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To be Fit: Exercise the Body and Develop the Mind

October 2018


In his book How Children Learn, John Holt describes the way that young children behave when moving about in the world exploring and learning. They have fun. Their curiosity directs their attention. They begin over and over again. There is a saying: Zen Mind Beginner Mind. They stand up. They fall down. They stand up again. No pressure. Their learning and mastery of the world, their body and their mind is organic.


UKC Newsletter October 2018 001

(Sensei Altwal Kicks the pad held by Sensei FungSang)

For a young child there are no boundaries between

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Karate and the Inner Game


October 2018


In Martial Arts it is important to develop the ability to move from perception into action without passing through cognition. This means responding to what we see, hear, feel or sense without thinking about it. Thinking about anything in our usual way takes time, and in a situation where one’s life may be on the line, time is of the essence. The problem for most of us is that we think in words. For example, beginners in karate, when questioned about how they are considering a technique will admit that they are talking their way through it, thus: “step back with the left foot, raise the right arm, twist across the body with a blocking movement and follow up with a reverse punch, not forgetting to twist the hips.” While this process works enough to let them struggle through the elements of the movement in roughly the right order, it completely negates the experience of harmonious movement in action. A better strategy altogether is to make an internal movie, a visualization of the whole move, based upon the example of the instructor. They need

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Musings on the Internal Aspect of the Martial Arts

September 2018



When I first started studying Martial Arts in 1973, it was for external reasons. I had taken on the role of head of Security for a spiritual group that was being harassed by local political activists, concerned about the draining of their Vietnam War protesters by the group. These groups could be extremely passionate, loud and violent. I turned to a local Shotokan School that was just opening in the neighborhood. While I was getting a good education on fundamentals and techniques, I quickly noticed something else taking place. I was starting to become more aware of myself internally. While the friendship, camaraderie and the simple joy of a good work out that training in Karate gave was enough to continue, it was evident that I had found

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Learning Through Cooperation or Competition


Most of us are familiar with competition. Throughout our lives, at school, at work, or in sports, we have competed. For many people, the way that they perceive "getting ahead" in life is through successfully competing with their peers. One of the problems with competition; however, is that when you beat someone at something, they usually experience being beaten. That is, if you win, they lose. It is often the case that the experience of losing in competition is much more frequent than the experience of winning. This losing experience can be very unpleasant leading a person to become depressed or to completely withdraw from the activity in question.

Aug2018 001
(Sensei Altwal trains with Shany with the Bo staff. Partner training with sticks can be very safe, provided that students realize the importance of cooperation.)
Here at the Karate Center, we

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A View From The Real World


Teaching Karate was the first thing that instilled in me the desire to be an educator at all. Despite other teachers I've had throughout life, it was the consistency and skill of my Karate teachers that taught me the true importance of a teacher. Outside of my university, UKC was the only place where I knew, beyond a doubt, that my teachers could control a classroom, respected their students, and absolutely knew their subject matter. To have teachers who still consider themselves students brings a level of honesty and integrity to a classroom that students recognize and appreciate, even subconsciously. An educational system that believes the title "teacher," Sensei, is a distinctive and hard-earned honor has given me

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My child complains about coming to class; What should I do?

July 2018


Sometimes parents, especially the parents of very young children, mention to us that the kids complain about coming to class. The parents acknowledge that the kids like the class once they are there; yet they think maybe the child is losing interest.

In many cases, the child is not telling you they doesn’t like their classes. Often, they are demonstrating that they are “present focused.” At early stages of development, kids are not always able to project their thinking into the future, or weigh the potential for future enjoyment. For example, if you offer a young child a dollar now, or five dollars in a week, they probably will choose the dollar now, and the immediate gratification.

To deal with this, first

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Fitness is a Full Time Pastime

June 2018

By Sensei Joseph Winn


Students often fail to realize the enormous benefits they are getting from their training. Kids “open up” and become more confident, and thus assertive. We have many stories from parents of formerly shy kids who now complain because they “talk back”. Yes, they found their voice! Let’s help them use it in the best way possible. Adults learn to face challenges gracefully, without getting frustrated. Everyone gains something substantial. Sometimes parents don’t notice this growth in their children until it is pointed out to them, specifically in relation to their own child.


June 2018 001

(Mudokai Team Members Ken Everdale, Sensei Christie Brigida and Sensei Joshua Meyer. Confidence as a result of skill.) 


When training is stopped, or reduced to a much lower frequency, these benefits start to fade, just as with your physical moves. I've seen too many kids fall back into their shell, adults begin to put themselves down, all after we had helped them overcome these obstacles. What's habit is comfortable, even if it isn't good for us. The Sensei help you set new habits in the form of better body use, greater confidence, increased focus, and more. Yet we can only do this when you are here!


Our Dojo offers classes every day, many with both morning and evening options, to suit a wide variety of schedules. Can't get in at 5:15? Come by at 11 in the morning. Sundays a no-go? That's fine, I happen to teach on Saturdays. One class is better than no class. Two is even better than one. Once a student is coming in at least twice a week, the mental and physi-cal fade is halted; plus, we can reverse any previous effects. To some extent at least however, generally “more is better”.


Every instructor at your karate school is ready to help you overcome your challenges. Let's keep your mind as flexible as your body. Make it a habit to attend and reap the benefits!

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