Okinawa Karate-Do Center

153E 4370S #15
Murray Utah 84107
U. S. A.


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This is the page for Shihan Arakaki's year 2011 column.

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Okinawa Karate-Do

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Happy New Year!!

         January 1st 2011

gItfs so coldh

Since the end of last year, I could not send or receive emails.
    Also, the lamp above the dining table broke down, and my PC itself broke down. Both heaters in the dojo are also not doing well.

    I got flu last month and now it is this cold with no heaters so I felt like Ifm dying.
    Every day I talk to myself gWhy it is so cold, Ifm going to dieh and hold the tick kimono which Mr. Kohira, and Mr. Oyama gave to me when they came last year.
    When I am on the couch with wearing tick kimono and holding the blanket our cat comes and sits beside me.  We are hugging each other and trying to keep warm.

Meanwhile, I started a very high protein diet while I had the flu and did not work out at all.  My weight is gaining like a new born baby.
    Even when New Years came and my health is back, I only went to the gym twice in the last three weeks because I do not want to change clothes at the cold locker room.

    I do not even go to get my hair cut because it will make me even colder.
        These bad thing might a forecast of things to come this year!

    However, I donft want to die in the dojo from cold and it is not nice to my students so, I fixed that heater and made my PC work again.

    My next thing is to wish this cold weather will go away as soon as possible.

     Even though a lot of bad things have happened, there has been some good.
One of them is I can run now.
I could not run the last several years.
    When I trained Naifanchi kata to master karate as martial arts, I trained myself to my limit. Especially, my legs and lumbar, I trained them and used them as hard as I could.

I used to run 12 miles a day; run and bike 4 hours a day, run five minutes a mile. After that training I would practice limitless number of Naifanchi Kata. I did that seven days a week for nearly five years.

    Well, I feel like I have mastered Naifanchi kata and understand what true martial arts are and am able to use it too. Unfortunately, my legs and lumbar gave up on me after that hard training. Karate and kata is trained by bare feet and the impact to the foot is beyond the human limit.

    Not only could I not run I couldnft walk long distances or stand for long periods of time.
    When I tried to do so, my legs got painful and my lumbar felt numb.
    I felt very frustrated and more than that I felt sad.
    Since then I stopped running and did not use my legs during working out so they would hopefully get better.
    However, I was still doing bicycling to keep me in shape, so my legs still had some pain.

    Since I had the flu, I used it as an excuse to not practice or work out at all.

    What a lazy person!
    However, that lazy moment made my legs feel good like old times.

Yesterday, I ran for the first time in a long time on the treadmill.

It did not look like running, it was more like a fast walk, but I was on for about 30 minutes and made me (and my legs and feet) feel good!!

    I was so happy.
    Some times bad things bring good things too.

Well, these experiences have given me the courage to get a hair cut in this cold winter weather.

   January 15 2011

Got a Hair Cut!!

    Since it was warmer last Sunday I got hair cut, though it took a little courage.
    My hair is shorter and makes me feel good, but now it got cold again!
      Now, my head is lighter both inside and out (Ha!)

    After that I went to the gym and ran on the treadmill.
    I run about one hour very gently and carefully.
    Hopefully my legs will hold up until I will be able to run like before.

    After a shower, I picked up the hair dryer to dry my hair.
    I heard a sound and the hair dryer stopped working.
    gAgain?h  It is another electronic malfunction, I was stunned.
     Since last December, all my electronic equipment has been breaking down one after another.  The light above the dining table, two telephones, my PC and PCfs software, two heaters in the Dojo, one small heater at my home, etc.

    Maybe all my bad behavior had been exposed and I am receiving punishment?

    However, this electrical malfunction gave me a couple good things.

    One of them is that I am able to run a little bit.
    The second one is since my PC broke down, when I read a book I am taking notes. I used to do it when I was young and my old habits are back.

    Since high school, I took notes when I read a book and wrote the impressions of the book. I also wrote my thinking and everyday things like a diary. I think this is one of my few good habits.

    When I started using my PC, I stopped writing notes about the book and lost my habit to keep track of my daily notes.

    I strongly believe that using a computer exercises a different part of the brain as opposed to writing instead. Since my brain is so lazy, I must use both sides.
     Even though my PC is fixed, I would like to keep my new and old habits.

        January 17, 2011

Like even beautiful flower meet the rain and wind

        Mr. Hoan Do and his family invited me for their farewell dinner at a local Vietnamese restaurant (the food was so good, Thanks).
        He and his family are leaving Utah to California for his work.
        Last year he told me that he has had the opportunity to go to Los Angeles.
        I was quite happy to hear that news because I believe that talented young people must go to the bigger world to try his/her ability and luck.
        That is the thrill of the life, so I encouraged him to do so.
        California is so warm though, Ifd rather go myself!

        As happy as I am for him, I was also a bit sad too.
        We were planning that he would take his second degree black belt test at the end of this year.

        Also, we have a lot of junior students in our adult class, most of those juniors (Age 13-17) are coming from our kidfs class.
        In our kidfs class we mainly teach agility, flexibility, and build physical strength according to their age.
        So, when they come to adult classes, they are ready to learn Karate as martial arts.
        I was hoping that he would be the one who will teach those juniors what is the movement of karate as a martial arts. 
        Also, he is the one who opened and operated the BYU Muso-Kai Karate Club which now going very well because of his superior teaching skills.
        When he leaves, it will be difficult to maintain the level at which he taught.

        It is a wonderful thing for him and his family to move to California, but it is a great loss for us in Utah.

        In recent memory he is the one who changed the most since he started karate in our dojo.
        He is a very serious and dedicated man so when I saw him for the first time, I knew he would achieve a lot in the dojo. He lived up to this expectation and more!
        It was not only his karate skill but he grew as a person as well.

        It took him only four years to achieve where he is which makes me happy and gives me confidence in our teaching methods.

       We hope he will start Muso-Kai Karate Club in Los Angeles when he settles down in a new place.
        His BYU Club will be continued by his junior Mr. Vun Cat and we must try to produce more students like him in our dojo.

        In teaching and learning Karate, he is my student and I am his teacher. However every great student I feel they are my DO-YU (??) which means the friend of the Way. So, he is one great student and also he is my DO-YU too.
        At the dinner I gave him a Chinese poem by Wu Buryoufs (???) gKanshuh????which tells your friend the sorrow of life and joy and sharing the moment together.
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      Please take this golden cup
      Let me fill the wine for you
      Like even beautiful flower meet the rain and wind
      Life is full of farewells (So letfs enjoy this moment)

         My favorite Japanese author Masuji Ebuse translated it very well in Japanese too. I wish I could translate it better in English.

            January 21 2011

The effectiveness of SNS and My student

        SNS means social networking systems, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.
        Our Muso-Kai Karate has a Facebook as well however, I do not care for Facebook or other SNS at all.
        I have duties to make our organization bigger and better, so even though I do not enjoy writing on Facebook, I do it as our advertisement and to help our students get to know each other.
        I believe that this is because of my generations ideas towards it and do not enjoy posting our privacy to a large number of the public.
        I feel that it is ultimately for self satisfaction.

        I even went see the movie Social Network which is being called a strong candidate for this year's academy.
        However, it was not what I expected and I fell asleep during the movie.

        I feel it is not only my age but also my philosophical thought that is against it.
        I was always thinking that 'things will be done only by a man's determination and devoted actions'.

        In this moment, North Africa is going through large political movements.
        Some say that it is because SNS gives the idea of freedom and every one can contact each other and because of this, a revolution is happening.

        However, if you know about the world a little bit more, you will be able to see a little bit deeper.  These North African countries a have higher literacy rate than most people think and their re-production rates are as low as any developed country.
        These high literacy rates and low re-production rates make people ready to move toward the democracy (I wrote more about this in my Blog, however it is all in Japanese, sorry!).
        Also, the beginning of the movement was one of the Tunisian young men committing self-burning suicide (it went on YouTube), so I still believe that only man's determined action can change things. The fact that the government cut the internet was just the straw that broke the camels back.

        So I still believed that SNS is overrated and most of the time it is a waste of time.

        Yesterday, I got an email from Facebook, which said that my old student became a friend on my Facebook.
        When I found his name, I was so happy.
        He is one I always thought of since he left our dojo (school); he is one I have always cared about.

        Thank God he found me and I found him.

        I still believe that things only can happen by men (or woman's) determination and devoted action, however, I also believe that it is nice to know what is happening to people you care about.

        Still, Facebook is not my thing, but I will continue to use it to keep track of people I care about. 

            January 29, 2011