Bethea's Karate Studio

119 West Sycamore Street
Kokomo, IN 46901



St. Jude Kick-A-Thon

We have completed the Kick-A-Thon for St. Jude Children?s Research Hospital. This has been one of my favorite events each year because of what they do for the medical community in general. First, they treat children from around the world without regard to race, creed or color. St. Jude does not reject anybody regardless of their ability to pay. We have been very fortunate and have raised thousands of dollars to support their cause.
KKI will share in the funds raised and that is used to support our students attending tournaments. St. Jude gets 80% of all funds raised and KKI gets 20%.  Contributors may refuse KKI taking 20% of their donation which is perfectly alright.

Now, all of you should get your monies turned in as soon as possible. It would best be said to have it in by April 30th in order that we get it in to St Jude as quick as we can.
I want to thank all of you who participated in the Kick-A-Thon. I am confident that you will receive your just reward for all of your efforts.


I Want To Be The Best!
I want to be the best but how can I do that? This is a good subject to ponder in your mind. Am I afraid of anything? Do I work hard enough to get the things that I want? Am I old enough to be the best? These are just a few of the questions that you must ask yourself if you want to be the best.

As you answer these questions you begin to have different thoughts. All of the thoughts are positive based and they slowly but surely begin to drive your behavior. You have a new attitude and you begin to think more highly of yourself. There is a new realization that you can do anything that you want as long as you work at it.

All of a sudden everything seems different and you have begun to find things so much easier than you initially thought. Your family and friends begin to tell you that you are different and they tell you how they like it.

Finally, the new you emerges and you are doing things better than all others. Now you say you may not be the best but nobody is better. You have conquered self and life has changed. 


My Okinawa Trip

Many of you have seen the pictures that were posted on Face Book during my trip to Japan. However, I want all to know that Okinawa is an experience that you must endure to understand what everybody gets so excited about. First, you lose a day (13 hours) when you are going over. The trip through Detroit is only twelve hours whereas through Atlanta it is fourteen hours to Tokyo. From there it is only about two hours and a few minutes to Okinawa. I left on Monday arriving on Okinawa on Tuesday night. Wednesday I met with Sensei and immediately after the meeting we had our first training session. Prior to meeting with Sensei I had to convert monies to yen.

John Axsom was there with several of his students and we began immediately to do things together. Of course we had taken gifts for the Okinawans gave them out while in the meeting or the dojo. At any rate, I went to Gibo Sensei?s dojo to visit with him and that was a great time. The first day always involves a trip to Shureido to place orders to ensure that they are ready by the time we leave. My biggest thing this year was to go out on Kyoshi Saijo?s boat visiting an uninhabited island. Some of the guys went swimming and then they fished and we were fed lunch while we were out. That evening we went up to Hanshi Kinjo?s dojo for a great workout. Afterwards he fed us Okinawan Soba along with all of his students who had come to class. Then he got us taxis back to the hotel.

Naturally we made our usual trips to Shurijo Castle, The Budokan, Heweidori,  Gate 2 Street, and Camp Foster where I get my Popeye?s chicken. These are just highlights of the things that were done. It would take a book to get you informed of all that we did. Of course everybody had a list of gifts to be picked up for family, friends, and students. Hopefully, your interest has peaked and you will be ready to make the trip next year.


Sensei Speaks

Well, we are finally getting some things done for our website and I have been the one who has moved so slowly on this project. I am not very speedy when it comes to some of the tasks that I have to complete and there are time when I procrastinate. I am just being truthful with this because I know that you have been anxious to have a website to just go and get information. now that this is done I will give it my best to stay abreast of every thing.

Generally we tend to try and come up with excuses for what we did not do. However, I learned in 2013 that there are no excuses when I fail to accomplish any goal. It makes no difference what the goal or goals may have been.

In 2013 I learned also what excuses really are for each of us. That is, an excuse is the fuel that gets us started. I had to think at that long and hard before it dawned on me. Finally, I realized that its true. What I was using as an excuse was the exact reason I had to get busy doing what I started.

In the past I have allowed students to determine their own destiny when it comes to promotions. I have learned that most of the students never look at their Training Record/Manual as they are training from one rank to another. Some will have no idea where their book is and will only begin to search for it when it is time for stripes. It is time to accept responsibility for achieving your goals. You can only do that by knowing what must be done to get from point ?A? to point ?B.?

I encourage all of you to keep your Training Record/Manual very close this year. I will be using it as a teaching guide and you will be required to have it in class. If you have it in class I know that you will know where you are relative to your rank goal.

Testing will also change to be a bit more strenuous. Students will know where they are.


Something Old ? Something New

Students are reminded that they must wear a white Gi on Monday. That Gi must have the Shorinkan patch on the left breast. Other patches that have been given out in the Dojo, may also be worn on the Gi as instructed by Sensei. They must be in place on the Gi as instructed.

There are specific guidelines in the Training Manual/Record on the wearing of the Karate-Do Gi. Some students may wear different color Gi.

Nakazato Sensei initially had the brown Gi as the Kobudo Gi. However, Shureido no longer makes the brown Gi and I have not seen any in the U.S. I have designated the black Gi as the Kobudo Gi for our Dojo.

Beginning this year we will begin Kobudo testing. This testing will not occur as frequently as the karate testing. Currently, there are weapons listed, in the Training Manual/Record,  with each rank. This is what will be used to determine the rank and the test for upgrade. I know that there will be questions about this since it will be new to everyone. Please don?t be afraid to ask questions if there is something that is not clear.


Remember The Black Belts

Frank Ramirez, Jim Stidham, George Swain,  Luther Triplett, Nathan Shallenberger, Dan Minor (Deceased), Eugene Talbott, Tom Ward, Donnie Michael, Jeanne Dunne, Robert Kearney, William Overstreet, Marie Guyer, Teresa Bowling?Rassega,  Derek Brading, Phil Notaro, Aaron Barnes, Skip Heffernan, Howard Lawson, Teng Lee, Chad Wysong, Sandyjo Cole, Vicky Wood, Shon Belcher, Mark Pugh, Cameron Notaro, Robert Prescott, Sam Colbert, Mike Garro, Andrew Wert, Demetrius Williams, Ted Sutton, Joseph Meiring, Marlon Pugh, Matt Van Aken, James Parker, Jim Arsenault, Tom Cleaver, Dennis Anglin, Joe Hendershot, Cortlandt Alexander, James Parker, Dennis Anglin, Pam Surack, Jackie Wiles. When will we add your name to the list.

Time has taken advantage of my mind so, there are a few of whom I can?t remember their names. All of these men and women trained very hard and pushed very hard to achieve their Black Belts.


Special Events

May 1st?Kokomo First Friday Mock Tournament
May 2nd?Spring Smash Tournament Taylor high School 10:00am
May 5th?Cinco DeMayo
May 10th?Mother's Day   Show Some Love To The Moms
May 13th?Brown/Black Belt Class 10 - 11am & 7- 8:30pm 
May 14th?No Classes Schedule Camp begins tomorrow
May 15th?Midwest - Okinawa Connection Begins At The GMAU 5:00pm
May 16th?Midwest - Okinawa Connection GMAU
May 17th- Midwest - Okinawa Connection GMAU Last Day Begins at 12:00pm
May 24th - Great Lakes National Karate Championships  Chicago, Il
May 25th - Memorial Day
May 27th?Brown/Black Belt Class 10 - 11am & 7 - 8:30pm


Christmas Basket Brings Joy

I have to take some time to thank everyone of the students and parents for contributing to the Christmas Basket. You would not be able to imagine to joy that the family experienced unless you have walked a mile in their shoes. We have done this for many years now and this has been one of the worse families that we have been able to serve.

When you walk into a home and see no furniture it becomes obvious right away that there is a problem. Please understand that the mother is working but it is not enough when working for minimum wage. I can?t begin to imagine how she pays her rent, utilities, and buy groceries for four. There can be nothing left for anything else.

When we arrived with the basket, the families? eyes lit up. Thanks to all of you there was something for each  of them. They were really over-joyed with the gifts that were included. The food certainly was a welcome sight. God will bless all of you just as He has them.


Student Of The Month

December is a month filled with many things to do. That is for everybody with Christmas parties, school plays, and shopping. This is not uncommon for each year at this time.

I have been looking at my selection process and have decided that there needs to be some minor changes to my selection process.  Primarily, it is the criteria that must be considered.

So, I will continue to use most of what we have been using and add a few things. Helping to maintain the Dojo; self development; helping other students to learn things; pointing out class procedures to students; performing at your rank level; class attendance; showing respect to all higher ranks; and knowing and following the rules and etiquettes of the Dojo. There will be some consideration given to competitive spirit. That does not mean that you have to compete in tournaments because there is lots of competition that goes on here in the Dojo. I have not made a selection for December.


Getting The Year Started

There will be quite a bit going on this year just as last year. We will begin in January hosting the Region II workshop. At the time of this writing the date has not yet been determined.  I am planning to attend Region IV?s first event which is also in January. This is contingent upon weather conditions.

The schedule of events seem to escalate from that point. Region I will host the Cabin Fever event in February. That will normally be scheduled during the third weekend of February. Region II?s first event and banquet is scheduled for the first Saturday of March. The tournament will be held at Maple Crest school. The banquet will be held at the Elite which is only a couple of blocks from the school. This is a very nice facility and I am sure that everyone will be well pleased with it. The Mini Camp is scheduled for the next weekend in St Louis, Mo. This camp is hosted by Mr. Copp and is becoming an exciting event to attend. Winter Camp is scheduled for the next weekend in Virginia. This is hosted by Kyoshi Green and he has a great lineup of instructors. This is an excellent event to attend for those who can. That?s right, the month of March is full. The ISKA annual training is scheduled for  March 21st thru 23rd. The month will closeout with Hanshi Herb Johnson?s event in Indianapolis. That is just a small piece of information that will assist you in planning your attendance at events.


Take A Look At Me

I was just a small boy when I began taking karate. My parents would bring me to class and drop me off for an hour and then they would pick me up and take me home. They would always make sure that I would get my homework done for school.

Some days I thought that Karate was a lot of fun, especially when we did the kumite. We would go really hard it seemed, but, nobody ever got hurt. We didn?t have head gear so we had to control our punches and kicks to the head. Some of the students did not have any sparring gear but they had to spar just as everyone else did.

Sensei used to be really hard on us but we would never think of quitting or giving up. He used to say that it would pay off later in life and it has for me. When I interviewed for my job I was asked lots about my karate training including competition. I used to wonder how my karate could play a part in my job or getting a job. Now that I have found out I encourage students be as aggressive as you can. Your success could be the result of your training in karate.


Building History

Would you believe that the building that we are in was built in 1885? That sets the age at 129 years old and that is some real history. When the building was constructed they did not have codes that dictated safety as they do today. A good example is the electrical code which requires that the facility have 200 amp service and all interior wiring be in conduit. There are several other code requirements which have been met.

A major requirement today comes from The American With Disabilities Act. This law requires that an elevator be installed for use by handicapped individuals. If you have entered the rear of the building you have used the ramp which over rides the requirement for an elevator.

We still maintain some of the remnants of the old facility. Upstairs there are a couple of old radiators which were part of the heating system. There are pieces of wood, old doors, a sink and some metal.

There was at a time a Ballroom in the upstairs. The downstairs had a couple of retail stores. There was once a Dojo located in the downstairs during the 80?s.


Karate History?Karate Development

Yasutsune ?Ankoh? Itosu (1830 ? 1915)

  • A student of Sokon Matsumura.
  • Introduced karate to Okinawan public schools in 1901-02.
  • Passed on Naihanchi and Kusanku kata and created the Pinan kata.
  • His students included Gichin Funakoshi, Chotoku Kyan, Chosin Chibana, Kentsu Yabu, Chomo Hanashiro, Anbun Yokuda, Kenwa Mabuni, Moden Yabiku, and Shinpan Gusukuma.

Choshin Chibana (1887 ? 1969)

  • A student of Sokon Matsumura, Kentsu Yabu, Chotoku Kyan, and Yasutsune Itosu.
  • Assumed command upon Yabu?s retirement and in 1928 was first to name his style Shorin-ryu karate (Kobayashi-ryu).
  • Decorated by the emperor in 1967 as a great karate master.
  • Passed down the Kusanku-dai and gojushiho kata.
  • His students include Chozo Naka, Katsuya Miyahira, and Shugoro Nakazato.

Once you have studied the history, you will see the development of Shorin ryu and Shorinkan. I have visited the tombs of Itosu and Chibana Sensei while traveling to Okinawa.


Karate Morality Code
The ideal of Karate is to cultivate noble character and conducts, the virtues of modesty and courtesy. No forestalling in Karate. Karate is the military art of self-defense to protect and preserve your life and never to attack others on your own initiative.

Perseverance is the root of all the conducts. True patience lies in bearing what is unbearable.  Put back your hands when you are full of fight and retract your fight when your hands itch to deal a blow.  Softness is unity, Strength is unity. The ultimate object of human beings should be co-existence and co-prosperity in peace.

All human actions, softness, and strength, should be united into peace.

Avoid the fights and quarrels even if you were dared to.

From The Kokomo School of Self Defense Training Manual

By living the Karate Morality Code you will never fail in life. It will make you  wise, confident, courageous, patient, a leader, modest, courteous, independent, and in control of your life.