沖縄小林流空手道 志道館 What?

What the heck does all this mean? 沖縄小林流空手道 志道館
Generally, Kanji, or the use of Chinese characters in Japanese writing provides many meanings depending upon what other words are used with it. Plus, many of the sounds we hear mean different things. Think how hard it is for people to differentiate between spoken “to, too, two”, and “There, they’re, their”.

沖縄     Ryu Kyu (means Okinawa)
小林流 Shorin Ryu (often referred to as Shaolin can also be pronounced Kobayashi. Small Forest School)
空手道 Karate Do (Open Hand PathWay)
志道館 Shidokan Shi can mean Warrior/Samurai/Gentleman. Do means Pathway. Kan means a place (In Japan it often means                     Eating Place) This is the vertical patch on our left chest!
道場     Do Jo (Pathway Practice/Place)

Beikoku Shidokan Symbol
Beikoku Shidokan Symbol

 

So in our Beikoku Shidokan symbol, you will notice the Gold Kanji starts out with *[+] my Keyboard doesn’t type out those characters .

The first two characters are pronounced Beikoku, meaning Rice Country, the name most of Asia uses for the United States of America.

Then you can recognize the next three Shidokan characters 志道館 described above.

 

Knowing these characters and their meaning will help you understand a lot of the kanji characters in the dojo.

Thanks for Reading!

Roberto

Beikoku Shidokan Shorin Ryu Karate (Kobayashi) Kiyoshi, 8th Dan,

Virginia Dojo, 6416 Grovedale Dr., Alexandria, VA 22310

Virginia Dojo

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Roberto is an 8th Dan, Kyoshi, awarded by Grand Master Seikichi Iha, 10th Dan, Beikoku Shidokan Shorin Ryu Karate (Kobayashi). Roberto began his martial arts journey in 1969 and started training with Sensei Iha in 1979.  He continues to train with Sensei Iha and is now one of Iha’s senior students.

As a retired Foreign Service Officer he concentrates on teaching proven-effective adult-focused self defense karate at the Virginia Dojo in Alexandria VA. Many people call the Virginia Okinawan Karate Dojo the Martial Arts Grad School because Roberto teaches proven effective often brutal, pressure points, joint locks and grappling applications that Sensei Iha taught him during 40+ years of instruction in addition to the obvious percussion techniques of punching, kicking and blocking. While stationed overseas Roberto trained U.S. Embassy and Foreign Security Personnel, U.S. Marines, and people like you. See examples of traditional Kata, Kumite, & Bunkai here.

Roberto is a member of the East Coast Beikoku Shidokan Karate Black Belt Promotion Board and the National Black Belt Promotion Board. Among his numerous awards are:

“Best Martial Arts Teacher in Washington, DC” in 2017; “Best Martial Arts in Washington, DC” 2018; “Best Martial Arts in Alexandria” 2019; and “Best of Lessons.com” in 2018 and 2019

 

Japanese words used in the dojo

Here are some

Japanese words used in the dojo:

Kiyoski (Attention) at the beginning and end of class. (Note: Kowalski is a Polish Sausage Company!)

Seiza (formal kneeling posture)

Sensei ni Rei (bow to Sensei) or

Rei (bow)

Onegaishimasu (Please or do me the favor) at the beginning of class or when you bow to another student before a partner drill.

Duoumo Arigato Gosaimasu (very formal thank you)
Doumo Arigato Gosaimashta  (formal thank you in past tense, like saying thank you very much at class end)

Doumo (Thanks, when helped during class),
Arigato (Thank You, when helped during class),
Doumo Arigato (Thank you with more ooomph), or

Doitashimashite (You are Welcome) Ooooh, Hard to pronounce. So say, “Don’ touchy moustache”.
Avoid saying unless you are the instructor,
better to just say Doumo, or Doumo Arigato.

Yoroshiko or Hajimashte (nice to meet you)

*Note: don’t pronounce the “u” at the end of verbs:  onegaishimas
tabimasu to eat
nomimau to drink
kampai – said before drinking
Konnichiwa – Good day
Ohyo Gozaimasu – Good Morning
Konbanwa – Good evening

Daijoubu deska? OK? daijoubou des. OK
Kimasu to come. Kite Kudasai: Please come
Hai: Yes
Iie: No
Chotto: Difficult
Nihongo hanashiseka? Do you know how to talk Japanese?

Beikoku Shidokan Symbol
Beikoku Shidokan Symbol

Biru Kudasai: A Beer Please!
Mizu Kudasai: Water Please!

Let’s Read Some Japanese! Not much:

Shidokan
Shidokan

沖縄: Ryu Kyu or Okinawa

小林流: Shorin Ryu or Kobayashi

空手道: Karate Do

 

Thanks for Reading!

Robert Roberto Curtis

Beikoku Shidokan Shorin Ryu Karate (Kobayashi)

Virginia Okinawan Karate Dojo, 6416 Grovedale Dr., Alexandria, VA 22310

Beikoku Shidokan lineage

The Lineage of Beikoku Shidokan Shorin Ryu Karate (Kobayshi)

We are extremely proud of our Shidokan Karate pedigree or lineage. The more I talk with and meet other martial artists the more I realize how fortunate we are to practice Self Defense Karate with Sensei Seikichi Iha. Many martial artists speak in awe of their instructor, or instructor’s instructor, who traveled to Japan and studied with a real Okinawan instructor for a week or two. I can only nod my head in amazed recognition of what we have in our lineage and what they are missing. When I visit other non-Shidokan Dojos I am humbly reminded that if it were not for Sensei Iha I would be doing the same type of stuff they do and believe that I was doing effective and realistic karate.

I won’t discuss people who I meet who tell me their instructor’s instructor was a student of Iha (people I don’t know and have never heard of) or how they attended one of his seminars at one time. Sometimes you see people claiming to be Iha students as they have the Beikoku Shidokan patch but on their left chest where we have the Shidokan Kanji, instead of the left shoulder.

Beikoku Shidokan lineage
Beikoku Shidokan lineage

We trace our lineage back to Sokon Matsamura, the recognized source of all traditional karate worldwide regardless of being American, Japanese or Korean Karate. If someone uses the term Karate odds are they can trace their lineage back to Matsamura, if they can trace their lineage. I always ask about Karate styles and lineage and most people give me a blank, stunned look and ask “Whaddya mean? It is karrady.”

One of Matsamura’s senior students Anko Itosu taught four of the people in our lineage. Itosu taught the world renown Choki Motobu, Miyahira’s famous uncle Anbun Takuda and the teacher known as the last Karate Samurai, Chosin Chibana. Itsou also taught Sensei Iha’s first instructor Shinpan (Shiroma) Gusukuma.

Chibana designated Miyahira as his successor. He had studied with Miyahira longer than any other student.

When Gusukuma died Sensei Iha then began training in Katsuya Miyahira’s dojo.

When I visit most non-Shidokan karate schools I thank God I was fortunate to meet Sensei Iha over 40 years ago and he accepted me as his student after putting me through what I realize now were a few intense trials of my character. Sensei teaches us kata, partner drills, kumite and bunkai. This is unheard of in most schools as they teach kata, maybe one-step partner drills, and sparring. Most karate and martial arts school have little to no self defense focus as their focus is on winning a tournament trophy or sparring match. We don’t spar more often in Shidokan because after getting beat up performing kumite and bunkai there isn’t a whole lot left to learn from sparring.

Our goal isn’t to win a trophy! Our goal is to arrive home safely after an unexpected violent encounter. We train to Not Lose! We don’t necessarily have to win.

One interesting note: Patrick McCarthy is recognized as the Western World’s foremost Karate Historian and Researcher. He founded Koryu Uchinadi (KU), an open self defense school and organization, after being unable to get answers to “why do we do this?” from Okinawan Karate Masters. He studied and lived in Okinawa, Japan, and China, too. I often marvel at how many of his KU applications are similar to Iha’s Beikoku Shidokan applications. In my conversations with Mr. McCarthy I discovered that Sensei Iha’s first instructor, Shinpan (Shiroma) Gusakuma, was also the instructor of Patrick McCarthy’s teacher, Hiroshi Kinjo. Talk about apples not falling far from the trees.

Thanks for reading!

Robert Roberto Curtis

Beikoku Shidokan Shorin Ryu Karate, 8th Dan, Kyoshi

Virginia Okinawan Karate Dojo, 6416 Grovedale Dr., Alexandria, VA 22310

Alexandria Self Defense Karate

2020 Alexandria Self Defense Karate Warrior Path

Alexandria Self Defense Karate
Alexandria Self Defense Karate Warrior Path

This picture aptly portrays your martial art “Warrior Path” to the top of the mountain. The art of Self Defense Karate is a pathway between self-defense and self-improvement. Thank you, Patrick McCarthy, for that statement’s clarity!

Those that practice only self-defense, without awareness of self-improvement, are still at the beginning of the “Warrior Path”. Many decades-long Martial Artists focused only on physical training remain at the start of the “Warrior Path” and may never get on it.

Your often secondary focus of self-improvement eventually results in you being more aware of those around you; plants, animals and other human beings. You will soon recognize the energies of others you meet and recognize kindred spirits without ever speaking. Usually, a nod and a smile of recognition are all it takes.  Besides some Martial Artists, you will encounter Yoga practitioners and some people who meditate often on the “Warrior Path”. The “Warrior Path’s” difficulty in expressing, identifying, or delineating in words, especially to non-believers of this part of the Martial Arts, disappears upon the sudden recognition of another Warrior on “The Path”.

Wait! What? There is an esoteric aspect to Self Defense Karate! The more you train in Self-Defense Karate the more you unknowingly shift your mental focus away from ego-based thoughts to mental and physical self-improvement and energy conservation. Comments, criticism, intentional/unintentional rebuffs, and disrespect loose importance in disrupting our energies as we, often unknowingly, focus on the important things in our lives, e.g., family & work, and on saving our energies, available free time, and efforts for training purposes and self-improvement. Partying and hanging out take a back seat to conserve energy for training purposes.

Some of us take a quick turn on the self-defense path for a few months or years before life’s other priorities prevail. Some of us stop at the “Warrior Path Inn” (pictured above) to rest, recover from injuries, or to have a drink, and get busy with life and forget to remember to return to the “Warrior Path”.  In the future, a few of us will start training again after time off and look back and wonder why we stopped training because we feel so much better physically and mentally when we are training. Even if you take a wrong turn on the “Warrior Path” you can still come back to it.

We train with partners in class to improve every day and we develop very special life-long friendships doing so. The longer you are on the “Warrior Path” and the farther along it you go the more you appreciate everyone you meet on the path. Each of us often feels alone on our own journey towards the top of the mountain because it is our path, our journey, our experience. Yet rewards abound when we meet another on “The Path”.

Some of you may be on the “Warrior Path” for just a while, others, like me, may discover after 5 decades that they are still on the “Warrior Path”.

Roberto

Kiyoshi, 8th Dan, Virginia Dojo

==========================

Roberto is an 8th Dan, Kyoshi, awarded by Grand Master Seikichi Iha, 10th Dan, Beikoku Shidokan Shorin Ryu. Roberto began his martial arts journey in 1969 and started training with Sensei Iha in 1979.  He continues to train with Sensei Iha and is now one of Iha’s senior students.

As a Foreign Service Officer (Diplomat) stationed overseas, he trained US Embassy Security Personnel, US Marines, foreign security operatives, and people just like you.  When stationed in the Washington, DC area he also always built a cadre of dedicated Shidokan Shorin Ryu Karate students.  Now retired from the Foreign Service he concentrates on teaching proven-effective adult-focused self defense karate at the Virginia Dojo in Alexandria VA.

Roberto’s Northern Virginia karate students built an office into an outstanding training space evoking the sense and feel of a traditional Okinawan Karate Dojo.

Many people call the Virginia Okinawan Karate Dojo the Martial Arts Grad School because Roberto teaches pressure points, joint locks and grappling applications that Sensei Iha taught him during 40+ years of instruction in addition to the obvious percussion techniques of punching, kicking and blocking. See examples of traditional Kata, Kumite and Bunkai here.

Roberto is a member of the East Coast Beikoku Shidokan Karate Black Belt Promotion Board and the National Black Belt Promotion Board. Among his numerous awards are:

“Best Martial Arts Teacher in Washington, DC” in 2017; “Best Martial Arts in Washington, DC” 2018; “Best Martial Arts in Alexandria” 2019; and “Best of Lessons.com” in 2018 and 2019

 

Virginia Dojo, 6416 Grovedale Dr., #302-B, Alexandria, VA 22310