Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Tribute to Sensei Angel Carrasco

What will be soon 8 years ago, Sensei Angel Carrasco accepted me as his student. Little did I know then what an awesome blessing this man's presence would be in my life, and how strong his effect would be on my Karate path.

I have always wanted to write a tribute to him on my weblog, but until now I felt that it would be wrong because I had not yet received a Black Belt in his eyes. However, it is now the correct time to sing the praises of my Sensei.

Sensei Angel came to my city, and founded a dojo in 1982. Without fail for near 30 years Sensei Angel has given his time, attention, energy, and knowledge to his community by teaching Karate classes for free to those who wanted to learn. He didn't only offer quality lessons on how to kick, and punch, but also intertwined in his lessons was wisdom of how to live a better, and healthier life through small changes in one's perceptions, and life habits. Through his guidance, and my willingness to look beyond my comfort zone, I have been able to incorporate these lessons, and improve my everyday situation. I have explored my strengths and worked towards healing my weaknesses all with his encouragement, and support.

His willingness to accept each student for who they are, and to give them the tools to meet their goals has made each class at Dojo Entheos a wonderful positive investment in our lives.

Sensei Angel was there for every step that we've taken, and his strength, and acknowledgement has helped us reach for things that we thought were impossible.

In my eyes, he is a Sensei's Sensei, a teacher of teachers, and is most deserving of the gratitude of his students. May there be another 30 years of his instruction helping to improve our world one person at a time ( or if God's willing perhaps even more...)

Thank you Sensei

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A new beginning

It may seem to be obvious, but the average day doesn't reveal it's potential for newness to us. We seem to be caught in the daily grind, and fail to realize how unique each challenge can be in our lives. It's the same with Karate classes.

I just recently was asked by a very young new student in Karate the question of why we learn the same thing all the time. Yes, it's true... very true... A white belt learns Chudan Tsuki on their first day, and 8 years later, a black belt will be focused on improving their Chudan Tsuki. In fact, Sensei Gichin Funakoshi was working on improving his Chudan Tsuki up until the very last day before he passed away. Why? Why so much time/effort to work on something simple and basic that can take just a few minutes to "learn"? I would suggest that it is because Karate is about seeking the potential of a movement. It is grasping onto the concept that everything is new, and unique, and can be used in a variety of ways.. or in other words to absorb every potential possibility that is offered to us. Sometimes it is only time, and the skill of experience that will reveal the hidden meaning behind some techniques. A punch isn't just a punch, but unless one trains long enough, and with awareness, then they can't get past the perception that it is just a punch... so then the question will pop in their heads "Why do we learn the same thing all the time?"

Three simple punches in this video, but used in different spots for different effects.