Oman, red came after

white). Since then, I've had a keen interest in karate,

but never really committed to it until about two

years ago, when I joined KDA. The art wasn't

difficult for me to pick up, since I had learned

something very similar back in Oman. Seeing that I

might be going away for college, I wanted to learn

as much as I can as soon as possible. One day, I do

hope I will receive my black belt, but until then, I

have a long way to go. I do wish to study different

styles of martial arts in the future. Either way,

martial arts are definitely a permanent part of my

life. –GA

Good Question: How can the same word uke mean both block and attacker?

If we think about the English word “block”,

synonyms such as “obstruct” and “stop” come to

mind. Comparing these with “attacker”, don’t they

seem to have the opposite meaning? Why is this?

The answer lies in the true purpose of the

technique. In martial arts systems such as aikido,

judo and jujutsu, the term uke is used to mean

attacker, but really refers to someone who receives

the technique from the tori, the "taker" or defender.

These terms, uke and tori are quite modern; during

Japan’Edo period and Meiji restoration, the terms

ukemi, ("receiving body")and torimi

(“taking/grabbing body") were commonly used.

You might recognize the former as the term for


For blocking, when you receive an attacking

move, whether it is a punch, kick or strike, what

you are really trying to do is

to deflect and redirect the energy of the attack so

that the opponent is temporarily thrown off balance

and placed in a more advantageous position for a

counter attack. So by “receiving” this attack you

can now send the blow on its way in a different

direction and then immediately deliver your counter

with appropriate timing for the most effect.

For the uke and tori series (attacker and

defender), the uke is the person on the receiving end

of a technique. It is somewhat ironic that the first

move the tori executes is a block (uke)! However,

the emphasis is on the counter attack rather than the

block, as the true purpose of the block is to place

the attacker (uke) in the most vulnerable (receptive)

position so that the tori can deliver a truly decisive

and counter attack and finishing blow.

A literal linguistic translation of a technique

can lead to much ambiguity in the meaning and

application of a technique by its practitioners. It is

therefore very important that we do our best to

understand not only Karate techniques, but also the

terminology and the culture behind the

techniques. In this way, we can better preserve the

legacy of our respective arts and also improve our

own understanding of and ability in the art. –SR

Physical Conditioning for

Optimum Performance and Health In the martial arts, conditioning is vital to your

martial arts performance. All students, regardless of

all other factors, need to do physical conditioning

outside of class. Depending on the student's age and

physical health, the conditioning will vary. For

younger students, games of tag or footraces are fun

ways to exercise. For young adults, high school

sports or college intramural sports provide

enjoyable activities for physical exercise and a

break from academics. For adults, it's healthy to

work out at your office gym or join a class at your

local recreation center.

I often do a selection of these activities depending

on time restraints and energy levels. I enjoy mixing

up my workout routine. During weekdays when

time is limited, I'll usually do fewer miles but at a

higher pace or resistance level. If I have more time,

I enjoy doing hill routines on the bike and treadmill.

This may seem like an intimidating workout;

remember I've been working out regularly since

high school.

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• Biking ~ 8-15 miles, 4 minute miles,

moderate to high resistance level

• Running ~1-5 miles

• Jump Rope ~15 minutes, moderate pace

• Weight lifting with hand weights

• Core exercises

• Stretching

• Pilates

• P90X dvds

Work Out Tips

Work out when you feel like working out... and

sometimes when you don't. It's important to have a

routine for working out. Find the best time that fits

with your schedule and energy levels. I personally

prefer late at night during the school year and

immediately after work during summers. Having an

allotted time is the best way to motivate yourself to

workout. Occasionally, I'm just not in the mood to

work out. Unless I'm sick, I'll usually go to the gym.

Not every workout needs to be a stellar workout.

Easy days are definitely allowed and recommended

to give your body a rest.

Always bring a water bottle and stay well-hydrated

before, during, and after your workout. If you plan

on working out later in the day, stay hydrated

throughout the day to have the best workout

possible. Being well-hydrated is good for your

general health and feeling good.

Stretch before, after, and during cardio. After I'm

halfway done with biking, I'll take a minute to

stretch out anything that's feeling tight. It's

important to stay in tune with your body throughout

your workout. Push yourself but know when you

should back off the throttle.

If you prefer a lower impact and sweat-free

workout, try swimming. It's a great way to get

cardio and endurance training into your

workout routine. The only downside is

swimming requires a large lap pool, while

sidewalks are always available for running.

Find something to motivate you during your

workouts. I have music playlists for specific

workouts. Other people prefer listening to

books on tape, watching TV, or people watching in

the gym. Finding something to engage your mind

while working out will lead to longer workouts.

Don't smoke. Smoking ruins your endurance and

limits the amount of cardio your body can

withstand. It's also unhealthy for your health outside

of the martial arts world.

Keep track of your workouts, mileage, and goals

reached. I have a spreadsheet where I have the date

and miles biked and run recorded. I also keep track

of my running times to gauge improvements in my

mile time. It's encouraging to see my times

decrease. In the world of running, shaving even 10

seconds off your mile time is a huge victory.

Most importantly, eat healthy. By eating healthy

foods, you're giving your body the fuel it needs to

function and perform well. If you're hungry after a

workout, opt for healthy snacks like bananas,

peanut butter, yogurt, or grilled chicken. Fast food

options may be tempting after the gym, but it's

usually best to avoid fast food. Out of personal

taste, I don't consume pop, donuts, fried foods, fast

food, or sweet desserts. I don't purposely cut these

items out; I just don't like the taste of them.

Growing up with a diabetic has given me a great

love of sugar-free cherry pie; any desserts with real

sugar are often too sweet for me.

Summer is a great time to start working on your

personal physical conditioning goals. Get outside

and enjoy the summer weather. Good luck!


Bob’s Corner: June 2011 Congratulations to all who have been

promoted since the last newsletter. Don’t

look toward the requirements of your

next belt rank, but concentrate on earning

the belt you’ve been awarded.

How To Get Up Without Using Your


If knocked down in a fight, it's

important to be able to roll back up without the use

of your hands. If I get back up by rolling over with

Page 5: spring karate newspaper - Karate Do Academy Westlake

my knees and palms on the ground, this would give

the assailant an opportunity to continue the attack

(ie...strikes to the back, side, and head). Rolling

back up without using my hands will permit me to

block or strike the assailant as I get back on my feet.

Find a padded area large enough to work on

getting up. It may be a matted workout area,

carpeted room, or even your back yard. I'm going to

divide the technique into separate pieces for you to

practice. Just practice the technique specified in

each step and we'll put them all together in the end.

Step 1: Sitting on the floor, just practice going from

the sitting position to your back and return to the

seated position. You're need to curve your back

outward to permit a smooth transition from sitting to

laying on the floor and back up. Try not to have

your legs pointing at the ceiling when rolling back.

You don't want to provide the assailant an

opportunity to grab your foot or shin and drag you.

Step 2: Sit on the floor with both legs straight out.

Take your right leg, bend at the knee and place

your right ankle beneath the back of the left knee.

With your left leg straight, your legs should now

look like the figure four (ie..4). Practice rolling back

and ending in with your legs in a figure 4. I am right

handed and right legged (which leg do you favor

when playing kickball or soccer?) This is the leg

that should be bent. If you are left legged, just do

the reverse image of the figure 4 with the left leg

bent at the knee with the left ankle beneath the back

of the right knee and straight right leg.

Step 3: From the figure 4 position you'll push off

the ground with the shin/knee that is bent and at the

same time throw your hands forward. As you move

forward, the shin and foot of the bent leg will point

in the opposite direction you're moving. I'm moving

my body forward and coming off the ground at an

angle. It's important to get forward momentum

going, but don't worry if you had some issues getting

off the ground. We need to put all the steps together

to generate the forward momentum.

Step 4: Okay, put the steps together. Roll back,

roll forward in the figure 4, throwing your hands

forward, while pushing off the floor with you knee.

Imagine the rest of your body is trying to catch up to

your hands. Now practice, practice, practice.

Page 6: spring karate newspaper - Karate Do Academy Westlake

Mistakes: A common mistake I've observed are

students coming straight up. If I squat down and just

stand back up, it's easy to knock me back down. If

you're leaning back as you come up, you're off

balance to begin with and may fall backwards before

your opponent has a chance to strike you. You need

to have your entire body travelling forward and

upward. Watch for the position of your feet. Don't

go from step 1 to a squat with feet on both sides of

the body. This prevents any forward motion. I've

also seen students who cross their ankles as they get

up. Again, you would be easy to knock backwards.

If additional questions or you can't get the technique

to work for you, ask one of the black belts for help.

Take Care.... -SR

From Sensei Jim......... " You must be deadly serious in training.

When I say that, I do not mean that you should be

reasonably diligent or moderately in earnest. I mean

that your opponent must always be present in your

mind, whether you sit or stand or walk or raise your


These word are the first rule of Karatedo by

Gichin Funakoshi. As a student of karate, you must

ask yourself ...Is this the way I train? During line

drills and when practicing kata is my opponent

present in my mind? Do I visualize an imaginary

opponent while performing te waza, uke waza, and

geri waza?

A light and detached attitude in the dojo also

reflects a disrespect for karatedo as an ancient ART,

as opposed to a game or sport. So many times, I

notice karate is referred to in conversation with

other passing interests and activities. In our western

culture it is often lumped in with other hobbies. To

a serious karateka, this is never so. They understand

they are learning a beautiful, but deadly art and

every moment they spent in the dojo reflects this


Karatedo then becomes a way of life in AND out of

the dojo!

So whether it be indoors at the dojo,

outdoors on the grass, at home, or at the

beach...train with the utmost seriousness and effort.

Respect your chosen livelong art, and as titled in

Forrest Morgan's book, "Live the Martial Way"

In KDA news... Our annual summer picnic will be

on July 2nd from 12 noon till about 4 PM. Along

with our Christmas party, the picnic is an

opportunity to socialize and spent time with our

fellow karateka that is not possible during regular

class time. Please make a special effort to be there.

Also in Portland, Oregon, Sensei Polivacek will be

testing his first blackbelt student on June 25th. His

name is Dan Hodnot, and Suji will be doing a

special interview with him for our summer issue.

Good luck Dan.

Have a great summer and see you in the dojo!!!!


KDA Promotions May 2011 Westlake Recreation Center

Blake – Orange Belt

Mary Therese - Orange Belt

Neil – Yellow Belt

Peter - Yellow Belt

Bay Village Youth Center

Geoffrey – Orange Belt

Patrick – Orange Belt

Isaac – Orange Belt

Andriana - Orange Belt

Andrew - Orange Belt

Andrew Z. - Green Belt

Jillian - Blue Belt

Page 7: spring karate newspaper - Karate Do Academy Westlake

Note From Editor We are finally starting to go outside! Take a deep

breath of fresh air. Remember, it is getting hotter

and hotter outside so bring more water, tennis

shoes, and sun screen. Also remember that when

we are outside you don’t have to wear your gee

tops. A T-shirt is fine when we are outside but

always bring them in case we go inside

unexpectedly. Congratulations to those who got

promotions. Now that you have gotten your new

belt, work towards earning that belt just like how

Sensei Randy and many off your instructors have

told you over and over again. You should not just

forget all your lower belt requirements and move on

to your next belt requirements but you should

practice and try to perfect your lower belt

requirements. When you go to learn your upper belt

requirements you can apply your prior knowledge

to your new techniques and become better and

better. Well hope to see all of you at the summer

picnic! -SB


Greeshma (GA) – My Martial Arts Journey

Sensei Randy (SR) – Martial Arts Is For a

Life Time/ Good Question/

Bob’s Corner

Sensei Kelsey (SK) – Physical Conditioning

Sensei Jim (SJ) – From Sensei Jim

Suji (SB) – Note From Editor